I love swaps. Admit it - we all love swaps.
I love shopping for my swap partner - looking for that little extra something to make their day. My first swap was a delight - she was a brand new knitter so there were all sorts of little notions she didn't have. I found the best technique book ever ever ever while shopping for her. And she updated her blog - sometimes.
Lately I have had several horrible experiences. I've been stiffed twice. My angel the first time was so sweet, the second time my swap partner strung me along with promises until about 4 months after the swap ended, the she just disappeared.
The rest of the swaps have only been unhappy because there was no communication. Emails went unanswered and blogs weren't updated. And recently - no answers to my emails. I sent one a week and I think one was answered. What makes this fun, at least for me, is chatting with someone and getting to know little bits about them and then sending them a package you've put together based on what you learned about them (or think you did).
So here is some advice for potential swapees - check your email often - and junk mail too, send your partner emails - chat about 'stuff", make sure you update your blog, read your partners blog - you would be amazed what you can learn about someone by reading their blog. And a significant part of the fun is getting to know someone new. Send your package Priority or however you like - but get that delivery confirmation, it only costs an extra 65 cents, but it's well worth it. I have only had one package disappear but I really wished I had the delivery confirmation.
For the organizers - even handed application of the rules is a good thing - REALLY, but common sense is also a useful quality. There is no way to avoid the random flakes. but communication requirements help. And if you can't keep up - ask for help. I know there are a lot of people who would like to help.
As if anybody cares what I think anyway