Who else thinks Google Groups is a terrible forum solution?

Discussion in 'Free Hosted Forums' started by s.molinari, May 10, 2014.

  1. s.molinari

    s.molinari Leader of Skooppa

    5,047
    642
    +1,952
    Hi,

    I realize Google Groups is actually a web GUI for old fashion email lists, but it seems more and more prominent open-source vendors are using it as their "community support forum".

    I simply don't like the service for a number of reasons. One is mainly because it seems like an afterthought from Google and that afterthought is causing damage to the "serious" community software market.

    Anyone see it the same way? Or differently?

    Scott
     
  2. meetdilip

    meetdilip Tazmanian Master

    6,675
    642
    +733
    Google Groups ? err.. what is that ?
     
  3. Darth_Apple

    Darth_Apple Adherent

    268
    65
    +24
    It's their google-hosted forum solution that's generally most useful only for simple purposes.
     
  4. LeadCrow

    LeadCrow Apocalypse Admin

    6,383
    1,232
    +2,154
    It's unreliable for a start, Google has not shied about killing services with no warning.
    Also difficult to browse, navigate, parse information from, and very visually busy.
     
  5. darnoldy

    darnoldy Curmudgeon

    1,718
    782
    +473
    I'm pretty sure the Google groups are a web interface for the old network newsgroups (anyone else remember alt.sex.bondage.gophers.ducttape).

    They aren't so much bad, as limited in functionality.

    About a month ago I set up a private group for one of my classes to have online class discussions. With a limited group of participants, and no need to promote membership or heavily moderate the postings—its working fine.

    If I were creating something for an ad hoc team for a work project, I would probably set up a private Google group.
     
  6. mysiteguy

    mysiteguy Devotee

    2,878
    887
    +2,221
    Terrible solution? Don't agree. They predate forums on web, matter of fact they predate the web and Google. Open source vendors opt for it because it's easy for many sources to pull in their usenet data.
     
  7. eva2000

    eva2000 Habitué

    1,716
    857
    +789
    Not seeing it that way myself. It's a much better alternative to the traditional mailing lists online. That's it's targeted purpose. But yes some folks are using it as a forum which I don't mind at all. Heck, I use Google+ Community for Centmin Mod discussion/support :D

    The only annoying thing with Google Groups for is the extensive caching. Sometimes new replies pop up much later on between other replies in a threaded conversation.
     
  8. Liam

    Liam Developer

    496
    157
    +107
    I was still playing with LEGO during the days of email lists, so it doesn't really appeal to me. It looks very messy and there's something about it that sets me off.

    If it's for a group discussion for say, 10 to 20 members then it's fine. Otherwise, it really isn't for me.
     
  9. Alex.

    Alex. The Ancient Dragon

    11,570
    1,322
    +1,195
    It's a usenet and it's been around for 13 or 14 years.


    :suspect:
     
  10. s.molinari

    s.molinari Leader of Skooppa

    5,047
    642
    +1,952
    Google it. Harharhar....:D

    Scott
     
  11. s.molinari

    s.molinari Leader of Skooppa

    5,047
    642
    +1,952
    As a in 2001 created replacement for Usenet groups, it might be a decent solution. But for a forum? Now? I am sort of glad it isn't a better application.

    Scott
     
  12. s.molinari

    s.molinari Leader of Skooppa

    5,047
    642
    +1,952
    I could see it being useful for such a use case. But as a full blown online support or customer community? I think the open-source teams using it are missing out on a lot of opportunity. It is hard for me to believe, people are happy just sending emails back and forth to the system. And that alone is an opportunity missed, when people aren't moving to your website to consume content.

    Scott
     
  13. doubt

    doubt Tazmanian

    4,735
    562
    +2,031
    What is Google???

    10,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000
     
  14. s.molinari

    s.molinari Leader of Skooppa

    5,047
    642
    +1,952
    And the other annoying things I find are....

    Sometimes you click on a thread and you only get a white section, where the thread is supposed to be and a "Loading" overlay that doesn't go away.

    Answers pop up as threads instead of as answers to the threads they belong to.

    When you go back to the thread list, you often have to refresh the page to see new threads or threads with new activity. It is just one click more, but still annoying.

    I hate to say this, because I'll probably get bashed for saying it, but it reminds me of vB5. It is at times very slow and flaky in operation and it has that same "Loading" overlay, when things slow down. It has an archaic feeling, which vB5 is actually better at. The feeling that is. vB5 is actually better than Google Groups.

    Scott
     
  15. s.molinari

    s.molinari Leader of Skooppa

    5,047
    642
    +1,952
    At any rate. I am just letting my frustration out. Sorry. I've been using several Google Groups on a regular basis lately, but the GUI part, not the email list functionality and as a good forum, well...maybe I am spoiled, because I think GG sucks. LOL! Any forum solution today (with an added email answering system, if that functionality is what you are looking for), blows away the GG functionality. I am really surprised Google hasn't found a way to connect them to G+. That would improve them both.

    Edit- oh, and the worst feature missing and the most annoying (how could I forget it)? You can't edit your posts, once they are saved.:(

    Scott
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2014
  16. eva2000

    eva2000 Habitué

    1,716
    857
    +789
    Nice way to condition folks to think and choose their words carefully before posting :D

    I like the Google Group's UI.. I am a member of a few dozen groups

    i.e.

    View attachment ai.imgur.com_Z8vUf7Kl.png

    looks fine to me
     
  17. Greg

    Greg TAZ Rookie

    2,520
    887
    +136
    Most open source projects just use generic mailing lists. Groups is a nice interface for that. It's been happening forever. I don't expect it to change.
     
  18. s.molinari

    s.molinari Leader of Skooppa

    5,047
    642
    +1,952
    Puh. I am notorious for missing spelling mistakes while proofreading in the editor and rereading the posted post and then seeing mistakes. I'd love to fix them and I do on better forum solutions. I'd say the reason for not editing is because Google sends out the mail to the other users directly and also why I hate email. LOL!:D When my email is answered and I see my mistakes, I go Doh!, even though I reread it at least thrice, before I sent it. :D

    The UI looks ok. You can't get much wrong with black, white and beige and one red button for emphasis.;) It is how the UI functions that is an issue. Out of curiousity, do you answer with emails or just in the UI or maybe both?

    I don't either. Well, not until a better solution comes along, which is free or very low cost for them and/ or easier to use and better for their users/ customers and for them.

    If you also notice, these organizations are using some form of CMS for their web content/ website (Drupal, Wordpress, etc) and use GG for their forum/ mailing list (or PHPBB3, double yuck!). I just find it strange, they feel this method for sharing their valued knowledge is the best for their user/ customer communities. Maybe it is just me?

    Scott
     
  19. eva2000

    eva2000 Habitué

    1,716
    857
    +789
    Purely just use the web browser/UI for Google Groups :) It's reason why I like it. As already mentioned alot of open source projects do choose using mailing list/email medium and I don't like using email. So Google Groups makes me happy as a way to communicate with the developers via the web browser :)
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2014
  20. s.molinari

    s.molinari Leader of Skooppa

    5,047
    642
    +1,952
    Yeah, I can appreciate that. Sad it is "the easy way out" though.;)

    Scott
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.