Sunday, May 29, 2011

Promote It And They Will Come--running a "Really, Really Free Market"

Yesterday was what I'm hoping will be the last Really, Really Free Market in Jackson, MI that I organize.  I hope it continues and will do what I can to promote it online, but I don't want to have to drive that far anymore!  I've been looking for someone to take it over since we moved in October, but hadn't found anyone until today.  I don't know why, but I suspect that it sounds like a lot of work to organize a RRFM.  It really isn't. 

Basically, if you promote it, they will come.

I've been at a severe disadvantage promoting the Jackson one, since I live about an hour's drive away now, so I couldn't flyer the town or anything, but I've been posting on the thing's Facebook page, Freecycle, and and people still show up in a quantity sufficient to make them worthwhile (as in, I get rid of most or all the stuff I don't want anymore and usually find some seriously cool stuff I want as well), but I know it hasn't been living up to the potential that exists. 

Beyond promoting the event itself, all that is required is picking a place where you're allowed to be (no worries about permits, since what do you need a permit for?), pick a date and time, and showing up, maybe with some "seed" stuff to give away or skills or talents or free food to share.  That's it.  Easy-peasy...and so worthwhile since you can meet some really cool people at them, learn some really cool stuff (I taught a lady about my homemade laundry detergent today), and have a lot of fun.  As a bonus, I've been scheduling them at parks near playgrounds so the kids can play while I give away!  It ends up being a really fun thing for the whole family!

Wait, you might be saying, what is a "Really, Really Free Market" anyway?  Glad you asked!  The site puts it better than I could, so here is their description:
A Really Really Free Market (RRFM) is like a community gathering where participants bring, and give away absolutely free, any usable items, skills, ideas, smiles, talents, friendship, excitement, discussions, games and many others things that we as a community can come together and share. An RRFM is a 100% free and non-commercial event, organized by participants just like you. It is a temporary autonomous zone instituting the gift economy as an alternative to the capitalist mode of resource distribution. An RRFM is not just a once a month party, it is an ethos and a way of being that transforms people through its experience and is then carried into other areas of life.

So now that you see how easy it is and how cool they are, think you'll start one in your area if one doesn't already exist?

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