|gift exchange, Challenge
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An exchange mod is a moderator who runs a gift exchange or similar challenge where participants sign up with offers and requests and then are matched. Typically, exchange mods will do some or all of the following:
- Schedule, announce, and advertise the exchange.
- Arrange nominations, including approving things in the tagset and making clarification posts.
- Collect sign up information, including checking that each sign up meets exchange requirements.
- Matching, including potentially handmatching individual participants or the entire exchange.
- Distribute assignments
- Help preserve participants' anonymity by passing questions from creators to their recipients.
- Make sure all participants get appropriate gifts, which includes checking for DNWs, spitefic, and picklefic and sending out pinch hits if participants default on their assignment.
Before the exchange, the mod may do an interest check (on, for instance, fail_fandomanon's Bangs, Fests, and Exchanges thread) if the exchange is new, including asking what schedule would be best for those interested in participation. Setting up a new round usually also involved setting up an Archive of Our Own collection and some kind of social media account to provide information and announcements. Exchange fandom has historically used LiveJournal and/or Dreamwidth, but tumblr or twitter are sometimes used in addition or instead. If the exchange has run before, the mod will probably only have to open a new subcollection on AO3 and then advertise. Common places to advertise include Fandom Calendar, fail_fandomanon, Exchanges After Dark, and the Dreamwidth accounts of other exchanges.
If the exchange is happening on Archive of Our Own, the moderator will also control the tagset. Large exchanges may have mods on-board just to help manage the tags, called tagset mods. The mod will often use the social media account associated with the exchange to communicate with nominators about their tags, especially if the tagset is complicated or the exchange has restrictions on what can be nominated.
Some mods may hand match participants.
In gift exchanges where writers are kept anonymous until some time after the gifts are put up, writers are generally only supposed to contact their recipients (for DNW clarification, etc) via the exchange mod, although some tumblr exchanges might make use of the anonymous ask function.
Mods are usually responsible for finding pinch hitters or, if one cannot be found, writing the pinch hits so that everyone who participates receives a gift.