Date   

Updates and upgrades

 

Hello,

It's been awhile since we sent a message to updates@groups.io, but that doesn't mean we haven't been busy improving the service! Here's just a short list of some of the features we've added recently:

  • You can now post messages using Markdown and emoji characters :+1
  • Messages can be edited or deleted, and you can compare revisions
  • Moderators can tag posts as special
  • Numerous other bug fixes and improvements

Tomorrow, Friday February 5th, Groups.io will be down from 9am-10am Pacific Time, so that we can role out improvements to our group subscription options. You can see a mockup of the new, easier to understand, options here. Emails sent during our downtime will be queued up and delivered when we return.

Thanks for using Groups.io!

Mark

New Feature: Wiki

 

Hello,

We continue to improve Groups.io and today we're happy to announce that every group now has a Wiki. Wikis are great for storing information relevant to your group, like links to other sites, or reference materials. Like the Files section and Calendar, access to the Wiki is completely controllable; access can be restricted to either subscribers or moderators.

Are you interested in helping us improve Groups.io? Are you interested in seeing a list of the day to day changes to the service? If so, subscribe to the Beta group.

Thanks,

Mark

New Feature: Files

 

Hello,

Every group and subgroup now has a Files section, where you can upload files that are relevant to your group. The Files section has the same permissions types as the Calendar; upload and access can be restricted to either subscribers or moderators. Moderators and owners have a new notification check box to indicate that they are to receive notifications when the file space is full. All operations in the Files section are logged in the Activity log.

Are you interested in helping us improve Groups.io? Are you interested in seeing a list of the day to day changes to the service? If so, subscribe to the Beta group.

Thanks,

Mark

Groups now have a calendar

 

Hello,

We've just added a calendar to every group. Calendars are full-featured; you can set single and repeating events, and each event can have a series of reminders, which are sent to the group members. As we continue to build out Groups.io, the calendar will serve as the foundation for several additional features we have planned.

How can we improve Groups.io? Please let us know!

Thanks,

Mark


Integration messages can now be moderated

 

Hello,

Integrations are a powerful feature of Groups.io. They allow you to connect your Groups.io group with an outside service. We have several integrations available. One of the integrations is with github.com; notifications of activity in your github repository, such as checkins and releases, are sent to your Groups.io group. Another integration is the feed integration. Any blog or web site that has an RSS or Atom feed can be integrated with your group, so that new blog posts or updates are automatically sent to your group. We also have Facebook, Instagram and Dropbox integrations.

We just added a feature where you can moderate integration messages. Instead of having the messages automatically be posted to your group, you now have the option to approve them first. This is great if, for example, you've set up a feed integration with a blog, but that blog only sometimes has posts that are relevant to your group. You can reject the posts that aren't relevant.

How can we improve Groups.io? Please let us know!

Thanks,

Mark

New feature: Subgroups

 

Groups.io now supports subgroups. A subgroup is a group within another group. When viewing your group on the website, you can create a subgroup by clicking the 'Subgroup' tab on the left side. The email address of a subgroup is of the form parentgroup+subgroup@groups.io.

Subgroups have all the functionality of normal groups, with one exception. To be a member of a subgroup, you must be a member of the parent group. A subgroup can be open to all members of the parent group, or it can be restricted. Archives can be viewable by members of the parent group, or they can be private to the members of the subgroup. Subgroups are listed on the group home page, or they can be completely hidden.

We're constantly working to improve Groups.io. Have a suggestion for a feature or improvement, please let us know!

Thanks,

Mark

Hashtags and Email Groups

 

Hello,

We've added a new Help Center to answer common questions people have about Groups.io. One of the articles in the Help Center talks about hashtags, a powerful feature of Groups.io:

Hashtags
Hashtags are words that start with the pound sign, '#'. In the case of Groups.io, they only apply to the subject of a message. So, if you send a message to your group with the subject 'This is a sample message #test', the message will be categorized with the hashtag '#test'.

You can search the archives by hashtags. And you can set hashtags so that any messages tagged with them will be deleted automatically after a specified period of time.

Hashtags are completely optional.

Uses
One potential use of hashtags are for intros. Tell people when they join your group that they should post an intro message about themselves, and have them tag it with #intro. Then, you can search on the #intro hashtag and see everyone's intros.

Another potential use is for neighborhood groups with people offering things for sale. Those messages can be tagged with #forsale, and that tag could be configured such that messages tagged with it are automatically deleted from the archives after a month. So you're not left with a bunch of for sale messages in the archives that no longer apply.

Muting Hashtags
An advantage of tagging messages is that members can mute hashtags that they're not interested in. If someone is not interested in the #forsale tag, they don't ever have to see any of those messages.

Hashtag Options
Your group can be configured to require all messages to be tagged or not. You can configure a hashtag so that only moderators can post using it. Or you can configure a hashtag so that messages tagged with it will not be sent to the group. This is useful for 'loading' messages into your group. And you can configure a tag so that messages tagged with it will automatically be deleted after a specific time. 

We are just getting started. Please let us know how we can improve the service.

Thanks,
Mark

Free groups can now be private

 

Hello,

Based on feedback from you, our users, we've made a few changes to both free and paid groups. Our free groups just got even more powerful; free groups now can have private archives and can be unlisted in the directory. If you need more storage space, more integrations, or the ability to directly add members, our paid groups are now just $10/month, regardless of how many subscribers you have. To see the different plans, please visit https://groups.io/static/pricing

We also continue to improve the service in other areas. Group descriptions can now include HTML. The group member page can be restricted to group owners only. And moderator edits to pending messages can be saved for later.

We are just getting started. Please let us know how we can improve the service.

Thanks,
Mark

New Groups Page

 

Hello,

Since our beta launch last week we've been busy fixing bugs and improving Groups.io. We've made over 100 changes to the service in that time, thanks to your feedback. 

Today we're launching a new dashboard on the site that lists all the groups you own and are subscribed to. It makes it easy to see which of your groups have pending subscriptions and messages that need approval. It's also a quick way to make changes to your subscriptions. To visit your groups page, go directly to

https://groups.io/groups

Thank you for using Groups.io. Please let us know how we can improve the service by sending a message to support@groups.io

Thanks,
Mark

Dashes in group names

 

By popular demand, we've added the ability for group names to contain dashes. Related, we changed all the email commands to use '+' instead of '-', so for example, the address to subscribe to a group through email is now groupname+subscribe@groups.io

Suggestions for how we can improve the service? Please let us know at support@groups.io

Thanks,
Mark

Attachments in free groups

 

Hello,

We made a change to our policy for free groups; attachments are now permitted. If you created a group yesterday, it defaulted to not allowing attachments; to change this, visit the Settings page for your group. For all new groups going forward, allowing attachments is the default.

Thanks for making our launch yesterday a success. We're working hard to improve the service and add new features.

Mark
Groups.io

Introducing Groups.io

 

I’m not one to live in the past (well, except maybe for A-Team re-runs), but for many years now, I’ve felt like I’ve had unfinished business. I started the service ONElist in 1998. ONElist made it easy for people to create, manage, run and find email groups. As it grew over the next two and a half years, we expanded, changed our name to eGroups, and, in the summer of 2000, were acquired by Yahoo. The service was renamed Yahoo Groups, and I left the company to pursue other startups.

But really this story starts even further back, in the Winter of 1989, when in college I was introduced to mailing lists. I was instantly hooked. It was obvious that a mailing list was a great way to communicate with a group of people about a common interest. I started subscribing to lists dedicated to my favorite bands (’80’s Hair Metal, anyone?). I joined a list for a local running club. And, at every company I’ve worked at since graduating, there have been invaluable internal company mailing lists.

But that doesn’t mean that mailing lists can’t improve. And this is where we get back to the unfinished business. Because email groups (the modern version of mailing lists) have stagnated over the past decade. Yahoo Groups and Google Groups both exude the dank air of benign neglect. Google Groups hasn’t been updated in years, and some of Yahoo’s recent changes have actually made Yahoo Groups worse! And yet, millions of people put up with this uncertainty and neglect, because email groups are still one of the best ways to communicate with groups of people. And I have a plan to make them even better.

So today I’m launching Groups.io in beta, to bring email groups into the 21st Century. At launch, we have many features that those other services don’t have, including:
  • Integration with other services, including: Github, Google Hangouts, Dropbox, Instagram, Facebook Pages, and the ability to import Feeds into your groups.
  • Businesses and organizations can have their own private groups on their own subdomain.
  • Better archive organization, using hashtags.
  • Many more email delivery options.
  • The ability to mute threads or hashtags.
  • Fully searchable archives, including searching within attachments.
One other feature that Groups.io has that Yahoo and Google don’t, is a business model that’s not based on showing ads to you. Public groups are completely free on Groups.io. Private groups and organizations are very reasonably priced.

We’re just starting out; following the tradition of new startups everywhere, we’re in Beta. So, as we squash the inevitable bugs and work to make the system even better (based on your feedback!), all features will be free.

I’m passionate about email groups. They are one of the very best things about the Internet and, with Groups.io, I’ve set out to make them even better. As John ‘Hannibal’ Smith, leader of the A-Team, liked to say, “I love it when a plan comes together.”