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The Skinny on the Groups List View Bug in Google Groups

Do you use GMail (Google Mail)?

Google had gotten so good at spotting spam and hiding it for a while that a bunch of us who were internet industry professionals that are sick to death of spam (and malicious hackers), that we wound-up using Gmail more often than our own business email.  Heck, I hardly ever send any email from my business account, anymore.  That said, Google has since gotten so radical on the spam that my business address was somehow blacklisted as a spammer.  Now, we have a love/hate relationship.  As I said, I barely even use my business address anymore.  How in the world would they even know it?

I’ve tried to address the situation, but every “Google Help Group” post falls on deaf ears.  Matt Cutts doesn’t even acknowledge My existence on Twitter, at all. I have asked him LOTS of stuff to no avail.  The dude probably has Me blocked for all I know.

But that is neither here nor there.  Like it or not I am already stuck with Gmail as my choice “avoid spam” webmail client since I am already running quite a few groups out of Google Groups.  Especially since Yahoo has absolutely no concept of spam/scam protection at all.  I think the Nigerians are camped-out at Yahoo!

Anyways, I do run quite a few Google groups, but please don’t take my word for it, here’s a list:

The Web Design related Google Groups:

With so many groups to manage, I need a decent free email/webmail service and Gmail has proven itself top notch.  So I was really miffed when the Google Groups index page list view stopped listing all the tasks I needed to to to administerate my groups effectively.

I couldn’t figure out what the problem, and as true to form, Google still has no technical support for all these kick-ass free services that they are providing in order to have an audience for their advertising.  And despite the fact that the services are free, make no mistake that this business model works a very effective profit for them.  It really isn’t like they are doing us any favors, because if they didn’t provide these free services someone else would (and does).  But Google does do it well, usually.

After posting to more Google Help Forums, trying to contact Matt Cutts on Twitter, contacting a member of Google through Twitter that didn’t have any help for me, I pondered this problem long and hard.

The reason that I wasn’t getting the management task notification links in the list view of the groups index is because I was suddenly listed as a member in some of these groups.

You probably wouldn’t understand why this is a big problem for me if you don’t run a couple  of Google Groups on your own.  But it really is simple, I’ve actually been running these groups for several years.  Although I do get email notifications of new membership requests,  once I click on the link and go to a group to view the requests and aprove or deny them (based on whether or not they actually included a personal message that was relevant to the group and their email address lacks words like “spam”, “crap”, “junk”, “bot”, “data”, or “miner”), I then usually head to my groups list index and handle all the rest of the tasks listed.

After doing that for so many years, this becomes a habit.  And always upon returning to Gmail I immediately delete that email which got me started.  But no matter what I did I could not break that good habit and I wound-up deleting the whole thread of all my member requests from all the Google Groups.  Of course, without the index not working right and listing all tasks at hand, I had just deleted the info I needed.

Yes, I could go back and forth through the trash, but that was a waste of time, as well.

Finally, I figured it out.  It came to me as I kept pondering what had changed at my Google account.  A while back, because Google had blacklisted my business email address, I thought I would show Google I was actually a good steward and added my business email address as a secondary address to my account through my profile.  This primary email address also sarted with a “D”, and my current gmail address starts with an “S”.  The fact that it was positionally more advanced in the alphabet than my Gmail address may or may not have anything to do with the bug.  But although I was logged in with an @Gmail.com address, the system seemed to be picking up on my @SymbioticDesign.com address.

So, The skinny on the Google Groups index list view bug is simple, if you have an alternate email address listed on your Gmail account it ALSO has to be listed in each group as an owner or manager. Else, especially if the alt email address precedes the current gmail address alphabetically, you will be listed as a member in the groups index when you go to check on your groups.  And of course you won’t se that there are required tasks to address.

Luckily it is a simple fix, go add the alt address as a member or group owner and you will restore the functionality of your groups index.

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December 19, 2008 - Posted by | Google, Social Communities

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