Tech Group Report 31.05.12

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 Freegle Tech Report May 2012 
Messages 8620-9011
Members 86

If anyone is interested in this stuff you are welcome to join us, even if you are technically challenged. Non techie mods who are willing to try out innovations are always appreciated.


Group statistics were discussed comprehensively, and revised to accommodate information required from different parties..
There was discussion on the differences between using the various bits of the Freegle app and the general cohesion. This led to discussion on the new settings page which Edward has done, and agreement that it is much more user friendly. If you have not updated for a while do have a look to see the additions.
The Tech Working Group task list was discussed, amended and reorganised to align it with the Freegle Strategy. We will be doing more work on this. Website

Chris has added the facility of a prominent notice to the top of the Freegle website home page when we need it to inform members of a Yahoo problem. We can also use it for other urgent newsflashes (eg click on a link to vote for us), but it is to be used sparingly as it will be very prominent.
We have now got access to the One Stop Shop domain so integration and transference can be undertaken fully to the wiki and website.


a. Infinite scrolling, brought in at the end of last month, has continued to be worked on and improved.

b. Settings page - Edward worked on the new settings page and added help links (the usual little ? signs) providing instant answers onsite, so it is no longer necessary for Mods to consult the wiki.
Jean updated the wiki settings, for those not yet using the app to be able to have a look

c. IP addresses blocking - In response to a post from Angelika on the modplugin group, the settings on FB/FB were amended so that mods can configure IP addresses or email addresses to block them from a group.
If suspect IP addresses try to join using Freegle Direct/Facebook, they'll be given a bland message saying they're not allowed, with no reason given.

d. Welcome messages - Two new fields were added to the group settings for a welcome message to be sent when people join via FD or FB. A generic page code would be useful, a rough one is available and can be adapted to suit the groups guidelines.

e. Shortlink A new shortlink has been created . Members who ask how to report no shows can now be directed there to give feedback.

f. Survey - A quick straw poll was conducted asking members if they would be interested in the ability to offer items first to their Facebook friends, and only if no takers to all of your local Freegle group? The results were marginally in favour but not enough to warrant taking it further at this stage.

g. Suggested posts - Changes have been made to the ‘post tab’ of Freegle Direct so that it now suggests posts for you. If you are about to post an OFFER of a laptop, then it will show any outstanding WANTEDs for laptops from any groups of which you are a member. This is similar to the suggestions that already get sent to you by email, but they will happen in real time, so you can consider them before you go ahead and post.

h. Database tidy - The spare FB users which were not linked to an email address were removed and then added back. This done over a Sunday/Monday resulted in a sudden drop in members one week and rise the following week. Groups affected also received unsubscribe notifications but these were not real members.

i. Join Up Process - This was changed after observation of someone trying to join. Part of the cosmetic changes were reversed after comments from mods.

 New Mobile App

There were a couple of questions passed on from members looking for a Freegle app. This is still work in progress.

 Message Maker

The photo attachment on the new message maker allowed someone to post 11 photos. This is the record reported to date.

 Yahoo stuff

a. Quick Join Box - It was felt that groups on Direct could do without the quick join box. It was discussed at length and decided it still had a purpose for most established groups, though Edward is intending to do a Freegle Direct version which will work better than the existing one. As a result of the discussion Edward amended the colour of the existing one to Freegle green. Chris shared the links he uses instead of the quick join box, which takes members to the Facebook and Direct group sign ups. These are now being put on new groups.

b. Sharing Yahoo posts - Members who post when signed into a Yahoo ID will now be asked to share their posts via Yahoo Messenger. We will be looking at linking in Google+ users soon.


Many of the Freegle Direct pages have been revised, especially and . The Member FAQ still needs updating.

Problems Fixed

No posts on Graffiti-Server - once made aware it was sorted
A later downtime was also fixed quickly.
Someone mentioned signing in to Direct and getting the the wrong list of groups. This was thought to be related to work on the server at the time, but reared up again at the end of the month. Edward managed to get a fix on it, and hopefully it is now obsolete.
There was a problem with marking takens. This was quickly fixed.
A hiccup causing multiple categorisation requests. This case was short lived but Edward will do a fix to prevent it happening more in future.

 Problems outstanding

A member complained because she has left the group but is still receiving Freegle Direct digests. None of the links work in the digest. Several similar reports came in which were basically that the g was missing off the end of the url link. This has now been tied in with the problem of Yahoo truncating the ends of long urls in Daily Digests. This has been raised with Yahoo Customer Care.
A reported problem with links, which seem to affect Virgin users also seems to be a possibility.

Questions raised and answered.

Q.How to connect to another PC? I've used logmein in the past.
A. Most of us now use TeamViewer. However this is only free for personal use, and not for Freegle use. Edward is discussing this with the makers of TeamViewer, but a license for Freegle currently looks unaffordable (several hundred pounds.)
Q. Is there any plan to include 'cafe groups' on FD or FB?
A. No. You can have a Facebook group or you can put a link in your FB/FD group Description or welcome email.
Q. How do we send an admin message reminding FB/FD members of our rules on reselling?
A.If you send an Admin out on Yahoo it will go to all members. It is only the standard admins sent from the files which do not get sent on.
Q. Does the app identify by the owner addy, and if you use that to put an admin out it won't go on?
A. No all admins not auto sent will go on Facebook and Direct.
Q. I am moderator on a second group, but cannot get the app to confirm my email is being used on that group as a moderator?
A If you've never posted on that group and it is not set up to sync its membership list to FD, then it won't know about your membership.
Q. I have just received lots of digests from different groups I am a member off for the first time?
A. Default was set to off but has now been switched to on..
Q. I assume Yahoo email only members can’t use the Yahoo FD sign up button?
A. No they will have to join first. However if they have trial digests on they can sign in via a link on there.
Q. Question raised about how the Mapping feature works and discussed at length.
A. Basically it is Google maps and searches for somewhere it recognises.
Q. Why do posts all show different perspectives on the map.
A. It shows you in relation to your location and the location of the item offered. If close together (ie your offer) it zooms in. If the other side of your groups area it will have to zoom out.
Q Following the recent Yahoo problems that most people seem to have had, I was wondering if we could have a way of alerting groups (moderators and members) of problems? Alternatively, would it be useful (or even possible) to send out a global email to all mods with non Yahoo emails alerting them of issues?
A. We have a Freegle Mod Facebook page which we could use and now Chris has put something on the ilovefreegle website we can use for alerts when Yahoo is down.
Q I don't suppose the FD app itself could add "(Location?) to the message could it?
A. Yes, it could, for at least some. Would anyone object to it doing that on their group? This will probably not be done unless there is more interest from Mods in having it.
Q. I have a member who has tried 'n' amount of times to turn off the new digest without successes, can anyone help please because she is now getting rather stroppy!
A. She is not set to get any, tell her to send the whole mail to you if she is asked again. This is good advice, please ask for any mail to be forwarded to you and send it to geeks @ if you fail to resolve it.
Q. QR codes. I am thinking it may be good to use for posters. Can they be blown up?
A. Yes, the quality does not suffer. We have a general one. The URL for the QR code is
Q. How to find the feedback system. I'm not sure if it's possible but it would be great if you could give feedback after a post has been closed instead of when you do a taken?
A. You can do it any time from or you can get to it by clicking on the stars from the main pages.
Q. I need the word REQUESTED instead of WANTED in the Message Maker on Direct.
A. Just go to your settings page whether on Direct or Facebook and change it.

Freegle Tech

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