Why Email Groups?

Why Email Groups? The Groups.io Philosophy

Groups.io provides an expansive set of web-based group communication tools, including a calendar, wiki, file and photo sharing areas, and chats. What's unique about us is that all of these features are built around the core email group system. We believe that the type and style of communication an email group fosters is the best way for many groups to communicate, whether those groups represent companies, organizations, communities, or hobbyists. Combining the ease of email with the features available on the web, Groups.io strives to be the ultimate communications venue for everyone.

Email Communication Is Asynchronous

Unlike real-time (synchronous) chats or instant messaging, email group members are not forced to be online all at the same time. The asynchronous nature of email has several advantages, especially for larger, distributed groups.

[T]ethering remote team members to your team communication tools undermines their ability to get things done. Instead of trying to recreate the real-time interactions of the office, team leaders should be doing what remote companies have been doing for years: embracing asynchronous communication.

Asynchronous communication means more dedicated time to solve problems.

When everyone is expected to be available at any point, the cost of interrupting someone and getting an immediate answer is lower than looking for an answer yourself.

It works better for more loosely coupled groups. It works better for larger groups. Studies agree:

[R]esearch by Harvard Business School associate professor Ethan Bernstein and colleagues ... suggests that "always on" may not be always effective. "Intermittently on" might, instead, be better for complex problem solving.


Even though the groups interacted only intermittently, they had an average quality of solution that was nearly identical to those groups that interacted constantly. And yet, by interacting only intermittently, these groups also preserved enough variation to find some of the best solutions, too.

Email Fosters Thoughtful Communication

Email lends itself to longer, more thoughtful exchanges than chats or instant messaging, which makes for better, more thorough communication.

All sorts of eventual bad happens when a company begins thinking one-line-at-a-time most of the time. ... [I]ncomplete thoughts and staccato responses make it really difficult to fully consider a topic and make important decisions especially in a group setting. Imagine being in a meeting where everyone just spoke one line at a time, and people kept interrupting you while you were trying to make your point. Would you ever get anywhere? And wouldn't it take forever?

Email Is Universal

If you're on the Internet, you have email. It is the one universal thing, requiring no new app to be installed. It works over slow Internet links. It works for people with visual impairments. Of course Groups.io has a modern web app, but it isn't required to participate in groups.

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