(and the joys of mail in a pandemic)
So the last few years have introduced a few changes in my already busy online environment. One noteworthy change was the demise of RedditGifts with their last exchange being held in December of 2021 and the actual deletion of their website in January of 2022. If you’re not familiar, RedditGifts was at one point (and still is) the Guinness Book of World Records holder for largest online Secret Santa. And that’s all fine and dandy but the community around that site was a whole lot more than that. The frequent online gift exchanges that the site hosted were a great opportunity to travel the world from one’s armchair and connect with people worldwide (well in gift form rather than in postcard form like the Postcrossing site does).
RedditGifts’ demise was signalled relatively early in 2021 and they had shut down all new registrations to prevent people signing up with the intent of receiving gifts without sending anything in return. Nonetheless, I understand many of the last exchanges were one-sided which presented a fair bit of disappointment in the final days of the site. In its wake there were initiatives from two groups to get a new gift giving site off the ground.
Givin.Gifts is the first of such sites to get up and running and while I didn’t join immediately when they spun up in September, when I finally did join in late 2021, they were already offering some features that RedditGifts never did alongside the great utility of storing your past RedditGifts received gifts there and using their tools to save all the gifts you had sent or received on RedditGifts. This of course encouraged a lot of users from the old RedditGifts site to come over. But now that they’re a bit more established they’re definitely getting new users too (some of which are negative actors and require banning by the site moderators due to lack of fulfillment of their end of the social contract but the site runners are excellent volunteers and have been doing an outstanding job handling this part of the equation).
Givin Gifts also offers a premium membership tier which is great as it offers some really neat features including the ability to run your own user exchanges on their platform (I will definitely use this to run gift exchanges in the future though I haven’t yet done this) including both public and private exchanges.
I’m personally quite fond of the Discord community that is associated with the site (though the Givin Gifts site is active on other social media this is the Discord server that I enjoy the most lately).
Not only does Givin Gifts provide yet another reason to look forward to opening my mail on a regular basis, a very positive connection to folks worldwide, the opportunity to help others out who didn’t happen to get a gift the first time around (rematching is awesome, and quite honestly a really great feature), but the joys of reading the responses people write to getting something awesome in the mail is just lovely.
During a time where travel isn’t always the safest or most reasonable option, I’m ever so pleased to have positive online communities to engage with. This one being one of them. Feel free to check it out, and hopefully make someone’s day! I know that I really love that aspect. My site profile is located here.