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Even Yankee Swapping can be socialized

I love a holiday party. And I love a Yankee Swap. I get to emcee the annual Inmagic Yankee Swap. It’s just one of my jobs. For those of you that don't know what Yankee Swap is, here's one variant of the basic rules.

We held our Yankee Swap the other week, and I want you to know that this is not your average game. Inmagic holds a Yankee Swap 2.0. What makes it a 2.0 Swap? I’ll tell you, but first, here is a 2.0 representation of the swap:

This isn’t all the gifts, but it’s a good representation of what the Swap was all about. As you can see, the Scotch was the most popular gift because it moved around a lot. The two Snickers bars were not all that popular. And a bunch of people went out and grabbed Dunkin' Donuts gift cards at the last minute.

Our Yankee Swap violates one 2.0’ism, however. We make the rules complex. But this just makes the Swap more FUN!

The key innovation we employ is the following: We choose who gets to start the final round by using a measure of the gift’s popularity. We call this "gift velocity." Gift velocity is measured by how often the gift is taken from its current owner by someone during the Swap. Thus, gift velocity measures a gift's popularity.

We reward the person that brings the most popular gift with the right to start the final round. This means they get to choose and keep any gift in the room.

What I really like about this rule is that it provides an incentive for people to bring good gifts. The rule worked really well this year, with tons of great stuff contributed. We establish a $15 limit, but some people are clearly challenged in the area.

We wrapped up the festivities with a holiday party graciously hosted by our CEO, Paul Puzzanghera, and his wife at their home. The food was delicious, the conversation lively, and a good time was had by all (and all had a good night). Photos from the night are on their way.

So remember, the Web and library aren't the only things being socialized. At Inmagic, we really like our Social Yankee Swap and the benefits that come with socialization.

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