What are good digital tools for a social and networking group?I
November 29, 2020 10:07 PM   Subscribe

I am a member of a group that uses Yahoo Groups, which is ending Dec. 15. Do you have any suggestions of a replacement for Yahoo Groups?

I think the current group has hundreds of members, but activity has dwindled greatly. I have no idea how many people would migrate to a new system. It originally had many social events, but postings now much more often ask for recommendations for various local services. The group is focused on one city. We might wish to restart social activity at some point, but there is the pandemic.

Facebook and other social media sites are out. Meetup is too costly. What can you tell me about Google groups? Do you have other suggestions?
posted by NotLost to Computers & Internet (13 answers total)
Every Yahoo Group I was in migrated to Google Groups. It has basically no features, it's just a listserv. It's a nicer listserv than Yahoo Groups was (the emails are nicer) but it doesn't really have any of the like "here is the homepage for the group" that Yahoo had. If you're just looking for a mailing list than anyone can use to email a big group, it gets the job done.
posted by brainmouse at 10:15 PM on November 29, 2020 [2 favorites]

My group also moved to the Google. Like brainmouse said, it suits our purpose, but full featured it ain't.
posted by AugustWest at 10:25 PM on November 29, 2020

groups.io looks very good. I tried to get one group to try it when we started a project but they just wanted to use facebook. urgh. So I haven't actually used it. Anybody have first-hand knowledge?
posted by Gotanda at 11:20 PM on November 29, 2020

I run a birding group that moved from Yahoo to groups.io a couple of years ago. We have been very satisfied with it. Messages are always delivered promptly, and we were able to move the archives over.
posted by jkent at 12:02 AM on November 30, 2020 [1 favorite]

If email is the primary platform, then Google Groups or any discussion mailing list provider.

I run a number of community and topical groups on Slack and Discord, and they're great. But you need a constituency that's comfortable with apps and a chat model rather than an email one.

If many-to-many isn't required, you might transition to an email newsletter. Updates weekly, submissions welcome?
posted by pzarquon at 12:57 AM on November 30, 2020

Another vote for groups.io. I belong to three groups that migrated from Yahoo Groups and it's been easy and trouble free.
posted by XtineHutch at 4:48 AM on November 30, 2020 [1 favorite]

I belong to a group the uses the phpBB software. You would need to find a server to host it, and someone tech-savvy to set it up, but our moderator reports that it has run for years at a time hands-off.
posted by SemiSalt at 5:14 AM on November 30, 2020

My one yahoo group that was still active moved over to groups.io. It's a photography/color theory group so images are important; thus the group ponied up for a paying tier. Transition seemed pretty non-fraught.
posted by notsnot at 5:19 AM on November 30, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: groups.io's paid tier is good: they have a special process for Yahoo groups that keeps as much intact as possible. Yes, it's something like $110, but it shifted a loud and cranky music group and its 25 year history over so well that many of its crankiest members never noticed.

Make sure an admin requests the history archive and/or files. It may already be too late for that. The Internet Archive was saving these, but Yahoo blocked them after a while.

I don't trust Google groups not to go away when you might need them.
posted by scruss at 6:03 AM on November 30, 2020 [2 favorites]

Also recommending Groups.io. Fully expect Google to decommission Google Groups at some point, just like they have so many other products.
posted by jzb at 8:23 AM on November 30, 2020

you need a constituency that's comfortable with apps and a chat model rather than an email one

and if you have that, give Keybase a whirl. Its Teams feature is really flexible and you can attach any kind of file to a chat message. Officially supported apps are available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and iOS.
posted by flabdablet at 10:23 AM on November 30, 2020

Best answer: Another vote for groups.io. I moved a smallish Yahoo group with a fairly long history over to it. Paid for the first year so they could migrate the group’s history over, then fell back to the free plan because we don’t need any of the pro features (we only have one or two emails a day, and don’t use much else). I think you may have missed the window to transfer data from Yahoo though

I feel happier using something that charges money (even if I’m not currently paying!) than I would using Google Groups for something I care about long term. I would not be surprised if Google suddenly decide Groups isn’t worth their while maintaining at some point.
posted by fabius at 5:46 AM on December 1, 2020

Response by poster: Thank you, everyone. I will try groups.io. Maybe the change will help revitalize the group.
posted by NotLost at 9:39 PM on December 1, 2020

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