Google announced enhancements to Google Groups that make the free product even better for supporting e-newsletters and discussions with your faith communities. The improvements cover four areas:
- Create shared web pages – collaborative web pages within the group without having the members needing to know HTML.
- Pick your own colors, fonts, logos – such as to match your own website.
- File sharing and collaboration – central location to work on shared documents, rather than repeatedly blasting out attachments; good-bye version control problems; also includes subscriber profiles for those who want to share personal details within the group.
- Flexible discussions – easier to reply to specific threads or to start separate sub-discussions.
This move puts Google ahead of Yahoo Groups, which previously offered a better selection of community-building tools, but with a heavy-handed emphasis on getting you to sign up for a Yahoo ID. That inflexibility made me recommend Google Groups for my parish’s listservs when we were looking for a solution to replace dreadful Topica a few years ago.
Give Google Groups a(nother) look if you want the benefits of e-newsletters or discussion groups without having the enormous burden of manually managing the subscription/unsubscription process.