Google Groups Pain in the Neck [en]

[fr] Google Groups trouve qu'il n'est pas raisonnable de vouloir ajouter plus d'une dizaine de personnes à la fois à une newsletter nouvellement créée.

I’ve used Google Groups to set up a [newsletter for Going Solo](http://going-solo.net/2008/04/30/going-solo-has-a-newsletter/).

[Here it is](http://groups.google.com/group/going-solo-news/), with added proof (if needed) of my hopeless lack of design sense.

When I set up the group, I did what most normal newsletter creators would do: went through my contacts to invite those who might be interested in joining. I selected 30 or so people to start with.

My action triggered a flag for review, as I might be a potential spammer:

> **Your request to invite X new members has been flagged for review by our staff.**

>In order to protect our members from unsolicited email, Google manually reviews invite requests which meet various criteria. Your request will not be reviewed unless you provide us with more information in the form below. Reviews generally take 1 – 2 business days.

>Please provide an explanation for where these new members come from and why they would want to be part of your group. Note that Google takes a very dim view of Spam. The people you invite must know you and be expecting your message. If they complain, you will be banned from our service and your group will be deleted.

Great.

Well, I wrote up an explanation, saying I was setting up this newsletter so that people could stay informed about [Going Solo](http://going-solo.net/) ([registration](http://going-solo.net/registration/) is closing soon btw), and that I was going through my address book to let people know about it.

Anything wrong with that, in your opinion? I think not, and Google obviously didn’t think there was anything wrong either, because they let my invitations go through after a few hours.

**BUT.**

Now, each time I invite even **one single person**, my request is flagged.

Google Groups: Threatening!

What a pain! I’m going to be inviting people many times a day over the next week, as I dig out e-mail addresses. And obviously, just announcing the existence of the newsletter is not enough to get people to sign up — ever heard of lower the barrier to entry? If I’m creating this newsletter, it’s because I’m finally coming to my senses (!) and realising that not everybody [follows Twitter](http://going-solo.net/twitter), [subscribes to blogs](http://going-solo.net), hangs out on [Facebook](http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=8828618221) or [upcoming](http://upcoming.yahoo.com/event/407911/), and that *good ol’ e-mail* still has some good days before it when it comes to getting information out to people.

I am really annoyed at Google Groups for making this so difficult. Shouldn’t there be a way for me to get the limit “lifted” for my group, by offering proof I’m not a nasty spammer, but a businesswoman (OMG!) who is very much aware that she will very quickly use up her social capital if she spams her network with irrelevant stuff? And therefore, that I actually *need* to send out invites to a few hundred people?

Also, look at this form:

Google Groups invite members

Don’t you think that “e-mail addresses” field invites a reasonably large number of addresses?

I went through the help, and it wasn’t very encouraging, but I did learn a few useful things:

– [the “flagging limit” seems to be **10** invites at a time](http://groups.google.com/group/Managing-Your-Group/msg/034a807378fbdfd5) (talk about being unreasonably low for newsletters, bound to trigger TONS of false positives)
– you can [create a Google Groups account easily](https://www.google.com/accounts/NewAccount) even with a non-Gmail address (I think I had grief with this last year when I was struggling with Google Groups not wanting to send e-mail to the client I was setting up the discussion list for)
– messages from staff in the relevant threads seem to focus on [filling in the fields](http://groups.google.com/group/Managing-Your-Group/msg/d8efc2db78fc1502), which I’ve been doing, of course
– I’m not alone in thinking the [language Google uses for the warning message is a bit over the top](http://groups.google.com/group/Managing-Your-Group/browse_thread/thread/b5d34348c034b6e9), particularly given the number of false positives their low trigger limit is going to create (and the fact there is no warning that such a limit exists when you fill in the [**huge** field for e-mail addresses to invite](http://www.flickr.com/photos/bunny/2456715554/))
– [I’m not alone.](http://groups.google.com/group/Managing-Your-Group/browse_thread/thread/eca163d042772868/31512ccb7cb93d80?lnk=gst&q=)
– There doesn’t seem to be an official Google Groups blog.

So, please. If you have friends working on Google Groups, please draw their attention to this post and issue. It’s a bloody pain in the neck.

Oh yeah — and [please sign up for the newsletter](groups.google.com/group/going-solo-news/subscribe). I’m going to have trouble inviting you 😉 — going[email protected] also works.

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