Fighting for freerecyling

Start a Group

How is a group started? The obvious starting point for any enthusiast is to look at a freecycling network’s home page and click on the “Start a Group” link if it has one. Other than that the enthusiast could simply email the network’s organisers and ask them to kick start a group.

Another way a group is started is by an individual simply starting their own group (on Yahoo is the tradition). Obviously this group could stay totally independent of any network and rely totally on the owner’s skills.

Those group’s that might want to affiliate might dress their group up to accord with a network’s stipulations, and then at some, sooner or later point apply for affiliation. This could include the final step of renaming the group to accord with the chosen network.

The challenge with this approach is ensuring the group is fully and properly established according to guidelines. An example of where this has gone wrong is the Grey Bruce freecycling group, whose archives are uniquely and incorrectly open for public scrutiny.

Finally the network organisation might initiate the creation of a group itself. There could be several reasons for this though I am struggling to think of other reasons than AstroTurfing.

Perhaps “prospecting” might be a useful term here. Let me define prospecting as the idea of creating a stub group with an external moderator team in the hope of building a local community. Whilst it might be a laudable aim for the sake of that community, on the other hand this could be also construed as a quite a disreputable practice, not least for the reason that the local community has the initiative and the control.

Underlining this is the TFN rule that “a group owners and moderators must be local”. A sad day occurs whenever this rule is broken and a group is imposed.

To my mind the best approach is when a local person initiates the group creation. This is then justified properly in the eyes of the local community, it will have full support of the local community, and the local community will help the group grow.

I look to those with experience in this area who might be able to see what other reasons are common.

October 19, 2007 - Posted by | freecycle | , , ,

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