What to Do Before the Move
Getting started - there are three basic areas on Freecycle.org for each local group:
Your Public Group Page (GP) which shows all the local posts and other publicly viewable areas like Group Info, etc. This area is outlined in orange with orange tabs, etc.
The second area is the My Freecycle area (MF), which is where each member can track their local posts, their account info, the groups they are a member of, etc. This area is outlined in green with green tabs, etc.
And, finally, there is your Mod Tools area (MT). This is the area which only you and your co- mods can see. It is unadorned with any colour (not orange or green outlines) and is packed full of your moderating tools. The public can't see this area and the public also doesn't have a "Moderate" hotlink in the top right corner of their local group page. Mods do have that hotlink in the top right corner.
If ever you need to jump from one area to the other, just go to your top right corner and find the area you wish.
Modsquads are discussion groups where mods can ask questions, make suggestions, provide feedback and for sharing experiences.
Before - On Freecycle.org directly
- Make sure that you have been promoted to Lead Moderator (LM) on your Freecycle.org (on site/live) local group page (GP). Owners on Yahoo Groups (YG) are LM's on site and Moderators are Moderators (M's) on site.
- If you have not yet been promoted, be sure to contact your area GOA. If you do not receive a response within a few days, please contact your GOA http://wiki.freecycle.org/Moderator_Manual:How_to_Contact_Your_GOA
- Make sure all of your moderators have joined the local, on-site group and that you have promoted them to Moderator or Lead Moderator on Freecycle.org as well.
- To view the Group Options in the Mod Tools (MT's), scroll your mouse over the Moderate link on the top right of the screen and click on your group in the drop down box. FYI: The URL for this is: http://moderator.freecycle.org/login
- Check your Group Options on Freecycle.org and ensure your settings are set to the preferences you would like your group to have.
- Do your new members need to be approved?
- Tip: At the beginning of your transition, the majority of people joining your group will be current Yahoo! Group members. An open membership at the beginning may help facilitate the move on-site. Membership settings can be changed at any time.
- Are new members on moderation?
- Tip: During the transition, an unmoderated membership may facilitate posting activity. Moderation settings can be changed at any time. Individual members can also be moderated.
- Is the group "invitation only"? Are members allowed to post images? What is the default email delivery option for new members?
- Check your group's description and ensure your new moderator email address is included so that members can contact you: (group name)@mods.freecycle.org
- Check your Message Maker preferences and set them to your desired settings.
- Tip: If you require a location for OFFERs and WANTEDs, be sure to check "Force people to put something in the location box".
- Copy your files from your Yahoo! Group and upload them to Freecycle.org in your MT's area. (Only available on live groups)
- Tip: Copy all of your files from your Yahoo! Group and paste into either a text or Word document. Then, upload each document to your live group in the MT's. (Text document is best as not everyone has Microsoft Word)
- Tip #2: You can change the accessibility of each file so that all members of a group, Moderators & LMs, or only LMs can view a file.
- You may now send ADMINs to your on-site group. They are set up as stickies on the board that members can read after joining the on-site group.
- Sending ADMINs before the move decreases the number of emails that will be sent to members. Have a look at your GP under "All Posts" and you'll see how ADMINs not only email out to all members but also remain at the top of the All Posts and other pages in red until you choose to remove/delete that ADMIN. You may wish to use this tool sparingly as you'll otherwise fill up the viewable top of your post board with red admins, so the actual posts become hard to see.
- Examples of ADMINs to "sticky": Your group's guidelines, tips for using My.Freecycle (see Appendix for an example).
- Test your posting email address to ensure members can post by sending an email as well.
- The email address to post to the board is: (group name)@groups.freecycle.org
- Begin to field member questions. Answers to frequently asked questions can be found in the Moderator Manual, and a few responses are included in the Appendix here to get you started.
Before - On Yahoo! Group
- Change your group home page to let members know you are moving.
- If you approve new members, change the message that is emailed to pending members so that it redirects them to the on-site group page, letting pending members know that they must join the Freecycle.org group in order to participate (see Appendix for an example).
- Change your "Unsubscribe" message to let members know they have unsubscribed from the Yahoo! Group, but that they must unsubscribe separately from the on-site group (see Appendix for an example).
- Turn the auto-send options off on your other files.
- Periodically send out an ADMIN letting members know when you are moving (see Appendix for an example).
- Important note: Please do not take your member list and send invitations from Freecycle.org to your members in a mass invite, as this may be frowned upon by Yahoo!. However, re-directing from your group page, sending a message to your pending members, and posting ADMINs are all acceptable.