moderated Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion


Scott Chase
 

RE: "Second, you're already grandfathered in, as I understand it."
Again, being "already grandfathered" would be inconsequential, if a $2.50 paywall was added in front of us.


 

It’s not clear that the idea is even under consideration by Mark. It’s just something that someone threw out there in this thread. But my assumption would be that whatever the new plan turns out to be, whether Mark’s original plan or Mark’s plan plus Samuel’s or some variation or modification proposed in this thread, all current groups are grandfathered, and that would include their members. 


On Jan 12, 2021, at 9:41 PM, Scott Chase <Scott.A.Chase@...> wrote:

RE: "Second, you're already grandfathered in, as I understand it."
Again, being "already grandfathered" would be inconsequential, if a $2.50 paywall was added in front of us.

--
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


Scott Chase
 

If only my current members are grandfathered, a $2.50 user paywall would stop any new members from joining my group. It would die. This is why any group member charge (vs system user paywall subscription) needs to be tied to a specific group, as a possible option to help an owner pay for the additional cost of a premium tier.

I sincerely don't want our "grandfathered" group to be a freeloader and would encourage members of our "grandfathered" group to use something like a "Donate to Mark" button.

Scott


 

Scott,

If only my current members are grandfathered, a $2.50 user paywall
would stop any new members from joining my group. It would die.
Because your group is grandfathered it has an unlimited number of "free slots". Meaning that no one joining it would face a paywall were the OP of this topic implemented.

I don't think Mark would implement something like Drew's proposal (full stop). And certainly not without excluding existing groups from the requirement that new members face a paywall.

Shal


 

Pete,

I thought that was very clear as well. However, there are some
comments here that seem to imply otherwise. Here's one:
https://beta.groups.io/g/main/message/27536
I cited my reason for thinking so at the time: Mark's request that we keep the feedback coming.

A week later and Mark created this topic. That confirms that he's listening and considering. However, it is likely noteworthy that this Proposal incorporates the Pricing Changes as the base, with additional features layered on.

I think that as the implementation date for the Pricing Changes approaches it becomes increasingly reasonable to assume that there won't be any fundamental changes in direction.

Shal


 

We are going even beyond speculation to even discuss but i would assume that included your future members as well.


On Jan 12, 2021, at 10:19 PM, Scott Chase <Scott.A.Chase@...> wrote:

If only my current members are grandfathered, a $2.50 user paywall would stop any new members from joining my group. It would die. This is why any group member charge (vs system user paywall subscription) needs to be tied to a specific group, as a possible option to help an owner pay for the additional cost of a premium tier.

I sincerely don't want our "grandfathered" group to be a freeloader and would encourage members of our "grandfathered" group to use something like a "Donate to Mark" button.

Scott

--
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


monamouroui
 

Shal, if you exclude grandfathered groups then the new groups that had to and will continue to have to pay, will be at a disadvantage. So unless Mark is trying to constrain the formation of new groups this is a bad idea. Why would someone join a newly formed group where they would have to pay $2.50/annually when they can search for older groups that would be free to the user?

Sara

On Wed, Jan 13, 2021 at 1:42 AM Shal Farley <shals2nd@...> wrote:
Scott,

 > If only my current members are grandfathered, a $2.50 user paywall
 > would stop any new members from joining my group. It would die.

Because your group is grandfathered it has an unlimited number of "free
slots". Meaning that no one joining it would face a paywall were the OP
of this topic implemented.

I don't think Mark would implement something like Drew's proposal (full
stop). And certainly not without excluding existing groups from the
requirement that new members face a paywall.

Shal






Samuel Murrayy
 

On Wed, Jan 13, 2021 at 01:14 PM, monamouroui wrote:
Shal, if you exclude grandfathered groups then the new groups that had to and will continue to have to pay, will be at a disadvantage. So unless Mark is trying to constrain the formation of new groups this is a bad idea. Why would someone join a newly formed group where they would have to pay $2.50/annually when they can search for older groups that would be free to the user?
Yes, but the purpose of this thread is not to discuss what the potential downsides of grandfathering is.  Your objection would apply even if my proposal isn't implemented.

If a user applies for membership a non-grandfathered group that is "full" (i.e. already has as many members as the owner is willing to pay for), here's what happens:
  • If premium groups can be capped: either the user gets a system message telling him that the group is full, or the moderator replies to user, "sorry, we have no more room in our group, and there is nothing either of us can do about it"
  • If premium groups can't be capped: moderator replies to user, "sorry, I can't afford another member; however, if you're willing to pay me $1.00 per year via PayPal, then you can join our group"
  • With my proposal: moderator replies to user, "sorry, our free-member slots are full; however, if you become a paid member of Groups.io for $2.50 per year, then you can join our group"

Grandfathering isn't going to go away, so yes, if a user is not picky and would join any existing grandfathered group, then that option would be open to him.  However, my experience with the groups that I'm in is that people who become members of those groups specifically want to become members of **those** groups.  If there are a dozen cat group and all the user wants is to share cat photos, then "any group will do", but a lot of groups are quite specialised and people don't really have alternatives to join.

(The ability to cap premium groups has been suggested but has not been confirmed or commented on by Mark.)


 

On Wed, Jan 13, 2021 at 04:49 AM, Samuel Murrayy wrote:
Yes, but the purpose of this thread is not to discuss what the potential downsides of grandfathering is.  Your objection would apply even if my proposal isn't implemented.
Exactly right. Grandfathered groups are actually not even worthy of discussion in what happens going forward because they will start to be a smaller and smaller fraction of the total groups. And in any case, I don't think people would go around looking for free groups. The fee is a pittance and people join groups based on their interests. My objections to allowing people to pay to get into "full" groups is based on assuming that (eventually) the vast majority of groups will be under the new structure. My problems with the payment proposal have nothing to do with grandfathered vs non-grandfathered groups.
 
--
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


Sandi D <sandi.asgtechie@...>
 

On Wed, Jan 13, 2021 at 09:49 AM, J_Catlady wrote:
My objections to allowing people to pay to get into "full" groups is based on assuming that (eventually) the vast majority of groups will be under the new structure.

What is your concern/downside of allowing "full" groups to accept more members? 

--
Sandi Dickenson


 

Hi All,

Thank you for the discussion. I'm not going to lock this topic, but I think we've discussed every nook and cranny. I need some time to digest things (I would really appreciate the topic summarization feature I've been talking about for years right about now) and figure out if/when/how this would be implemented.

Thanks,
Mark


Sandi D <sandi.asgtechie@...>
 

We don't know that group owners will be informed in any way by GIO if a member of their group is a paid GIO account holder or not. Everyone seems to be assuming that group owners and members will be able to somehow figure it out. This isn't necessarily true.

Just as no one knows which groups are paying groups and which groups do not pay, the same applies to GIO account holders. No one, except GIO management and the account holder needs to know. 

Here's how that would work:
A Basic tier group has 104 members. Someone applies. The owner accepts them. Nothing requires the owner to know if the new member is a paid account holder or a free account holder. The owner has no need to know which members are paid account holders and which aren't. The owner just knows they have approved a new member. There is no reason for the owner to know anything other than they have 22 "free" (available) slots and can invite 22 people to join. Or not. 

Let's say, time goes by and that same basic tier owner now has 35 slots. Yet they still have 105 members. What happened? Well some of the members decided to get a paid GIO account. Which means more free slots have been released back to the group from GIO.

Now it's a week later and that same owner logs in and sees there are 16 available slots. They still have 105 members. What happened? Some members opted to return to a non paid (free) GIO account. The group owner doesn't need to know which members converted. All the owner needs to know is he/she can send invitations to 16 people to join the group. 

On the GIO side of things, if a member opted not to retain their paid account, GIO would notify them that they will be removed from groups X,Y, Z because those groups are over their capped limit. No disgruntlement between members and group owners. The communication is soley between GIO and the account holder. The account holder deals with the consequences of not renewing their paid membership. Just like any other member that leaves a group, the owner need not know why they left. The member can request at a later time to rejoin. 

In other words the 100 slots of a capped basic tier group are on the GIO side of things and not the owner side of things. If the owner has zero slots, they can upgrade to Premium, essentially "buying" 300 more slots from GIO and the ability to direct add members and have more features.

For a Premium owner their concern is direct adding. They start a group with 399 available slots. As the group fills, those slots decrease. But the Premium group owner will not know which are filled by paid account owners and which are filled by free members. The group owner's concern is how many slots are left to direct add members. Regardless of whether or not Samuels proposal is implemented, the owner is only looking at how many vacant slots are available for direct adding and for sending invitations. 

Now suppose someone with a free basic account applied to join a basic group with 100 members. Their request is denied by GIO system letting them know their application was unsuccessful because the group is full. (ThIs will happen after Jan 18 regardless of whether or Samuels Proposal will be implemented). 

Ditto for a Premium group with 400 members who does not want to pay the additional per member charge. The owner need not be made aware of who in their group holds a paid or unpaid GIO membership. Their concern remains focused on the number of unfilled slots that can be filled if they choose to fill them. 

If Samuels proposal goes through, GIO will need to manage the back end of requests to join capped groups. GIO will need to manage account holders moving between free and paid accounts. GIO will need to decide if there is a need to inform group owners, whether or not they have paid account holders in their groups. 

--
Sandi Dickenson


Samuel Murrayy
 

On Thu, Jan 14, 2021 at 12:36 AM, Sandi D wrote:
We don't know that group owners will be informed in any way by GIO if a member of their group is a paid GIO account holder or not. Everyone seems to be assuming that group owners and members will be able to somehow figure it out. This isn't necessarily true.
You're right, it's not necessarily the way Mark might implement it.

But I would be strongly in favour of giving group owners this information. I would also favour group owners getting a great deal of control over who gets free slots, because it allows them to be in control of who joins as free members and who joins as paid members.  In particular, it allows group owners to prevent members who *can* pay but refuse to pay from taking up space that could otherwise be assigned to members who *can't* pay but who would be valuable members of the group.

And here's another reason why group owners should ideally have control over this: in the premium groups, group owners are the ones who pay for the availability of free slots! So it would be unfortunate if such group owners can't control who gets to benefit from the free slots.

For similar reasons I would suggest that paid members who stop paying should not be automatically converted to free-slot members, unless the group owner specifically wants it.  (There could be a setting like "automatically assign lapsed paid members to free slots when available"... and I suspect many group owners will use that setting.)

On the GIO side of things, if a member opted not to retain their paid account, GIO would notify them that they will be removed from groups X,Y, Z because those groups are over their capped limit. No disgruntlement between members and group owners. The communication is solely between GIO and the account holder. The account holder deals with the consequences of not renewing their paid membership. Just like any other member that leaves a group, the owner need not know why they left. The member can request at a later time to rejoin.
I would be strongly opposed to this.  I see no reason why group owners should not be allowed to be involved in making decisions about who gets to be in their group for free.  In addition, if you remove group owners from this process, it makes it more difficult for group owners to assist less computer literate users.

Sure, if a member decides not to renew his membership, getting a notice telling him what the consequences would be, is fine: the notice could be customised to tell the user exactly which groups he'll be booted from, or the notice could be more generic, saying simply "converting to a free member may result in having no more access to certain groups, depending individual groups' own policies".

In other words the 100 slots of a capped basic tier group are on the GIO side of things and not the owner side of things. If the owner has zero slots, they can upgrade to Premium, essentially "buying" 300 more slots from GIO and the ability to direct add members and have more features.
Ideally, though, the group owner should have another option: decide which members should start paying, and tell them privately to upgrade to paid membership, so that free slots can open up.  And if there are members currently in free slots that the owner feels don't deserve to freeload any long, he should be able to communicate his decision to them (e.g. by threatening to unsubscribe them if they don't pay) -- but this means that the owner should be able to see who are paid members.

For a Premium owner their concern is direct adding. They start a group with 399 available slots. As the group fills, those slots decrease. But the Premium group owner will not know which are filled by paid account owners and which are filled by free members. The group owner's concern is how many slots are left to direct add members. Regardless of whether or not Samuels proposal is implemented, the owner is only looking at how many vacant slots are available for direct adding and for sending invitations. 
Yes, so in other words, there are many disadvantages to not allowing owners to see who are paid members and who are free members.

(In fact, I would be personally in favour of giving paid members the ability to reveal their paid status to other members, e.g. with a badge next to their posts.  In some types of groups, it could be useful for all members to see whom they have to thank for the availability of free slots.)

Now suppose someone with a free basic account applied to join a basic group with 100 members. Their request is denied by GIO system letting them know their application was unsuccessful because the group is full. ... Ditto for a Premium group with 400 members who does not want to pay the additional per member charge. The owner need not be made aware of who in their group holds a paid or unpaid GIO membership. Their concern remains focused on the number of unfilled slots that can be filled if they choose to fill them.
Again, this just shows how bad such an implementation would be (i.e. one in which owners can't see who are paid members).  I disagree that the owner's only concern should be how many free slots there are.  The owner should be allowed to choose who gets in for free and who needs to pay.

In my opinion, here is how joining a group should work:

If someone tries to join a group whose free slots are full:
- If membership does not require approval: the user gets a notification that the group is "full", and the owner gets a notification that the group is full and that user X tried to join. (the owner can then contact that person privately and try to work something out)
- If membership does require approval: the owner gets a notification that the group is full and that user X tried to join.  The owner then decides what he wants to do, e.g. pay extra himself, or ask the user privately to sign up for paid membership, or ask the user to privately send the owner money via PayPal, or decide to ask another member to become a paid member in order to make room for this new member, etc.

And if someone tries to join a group whose free slots are not yet full:
- If membership does not require approval: the usual procedure happens, and the owner's notification includes a line about the new free slot balance.
- If membership does require approval: (it may be a good idea to discuss various possible procedures here, but...) the usual procedure could still happen, which includes the ability of the owner to communicate with the aspiring member to tell him e.g. the policy of that particular group, which may include that his application is approved on the condition that he signs up for a paying membership.

On a related note:

A waiting list feature or the ability to be a dormant member of a group solves several problems.
- For example, if a previously paying member stops paying, he can become a dormant member, which makes it easier for the group owner to continue managing his membership during the period that the owner decides what he wants to do with that member.  (If such a member is simply unsubscribed instead of made dormant, it can be more difficult to win him back.)
- And for example, if a user tries to join a group where there are either no free slots available or where the owner doesn't want to assign a free slot to that user (but the owner does want to provisionally accept his application, in order to try to convince him to pay up, or while the owner tries to get another member to become a paid member), such a member can become a dormant member.  Dormant membership will greatly reduce the amount of administration for group owners.

(And I repeat a suggestion that I made previously, that dormant members be allowed to read messages via the web, even in restricted groups.  This would not really discourage people from paying, since there are many groups with public messages anyway.)


billsf9c
 

A little thing that continues to bother me is hiw hard owners must sometimes work to support a new group... which generally seems to be greatest until a list has ~100 members... which I always called, "critical mass."

Will "100" and success at the owner's doorstep encourage them? Or finally reaching some stability, be 1 more nail in the coffin due to a tired owner and actually raise the number of failing new groups...? Tough call. Good luck.

BillSF9c


 

I thought Mark said we were done with this topic? But if it’s still open, I have to say thst these last two posts are the best arguments I’ve ever seen *against* implementing this extremely complicated (and potentially political) feature. 

I hope that Mark will clarify whether or not this topic is truly closed. 


On Jan 14, 2021, at 3:51 AM, Samuel Murrayy <samuelmurray@...> wrote:

On Thu, Jan 14, 2021 at 12:36 AM, Sandi D wrote:
We don't know that group owners will be informed in any way by GIO if a member of their group is a paid GIO account holder or not. Everyone seems to be assuming that group owners and members will be able to somehow figure it out. This isn't necessarily true.
You're right, it's not necessarily the way Mark might implement it.

But I would be strongly in favour of giving group owners this information. I would also favour group owners getting a great deal of control over who gets free slots, because it allows them to be in control of who joins as free members and who joins as paid members.  In particular, it allows group owners to prevent members who *can* pay but refuse to pay from taking up space that could otherwise be assigned to members who *can't* pay but who would be valuable members of the group.

And here's another reason why group owners should ideally have control over this: in the premium groups, group owners are the ones who pay for the availability of free slots! So it would be unfortunate if such group owners can't control who gets to benefit from the free slots.

For similar reasons I would suggest that paid members who stop paying should not be automatically converted to free-slot members, unless the group owner specifically wants it.  (There could be a setting like "automatically assign lapsed paid members to free slots when available"... and I suspect many group owners will use that setting.)

On the GIO side of things, if a member opted not to retain their paid account, GIO would notify them that they will be removed from groups X,Y, Z because those groups are over their capped limit. No disgruntlement between members and group owners. The communication is solely between GIO and the account holder. The account holder deals with the consequences of not renewing their paid membership. Just like any other member that leaves a group, the owner need not know why they left. The member can request at a later time to rejoin.
I would be strongly opposed to this.  I see no reason why group owners should not be allowed to be involved in making decisions about who gets to be in their group for free.  In addition, if you remove group owners from this process, it makes it more difficult for group owners to assist less computer literate users.

Sure, if a member decides not to renew his membership, getting a notice telling him what the consequences would be, is fine: the notice could be customised to tell the user exactly which groups he'll be booted from, or the notice could be more generic, saying simply "converting to a free member may result in having no more access to certain groups, depending individual groups' own policies".

In other words the 100 slots of a capped basic tier group are on the GIO side of things and not the owner side of things. If the owner has zero slots, they can upgrade to Premium, essentially "buying" 300 more slots from GIO and the ability to direct add members and have more features.
Ideally, though, the group owner should have another option: decide which members should start paying, and tell them privately to upgrade to paid membership, so that free slots can open up.  And if there are members currently in free slots that the owner feels don't deserve to freeload any long, he should be able to communicate his decision to them (e.g. by threatening to unsubscribe them if they don't pay) -- but this means that the owner should be able to see who are paid members.

For a Premium owner their concern is direct adding. They start a group with 399 available slots. As the group fills, those slots decrease. But the Premium group owner will not know which are filled by paid account owners and which are filled by free members. The group owner's concern is how many slots are left to direct add members. Regardless of whether or not Samuels proposal is implemented, the owner is only looking at how many vacant slots are available for direct adding and for sending invitations. 
Yes, so in other words, there are many disadvantages to not allowing owners to see who are paid members and who are free members.

(In fact, I would be personally in favour of giving paid members the ability to reveal their paid status to other members, e.g. with a badge next to their posts.  In some types of groups, it could be useful for all members to see whom they have to thank for the availability of free slots.)

Now suppose someone with a free basic account applied to join a basic group with 100 members. Their request is denied by GIO system letting them know their application was unsuccessful because the group is full. ... Ditto for a Premium group with 400 members who does not want to pay the additional per member charge. The owner need not be made aware of who in their group holds a paid or unpaid GIO membership. Their concern remains focused on the number of unfilled slots that can be filled if they choose to fill them.
Again, this just shows how bad such an implementation would be (i.e. one in which owners can't see who are paid members).  I disagree that the owner's only concern should be how many free slots there are.  The owner should be allowed to choose who gets in for free and who needs to pay.

In my opinion, here is how joining a group should work:

If someone tries to join a group whose free slots are full:
- If membership does not require approval: the user gets a notification that the group is "full", and the owner gets a notification that the group is full and that user X tried to join. (the owner can then contact that person privately and try to work something out)
- If membership does require approval: the owner gets a notification that the group is full and that user X tried to join.  The owner then decides what he wants to do, e.g. pay extra himself, or ask the user privately to sign up for paid membership, or ask the user to privately send the owner money via PayPal, or decide to ask another member to become a paid member in order to make room for this new member, etc.

And if someone tries to join a group whose free slots are not yet full:
- If membership does not require approval: the usual procedure happens, and the owner's notification includes a line about the new free slot balance.
- If membership does require approval: (it may be a good idea to discuss various possible procedures here, but...) the usual procedure could still happen, which includes the ability of the owner to communicate with the aspiring member to tell him e.g. the policy of that particular group, which may include that his application is approved on the condition that he signs up for a paying membership.

On a related note:

A waiting list feature or the ability to be a dormant member of a group solves several problems.
- For example, if a previously paying member stops paying, he can become a dormant member, which makes it easier for the group owner to continue managing his membership during the period that the owner decides what he wants to do with that member.  (If such a member is simply unsubscribed instead of made dormant, it can be more difficult to win him back.)
- And for example, if a user tries to join a group where there are either no free slots available or where the owner doesn't want to assign a free slot to that user (but the owner does want to provisionally accept his application, in order to try to convince him to pay up, or while the owner tries to get another member to become a paid member), such a member can become a dormant member.  Dormant membership will greatly reduce the amount of administration for group owners.

(And I repeat a suggestion that I made previously, that dormant members be allowed to read messages via the web, even in restricted groups.  This would not really discourage people from paying, since there are many groups with public messages anyway.)

--
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 Thu, Jan 14, 2021 at 07:00 AM, J_Catlady wrote:
these last two posts are the best arguments I’ve ever seen *against* implementing this extremely complicated (and potentially political) feature.
That refers to Sandi's and Samuel's posts.
 
--
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


monamouroui
 

I'd be interested in learning from Sandi and Samuel what problem it is they are trying to solve. 

Sara


On Thu, Jan 14, 2021, 10:10 AM J_Catlady <j.olivia.catlady@...> wrote:
On Thu, Jan 14, 2021 at 07:00 AM, J_Catlady wrote:
these last two posts are the best arguments I’ve ever seen *against* implementing this extremely complicated (and potentially political) feature.
That refers to Sandi's and Samuel's posts.
 
--
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


Mark Murphy
 

I've completely given up trying to understand the complications and rules of the paid user proposal being discussed here, and I believe most group owners would do the same. I really did try.


Donald Hellen
 

Mark . . .

On Thu, 14 Jan 2021 18:02:26 -0800, "Mark M" <mark@mmurphy.net> wrote:

I've completely given up trying to understand the complications and rules of the paid user proposal being discussed here, and I believe most group owners would do the same. I really did try.
I believe it morphed into an optional group sponsorship approach where
an owner could enable it to let members donate to pay for a premium
group. Then the funds would be used toward paying the premium fee. If
there were more funds than needed, it would completely pay for the
fee, and if less, then the owner would make it up or the group would
drop to a basic group.

I think that covers it, but it was, indeed, confusing to follow.

Donald


----------------------------------------------------
Some ham radio groups you may be interested in:
https://groups.io/g/ICOM https://groups.io/g/Ham-Antennas
https://groups.io/g/HamRadioHelp https://groups.io/g/Baofeng
https://groups.io/g/CHIRP https://rf-amplifiers.groups.io/g/main


Donald Hellen
 

Mark . . .

On Thu, 14 Jan 2021 18:02:26 -0800, "Mark M" <mark@mmurphy.net> wrote:

I've completely given up trying to understand the complications and rules of the paid user proposal being discussed here, and I believe most group owners would do the same. I really did try.
I should have included this message from Mark:

group sponsorship:
https://beta.groups.io/g/main/message/27874


Donald


----------------------------------------------------
Some ham radio groups you may be interested in:
https://groups.io/g/ICOM https://groups.io/g/Ham-Antennas
https://groups.io/g/HamRadioHelp https://groups.io/g/Baofeng
https://groups.io/g/CHIRP https://rf-amplifiers.groups.io/g/main