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Topic: Organising an ongoing swap  (Read 2475 times)
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SilverMoon
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« on: February 12, 2012 01:45:17 PM »

I am wrapping up the TM patch swap, and people have expressed interest in having a second round that runs a bit like the ongoing ATC, with posting of lists and claiming of partners. This seems like it would make my job easier, but also more complicated, and I was wondering if anyone had any tips on how to make running one easier. Has anyone come up with a new format to the swap document to make things clearer for these sorts of swaps?

I had a lot of fun with this swap, and it was suprisingly painless for my first swap, especially such a large one, but the thought of juggling even more partners (this swap only had 3 each as a top limit) and multiple send out dates makes the Virgo in me a little freaked at how to document it all.
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« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2012 02:42:40 PM »

Honestly, I've run several ongoing swaps (several months worth) and it's a hard thing to do.  If you have a lot of experience with regular swapping and quite a bit of free time throughout the day to update things, you'll be okay.

I would suggest talking to successful organisers of ongoing swaps, here's a few that would be good suggestions:

alwaysinmyroom
rlynn
alteredmommy

There's lots more, but there's a couple for ideas.  Go over and look at their ongoing swaps and see if you can pick up hints and ask some questions! Smiley
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rackycoo
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« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2012 10:22:16 AM »

I wouldn't host an ongoing swap unless I knew I could be online several times a day to keep things updated, especially if the swap is popular and people are quick to post.

(I have never hosted one. I'm afraid.  Cheesy)
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alteredmommy
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« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2012 12:29:40 PM »

All I have to offer is that it is ALOT of work Cheesy  The STS runs with 2 people keeping track of everything (used to be 3 when we were much busier with 100's of claims a month) and I agree that you do have to commit to being online regularly to keep an eye on things.  The STS is set up in a swap specific Excel spreadsheet format (that I inherited and honestly have no idea how to set up Cheesy), one person keeps the spreadsheet and point tally, the other person keeps the public list of claims.

I would think chain style is the easiest way to go with a limit on claims allowed until the first ones are sent.
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SilverMoon
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« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2012 01:19:06 PM »

I would think chain style is the easiest way to go with a limit on claims allowed until the first ones are sent.

That's what I meant - like the ATC swap. I overexplained it and sounded like I meant the other ongoing sort.

Note to self: do not attempt to brain before the first morning coffee.

I'm online pretty much constantly so I don't think that side of it will be too hard, just the keeping track of things.
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alteredmommy
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« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2012 01:52:18 PM »

The spreadsheet is the way to go to keep track (although I am not computer savvy enough to actually set one up...hopefully it isn't that hard), the STS one has a column for who the claim is from, what it is, who the claim is to, the date claimed, the date sent, the date received.  We also have a points column that auto adds and subtracts from the master points list which you wouldn't need but you could replace that with columns that track how many claims someone has/sent/received.  Every month I start a new one copied from the previous round and keep updating the old one so I know what claims are still out in the postal wilds.  Its also a good idea to have a standard claim format with a standard pm so you don't go crazy trying to figure out who is claiming what Smiley
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« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2012 01:57:49 PM »

I still don't know how you STS people do it.  Shocked
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alteredmommy
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« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2012 02:00:57 PM »

Its been almost 4 years so I'm kind of used to it by now Cheesy  Some of the other ongoing swaps totally confuse me so its all in what you know I guess!
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« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2012 06:05:49 PM »

An ongoing TM Patch swap sounds like a great swap.  I agree that chain sounds a mite easier to run since it sort of manages itself as far as number of claims.  The Pinterest one that I have been running is a TON of work since I have to log on quite often to update claims.  If I wasn't so worried about people knowing how many times a certain person has been claimed (to keep things somewhat even) then it wouldn't be a big deal.  I will say that because of the nature of the staggered signups (and this would be true even for a chain style swap) you essentially have 2 swaps up and running constantly.  Yesterday was the last day of ship outs for the Jan round of the Pinterest swap but of course I still need to keep tabs on when items arrive, if they get lost, etc...while at the same time managing the active Feb round.  Shoot since we have international swappers, sometimes I have 3 rounds still not technically completely finished as we wait for all the packages to show up.

Its my first swap so it was a big bite to chew off for my first go, but its a lot of fun too.  I'll keep my eye out in case you open one.  I'd consider joining.  I have been making my first TM patches the last week and I kind of enjoy it.  Its far more portable than my other sewing projects! 
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« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2012 09:50:11 AM »

Hi there!  I thought I would throw in my two cents here (didn't see this thread until now), since I'm currently running the ongoing atc swap (for my 5 consecutive month now).

yes, it is a lot of work.  lol!  I just try not to let it bog me down, and I pretty much update the swap every morning, and that seems to work fine with me and everyone else.  Though I do keep my craftster open all day just in case any questions arise.

I also agree with alteredmommy about the spread sheet.  I started with all in a notebook, but once the swap got more and more busy, it was easier to update when it was all in the computer.  Also, my co-organizer tells me what ATCs are in the gallery and gives me a list so that I can update the swap. 
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