[Update: the links actually work now!]
I invited all 4,400+ subscribers to my monthly poultry newsletter to join the Grass-Fed Eggs discussion group, and then the fun began.
It turns out that Google Groups will let you sign up without having a Google account, but if you do, you can’t change your subscription options. And the default subscription option is “send me every posting as a separate email message,” which — because the group has become lively — is too many email messages for most people.
And to add insult to injury, Google Groups managed to double-subscribe a lot of people under two different email addresses. How, I have no idea. People who were dual-subscribed could edit the options of only one of these, leaving the other one blasting them unwanted emails. Sigh.
This has pretty much blown over now.
In general, I think the problem revolves around bugs in the “invite new members” feature, and there are similar problems for people who subscribe via email rather than through the Google Groups Web site. If you use the Web site, you should have no problems.
So when you join the group, do yourself a favor and subscribe via the link, using the Google Groups Web interface, and not with the hokey email subscription mechanism. This requires that you have a Google account. If you use more than one email address, set the email options in your Google account to let Google know this, and you won’t have any trouble. And set your subscription to “Daily Email Digest.” It’s the best compromise for most people.
It turns out the Google Groups are notorious for being sadly neglected, as discussed in this article from Wired. I had decided to put my discussion forum on Google Groups because I was tired of the long, slow decline in quality in Yahoo Groups. Just goes to show.