The Pony Express (Courier's Guide)

This guide is mainly for people who are part of the volunteer courier network. If you’re looking for general information see the main Pony Express guide

What does it mean to be a courier?

Being a courier means you’re part of a network of members who’ve agreed to collect, deliver or move items through the network. It’s entirely voluntary and no one is obliged to deal with any particular request.

There are three main areas on the forum that you need to know about:

The Pony Express sub-category

The Pony Express sub-category is open to all members of level two or above. This is the main area for requesting and coordinating deliveries. Most of the conversation will go on in here. Each delivery should have its own thread. When the delivery has been successfully completed the thread will be closed.

For those of you interested in privacy, this is a private sub-category so information posted is not accessible to the crawlers that index web pages (e.g Google and FaceBook).

A private group for couriers

All volunteers are added to a private group called @ponyexpress and only they can view or send messages to the group. Everyone in the group receives the PM. You can send messages to this group just as you would another person. Similarly, you can refer to @ponyexpress in any regular thread if you want to notify all couriers of your post.

Use messages within the group when you don’t want anyone with access to the sub-category to see. This may be to pass around personal information, like an address, for example. You can also PM individuals or communicate outside the forum, of course.

This group is only accessible to volunteers and message contents are not indexed by the crawlers on the web

The map of courier locations

When you volunteer to courier items you’ll be added to a Google coverage map. Pins are placed in the general area you’re based (you can specify where you want it placed). No specific address is noted or implied. Some additional information can be added if it’ll be useful to viewers. For example, you may want to mention you have a regular run to another town or city.

The map is viewable by anyone with the link, and the link is posted in various places on the forum. Unlike the category and group, the map isn’t restricted as there’s no straightforward way to do it (that I know of).

Leaving the network

If you want to stop volunteering or leave the forum, you’ll be removed from the private group and your pin will be taken off the map. You’ll still have access to the sub-category as that’s just a level restriction.

Issues and Complaints

There are several ways to do this:

  • Flag a post in the Pony Express sub-category