People Group Report 2010-04

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The Freegle People Working Group can be found at

Summary for April 2010

The people working group currently has 61 members (quite a few new members this month funnily enough) and is open to all members of Freegle UK Central

This is a summary of discussions that took place in the month of April which has been comparatively quiet after last month. I was considering doing fortnightly updates but given the lack of traffic i haven't bothered.

Lots of things have been wrapped up in the last few months:

How to provide support to mods of freegle groups: A proposal has now been submitted to the reps and they have given it the thumbs up.

FAQ's for members on

A draft of this has been submitted to the Reps and hopefully it will be uploaded to the website soonish.

The Equality and diversity policy has also gone to the reps

and finally

Appeals and mediation

This has also gone to the reps -again we are awating feedback. we are now discussing disciplinary and grievances procedures and volunteer agreements.

The mod handbook

After last weeks request for geeks Chris has been doing some great work on this.

Most of his additions (if not all) can be found under the 'how to' section

and include how to add and imbed message maker, how to add the 'official' logo how to add the 'join a group' feature and some stuff on maps.

Personally i've done very little this month, i've been ill, on holiday and now i am being distracted by the situation on reps and helping out with Freestock -which is pootling along.

If you fancy coming along/helping out your best bet is to begin by joining the cafe group which can be found here:


An update from Alison below:

I've asked the reps to have a look at the proposal that has been commented on. I've asked their views about using the wiki rather than the original plan. At the moment I am working on the transition period of FC to Freegle which means trawling through posts made in several forums, there are literally thousands to go through so I'm quite quiet at the moment! When I've got something to present and got full agreement on everything I was proposing to "publish" that to Central Mods and then ask if anyone would like to submit personal recollections/open letters etc to be added to the archive. In the process of going through the posts I've pulled out what I think are posts/open letters etc that are worth keeping and I will need to write to the people concerned to get their permission.

I hope that sounds okay to everyone and that you will understand that it will be a little while before I have something to submit and that I am getting on with it in the background.

Maintaining a healthy work force

This was propsosed a while back and collectively we haven't really been very responsive <blush> it's a brilliant idea but none of can really think of any skills to add to this list. So I think the survey is about to go ahead, unless any of you can think of any skills to add to the list:

Communication and Management:

  • Volunteer support and training
  • Negotiating skill
  • Languages
  • Real world networking
  • Internet Social Networking


  • Notable written skills
  • Proof Reading
  • Writing policies & procedures, manuals
  • Wiki editing
  • Report writing
  • Archivist / historian

Setting up a spare owner

Although this has been discussed in the past as we had always shied away from it because of the associations with that network that we don't talk about. Recent events on Central caused us to revisit this, Jean has now drafted a proposal to put to reps although its still open on feedback on the people working group -so get in there quick! proposal below.

Finally, as you can probably imagine, we are now discussing how to handle the recent problem that has surfaced amongst the Reps.

(on behalf of the peoples working group)

Proposal for a backup owner

It has been proposed and discussed and generally agreed, that we set up an email addy to act in the capacity of a second owner. It has previously been discussed on Central. We are aware of the need to handle it carefully because of the sensitivity of the subject in view of the previous uses it has been put to. We suggest it is only ever referred to as an available option, second to the preferred one of the group owner finding their own back up group owner/moderator.

We suggest it is run from an ilovefreegle addy. There would be limited access appointed by the Reps. A suggestion was made that the ones on the admin desk would be appropriate, as long as they are chosen carefully by the Reps.

That it would not be accessed by them unless: -

  • The real owner requested it.
  • They were investigating reports of an absentee owner. (Several reports over a period of time, suggested that we use the same criteria as for a dead group)

In the event any action is required they pass the information to the Reps who may,

  • Investigate further
  • Ask for someone to step in and manage the group for a time, or
  • Recruit a new owner, as appropriate.

It is suggested that ownership is not transferred to a new moderator unless:

  • The previous owner is available to do it.
  • We are certain the previous owner is now deceased.
  • A period of one year has elapsed since any contact has been made to Freegle or the local group by the previous owner.

This spare owner service will be mentioned as an alternative to the preferred option of using a trusted moderator or other local group owner.

  • On recruitment
  • In the moderators manual
  • It will never be forced on anyone for any reason.
  • It will be made clear that it is there purely a resource/safeguard for the group owner and will be treated as such as all times.

An alternative of having just a spare moderator available will also be supplied for those too cautious to trust full ownership. This moderators access will operate from the same addy but their powers will be curtailed to whatsoever the group owner wishes. There use will be to

  • Post to the group in the event of a missing owner with whatever information is available, and the request to move to a new group if one has to be set up.
  • Delete spammers and unsuitable posts from the group if they have the access. It is also suggested by some that owners create their own second identity and supply the password instead. If you feel this is a viable and safe alternative then it could be an either/or.

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