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moderated Changes to new basic groups #update


 

All,

I am making a change that will affect all new basic groups created after Monday, 24, 2020 at 9am Pacific Time. Basic groups created after that time will be limited to mailing list features only. That means, they will not have polls, calendar, chat, member directory, integrations, photos, files, database, or wiki. They will continue to also not have subgroups. To gain access to those features, these groups will need to upgrade to a premium or enterprise group. Basic groups will still have access to all of our mailing list settings, including hashtags.

This change will not affect existing groups.

I'm not making this change lightly. My strong desire as a developer is to make all features free to everyone so that everyone can benefit from the service. But my duty as the guy running the company (and still sole employee) is to ensure that the business model works. My hope is this change will give us the resources to start hiring additional help, while setting us on a firm financial footing now and in the future.

I have updated the Upgrade tab under the Admin menu, so that for basic groups, it now lists all these features and whether they are `legacy enabled`, for groups created before the change, and `not enabled` for groups created after, to hopefully help make things clear. I will also push updates to the various marketing pages when this rolls out on the 24th.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks,
Mark


 

What's that cutoff date again? :-)


On Mon, Aug 10, 2020 at 1:07 PM Mark Fletcher <markf@corp.groups.io> wrote:
All,

I am making a change that will affect all new basic groups created after Monday, 24, 2020 at 9am Pacific Time. Basic groups created after that time will be limited to mailing list features only. That means, they will not have polls, calendar, chat, member directory, integrations, photos, files, database, or wiki. They will continue to also not have subgroups. To gain access to those features, these groups will need to upgrade to a premium or enterprise group. Basic groups will still have access to all of our mailing list settings, including hashtags.

This change will not affect existing groups.

I'm not making this change lightly. My strong desire as a developer is to make all features free to everyone so that everyone can benefit from the service. But my duty as the guy running the company (and still sole employee) is to ensure that the business model works. My hope is this change will give us the resources to start hiring additional help, while setting us on a firm financial footing now and in the future.

I have updated the Upgrade tab under the Admin menu, so that for basic groups, it now lists all these features and whether they are `legacy enabled`, for groups created before the change, and `not enabled` for groups created after, to hopefully help make things clear. I will also push updates to the various marketing pages when this rolls out on the 24th.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks,
Mark


--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu


 

On Mon, Aug 10, 2020 at 01:07 PM, Mark Fletcher wrote:
they will not have polls, calendar, chat, member directory, integrations, photos, files, database, or wiki
Will they have message lists?
 
--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu


 

On Mon, Aug 10, 2020 at 1:24 PM J_Catlady <j.olivia.catlady@...> wrote:
What's that cutoff date again? :-)


Ooof. I did proof-read it before I sent it. It is Monday, August 24, 2020 at 9am pacific time, ie. two weeks from today.

Thanks,
Mark


Bruce Bowman
 

On Mon, Aug 10, 2020 at 04:07 PM, Mark Fletcher wrote:
I am making a change that will affect all new basic groups created after Monday, 24, 2020 at 9am Pacific Time. Basic groups created after that time will be limited to mailing list features only.
Mark -- At this time Basic groups are restricted to 1 GB total storage; this includes photos, files, attachments, etc. If photos, files and wiki are going away, what's going to happen with message attachments? If they'll continue to be retained in the message archive, how much storage will be allocated for this purpose?

Regards,
Bruce


 

On Mon, Aug 10, 2020 at 2:44 PM Bruce Bowman <bruce.bowman@...> wrote:
On Mon, Aug 10, 2020 at 04:07 PM, Mark Fletcher wrote:
I am making a change that will affect all new basic groups created after Monday, 24, 2020 at 9am Pacific Time. Basic groups created after that time will be limited to mailing list features only.
Mark -- At this time Basic groups are restricted to 1 GB total storage; this includes photos, files, attachments, etc. If photos, files and wiki are going away, what's going to happen with message attachments? If they'll continue to be retained in the message archive, how much storage will be allocated for this purpose?

Same as is now, 1GB. 

Thanks,
Mark 


 

Basic groups created after that time will be limited to mailing list features only. That means, they will not have polls, calendar, chat, member directory, integrations, photos, files, database, or wiki.
I'd like to suggest you keep the member directory (so people can see who else is still in the group) and photos. I imagine these would have to be kept for the moderators/owners in order to properly administrate the group, anyway. You could prevent direct photo uploads, meaning the only way to post a photo would be to mail it to the group. It wouldn't take any significant additional resources to keep these features, and it might help tease people into realizing that Groups.io is more than just a listserv.

JohnF


Dave Sergeant
 

On 10 Aug 2020 at 13:05, Mark Fletcher wrote:

I am making a change that will affect all new basic groups
I can see why Mark is making these changes but it does seem to me that
before very long there will no longer be any basic {as in 'free')
groups and groups.io is slowly following the pattern of yahoogroups
which still exists but with email only access. That is the very reason
we all came to groups.io in the first place. Many small groups use the
free option and could in no way go premium as they do not have the
financial resources. The 'freemium' model seems to be now dead.

Dave

http://davesergeant.com


Duane
 

On Mon, Aug 10, 2020 at 08:03 PM, JohnF wrote:
keep the member directory (so people can see who else is still in the group) and photos.
If a group wants to make the information available about contacting other members, they could make the Members list visible to everyone.  I don't find the member directory very useful since it only shows other members those that have chosen to make their profile public.

It's my understanding that emailed photos will still be there, so that should work as you described.

Duane


Duane
 

On Tue, Aug 11, 2020 at 12:48 AM, Dave Sergeant wrote:
does seem to me that
before very long there will no longer be any basic {as in 'free')
groups
Keep in mind that these changes will only apply to groups created after the changeover (as I understand it.)  Existing groups will still have all of the features they currently enjoy (legacy enabled).  It's going to be more difficult to make the documentation clear, but shouldn't chase anyone away.  I think it's just making Basic groups more basic.

Duane


Alan N
 

Very sorry to hear this.  IMHO, Groups.io would be a more sustainable business model if Mark reduced the Premium tier to $10/mo (or a flat $100/yr paid in advance).  That would be a lot more palatable pricing model for the majority (I presume) of groups that have no revenue stream or dues structure.  Otherwise, I fear Groups.io will not be sustainable for the long run.


 

On Tue, Aug 11, 2020 at 06:19 AM, Duane wrote:

If a group wants to make the information available about contacting other
members, they could make the Members list visible to everyone.  I don't find
the member directory very useful since it only shows other members those that
have chosen to make their profile public.
Ah, I mixed up member list and member directory. My point was just to see who else is in the group, if the group owner sets it up that way.

JohnF


 

Agree that an interim pricing with limited features could be much more appealing.

i understand this is Mark’s business and he is free to make the rules but also feel that once users have been enticed to use his services it might be useful to run a poll or something to find out what features users are willing to pay for.  I think files and an occasional poll are important while others are more interested in photos. 

The wiki is a unique feature of groups.io and, IMO, shouldn’t be eliminated from free basic groups - maybe limit number of,pages. 

Patti in AZ


Sandi D
 

Thanks for explaining.

I hope you will consider a way to ease the financial burden this would impose on the smaller, community focused Non Profits. We really struggle on our shoestring budget and GIO has been a lifesaver to us in regards to communication.

Our ASG mission is both educational and service focused. We respond within hours to a variety of needs including those from local hospitals, regional food banks and shelters, state disasters, deployed overseas troops and more recently the global pandemic.

Please consider offering NP's free or minimal subscriptions or list your free or minimal subscription rates on TechSoup.com. TechSoup is a verification mechanism for NPs. For a small Tech Soup administrative free we have been able to afford a variety of technical equipment and services ranging from hardware, to software to internet based services. In other cases we have found a NP pricing link on the service site which is easier on us as no 3rd party discount codes are involved. 

Thanks for considering this, 
--
Sandi Dickenson
ASG Volunteers Group, a 501(c) non profit


 

I have to admit that I, too, felt some panic about the sustainability of groups.io when I first read this announcement. My premium group (for cats) is grandfathered in for pricing and my basic group (for my block) is grandfathered in for features, so I personally made it under the wire. But this does have the smell of yahoo groups, and although I am hanging onto trust that the combination decided on for pricing and features was the best combination possible, I worry that groups.io will have trouble distinguishing itself from yahoo going forward, and that instead of making things more sustainable, it might have the opposite effect. 
--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu


 

On Tue, Aug 11, 2020 at 7:13 AM J_Catlady <j.olivia.catlady@...> wrote:
I have to admit that I, too, felt some panic about the sustainability of groups.io when I first read this announcement. My premium group (for cats) is grandfathered in for pricing and my basic group (for my block) is grandfathered in for features, so I personally made it under the wire. But this does have the smell of yahoo groups, and although I am hanging onto trust that the combination decided on for pricing and features was the best combination possible, I worry that groups.io will have trouble distinguishing itself from yahoo going forward, and that instead of making things more sustainable, it might have the opposite effect. 


Not sure I see the comparison. Yahoo doesn't even offer most of the features we have. If someone goes with Y Groups these days (or Google Groups for that matter), then I have either not marketed the Groups.io advantages well, or they would not be a good customer fit for us.

Thanks,
Mark


 

Ok. Points well-taken. I won't worry. :-)


On Tue, Aug 11, 2020 at 9:40 AM Mark Fletcher <markf@corp.groups.io> wrote:
On Tue, Aug 11, 2020 at 7:13 AM J_Catlady <j.olivia.catlady@...> wrote:
I have to admit that I, too, felt some panic about the sustainability of groups.io when I first read this announcement. My premium group (for cats) is grandfathered in for pricing and my basic group (for my block) is grandfathered in for features, so I personally made it under the wire. But this does have the smell of yahoo groups, and although I am hanging onto trust that the combination decided on for pricing and features was the best combination possible, I worry that groups.io will have trouble distinguishing itself from yahoo going forward, and that instead of making things more sustainable, it might have the opposite effect. 


Not sure I see the comparison. Yahoo doesn't even offer most of the features we have. If someone goes with Y Groups these days (or Google Groups for that matter), then I have either not marketed the Groups.io advantages well, or they would not be a good customer fit for us.

Thanks,
Mark


--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu


 

On Tue, Aug 11, 2020 at 5:13 AM Alan N <amnast@...> wrote:
Very sorry to hear this.  IMHO, Groups.io would be a more sustainable business model if Mark reduced the Premium tier to $10/mo (or a flat $100/yr paid in advance).  That would be a lot more palatable pricing model for the majority (I presume) of groups that have no revenue stream or dues structure.  Otherwise, I fear Groups.io will not be sustainable for the long run.


Groups were priced at $10/month for 2.5 years before the price increase last October (and that's still the price for those legacy premium groups who have been paying all along). The data does not agree with your assessment.

Cheers,
Mark


KWKloeber
 

On Mon, Aug 10, 2020 at 04:07 PM, Mark Fletcher wrote:
This change will not affect existing groups.

Mark what about groups that went premium for a YahCHOO! transfer intending to drop back after the year?  They are “existing” groups that get full benefits?

It doesn’t affect us, but it would seem to be akin to a bait n switch for those folks.

I understand that things change over time, but other than this change  will “things” (whatever they may be) remain status quo for all groups as to whatever the “things”/policies that were in place when they signed up?  The drop-backs would be one of those type policies but I would imagine that there’s other ones as well.  

No argument you need to and hope you make this sustainable, and well, maybe the model wasn’t projected out far enough or invalid assumptions used.  On the other hand there’s groups who may have jumped here expecting that, say, after 2-3 years the growth in membership would push them to a premium due to storage. The problem is (and this example is exaggerated simply to make the point clear) if they knew the premium was $100 but 2-3 yrs later it’s “Sorry, it’s now $1,000,” that’s a hard pill to swallow having made sacrifices to go G.io, only to find they’re now under a rock pile. 

i try to tell people there ain’t no free lunch and if something seems to good to be true, well yes, it’s probably too good to be true. 

thx, ken


 

On Tue, Aug 11, 2020 at 9:58 AM Ken Kloeber via groups.io <KWKloeber=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
On Mon, Aug 10, 2020 at 04:07 PM, Mark Fletcher wrote:
This change will not affect existing groups.

Mark what about groups that went premium for a YahCHOO! transfer intending to drop back after the year?  They are “existing” groups that get full benefits?


They are existing groups, so will not be affected. 

I understand that things change over time, but other than this change  will “things” (whatever they may be) remain status quo for all groups as to whatever the “things”/policies that were in place when they signed up?  The drop-backs would be one of those type policies but I would imagine that there’s other ones as well.  


We have a long standing policy of not changing things for existing groups. Of course I cannot predict the future, but I don't anticipate that changing anytime soon.


Cheers,
Mark