THE FREECYCLING CHARTER
To help foster that healthy environment of healthy freecycling I now formally announce The Freecycling Charter (TFC). The TFC is there to help group, their moderators and owners to feel free of the chains that may bind them. It is their to help them find a supportive framework without any catches.
- a freecycling group is a “free” local online forum in which people can post and receive offers of items their local community,
- this community is moderated and “owned” by local moderators,
- these moderators are responsible to their community,
- any potential funding (government or private) can be effectively channelled locally,
- standard guidelines exist to enable proper action for a group to work effectively,
- a group has the local autonomy to step outside those guidelines to suit local needs and condition,
- a group has the support of other like minded groups, and their moderator teams to resolve complex issues,
- group promotion is available via online directories such as reusit, freesharing and others – without prejudice or external control,
- online directories that provide support forums should provide and engage with at least one, independently managed, support forum that is unmoderated where moderators may ask any question,
- groups may use whatever technology platform suits them and their members and
- personal data is held locally and processes and control are in place to ensure it stays local.
Here are some further other thoughts around this charter.
Group Internal Rules and Guidelines: A freecycling group should behave according to standard guidelines such as nothing is to be sold, everything should be legal and appropriate for all ages.
Local: What I mean by this is perhaps a city, town or village. It could also be a region. What defines a locality actually reflects the networks of the people who make up that community, so it needs to be very flexible. Flexibility is also necessary since local boundaries may change over time and new housing estates being built and so on. What is Local is defined by the membership.
Competition. More than one group may serve the same or similar local community. This is not an exclusive business and competition. Groups will succeed because they have a great membership led by a great moderator and owner team. Also there is no one answer to any local needs.
Splitting or joining of groups. Any group has the full rights to join with another group, or even divide itself into two or more groups. This is a local decision. The only support and influence from outside the affected groups is help with the mechanical steps used to enact the changes in the manner of best practice.
Ownership: The local moderator team is said to own the group. They have full control over the life of the group.
Technology: The preferred platform for delivering this service, right now is Yahoo Groups. We welcome explorations into other technologies with a view to providing the best possible service to the local community.
Online Directories: I recommend that groups can affiliate to one or more directories such as FreeSharing, FullCircles. Some groups may wish to choose a group name that associates itself with a given online directory. I am going to formally approach online directories to ask them to sign up to this charter. If your online directory is not listed, then it will not be recommended.
No Politics. Groups and online directories should stay clear of politics. Online gifting groups are their to help support their community by reducing landfill and enabling the giving and receiving of items. If any individual, group or online directory wishes to campaign politically then they should do so in in their own name.
I fervently welcome comments that would help improve this charter, so get your thinking hats on.