Freecycle is preparing to launch its long-awaited new user interface! Here is what moderators need to know to prepare for the transition.
- 1 "Moving" to FC3
- 2 How to find Modtools
- 3 Groups are now called Towns
- 4 Friends Circles
- 5 Communicating with Members
- 6 Email settings
- 7 Files and admins
- 8 Group Description
- 9 Group Links
- 10 Where to get information about how to use FC3
- 11 Known issues with FC3
"Moving" to FC3
Good news: FC3 uses the same databases as the legacy system, so there is nothing to move. It is only the user interface that is changing.
How to find Modtools
We will continue to use legacy modtools until FC3 Modtools is ready to launch later this year. Some features will work differently, as described in the sections below.
Groups are now called Towns
You may have noticed that Freecycle Groups are now called Towns. To help you make the transition, we'll refer to them as local Town groups or Town groups. They are the same groups you know and love. They cover the same areas and have the same dedicated local moderators. Click here for more information about Towns.
Hopefully, you have also noticed that we have a new type of group called Friends Circle. Now that we have two types of Freecycle groups, we wanted to give them names that would differentiate them. Click here for more information about Friends Circles.
Friends Circles is an exciting new feature of Freecycle.org where you can interact with people you know. Lending and borrowing among friends will be allowed.
Friends Circles are independent of geography and can be any group of friends or relatives that you choose, regardless of where they live (that said, it would be practical for your Friends to live close enough for you to easily give and receive items)
There are no moderators for Friends Circles. Any complaints are handled by a special email address.
Communicating with Members
Freecycle 3.0 offers new ways of communicating online. Here are some things to be aware of regarding email and online communications.
Communication initiated by the moderator from ModTools: If a mod sends a message to a member from legacy Modtools, by rejecting a post and sending a message, or by searching for the member and selecting "Send them an email," that communication will happen via email, and there will be no record of it in My Messages in Freecycle.org. There is currently no facility for mods to initiate communication with a member online.
Communication initiated by the member online in FC3: A "Contact Moderators" message sent from by a member from the Town page will be delivered via email and online. If the member has opted out of messaging, they will only see the messages online, but the moderator will receive both email and online messages. Both mod and member will see the messages in the Contact Moderator section of the My Messages page.
Report member: When a member reports another member, the report goes to the moderators of the offender's home group. The reporter and moderators will be able to message each other regarding the complaint even if the reporter is not in the offender's home group.
FC3 allows members to opt out of all emails. Email preferences for members who choose this option show up in legacy modtools with an error message "Uh oh...this shouldn't happen. Please report it!" but please don't report these errors. Note: there is no way in legacy modtools to change a member's email options to no emails. Only the member can change to this option.
Files and admins
In FC3 files and admins are being combined into one category, Notices.
A Notice is posted to your Town Notices page when you create a File in ModTools.
Before the final launch of FC3, existing files and admins will be removed from all groups and replaced with a generic welcome Notice that includes the Guidelines and Disclaimer. This Notice will also include a link to the " Welcome to the New Freecycle.org" article in our new knowledge base, which explains the features of the new site. From that document, members can link out to a whole knowledge base full of documents that explain how to use all the features of the site.
Note: there will be no more required Farewell files.
What you need to do now
Make local copies on your computer or mobile device of all the files and admins that you want to keep. That way you can update them and add them back in later if you feel you need them.
What you need to do after FC3 goes live
- Edit the content of your files and admins as needed. Remember all your "how to" instructions will be obsolete in FC3.
- Edit the generic welcome file as appropriate to reflect your local Town group rules.
- Create new notices in Modtools from your edited files and admins. In legacy modtools, do this in the Files menu.
- Remember to update your copyright information
The existing content will be replaced with the following generic Town Info.
<p>Welcome to the %%group_name Freecycle Town Group!</p> <p>The Freecycle Network™ is made up of %%num_groups Town Groups with %%total_num_members members across the globe. It's a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns and thus keeping good stuff out of landfills.</p> <p>Membership is free, and everything posted must be FREE, legal and appropriate for all ages. To view the items being given away or sought in %%group_name, you must be a member of the local Town Group.</p> <p>%%disclaimer</p>
What you need to do now
Most moderators don't change the group description, but if you have added additional information, make a copy now and edit Town Info later.
What you need to do after FC3 goes live
If you need to edit your Town Info, here is how to do it using legacy modtools.
Group links will no longer display on FC3. If there are any group links you want to display publicly, you can put them in a file that is available to the public. Public files will show up under Town Notices.
Where to get information about how to use FC3
We have developed an extensive database of information about FC3 that will be easily accessible to members and mods via the green chat bubble at the bottom of every page of the website. These Help documents range from descriptions of new features to instructions on how to fill out each form to how to solve common problems.
Just click on the Knowledge Base link at the bottom of any page to go directly to the Help articles where you can search and browse to find the information you or your members need.
You can add a link to any of these documents from a Notice in FC3 by going to that page in the Knowledge Base, copying the URL, and pasting it into the body of the File you are creating.
Known issues with FC3
Any new system has its share of issues. You can find the current list here: FC3.0 known issues. To avoid duplication, please check this list before reporting any issues that you notice.