Thursday, March 8, 2012

Ask Cindy - Online Crops

It's time for another edition of 'Ask Cindy' - the feature where I answer questions you, the reader, may or may not have actually asked.  Today's question is about online crops.  What are they and how do they work?


First, for any non-scrapbookers reading this (Hi Mom!), I need to define the word "crop."  A crop is an event where scrapbookers gather to work on projects.  Crops vary in size- the smallest may have just a few people and the largest attract thousands.  Crops are often hosted by a scrapbook store, charity or other organization. You bring along your own supplies and projects to complete.  There are usually games, door prizes, party favors and refreshments.  You typically pay a fee to attend.  While some people may travel a great distance to attend a major crop, most attendees live within an hour or so of the venue. 


There are three main differences between in-person crops and online crops.  

  • Location: Online crops take place online.  (Obviously.)  At a designated time, you log in from your own computer.  Unlike an in-person crop, online crops attract people from all over the world.  It is not unusual for online crops to begin with discussions about time zones.  You work in your own space and do not need to pack up your supplies.
  • Cost: I have never heard of there being a charge to participate in an online crop.  Free in-person crops are rare.  
  • Activities: Online crops usually feature a series of challenges.  The format varies, but my favorite online crops post challenges once every hour.  Participants check the computer at the top of the hour, read the details of the challenge, then return to their scrap spaces to create.  When you finish your project, you scan or photograph it, then upload it to an online gallery.  There are prizes for each challenge.  There are numerous opportunities to chat with others in either a chatroom or in forums.   


So which do I prefer?  They're both fun, but given the choice I like online crops.  I love being able to work in my own craftroom and not have to guess what I'll need to bring along to an in-person crop.  I enjoy the format of hourly challenges to push me out of my comfort zone.  I love being able to chat with friends from all around the world.  And with money being tight, you just can't beat free.  

7 comments:

  1. As long as I've been scrapbooking, and as IN to it as I am, I've never been to a crop. I did have a friend come over once about a year ago to work on some projects, but she really annoyed me, LOL. :) I keep thinking I would like to go to on at my LSS, but then I stress ... what do I bring? what if I forget something? what if someone makes fun of my 'style?' I really enjoy working in my own scrapbook room, where all my supplies are right there, including my Cameo, which I wouldn't take to a crop. Maybe I will look into an online crop. Thanks for the info, Cindy, I never knew what an online crop was! :)

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    1. Tanya, one of the best online crops around is the National Scrapbook Day crop at Scrapbook.com. You should definitely "come" to that one! It's so much fun!

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  2. I don't enjoy in person crops...too many distractions. I haven't tried an online crop though...

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  3. How may hours do these online crops last? If you're checking in at the top of the hour, does this usually turn into an afternoon/all day thing? -gt

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    1. Most online crops are either a single day (usually 12+ hours) or a whole weekend. Sometimes the challenges are posted over the course of one or two days, then you have 3-4 days to finish them. Not everyone stays the whole time or does all the challenges, but there is usually a special prize or recognition for those who complete all the challenges.

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  4. I love crops!!! And I am truly blessed for my friend Krista hosts one at her house every month on the third Saturday of the month. It's free (we all just have to bring a munchie to share with each other, and our own drinks).... and sometimes there are 10 of us, sometimes just three... depending on everyone's schedule...she leaves it really open too... if you want to create, then cool... if not, then just sit and chat (which some of our friends do)... and since I know I go to her place every month, I keep my rolling tote bag filled with my essentials all the time, only changing out any current DT kits that I need to work on at her place. Online crops I don't have such good luck at... I have a hard time trying to keep up with what's going on in different chats online, and still make something... lol!

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  5. Crops are such fun. I'm kind of partial to online crops too. It's just a little simpler and simpler is better is my crazy world!

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