In 2012 we created the first ever Rhodia Journal Swap. The idea was simple – 12 people in the US sending Rhodia Webnotebooks from one person to the next, each adding content as they go and sharing some of their completed pages on a group Tumblr blog.
Despite everyone’s best intentions to participate in a fun and ongoing project, life occasionally took precedence over participation. The initial momentum began to waver several months into this year long project and would eventually slow to a crawl as people were receiving books faster then they could create content – ultimately keeping the swap from progressing as scheduled and leaving some people without books to create in for months on end.
Some of the positive feedback we heard from participants?
- What I liked: the writings, artwork, etc. from the contributors were amazing. … I loved sharing stories with them, discovering their blogs etc.
- I loved the writings and art in my book. The swappers chosen were all talented and interesting individuals.
- I’ve met (virtually) several new people… at least three I now communicate with regularly. New friends are always nice!
- I loved the creative outlet it provided and the inspiration that came from seeing other people’s contributions.
- The best part of the swap was seeing the work on the tumblr blog,
Areas of opportunity for future swaps?
- Clearer instructions on how to contribute to the Tumblr blog
- A shared spreadsheet for tracking the books.
- A Facebook group for communicating between participants.
- Less pages to work on at a time.
Stephanie’s ideas for a future swap:
- Having several “micro groups” swapping concurrently. Perhaps 4-5 groups of 3 people each, with the potential of adding at least one international group.
- Using a different Exaclair product with less pages – 6×8″ Clairefontaine Crok books are one option. (Blank pages which can hold up to a variety of art mediums)
- Clearer instructions for posting content to Tumblr
- Implementing a Facebook group for participants to communicate.
Do you have any additional suggestions which might improve this concept? We’d love to hear from you.
Image above from swap participant Lou (Trillium) McCallister.