Revamped, Revised and Ready for YOU!!by BCNewsletter
January 9, 2008
Thanks to dedicated BookCrossers, SSMs are back in action! Though there was a brief resurrection a year or so
ago, the volunteers who manned the project were unable to continue. Plus there was that whole Sunday Sunset bit, and also the confusion as to where the SSMs fit in relationship with the Release Challenge Forum.
Enter intrepid BookCrosser dicentragirl. She had taken a bit of a break from BookCrossing but was back and wondering where the SSMs had gone. She read through past threads and then figured there was no reason a member couldn't post unofficial SSMs. She wrote up a year's worth, trying to keep within the spirit of the original ones and to keep them international. (One of the problems the original volunteers had was many of the suggestions sent in were very U.S.-centric and would be difficult to apply to international settings. As BookCrossing grows, we're making a major effort to reflect the diversity of our global community - even in SSMs.) Dicentragirl posted her plan in the forum, found support and has been posting SSMs ever since. Way to go!
BookCrossing is 100% in favor of the SSMs being member-driven. While some people argue there is little difference between SSMs and release challenges, those who participate in one, the other, or both, seem to feel differently. SSMs are events linked to one specific time. While release challenges can also be a one-day event, they usually lack the narrow time focus of the SSM. Additionally, despite slim participation, SSMs were missed. Our support team regularly was getting queries as to what happened to the SSMs, as well as suggestions for possible future ones. As to the confusion of the title of the forum, sometime in early 2008, look for new descriptions in our SSM forum. SSM will now mean "Special Sunset Mission", to help when the mission needs to be on a day of the week other than Sunday.
One thing that is probably important to maintain is that there only be one SSM a week, so as not to dilute the focus, and to keep it different from Release Challenges. Right now, dicentragirl has stepped in and gotten things organized. All the missions are organized by date (in U.S. format -- month/date for 2007 but perhaps in 2008 the year can be added as well.) If there are others interested in helping, why not get a discussion and a plan going in the forum? In the meantime, we are reprinting an article from October 2005 on SSM Basics, with some minor edits to bring it up to date.
Welcome to the Wonderful World of SSMs. SSMs are posted in our fabulous . Listed below are a few things to help you out in your mission
Rules of SSMs:
- RELEASE ZONE: Anywhere
- RELEASE METHOD: Pick a book, release zone or release method that is appropriate to the SSM in question
- RELEASE TIME: A date for a specific Sunday will be given. The release time is sunset.
- Be on time! You can get the exact sunset time from http://www.weather.com/
- Label the books properly. At a minimum, this means a sticky-note on the outside making it clear that the book is FREE and NOT LOST (don't write anything on the outside to cause others alarm!), and a good, descriptive label inside the cover explaining BookCrossing
and including the BCID for the book
- If possible, choose a book with content appropriate to the release location
- If possible, print out one of the press articles from http://www.bookcrossing.com/press and include it with the book (the Utne Reader or Reader's Digest articles work well)
- Take pictures! Those of you with digital cameras, try to take a picture of the release zone with books, upload it with your journal entry, and make a post with the journal entry link in the SSM forum at
Feel free to use one of the the absolutely great SSM logos created by Wyando and by KYH for our SSMs. Both logos (and other neat ones) can be found here.
We realize that many of you want to help, and, given the vast quantities of creativity that flows in the BC family, we'd be foolish to say no! So-- if that wonderful brain of yours is teeming with ideas for SSMs, here's what to do:
Submit your suggestion(s) via the SSM forum. (For a list of previous SSMs, we refer you to the ever wonderful TexasWren's site.)
Thanks and see you at Sunset!!!