To clear up a few points...
We have several tweaks to Group Mail that will be going live some time on Monday. These should address most of the concerns that people are having. Amoung the changes will be:
1. Fixes to the read status issues in User Mail and that Blog shares are showing as T&R shares.
2. There will be a count of group mail in the header. Usermail will show first, followed by Group mail...example: (1/19)
3. Any group message older than 12 hours will display as read.
Group Mail is now a Bulletin message, so there is ONE message that everyone views...that's why you cannot delete them. In a future update to Groups we are considering allowing Group Admin's to remove messages.
Previously, if you sent a message to a group, you also recieved it. This did not change with the update that was made.
FanMail has been the default communication tool on the site because there hasn't been any other tool. We are in the process of creating sevearl tools to improve communication across the site. Due to several performance and system issues, we needed to change how group mail worked or face a serious site wide issue.
Some of the things we are working on to improve communication (All of these are in development, so they are subject to change, but wanted to let you know what our goals are):
Overhaul to Groups - Improving and adding several features to the group page, and giving group admins more control.
Overhaul Blogtracker - Having blog tracker alert the user when a new post has been made in a tracked blog.
Overhaul the My Groups page - Allowing group alerts to appear there...giving a very specific communication tool for group mods.
Possibly creating a Throwdown tracker - This is in early stages, can't promise anything at this time.
We appreciate all the feedback people have given, and understand that a change like this can be very frustrating. It's frustrating to us as well. In an ideal world, the feature would not have been rolled out until more of the improvements were in place...but due to the site wide issues mentioned, we needed to roll this out ASAP.
If there are specific issues, or problems please leave a comment here, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
All questions, feedback or problems will be addressed quickly.