Tech Group Report 2012-04-30

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Freegle Tech Report April 2012
Messages 8088-8388
Members 87


We were asked to look at the suggested tasks in the expanded Strategy doc. which were laid out for us.
We have concluded that  we need a specific strategy for Tech to utilise best, the few manpower resources we have.

Chris pulled data off websites for posts a while ago and it is being kept updated.
A comparison was done on posting stats for Jan-March this year against last years.
It was obvious that with very few exceptions, established groups who have not taken on board any of the new stuff, are doing badly.
On average posts were down 21% Groups using most or some of the Direct stuff, for the majority of the three months were down 10% Groups using nothing except Yahoo were down on average 34%.
Some groups were down 70% on the same period as the previous year.
Groups which have taken everything available, relaxed their rules and have spent the time saved on promotion have had increases of 25%
Using Direct as a landing tab (the place members looking for your group go instead of Yahoo) does seem to be making a big difference.
We are now in the process of contacting groups who already use Facebook to add on the Direct option. If you want it, done for you contact Jean or send a mail to
Want to know more visit

It was mentioned that we should put a hold on new stuff for a while, until we could get all groups up to date. All groups have been contacted and offered help over the last year, many have not responded.

It was decided that it was really a Growth issue and not a Tech one.
Jane also got the stats from Chris which showed that 46% of groups and members are still not using Freegle Direct in any form.
Jane and Alison have agreed to do a new mail to send out about Freegle Direct in an effort to try and contact those groups who were unresponsive to the Facebook mail.
Julie (Bolton) says she will look through the volunteer lists to see if there is anyone for the various tasks needed to be done.


New Stuff
a.Improved the tab which previously only appeared if you were logged in using Facebook to allow you invite people to a specific group, either on Facebook (if you're logged in with that) or by sending them an email.
b.Fix for members on groups with a Yahoo ID but using a different email address. If you signed in to FD using your Yahoo ID it would only know about your Yahoo address, and use this one. .Changes have been made to enable groups who use the modplugin to sync their membership lists, it will now recognise and use the group address instead.. This makes it easier for Yahoo members to use Freegle Direct.
c. There is a new FAQ help link with info on for Freegle Direct users on their Direct page..
d. A system allowing members to grade their Freegle experience was trialled, bugs fixed and has now been released. This has been made opt in via the group settings tabs.
e. The “My Posts” tab has been revamped. Tested and put out.
f. "Infinite scroll" was work in progress and has just now been completed . All pages on our app should now enable members just to keep scrolling down the messages, for as
far as they wish to go. They load as you scroll. This is less strain on the server than loading them all for everyone, and looks more modern. Please report anything you may find irregular.
g. Posts tab no longer asks for its own permissions, which was just off-putting to those trying to join. Instead it just directs you to the main app to do it. This should make the joining process better.
h..Changes to the Groups Settings and Statistics have now been completed and The Wiki will be updated ASAP
Changing the order of the sign in boxes on FD was discussed. A simpler solution was found in taking out the gaps so members could see them all without scrolling.

Message Maker

Photo uploader
The testing was completed and the new one with the photo uploader was implemented for all groups using the Yahoo store on site remove from email setting for attachments. Sample Admin is at

 Yahoo stuff.

A question was raised at a result of Yahoo’s outage whether we should all have a backup communication system in place.
It was mentioned we have a Facebook group, “mad freegle volunteers” and Edward put the info on Direct. These do not help non Facebook/Direct groups though. David suggested a system could be useful in case an area lost communications due to floods or storms.
Nothing has been decided. 


After discussion and realising that to some Moderators the Wiki is pretty confusing still.
David (Reading) anad Wendy (Woodley ) have agreed to try and organise the wiki pages dealing with the Direct app. Taking out Republisher stuff, sorting it into separate sections for Facebook and Direct and simplifying the terminology..
Hopefully it will make things easier for moderators to find stuff, and work through.
Jackie has removed the Moderator Manual category and it is now foound under the “Running your Group “ portal with a contents page.

 Problems Raised and Rapidly Fixed

Repeats of messages sent in the overnight run.
Some problems have occurred with the syncing of memberships between groups.
The app has now been revised and should work better.
Error uploading screenshots to the Wiki was fixed by Chris..
Facebook blocked our feeds again.
Edward has made some changes to try and prevent this, and is working on more.
Shaking on Post tab on Facebook on Google soon sorted.
Problem with a loop in the post links.Sorted.
Search on member choice broken and fixed
An error on the posts on FB and FD which put in the name of the member looking instead of the ‘someone’ was fixed.
Members were receiving requests to republish every time they post, when they had already clicked the correct link.
Thought to be connected to different posting methods, and a fix has been implemented. We have been asked to forward any mails if it recurs.
6. Problems outstanding.
Still problems with some members getting emails without links. This is probably because,
their settings are for plain text only. At the moment the moderator can click on the link for them or give them the link to manually cut and paste.

 Questions raised and answered.

Q .This member has obviously left off her location - but any ideas why the system
tried map on 'he' ?
A. It checks for locations then locations within words. This is to deal with cases where the member doesn't put spacing between previous word and postcode perhaps.
Q I would like a list of formats to find setting etc. for groups.
A. Jean will do a page on the wiki. Task List
Q. Can non Freegle groups use the Message Maker
A. No, they can still use the old one though as this is not hosted on our servers..
Q.I was thinking of putting a link to the new alerts feature in the chaseup
message for wanteds. What link would be best and is there one that would take them straight to the alerts bit
A. The best thing to do would be to ask them to "sign in and go to the My Settings tab"
Q. Mapping Problems.
A. Please make sure that you put the wrong word it is mapping on in the ignore box. If there are additional characters included they also must be ignored.
A.How do I ban/remove the above FB user who has been trolling members
I have found two entries in Yahoo one for his yahoo and one for FB and banned both and wondered if that stops him seeing or replying to posts via FB
A. If you have the modplugin set to sync your membership list then it should, yes.
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. How do FB members see the guidelines in the first place as they are embedded in the Yahoo files?
A. They don’t as these files would just be confusing. .
Q. Twitter feed links go to Facebook, could they go to Direct for groups using it.
A. Yes I will fix this.
Q.. If a group has FD, wouldn't it be better to direct potential members to the
FD page, where they can join at a click, rather than leave them as a web only
member of the Yahoo group, which is a very low grade experience?
A. Yes but it is a question of choice for the individual group.
Q.If a group has FD, is there any point in continuing to offer the member plug-in, or does it offer more than using FD?
A. There is not any point for new groups. With older groups it depends if many members are using it; if not, then you could remove it and inform them to use Direct instead which does the same things.
Q.. Most FB members have posted correctly but now getting some who possibly belong to other groups with different formats and rules. Neither can we check if they are potential spammers as the more this grows the more likely that can happen.
Would love something in place that gives me warning.
A. You can use the mod plug in for spammers and to check the messages in the same way as you do the Yahoo ones..
Q. Can you have a photo on the Direct page.
A. Yes Direct pulls the one in from the Yahoo group automatically if it is in the Photo section.
Q. I cannot see a post an FD member made to another group in the crosspost check?
A. no you can’t at present because they each have different memberships. I have it on my list to have the plug in pick it up from their email instead.
Q. I can’t see an IP address on those sent via the MM.
A. if you look in the header you will see the sender's IP in the X-Freegle-IP field:
Q. I created a Direct page and now want to add a Facebook page what do I do.
A. Do your Facebook page tick the Direct boxes and ask Edward to delete the old direct one.
Q. When I am on the preview of posts seen before joining Facebook or Direct, I see a reply box. This shouldn’t be there?
A. If you are a member of the group you are looking at you will see one. if you are not then you don’t. .

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.

Freegle Tech

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