[hackerspaces] [SpaceProgram] Transitioning to Google Groups

Bryan Bishop kanzure at gmail.com
Sat Oct 6 03:02:05 CEST 2012

On Fri, Oct 5, 2012 at 7:26 PM, Alex Cureton-Griffiths <alexcg at gmail.com> wrote:
> On the caretaker list we've been kicking around the idea of transitioning
> our public list to Google Groups. We'd like to hear some feedback from you
> guys before we decide whether to go ahead.

Lately it seems like Google has been trying to kill their Google
Groups product. I am sure some of you have noticed their new UI and
how they deprecated almost half of the mailing list pages. The URL
structure has changed dramatically; some of the "old" group pages are
still using the previous version, but it looks like new groups are
using the new javascript-heavy version (or however you prefer to name

Why is this an issue? Well, for one, the javascript-heavy version is
lacking a number of features from the original Google Groups. Pages
like /about and /topics and /thread are completely missing. Although
the RSS urls are still working, the links are gone and not advertised.
Additionally, the "email to subscribe" text seems to be vanished as
well, except in the footers of outgoing email which offers a helpful
unsubscribe address.

Honestly, I was sort of upset about their new URL structure. It sucks
in comparison to the old links.


old hotness:

new lameness:


old hotness:

new lameness:

Anyway, it looks like they are planning to deprecate a lot of these
features, and maybe they will even force users off of email in the
future. I certainly don't want to use their shitty forums. :-\

> * Loads of hackerspaces are already using Google Groups, meaning more
> people know how to use it, thus lower barrier to entry

Email is even lower barrier to entry.

> * Much easier to read threads and do searches, so clearer communication
> and less duplication

My email client makes reading threads a pleasure. I also like
searching mail with notmuch.

> * We've been hearing comments about how bad Mailman is

yeah, well, contribute a patch :-)

> * Less chance of email overload, since Google Groups lets you subscribe by
> thread. Less risk of email overload = less annoyance for new users

I don't think information overload is a real thing. It's just
something that people make up when they hate to configure their email
clients, I think.

> We're going to put out our press release and start publicizing SpaceGAMBIT
> and HSP soon. It'll be easier to transition now, while we're small and have
> fewer members, than to try to drag a much larger community onto a new
> platform.

Do you really want to communicate with people who don't understand
email? Look deep inside your heart before answering :-).

- Bryan
1 512 203 0507

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