Sunday, March 31, 2013

Get swappin'!

Yikes!!  I started and saved this post a couple of weeks ago now, intending to finish and publish later that day.  Oops. *red-faced*

In my last post, I mentioned that I'd be posting about a new discovery, and here it is!  I've begun posting on swap-bot!  *looks pointedly at blog badge*  I've run across mentions of swap-bot here and there a few times over the past few years, but I'd never looked that closely at it.

Well, my desire to get into ATC (versus LTC) creation left me wondering where to trade the cards I make, and I remembered swap-bot.  One bored afternoon later, and I had an account, and I've now completed a modest number of trades, and begun building my rating.  (Ratings are the bread and butter at swap-bot; a low rating means you've proven yourself unreliable, and no one will want to swap with you!)  My very first swap was to send pictures of my pets and a note about them to another person.  I was assigned a person in Austria to mail to, which was pretty cool because I learned that the USPS now has ROUND postage stamps for international mail!  (Yes, I'm a great big dork, and you can point and laugh.)  Since then, I've traded some ATCs, and right now I'm decorating some craft tags to swap.

After several years of trading LTCs on AtlasQuest, there are some pretty big differences with how swaps work on swap-bot. On AtlasQuest, when someone lists a swap idea, everyone makes enough copies of their card for everyone else in the swap to get one.  So if there are 18 or 24 people in the swap, that's how many cards you make and send (plus any extras you want to have for private trades), and that's how many cards you get back. Everyone gets a full set. On swap-bot, you'll usually only make a card for 1 person, or a few people. The people you mail to are randomly assigned by the website software, and are not necessarily the same people who will mail to you. So you only send out  a small number of cards, but you don't get as many cards back.  The benefit to this system is that an unlimited number of people can so up for a swap without having an adverse effect on how much work the other participants have to do. The downside is that the idea of a "full set" is lost. Making multiples of a particular card the way LTC makers do seems to be less common, and when someone does so, the cards are referred to as editions. I have to say, I like having trading stock, I like having art to share with others, and I always keep a copy for my portfolio, so I've been making editions only. I'm not sure if there are people who'll get bent out of shape if the card they get isn't one of a kind, but I hope not.

But fair warning to anyone trading with me on the 'bot: I make editions. And I trade the extras. :-)

Since I've been trading on swap-bot, I've created 2 Picasa albums:
 - My Cards available for trade (ATCs only; I may do a separate album for LTCs, but given that I have a couple hundred active cards, that's a pretty big project)
 - My Gallery (tags I've made, other projects I've made and traded, and ATCs that I've traded away all of the extras of and now consider retired)

Feel free to check them out, and message me here or by email if there's something there that interests you. :-)

That's it for now (about swap-bot, at least). I'll have a post going up in a couple hours for my March tag, as well.

'Til then!


1 comment:

  1. I think I'll eventually be doing some ATCs. It's good to hear your experience with swap bot. That may be well-suited to me, as repetition gets me burned out fast.