Freegle Direct - Introduction
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What is Freegle Direct? =
Freegle Direct is Freegle's own interface. It can work alone, be added to a Yahoo group, and have Facebook and Twitter accounts linked.
It makes your Yahoo Group even better, and therefore gets more people freegling more stuff more often:
- More features for existing Yahoo members
- An interface which is way better for freegling than Yahoo
- New ways to get more new members
The most important thing to remember is: you do not have to move your group.
- Your Yahoo Group stays right where it is.
- Existing members can carry on using it in the way they're used to.
- You moderate your group using ModTools.
Ok, now we'll go into a little more detail.
Why do I need it?
If you're in any doubt, have a look at the posting numbers on the home page of your Yahoo Group. Probably, the numbers follow this pattern:
We've used Yahoo Groups for years, and despite its faults it's served us well. Because we're familiar with it, it's hard to see just how very dated it is now.
- While some people who have used it for years are happy with it, lots of people are giving up on it.
- More importantly - new people just aren't joining it in large numbers any more. It's putting people off.
We need to offer something better. If you're still not convinced, read Freegle Direct - The Trouble With Yahoo.
Why do members need it?
First, it is way easier to join than Yahoo.
- If they have a Google, Yahoo or Facebook id already, then it just takes a couple of clicks.
- If they don't they can register with us - and that's much simpler.
So whereas Yahoo puts people off joining, Freegle Direct makes it attractive.
And it gives a whole bunch of features which members have been wanting for years. For example:
- They can see just OFFERs not yet taken, or just WANTEDs not yet received.
- It has a built-in Message Maker, so they can easily get messages right, and it tidies up other subjects into the standard format.
- It sends reminders to let people easily mark OFFERs as TAKEN, or to repost an item after a while with just one click.
- It shows all their groups together if they belong to more than one group.
- They can see maps to show where items are.
- It gives suggestions of relevant messages they might have missed.
- They can give feedback on great or problem members, if you want to allow that.
Finally, a lot of places (libraries, universities) block access to Yahoo Groups - but not to Freegle Direct.
What does it look like?
Here's a rough video about it. Please watch it - a picture tells a thousand words. If this is too small, click the Youtube icon to watch on YouTube.
Want to see more?
- Most new members will find groups via ilovefreegle.org. You can see how that looks to members here.
- Non-members can see a preview of the group, which helps them see why it's worth joining. Have a look at this.
- You can see an example of a Facebook page for a group here.
- If you want to experiment with posting, you can join the Playground group here. This thinks it's in Edinburgh, so bear that in mind when you're looking at maps.
How does it work?Your Yahoo Group stays where it is. Very briefly, there's additional stuff happening in parallel:
- The messages from your group get sent to Freegle's own servers, where Freegle Direct runs.
- Freegle Direct then can do some things that are really good at revitalising your existing members. For example:
- It can send reminders to let people easily mark OFFERs as TAKEN, or to repost an item after a while.
- It matches up one person's OFFER with another person's WANTED for the same item, and mails them both.
- People can also join and use the group from Freegle Direct. They become email-only members of the group under the covers, but they never really need to know this.
- Freegle Direct will ask your members whether it's ok to republish the subject of their posts, and if so, push them out to Twitter and Facebook pages for your group, with links that encourage them to join the group.
You can see more detail by clicking on the diagram.
How do I get it?
Start by mailing email@example.com.
There are a couple of things you'll need to decide:
- It's possible to install this yourself, and if you want to, and someone will help you through that.
- We'd strongly encourage you to allow your group to be accessed from Facebook too, even if you personally think Facebook is evil. Read Freegle Direct - Why You Should Add Facebook for more. But if you really don't want to have Facebook, then that's possible.