The ATP Beta "First Swap" Swap: Halfway point report

Page 1 of 3 • 1 2 3
Views: 977, Replies: 58 » Jump to the end
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Image
dave
Nov 23, 2015 11:31 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Well, we're about halfway through with the trading for this beta swap and I've been keeping a close eye on things. It seems that this has gone very smoothly with very few issues or problems. The system is working as I designed it, and everyone seems to be having no problems using it.

There are currently:

816 unique items offered.
401 wishlist items.
1,041 dibs claimed.
931 tickets still out.
Average trading ratio: 140%
Median trading ratio: 157%

Every participant in the swap currently has tickets in their inventory so I think that means that for the moment, everyone has gotten what they wanted and now they are just doing the finalizing of their swaps and keeping up with what new items are coming in as the swap is underway. I feel like the algorithm I made, where you get a set number per day that grows, along with early bonuses when people dib your items, worked perfectly.

As you can see in the trading ratio, each person is getting an average of 138% back over what they are sending out. This ratio number might not be very useful, though, because some people really bring the average up. We have one member who is getting over 500% ratio (receiving 5 times more than they are sending, which is perfectly acceptable and okay) and another member is at a 50% ratio (getting half the quantity than what they are sending.) The median is 159% which I'm going to call a certain success.

I'd be glad to hear anybody's thoughts on this entire swap, how it is going for them, etc.
Name: Andi
Pocono Mountains, PA (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the first seed swap
Image
GardenQuilts
Nov 23, 2015 11:37 AM CST
The automated system is much easier than previous swaps that I have been involved in. I expect it will be easier for the hosts as well. Perhaps it will i\encourage more people to host swaps!

It would be easier for me if the seeds were alphabetized by their latin names. However, if one is looking for something particular, one can search for it.
Name: Kim
Iowa (Zone 5a)
I kill ornamentals... on purpose.
Enjoys or suffers cold winters Spiders! Critters Allowed Birds Houseplants I helped beta test the first seed swap
Region: Nebraska Keeper of Poultry Rabbit Keeper Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Procrastinator Garden Ideas: Level 2
Chillybean
Nov 23, 2015 11:53 AM CST
For me, this swap had a few surprises. One was the number of US natives offered. Some I was familiar with, but I was introduced to some new ones. And reminded that Blue-eyed Grass is a flower. Smiling Another surprise is the one seed I expected to be the most popular, only one was sold, and I have a lot of it. I think I need to put on my salesman hat. Hilarious!

One thing I believe was a very nice surprise is the interacting with members that I do not believe I've chatted with elsewhere on the site. That comes from our different interests in gardening, so it was good to have a general swap.

Thanks for sharing those ratios and I appreciate the attitude of giving among everyone. It's nice being with a group of people so eager to share that they'd be willing to go out and harvest seed or open up a pack of brand new seed!

I don't know if I'll participate in another swap in the near future... I'd only have what I am already offering. BUT I was thinking through what types of seeds I could potentially save next growing season. I believe I mentioned early on that I felt participating in this was going to be a learning experience and it has been. Now that I've gotten this far, I kind of wonder why I was so nervous about it.
Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Region: Gulf Coast Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the first seed swap I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Tip Photographer Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Hibiscus
Image
Horntoad
Nov 23, 2015 11:55 AM CST
I thought the system worked great. I really liked being able to build a want list, prioritize them in the list then pick directly from that list rather than scrolling through hundreds of plants to find what I want. Being able to click on the treasure chest and claim the seeds rather than having to request them directly, then wait for the owner to get back to you sometimes hours later is lightyears ahead of the old way.
wildflowersoftexas.com
texasnatureonline.com


Name: Ronnie
Southeastern PA (Zone 6b)
Morning Glories Garden Photography Region: Pennsylvania Charter ATP Member Orchids Dragonflies
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 1 I helped beta test the first seed swap Bookworm Bee Lover
Image
luvsgrtdanes
Nov 23, 2015 12:17 PM CST
I can't say enough good things about the swap. Everything ran so smooth from the ease of dibbing on seeds to the ease of making a wish list and making a trade list. The generosity of the traders speaks thousands for this website in general. I am overwhelmed by what I am getting not to mention members adding specific items upon request. I better get packing because I sold way more than I ever imagined. nodding
It happens in a flash, but the memory of it last forever. It can not be borrowed or stolen, and it is of no earthly good until it is given away. So if in your hurry you meet someone who is too weary to smile, leave him one of yours, for no one needs a smile quite as much as he who has none to give...

Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Birds Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover
Image
Weedwhacker
Nov 23, 2015 1:00 PM CST
I totally agree with how easy this has made swapping with a group -- and I'm quite amazed at how many things have actually been offered by a relatively small number of people! And it sure looks like no one had any problem finding enough seeds that they wanted to claim Thumbs up
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
- John Powell / Cubits.org - A Universe of Communities
/ Share your recipes: Favorite Recipes A-Z cubit
C/F temp conversion / NGA Member Map
Name: Dnd
SE Michigan (Zone 6a)
Dog Lover Daylilies Organic Gardener Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 1
I helped beta test the first seed swap
Image
DogsNDaylilies
Nov 23, 2015 1:11 PM CST
I feel that this was a wonderful swap and I'm grateful to have been among the fortunately few to participate in the beta version. (I look forward to finding out what the rest of ATP thinks of this swap, too.) This group of people was wonderful and, as Sandy mentioned, I'm surprised how many different types of seeds popped up for such a relatively small number of participants. There were so many seed options that it was tough to wade through.

I still think that there needs to be a unified naming convention, but that is a big undertaking considering it involves the backbone database of ATP and isn't just a small part of the seed swap arena. Until then, though, I love that the search feature helps me find items that I *know* I want but just can't find. In the future, it might be neat to see a feature that allowed us to specifically find seeds well-suited to our zone; or, on the flip side, to warn us of seeds that might not be well-suited to our area.

I feel like the swap is somewhat over and done with only halfway through, but I don't know that that necessarily means that the time frame for swapping needs adjusted. I'm curious to see how this plays out with larger groups of people (or with larger quantities of seeds).

Personally, I agree that there was far more 'fun factor' in this method of swapping than in the 'controlled trading' option I proposed. I hope this method continues to work out and seem fair to everyone because it created a lot of drive for people to participate. I do feel bad for people who were unable to be there right at the 'starting gate' at 7pm during the first several days when the bulk of the trading occurred, so I wonder how that will play out in future swaps; but that might be one of the benefits to having multiple swaps occurring at different times throughout the year...everyone should be able to find one that they can participate in.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Nov 23, 2015 1:33 PM CST
Awesomely, fantastically, unprecedented-ly easy to use! And no visible code defects! A+++ to Dave for this feature!

And many thanks!

Being able to set up our "wish" priorities ahead of time, then dibs them by just running down a list is REALLY appreciated.

(That made me think of a "sudden death" swap, where there would be plenty of time to scan lists and prioritize before the Start Time, but then tickets would be refreshed every 30 minutes instead of every 24 hours. The whole swap might be over in 1-2 days!)

Being able to re-use our main "inventory" lists is a huge advantage for the next swap, and inclines me to trade seeds here at ATP only. Just creating a Have list for some swap on another website now seems like a huge effort.

The search feature in the "view combined trade lists" is key to usability.
Search-by-User is really nice to have.

I love having the "Bought" and "sold" lists visible. Wish I could sort my "Sold" list by plant variety, so I could print a "pick list". Then I wish I could sort it by recipient so I could print out legible Pack lists.


I found the common-name-alphabetization almost unusable, even just within my own Have list or Offer list. Common names are simply too varied and all-over-the-map to be usable when searching a long list. When an item might alphabetize under 2-3 things I can think, of plus 2-3 more I can't easily think of, trying to find something in a long "common-name-alphabetical" list is impractical.

I search or filter instead, by going to the combined lists, viewing only my own list, then using the search/filter feature.


A possible minor frill for future embelishment might be an ability to add tags to each "Offer" list row, so that people could filter on the tag. Like "vegetable", "annual flower" , "perennial flower" , "native to X" , "xeric", "cold-hardy", "F1", "OP-variety", etc.

Or possibly add tags to entries in the plant database, and make those searchable from within trade lists.

Or enable searching trade lists by Plant Database fields like "Uses =" Vegetable OR Salad greens OR Cooked greens.


Name: Dnd
SE Michigan (Zone 6a)
Dog Lover Daylilies Organic Gardener Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 1
I helped beta test the first seed swap
Image
DogsNDaylilies
Nov 23, 2015 2:41 PM CST
RickCorey said:
A possible minor frill for future embelishment might be an ability to add tags to each "Offer" list row, so that people could filter on the tag. Like "vegetable", "annual flower" , "perennial flower" , "native to X" , "xeric", "cold-hardy", "F1", "OP-variety", etc.

Or possibly add tags to entries in the plant database, and make those searchable from within trade lists.



This goes back to my idea for key words/tags from before and I whole-heartedly agree that it would benefit our future swaps.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Image
dave
Nov 23, 2015 2:57 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

Good feedback.

Yes I am definitely aware of the need for better organization. Sorting, categorization, tagging etc. I've been giving a lot of thought to that. We won't be able to improve on those for this swap but getting these improvements for future swaps will be a very high priority for me.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Nov 23, 2015 4:09 PM CST
Experimentation and incremental improvements could keep this interesting for a long time, even if trading seeds were not the main goal!

I love the idea that different hosts will be able to vary the rules or numbers for different kinds of swaps. I bet that will illuminate not just "good" and "bad" ideas or features, but show which features are best with certain styles of swaps.
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
Image
greene
Nov 23, 2015 4:57 PM CST
I've been super busy lately and have only checked in on the beta from time to time. Even though I was not able to participate in this swap I would have liked to follow along and watch how it works. Is it only the 20 people involved who can view the action? If so, how are the other members of ATP to know what is happening? Is there a link to view the action? Shrug!
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Birds Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover
Image
Weedwhacker
Nov 23, 2015 5:11 PM CST
Greene, somewhere in one of these threads someone else mentioned that they wished they could "follow along with the swap," even though they aren't participating this time, and Dave said he was considering adding a "spectator mode," which I think would be a really good feature! So, stay tuned.... (probably not with this swap, but in the hopefully near future). Smiling
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
- John Powell / Cubits.org - A Universe of Communities
/ Share your recipes: Favorite Recipes A-Z cubit
C/F temp conversion / NGA Member Map
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Nov 23, 2015 5:16 PM CST
Here are the links, progressively more "into" the swap.
If you can get to the Beta Swap Home Page, you'll see the main seven links (or won't see them if they are "private").

The last link has the "recent events" text, but I think it only really scrolled actively at Midnight UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) = 4 pm Pacific Standard Time (PST)


Top Swap Page (all swaps):
http://garden.org/apps/swap/

Beta Swap Home Page with 7 links:
http://garden.org/apps/swap/view/1/

Combined tradelists for the Beta Swap, with search feature:
http://garden.org/apps/swap/swaplist/1/


Recent events:
http://garden.org/apps/swap/events/1/
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
Image
greene
Nov 23, 2015 5:22 PM CST
Thank you Rick, that was very helpful. Thumbs up
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Nov 23, 2015 5:40 PM CST
I tip my hat to you.

Dave, this is not quite a suggestion, but someone else might think it should be.

If you want to add more checkboxes and visual complexity to each Offering row, one possibility is a checkbox for "Known Organic" seed. I used to pay little attention to that on seed packets because I didn't much care, but I see that some seed traders only want seeds raised in an organic manner.

If it was worth showing the extra detail, I would urge you to make it a three-state control, and default it to "don't know". Then I could click on "organic" if the packet said that, or change it to "not organic" if I did look closely at the packet and saw no certification.

The labels in the rows could be "?", "O" and "N".

And some swap hosts might ask for a standard way to abbreviate claims of "isolated", "probably less than 5-10% cross-pollinated" and "probably more than 10% cross-pollinated". Maybe a slider for "degree of isolation", with 10 being bagged, 6-9 being isolation distance or time, and anything less than 5 being "grown near its cousins".

But we would have to argue about mostly-self-pollinated species like lettuce and tomatoes.

Name: Judy
Simpsonville SC (Zone 7b)
Plant and/or Seed Trader Peonies Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I helped beta test the first seed swap
Image
SCButtercup
Nov 24, 2015 5:33 AM CST
this was incredibly convenient AND FUN. ive only been on the piggy swap but those three uears of piggy swaps enlarged my garden and my seed stash to the level it is today. the timing of this swap is ideal....i like to have everything out by mid december so i can start growing some as early as mid January under lights...tho most of my seed starts are in late february. i work a demanding sales management job and this swap is so simple i can even do it weekdays. and the 'seeds sold' list is fantastic, especially the way traders names are listed alphabetically with the seeds theyve 'bought'...I am actually packing as I go, every few days. i will be away for Thanksgiving in Disneyworld with DH and grown daughters...so not participating much but i will stay tuned to see if any new seeds. im sure this swap will be topic of conversation...my 19 and 23 year old daughters are puzzled by this strange hobby of mine but I tell them gardening is filling my need to nurture now that they have moved out and left us with an empty nest...
Thank you to Dave for this masterpiece dezign and now i think ATP is going to grow like crazy...just have to add more detail to the plant database, i was noticing that while researching unusual seeds that were offered, ATP database doesnt even list height for many things. its always something, right? How about in this season of thanksgiving we express our thanks by going into database and editing descriptions for plants we have if we notice details missing, like height...wait, im not sure i know how to do this or if its possible, hmmm.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Image
dave
Nov 24, 2015 6:51 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Height is in the database. Smiling If a plant doesn't have it, click on "Edit data details" and you'll see "Plant Height" and you can enter it in.
Name: Ronnie
Southeastern PA (Zone 6b)
Morning Glories Garden Photography Region: Pennsylvania Charter ATP Member Orchids Dragonflies
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 1 I helped beta test the first seed swap Bookworm Bee Lover
Image
luvsgrtdanes
Nov 24, 2015 7:55 AM CST
Wow so nice to see I have sold as many as I bought, that's a lot of seeds!
It happens in a flash, but the memory of it last forever. It can not be borrowed or stolen, and it is of no earthly good until it is given away. So if in your hurry you meet someone who is too weary to smile, leave him one of yours, for no one needs a smile quite as much as he who has none to give...

Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Nov 24, 2015 11:35 AM CST
SCButtercup said: ... my 19 and 23 year old daughters are puzzled by this strange hobby of mine but I tell them gardening is filling my need to nurture now that they have moved out and left us with an empty nest...


Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! I agree Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

Thank you for explaining why I garden! I knew it wasn't the weeding or the stooping.

Page 1 of 3 • 1 2 3

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« The ATP Beta "First Swap" Swap
You must first create a username and login before you can reply to this thread.

Today's site banner is by dirtdorphins and is called "Dianthus 'Nyewood Cream'"