In keeping with assignment one, now that I can finally access the information on BlackBoard, my first blog is about my favourite social media tool, Freecycle Ottawa. This particular online group is essentially a free version of Kijiji. People with things to give away post and Offer, providing a description of their free items, while members who need something use a Wanted post to explain what they need. These posts are sent in an email with 20 posting to all members who opt in to the circulation list. Click on any post within these emails for more information or to access the poster’s email address, informing them of your interest.
Once an Offer post has found a home for the item, the poster uses a Taken post to let members know the item is removed from circulation and Wanted posts that are filled are acknowledged using a Received post. The volunteer moderators track that the original poster is the one actually indicating that items have been given away, circumventing somebody pretending that an item is taken because they are trying to reserve it for themselves. These moderators also monitor for members who are trolling for items they will resell, a trick used by some used-goods sales people. Several members have been expelled from the group for this type of behaviour.
I have used this group to clean out my basement, even finding a gentleman who brought his two muscular sons over to haul out a pool table I thought would never leave our house. I also use the group to find props for my Theatre grad daughter when she is stage managing plays. It serves a terrific social purpose, keeping items out of landfill and connecting up people with things to give to those who need them.
For more information on membership and the valuable service this site offers, visit http://ca.groups.yahoo.com/group/freecycleottawa/.