Monday, June 7, 2010

Link Party Help - I Need Your Input

I need some comments, help, and advice from all of you about Modern Craftswoman Monday. I hate to be a stick in the mud. I never want to offend people. I really love all of you. But, here is the deal. I am finding that a large percentage of the bloggers linking up on Modern Craftswoman Monday, are not bothering to link back, or even follow. I do not like the idea of deleting entries and am looking for suggestions from all of you on what to do about it.


One of the things I have considered is to make craftswomen who don't link back ineligible for Craftswoman of the Week, but I hate the idea of anything negative when it comes to a party.


I would appreciate any comments, suggestions, or thoughts on how to encourage more entrants to link back. Hosting a link party is a lot of work in order to do it right, and I want to see Modern Craftswoman Monday be successful.


Let me know what all of you think.


By the way, a sincere thank you to all of you who do link back. It means a lot to me.




30 comments:

Rebecca said...

It seems that deleting posts is a necessary evil in hosting Link Parties. All of the parties that I link to say that they will delete posts that don't link back. Unfortunately sometimes we all forget to link back, but as long as the rules are stated up front, I think you have to do it. Good luck!

Love the Decor! said...

I'm not really sure how you should handle this either other than explaining that this is what makes a linky party a party. I wonder if some just don't understand the process so maybe explaining it from that perspective would be helpful. I appreciate your thoughts on keeping it positive : )

Rory from Tools Are For Women Too! said...

I always like to approach things from a postive perspective if I can. I would feel really bad about deleting a project from the party, if the blogger honestly just got in a hurry and forgot to link up.

Rory

Colleen @ MuralMaker&More said...

There was a discussion about this on BlogFrog. A lot of people didn't know they were supposed to link back. I can't understand that because it's always clearly stated.

I do a lot of link parties, always read the instructions, and always, ALWAYS, link back.

Rory, don't feel bad deleting. You're the host so you get to call the shots. It's not being mean. It's called 'being fair.'

Rory from Tools Are For Women Too! said...

Hi Colleen,

Thanks for the comment. I think you are right in that the rules are pretty clearly stated. Modern Craftswoman Monday rules are about as easy to comply with as it gets. I am curious as to what other comments this post will bring.

Rory

★All Thingz Related★ said...

Bridgette and I host a party every Tuesday and we have noticed a few that haven't linked back. To us, it's not that big of a deal. Like I said, it's only a few. And honestly, they probably just forgot.

BUT, if the majority of them were not adding a link back to our party, we might have to take action. It's respectful to the host to become a follower and let everyone know where they linked up to. If one can't be respectful, then their project should not be recognized. I'm not trying to be ugly, just honest :)

{Rebekah}

decorchick! said...

Since it is difficult to put every link party's button on each post, that is why I have an "It's a Party Tab" listing each party I participate in. There are different ones for different days, and putting all of those buttons on each post will really slow the blog site down. Plus, there may be a post that I don't publish till Monday, but can still link up to a Sunday party. Make sense? And that goes throughout the week. I hope it's ok that I do this, and I've only gotten 1 comment from someone insisting I put their button on my post.

And even if I were to have every link party button on my sidebar, that eventually starts to look messy and cluttered on the site, and slows it down since not every person that visits the site has a fast connection or can view the HTML code.

I hope that makes sense. Every now and then when I post about features, I make sure and write for them to visit those sites and link up!

Thanks for your great parties Rory!!

Birdie said...

I'm a new follower and I haven't yet finished a project to be able to participate in one of your parties, but I second the motion that if the rules are clearly stated, deleting a link is totally acceptable (I see a lot of links get deleted when they don't link to the actual post, so it happens!)
I have certainly forgotten to link back (and when I started blogging I didn't know how), so I understand it can happen but maybe you could post a quick comment saying "So sorry but if you don't see your link, I had to delete it to keep the rules fair for everyone." I think it would be a friendly way of addressing the issue. Another thing I like to see in linky party rules is a requirement to visit and comment on say, 3 projects. I think it really encourages camaraderie. Don't know if you do that, but maybe that would be something to consider as well.

Sailing Simply said...

I really don't get how someone could not understand about linking back to the party in thier post when they can clearly understand how to link up to the party! That's a pretty across the board rule of thumb on all linky parties. If I were you I would continue to give fair warning on deleting when you put the link up and then delete away if choose too! You shouldn't feel guilty, it's not like your deleting their actual post. They can always add the link and rejoin, if they really forgot right?

Cassie @ Primitive & Proper said...

hi rory! this would be an effort on your part, but we all know that bloggers read their comments! you should comment to each of them that you are doing them a favor by giving them a forum to showcase their work, and you would appreciate mutual consideration in linking back to your blog. and gently remind them of the rules and let them know next time they will be deleted. that's not being mean- just getting the respect you should get by hosting. i do link up to a lot of parties, but i always link back from my post and i always give credit where credit is due from ideas i have gotten. i think way to many people out there don't read the blog, see the work "party" and just add their link, with no heed. it drives me bonkers when i am at a party for furniture or painting and someone has posted, "yummy chicken tacos". if i wanted to see that i wouldn't be looking at a furniture or painting party, now would i? ok, this was a long comment but hopefully you got something out of it! ;)

Birdie said...

Hi Rory - I'm a somewhat new follower, though I haven't yet joined one of your parties yet (projects need to get finished first!)
I think your rules are very clear and people should expect to be deleted if they don't follow the rules. I have seen some links get deleted because the person doesn't understand how to link back etc, and I think a really nice way to handle it would be to post a comment stating "If you don't see your link, it may have been deleted as I have to make sure the rules are adhered to for all participants." It's just "business" after all, so no one should fault you for deleting links. PS I love your blog and I think you have some great projects on here!

Ann @ makethebestofthings said...

Hi Rory, good question and I feel your dilemma. If I was the host I'd feel torn about deleting, but it's your party, your rules and your decision! I feel it is only common courtesy to follow the party host's blog and to link back. My blogland experience so far is that it's a courteous place. I also try to thank the host for their party each week in their comment section. In my case I keep the party links well organized by day on my sidebar but I've also listed them in my post. If I'd linked without a way to link back to the party I would appreciate a gentle reminder!

Little Lizard King said...

Question: Do you have rules for following i.e. google reader vs. publicly? I'm not sure you are actually able to check followers via google reader.

I think that if people don't link back, it's more than fair to delete. You'll have to figure out how much effort you want to put into this. Do you want to email people gentle reminders? I wouldn't have time for that. If not, delete.

Miss Modern Vintage said...

I wouldn't feel bad at all about deleting. This can and should be a "win-win" for everyone!

Rory from Tools Are For Women Too! said...

Wow! This appears to be a pretty hot topic. Unfortunately blogger was down for a little while and I have had to answer a lot of you by way of email. It appears that there are a lot of opinions out there, and misunderstandings as well.

I think one of the problems is that every host seems to have a different rule regarding how to link back, making it a little confusing, especially to new bloggers coming into the scene for the first time. Last I heard there were close to 100,000 new blogs being started every day, so it does not suprise me that there is some confusion.

As a host here, I never complain about a link back. I never care how it is done, as I have stated in my Really Simple Party Rules. However a person links back is fine with me. Blog roll, button, sidebar, post, whatever. I am never ever offended by someone making an attempt to link back. I place great value on every single link.
The problem is that I am seeing quite a few entries that make no attempt to link back at all.

I really appreciate all the great comments coming in on this post. I will give it a few days and write another post with hopefully a few conclusuions.

Love all of you.

Rory

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

This is indeed a hot topic isn't it? I think people either are not aware or just don't care about linky etiquette.
Time and time again I get emails asking "How can I grow my blog? or How can I get alot of followers?"

I always say the same thing. Truly participate in linky parties. Which means for example, when I participate I don't just add MY entry and leave. I actually take the time to first comment and thank the person hosting the linky. Then I go and visit several of the other blogs that are also participating. This is truly is what linky parties are all about. Seeing other entries to get great ideas and discovering new blogs.

If I do not have the time in my day/week to do this then I don't participate in the linky. End of story.

To just post your entry and leave is akin to showing up at a beautiful wedding dinner and not bringing a gift.

Finally, it is truly disheartening that of the blogs that I actually visit and leave a comment only about 10% return the favor. If you are too busy to be polite then don't play.

Stick to your guns and start removing the links. I for one have your button permanently on my sidebar as you were SO gracious to bestow an incredible honor on me.
Thank you again.

C.R.A.F.T. said...

just wanted to let you know I featured you at MMM today!

ThisHomeOfOurs said...

I am glad you wrote this because I am new to blogging and didn't know to link back. I am glad to know.

homesteader said...

I don't think you should feel bad about deleting an entry if the persn that submitted it didn't even take the time to read your post regarding the party "rules". It's only considerate. Not that I've hosted a link party, but as a submitter-type-person, it seems you should be considerate of the host that has taken the time and effort to host. THANK YOU for all that you do (: I really enjoy your blog.

Thoughtfully blended hearts said...

Hi, I think that it's your blog and you get to make the rules...I've noticed others who host these parties set their rules up and delete the posts that don't conform...I've linked to parties before and actually accidentally not included the link...so maybe a warning the first time???

LisasCreativeHome said...

I've added your button to my sidebar so everyone can see:)

Rory from Tools Are For Women Too! said...

Lisa,

Very sweet of you. Thank you so much.

Rory

Rory from Tools Are For Women Too! said...

Laura,

You are a true professional as always. Thank you for adding to the comments here. By the way, I saw that I was not the only blog that recognized you and for your 23 year project. Correct me if I am wrong, but I think you were featured on Cote De Texas as well. ( And you thought I didn't notice. ) Congratulations on your recent success. You deserve it.

Rory

For those of you who missed my post on Laura, here is her link again. We could all learn a lot from her. She was one of my chices for Great Craftswoman of the Week.

http://toolsareforwomentoo.blogspot.com/2010/05/great-craftswoman-of-week-laura-ingalls.html

Melanie said...

I think that it is just respectful to link back. The person that is hosting the party is taking the time and effect to do the work so I think you should link back. I don't know if there are rules to how to link back because I am new to blogging but I put it at the bottom of my post.

Debbie said...

Hi Rory, thanks for hosting the party...I made sure to link back:) Actually I am going through the same thing...I am giving warnings for now. I do not expect them to follow me though, if they want to great, if not, fine too:)

Rory from Tools Are For Women Too! said...

Hi Debbie,

Glad to know someone else is facing the same issues. Personally, I link back to every single party I join, by putting them on my Link Party Directory. The directory has worked great for me and only 1 host out of over 100 parties has had a problem with me linking back this way.

The advantage to me linking this way is that I don't have to constantly re-type who I am linking to everyday.


The advantage to other hosts is that their party remains visible on my directory 7 days a week.

The directory has become one of the top 3 visited portions of my blog and gets viewed tons of times daily. It is a real benefit to other party hosts to be on the directory and I think they understand that.

By the way, if any of you out there are hosting a party and would like to be on my directory, let me know. All I ask in return is a link back somehow. I would be happy to add your party to the list.

Rory

malia said...

That's a tough one. I don't have a sense of how much time it takes to go through the posts and make sure everyone followed the rules. It's too bad it's an issue you even have to be concerned about. I think warnings seem to help-- they always make me stop and make sure I'm doing the right thing.

Thanks for the party!

Gracefully Vintage said...

Hey Rory, Maybe how it is done- i could be doing it wrong as well- Explaining How you Link back (exactly) Having your button on their blog-is that not linking back? I have tried once before to enter a blog address on my site as reference- and it shows the http....
so maybe an example of it first- try that one week-and see if it helps.
Because if post is already done on a persons blog- do they go back in and add a link.
I probably need more directions myself.
Thanks Karryann

Gracefully Vintage said...

Hey Rory, Maybe how it is done- i could be doing it wrong as well- Explaining How you Link back (exactly) Having your button on their blog-is that not linking back? I have tried once before to enter a blog address on my site as reference- and it shows the http....
so maybe an example of it first- try that one week-and see if it helps.
Because if post is already done on a persons blog- do they go back in and add a link.
I probably need more directions myself.
Thanks Karryann

Rory from Tools Are For Women Too! said...

Hi Karryann,

Nice to see you again. Thanks for the comment.

Yes, it is entirely possible that some people just don't understand how to link back. Some hosts are extremetly picky about what they want in the way of a link back. As for me, I am not picky at all.

Here are a few ways linking back can be done.

1.) You can grab a hosts button and paste it on your blog somewhere. Some hosts want it on a post. Others just want it on the front page somewhere. For me, I am thrilled when someone takes a button, and wherever it ends up on a person's blog, I am ecstatic.

2.) Some people will add url addresses to the bottom of a post showing the parties they are attending that day or week. You can just copy the url from the party and paste it at the bottom of your post.

3.) Some will put the party name, such as Modern Craftswoman Monday at the bottom of the post then link the party name to the url. This is really easy to do, but I am betting there are a lot of new bloggers out there who don't know how to do this yet. All you really need to do is highlight Modern Craftswoman Monday where you wrote in in a post, then click on the little "chain link" on the tool bar. A pop-up will appear asking what address you want Modern Craftswoman Monday to be linked to. Just paste in the url from the party and click "ok". That's it. Nothing to it.

4.) I like to use a blog roll for linking up. I have a dedicated page for link parties that I attend. The names of all the parties are there and all the party names have a direct link from my site to the party. Just click on a party name and you will be transported magically there. You don't even have to click your heels together 3 times or anything.

Come to think of it, maybe that is part of the problem. Maybe people just don't understand what a link does exactly. Hmmm....Okay, a word on that...

What hosts are looking for is a "pair of ruby slippers" that will take readers magically from your site to theirs. Those slippers on the internet are called "links". Party hosts hold link parties because the want as many pairs of ruby slippers leading back to their site as possible.

When a person joins a party and posts a thumbnail, that thumbnail is a direct link back that persons site. All the host is really asking for is a direct link back, in return.

Sounds like I may need to write a post or 2 on this, but this was a little helpful to some of you.

Thank you again Karryann for the comment.

Rory