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Freegle FAQ - How do I?

  • Join my local Freegle group?

    You can join your local Yahoo group in two ways, either via Yahoo! or email.
    However approx half our groups, are now also available via Facebook and some via Freegle Direct.
    To find out what platforms your group uses, it is suggested you go find a group and find your group. The icons tell you which platforms you can use, and you just click on the icon which is your preferred option.

    via Yahoo!

    This is the most sensible option if you have a Yahoo! ID or wish to set one up:

    1. Go to find a group
    2. Click on your region and then your nearest group
      (at this point you will be leaving the iLoveFreegle website and entering the realms of Yahoo! Groups)
    3. Click on the Join this group button
    4. For groups that DO approve members you need to write something in the comments box before you proceed. If the group you’re joining DOESN’T approve members there won’t be a comments box.
    5. Now at this point if you want to ignore all of the other stuff you can simply scroll down to the bottom of the page, fill in the code and hit Join and hey presto you will be a member, or at least a pending member. But it’s likely that you will benefit from looking at the settings on this page, if not now then at some point.

    via email

    This is far more straight forward, and the option to go for if you DON’T have a Yahoo! ID, but want to join the Yahoo group anyway. However you won’t be able to access the web features of the group such as photos and polls or change email delivery preferences.

    Every Yahoo! group has a section at very bottom of the homepage called ‘Group Email Addresses’ and among these addresses you should find the subscribe address. Alternatively you should be able to work out the subscribe address as they all follow the same format:

    yourgroupnamehere-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

    To set up an email only account you simply send a blank email to this address, it is however vital that you do copy the name of the group exactly including any characters such as underscores and capital letters.

    NB you can change your message delivery settings via email.

  • Post a message to the group?

    There are a number of different ways to post a message to a Freegle group, but to use any of them you have to be a member. Click here for joining instructions.

    • Many Groups have a messagemaker or a link to it on their homepage. To find your home page visit http://www.ilovefreegle.org/groups
      If there is a choice of ways to use your group, it will be shown by a row of icons. A red heart is the Yahoo one.
      Alternatively the message maker web link which always follows the same format:

    http://mm.ilovefreegle.org/YOURGROUPNAME

    It is vital that you do copy the name of the group exactly including any characters such as underscores and capital letters.

    • To post via the web page (only for members with yahoo accounts) visit:

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/YOURGROUPNAME/post

    • To post via email (all members can do this) send an email to:

    yourgroupname_freegle@yahoogroups.com

    Freegle Posts always have a three part subject line. The idea of this is so people don’t have to open every email and can quickly spot what is being OFFERED , TAKEN, WANTED or RECEIVED and where your general location is:

    1)The first part of the subject line is the type of post; if you are offering something you put ‘OFFERED’, once your item has been collected to let the group know it is no longer available you post a ‘TAKEN’ If you want something you put ‘WANTED’ and if you receive it you post ‘RECEIVED

    2)Next you need to describe the thing itself, keep it short and snappy remember you have the body of the message to include details.

    3) Finally add your approximate location, some groups like you to put the first half of their post code others feel a place name is more specific.

    Here are some examples of subject lines:

    OFFERED: Useful artefact, NW5

    TAKEN: Unwanted object NW5

    WANTED: Lost soul, Old Catton

    RECEIVED: Wonderful thing, Old Catton

    In the body of your message you should include more info. If your post is an offer you may want to include colour, size, condition and any other specifications. You can also describe a bit more about where you are and how accesable this is. Do mention how many flights of stairs there are but there’s no need to be too specific about where you actually live until you are making arrangements with an individual.

    If you are posting via the Yahoo home page click the blue ‘Send’ button.

  • Stop getting all these emails?

    To change your email settings via the web:

    cut and paste this into your browser including your own groups name

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/YOURGROUPNAME/join

    Scroll down to ‘Step 2: Message Delivery’ click on the delivery method you prefer.

    The default setting for Yahoo groups is individual emails. If you’re on this setting (and you probably are) you get an email every time a member makes a post.

    Daily Digest means that you will receive one email a day or, an email every 25 messages if the group exceeds 25 messages a day.

    Special Notices means that you will get important messages from the moderators, but not all the individual emails regarding offers and wanteds. You can browse the offers and wanteds at your leisure on the main group page if you have a Yahoo id.
    To change your message delivery via email:

    Regardless of whether you have joined via the web or have an email only account you can use these methods to change your message delivery settings.

    to switch to normal (individual messages) mode send a blank email to GROUPNAMEHERE-normal@yahoogroups.com
    to switch to digest mode send a blank email to GROUPNAMEHERE-digest@yahoogroups.com
    to switch to no-mail mode send a blank email to GROUPNAMEHERE-nomail@yahoogroups.com

    In no-email mode you should still receive the occasional ADMIN message about your group.

    Some groups now send out a set of mails produced by us as opposed to Yahoo. They all have links in them to turn them off or allow you to change your settings.
    If your email service strips out these links, you may be able to change your settings. If not or you don’t want to, then forward the mail to your group Moderators and let them know which option you would like. They can then click on the link for you.

  • Unsubscribe?

    If You are a Yahoo member you can

    (1) Email YOURGROUPNAME-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

    (2) Go to here:

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/YOURGROUPNAME/join

    Click on the ‘leave group’ button (bottom right of the page).

    If you are leaving because there are too many messages, you can change your settings via that page too. For help with how to do that click here.

    “Daily Digest” gives you up to 25 group messages in one email. “Special Notices” means you browse messages on the web, but only receive important emails from the group moderators.

    If you are leaving because you are moving, check:

    http://www.iLoveFreegle.org/groups
    for groups in your new area.

    For Facebook members, you are advised to first click on the option in each mail to turn them off, and then click on the group tab, and underneath there is an option to leave the group, you will also have to unlike the page, which you will be helped to do.

  • Contact my group administrators

    Yes there are administrators. The people that oversee Freegle groups are called moderators and are volunteers who live in the area that the groups operate in. They are usually very happy to help.

    You can contact your moderating team by sending an email to:

    YOURGROUPNAME-owner@yahoogroups.com

    It’s vital to get the groupname exactly right, including any capitals or other characters such as underscores.

    The ‘list owner’ email can be found on the right side of the Yahoo home page of the group, in a section called ‘Group Email Addresses.’ Also, many groups have added a hyperlink on their home page that you can just click on to contact them too.

    If you are on Facebook there is a link in the FAQ to the Yahoo page, and a contact link just under the group tabs for whichever tab you have clicked on.
    On Freegle Direct there is a link in the sidebar next to the posts.
    Alternatively, if you have any ‘ADMINS’ in your inbox you can reply to one of these, ADMINS are usually sent by a member of your moderating team.

  • Change the email address I receive messages to?

    On Yahoo groups to change the email address where group messages get sent do the following:

    Go to here:

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/GROUPNAME/join

    Where it says ‘Email Address’ click and select your email address from the list.

    If your email address is not on the list click the ‘add new email address’ link.

    Enter the email address you would like to use within the group.

    After you click on the Continue button, you will be asked to complete email verification.

    Verification ensures that you are the owner of the email address. Follow the instructions given.

    On Facebook and Freegle Direct you have a “My settings” tab, you can change your email address any time you wish.

  • Add photos?

    Some Freegle groups don’t allow attachments, this is to minimize the risk of viruses. You do however have a couple of options when adding photos to your messages.
    Photo Option One

    1. Make your posting as normal, then once it’s on the group – note the message number.
    2. Click on the photos link on the left hand side of the home page.
    3. At the top right hand side of the subsequent page – you’ll see two options Create Album and Add photo.
    4. Either create your own album, or add to an existing one. Many groups use monthly albums, so look for one of those.
    5. Click browse to locate the photo on your hard drive and upload it.
    6. Give it the description of your post number. e.g. MyYahooID-Post-Number-12345

    Photo Option Two

    1. Upload your photo as above, then browse the photo album and click on your photo.
    2. At the right hand side you will see a link ‘Permalink’. Click on that, and copy the link in your browser address bar, then post your message and include the link.

    Please Note: Photos can require moderation – so it might be a while before they’re displayed.

    Alternately, if you prefer, you can use Flickr, Photobucket or the image hosting service of your choice and include a link to the photo in your post. Bear in mind, some moderators may not allow this.

    On Facebook and Freegle Direct you can add photos to your posts They must be less than 500kb which means that you will probably have to resize them. You can use a free windows application like paint. If you prefer you can add a link.

  • Stop my full name from showing when I use the group?

    When you email the group (rather than post via the group page) your email package will automatically fill in the ‘from’ field with your name, as that is what it does when you email people to let them know who you are.

    You can change your settings in Yahoo mail (or your own email package), so that you display whatever you choose.

    For Yahoo email – You do it this way:

    Click http://mail.yahoo.com/

    this should take you to your email screen then click on Options (top right hand side of the screen) and then General.

    You should see displayed: Name and Email From name: “my name” (This name will appear on the From line of outgoing mail.) You can change your ‘From name’ to be anything you like. You use your Yahoo ID or your first name.

    Facebook users cannot hide their names on Wall posts – this is one of Facebook terms and conditions.

  • View my bounce settings?

    Click here: http://groups.yahoo.com/myprefs

    You will see a list of all the email addresses you have allocated to your Yahoo profile.

    One of the columns is ‘bounce history’ – click on the ‘show history’ link against the email address you want to view the history for.

  • Block an email address in Yahoo?

    • In your main Yahoo mail folder click ‘options’ at the far right hand side.
    • Then click on Spam link on left side of page. scroll down to find blocked addresses option
    • Then click on ‘block addresses’.
    • Enter the email address of the person you wish to block.
    • Click the ‘add block’ button.

    Incoming mail from addresses on the list will be deleted automatically.

  • Decide who gets my item(s)?

    Who gets your items is completely up to you but it can be quite tricky deciding, especially if you get lots of responses. We’ve found that Freegle members have all sorts of strange and wonderful systems for choosing. Often people respond to replies because they are funny, interesting or polite. Sometimes people like specific replies such as ‘i can collect at this time’. Some people prefer to gift their items to the most local reply. Others have more random ways of deciding like the seventh email they receive or someone who has an email address that they like. There is one thing we do recommended though, unless you really need to get rid of something quickly, please wait 24 hours before deciding, this enables the members that don’t have constant internet access to get a look in.

  • Check which group I've joined

    A lot of the instructions in this section only work if you know which group (or groups) you’ve joined. If you’re not sure then here are some tips: The name of the group should prefix any posts you receive and be in [these brackets] Alternatively, you can go to my groups, this should list the groups you are a member of (you need to be signed into your yahoo account).

  • Figure out what my Yahoo! ID/password.

    Your moderators can potentially help you figure out what your Yahoo! ID is, but this depends on whether you’ve used it to subscribe to the group (you may have an email only account). They can do this by searching their members list using your email address.

    Unfortunately we can’t help if you’ve forgotten your password. If this is the case you should click ‘i can’t access my account’ on the yahoo! sign in page.

  • Delete my message from the group?

    You CAN delete your own posts (for example, if you posted something by mistake) but generally we would ask you to leave your posts so we can see how well we are doing and audit how much we are saving from landfill.

    (Note, Deleting a post won’t prevent it from showing up in the next digest for those with digest options or going out to those on individual messages it will only be removed from the website.)

    If you have found a new home for the item you have ‘OFFERED’ then you can post a ‘TAKEN’ to let the other members of the group know that it’s no longer available.

    Similarly if you posted a ‘WANTED’ then it is customary and polite to ‘RECEIVED’ to let others know that you no longer require the item that you have asked for.

    Facebook and FD members can’t delete their own posts. You can ask the Moderators to delete it for you, but please only if there is an urgent reason.
    Posting a taken will clear it off the current items.

  • Query, compliment, comment or complaint?

    If this is to do with your local group, please contact your local moderation team in the first instance. For Yahoo groups (most Freegle groups) you do this by emailing the address at the bottom of the group home page containing ‘-owner’. Emails sent to this address are received by all members of your moderation team.

    Your local Freegle group is run by moderators who are happy to hear whether Freegle is doing a great job, needs changing, or has problems.

    If there is a really good reason why you can’t do this, or if you’ve followed this route without success, then as a last resort you can email info@iLoveFreegle.org.. We can look into whatever issue you cannot resolve. Please be aware that we have very limited powers. Local groups are autonomous, but we can help negotiate, explain and make suggestions where appropriate.

    For Facebook and Freegle Direct users, most of the mails you receive will have a comment box, which is forwarded to the group Moderators.

  • Why should a location be added to a wanted post?

    A lot of Freegle groups require location on wanted posts. This can be for a number of reasons, for example, many groups don’t like posts from too far out of their area, by asking you to include your location they can check that you’re within their reach. Having a location in your wanted post gives other members more information about you -they may feel more inclined to give something away to someone who is a part of their immediate community.
    It also helps matching off offers and wanteds for Freegle Direct and Facebook.
    All statistics gathered come from Taken and Received posts so we also like the location on those.

  • What do I do if I go on holiday?

    If your going to be away and you don’t want to clog your in box up with Freegle posts? you can change your message delivery settings to special notices, then you will stop getting emails from members of the group. You can change your settings back to either individual messages or daily digest when you get back. This can take Yahoo a couple of days to register, so bear that in mind when changing things.

    On Freegle Direct or Facebook: Then go to your ‘My settings’ tab and turn them off.

  • I posted my message half an hour ago, why isn't it showing?

    Freegle groups are managed by volunteer administrators that live locally, they are called moderators. New members on Freegle groups are ‘moderated’. Posts from moderated members land in a virtual pending tray and need to be approved before they are sent to the other members in your local group. We like to have new members moderated for two reasons

    • It helps to prevent spam making it on to the lists.
    • One of the reasons Freegle groups work well because members stick to the correct message format. So we really like members to have got the hang of this before we let you off the leash! Unfortunately if you’re on moderation there may be a delay before your post appears on the list.
  • Why do Freegle use Yahoo groups?

    We use Yahoo groups because they are free, we are aware that they have many short comings but we are constantly looking at ways to work around this. Most groups now have message maker embedded on their homepages to make posting a message easier.

    We have also developed our own app which members can use independently of the Yahoo group. All posts will still go on the Yahoo group for moderation and publishing but will also be available to members just using Freegle Direct and Facebook for access. You have much better control over you posts, and settings, if you use our new app. Only 50% of groups are signed up to the new app so far, but it is increasing weekly.
    We do not yet have a phone app but are working on it.

  • I've joined but I'm not getting any emails

    There are a number of reasons you might not be getting any emails.
    If you are on Facebook or Freegle Direct then you just need to go to your ‘my settings’ tab and choose your prefered option.
    For Yahoo users:

    • You ticked the ‘no email’ option when you joined (go to changing message delivery settings to find out how to change this)
    • You haven’t replied to the joining email: some groups pre-approve their members and like them to reply to an automatically sent email asking for some basic information. This may include your general location, your reasons for joining or how you heard about Freegle. If you don’t reply to this email your application to the group may not be approved, if you didn’t receive this email you should look in your bulk/spam folder. If it’s not there then you should contact your moderators -instructions on how to do this can be found ‘here’
    • And most commonly… the emails are being sent to a different email address. When you sign up to Yahoo! and create a Yahoo! ID you are automatically assigned a Yahoo email account too and mail from yahoo groups is automatically sent here, unless you ask for it not to be. In order to rectify this you need to add to your yahoo account the email address you would prefer your Freegle posts to be sent to. For more information on how to do this go to: How to Change the email address I receive messages to

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