PB40 group platform and technology upgrade #moderation
As promised, I FINALLY got around to configuring an upgrade for this Google Group and all members will be migrated to the new platform. There is no action you need to take - the upgrade will happen automatically but will take a week or so. Once it is up and running this Google Group will be shut down. I want to organize a bike ride this weekend so may use it one more time if it is not ready by then, but within a few weeks, it will be shut down and shortly after that deleted entirely. If you have posted any photos you here that you didn't save elsewhere please download them before that.
The rest of this message describes the technology and how it is organized, but you don't need to read it unless you want. It is also email based and is really simple to use. Some people will likely drop out during this upgrade - that happened when I did a similar upgrade for my small business group, but we quickly regained even more new members and it has been growing ever since. If you don't want to participate in this upgrade please unsubscribe from this Google Group before noon tomorrow when I plan to start the process.
Organizing this group initially and now rebuilding it has taken an enormous amount of time and energy, and I want to express sincere gratitude to those who acknowledged that - even in small ways. I always do my best to give credit where credit is due and don't tend to blow my own horn too much, so that has meant the world to me. Everyone has something different to contribute and this is mine. We all know it is not easy to make adult friends in PB - that's why at events I am seldom in the center of the action but rather looking for people on the outside of the group who don't know anyone. It's not totally selfless - I know how uncomfortable it can be to be left out of a group so I often do the same at business events - and I have met some amazing people that way. It is also why when I wrote up the initial "organizing principles" for this group I said that being "welcoming and inclusive" should be our highest value and I would like to continue in that spirit.
I hope everyone's week is off to a good start. I will be seeing some of you on the other side.
The new system will be a combination of a few different technologies to allow us to easily plan events and communicate with each other, but the central piece will be on the "Groups.io" platform. As with Google Groups, this is email based but gives you much more control over your account, what you see and how you interact with other members. This technology is made by the same developer who made the original Yahoo Groups, and is an evolution of that listserve technology - it does not monitor user behavior or use an algorytym to determine what you see, and there is no advertising on the platform. The best way to think of it is as simple as a "shared email list".
Domain and website
Because obscure urls are difficult to communicate except by email or text the "PB40 dot club" name can be used to refer new members to this group. This is the name I coined shortly after starting this group and used it when I bought this domain last summer. The only hard part is remembering that it is "dot club" and not "dot com". There is really nothing there yet, but there will be by the time the migration is complete. While putting this together, I realized I needed a "cover image" and had no idea which of the many photos I had was most appropriate so I made a "collage" of the events that we organized using this Google Group. Take a look for yourself at the link below - those are just some of the events that were organized here and nowhere else. While some people complained about this group, lots of people met each other through this that might not have otherwise:
The Groups.io platform fits well with the original goals of this group - to allow everyone to be a leader and to organize events - large and small, for this neighborhood whenever they want and to be highly "inclusive" so that no one is left out. I like it also because it can be set up to be "interest based" - with subgroups that act as independent mailing lists and "tags" that can be about anything you want. If this is too complicated than just don't worry about it - posts can always be categorized later and messages will go out to everyone anyway, unless they have expressly excluded themselves from an interest.
To get started I have set up seven of these subgroups based on the survey of member interests we did a few months ago and a review of the interests that have been expressed in posts here. Please understand that this does not limit us in any way - you can still send a message to everyone regardless of interest - and we can start more subgroups if we want, or eliminate ones that aren't working. In addition, if these interests don't fit your interests there is also a "tagging" system where you can express just about any interest you want. Still, these lists should be a fun way to connect with others in this neighborhood with similar interests.
I'll drink to that!
This group is for people who enjoy having a drink or two with friends, and who like PB's many fine bars and taverns. It is for planning happy hours and other events where the drinks are front and center, as well as nights, where you would like to go out for drinks, and would like someone to join you. To post to this group simply send a message to: drinks@PB40.groups.io
The PB40 Bike Club
This group is for all things bicycle: planned rides, ideas for rides and questions about bike riding in the area of any kind: road trips, trail riding or beach cruising.
To use this group simply send and email message to bike@PB40.groups.io
PB Food, Cooking & Dining Connoisseurs
This group is for foodies! Those who enjoy fine dining, as well as those who appreciate a good hamburger or fish tacos from time to time. Feel free to post your thoughts on local restaurants, your favorite recipes, potluck dinner plans or cooking and dining partners. To post to this group simply send a message to foodies@PB40.groups.io
Pool Sharks and Wannabes
This group is for anyone who likes to play pool and can be used to organize more "pool nights" like the ones we have had at Society PB. All skill levels welcome and this can be for games in local taverns or in pool halls. To post to this group simply send a message to pool@PB40.groups.io
The PB Bookworm Club
This group is for people who love books! We have had a huge amount of interest in this and want to make sure we organize it in a way that is truely inclusive. This can be used for book recommendations, talking about books you are reading and forming "book clubs" - large or small, where you agree to read a certain book before a certain date. To post to this group simply send a message to books@PB40.groups.io
PB Health & Fitness Buffs
This group is for exercise, heath and fitness - in all its varous forms, and for finding workout partners or organizing exercise events. To post to this group simply send a message to: health@PB40.groups.io
PB Makers and Creators
This group is for the artists and creators in Pacific Beach and nearby neighborhoods. It can be used planning art related events ans will as discussion of arts, crafts, inventions and DIY projects. To post to this group simply send a message to arts@PB40.groups.io
Even if you post to one of these subgroups everyone in the main PB40 group will still get the message, but they are given the option to block messages from groups where they have no interest. For example, someone who does not drink may not want to get messages from people wanting to go out for drinks, or someone who does not own a bicycle may not be interested in biking group events, etc.
Posts and messages can also use hashtags for less common interests. For example, we have a few members who expressed an interest in "rollerblading" but probably not enough to form a subgroup list yet. Unlike Google Groups, the hashtags are put right in the title, making it something like a tweet. It works the same way the subgroups do - people can block hashtags that don't interest them. I have come up with 27 hashtags to get started - everything from #cannabis to #volleyball. The list is made from interests that were expressed or tags that were actually used on this group but I couldn't possibly identify all possible interest so feel free to make up you own. The complete list is at this link. https://pb40.groups.io/g/everyone/hashtags
Again, if all this is too much, simple don't worry about it - hopefully it will make more sense once this is up and running. To send a message to everybody simple send an email to everyone@PB40.groups.io
Thanks again for your continued support - I look forward to meeting more of you.