Fighting for freerecyling

Tomorrow 27% of freecycle disappears!

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According to the Green Living Blog on the Guardian the UK Freecycling fraternity accounts for 27% of all freecycle activities – worldwide.  And as of tomorrow none of that will be associated with The Freecycle Network when nearly all UK groups will rebrand themselves away from the control freakery of Deron Beal.

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September 10, 2009 - Posted by | freecycle | , ,


  1. Thanks Andy, and I must say, that your term “control freakery” regarding Deron was quite hilarious. Sadly, it is also quite accurate. What a thing TFN could have been,how truely sad

    Comment by Jeff Kincaid | September 10, 2009 | Reply

  2. We are witnessing the evolution of Freecycle™ into MyFreecycle™
    as it becomes similar to the,
    “One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
    One Ring to bring them all, And in the darkness bind them.”
    – J.R.R. Tolkien

    The Freecycle Network™ and MyFreecycle™ are confusingly similar; but they are not the same as, the generosity of the thousands of volunteers who diligently contributed their efforts to create and manage all the local Freecycling, that happens on our Yahoo! Groups.

    Palmdale-FreeShare Owner & Moderator


    Comment by Jay Allison | September 11, 2009 | Reply

  3. Where on earth do you get your figures from, thin air?

    Comment by stillamod | September 11, 2009 | Reply

  4. Thanks, again stillamod. Nope – all my facts are verifyable. Just click on the links in the post and read.

    Comment by andyswarbs | September 11, 2009 | Reply

  5. Andy,

    I do not think that the facts are verifiable – nobody knows how many groups will leave – many have decided not to go, and many are undecided. To date a handful have left.

    Please stick to the facts as it makes everything else you post trustworthy.


    Comment by Mike Paterson | September 11, 2009 | Reply

    • You may be right. I am always prepared happy to talk someone who speaks on behalf of IAFCmods – the horses mouth is always the best source. There must be many mods who are scared as anything right now, not knowing what to think, not knowing what to say (if anything) to their members.

      Comment by andyswarbs | September 11, 2009 | Reply

      • Well, I have only had one member ask (somebody that had a relative in Brighton Freecycle) and I simply told them that aseveral groups were moving away, but that Basildon Freecycle was not in the forseeable future.

        Easy really.

        Currently Freecycle is the only really viable option as the other groups are all far too fragmented, and believe me I did look at this when Neil Morris and crew decided to take FCUK political and tried to make out that they were representing every Freecycle member!

        It is not just The US “leadership” that has got things wrong, the UK “leadership” has made a few dodgy decisions from time to time too.

        IAFCMods itself is not a particularly nice group to be in if you think differently to the agitators or the temporary committee.

        Only Yesterday I received an abusive email from a committee member, I replied in a reasonably restrained manner, and then received an official warning fromn the same person that I would be pursued for harassment if I contacted her again. For Pete’s sake I had only replied to her email, and she had decided to contact me twice in a nasty manner. Who is harassing who?

        I raised this issue immediately with the committee, asking for their comments – I have yet to have a single reply. It is obviously acceptable for the “leadership” to abuse the members – no different to Freecycle there then…

        The IAFCMods group was set up to represent Freeycle Mods as it says on the homepage – all of a sudden they are persuading people to leave Freecycle and how to do it. If you point out that that is not the purpose of the group, then you can expect abuse form the militants.

        There are of course some nice people on the group, but from my perspective it is just as bad as Freecycle itself.

        Out of the frying pan and into the fire – not me. I’d rather fight to try to get Freecycle to mend their ways and reform, and I hope that others in IAFCMods realise that too.

        Comment by Mike Paterson | September 11, 2009

      • I don’t (but of course wouldn’t) agree with you about TFN being the only viable option. TFN is not viable in any sense of the word. After all Deron is busy replacing viable groups with MyFreecycle equivalents, how does that help your viability?

        Comment by andyswarbs | September 11, 2009

      • My Freecycle is actually a very good idea in cobcept. In practice it is not there yet and I ahve been quite vocal about the fact that a beta system is being used in a production mode despite missing functionality.

        Yahoo Groups itself is flawed – look at the recent outages, missed emails, terrible search system that is very hard to use, the recent invasions of privacy they have tried to implement, the lack of scope for integratiom/collaboratiion with other systems, and the ridiculous limits on what you can do with the front page. Couple that with the problems it causes for some people who struggle with the whole yahoo groups thing and you can see that Yahoo Groups is potentially not the right horse to back fro the long term.

        Sure I am unhappy about the potential for DB to misuse myfreecycle, and that is why I have opted out. I also removed ersatzfriend ages ago, but fundamentally unless somebody comes up with a better brand name and facility for us all to use, then adding anotrher set of yahoo groups under a name of Freegle will just cause confusion to the general public and teherby hinder the real grass roots job of promoting reuse through the simple act of giving.

        Comment by Mike Paterson | September 12, 2009

      • What on earth is going on? I am a member of 2 Freecycles as I live where they overlap. The first; Berwickshire is great and I post a lot of offers on there. The second, Alnwick appears to be much smaller. I thought, because the north/south distance they cover must be over 100 miles, there was room for a new one covering where I live. I applied but was told that my area was covered by Alnwick so there wasn’t room for a new one. However over the past few months none of my emails to Alnwick Mod or Owner has been replied to.
        Other members have been contacting me (I have been emptying 2 x houses following bereavement so am high profile) to say their posts are not being shown and their emails not receiving a response. I checked the Alnwick site and it said they were looking for Mods. I volunteered, twice, then emailed again. Nothing. I searched the web for answers to find this site with what appears to be some sort of Turf War and a mention that Alnwick is now My Freecycle, but no explanation about what that is! I just want to post my goods! I’m very grateful to the hardworking Mods, but please sort it out. I don’t want to join Freeble or whatever it is called. I want to stay with Freecycle.
        Please will someone tell me how I complain about Alnwick, or, preferably, get them to run their site? jen Hall

        Comment by Jen hall | December 26, 2009

      • The reason Freegle was created was exactly because of the problems you refer to. The core problem is that The Freecycle Network are actively taking away that functionality.

        Comment by andyswarbs | December 26, 2009

  6. Personally having stewed on the whole Freecycle problem for a long long time, I can honestly say I feel a huge cloud had lifted and a weight off my shoulders has gone since I pressed that button to change our name. I had already done, files and the homepage and only needed to do the email footer but phew I feel great now!
    I joined FC in 2004/2005 when I was a member of a few groups that were far between and then started what was South Holland in Oct of 2005. I enjoyed the whole aspect UNTIL the corporate and charity business, and the Freecycle website being contradictory and selling T shirts and car stickers etc….and I thought “This bloomin’ stinks”. Since then I have pondered my way out and the fact that so many people have now gone together has made me feel less stressed about it all.
    Thanks Andy for great Reading on here. Sorry Mike, I got a bit miffed at some of your posts but can see why you want to stay but I imagine at some point you will jump too!

    Comment by Lyn | September 13, 2009 | Reply

  7. No I’m sorry Andy, I don’t understand. How does Freecycle stop an owner or mod. replying to emails from a member? That is just good manners.
    Are you saying there are no owners etc now, just some sort of central control which is no longer local? Is that the difference between Freecycle and My Freecycle?


    Comment by Jen hall | December 28, 2009 | Reply

    • Jen

      You are right to differentiate between owners and moderators. For a normal member all they see are the efforts of moderation. However an owner has extra responsibilities, including being the final arbiter on any dispute. They are also the interface to the local community. They can often spend extra hours days at promotional events manning stalls. They can spend time in meetings with local councils. They might spend time advertising the group. They might also spend their own money on, for example, liability insurance.

      A normal mod is active they can moderate in the normal way, modding posts and new members etc. Under the regime of Yahoo, any group is owned by its owner, so that owner has total control (within the context of Yahoo Terms of Service – TOS). Only if they either transfer or share ownership does that change, and they are in total control of that process. Typically a group owner shared moderation tasks with other experienced members, also local, from the group, and then from that pool of experienced moderators new owners might be found.

      In this way – in the past – Freecycle groups have held a very strong local community bonding. People running local groups for local people, with ultimate accountability back to that local community.

      However The Freecycle Network has a new technology called MyFreecycle, which it is gradually transferring groups over to. This new platform has nothing to do with Yahoo. Any group running on the new platform runs totally under MyFreecycle TOS. Part of the new TOS is there there is absolutely no concept of a group owner.

      Thus, for example, under MyFreecycle any group “owner” equivalent can be removed by The Freecycle Network at any time, without recourse other than send an email to complain. There is tangible evidence for this in that increasingly MyFreecycle groups are simply not run by local people.

      Any moderator of a MyFreecycle group is not even running the group as a franchise operation. At least in that case there might be some kind of contract declaring substantial rights and responsibilities. TFN have sidestepped that and under their new regime allow people who say “yes” to continue as moderators: lots of responsibility but with no rights.

      With no substantial rights and responsibilities those in charge of MyFreecycle groups are less accountable to their local community as time rolls by. The people who run such groups may not even reside in the same country!

      MyFreecycle, in my opinion, has lost its heart. Now it is simply a mindless engine.


      Comment by andyswarbs | December 28, 2009 | Reply

  8. nice info, thanks for sharing.

    visit : to find all yahoo question and answer easily.

    Comment by | March 10, 2010 | Reply

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