- 1 RESOURCES FOR MODS
- 1.1 Useful Links for moderators
- 1.2 How to Use the Mod Tools
- 1.3 Users Guide to Freecycle.org - Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
- 1.4 Job description for moderators: What is it?
- 1.5 Graphics – general, seasonal or personalized
- 1.6 I need help using the Moderator Tools
- 1.7 Moderator Manual: Where is it?
- 1.8 Moderator Discussion Groups
- 2 The philosophy of Freecycle.org
- 3 Where to go if you need help
- 3.1 Group Outreach and Assistance volunteers who are they?
- 3.2 Holiday and Emergency Cover: How can I get help?
- 3.3 I need a new moderator or two. What is the procedure for recruiting a new co-moderator?
- 3.4 I need to step down as moderator. What do I need to do?
- 3.5 My group is too big or too small or needs to be renamed
- 4 Local moderator decisions
- 5 Volunteering: How can I become more involved in Freecycle?
RESOURCES FOR MODS
Useful Links for moderators
- GOAs - How to contact your GOA. In the U.S. the format is email@example.com with no spaces between two-word state names.
- GRAPHICS or LOGOS -- If you would like a wonderful Custom graphic for your group you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- email@example.com -- For problems that can't be solved using the other help channels.
- firstname.lastname@example.org -- For member assistance.
- IMOD team -- email@example.com
- MEDIA -- Click here for media links.
- MENTOR MOD TEAM -- firstname.lastname@example.org
- MOD MANUAL (US) -- http://wiki.freecycle.org/Moderator_Manual:Main_Page.
- MOD MANUAL (UK) -- http://wiki.freecycle.org/Moderator_Manual:Main_Page
- Moderator Discussion Groups
- email@example.com is an address members can email to get help with technical problems. This replies with an autosent file with how to reset passwords, change IDs and a manned email address for more informaiton.
- firstname.lastname@example.org -- for members only -- for members with problems that you aren't able to solve.
- SiteModHelp@freecycle.org -- Moderators only -- for problems that can't be resolved through FIOD.
- SPAM CONTROL -- For reporting Spam spamcontrol@Freecycle.org
- STORE -- https://store.freecycle.org/ email@example.com
- VOLUNTEERING -- For volunteer opportunities within Freecycle.org, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- WISHLIST – email@example.com, If you have a suggestion for something to be added to the My.Freecycle.org software, send it in an email to the wish list address, and also post it to FIOD so others might follow-up and wish for it too. The more need/requests for something, the higher priority it is given and the more likely it is to be addressed.
For written inquiries, write to: The Freecycle Network™, P.O. Box 294 Tucson, AZ 85702
Job description for moderators: What is it?
It is a small commitment which may take 15‐45 minutes each day in a new group ‐ a commitment you can share with others – the more of you there are the less time you'll need to spend individually.
The groups largely run themselves ‐ mods just deal with the moderating requirements of the group as and when we deal with our email. You should be well supported, have access to lots of resources to help you and have a mentor if you need one.
The basics of the ‘job’ include:
- Maintaining a positive, friendly, non‐threatening relationship with other mods and the members.
- Aiming to deal with pending members and pending messages within 24 hours and enquiries within 48 hours.
- Being aware of the privileged position and taking great care not to take advantage of it. ‐ Maintaining confidentiality of any information distributed via the list. ‐ Developing and maintaining knowledge of Freecycle rules and guidelines. ‐ Being familiar with the Mod Manual and referring to it regularly. ‐ Joining regional and local mod squads. ‐ Encouraging and helping to advertise local Freecycle groups. ‐ Representing Freecycle to the public in a manner that builds a positive reputation for Freecycle.
- Performing other tasks as required.
There is a Mentor Mods Team able to help new mods and owners learn the job and help established groups recruit and train new mods if they wish.
Graphics – general, seasonal or personalized
Contact the Graphics Team for help if you would like a personalized graphic for your own group.
In your initial email please try to give as much information as possible, your group address, a reply email address and specific information about your area or ideas you have for the graphic ‐ please discuss these ideas with your co‐mods before contacting the team.
If you produce your own graphic using our trademarked logo, please contact your GOA and check that it is compliant before using it as there are lots of rules relating to this.
Your initial email may be answered from the Custom Graphics Team address but once your project has been assigned the emails will come from a member of the volunteer team. If you haven’t had a reply once you have been assigned a volunteer please check your spam folder for their reply! The requests are taken in date order and could take a few weeks if they are busy ‐ but please email the GOA if you haven't had a reply within two weeks.
I need help using the Moderator Tools
Click here for a user guide to Mod Tools.
Moderator Manual: Where is it?
Moderator Discussion Groups
Click here for a current list of moderator discussion groups.
Important: All mods need to join moderator discussion groups with at least a "Special Notices" setting. This is in order to ensure that mods do not miss important announcements or the opportunity to take part in Freecycle polls. You must also make sure to follow the guidelines at the above link in order to expedite membership approval.
Where to go if you need help
Group Outreach and Assistance volunteers who are they?
The Freecycle Group Outreach and Assistance GOA volunteers are available as a resource for mods, to offer support to groups and help them over any Freecycle issues (not just any difficulties) they may be facing. GOA volunteers have the authority and experience to be the final arbiter of any and every issue out there.
If you are unsure of how to proceed with an issue, especially a delicate or confidential one that would be inappropriate to post on the Freecycle Leadership Community, then your first port of call should be the GOA. Issues may be because of rival/rogue 'Freecycle' groups; misuse of the Freecycle name; questions about group splits, problems relating to relationship with local authorities, sensitive issues with fellow mods or neighboring groups, or just to let them know about something good that has happened within your group, etc.
They are also volunteers just like everyone else, and may be pushed for time with many complex and sensitive jobs, so do be patient unless you are having a group emergency.
Holiday and Emergency Cover: How can I get help?
We encourage you to recruit a backup moderator(s) for your group as soon as possible to avoid the need to arrange cover for holidays and emergencies. With your own team in place it is much easier to run your group as it is no longer just dependent on your own efforts. It provides a natural way of having cover for holidays, emergencies and if you just want a day off! It also means there will be cover if you lose internet connection or have something happen which means you have to be away for some time.
If you don’t have a backup in place yet your GOA can arrange for Mentor Mods to provide a holiday and emergency cover service for the period of time you need cover. Mentor moderators are experienced moderators who give their assistance to less experienced moderators or to groups who need some short term emergency assistance. To arrange this, please contact your GOA.
If at all possible give at least a few days notice as it takes time to get set up. If it is an emergency they will work with you to find a way. Please just contact them as soon as you know that you need cover.
I need a new moderator or two. What is the procedure for recruiting a new co-moderator?
Here is everything you need to know for recruiting a new co-mod. Feel free to contact your GOA if you have any problems or concerns.
I need to step down as moderator. What do I need to do?
If you need to pass on your Freecycle, group, here's where you would start
My group is too big or too small or needs to be renamed
- If your group covers too large a geographic area, contact your GOA to split your group into two or more groups. Make sure you have mods in place from each of the new groups before contacting Goa. Keep in mind:
- 1. Moderators can only moderate one group
- 2. Moderators must live where the group is located.
- If your group covers too small a geographic area and the moderators of a neighboring group agree, you may contact your GOA to discuss merging your groups.
- If you need to change the name of your group for some reason, contact your GOA
Local moderator decisions
Approving new members versus open membership pros & cons
One of the decisions you will have to make as a moderator is whether you will approve new members for your group or allow everyone who applies to join the group. This is one of the Group Options in Mod Tools. As regards moderation, we ascribe to the motto of "Less is more." That is to say, always try to do the least amount of moderating, be it of new members or posts. You'll find there are good mechanisms in place for members to report spam to you directly, local and global hotword lists, and there is a central Spam Control team. So, pre-modding is more often than not over-modding. We have very few issues with spam and a great deal of issues where groups are 50% moderated and members leave because they can't get their posts approved in a timely manner (which for most people, honestly, means right away).
Pros of Open Membership
- Hotwords will flag most inappropriate posts and they will get caught in pending post queue.
- Moderating First Posts accomplishes the same goal as Modding New Members.
- Less work for the mods.
- Does not slow the joining process.
- Does not hold up posts that are appropriate.
- Spammers are removed by Spam Control team or posted on FIOD.
Pros of Modding New Members
- Allows checking that an appropriate ID/Email address is used, keeping in mind that appropriate is a subjective term.
- Allows mods to check to ensure that postal codes or cross streets are correct.
If you decide to go with the approval method, it's enough to ask for cross streets, postal codes, or area of town. Do NOT ask for personal information such as full names, addresses, phone numbers, social security numbers, etc. It is an invasion of our members' privacy and is not needed to keep a local group running smoothly. We also don't ask for this information as it exposes local volunteers and the organization overall to the risk of having and maintaining such information. If we don't have such info, we don't risk it being accessed and something happening (robbery, stalking, you name it). Sharing such personal information also makes potential members uneasy. You can find more information in the Moderator Manual. For help on using the Moderator Tools to approve new members, please click here.
If you limit your group by geographic area, you will need to set up a file to go out automatically to ask them to reply with their postal code or landmark (or whatever). For information on using the Moderator Tools to create group files please click here.
Template Admin messages where can I see some?
Template replies to members: Where can I see some?
HOTWORDS (on-site, Freecycle.org groups only)
‘Hotwords’ is a mod tool that filters only problem posts from unmoderated members with certain specified words in the title, location and body of the post into pending. By using an effective hotword list you do not need to rely on moderation which filters all posts (good and bad) into pending. The advantage of hotword over moderation then is that hotwords reduces the number of posts requiring approval thereby improving our members’ experience and reducing the amount of time/effort we spend moderating.
To add hotwords go to 'info and options' and select the bottom option 'hotword management'. At the bottom of the screen (when your list gets long you may have to scroll down), is a box to add new hotwords. Just type a word in the box and click the 'add new hotword' button. If you make a typo, just click the delete button next to the incorrect word and then click 'back to hotwords' and scroll down to find the box again and retype the word.
You can also add/remove words as you go along and as problems arise. This way over time your hotword list will become specific to your group.
What is a hotword and how can I use them?
- What does the Hotwords tool/list do? It enables you as the local moderator to add terms to a hotwords list which causes any post with that word to automatically default to being moderated/approved by you regardless of whether the member is set to be moderated.
- What kind of words should I add to the list? Spam, primarily with recurring terms such as "iPhone." But it's also handy for local groups with special local pet/animal rules to have all posts with "cat" or "dog" or "breeding" be automatically set for moderator approval. Terms like "drugs", or "money" might also be handy hotwords.
- Where do I find the list? It's in the Mod Tools section of the website, left-hand column.
- Why don't you do this centrally instead? We do happen to have a central hotword list which is carefully monitored and updated. We can't share these words with you as it would clue in the bad guys/spammers though. The local lists just give you each a way to add your own terms locally too. Terms that appear in greater number in local groups will also send up international red flags for the central list too, of course. This is a general list of hotwords many on My.Freecycle are utilizing. Pick and choose those which are important to you!
For detailed information about adding/editing Hotwords using Mod Tools, click here.
- Try *540* to catch posts with phone numbers. Please note: 540 is a general area code. Insert your own area code. The asterisks catch things including that number.
Volunteering: How can I become more involved in Freecycle?
There certainly are plenty of opportunities. If you are committed to Freecycle and have a little extra time to spare, please send an email to your local GOA, mentioning your interests and strengths and to find out more about the [various voluntary opportunities] within Freecycle.