Development Group Report 2015 06

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Development Working Group Report

June 2015

Members 35


The Development group started on the 20th May 2015. It was created to bring together Freegle Structure, Freegle Media and Freegle Growth into one single working group. A poll was held and it was decided that Jacky Barrett would be the group coordinator with Sheila Little acting as deputy coordinator.

We started with a short discussion on how future polls would be held. It was agreed that the guidelines in Working Groups Procedure would be followed with a simple majority winning the vote.

Local Publicity

Alison from Middlesbrough has offered to attend the Festival of Thrift in Darlington in September and man a stall for Freegle

Task 1 - Identifying groups that need help

This task from Growth is to attempt to identify struggling groups, where moderation is not done on a regular basis and offer them some help from the Mentor team, before they get to a point where the group goes into a steep decline and end up subsequently abandoned.

It is acknowledged that there is a problem with some groups and that we need to be more proactive in finding and helping them. Currently Andrew Trusty lets Mentors know when messages are being auto rejected by Yahoo, but Development are trying to find other effective ways to feed the appropriate information to the Mentor team.

Identifying groups that are struggling is not by any means a move to remove Group Owners or disaffiliate groups, but is intended to put in place best practices to avoid that happening. Suggestions so far have been:

  • For Andrew Trusty to continue letting mentors know when group posts are auto rejected by Yahoo.
  • For neighbouring group owners to let Mentors know if they see a local group that is in decline and not being moderated regularly.
  • Support and info teams letting Mentors know when Group Owners do not respond to emails sent to owner address.
  • Mentor Team be told when groups fail to click on a verify link in any bulk emails.
  • The mentor team send regular monthly reports to central in which they can let moderators know they can email them in confidence.

Edward suggested that we send a 'please reject me' message to groups to find out which ones are not responding, which respond slowly and those which respond quickly. We have yet to set up a test pilot of this before deciding if it is worth running automatically.

During the discussion it was noted that Mentors remit was badly in need of updating. This has been addressed and the updated remit has been published on the wiki - Mentor Team Remit.


A poll was held on Growth to decide if moderators generally wanted to continue receiving Freespout. The response to the poll was good with 181 responses:

99 voted: I want a mods newsletter to continue in some form
7 voted: I want a mods newsletter to continue in some form and I can commit a few hours a month to help
33 voted: I don't want a mods newsletter in any form to continue
39 voted: Other responses (comments were listed)
3 voted: Null response

Although there were seven responses from mods who would be happy to commit some time to help, there is no way to tell who these mods were, so if you were one of those seven, please email the Board at or the Freespout team

Development Working Group Team