Fighting for freerecyling

I’m confused, and if I’m confused…

One thing is clear about freecycling groups, whether affiliated to TFN or not is they all seem to adopt a free thinking chaotic approach to naming themselves. Some have their country or state (in the case of the US) in their name, others do not. Some go by the name of a town or list of towns, others just go by, perhaps a familiar acronym. On top of all that some group names are punctuated by an underscore or an hyphen, and yet others, perhaps most have no punctuation. Finally groups “affiliate” themselves by way of an epithet such as most TFN groups insert or add the word “freecycle” to their name.

As such this all is extremely confusing. Any person idly searching the Internet, or indeed Yaho Groups for a group could easily miss groups relevant to their own region and inclinations. Because the search engine for Yahoo Groups leaves a something to be desired and because the chances of finding your own group by name can be chancy, external directory sites, what I call a “freecycling organisation” are pivotal for the new user.

This all begs the question how does a new user come to join their local group, or choose from a range of potential local groups? Obviously the mountain of information on the Internet (including this blog) that pertains to TFN adds grist to that mill, what is also true is the fact that other solutions present a hugely fragmented and confusing view of freecycling.

If you want a crisp example of that fragmentation and entropic view of freecycling groups I would suggest you take a look at the Texas freecycling groups home page. Laudable though this page is if you hover over the list of groups you will see a variety of group names with various spellings, including even different capitalisation. One can get a similar view of this chaotic world simply by looking at another useful page for freecycling groups around Tulsa.

Fortunately most new members find their local group(s) by that old and trusted friend – word of mouth. Thank goodness for that is all I can say.


October 3, 2007 - Posted by | freecycle | , , ,

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