What is the best group email option?
April 13, 2021 9:37 AM   Subscribe

My neighborhood needs an easy way for residents to email everyone on our street. Is there a better alternative to Google Groups for my situation, or am I overthinking this?

My neighbors on a street of twenty houses keep in touch via email, but it’s gotten messy. People’s addresses change, people move in and out, and people get left off of messages. I volunteered to set up a group email so that neighbors can send a message to one address and it will go to everyone. I assumed that I would use Google Groups for this, but I am a little concerned about it, as I would like the change to be as simple as possible for my less tech savvy neighbors. Here are my questions:

Is Google Groups a good fit? I know that people can use any email address, but does it require them to create an Google account? Can I avoid that by adding them manually? What is the easiest sign up method, to send invitations or to add members manually? If it’s by invitation, will members have to create a password before accepting the invitation? Is there anything else I should know?

I have seen this previous ask, which was helpful. My situation is a little different in that it’s a smaller group, some are tech-averse, and we need ONLY a web address with no other features. Would groups.io be a better fit, or should I stick with Google Groups? If I stick with Google Groups, which set up will be easiest for my neighbors to use?
posted by TrarNoir to Technology (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Broadly speaking, I think e-mail lists are pretty much equivalent. Google Groups (which I regard as one implementation of e-mail lists) have the benefit of Google being known, and most people already having a Google login.

IIRC, list members don't need to have a Google account if you add them directly, but they will need to create accounts (which can be under their non-Google e-mail address) in order to set their list preferences.

I've had some problems with Mailman mailing lists being treated as spam, or requiring weird header munging, and that won't be a problem with Google Groups. I have no direct experience with Groups.io.

I think the bigger problem is going to be that (eventually, if not now) some people are more reachable by text message, some by Facebook Messenger, etc.
posted by adamrice at 9:52 AM on April 13 [1 favorite]


Best answer: I'd recommend groups.io which has free lists and you can IIRC subscribe without ever visiting the web interface. Or you can use the web interface for folks who prefer that interface. Also I generally try to avoid Google services given their business model + propensity for killing off services.

Note that our neighborhood skews to the older / less technical side, and it seems like a lot of less tech savvy folks have picked it up just fine. Including couples who share an address and post jointly from it...
posted by jzb at 10:02 AM on April 13


Best answer: Our neighborhood list recently transitioned to group.io. It seems fine - I've used Google groups for this sort of thing in the past and everything works as expected, so +1 to it not really mattering which service you use.
posted by matildatakesovertheworld at 10:09 AM on April 13


Best answer: Also came here to chime in with groups.io. We were using Yahoo Groups and it is miles better. We have substantially more users, so with your more limited number of users, it should suit you just fine.
posted by XtineHutch at 11:27 AM on April 13


We use Google Groups for exactly this purpose. It's fine. Users don't need a Google account, but obviously the list manager needs one. Adding people manually is dead simple. We have had a few people accidentally unsubscribe themselves, but no other issues.
posted by libraryhead at 6:24 PM on April 13


Response by poster: I went with groups.io, and it was very simple to set up.
posted by TrarNoir at 9:15 AM on April 15


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