A local post for local people.

This is the height of laziness, but I’m going to let Matthew announce a new project I’m involved in since he’s already done such a good job on his own blog

Wolverhampton Freeycle has quietly been building up over the past few months.

With virtually no promotion, there are now 601 of us giving away useful items and benefitting from the things that other members no longer need. It’s great to get rid of something and know that someone else can make use of it, when it would otherwise go in the dump.

Rob and I have been thinking, for a while, that we’d like to build something more out of the community that has developed around Wolves Freecycle. The Freecycle group itself works best when dedicated to messages offering or requesting items. Also, the original American Freecycle group is very specific about how its trademark should be used.

Freecycle groups are run using the Yahoo Groups system, which is a mailing-list/forum hybrid. Several other Freecycle groups have created what they call their cafe group, also using the Yahoo system. We felt that was too limiting: not only are you bound to accept Yahoo’s advertising but you have no room for future growth, when people have good ideas for new features.

A couple of weeks ago, we set up panoplee.com and began looking for suitable forum software. It’s frustrating that almost all forum software is virtually identical, in terms of clunky user experience, despite their authors’ protestations to the contrary. Vanilla, however, is clean, fast and user-friendly.

We’re now telling people about panoplee.com. I’m surprised that a city the size of Wolverhampton doesn’t already have something similar.

Wolverhampton community website.

Local or not, we’d welcome your thoughts/links.