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.