The Postcard Exchange FAQ
I will try to collect questions (and answers) about the postcard exchange here.
How do I participate?
That is easy, send a PM with your address (including country - it is an international exchange) and the number of postcards you are willing to send to the organizer (at the moment George Nova Scotia click!) Those members who already participated in the exchange can just state this in the sign-in thread.
What do I have to do after I sent the PM
That is easy - wait. From time to time in the sign-in thread there will be updated lists of participants. Please check if your APUG name is on the list, if it is spelled right and if the number of cards is correct. If this is the case - do nothing, if something is wrong with your data, send a PM to the organizer. After sign-in is closed you will receive a PM with the addresses you will have to send a postcard to.
Can I change the number of postcards I wanted to change
Yes, as long as the sign-in is open. Once the sign-in is closed for the round you have to stick with the number you gave to the organizer.
I signed-in for the max, but there are some names missing on my address list, something wrong?
No, nothing wrong. Remember, this is a real exchange so you send a postcard to every address on your list and you will receive a postcard from everyone on your list. Since we allow participants to limit the number of cards they want to send it happens that those who signed-in for the max still do not have every name on the list.
What is the ALL option?
The ALL option was added to give people the option of sending a card to everyone but they will only receive cards from the MAX list. In this case they will send more than they receive.
Do I have to send different postcard to each name on my list or the same to everyone?
It is up to you some participants send the same postcard to everyone but there are also participants who send different cards and I think we also have participants who send as many different cards as they have peers on their list.
Oh my goodness, I signed-in for the max and now I have to print more than 40 postcards, how can I do this?
Yeah, surprise, postcard exchanges sometimes get big, that was the reason we allowed to limit the postcards. Use this if you want to print only 30 cards, then sign-in with 30 and not with the max. Anyway sometimes to print in batches helps, I mean to expose all the postcards and then develop in batches. With this technique it is possible to print 40+ cards in less than - say - two hours.
My local shop does not stock Ilford postcard paper. What do I do?
Use a different paper. Just because Ilford produces a postcard paper does not mean that we have to use it. Use whatever paper you like to send.
I think 4x6 is kind of small, can I also send bigger postcards?
Of course yes, use whatever size your local postal service supports. There are many people who send 5x7.
I think 4x6 is kind of big, can I also send smaller postcards?
Of course yes, use whatever size your local postal service supports. The smallest postcard I received in this exchange was a Fuji instax image - without being put into an envelope.
Do I have to send black&white postcards?
No, although most of the participants do. But from time to time there are some guys sending color prints. Some even send cyanotypes, polaroids etc.
Do I have to use an envelope?
It is up to you. Some do, some don't. It is a postcard exchange, so if the postcard gets some 'patina' during travel - that is supposed to be part of the fun. Remember, it is a postcard exchange. But if you prefer envelopes, then use them.
Do I have to write the postcards by hand or can I use labels?
It is up to you. Some use labels, some don't, some mix.
I moved and my darkroom is not yet finished, am I allowed to send inkjet prints?
You are allowed to do so. The only rule is that the capture media should be a traditional media like film, polaroid etc. But you are allowed to scan and print but please do not over-photoshop your image, this is the APUG postcard exchange, keep it in mind.
What do I write on the back of the card?
It is up to you. Some words about your image would be great. Some info about the equipment used is welcomed by most of us. Your APUG name and the number of the postcard round should be mandatory and of course the address is a good idea ;)
Do I have to give feedback about the cards I receive?
It is up to you. I think feedback is always welcome. But you do not have to.
What if I do not find the time to print my postcards?
If for whatever reasons you are not able to deliver in time - please tell us in the feedback thread. And do not forget about it because it is always a welcome surprise if people get a postcard from three or four rounds ago.
How are the addresses sent out, is it easy to use that format to print labels?
Yes it is. The PM you will receive will contain two list, one with the addresses very readable for humans, and one with one line per address with the address fields separated by a semicolon. That format is good to be imported into programs like Excel or label printing programs etc.
... to be continued.