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October 21, 2010

Google Groups Drops Support for Pages and Files

Google sends email notifications to all Google Groups owners to inform them about some unfortunate changes.

"Starting in January 2011, Groups will no longer allow the creation or editing of welcome messages, files and pages; the content will only be available for viewing and only existing files will be downloadable. If you would like to keep the content currently on the pages and files sections of your group, we highly encourage you to export and migrate it to another product. In February 2011, we will turn off these features, and you will no longer be able to access that content."

Google says that you can create pages using Google Sites and store files by attaching them to Google Sites pages. After creating a site, you can invite the members of your group. "Add the email address for the Google Group (for instance, example@googlegroups.com) with which you'd like to share the site, and select the level of access you'd like the members of the group to have."

It's difficult to understand why Google didn't automatically migrate the files and pages to Google Sites. Users could've used these features from the Google Groups interface, even if they were powered by Google Sites.

Google says that the features have been removed "to focus on improving the core functionality of Google Groups -- mailing lists and forum discussions". I don't remember seeing significant improvements from 2006, when Google Groups added the features that are now removed: custom welcome message, pages and files. Since then, Google abandoned almost all its groups and started to use the Help Forum platform. Ironically, even the Google Groups group has been shut down.

25 comments:

  1. that sucks. perfect opportunity for Yahoo or MSFT to step in and provide a good tool.

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  2. So the google giant can't even keep the simplest programs going. Lookout people. Next it'll be google documents,picasa,gmail and finally google search!!

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  3. The lag on Groups has been horrible for many months. Upwards of a minute to load a single page on my tiny, low usage group. I'm all for the changes *IF* they address and fix the performance problem. Currently the product is almost unusable from the web...

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  4. Google Groups is infested with spam, it's an pandemic! Even on Google's own groups, before they were moved to the forums, were littered with spam.

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  5. Exactly - whatever bonus you give GG, the spamfest exploits it. It needs to be stripped to the minimum necessary for purpose, to make it less attractive to spammers.

    I don't blame Google for doing this, indeed, I applaud it. I just wish they had the courage to be honest about it.

    That's beginning to be a general point - Google doesn't intentionally do evil; but they do cowardice like experts.

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  6. I'm glad they are removing it. The features where redundant. Use Google Sites and embed the discussion aspect of the stripped down Groups.

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  7. this is all so true. Google is dying out soon I thing

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  9. I never used Google Groups before, but I don't like it when companies shiut down their services. If it's lacking, just improve it!

    And yeah, why not automatically transfer the groups to sites? maybe it's a last minute call and they really put so much though in it???

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  10. It sounds like commenters think Google Groups is being shut down, though the blog post says its just some features within Google Groups, not Groups itself. Are people so resistant to change that they think a feature removal means the product is dead? Were Files and Pages the only reason people used Groups? Really?

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  11. Oh, I just misunderstood then. :)

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  12. Thank you Google.
    We used to keep in touch with old schoolmates. So as a social network. We shared documents, created pages related to our meetings.
    Now we will look around and move to an other service. Maybe Yahoo? zoho? or even facebook???
    Petee

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  13. My pages and files haven't been available for the last couple days. Is anyone else experiencing this problem?

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  14. Yes - probably since last Wednesday. I wondered if support had been withdrawn prior to the first advertised date of November 1.

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  15. So what are the options?

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  16. They also discontinued Google Browser Sync.
    They do not care about previous users. They were asked to make it opensoure, but there were no reaction.
    Google like other mammoth IT companies (M$). No difference.

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  17. Yes, it is quite identical:
    http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2008/06/google-browser-sync-to-be-discontinued.html

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  18. can we transfer data from google groups to google docs?

    please help me

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  19. I don't really understand why google didn't migrate the files? It's much more trouble having to do it over.

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  20. Good afternoon -

    I am an intern with a group that shares an account on gmail that has
    some questions as to how to understand the changes outlined in the
    email we received on the 21st -

    1) What is a customized welcome message?

    2) What is a customized page?

    3) What is a customized file?

    Please let me know as soon as you can as depending on your answers, I
    could have more questions.

    Regards;

    Dave Connell

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  21. Don't they really mean that they are: discontinuing Groups? I think their message is deliberately confusing. Why not just say, "Find another way to do what you were doing on Groups."

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  22. I don't know who's running Google now, but they're really doing a bad job. First the key features of Google Groups are cut and now Google TV is losing content now that the networks are blocking their shows from Google TV. Google projects are like expensive cars left in a bad neighborhood. Come back in an hour and half the car has been stripped away. ;-(

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  23. Its quite some time since i have stopped using Google groups to the optimum as most of the features are not available. Moreover the presentation is also very confusing. I have recently shifted to a similar application http://forums.com/ which provides files and folders uploading features along with discussions on different forums. The start up procedures are simple yet creative and can be customized according to users preferences. All the discussions can be found at one platform and users can follow those that they want to keep track of or start a new. Having fun using forums!:-)

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  24. Google is going down hill no ones knows whats going on :(

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  25. The whole thing is pretty mysterious. I just started a mailing list--if I had known about the issues with google groups I would have gone elsewhere.

    Also, the group is non-English and the translated messages I get are unfortunately not that easy to comprehend.

    Note to self: next time, look for different software,

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