Re: Managing communications
From: Sharon Villines (sharonsharonvillines.com)
Date: Tue, 31 Jan 2017 07:35:42 -0800 (PST)
> What have other groups found that
> works to better manage group communication or group documents?

We started with Yahoo Groups and have many groups— teams, working groups, 
interest areas, etc. We had a website with documents etc. but still suffer from 
Yahoo stripping the attachments on all our email messages with no notice. Gone 
policy drafts and minutes not pasted into messages. At one point Yahoo limited 
searches to hundreds of messages when after 19 years we need to search 
thousands. (They may have changed that back).

The website has now gone to Association Voice which is a service for 
traditional condos. There are constraints you have to fit into but it can 
organize information well and more people like it than like Wordpress. But we 
transferred with the belief that it would allow us to do everything in one 
place, but the calendar and email are too expensive and/or limited. We use 
CalendarWiz for many things — reserving rooms and parking spaces, admin 
reminders, etc. We have an ISP that hosts our email addresses. 

Association Voice doesn’t have good galleries so we are up in the air about 
what to do with photos which are now in a private Wordpress site. 

We use GoogleSites for Facilities information — maintenance, utility account 
numbers, vendors, etc. This is a wiki, actually, that was fabulous and easy 
UNTIL we found out that we have used 99% of the storage allotted. We can’t pay 
to increase the storage and cannot download the data to move to another wiki. 
It will be copy and paste to move it.

NEW SERVICE: Groups.io

I’m preparing a proposal to transfer our email and wiki to Groups.io. I don’t 
have time to write up all the advantages of this service but it is fabulous. 
Easy to use, no need to give them your phone number, clean interface, 
expandable to a low cost service, an independent company devoted to groups 
using email etc. Owned by an experienced programmer who loves email. No 
marketing. Their business model is to provide higher level services and 
unlimited storage to large businesses, etc. These costs are very low and allow 
groups to expand to more services or more storage.

Please look at the site. It also has two lists to participate in the 
development of the service. One for the software development and one for group 
managers. There is a lot of help. 

They transferred a 12 year old, 3,000 member list seamlessly. It often has a 
1,000 messages a month so you know that was a lot of messages. Email does not 
count toward storage space — only files and photos. Each list has a wiki, data 
base, photo albums, calendar. The email options are much more robust with 
options to unfollow certain subjects, #hashtags, and more. The subscribers love 
it and just over a year, I’ve only had to help 3 people with their settings. 
That is a huge reduction.

Groups can have subgroups so you can have a main list and subscribers to that 
list can then join the subgroups (teams, working groups, interest groups). That 
means one site for everything.

Do look at this before you start up with anything else. I have more horror 
stories about Google. It looks great but down the road, things get complicated.

I’m working on a proposal to move Takoma Village to this service but in the 
meantime, I am moving all my lists to Groups.io.

Sharon
----
Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC
http://www.takomavillage.org




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