Tuesday, March 9, 2010

My Manifesto on Blog Parties

So here's the deal.

I like linking to blog parties. I like hosting the occasional blog party. They're a great way to interact with other members of the blogging community, but let's be honest...the main purpose of participating is to increase traffic to your blog.

I don't think there's anything wrong with that, but I do think that there's a way to participate in a classy way.

I've heard some murmurings of discontent regarding blog parties from several bloggers, and I thought I'd share my personal philosophy on blog parties. My ideas may be different than many of yours, and that's okay. We can agree to disagree, right? Please don't send me hatemail. Seriously.

One of my biggest pet peeves about some of the parties in Blogland lately is that many aren't parties, but merely long lists of links. To me, the word "party" implies some degree of socialization. 

Example: If you showed up to a a real party at my house, dressed in your finest, consumed all the refreshments, and allowed people to compliment you repeatedly while you sat in the corner basking in the glory and not speaking to anyone...people would start to get annoyed. I wouldn't invite you back.

Why should a blog party be any different? I personally try not to link up to a party unless I know that I can take the time to visit at least two or three blogs on the list. Truly, if I can spend the time writing a post, adding a link to the host site, and linking up; then taking 5 minutes to do a bit of socializing won't kill me. It might in fact bring me a new friend or two!

That said, I think there's a big difference between linking up and doing a bit of visiting later on in the week and just linking and leaving. The same would go for returning comments left on your posts. It's taking me longer to return visits now than it did when I had fewer Followers, but it is something I make an effort to do. I don't expect someone with 700 Followers to get around to all 68 comments on their post, but it's nice for those of us with smaller blogs to take the time to return comments.

When leaving a party, would you just walk out the door, hop in your car, and drive away? I've also noticed that the number of comments for blog party hostesses are drastically smaller than the amount of links. Take a moment to thank your hostess for going through the trouble of creating a MckLinky list, writing a post, whatever. It's just the polite thing to do.

I hope I haven't offended anyone! I just wanted to share my thoughts on what may be a touchy subject.

{I'd love to read your thoughts on ways to make a blog party successful!}

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  1. I totally agree. At the very least, you should pop into the person above you. So often folks don't ever check back on anyone else. I think it needed to be said :)

  2. I think you're spot on girl. :) I like Jennifer's idea of commenting on the person above you if you have no time to do everyone. Isn't that what they do for a certain SITS party? I usually link up at night then the next evening I can spend some time going through everyones and saying hi.

    Another thing that bothers me is when people don't link back to the party. The host is well, hosting it for you and you're going to get a great amount of traffic from it-- you expect the comments, it's nice to give a shout out back too. Just something I noticed on a lot of the parties everyone used to always link back not so much anymore.

    Anywho! I agree, that's all I meant to say in my novel of a comment. :)

  3. I agree with everything you've said. It's disheartening to "strut your stuff" and know that people are looking, but not commenting. Makes you start to question your taste and/or abilities. Not that I speak from experience or anything. ;-)

  4. I think you are absolutely right on and appreciate your post!!!

  5. I totally agree! It hurts me to see that hardly no one is leaving comments. Some comment is better than NONE! A while back, I took the time to create myself a desktop wallpaper for my own pc and decided to share it. I linked it up to a party and received ZERO comments from almost 200 participants! It took me almost an hour to figure out how to share this and NO ONE even commented! These parties are NOT 'all about ME' parties...they are for sharing our creative side with others and getting the same in return!

  6. agreed! and personally, i think it's a bit odd to link up to a party that has NOTHING to do with your blog post. "a chalkboard linky party? i'll just toss my newly painted dining room in there for fun!" not cool. : )

    i like the idea of looking at & commenting on the post or 2 above yours... and definitely leave a comment for the hostess! if nothing else, thank you for having us over, right?
    thanks amanda- looking forward to seeing what your readers share tomorrow!
    happy tuesday...

  7. Yes, yes, yes - you are SPOT on - thank you for posting this!! Some people definitely miss the point of these things...

    I missed your last party (knew I didn't have time to put a quality post together, nor the time to properly invest in others' posts) but I cannot WAIT for tomorrow's party! Thank you for putting all of these together - I've found so many other great blogs through you!

  8. Hi Jenn, I think you hit the nail on the head and you put it beautifully. I agree with what you had to say. I also agree about the comments,it is amazing to me how many people visit but don't leave a comment. Only about 5% of visitors will comment on any given day. I try to always leave a comment to the author afterall they put a lot of work into their post. Good luck on your up-coming party, kathysue

  9. You're right on target. I try to visit at least a handful of other participants in a blog party, even if it takes me a few days to do so. For certain memes, I get traffic but few comments; it makes me wonder if my posts contain nothing worth commenting on!

    I am guilty, however, of linking up sometimes without commenting on the hostess's blog post. I know it's poor etiquette and I'm resolving to work on it!

  10. Good post, Amanda. We all know there's no way you can visit all of the participants of the bigger parties (200-300? uh, no), but spend a little while making visits to several.
    Actually, lately I've stopped even linking to the ones with that many participants...the effort is too great for the return.

  11. Yes ma'am, party girl, you are right.....that's why I don't always participate....both not having the time to put together a post that actually fits with the party or feeling like right now I don't have the time to blog hop and see everyone's post and comment. So if I don't participate, it's more a choice of what I feel I can contribute, not a slight toward the hostess.....love you, girl!


  12. I've never been a part of a blog party, so I have no clue, but I'd imagine that being social would be important, and showing up just to "be seen," well, that'd pi$$ me off a bit if I noticed it. ;)

  13. I think you're totally right! I haven't thought much about the whole "party" comparison, but you are totally right. Great Post!

  14. Love your post Amanda...thanks so much for writing! :)

  15. well said...and I am looking forward to joining in on the "progress" party tonight/tomorrow!

  16. I think you should try very hard to visit some of the links too! Like you said...it is a party!! And leave a real comment, not a "hi" and that is it. How rude!
    Looking forward to your party as well.

  17. Yes, I couldn't agree more with everything you said. Yay you. I am trying to increase traffic it's true but I am a very small blog at this time so it is also easy to return comments. I love your parties. Actually the Feb. Decorating Dilemma was my very first McLinky anywhere. I am stressing about being ready for tomorrow ( Shopping for the bedding today) :0 but you are keeping me on progress track. I am excited to see you will be hosting another party in April. I may just get the upstairs turned around this year at the rate you are pushing me. Haha. Thank you for hosting if I neglected to say that before.
    Warmly, Pam

  18. Way to go, Amanda! I'm really hoping that one of the big bloggers who do weekly "feature" posts will pick up this post of yours. . . because you're absolutely right. So often now we see linky parties as simply a way to showcase our own posts, without stopping to think. I love the way you compare blog parties to real-life parties. People often write posts about "keeping it real," showing photos of their homes in real life--and yet I'll bet no one would behave in "real life" the way they do at blog parties! I think the blogging world needed a little reminder that our online behavior is part of our "real life," and courtesy counts. Manners matter. Yes, ma'am!

  19. I totaly agree with you I always try to comment back and I even follow blogs that look like they appeal to me ...I have a huge list in my google reader and when HB is watching silly TV and the kiddo is ignoring me for stuff he is doing I whoop out my phone and read away or I get on the netbook and read away... I read probably 90 of every blog on my list and every post I comment when I feel like it but on blg hops/parties/memes what ever I use the utmost courtesy...

  20. I'm totally with you :) and totally jazzed for tomorrow's party!

    Can I just say that, for bossy old me, my favorite part of your DD Parties is getting to tell people what to do with their spaces? Who doesn't get a little excited to hand out advice?

  21. Amen! You are ABSOLUTELY right! Although it's hard to get around to everyone on Transformation Thursday, I do my best to get to as many as possible. But, shame on me, I can't always comment - some blogs just won't go through.

    Can we add a clause about linking the exact same post to 10 parties? Why join all the parties if they all have the same links? Just my 2 cents....

  22. I totally agree. I like to visit the links because I like to find new blogs to follow and get some new ideas. If someone really impresses me I definately leave a comment. I have just added that comments on my site go to my email so I can respond back to them (I didn't know how to do it from my blog) I plan on linking up with you, thanks for your ideas!

  23. Very well said Amanda! I used to participate in blog parties a lot but as the participants grew I would feel the pressure to visit everyone that linked up and if I don't have time for that than I figure it's not fair for me to join in. Your analogy was very good. Blog parties are such a great way to meet new bloggers with similar taste AND get your blog out there. If people aren't interacting with each other than there's no point.

  24. I have certain blogs I read (yours is one of them) that are just saved on my drop down bar on my computer. I’m terrible at remembering to click that little follow button! Anyway, I just realized I’ve never clicked yours and did so today (I emailed this to you but it keeps bouncing back. Did your address change?)

  25. Well said! I've actually stopped participating in the giant parties because they almost seem to be out of control. Honestly, I'd rather have people give my blog attention because they're interested in it, not because I've spammed all of the parties!

    I'm excited to link up with my progress tomorrow!

  26. I totally agree...I try so hard to stop in at as many sites as I can...but some of the parties are not really parties....so I have been skipping a lot of them....

  27. I totally agree with this post. I rarely join blog parties anymore because it takes time on my part, and I often think that I get little in return. I always like to visit lots of new blogs, but the few comments I get on my posts seem "canned" - it can be disappointing.

    With that said, I held a blog party in Nov/Dec leading up to the holidays. It was great at first and so many people were obviously going around and meeting new people. But, at a certain point, I realized that ppl were linking without even reading the post of what to link. Kinda disappointing, but I think that the people who did it correctly really got the most out of it - esp. with new blogs to read and new readers.

    But, I'm going to give your party a go. I'm looking forward to meeting some new bloggers in the process.

    Thanks for all you do. I know that blog parties can be a lot of work! =)

  28. I hear ya! Great post, Amanda. It needed to be said.

    My biggest pet peeve is when bloggers post the exact same comment on every blog they visit, and it's something kind of spammy, like, "Come enter my giveaway today!!!" That really irks me.

    I'm also stunned by how often bloggers will brazenly link to a post that has absolutely nothing to do with the party. That wastes everyone's time and is just plain rude.

    Well, I'm glad I got that off my chest. Ha. :)

  29. I have noticed that some parties are more friendly than others, as far as people visiting and taking time to comment. If I ever participate in these things I try to visit as many others as I can and leave comments.
    My blog is mostly for family and friends though, so I am not trying to get new followers etc by participating. I love reading a lot of blogs and have got many great ideas.
    And I do really appreciate that you take the time to return comments, that is very thoughtful of you!

  30. I agree with everything you've listed! When blog hopping, use the same courtesies as you would in everyday life.

  31. I totally agree with everything you said.

    I am linking up to your party but I will have to say that I won't be able to visit other blogs until tomorrow night. (It's 8:30 pm now and I just got home after leaving the house at 5:30 this morning.) I want to socialize but my free time is really limited now.

    I'm looking forward to the party!

  32. Love your blog party manifesto. All very good points indeed. One of my blog party pet peeves is the copy and pasted,
    "Great job. I like it. Please stop by my blog at ______ and check out my uber fab project."
    Then as you continue to cruise the blog party links you see that comment is on each.and.every.blog.on.the.list...
    Can anyone say unoriginal?

    PS. I too didn't mean to offend anyone who may in fact do that, but its true, it does annoy me :)

  33. Hopefully I'll be able to join one of your lovely parties in the future. For this one, I'll just mingle and comment on other's posts. :-)
    I recently linked up to a party at someone else's blog, and didn't get any comments from the other party goers at all! Very discouraging, so I agree with you about "party manners".

  34. We started doing a blog hop on Saturdays called Champagne Saturdays where participants are encouraged to feature an outfit and beverage that they are our would like to be drinking to celebrate the weekend. Encouraging more interaction is a fabulous tip. Thanks lady!

  35. This is my first visit to your lovely blog, and I wanted to say how much this post is appreciated. You (and your readers) have really hit the nail on the head. A not so funny story: I linked up to a party recently and someone posted one of those one size fits all generic comments (although it was a very kind comment!) twice on the same post. Not cool. When I checked out her blog, it seemed like we had absolutely nothing in common. I'm waiting on the sofa delivery guys as I write (yay!), so maybe I'll get a chance to link my family room before Thursday. I sure could use some suggestions for the windows.

  36. You know your manners, girlfriend!!! I love you for it. (((hugs and party on)))

  37. Oh my gosh - you were reading my mind! It is crazy to me when I see 300 links to a party and only a handful of comments.

    Sometimes I have to play catchup on visiting later in the week so I try at the least to visit from the top of the list, from the bottom and a those around my link for each party so that everyone gets a little love.

    BTW - I'm linking back to you today on my SFF Friday - post to be published soon.

    Have a great weekend!

  38. These are great thoughts. I really like blog parties as I have found some of my favorite blogs that way!

  39. This is a TERRIFIC post. And it should be distributed in some sort of a "how to blog" handbook. I am relatively knew to blogging and don't always know the proper etiquette. I have worked hard to try to do the polite, gracious thing as I would in my own life but don't always feel the same reciprocated so I think maybe I am the one who is wrong and going about it incorrectly. Myabe LEAVING the comment is unnecessary, or whatever. Glad for this post. I'll be following along and hope to join the party at some point! Marija

  40. Great post. I am new to all of this, and I kind of knew I was supposed to do those things, but sometimes it takes me a couple of days to reply to those who commented on my post, and also check out some other posts.

  41. Great post girlfriend! I read through all the comments too and agreed with what many others said too. I remember once linking to a party - on a big blog - but it was a small party - only like 36 participants. I received sooooo much traffic from it but not one comment. I felt so defeated - like my project "wasn't good enough". I didn't enter another blog party for months. I admit that I am not always the greatest at leaving a comment for the host - but will be more conscience of that now. But I have the most fun tooling around blog parties - I've found so many great blogs to read and projects to try. Thanks for this post girl!

  42. Good points. I am new to blogging and even reading blogs and I'm glad you posted about this. Not only for those "rude" types, but also for new bloggers to get an idea of how to participate. Thanks.

  43. Amanda, great points..I don't attend many blog parties just due to the fact that some are so HUGE. And to be honest, I am not the craftiest or diyiest gal around and don't have much to share. The few I do particpate in are usually smaller..I always like to check out your blog parties and will do a better job to leave comments all around..

  44. Good for you! It amazes me how many people don't even leave thank you notes for the party-givers. When I join a party, my goal is to visit and leave REAL comments for at least 5 people. I haven't always been perfect...but I do want to encourage others. What I've been seeing lately, that I really like is party hostesses saying, "Please at least leave a comment for the people before and after you." Love that! If everyone follows that guideline, no one will feel left out, new friends will be made and all will be well with the world. Well, it will be a nicer place anyway.

    Thank you for posting this! God Bless you and Happy New Year!!

    : )

    Julie M.!

  45. HI there!
    I'm new to your blog and new to the blogging community, too -- I've never been invited to a blog party but one day I hope to be! I love "meeting" new people via their blogs, and I'm adding blogs to my blog roll all the time. Although I've never been to a blog party, I have to say that I agree 100% with what you say about how to be a gracious "guest" to one. Makes perfect sense to me!
    Love your blog - new "follower" here :)

  46. I really liked your article.

  47. Sometimes our fate resembles a fruit tree in winter. Who would think that those branches would turn green again and blossom, but we hope it, we know it - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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