Letter Journal Love – 1. About the Facebook Group

This is probably the least fun module as it’s a bit rulesy but it’s really important for how we play together – so I’m putting it first!

HOW THE FACEBOOK GROUP WORKS
Just a few words about what we do at this group. We are a small and friendly bunch and you are welcome in the group to post these things anytime:
– share pictures of your journal pages
– share pictures of decorated envelopes arriving or leaving in mail boxes (cover your addresses with a strategically placed thumb)
– share ideas for techniques or materials ALONGSIDE and related to a photo of our own letter journal pages
– arrange swaps for letter journals
So you can see it’s pretty specific and not a place for sharing all art you might make, or general stuff, or even videos of kittens, no matter how cute they are, oh unless they are sending a letter journal?? 🙂

Hopefully seeing all the artwork keeps your inspired and your feed even more colourful and full of art!

Some general common sense guidelines for this group:
– please don’t post photos that have other people’s addresses in them in the group. Cover the address with a piece of [aper or your hand before you share the lovely envelope art with us.
– if you are sharing a photo of collaborative artwork please acknowledge the others who helped make it
– please don’t share or save other people’s images shared on this group without asking (e.g. on your blog or personal Facebook page)

And to make the group safe and run smoothly:
– Please speak positively about your work and others
– Limit ONE (1) photo per post. If you want to show before and after shots you could make a collage of images as a single image
– Please post DIRECTLY to the group rather than sharing from another FB page
– Please do not request critiques; this is outside the scope of this group
– Please no links to other websites / classes / programs except on ‘share it Sunday’ – and the focus on this day is your own blog or exhibition or good news, not promoting courses run by other people
– Please post only your own or your groups letter journal artworks, not your other artworks from sketchbooks, canvas, and not artwork made by others or found online (except for on #shareitsunday as outlined below)

– and of course nothing illegal, no pornography, no spam, nothing dodgy please

Phew! That’s all the ‘don’ts’ out of the way. It might seem over the top but I specify those so we have a positive, creative and supportive space and everyone knows what to expect from the group.

Now… as well as photos and updates on letter journals which you can post ANYTIME, here are some other ‘special’ types of posts we do.

GUIDANCE POSTS

I share specific tips for newcomers now and then. they will be things you’ve probably already read in these modules, but it helps to remind people from time to time. They have the hashtag
#tipsfornewcomers and so, you can search (using the little magnifying glass icon) within the group and you will get all these ‘tips’ posts come up at once. that can be a great thing to do once you’re working on your first swap. Lots of helpful tips.

THEME DAYS

As well as the things we post on any day you like, we have a few days where we share specific things. This might seem strange (why just on one day) but it’s a way to get a little bit other material in without people accidentally bombarding us with non letter journal stuff.

On Mondays we our admins do a post sharing an idea for a material to use, and inviting you to comment with your own favourite material that you are currently using. If you want inspiration on what materials to use try searching for all these posts using the hashtag #materialsmonday

If you want general tips on how to make and swap letter journals check out: #toptiptuesday

SHARE YOUR ART WINS AND HAPPY STORIES

On Sundays we invite a different kind of post called ‘Share it Sunday’. On Sundays (in your timezone) you can branch out a bit and share an artwork you’ve done that wasn’t in a letter journal, or maybe share a recent art related blog post, article or exhibition you’ve had (please no links to other FB groups, challenges, paid courses or programs): just make sure your Sunday post  #shareitsunday . For example ‘here is a blog post I wrote about letter journalling’ or ‘here is a photo of me at my grandchild’s school helping out with their mural painting day!’ or ‘super happy to have my artwork hanging up here in my local coffee shop’. Just a little something that’s made you happy that you would like to share. This helps us get to know each other and let’s face it, it’s fun to share our successes and happy moments along the way. You don’t have to share something on Sundays but on the week that you do want to share something like this, please save it for Sunday.

Does this seem like a lot of information? Well maybe it is, but we have these guidelines so the group runs smoothly and we all get what we came for – letter journals!

HOW TO SEND A GROUP MESSAGE

Once someone has ‘called a swap’ and got a group of 4 together they then need to set up a group message on Facebook. As a beginner your main job will just be to FIND any group messages that you have been sent, as you won’t be initiating swaps just yet. As a heads up it is actually very easy – if you can send a message to just one person then you can do this – you simply write a few more names in the ‘to’ box. Yes it’s that easy. This will be your job if you call a swap. Something to figure out down the track if it’s not something you are familiar with.

FINDING GROUP MESSAGES

Once someone has ‘called a swap’ and got a group of 4 together they then need to set up a group message on Facebook. And… you need to find that message. This will be true even of your beginners swap.
So the tips are:
1. Check your ‘filtered’ and ‘message request’ message folder on Facebook regularly to see if a group has messaged you. Basically if you are not ‘friends’ on facebok your message may go straight to your filtered message or spam message folder until you find it and start writing in it and then it goes to your regular inbox. Its a bit like how your email account probably has a ‘junk’ folder but sometimes ‘good’ emails find their way in there. (‘What? Where are these folders you speak of?’ Yes I admit I was shocked when I first discovered them on FB myself  (and found the messages sitting in there). If this is you read HERE for someone else’s explanation of what they are and where to find them)
2. If a swap group member does not show up in the group message someone from your group needs to TAG THEM in the Facebook group and tell them to please check their filtered message folders and find the message. Hopefully whoever calls the swap will do that, but its your job to remind or suggest if they forget. Do not begin your swap until every member of the swap has shown up in the group message and shared their address.
3. Please DO NOT EVER share someone else’s address on their behalf in a group message thread. When a swap starts the organiser will invite each person to share their address within this private message thread.  For two reasons 1. They need to do it so everyone is clear that they are giving consent to share that personal data, and 2. It’s the only way you will know they got the message and understand they are part of the swap. It’s the equivalent of them showing up to the party. Otherwise you could begin the swap while they are missing in action. Make sense? If you don’t see them in your group posting in the thread, and if they haven’t volunteered their address you can assume they need a reminder over in the FB group. If you don’t don’t get a reply from a certain member to the group message when it is set up, after a few days someone needs to tag them on a post in the Facebook group saying ‘swap group is set up – check your filtered message box’. Do not start the swap until they join the private message group.


CHECKLIST

♥ Do you understand that we mostly post photos and updates of our letter journals, and that you are welcome to do that any day?

♥ Do you get that we can also share images of our workspace, decorated envelopes – anything related to making or sending letter journals? And that you can also do that any day?

♥ Is it clear that for privacy reasons we don’t share our own addresses or other people’s in the larger group (but we do in our private messages for swaps)?

♥ Did you pick up that we don’t attach multiple photos to a single post? Just one image per post (even though that can be a collage)? Even if you don’t understand why?

♥ Do you know what a hashtag is? Do you know which hash tags to search for to find (tips) information about making and swapping journals? Do you know hashtag to search for to find out more about which materials to use in your journals?

♥ Do you understand that on Sunday you can share a happy story about your art and even a link to your blog or photos of your non letter journal artwork? Is it clear that we ask for no links to other websites, Facebook groups or courses to be shared on this day or any other day?

♥ Do you understand that once you join a swap the swap leader will send you a group message for just your swap participants? Do you get that you may have to search your ‘filtered messages’ or ‘message request’ folder to find it?

If so my friend you are ready to join the group and start participating!! For your first week in the group I suggest you work through these introductory modules and over in the Facebook group start liking and commenting on other people’s post. Make a note of any questions as you go but don’t ask them in the group just yet. We will organise a swap for newcomers a week or so after you join.

Now you can move on to Module 2 – Making your Letter Journal.

Looking forward to seeing your lovely work, swapping with you and having fun.