Monday, March 03, 2008

Another New Swapping Group!

Well, with the untimely death of the Getting to Know You Dishcloth Knitters group, I was quite saddened. Then I decided to take a chance and start a similar monthly dishcloth exchange group. So, I bopped on over to Yahoo Groups and started a new group, Monthly Dishcloth Swappers. :)

Now, this isn't the group for you if you are a procrastinator or have frequent medical problems that interfere with your meeting deadlines on a regular basis. The rules are pretty strict and there is a Zero-Tolerance policy for people who fail to meet their obligations. In fact, just to avoid people joining and then quitting when they get a copy of the rules (which you get upon pending membership, accepted membership and the first of every month), I'll post them here, too.

These are the official rules of Monthly Dishcloth Swappers:

In order to ensure happy, successful swaps, month after month, there are strict guidelines. I have no wish to be "the heavy", but I will follow thru with removal of members who do not and cannot meet the guidelines. You receive this file upon pending membership, upon approved membership and every month. I don't think that is overkill. :) That way no one can say they didn't know something was in the rules.

1. Upon membership, new members will be moderated for a period of 30 days, except upon the group start up. Moderation of all members will go until the successful completion of the first swap (April's Swap).

2. All new members will be required to send an "Angel Cloth" (any new dishcloth, to be held by moderator to use in the event that someone doesn't get a package) to the moderator. My address (Dee Adams)can be found in the contact database. You will not be included in any swap until I receive an "Angel Cloth" from you, so send as soon as you are approved, please. This is a one-time requirement, not every month. While not required, other "Angel Care" items would be appreciated, too, such as teas, soaps, etc. The usual stuff that gets included. As the group creator and moderator, I'm willing to take the risk of Angel Packages, but help will not be turned down.

3. Sign-ups for a month's swap close 3 days before the end of the previous month. This means that to sign up for April, you must do so by March 29th and so on every month. A group reminder will go out to the list the day before that.

4. Assignments will be given out on the 1st of the month. You have 24 hours to contact your swap partner OFF-LIST(if they email you first, your reply counts). If you do not hear from your partner at all (don't forget to check your spam folder, just in case), send a message to the moderator OFF-LIST. Posting "I didn't hear from so-and-so" type messages ON THE LIST WILL NOT BE ALLOWED. If you are still on moderated messages, it won't get past me anyway. If you are unmoderated and do this, you will be put back on moderation. 2nd offense means removal from the group.

5. All posts to the group should be to the group. If you have a specific, personal reply to one person, please reply directly to their email address. To have to read thru personal messages not for you is the equivalent of going out to lunch with a group of friends, and then only 1 or 2 of them talk to each other and leave you out. That doesn't mean you can't use someone's name in your reply, just make sure its relevant to the group. We're grown ups with manners, please show it. On the same theme, insults, flaming, etc. will NOT BE TOLERATED. If you have a personal problem with a member, take it up with them POLITELY & RESPECTFULLY, off list. If you cannot resolve your problem in this way, contact the moderator.

6. All swaps are confined to that calendar month. You should mail your package in time for your partner to receive it BEFORE the end of the month. We're talking about a dishcloth & a few other items, not afghans. If 1 month isn't enough time for you to knit a dishcloth, buy a couple treats & mail a package, this isn't the group for you. I know you can't control the postal system, but if you know you live in a rural area or have prior knowledge that packages you send tend to take x amount of days to arrive, then keep that in mind when mailing and mail earlier. You cannot take part in the next month's swap if your previous swap isn't completed.

7. While life sometimes throws curves at us and emergencies arise, how it is handled can make a difference. If you know you will be late getting your package out for unavoidable reasons (that aren't chronic), make sure you let the moderator and your partner know as far in advance as you can. If your "emergency" happens on the 29th of the month, that shouldn't affect your package, as you should have mailed it by then. If you have kept contact with your partner & the moderator AND you fulfill your commitment within 2 weeks of the next month, you may sign up for the FOLLOWING month's swap (example: on April 18th, you break your leg. You let the moderator & your partner know you'll be late. You get your package out late and your partner gets it on May 8th. You may sign up for June's swap. You must miss May's.) If your package isn't received by your partner by the 15th of the month after the swap month, an Angel Package will go out to them and you will be banned from the group. Period.

8. If you do not receive a package from your partner as outlined above, YOU WILL GET AN ANGEL PACK. DO NOT post to the group about it. I will handle it.

9. No posts criticizing your partner or package are allowed on the list. Any and all complaints are to be addressed to the moderator, OFF LIST. Also, any complaints that ARE sent to the moderator should be done so in a respectful manner. IT IS NOT MY FAULT IF YOUR PARTNER DOESN'T FOLLOW THRU OR SENDS YOU JUNK!! I will do my best to rectify any wrongs, but you accept a certain amount of risk when exchanging with strangers. I don't know any of you any better than you know me. I will not tolerated being b**ched at or threatened over something out of my control.

10. There are no minimum or maximum spending limits on swaps, unless otherwise stated. However, don't send a package you wouldn't want to receive. No dirty, smoky, dusty yarns, etc. I know that should be obvious, but I've heard horror stories. I don't wish to hear of hard feelings if you sent out a $15.00 pack and got a $5.00 one in return. You don't know what other people's financial situation is. Send what feels right to you. This is about fun, friendliness & sharing, not one-up-manship. Some months you'll get the $15.00 pack, some the $5.00, but you should enjoy them all. I know I do. :)

11. When you receive your package, make sure you post a thank you to the list. You can, of course, thank your person off-list, too, but a public thanks is required. You may also post a picture of your swag in the photo section, but its not required.

12. You must post your full contact information (name, email & snail mail address) in the Member Contact database. This group is only accessible to its members. If you can't trust the same people you are exchanging with, find another group, please.

I think I've been very clear and outlined every possible rule. If you have any questions or need clarification, please email me off-list. If you disagree with ANY of the above rules, don't join. Your continued membership, not removing yourself from the group or asking me to remove you is considered FULL ACCEPTANCE OF THE RULES.

If you have just received this file for the first time, upon pending membership, please reply to moderator that you have read & understand the rules. Thank you.

So, if this sounds like fun to you and you can live with the rules, please join in the fun! :)

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