Friday, 4 April 2008

Swap News - Swap Blues

Hi Everyone

A quick update on the Bunny-Hop-Bunny-Swap

So far 31 out of 40 bunnies have safely arrived and I have linked to each one I could - just click on the links to see the little critters in their new homes!

I have also uploaded some of the photos I have been sent.

Monda and what she sent to Saraeden

Kitty and Suzie Sews

Kitsch n zinc and what she sent to Diane

Moogsmum and Est

Lucy Locket and Rachel

Tillyboo and Trashalou

Hannah and Jackie

Joy Michelle and what she sent to Weirdbunny who no longer has a blog

Dotty Designs and Kae

Michaela and Working Mom Knits

Heleen and Jane

Annie from Fran who doesn't have a blog

Jennie and Dotty Cookie

Tantehilde and Lucy Locket

Kylie from Sandra

Levin from Sewtobed

Gigi has also received her parcel from Katy but does not have a blog to show hers.

I think you will all agree that these bunnies are absolutely gorgeous! It has been such fun seeing what everyone has come up with - thank you to everyone who has taken part.

Some others have arrived but haven't been blogged about yet

and there are still a few that I don't know about so if you could please email me as soon as you can to let me know what is happening (unless you have already done so) that would be great.

If you haven't yet blogged about what you have received then please do so if possible as that is the politest way to publicly thank your swap partner for the time and effort they have put into your gift.

If I have missed anyone out who has received their parcel and blogged about it then I sincerely apologise - it gets quite difficult to keep on top of it all!

Obviously as this is an international swap there is still time for parcels to be arriving across blogland - please keep me posted about when things arrive.

So that was my swap news.

What about the swap blues then?

I am having a few doubts about organising swaps. I love doing them (and have had the idea for the next one in mind for weeks) - but I am worried about whether I am doing the organising properly.

This is where you guys come in - I really need your help, advice and input please.

The concept of a swap is great - the idea of making new friendships and sending and receiving wonderful handcrafted gifts from people who actually "get" what we are all about - that is all wonderful as I'm sure you will all agree.

Where it gets less "wonderful" is when it doesn't go right
  • when people don't receive their parcel at all,
  • when they don't send what has been stated in the swap terms,
  • when they don't thank their partner or blog about what they have received (unless of course there is a valid reason like not having a blog or having technical issues with cameras or computers etc),
  • when the postal service just breaks down through no-one's fault and things just don't arrive.
This is where being a "Swap Organiser" becomes less fun.

To what extent is it my responsibility when things go wrong?

When I started out organising the swaps my view was that I was a "facilitator" - enabling the swap to happen, doing the admin, keeping track of who had received what, sending the odd reminder email to check things were going ok.

Is this enough?

And should I set much stricter rules (if I organise another swap) - like listing people on the blog who don't do their part (as I have seen done in other swaps), or not letting people sign up if they haven't done what has been asked in a previous swap?

Should I bother at all?

I'm sorry if this sounds really negative but I do feel a sense of responsibility when the swap doesn't go perfectly - although obviously 90% of the time it goes just as I planned and is lovely.

Does anyone have any advice, tips, suggestions, additional rules I should include?

I would be really grateful for any help you can give.

Have a lovely weekend, we were going to go to the allotment but it has started raining heavily so I think it will be a day at home crafting - shame!!!!


Lesley said...

Ooh linktastic blog Missus - that must have taken you ages! So good to see so much bunny love about :)

As for doing another swap - I'm in!!

You do such a good job organising swappage and you go above and beyond the call of duty to make sure everyone gets what they should.

It is a shame that there are problems with some swappers not receiving their goodies.

I don't suppose there are any easy answers. You would hope that if people sign up to something on a blog that they follow the rules. I know people are busy, strapped for cash etc etc but if you can't do it - don't sign up!

How harsh am I??!!

What I have to say though, is that you, as swap organiser, do a fantastic job and should in no way be accountable for other people's inabilty to fulfill their promises.

Going to step off my soap box now and wait for the proverbial to hit the fan :)

Lesley said...

could I have left a longer comment?

I think not! You must have touched a nerve and I haven't even been let down by a swap partner - dread to think what I'll be like if I ever am!!!!


Rachelmp said...

Hi Lucy. I have loved your swaps, I have shown friends what I have made and what I have recieved (your bunny nearly went home with one of the girls from work!) If it doesn't work out for someone, I am more than happy to send out an extra swap to someone - its all part of the fun, and the more bloggers I meet, all the better! So keep going... please...

Lina said...

I think you've done a fab job - and appreciate how much effort it must take. My swap package took nearly a whole month to arrive to my partner, I was on the verge of sending another as I feared it may have been lost forever!

As for your role, I think "facilitator" is a great description, but you can only do so much and cannot be held responsible for the actual packages themselves. There will always be those that forget or are late (ahem!). I think perhaps that you should add a disclaimer in your next swap confirming where your responsibilities end, to make it absolutely clear. Rather than naming and shaming you could just state that failure to adhere to the rules means that they'll be excluded from further swaps etc. Also, you may want to make a couple of "spares" just in case.

Failing that just do a really small exclusive swap with me! he he!!!

trashalou said...

Oh Locket-Pocket! great sadness that you are feeling not happy about the swap boss role. You have done a triffic job of it on the first two (obviously there will be more, yes?).

I always assume that people know when they sign up it is THEIR responsibility to get the work done/sent off, etc (please ignore that noise - it is just the boxes I have which need to go to the post office. If we sit quietly they WILL settle back down.....)

Absolutely your role is as facilitator and not patrolling watch dog. What I have seen on other swaps has been request for people to sign up as 'angels' in case someone's parcel or sender goes AWOL.That seems a reasonable way around things and it would seem that people are quite happy to help out.

Of course another option would be to have your own (unpublished) blacklist as your build your Swaps Empire and take over the blogoverse!

A third option would be to keep the swaps very small and cap it at twenty. Obviously not fun for those of us who may miss out but a lot easier to manage I would think.

Chin up love, your A.R.S.E. membership is in the post along with your 'Are you lookin' at me?' t-shirt.

Anonymous said...

all i can say, lucy, is a big thanks!!! i loved participating in this swap, sorry i don't have a blog to show off the beautiful bunny katy made me, but i'll put some photos up on my flickr page rapido presto, promise! gigi alias ardize ;-)

dottycookie said...

I think you've done a lovely job and could I please sign up to the next one whatever it is?

I've been on the receiving end of a crubbish swap partner (not in this swap) - my parcel arrived with my partner but was never blogged (though I did at least get a thank you email) and the reciprocal package is now 4 months overdue ... but not for a second did I hold the organiser responsible. Maybe I should have fed back to her, but I just chalked it up to experience. I think it's not unreasonable to 'ban' people if they've failed to send anything at all, but probably not if they have bent the rules a bit. But then I can't imagine anyone would in good faith sign up for another swap if they'd mucked it up so badly before?!

And now I shall shut up.

tintocktap said...

Hi Lucy - I think you do a fantastic job organising swaps, it's wonderful to have someone like you willing to take on the facilitator role, ie. all the hard work. The rest of us just get to sit back and follow instructions. And, of course, if someone does not follow the swap rules, then it is in no way your responsibility. I go along with Lina and Trashalou's comments.

cmoon said...

Hello Lucy - although I did not take part in the swap I have had a lovely time visiting all the swapees!I think you have done a wonderful job and agree with all the above. I hope the problems have not put you off,and I look forward to the results of your next swap.
best wixhes

Simone said...

What a lot of lovely bunnies. I haven't got anything useful to add regarding swaps as I think some very good suggestions have already been made. I have only ever been involved in swaps with one individual who approached me and she is very reliable. I do a one to one swap with her a couple of times a year.

dottydesigns said...

Hi Lucy, I think you do a fantastic job of 'facilitator' swapper You need a gold star for effort. I do not think you can personally be held resposible for parcels not arriving, hopefully people get proof of postage when they send their parcel, then they can claim if it didn't arrive. Although how you put a price on a handmade gift would be difficult.

Gina said...

Can only add to what everyone else has said really. You are a brilliant swap organiser/facilitator Lucy (looking forward to the next one as I was away for the bunnies!)
You are not responsible for the non arrival/late arrival of parcels. Perhaps if someone is known not to keep their end of the bargain they shouldn't be allowed to take part again but apart from that you are doing everything right. So when is the next one....??? ;)
Gina xx

Sarahs Home said...

I loved taking part in the valentine swap and only wish I was more confident to have made a bunny for the Bunny Swap. I would love to take part in another swap and would help if I can. By the way there is an award for you over on my blog.

Sarah x

Kitty said...

As you know Mrs Locket-Pocket, I was a swap virgin before you started with the swapping thing. I can only say that I've had a lovely time with both the swaps - have thoroughly enjoyed making the new friends, and viewing all the fabulous other 'stuff' that other swappers have made.

I agree with Lesley, if someone signs up for it, then they have a responsibility to keep the 'deal'. to the best of their ability. Life happens, we all know that, and I guess that will happen to someone or other at any given time (tell me about it, it's giving me the benefit of it's experience right now!) but one would hope they would either explain why they can't 'complete' or just get on and do the business.

Or am I being 'harsh'? Maybe I am?

For what it's worth I think you are a top facilitator.

Take care. xx

Lissa Jane said...

I think you do a bonza job..
$hit happens in peoples life, I get that, but I dont think its up to the organiser to chase and chase up a giftie..
I was a bad swapper in Feb, my stupid DH sent the parcel sea mail, so I put something else in the mail as well, and it was received but not the first giftie..
I guess you could have a 'black list' and name and shame said people on your blog if they dont respond to your enquiries???
I am still waiting on a round robin from 2002.. think I'll get it? um I dont think so.. but I figure in the scheme of things, if this person who has STOLEN my quilt can live with stolen goods, let it be on her conscience!

take care and have fun at the allotment!


Jennie said...

As this was my first swap let me just say a big THANK YOU to you Lucy for organising it. I had a great time, making the swap and receiving the swap and it was brilliant to get to know Dottycookie and you and a lot of other bloggers from this swap. See you do more than you know ;)
I do not think that you should be held responsible for anyone not upholding their end of the swap, or of postal problems. And were anything to go wrong with a swap for me, I would try to sort it out myself and not expect you to do so.

Anonymous said...

Excellent bunnies! I've received mine from Annie, too, and she very kindly put the one I sent her on her blog...I haven't a blog, or charged up batts in camera which I borrow from no1 son...but WILL post you some photos....soonish, promise! Fran

Lorraine said...

I have often been tempted to participate in swaps (and recently signed up for one on another site) but before I hit the "yes I will take part" button I try and think about what is happening in my life - can I do this at this time etc I would hate to let someone I think, as organiser of the swaps, that you would be quite within "your rights" (for want of a better term) to keep a list of those who are serial "offenders" and exclude them from participating in any more of your swaps....keep up the great work and I look forward to finding out what the next swap will be....

weirdbunny said...

Well done lucy for gettting a photo off joy's blog of what she sent me. I'll have to send you a photo of all that she sent me, I did take one, but it came out really dark, so I'll take another one and send it to you on tuesday.

Maybe you could set up a flickr account to show the pictures of what everyone received.

If someone doesn't receive their parcel, then another one should be sent f it gets lost in the mail or something.

Maybe only let people join in the swap who you comment on their blogs, and them on yours so you know them quite well to trust them to send the parcels they've said they would.

I think your a really good swap host though. Apart from yours, and swaps organized by the Secret Society Of Faeries, I usually only do straight swaps with bloggers I've got to know.

I do like that that in your swaps that the partners send to each other, I don't like it when a person sends a swap to one blog, but receves a swap from a different blog if you know what mean ?

Anyhow enough from me love Julia x (weirdbunny) x

JOinTAS said...

I agree with everyone else, you're a fantastic facilitator, and that is where your responsibilty ends. You take people on good faith hoping they're committed to the swap and it's just a shame that they let not only their partner down but everyone else too. I agree, keep a blacklist, invite the regulars to participiate and maybe occassionally invite some new ones too, it'll take along time for us to meet and swap with everyone in the group and we may not be able to participate in all the swaps. Don't lose heart Lucy, that 90% of us appreciate the effort you go to.

Blossom said...

you have done a wonderful job!!!!!!!It's a lot of work to organise everyone and you do it well.

...and yes I am one of the ones that should be black listed...

I won't be signing up for any more swaps.

Annie said...

You do a wonderful job with the swaps Lucy and it is hard to believe that some people don't follow the rules. I have enjoyed participating and I think you will find statistically that 90% is pretty good really. It is a shame though when things don't go right, but it's not your fault.

monda-loves said...

Hi LLP (I think I must call you a different thing every time I leave you a comment!).

Of course everyone got here first and said many of the encouraging things that I would have said about your swap organisation.

I do think it would be a good idea to impose some 'rules of swap' which basically say that you shouldn't sign up unless you fully intend to follow them/post on time/blog about your swap package.

I think your role ends when you have let everyone know who their partner is - from then on in, it's down to the swap partners to communicate and sort out problems if they arise.

I've always been lucky with swaps and received the the swap package from my partner, but I feel sad for people when it doesn't work out.

I don't really think naming and shaming is the way forward, but maybe privately excluding bloggers who you have experienced as bad swappers is the way to do it.

I love your swaps, and I think you do a fab job - you are officially the swap mummy of blogland in my eyes :o)


Jackie said...

Yours was the 1st swap I ever did! I enjoyed it and had no problems. I think that you did a great job organizing it and would join again.

I think in the long run, we all realize what can happen and take that risk when we sign up. But, if that person does not intend to follow through on their end of the bargain, they should not sign up. Maybe in the background you should just keep a list of those blogger that have not followed through. That way you are aware of it for future swaps. That might be your only plan.

But, I think you should hold your head up high, be proud of the friendships and fun you have fostered and carry on!! More swaps!!

Michaela said...

I'm with Monda and agree with everything she said. Right down to the last full stop!

As to the matter of puddings (re your comment on my blog) just bring the little lockets with you. I have a big box of lego to entertain them, fabric to play with and I might even let them have some pudding too! Oh, and they can have a game of bubbly trampoline too if the weather's nice!

Michaela said...

I had to just leave another comment - the word verification thingy is 'rugrat' at the moment!!!

Working Mom Knits said...


(can't say more than what's been said - dratt he time difference)


ps: please - mark me IN for the next swap!

Working Mom Knits said...

And drat the poor typing skills ; }

nicolette said...

Lucy, you have done such a great job organizing the swaps. You are totally not to blame when things go wrong, nor are you responsible. It ends when you have described the swap conditions and have linked people for a swap. You have encouraged anyone to join, to be in time, to make the ‘right’ parcel and to send in time. The rest is up to the participants.
I’m sorry to tell you I won’t be in for another swap again. I really can’t justify to join while I have so many private swaps, quilts and gifts to make on my list. I really hope I will be able to join one day, so don’t give up!

SewToBed said...

I can only reiterate what the others have said.

You state the conditions of the swap and link participants. It's up to those involved to inform their partner if issues arise.

You do a great job and I've just thrown my hat into the ring for your mini-quilt swap.