Difference between revisions of "Best Practice"

From Freegle Wiki
Jump to navigationJump to search
 
(130 intermediate revisions by 4 users not shown)
Line 1: Line 1:
==Preface==
+
This page summarises our agreed Best Practice for running a Freegle communityEach point has a link to further information on [[Best Practice Notes]].
Freegle Groups promote reuseIn doing this we:
 
  
1. Keep goods that still have life in them out of the waste stream.
+
==Summary==
 +
Freegle promotes reuse. We need to make sure that using Freegle is as quick, easy and enjoyable as possible for us and our members. Further explanation about each of these points can be found at [[Best Practice Notes]]
  
2. Promote community spirit by sharing between local people.
+
[[Our Aims]] outlines expectations of Freegle and Volunteers. The intent of this is to support Freegle and members, and to safeguard our reputation. All the advice below is within the context of the [[Basic Requirements of a Freegle Group#Local Rules]].
  
3. Provide people with an opportunity to help the environment.
 
  
We want to do all this as well as we can, so we need to make sure that using
+
====Emergency arrangements====
Freegle Groups is as quick, easy and enjoyable as possible for us and our members.  
+
To safeguard your community and give you peace of mind, have backup arrangements in place.
 +
* Make sure all of your Volunteer Team know they can contact Mentors to get some help - email [mentors@ilovefreegle.org](mailto:mentors@ilovefreegle.org)
 +
* Exchange contact information with your chosen other volunteers locally and/or nationally in case of crisis.
  
Many of us started our Groups several years ago.  During that time internet use has increased substantially and there have been many developments which mean that members now expect to be able to do things very quickly.  If a Freegler encounters barriers they are likely to be put off from using our Groups, so we need to strike a balance between ‘protecting’ our Group, and making it welcoming for new members.. 
+
[[Best_Practice_Notes#Emergency_arrangements|More info]]
  
In order to help reduce barriers there are some questions that owners/mods might like to think about.
+
====First impressions====
 +
Home pages (Freegle website, Facebook etc.) should be welcoming and quick and easy to read. All website homepages should have a logo or local picture, tagline, welcoming message and, optionally, local rules. To do this, go to Settings in Modtools.
  
==Questions==
+
[[Best_Practice_Notes#First_impressions|More Info]]
====What is a new Freegler’s first impression of your Group?====
 
  
'''Best practice advice:'''
 
  
Your Group is individual but clear identification as a quality Freegle Group will help you with publicity.
+
====New Freeglers need an easy start====
 +
*Ensure all posts, especially first posts, are dealt with swiftly and sympathetically.
 +
*Don’t overwhelm members with lots of admin emails.
  
'''Consider:'''
+
[[Best_Practice_Notes#New Freeglers need an easy start|More info]]
  
*Using the official Freegle logos.  These have been designed by the Freegle Graphics Team  for your Yahoo  Group and Facebook home pages
 
  
*The Graphics Team will help you with photos or other pictures you may want to upload to customise your Group.
+
====Quick posting====
 +
Ideally, moderation of messages needs to be at least every few hours. Put members who post correctly on Group Settings (unmoderated). <br>
 +
[[Best_Practice_Notes#Quick_posting|More info]]
  
Email: [mailto:graphics@ilovefreegle.org graphics@ilovefreegle.org]
 
  
====How many steps are there from a new Freegler clicking on the link for your Group to other members receiving an Offered or Wanted post from them?====
+
====Simple and minimal rules====
 +
Keep rules short and to the point. Apply them fairly, always politely, and with flexibility where appropriate. Your community rules are for your community only, it’s not acceptable to try to enforce your rules on other communities, such as asking your member to leave another community. <br>
 +
[[Best_Practice_Notes#Simple_and_minimal_rules|More info]]
  
'''Best practice advice:''' 
 
  
The less time and work there is for a new Freegler to use your Group, the more likely it will be that they will be a contributing member.
+
====Don’t knock enthusiasm====
 +
It isn't an indication of ill intent if a member is a ‘multi-joiner’ or makes lots of requests.  Freegle is about encouraging reuse, so people who are able to travel or need things are not going against our objects. They don’t need to be removed or restricted unless there is a very good reason to do so. Occasionally, there will be people who exploit Freegle - but this is rare, and you should assume that people are innocent and kind until proven guilty.<br>
 +
[[Best_Practice_Notes#Don't knock enthusiam|More info]]
  
*Do you approve new members?
 
  
*Do you ask for location before approval?
+
====‘Wanted’ posts are a good thing====
 +
Equally accept requests or offers as first and subsequent posts from members. Our primary purpose is to keep things in use, so members who reuse those items are essential for Freegle. Requests should be encouraged, with no restrictions on numbers of wanted posts or numbers of items requested.
 +
<br>[[Best_Practice_Notes#'Wanted'_posts_are_a_good_thing|More info]]
  
'''Consider:'''
 
  
*Open membership with new members being moderated (that picks up spammers, especially if you use the Moderator Plugin).
+
====Avoid rejecting messages====
 +
Members have made the effort to post a message, so unless it contravenes core rules (free and legal), try not to reject it. Editing a message and, if needed, sending a friendly personal message to the member to explain the rules, whilst promoting Freegle Direct (if available) as an easy way to compose messages, will be more effective in the long run.<br>
 +
[[Best_Practice_Notes#Avoid_rejecting_messages|More info]]
  
*Writing to members whose first post is out of area and giving them the details of their nearest Group.
+
====Impression of you and Freegle====
 +
We are providing a service which is helping your members get in touch with one another to keep stuff out of the waste stream, so let’s be good hosts.
 +
<br>
 +
[[Best_Practice_Notes#Impression_of_you_and_Freegle|More info]]
  
*Sending only one joining message with the Disclaimer and deleting the standard Yahoo message. 
 
  
====How many members do you have on moderation?====
+
====Member problems====
'''Best Practice advice:''' 
+
Handling problems and complaints from members is tricky. Finding the balance between running the community how you would like it to be run and how members would like you to run it is not always easy but is important to do well.<br>[[Best_Practice_Notes#Member_problems|More info]]
  
Put members who correctly format their messages on Group settings.
 
  
'''Consider:'''
+
====Use tools/services to make it easier to run or use your Community====
 +
Take up some or all of the helpful tools and services that Freegle makes available for your members and you.
 +
<br>[[Best_Practice_Notes#Use_tools/services_to_make_it_easier_to_run_or_use_your_Community|More info]]
  
*The Moderator Plugin makes this very easy.
 
  
*You can always put them back on moderation if they slip up.  
+
====Ask for help====
+
You are not alone. All Freegle volunteers are in this together, we have a shared mission, so take advantage of others’ experience, friendship and advice.
*You will lessen your workload.
+
<br>[[Best_Practice_Notes#Ask_for_help|More info]]
  
*Messages will be posted more promptly on your message board, which is good for the person posting as well as those that respond.
 
  
====How long does it take for a Freegler to see the message they have posted appear on the Group?====
+
====Publicise your community====
 +
The more people who know about your community, the better it will be for freegling. Make use of national publicity tools to spread the word and get more members.<br>
 +
[[Best_Practice_Notes#Publicise_your_community|More info]]
  
'''Best Practice advice:''' 
 
  
Ideally, moderation of messages needs to be every few hours.  Moderating once a day is the minimum for a Group to survive.
+
====Supporting Freegle====
 +
Freegle is run collectively by all of us, so make sure that you are involved and informed about Freegle nationally.
 +
<br>[[Best_Practice_Notes#Supporting_Freegle|More info]]
  
'''Consider:'''
 
  
*Have a rota for moderation so that all the team know who is doing what and when.
+
====Get to know other Freegle Mods====
 +
Chatting to other Freegle volunteers can help put a 'face' to people and to establish better rapport for good and bad times. <br>[[Best_Practice_Notes#Get_to_know_other_Freegle_Mods|More info]]
  
====What rules do you have?====
 
'''Best Practice advice:''' 
 
  
Keep rules to a minimum to enable the smooth running of the Group known to all your members.  A lot of Groups impose rules that members have no idea existed!  Try to apply them fairly with flexibility where appropriate.
+
       
 
 
'''Consider:'''
 
 
 
*The fewer rules you impose, the less work it is for you to moderate your Group.
 
 
 
*No-one is keen on reading or remembering lots of rules, so too many just means that your members don’t know what they are. 
 
 
 
====Do you restrict the number of Wanted posts?====
 
 
 
'''Best Practice advice:''' 
 
 
 
People that want other’s unwanted stuff are essential for your Freegle Group to work, so encourage people to think ‘reuse’.
 
 
 
'''Consider:'''
 
 
 
*Difficult economic times have increased the number of members who are in a situation where they can offer very little e.g. students setting up house, people on benefit who cannot afford to buy new stuff etc.
 
 
 
*Wanted posts are as valid as Offer posts in keeping things out of the waste stream.  Encouraging people to Freegle even when they have little to offer may lead to them thinking of Freegle in the future when they do have things to offer.
 
 
 
*People go through different phases in life - at some times they may post a lot of Wanted posts, and at others a lot of offers.
 
 
 
*People - including us - overestimate the number of Wanted posts.  Most Groups have more Offers than Wanteds.
 
 
 
====How many messages do you reject?====
 
'''Best Practice advice:''' 
 
 
 
Members have made the effort of posting a message, unless it contravenes the basic rules (free and legal), try not to reject it. Helpful, friendly, personal mod messages can be more effective than standard replies.
 
 
 
'''Consider:'''
 
 
 
*Do messages need to be rejected or can they be dealt with in other ways?
 
 
 
*Promoting Freegle Direct by placing a link on your home page for people to join and use Freegle Direct.  This provides a way of posting that won’t need correcting.
 
 
 
*Promoting the Message Maker with a link on your home page to it and link in message footers.  This also results in a way of posting that doesn’t need correcting.
 
 
 
*Using the Moderator Plugin to edit subject lines of messages, then sending a note afterwards to help the member get it right next time.
 
 
 
====What impression do your messages to members give of you and Freegle?====
 
'''Best Practice advice:'''
 
 
 
You are providing a service which is helping your members get in touch with one another to keep stuff out of the waste stream, so be a good host.
 
 
 
'''Consider:'''
 
 
 
*Friendly, helpful messages are far more likely to get the response you want.
 
 
 
*No-one enjoys (or can be bothered) reading long messages, so keep things brief (but polite!).
 
 
 
*English may not be the first language for some of your members, clear straightforward messages will make it easier for them to understand how to use you Group.
 
 
 
====How many potential Freeglers do you lose?====
 
 
 
'''Best Practice advice:''' 
 
 
 
Check, with an open mind, your rules, guidelines and working practices on a regular basis to ensure that interested people are not put off being an active Freegler. 
 
 
 
Libraries,  many public bodies and work places do not allow the use of Yahoo Groups.
 
 
 
'''Consider:'''
 
 
 
*Installing Freegle Direct and  opting for the Freegle Direct page to be the first page that a new Freegler sees.  This opens up Freegle to people in your community who may really benefit from your Group.  There are clear links from Freegle Direct to your Yahoo Home Page if Freeglers prefer to use that route.
 
 
 
*Are any rules you have about reposting, crossposting, and limits on numbers of posts simple [b]and very easy to remember?
 
 
 
*Replying to emails to the owner address within 24 hours.
 
 
 
*A friendly leaving message for Freeglers who do leave your Group with a link to the Find a Group page on the Freegle website.
 
 
 
====Do you have emergency arrangements for your Group?====
 
 
 
'''Best Practice advice:''' 
 
 
 
Put in place some back up so if there is a problem with your availability, all your hard work doesn’t goes to waste as service can be maintained for your members.
 
 
 
'''Consider:'''
 
 
 
*Having a back up owner, so that if something unexpected happens to you there is someone that can take up running it in your absence, either temporarily or permanently.
 
 
 
*Your back up doesn’t have to be an active moderator, just someone, maybe a friend or relative, who has the privileges to let someone run the Group in an emergency situation
 
 
 
*Giving your back up owner(s) the mentor Group address as a contact so they have access to some help themselves.
 
Email [mailto:Freegle-Mentors@yahooGroups.com Freegle-Mentors@yahooGroups.com]
 
]
 
 
 
*Groups run 365 days a year so having a back up active moderator to share the burden, cover holidays and discuss issues with is also very helpful. 
 
 
 
*Moderators don’t need to be able to do everything.  Some Groups find it helpful to have mods for certain aspects of running the Group, eg publicity, tech etc.
 
 
 
====What tools do you use to make it easier to run your Group?====
 
'''Best Practice advice:''' 
 
 
 
Yahoo is not the easiest platform for you or your members,  so don’t be afraid to take up some of the helpful tools that Freegle makes available.
 
 
 
'''Consider:'''
 
 
 
*[[Freegle_Direct_-_Introduction|Freegle Direct]]
 
 
 
*[[Mod_Plug-in]]
 
 
 
*[[Freegle_Message_Maker]]
 
 
 
====Do you know where to turn for help?====
 
'''Best Practice advice:'''
 
 
 
You are not alone.  All Freegle volunteers are in this together, we have a shared mission, so take advantage of others’ experience and advice. 
 
 
 
'''Consider:'''
 
 
 
*Freegle Mentor Group
 
 
 
One to one help from experienced mods for new Groups    Assistance for struggling Groups and mods
 
 
 
Email: [mailto:Freegle-Mentors@yahooGroups.com Freegle-Mentors@yahooGroups.com]
 
 
 
*Freegle Central
 
 
 
Sharing experience, information and helping each other
 
 
 
http://Groups.yahoo.com/Group/FreegleUK-Central
 
 
 
Freegle Media/Freegle Growth
 
 
 
Asking for help on media matters, sharing publicity tips, discussing and putting into place ideas on how we can help Groups grow and thrive.
 
 
 
http://uk.Groups.yahoo.com/Group/Freegle-Growth/
 
 
http://uk.Groups.yahoo.com/Group/Freegle-Media/
 
 
 
*Freegle Direct Group
 
  
Help with problems or questions
+
'''Note:'''  The guidelines on [[Best Practice Notes]] were last formally discussed and amended on Development Group in 2021. 
 
 
http://Groups.yahoo.com/Group/freegledirecthelp/
 
 
 
*Plug in Group
 
 
 
Help with problems or questions
 
 
 
http://uk.Groups.yahoo.com/Group/ModerationPlugin/
 
 
 
*The Freegle Wiki
 
 
Full of useful information on all aspects of running your Group, publicity tips and how you can help Freegle nationally
 
http://wiki.ilovefreegle.org/Welcome_to_the_Freegle_Volunteer_Wiki
 
 
 
====Would you like to socialise with other Freegle Mods?====
 
'''Consider:'''
 
 
 
*Freegle Rock
 
 
 
Online social chat
 
 
 
http://Groups.yahoo.com/Group/FreegleRockCafe/
 
 
 
*Freestock is the annual summer meet up for Freegle Mods
 
 
 
http://wiki.ilovefreegle.org/Freestock
 
   
 
*Organising a meet-up of your local Groups.
 
       
 
<br>
 
Back to [[Running Your Group]]  
 
  
[[Category:The Basics]] <
+
'''Links:'''
 +
*[[Running Your Group]]
 +
*[[Our Aims]]
 +
[[Category:The Basics]]

Latest revision as of 10:35, 1 March 2022

This page summarises our agreed Best Practice for running a Freegle community. Each point has a link to further information on Best Practice Notes.

Summary

Freegle promotes reuse. We need to make sure that using Freegle is as quick, easy and enjoyable as possible for us and our members. Further explanation about each of these points can be found at Best Practice Notes

Our Aims outlines expectations of Freegle and Volunteers. The intent of this is to support Freegle and members, and to safeguard our reputation. All the advice below is within the context of the Basic Requirements of a Freegle Group#Local Rules.


Emergency arrangements

To safeguard your community and give you peace of mind, have backup arrangements in place.

  • Make sure all of your Volunteer Team know they can contact Mentors to get some help - email [mentors@ilovefreegle.org](mailto:mentors@ilovefreegle.org)
  • Exchange contact information with your chosen other volunteers locally and/or nationally in case of crisis.

More info

First impressions

Home pages (Freegle website, Facebook etc.) should be welcoming and quick and easy to read. All website homepages should have a logo or local picture, tagline, welcoming message and, optionally, local rules. To do this, go to Settings in Modtools.

More Info


New Freeglers need an easy start

  • Ensure all posts, especially first posts, are dealt with swiftly and sympathetically.
  • Don’t overwhelm members with lots of admin emails.

More info


Quick posting

Ideally, moderation of messages needs to be at least every few hours. Put members who post correctly on Group Settings (unmoderated).
More info


Simple and minimal rules

Keep rules short and to the point. Apply them fairly, always politely, and with flexibility where appropriate. Your community rules are for your community only, it’s not acceptable to try to enforce your rules on other communities, such as asking your member to leave another community.
More info


Don’t knock enthusiasm

It isn't an indication of ill intent if a member is a ‘multi-joiner’ or makes lots of requests. Freegle is about encouraging reuse, so people who are able to travel or need things are not going against our objects. They don’t need to be removed or restricted unless there is a very good reason to do so. Occasionally, there will be people who exploit Freegle - but this is rare, and you should assume that people are innocent and kind until proven guilty.
More info


‘Wanted’ posts are a good thing

Equally accept requests or offers as first and subsequent posts from members. Our primary purpose is to keep things in use, so members who reuse those items are essential for Freegle. Requests should be encouraged, with no restrictions on numbers of wanted posts or numbers of items requested.
More info


Avoid rejecting messages

Members have made the effort to post a message, so unless it contravenes core rules (free and legal), try not to reject it. Editing a message and, if needed, sending a friendly personal message to the member to explain the rules, whilst promoting Freegle Direct (if available) as an easy way to compose messages, will be more effective in the long run.
More info

Impression of you and Freegle

We are providing a service which is helping your members get in touch with one another to keep stuff out of the waste stream, so let’s be good hosts.
More info


Member problems

Handling problems and complaints from members is tricky. Finding the balance between running the community how you would like it to be run and how members would like you to run it is not always easy but is important to do well.
More info


Use tools/services to make it easier to run or use your Community

Take up some or all of the helpful tools and services that Freegle makes available for your members and you.
More info


Ask for help

You are not alone. All Freegle volunteers are in this together, we have a shared mission, so take advantage of others’ experience, friendship and advice.
More info


Publicise your community

The more people who know about your community, the better it will be for freegling. Make use of national publicity tools to spread the word and get more members.
More info


Supporting Freegle

Freegle is run collectively by all of us, so make sure that you are involved and informed about Freegle nationally.
More info


Get to know other Freegle Mods

Chatting to other Freegle volunteers can help put a 'face' to people and to establish better rapport for good and bad times.
More info



Note: The guidelines on Best Practice Notes were last formally discussed and amended on Development Group in 2021.

Links: