Couple gives birth to an Elephant on Facebook…

Posted by PartyWeDo on Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Bruce and Sarah Christensen are new Facebook developers, and they have delivered an online version of the white elephant gift exchange or Yankee Swap for families and friends this holiday season.

Elephant in a boxThe white elephant party is called AlbinoPhant, and the Christensen’s have been testing this online game with their grown children for the past 3-years.

“When our youngest got married and left the nest, we started sharing our gifts through playing this game, and we loved the party atmosphere and fun conversations this allowed us” stated Sarah, the mother of five and grand mother of seven.

The AlbinoPhant party is a mimic of the traditional White Elephant gift swaps that are common among social groups during the holidays. The Facebook game provides real shopping markets from Amazon for selecting and purchasing a gift for the event. Players virtually wrap the image of the selected gift and then the party is ready to start.

“The game is just like the real party in many ways. The gifts are opened on the web page, there is gift stealing among the players and all the fun conversation that a group shares in a standard party”, explained Bruce Christensen.

Like a regular gift exchange, the AlbinoPhant party selects players at random to open gifts and then displays them on a common playing page. There is a comment box which allows players to share banter and poke fun at each other during the activity. There is the option to add YouTube videos and other images into the conversation. All of this is accessed by individuals as they play on their computers, from anywhere in the country.

Sarah continued, “Our family is scattered from New Hampshire to California, so this online party saves all of us the travel cost to attend family events, while still allowing real fun and personal connection with each other”.

The AlbinoPhant party is a Facebook application and takes full advantage of the social networking tools available. The host uses Facebook’s network to send the invitations and then the Facebook sharing system allows party conversations to spill out onto the web.

“We built the application to be as close to the traditional party as possible, so that families and friends would feel comfortable with the game. We use trusted brands, like Amazon and PayPal, and when the party is completed gifts are delivered using standard shipping companies”, added Bruce

This online party is a real gift exchange, so players use ecommerce to purchase the presents for the party. Then after the party is finished, these real gifts are sent out to each player’s doorstep. This party breaks new ground for Facebook, where virtual gifts have been the norm, and adds a new partnership between online retailers and social networks.
AlbinoPhant is now available thru the internet for family and friends to share gifts, steal gifts and banter together just like they have done for years, and McMinnville is this white elephant’s delivery room.

The Facebook application link is: http://apps.facebook.com/albinophant/

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