It’s been almost six months since I launched Groups.io and four months since I’ve talked about it here on the blog, so I figured it was time for an update. I’ve been heads down working on new features and bug fixes. Here’s a short list of the major features added during that time:
Slack Member Sync
Mailing lists and chat, like peanut butter and chocolate, go great together. Do you have a Slack Team? You can now link it with your Groups.io group. Our new Slack Member Sync feature lets you synchronize your Slack and Groups.io member lists. When someone joins your Groups.io group, they will automatically get an invite to join your Slack Team. And when someone joins your Slack Team, they’ll automatically get added to your Groups.io group. You can configure the sync to be automatic or you can sync members by hand. Access the new member sync area from the Settings page for your group. As an aside, another potentially great combination, bacon and chocolate, do not go great together. Trust us, we’ve tried.
You can now log into Groups.io using Google. For new users, this allows them to skip the confirmation email step, making it quicker and easier to join your groups.
Markdown and Syntax Highlighting Support
You can now post messages using Markdown and emoji characters. And we support syntax highlighting of code snippets.
The heart of a group is the message archive. And nobody likes a unorganized archive. We’ve added the ability to split and merge threads. Has a thread changed topics half way through? Split it into two threads. Or if two threads are talking about the same thing, you can merge them. You can also delete individual messages, and change the subject of threads.
Groups.io now supports subgroups. A subgroup is a group within another group. When viewing your group on the website, you can create a subgroup by clicking the ‘Subgroup’ tab on the left side. The email address of a subgroup is of the form firstname.lastname@example.org Subgroups have all the functionality of normal groups, with one exception. To be a member of a subgroup, you must be a member of the parent group. A subgroup can be open to all members of the parent group, or it can be restricted. Archives can be viewable by members of the parent group, or they can be private to the members of the subgroup. Subgroups are listed on the group home page, or they can be completely hidden.
Calendar, Files and Wiki
Every group now has a dedicated full-featured Calendar, Files section, and Wiki. In other news, we also started an Easy Group Transfer program, for people who wish to move their groups from Yahoo or Google over to Groups.io. Email groups are all about community, and I’m pleased that the Beta group has developed into a valuable community, helping define new features and scope out bugs. I’m working to be as transparent as possible about the development of Groups.io through that group, and through a dedicated Trello board which catalogs requested features and bug reports. If you’re interested, please join and help shape the future of Groups.io!