Date   

New: Polls and more

 

Hello,

After a summer of working on new features, we're back with a new Groups.io update. Here's what we've been up to since our last update:

Polls

Groups now have polls. Specify any number of possible answers and whether people can select one or many. Decide whether people can see the results before the poll is closed or only after.

Subgroups

We've had subgroups for quite some time now, but now we've made them even better. Subgroups can now have public archives. Also, group members can create their own subgroups.

Allowing Non-Subscribers to Post

You can now set your group so that posts from people who are not subscribers will be moderated instead of rejected.

Other Updates
  • You can assign different colors to hashtags.
  • You can specify that tagged threads are automatically closed.
  • We changed the URL structure of the site to be less verbose.
  • Lots of little cleanups and improvements to the website.

Of course, we're not done. Have an idea for how to improve Groups.io? Join the beta group and let us know.

Thanks for using Groups.io!

Mark

Trello, Google Drive and more

 

Hello!

It's been awhile, but we're back with an update. We've been hard at work adding new features and squashing bugs. Here are just some of the features we've added since our last update:

Trello Integration

Do you use Trello? Now, you can receive notifications whenever there are changes to your Trello boards, cards and lists. Configure this integration through the Integrations page for your group.

Google Drive Integration

We also added Google Drive integration. Like our Dropbox integration, you can configure Groups.io to automatically save specific attachments sent to your groups in your Google Drive. Configure this integration through the Subscription page for a group.

RSS Archive Feeds

Public archives now have RSS feeds. Enter the URL of a group home page into your favorite feed reader, and you will receive group messages directly in your reader.

Moderated Hashtags

Hashtags can now be moderated. Whenever a thread is tagged with a moderated hashtag, all messages in the thread will require approval before being sent to the group. Configure moderated hashtags through the Hashtags page in your group.

Likes

And finally, you can now like messages. Click the 'Like' button under a message on the Groups.io website, or, you can reply to a message with a simple 'like' or '+1' (without the quotes).

Of course, we're not done. Have an idea for how to improve Groups.io? Join the beta group and let us know.

Thanks for using Groups.io!

Mark

New Features: Photos and more

 

Hello!

We've been hard at work adding a passel of new features to Groups.io. Here are some highlights:

Photos

Every group now has a photos section. Photos are stored in albums. An album can be set to allow any group member to upload photos, or it can be set to restrict uploads just to the person who created it. In addition, the Photos section can be set to allow uploads by group members, or it can be restricted just to moderators and owners.

Max Attachment Size

Don't want to receive large attachments in your group messages? You can specify the max attachment size allowed in messages you receive. If an attachment is larger than your max size, you'll get a link to it on the Groups.io website instead. See your Subscription page for all the goodness.

Default Subscription Options

Owners, you can now specify default subscription options for new people joining your group. Do your members generally like to be on digest? Set that as a default, and new people joining will default to that (of course, they can change their subscription whenever they want). The new Default Sub Settings page can be accessed from the Settings page of your group.

Calendar Improvements

We've made several small improvements to the calendar. You can now specify that a notification is sent to your group when an event happens. You can also specify hashtags in event names. And we're now tagging messages sent from the calendar: reminders have the tag #cal-reminder, notifications have the tag #cal-notice and calendar invites are tagged with #cal-invite.

If that's not a passel of new features, then I don't know what a passel is (and I just looked up that word before writing this). Of course, we're not done. Have an idea for how to improve Groups.io? Join the beta group and let us know.

Thanks for using Groups.io!

Mark

Slack Member Sync and More

 

Hello,

We've been busy working on new features and improving Groups.io. Here are our latest updates:

Slack Member Sync

Mailing lists and chat, like peanut butter and chocolate, go great together. Do you have a Slack Team? You can now link it with your Groups.io group. Our new Slack Member Sync feature lets you syncronize your Slack and Groups.io member lists. When someone joins your Groups.io group, they will automatically get an invite to join your Slack Team. And when someone joins your Slack Team, they'll automatically get added to your Groups.io group. You can configure the sync to be automatic or you can sync members by hand. Access the new member sync area from the Settings page for your group.

As an aside, another potentially great combination, bacon and chocolate, do not go great together. Trust us, we've tried.

Thread And Message Management

The heart of a group is the message archive. And nobody likes a unorganized archive. We've added the ability to split and merge threads. Has a thread changed topics half way through? Split it into two threads. Or if two threads are talking about the same thing, you can merge them. You can also delete individual messages, and change the subject of threads.

Google Log-in

You can now log into Groups.io using Google. For new users, this allows them to skip the confirmation email step, making it quicker and easier to join your groups.

Have an idea for how to improve Groups.io? Join the beta group and let us know.

Thanks for using Groups.io!

Mark

Easy Group Transfer

 

Hello,

Do you have a group with Yahoo or Google that you'd like to move to Groups.io? We've just launched our group transfer service to make it easy to do. Simply click here and follow the instructions.

Have an idea for how to improve Groups.io? Join the beta group and let us know.

Thanks for using Groups.io!

Mark

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.”