Fighting for freerecyling


A sundry list of acronyms and definitions used in the free recycling and gifting economy. Many are used particularly in context of The Freecycle Network. If you come across a term you do not understand please comment and I will add an explanation.

  • AstroTurf – Is when a freecycling organisation creates a new group to replace an old one, even though the old one still exists.  This usually happens when a group changes affiliation and the network organisation does not want its number of groups to go down.
  • BOD – Board of Directors.
  • Cease and Desist – An email or letter sent out to a person or organisation to instruct them to stop doing something. Usually this looks very formal and legal and threatening.
  • daHub – a Yahoo Group in which the HUB discusses issues.
  • Darksider – Someone who belongs the darkside group, a group critical of TFN’s PTB.
  • DB – Deron Beal, the executive director of TFN.
  • Declutter – The act of disposing of items from your home with the goal of simply making your home less cluttered.
  • Delist – Free recycling directory of free recycling websites list free recycling groups. Delisting is the act of removing a specific group from the list.
  • DRT – Disaster Response Team OR Disaster Relief Temporaries (depending on who is using the acronym) – TFN’s Disaster Response Team (DRT) is a project run by an Mentor Mod Team. The MMT provide temporary moderator(s) for Freecycle groups that have been/or may be impacted by a natural disaster such as hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, floods, earthquakes, etc. The temporary moderator(s) assigned WILL STEP IN and manage the group until the local owners and moderators are able to return. Believed to be made up of various IMOD or MM members
  • EF – An acronym for ErsatzFriend.
  • ErsatzFriend – is an email address used by TFN ostensibly to assist in management of groups. According to TFN that is all it is supposed to be used for but there is controversy around its use, for example there is considerable evidence that it has been used to dispose of an existing moderator team without notice.
  • FC – FreeCycle.
  • FCN – See TFN.
  • FCnext – A YahooGroup initially created under the auspices of TFN
  • FCnexter – Someone who belongs to the FCnext group. This is used by TFN’s PTB as a derogatory term for anyone who speaks out on the FCnext group as a rallying cry to the troops to warn them off from asking any questions on FCnext themselves.
  • Finder – Finder was, until August 2007, an email address used by TFN to collect information from postings across all their YahooGroups into their own servers with the intention of at least posting some of that information onto their website. The use of this email address was stopped because of controversy surrounding Yahoo’s Terms and Conditions.
  • freecycle – a contraction of the words free and recycle, used as a verb and a noun. TFN claims this as a trademark and insists it should be spelled with a capital F: their trademark claim is however in dispute.
  • Freecycling Group – Technically by this we mostly mean a group using Yahoo groups technology. Socially we mean a local community based solution to the concept of freecycling. Ideally the word “local” is defined by the community it serves.
  • Freecycling Organisation – A term we use to define a website that provides services to freecycling groups including being listed on their website
  • GOA – Group Outreach And Assistance – TFN’s group helpers. TFN moderator’s manual states that, “The GOA has the authority and experience to be the final arbiter of any and every issue out there.” There is controversy that this power has been abused.
  • GTM – A TFN term for a Graphics Team Member
  • HUB – A team which consist of the lead mods of each volunteer team which includes the Mod Squad, Tech Team, Interim Mods, Back Office, Group Outreach and Assistance, and the New Group Approvers.
  • iMod – A term used in TFN for a moderator who provides interim moderator support to free recycling groups where the Hub determines that the existing moderator team no has a functioning problem. This could be that the owner is no longer available, or it could be a political reason.
  • IntlFCMS – a Yahoogroup created by moderators of TFN compliant groups who felt the need for an international and unmoderated forum for TFN moderators. Originally this group was called IFMS. Also sometimes it is referred to as International Freecycle ModSquad.
  • LVM – A Leadership Verification Moderator, a role in TFN for someone who checks out credentials of moderators who wish to join the moderator forums such as OIDG.
  • MM – A Mentor Mods, a role in TFN for someone who guides new moderators through training.
  • MMT – A Team of Mentor Mods.
  • Mod – Short for Moderator.
  • ModSquad – a forum for moderators to discuss issues pertinent to moderators. Various ModSqauds exist, each based on a geographical area.
  • MS – short for ModSquad.
  • Network – a website that provides listing and other services to a range of freecycling groups.
  • NGA – New Group Advisor. A term used in TFN for someone who advises new groups.
  • NPO – Non-profit organization. Sometimes referred to as “Not-for-profit Organization.
  • OIDG – Organisational Issues Discussion group. A Yahoo Group used by TFN for internal discussion.
  • Prospecting – When a freecycling network creates and runs a group without initial local support.
  • PTB -A Contraction of TPTB.
  • SM – A Service Mark is another term like trademark.
  • SPAM – A term by Deron Beal to describe any email with which he disagrees.
  • TFN – The Freecycle Network. In this website we normally use TFN to this organisation.
  • TM – Trademark. A mark such as a word or picture for exclusive use by an organisation.
  • TPTB – An acronym for The Powers That Be. This is used both intside and outside TFN to refer to its management team.
  • trademark – An organisation can mark any graphic mark or a word/phrase as a trademark, usually putting the letters TM after the mark. Once an organisation starts using a trademark it then applies for the mark to be registered AND starts a campaign to stop others using it. Each country has its own laws and a having a registered trademark in one country does not give one rights in other countries.
  • TOS – Terms of Service
  • USPTO – United States Patent & Trademark Office
  • WHC – A TFN term for the Worldwide Hub Coordinator job.
  • Wikipedia – The massive online and editable dictionary has some pages that focus on the recycling industry. There are several links from this website out to various Wiki resources.
  • WMI – Waste Management Inc, the organisation that funds TFN.
  • Yahoogroup – an email based discussion group hosted by Yahoo. Most free recycling groups are based on YahooGroups.
  • Y!G – a Yahoo Group.

1 Comment »

  1. Just a note: WMI is no longer listed as sponsor on the FC org website. There is a law firm that does pro bono work and a cell phone company that apparently allows them mobile freecycle? Looks like tha cash cow dried up.

    Right now Pepsi is offering $250,000 to non profits who win the vote. There was some questions and discussion on modsquad which was eventually squashed and moved to OIDG (which I am convinced is some short for of DILLIGAF)

    an area fc group mod

    Comment by Righteous Indignation | February 13, 2010 | Reply

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