Start Group Report 2012-01

From Freegle Wiki

Summary January 2012
Messages 3053-3271
There 69 members

There have been some very productive and thought provoking discussions on Start this month.
We've talked about how we can use our experience to help groups thrive. Suggestions were made for best practice guidelines and the best ways of promoting this information.

General points

Remember the aim is to keep things out of landfill.
Treat all Freeglers with respect.
Make sure the first experience for Freeglers using a group is a positive one.
Bear in mind that web users expect to be able to do things very quickly.
Consider making guidelines, not rules.
Consider whether being overly restrictive may hamper growth.
Consider flexibility on implementing the guidelines by help and encouragement.

Issues discussed

Joining processes.
Crossposting rules.
Out of area posts.
Taking Freeglers off moderation.
Flexibility with Wanted posts.
Flexibility with multi joining.
Frequency of moderation.
Posting format.

Ideas suggested for improving communication

Between Owners/mods and Freeglers:
Limiting the number of admins.
Using links to the Freegle website FAQs in admins in order to cut down on long admins.
Between Owners/mods and Freegle centrally:
Considering whether a birthday message from owners could be requested giving brief details of how their group has done or alternatively a birthday message from Freegle centrally to owners with membership statistics and asking how they are doing and giving a list of support links.
Recommending a back up owner, even if its a friend or relative so that there is some contact in unexpected circumstances
Ensuring that each group has at least one moderator on Freegle Central on a minimum of Special Notices.

Ways of promoting best practice

Focus on making the available information easy to use.
More promoting and linking of the wiki.
Asking neighbouring mods to help with groups.
Arranging local mod meet ups, coffee shops with internet access one method of doing this.
Groups having a mods Yahoo group that experienced mods can join to offer advice if required. Consider sending Best Practice guidelines to groups on affiliation.
Reviewing the suggested admins on the wiki.

We agreed by a majority vote that:
We believe it is crucial that groups affiliated to Freegle provide a good level of service so that Freeglers have a good Freegling experience. We've done some thinking about what Freeglers can reasonably expect, including the point at which Freeglers might decide that a group is abandoned or unusable. If Freeglers complain about their group, Freegle will always try to find ways to contact the local group moderators and see if there is any help which can be provided. We would hope and expect that most problems can be resolved this way. Occasionally, it may be that there are serious problems with the way a group is run which means that Freeglers will find it unusable. In such cases we think it would be better for Freegle to cease to list the group on its central website and, when appropriate, consider applications for a new group in that area.
22 Yes
0 No
0 Abstain
There is also agreement that a process is put in place that ensures that every effort is made to contact group owners/moderators using different means of communication before delisting is considered. Previous discussions on Start have also made it clear that help and support is always the preferred option.
We discussed the type of issues that might trigger consideration of delisting and this is continuing. We need to decide who will implement this process.
Everyone on Central is very welcome to join in the discussions or simply follow them. Please come over.

Back to Freegle Start or go to next report Start Group Report 2012-02