One thing that is very useful about having two browsers on a computer is you can look at the same web page twice. On the first computer you might not be logged in, whilst on the second you may well be.
An example of how this may be used is to check your freecycling home page both as yourself and as a member of the general public. For a new group one thing you must ensure is that the message archive is closed. So seeing this in the browser “as a member of the general public” means you can check this and other settings that require a log on.
My previous post commented about how the Internet is moving forward. It may not have been obvious to those inside TFN thinking about website developments that eventually Yahoo would do something about their Groups functionality, but right now there is increasing evidence that Yahoo Groups as a platform for freecycling is going to be vastly improved. The major evidence in is that they have a beta out.
(As a humorous aside issuing a beta of a production product is a really weird concept. One can only ask when will the Alpha appear. 🙂 )
Anyway what is going on is potentially very exciting stuff. There is considerable effort by Yahoo to show that they are responding to moderator’s needs. This is at least evidenced by the recent podcast by the team leader, Lee Clancy listing the top three features that made Yahoo Groups a success. These being:
I think rather than me reiterating what Yahoo Groups is going to be about I would suggest you visit their website and get the low down from Yahoo Groups’ Moderator Central. For the podcast look on the right hand side for the PodCast section. A new podcast is predicted for each month so get their now and listen to the inaugural edition.
Well, I say unfortunately. I guess the result will be seen as unfortunate if you are one of TPTB in TFN. If however you are me, then in fact YOU WANT TO SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS.
The Freecycle Network did not just lose, but they lost on all counts. You can read more at the Ninth Circuit Blog in which is a link to the PDF that has the complete decision.
I have been a beta tester for grouply.com now for some weeks. This company is now coming out of beta and is getting ready for prime time. The interest for freecycling users is that they hope to support freecycling OFFER and WANTED and TAKEN posts. If you are interested have a go. They are very enthusiastic and responsive to ideas and I think potentially this could provide a great interface to all your yahoo groups, especially freecycling ones.
There are a variety of groups out there on the Internet aimed at helping moderators become more skilled. Here are some important ones.
They all have a wide range of very experienced people involved with them, and if they cannot answer your questions then perhaps no-one can. None of them have freecycling as a core issue and asking freecycling questions might be considered off beam so if you join these, generally keep your questions of a more general nature.
In one piece of evidence (pdf) submitted on behalf of SunnyvaleFreecycle in paragraph 30 it is asserted that groups that did not have ErsatzFriend as a co-owner where therefore they were not trademark compliant. For these groups TFN filed an application to Yahoo and the group was deleted and Yahoo deleted the groups for not being trademark compliant.
Forgive me for being stupid but how on earth can the existence of an email address being a member of a group ever mean that a group is or is not trademark compliant? I thought that trademarks were to do with logos and brand names.
If I was part of the Yahoo team that acted many times on the existence of ErsatzFriend being deemed a reason for deleting groups I think I would be very concerned and would ask some questions.
TFN have formally asked that this evidence be rejected citing they did not know the person whose statement this is. Note they do not deny the evidence, their objection is purely procedural. Mind you even their “procedural” argument is debatable. The objection cites that there are many 1000’s of volunteers. However this person rose to the status of GOA. How many GOAs can there be? These must be in the 100’s if not less. And this particular volunteer was around for a long time so it is hardly as if he came one day and went the next.
I really have to thank Lisa, one of the IntlFCMS mods for her post today which looks back at the creation of this Yahoo Group which it turns out was created just one day after PlanetFreecycle. Without going into the historical detail covered in her excellent posting, both of these groups were created because The Freecycle Network ‘s (TFN’s) no longer had an International moderator forum. There had been one – but this was then relegated to just a national forum, now referred to as USMS.
Apparently this was all voted on, though from what people have posted the polls did not exactly explain the implications of those votes with the way things were done. The major two implications for my mind would be that:
- there no longer was an International forum,
- that by reusing an existing group that any members who had to leave (ie any non-USA people) would no longer have access to the archives.
For my money simply letting the original international forum continue would have had mass appeal. But history is history, however and whyever it occured.
It then remained for a new International forum to be created. TFN created PlanetFreecycle, and a day later IntlFCMS was born. Both of these aimed to fill that yawning gap. Therefore comparing these two after around six months of existences is very valid.
- One is from within TFN and the other is without,
- One is moderated and the other is not,
- One generally has weak posts, the other is very robust and
- One is not TM compliant and has not had a Cease and Desist letter thrown at it, whereas the other is totally TM compliant and has had a Cease and Desist letter thrown at it.
And one last point. Which do you think is which, and so do you think therefore that TFN needs a robust forum, or not.
I am breaking with tradition here and going to another source. This one is from the ImodUncensored group (membership of this group is not required) who tell their individual stories with great clarity. In Laura’s Story what really hits home is about a normal person, someone who is incredibly keen on freecycling, someone who put in immense hours of dedication to The Freecycle Network for no reward and someone who deserves respect. Judge for yourself and read some more about the shenanigans of ErsatzFriend.
You need to read this one from about midway down. It gives some interesting insights into the origin of the species called freecycling. I was not around at the time so I cannot vouch for its authenticity, but it does raise some good questions.
I am getting some feedback that probably the right view of what Deron is saying, when he is saying no to the oidg-unmodered group (which no longer exists) is actually a vote of full confidence by him in the International needs of TFN moderators are fully met already. That is: