Freecycling

Fighting for freerecyling

Are you a scared moderator?

No, not ready to leave just yet
Image by flickrized via Flickr

Right now many moderators must be feeling very scared.  When The Freecycle Network first started it was a nice cosy place where we could all do some good.  Then nasty things started happening, and in my opinion they have all been initiated, albeit unintentionally.  This was done by one person who created an organisation full of secrets, more fit for the Klu Klux Clan than recycling unwanted items.

Everyone, and I mean everyone gets swallowed up by the touch-feely niceness of freecycling first.  Then of moderating their own group and perhaps even running their own group.  From their they get elevated into the increasingly closed and private hierarchy referred on this site as TPTB – the powers that be.

Epitomised by strong control on free thought using tools such as moderation, banning and black-balling the centre of this organisation has only talked of relinquishing control.  Never in all the six years of TFN’s history has Deron Beal ceded one ounce of actual control – to anyone.

The result is an ever-increasing global fraternity of so-called darksiders or nexters.  And now at this very moment possibly 100s of new groups and their moderators will also share that same label.

At they back of their minds, your minds, must be the ultimate question.  “How do I justify this to my members and to myself?”  Following this are a range of related questions such as, “What the F*** have I been doing with my life?   Should I just give up?”

The answer, the only answer is to go back to roots.  Look at your group closely.  Talk to your members.  They love you.  They trust you.  You love them – and you should trust them.

Then ring the changes on your group, oh, and feel the fresh air.

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September 11, 2009 Posted by | freecycle | , , , | Leave a comment

Calling all UK groups to disassociate themselves from TFN

FreeCycle
Image by eschipul via Flickr

Over the last months an earthquake has been building within the UK Freecycle movement.  The first overt rumble was the resignation of Neil Morris, who until then was the lead person in the UK in more ways than one.  At the same moment the entire UK lead team also resigned.  The Freecycle Network reacted by putting in place an interim lead team, which subsequently has been elevated permanently to replace Neil et al, headed by Janice.

Neil and many others in the UK moderation fraternity then set about creating IAFCMods, a pressure group to promote the needs of UK moderators within TFN.  The succeeded wholeheartedly in creating IAFCMods.  They did this with full democratic process, even to the point of Neil not being the automatic lead person.

And then they set about trying to work with TFN to get IAFCmods recognised.   Well all hopes and efforts have been either totally ignored or rebuked.  Time and time againg UK moderators tried to get The Freecycle Network to listen and react positively.

The reaction can be summed up in the following email sent by Deron Beal to Neil yesterday, published with permission:

“Arrived home tonight to find the following email in my inbox. The email below from Deron demonstrates and confirms the autocratic policies that I have been fighting to change for a considerable period of time. I think the email and actions speak for themselves.
Neil Morris
I give full permission for this to be forwarded anywhere.

Begin forwarded message:
> From: Deron Beal <deron@…>
> Date: 8 September 2009 19:32:26 CEST
> To: Neil Morris <neil.morris@…>
> Cc: EastMidlands <eastmidlands@…>, “ukgoalead@…
> Janice” <ukgoalead@…>, NptonNorthCentralFreecycle@…
> Subject: Your volunteer role with Freecycle UK
> Dear Neil,
> We’d like to thank you for your efforts in keeping your local Freecycle group going. Your volunteer efforts have been greatly appreciated.
> However, we no longer feel that it is a good fit between yourself and The Freecycle Network at this time and would ask that you step down from all Freecycle volunteer roles.
> If you could please demote yourself from your local group as a mod or owner and unsubscribe from all leadership groups that would be appreciated.
> I’d ask that any fellow local volunteers wishing to continue volunteering contact me at this time.
> Please approve the interimmod@… address and promote them to Lead Mod of your group before stepping down yourself.
> Regards,
> Deron

So, up yours Neil is the message.  However Deron has spoken to other UK moderators in the same vein.  And now the IAFCMods have reacted, again this is public domain information:

> From: ****
> Date: 9 September 2009 11:00:03 BST
> To: <intlfcms@yahoogroups.com>
> Subject: [UIFMS] Breaking News – IAFCM
> Reply-To: IntlFCMS@yahoogroups.com
> We the IAFCM Committee committee no longer see any way to negotiate
> with TFN or achieve our aims in the current Freecycle Network. Most of
> us are now moderated and believe we are targeted for removal from our
> TFN positions (and some are already removed). We are sorry we have
> failed to achieve our preferential aims..
> We no longer feel we can ask you to stay in the Freecyle Network.
> For this reason we will now focus the attentions of IAFCM Mods going
> alone, standing on our own two feet and launching a New UK led and
> democratically led successor Network. We have received many messages
> from member moderators urging us to prepare against this eventuality
> and have a successor Network ready to launch.
> The proposed network will not follow the organisational model of The
> Freecycle Network. It will be led by a consensus, have free
> elections and polling of group members It will be looser than TFN and
> groups will be free to choose their own names for their groups, but
> may, if they wish, choose to use the the network name to increase
> their visibility in the search engines and have a higher profile as we
> promote it.
> Thee may well be some groups that wish to stay in the Freecycle
> Network and if so we wish you well. We wish to be inclusive and we
> wouldn’t mind you having a dual affiliation but it we know it would
> result in you being kicked out of TFN so we wish you you well for the
> future
> There will be a short delay before full instructions on how to
> establishing full links with the Network and cut the ties with TFN are
> published
> We are aware this is a big step and is not exactly what we had in mind
> when we first started with IAFCMODS and though many members are
> “raring to go” others may feel a bit pressured and need time and space
> to voice any reservations.
> We wish everyone to feel comfortable and we are aware that the
> committee were working under constraints where we could not consult on
> this as much as we wanted.
> However such constraints are now lifted and there can be open
> discussion on on IAFCMods in which committee can fully participate.
> Fuller instructions as to how to safely rename your group will follow.
> Please regularly read messages on IAFCMods group for information.
> We will also be posting admin notices you can use to communicate
> with your group members.
> Now it’s open to everyone can help modify and polish up admins etc.
> Please use this group as we used to use modquad in the past to develop
> best practise and to freely comment on proposals – but lets think
> outside the box as we don’t want to repeat TFN mistakes.
> Post here if you are asked to stand down or your group is threatened
> in any way and we’ll support you in making the necessary changes.
> Carol, Caroline,David, Edward, Mark, Saira and Seb
> Your Interim Committee

Are you a lead moderator of a Freecycle group, especially in the UK?  I just wonder at what point do you draw the line.

In my personal opinion I would not think it amiss if all UK groups – every single one of them – disassociated themselves from TFN immediately.  I mean, Neil a total stalwart of UK Freecycle, who has tirelessly worked over many years to promote freecycling in the UK is now totally and clearly snubbed.

In my personal opinion any non-UK group should also consider its position.

If you are ready to leave The Freecycle Network check out the Yahoo group readytoleaveFc for resources to help you in the process.  I recommend also the FCnext yahoo group for open debate on the subject.

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September 9, 2009 Posted by | freecycle | , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Patience and understanding

No matter which way you cut it Deron Beal is treading all over the Uk Moderator Squad.  He is blatantly ignoring the express wishes of its membership and not even entertaining wanting Neil Morris back as director.  He has now demoted Neil from owner status on relevant groups.

Everything he says and does implies that he is moving on with new people, new pawns.  He continues to ignore any and all comments from Uk Mods asking for clarification on whether he will discuss the UK gripes.

To quote Deron, “Today, all TFN addys required as co-owner of national modsquads were demoted from co-owner status of this group. After contacting the owner address of this group, these privileges were reinstated.  I have now accepted Neil and Jacqui’s resignations and demoted them from their co-owner status of this group. We will be contacting the remaining group mods to see as to their wishes to remain as moderators of this group or not. This was a very unsettling situation. Thank you all for your patience and understanding.”

Patience and understanding, nice one Deron.

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July 23, 2009 Posted by | freecycle | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Deron Speaks on Public radio

I have just come across this New Hampshire Public Radio broadcast from 2004 in which Deron Beal admits there is no scientific formula used to calculating how much a freecycling group saves from landfill.  The whole thing has a transcript so there is little risk of missing the thread.

October 11, 2007 Posted by | freecycle | , , , | Leave a comment

Are you ready to leave?

Apparently today there was a posting on to THE freecycle modsquad that dared to question a view of TPTB regarding the Tim Oey SLAPP suit. Unfortunately TPTB decided, as usual to delete this posting. This to me is what makes this organisation an unhealthy one in that it is denying very relevant free speech. If you are questioning why you continue to keep your group with TFN, then you may be ready to leave The Freecycle Network. If this is the case then you may feel you want some advice. Continue reading

October 8, 2007 Posted by | freecycle, yahoogroup | , , , | Leave a comment