Let’s have a LINK party critique!

First off, this isn’t SNS. YET. πŸ™‚ So don’t let the button fool you!

I’d like to thank those that join SNS on the weekends. Whether you just come by for a visit, or share your DIY of late, or both, the weekends to me have abit of extra spark in them. After I glance through the entries, I’m always raring to get off the computer and go create something, so the inspiration bug does in fact bite and work!

I have started to ask myself a few questions though. So rather than guess, I’d love your input. Because after all, this party is put on for you. πŸ™‚

1. Why do you link up to so many?

There are so many link parties! And I often wonder why some enter their DIY to lists upon lists. Reason being, if we visit those other link parties, your submission isn’t all that new to blogland any longer. Yes, there’s always the chance you’ll find a few that haven’t seen you yet, but most have. Thoughts?

I tend to gauge my own party submissions by the comments I get back. If I only receive one comment or so at a link party, I know I’ve been seen lots elsewhere. That in itself is why I don’t link up much any longer. I guess that’s a good problem to have, no? πŸ™‚

2. Do you link back?

I consider a link back to a link party as a thank-you to the hostess and I appreciate it when you do that. And most do, so thank-you! Some choose not to and I’m curious as to why. Do you link back? Why or why not?Β 

3. HiddenΒ party buttons – good or bad?Β 

With so many link parties, many of you have created separate pages to display all the link party buttons. It’s a great idea! It keeps your posts clutter free from all those buttons if you visit alot. However, one thing I do notice is, at times your project shows up here again simply because the reference isn’t in your post to where you’ve actually been. What’s your thought on the hidden button page?

4. Picture link ups!

I think this one’s a no brainer. We all love visuals vs. lists. How are you making out with this feature? Do you find yourself visiting moreso, or less because of the added clue as to what’s inside?

5. Two separate headings

A Home Decor party, and a Crafts, Sewing, Cooking party. How are you doing with the two separate headings for this anything goes type of event?

6. Anything goes, or themed?

I have to be honest. My own personal passion is transforming junk into a new use. I’ve been tempted many times to theme SNS to that topic only and I’ve been reluctant to add yet another heading, creating 3 divisions to the party. But maybe I should. Or maybe I should just re theme SNS all together and have it one theme only. Or leave things as is. Do you prefer themed or anything goes parties?

7. Sidebar features

Do you enjoy the highlights I throw up on the sidebars? Those that subscribe through readers don’t see that part, so I’m curious how meaningful they actually are. I personally love to show off projects that have highly inspired me during the party, so I’m curious as to what you think.

8. Is every weekend too much?

Would you desperately miss this party if it weren’t every weekend? I often wonder if once a month would be enough so you could show the best of the month rather than everything under the sun. Or every other weekend. What say you?

9. Advertising your own giveaway/link up event at another’s party.

“Thanks for hosting. Now enter my giveaway/link party!” Thoughts?

10. Giveaway events

Do you like them? Just as happy without them?

11. Why do you come to SNS?

And the question of the day is, what brings you by to this particular party? Is thereΒ something that’s done differently here that appeals to you?

12. Anything else?

Sidebar poll

Now, before you comment like mad, I’ve created a poll on the sidebar so you can address alot of these questions with one click. And I think it would be a cool way for all of us to quickly gauge what’s popular vs what’s not. So check it out and then let’s hear what you have to say in comments if you desire!

And if you prefer to comment like crazy in words, here’s the list of questions you can cut and paste into comments. I cannot wait to hear what you have to say. πŸ™‚

I’d love to left side align this column but blogger will no longer allow me to do so! ARG. Sorry.

1. Why do you link up to so many?

2. Do you link back in your post?

3. Hidden party buttons – good or bad?

(these are links to a separate post/page on one’s blog – you must click the link to view the list, so basically put, you have to find who they are linking up with)

4. Thumbnails vs. text linkups in your postsΒ – which one do you prefer?

5. Separate headings – like it?

6. Anything goes or themed?

7. Sidebar features – notice them?

8. Do you likeΒ SNS every weekend?

9. Advertising your own giveaway/linkup in comments. Comments?

10. Giveaway events – miss them? Doesn’t matter?

11. Why SNS?

12. Anything else?

13. PictureΒ linky or list linky party?

14. Why are all my posts so dang long?!? πŸ™‚

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  1. As someone who runs a theme party, that has become my preference. People can link up knowing that they won’t get lost in 100’s of other links. It’s also nice, so people with a common interest know where to go to hang out together. We don’t have to wade through crafts and recipes.

  2. I think a theme party would be fun and much more challenging. Every weekend is too much, I think! And I like the thumbnails. Gives a great preview. I also like the sidebar features.
    Hugs
    SueAnn

  3. 1. Why do you link up to so many? I don’t.

    2. Do you link back in your post? Absolutely. Always. It’s a matter of common courtesy to the host. If you want your project shown all over blogland, then I feel you need to reward the hosts that allow you to do that. Period.

    3. Hidden party buttons – good or bad? Can’t speak to that because I don’t know. But, if it’s causing the same project to show up in the same parties, then I say that’s not a good thing.

    4. Thumbnails vs. text linkups – which one do you prefer? Well, the thumbnail allows you immediately recognize someone’s blog logo. However, if you’re a blog that links your project up to about 10 parties or more, using the thumbnail can make the post way too long. In those cases, I’d prefer to see the text links. Quite frankly and honestly, my real preference would be NOT to see someone linking up to a gazillion parties.

    5. Separate headings – like it? No preference.

    6. Anything goes or themed? I like the idea of themed. However, I think it needs to be stated STRICTLY what is allowed. I’ve gone to bedroom parties that have recipes in them, or recipe parites that have bathroom makeovers. I think too many people see a linky and immediately link to it without reading what it’s really about. PLEASE, linkers, respect what the blog host is asking for.

    7. Sidebar features – notice them? Absolutely. I’ve bookmarked many new favorites because of them.

    8. Do you like SNS every weekend? Although I love SNS, I think that blogland is so overwhelmed with parties at this point, that I would like to see all of the parties only once or twice a month. It gets very discouraging to click through so many parties and see the very same project over and over again. Truthfully, I now only visit about 4 different ones because of that.

    9. Advertising your own giveaway/linkup in comments. Comments? NO. This isn’t your party, it’s the blog host’s. When people click on your link, they will see your giveaway anyway. Please don’t advertise it on someone else’s link party unless they’ve given you permission. If I were hosting the party, those would be the first links I would remove. Sorry, but I feel that strongly about it.

    10. Giveaway events – miss them? Doesn’t matter? No preference.

    11. Why SNS? I think you’ve set the bar so high with your own projects, that it encourages everyone else to showcase the best they have to offer. I truly think the quality of the projects in your link parties are some of the best in blogland. And, the sidbar highlights make it so much nicer.

    12. Anything else? Yes. For linkers, not for you though. (big smile) I think when you link up a project, it should always show the after/finished project. I get very frustrated when I click on a link, and it’s someone’s post about the START of their project and not a completed one. Also, if you think you have a great B&A, please show us a few steps of how you did it, and not just the before picture and the after picture.
    ————
    Another thing I was going to say is that I really like the picture link parties. Because so many people link to many, many parties -and we all go to the same ones – it helps to be able to not have to click through only to see things you’ve already see on 5 other blogs. With list links, it’s like opening the same present over and over and over -eventually it loses it’s appeal. With the picture links, it saves a lot of time being able to identify what you’ve already seen vs what you haven’t.
    —————
    You should know better than to allow me to answer thought provoking questions in public! lol.

  4. Lots of good things to think about, Donna! I did take your poll, but wanted to add that there are too many people that join in on the same linky parties I do, so I’m seeing the same project for a week. I’m trying to cut down on posting one post to so many parties. I may do two posts this weekend and one will go to 3 and the second post will go to another 3.

    I like the picture linky because I can tell quickly if I’ve alredy visited that post.

    I always link back to the post that is having the linky party.

  5. I have to agree with Polly! I ALWAYS link back, I LOVE themed parties and like the little pics best too! There are so many parties nowadays, it is nice to visit themed ones for the best inspiration! For instance, if I am NOT redecorating my bathroom, I don’t look at the bathroom themed ones…etc. But my fave of all is trash to treasure and reusing/recycling. This was excellent to post today with so VERY many parties going ’round. Let’s make each party a SPECIALTY! (just like you, Donna! πŸ˜‰

  6. I also did the poll, but a couple of things I thought I would add:

    I think a theme is a fantastic idea. I admit to being a little tired of seeing the same project show up in multiple parties and maybe a theme would weed out some of the chronic linkers. Which is also why I love the new thumbnails. I can just pass over the projects I’ve already seen.

    Why SNS? First, because your projects are inspiring and to me a linky party should follow in someone’s footsteps. Second, it’s on the weekend and I have time on the weekend to dig into the links. I often have problems getting my comments to go through and lose patience with safari on weekdays.

    I don’t like links with someone else’s giveaway/link. To me that’s tacky.

    Sidebars – notice them and often click on them.

    Okay, that’s enough from me. I think this is longer than most of my own blog posts.

  7. Donna,

    I’m so new to all of this, that these links and parties scare the bajeezers out of me. Once I linked up my slipcover on someone else’s blog and NO ONE, NOT A SINGLE LIVING SOUL WROTE ANYTHING TO ME OR ABOUT ME. I was kinda hurt. I got over it, but it didn’t make me feel like I did anything for anyone to see. Kinda sensitive, huh? I suppose. But I think what you have is so special and unique that I have become a groupie to yours and a couple of other “big names”. I decided that I was going to be a part of the folks who comment HERE – being in good company feels right (does this answer any of your questions? Proly not!) instead of just aimlessly following everyone and their brother. Do I sound like I’m in a bad mood? I’m not. Anyway, here’s what I love & will love if I ever join in:

    The thumbnail pics – great way to scroll through and pick what you’d like to see right away. For instance, I was looking for some ideas and happened across some great photos from your party, clicked on them. Then I went back and read everyone else’s. Swell idea!

    I only feel safe at certain playgrounds – I read and read and read these blogs and ALL the comments. I get a feel for what is out there before I join in on anything. And then I find that, like all of us, I gravitate to certain blogs. Perhaps it’s personality, design, style. Then I stay there and play!

    Sidebar Highlights are MY personal FAVS: I absolutely LOVE that you do this! It’s really a highlight for me as a reader!

    Giveaways: I have an opinion on this one. Sorry. I don’t participate in them. I’m visiting or reading with a purpose in mind. I have a home to create. I’m more interested in the relationship between the blog artist and her landscape. I’ve noticed that when there’s a giveaway on someone’s site, people come in from every orifice on the planet to participate. And then someone from an orifice wins because it’s the random counter thing and then, well….need I go on? Giveaways. Eh? I guess they’re fun for the person setting it up. I’m so opinionated right? I’ve won some great things, but not by participating in a giveaway per se. I participated in the blog’s workshop or event. In that regard I think having some prize afterwards could be a nice incentive. When we did the workshop here and you put my pic on your blog, that was more fun to me than any prize!!!

    OK, I’m done because I don’t want to annoy anyone. I absolutely love your blog. It is one of my all time favorites and was for way long before I had a blog!

    xoxo
    Kolein

    Did I just break some blog etiquette for having opinions? I hope not. I’m really a happy, nice girl. ; )

  8. Those are some great questions to throw out there.

    1. Why do you link up to so many?

    I personally don’t have a “public blog” so I don’t know if I should comment, But I do know I get very frustrated when I see so many blogs linking up to multiple parties, and they show the same project over and over. I like how you keep it fresh by asking people to keep their projects with in the month and not posted before.

    2. Do you link back in your post? N/A – no blog

    3. Hidden party buttons – good or bad? BAD

    4. Thumbnails vs. text linkups in your posts – which one do you prefer? Thumbnails, for sure! πŸ™‚

    5. Separate headings – like it? Yes, like ’em.

    6. Anything goes or themed? themed

    7. Sidebar features – notice them? love them

    8. Do you like SNS every weekend? i enjoy having something to look forward to each weekend, but Once a month would be ok too.

    9. Advertising your own giveaway/linkup in comments. Comments? Not acceptable, I think that is just bad manners.

    10. Giveaway events – miss them? Doesn’t matter? doesn’t matter

    11. Why SNS? Because you ROCK Donna! I wish I lived closer so I could be your friend! πŸ™‚

    ~Rhonda from Minnesota

  9. Great questions, Donna!

    Posting to parties and not linking back ~ Ewww…not nice. (unless the person just doesn’t know what they are doing)

    I also think people should steer clear of advertising their give-aways on other people’s blogs without permission. If my link includes a give-away…I don’t mention it outside of my site. At least, I hope I don’t!

    I have more responses…but have to run!

    Have a beautiful afternoon! It’s windy down here in Wa!

    : )

    Julie M.

    ps I think the thumbnail pictures are great!

  10. I, like Kolein, above, am also new to the whole blogging thing, and only just beginning to suss out what link parties are all about. It is all a bit scary and slightly intimidating!

    I have taken the poll, some comments:
    1. I have spent some time carefully selecting blogs/link parties to follow based on whether I like the design/theme/general atmosphere and hope one day soon to have something suitable to submit to a relevant link party. I will definitely not be submitting to all and sundry!

    2. When I do – yes of course I will link back, this seems obvious etiquette.

    3. Hidden buttons = bad. I’ve come across this a few times and I think if you have submitted so many links that you need a separate page it’s a little OTT.

    4. Thumbnails – as you say – a no-brainer!

    5. Separate headings – yes I think they make sense when there are lots of links.

    6. Themed is probably good – links should then be more topical.

    7. Sidebar features are great.

    8. I like reading/looking at SNS regularly, I don’t know that I would ever have something to submit every weekend!

    9. I don’t think folks should advertise their links in comments, etiquette again.

    10. Giveaways? Really not bothered/interested.

    11. SNS seems quite different to other link parties I’ve stumbled on. And your blog in general is all very interesting.

    12. I hope soon to get one of my projects blogged and linked up to SNS!

    13. Is this different to Q 4.? Pictures all the way…

    14. I also find it hard to be concise; on my posts, and now I’m dreading how long my comment post will be when I click ‘Post Comment’!

    Thanks for the very relevant (to where I’m at right now) discussion. πŸ™‚

  11. I like themed, (would love the junk theme) and I don’t think every week is too often. If someone has something to link, they can. They shouldn’t feel the need to get something done each week before saturday. I’m a a”reader” gal, so I don’t check out your sidebar. I should, and I always plan to, but because I usually visit EVERY link at sns I’m sure I’ve already seen the projects you feature. I link to most of the regular parties. But I try to mix and match my projects to different parties. I try to keep it to under 5 parties for any particular project. I would think as a hostess of a party, one would like to have many bloggers adding their links? I may have to rethink this practice.

    I’ll take this opportunity to tell you how much I love your blog. But I love junk, so of course I love to watch you transform your “stuff”.

    I hope from this post you get all the answers you were looking for, cause if you don’t ask, how do you know?
    I hope you have a great day!
    gail

  12. 1. Why do you link up to so many?
    *I’m trying to make sure the largest audience possible sees my blog.

    2. Do you link back in your post?
    *I use to have a separate tab for all the linkbacks, but I moved them to my side bar so they are more prominent.

    3. Hidden party buttons – good or bad?
    *I think it’s good because A) I have way too many to list on each of my posts, and B) when they are in my sidebar they are viewed all month long whereas if they are in a post only the people that read that post see them.

    4. Thumbnails vs. text linkups in your posts – which one do you prefer?
    *I really like the thumbnail ones so I can quickly view the project, however, I’ve noticed that I click less now on other blogs because of the sneek peak. I use to open them all and view them, now I don’t.

    5. Separate headings – like it?
    *I like that you have two parties, but any more than that would be too much.

    6. Anything goes or themed?
    *I like them both! Can you alternate them?

    7. Sidebar features – notice them?
    *I notice them! You have to actually come to a blog to post in a party, so everyone actually does see them there.

    8. Do you like SNS every weekend?
    *Yes, but sometimes I’m out of town on Saturday and don’t get a chance to post πŸ™ and then when I finally find time the party is locked. πŸ™

    9. Advertising your own giveaway/linkup in comments. Comments?
    *I have no problem with this. IMHO, the more we as women bloggers unite and help promote each other the better off we will all be.

    10. Giveaway events – miss them? Doesn’t matter?
    *I rarely enter giveaways but only because I’m lazy and usually the items aren’t appealing enough for me to stop and enter them (not just yours – everyone’s!) However, if I see a great one and I don’t have to jump through hoops to enter then I will.

    PS I STILL love your blog!

  13. Hi Donna-

    1. Why do you link up to so many?

    When I started blogging 5 months ago I wanted to find readers and this was one way to do it. I have found I only pick a chosen few now. I found I was making projects just to link. That was taking me away from the real purpose of what I want to blog about. Silly right?

    2. Do you link back in your post?

    Always, if I am tired as I work late at night, I sometimes only do a url link, and not use the host’s button.

    3. Hidden party buttons – good or bad?

    I don’t do that I always put the link in the post. I do however have a page with the buttons of blogs that have featured me or that I read.

    4. Thumbnails vs. text linkups in your posts – which one do you prefer?

    I am a visual gal so thumbnails for me.

    5. Separate headings – like it?

    Yes. since we are all strapped for time, this helps us edit what we are looking for.

    6. Anything goes or themed?

    I prefer themed, again -time contraints.

    7. Sidebar features – notice them?

    Yes, I have all my favorite blogs in a reader , but usually come to yours as I am always loving what you do. I read your sidebars because you always have something of interest in them.

    8. Do you like SNS every weekend?

    You should run them if you have the time, but there are so many it almost seems like they have lost their punch. I also feel if I don’t have a project post ready I end up feeling guilty. I don’t want blogging to feel like work. I want to enjoy my experience and not feel guilty that I didn’t make something. There are so many parties now with 100’s of links who has the time to go thru a list of 300 or more sometimes. Having a specially themed party a few times a month I think would bring in more interesting projects and posts.

    9. Advertising your own giveaway/linkup in comments. Comments?

    No, Its not a place for self promotion.

    10. Giveaway events – miss them? Doesn’t matter?

    I usually don’t enter giveaways. I have to pick and choose where I want my time and efforts to go. If I have to jump over fences, tweet, fb, go to another blog and back again to enter its too exhausting. I like blogs for the content and getting to know the writer’s personality and style, not what they are giving away.

  14. Hey Donna-

    So glad you are asking these important questions.

    I voted, but wanted to say:
    I love the 2 separate topic lists that have, Love the thumbnails (i’m visual), I link back,I don’t go to a party for the giveaway (although, winning something is nice).

    What I don’t care for:
    I don’t like hidden party buttons and I don’t care for commenter’s who invite you to come to their party from someone else’s (I liken that to plain rudeness) If they see something they like and would like to have it on their blog; an email and an invitation to be a guest blogger would be more appropriate, in my opinion.

    I don’t join a lot of parties. I have a select few that I join, when I have something and then I only try to keep it 1 0r 2 a week.
    AND! it depends on what I have to show that week, as to where I showcase it and which party I go to.

    Sometimes I just go to a party to mingle. I love clicking and leaving comments, for the very reason Kolein said. I find some people have really made an effort with their item and then you click comments and no one out of 100 plus partiers has commented. I like to comment on their project and tell them who’s party I’ve come from.

    Lastly, ( I know this is long, sorry)
    But, I like Your idea of a THEMED party– but honestly, there are party crashers. If you have a furniture party, someone will post about their newly painted wall, if you have a table top party someone will post about their redecorated laundry room.
    So… you could try a themed ‘junk to jewel’ party… but not everybody’s idea of junk is the same… and someone will show you how they repainted their store bought a moire to look like a catalog version.

    Ok… now I’m off my soap box.
    Your parties ALWAYS ROCK!

    and your POSTS ARE ALWAYS THOUGHT PROVOKING!

  15. Oh Donna, bless your heart for raising this. The whole link party has been getting on my nerve and I am so glad I get the chance to speak my mind here.
    Granted I link up with the best of them, and I do think link parties are fun and give us all a chance to show our work to the world and find new blogs. But it is getting out of hand. Everybody is creating and plugging their own party these days, and I personally am getting a little fed up with them. I have had an idea for a link up for my blog for months now, and I hesitate to write the post because I do not want to become part of this trend. So here are my opinions on your questions.

    1. Why do you link up to so many?
    I don’t, I only link up the current post of the day and never to more than three or four parties that are THAT day. I hate visiting parties and seeing posts from days ago or even weeks ago in the list or multiple posts from one person.

    2. Do you link back in your post?
    Always, to the host blog AND to the party post.

    3. Hidden party buttons – good or bad?
    Cheating the rules in my book, not very nice to the host of the party.
    But then again the party buttons seem to be getting bigger and louder all the time too, so I never use the buttons, but I use textlinks.

    4. Thumbnails vs. text linkups in your posts – which one do you prefer?
    I like the photo list, I can see whether I have seen a project already, so often it makes me visit less. But the post itself gets very long and slow to load.

    5. Separate headings – like it?
    6. Anything goes or themed?
    Separate and themed please. I feel totally overwhelmed by 400 general linkups, sometimes it makes me not visit other party-goers because I get tired of that number and never knowing whether that post will be something I am looking for.

    7. Sidebar features – notice them?
    I have been in them, thank you very much, so yes I do notice them. And since on many blogs (not yours by the way) I see so many of the same projects being featured again and again at the after-party-feature thing, that is getting a bit stale too.

    8. Do you like SNS every weekend?
    I wouldn’t mind if you went to once a month. As I said I think the party thing is getting out of hand, and I think we might all better just go for better quality and more original projects if we had time to work on them, instead of linking up yet another old frame turned chalkboard project.

    9. Advertising your own giveaway/linkup in comments. Comments?
    I hate it. Feels spammy and insincere to me.

    10. Giveaway events – miss them? Doesn’t matter?
    Too many, too many of the same ones. I have actually unsubscribed from popular blogs because between the linkparties, after parties and giveaways there just wasn’t enough original content anymore for me to keep visiting. Time is precious and I guess I waste enough of it behind this computer anyway. I now carefully choose the blogs I follow.

    11. Why SNS?
    You rock! And your readers rock. Somehow you seem to attract the best projects. Which is proven by the fact that your after party feature post has led me to many posts that ended up in my Tumblr inspiration file.

    12. Anything else?
    I find it rude that so many people don’t even leave a comment for the host. I have linked up to parties where I was number 130 or something (time difference disadvantage) but was number 3! to comment.

    13. Picture linked or list linked party?
    Hmm wasn’t that question 4? Picture link.

    14. Why are all my posts so dang long?!? πŸ™‚
    Why are all my comments so darn long!!! Guess we both are opiniated and vocal.

    Love ye!!

  16. 1. Why do you link up to so many?
    I stick to a few. I always read the host rules re theme and follow it.

    2. Do you link back in your post?
    Always! I wouldn’t link if I couldn’t link back. I try my best to add their blog button too.

    3. Hidden party buttons – good or bad?
    Don’t know about this.

    4. Thumbnails vs. text linkups in your posts – which one do you prefer?
    Either, but the thumbnails are easier to navigate and help me to see if I have seen that post already.

    5. Separate headings – like it?
    Yes, easier than all mixed. I’m into the diy/ paint /junk transformation/ home decor only. Not the crafts or recipes. I read ALOT of blogs daily and if I’m interested in a recipe it is from a blog I read daily.

    6. Anything goes or themed? Themed for sure for me. If it is a gardening linky, I want to see garden posts, plants, outdoor furniture, brickwork, patio lanterns etc not someone’s bedroom. People need to read the host’s rules.

    7. Sidebar features – notice them?
    Yes, love them.

    8. Do you like SNS every weekend?
    I like to read every weekend, but only participate when I have a new entry. Between work, family and the length and/or budget for projects, we’re not real quick at producing.

    9. Advertising your own giveaway/linkup in comments. Comments? No. DO NOT like the copy/paste comment to link up/giveaway that a blogger drops on every post they visit, very impersonal and generic. No thought is given to the person or project in that case, just looking for advertising.

    10. Giveaway events – miss them? Doesn’t matter?
    They’re kind of fun, but I only enter if it is something I would enjoy winning. Certainly not necessary, but kind of like a quickie lottery ticket, you know you probably won’t win.

    11. Why SNS?
    You baby! Really, your blog is fun Donna. Super creative and sincere.

    12. Anything else?
    I know I tend to ramble, like now, but I had problems deciding on the questions in the Link Party Critique in your sidebar. Some of the things I would have checked weren’t included. Probably just the way I was interpreting the questions.

    13. Picture linked or list linked party?
    Same as number 4 I think.

    14. Why are all my posts so dang long?!? πŸ™‚
    ’cause you’re always trying to give us MORE, and make things BETTER, and show us HOW.

  17. 1. I limit my link ups
    2. Yes, I always link back. I think it’s rude not to…
    3. I don’t like hidden party buttons..it gets out of control
    4. thumbnails rock!
    5. I’m not sure…sorry not very helpful on that one..
    6. I like anything goes
    7. I do notice sidebar stuff.
    8. YES! but once a month would be cool too!
    9. I’ve never done a giveaway…
    10. Doesn’t matter
    11. I love your blog…I love looking at what everyone is doing with my coffee relaxing!

  18. Wow! Where should I start….
    1. Why do you link up to so many? I link up to a few? Is that a lot? I usually pick a few that week, and alternate the following. I don’t link to all of them, and usually not too many. Is that bad? I guess I always thought if somebody already saw it they wouldn’t click again right?

    2. Do you link back in your post? Always

    3. Hidden party buttons – good or bad? I dont even know what this is.

    4. Thumbnails vs. text linkups in your posts – which one do you prefer? Thumnail for sure!

    6. Anything goes or themed? I like themed for sure. This will help with getting people who link up to several parties because they will have to match your theme.

  19. I like themed parties, and definitely the picture thumbnails. I think once a month is better than every week. The link parties are getting a little out of control since there are so many and they are all every week. And I like giveaways!

  20. Hi Donna
    Great idea to raise this discussion. I am pretty new to blogging so I don’t have many opinions about all of this yet, other than to say that perhaps some of the people who are not following the etiquette of these parties are simply new to blogging, I think that it can be a little confusing at first! I’m still not sure about that hidden party button thing you are talking about.
    I really love your blog because it is sincere and creative, and your link party is great. It is especially nice to have something new to read on the weekend!
    Janice

  21. 1. Why do you link up to so many?
    It took me awhile to figure out what a link party was and then get up the courage to participate in one. Then, I linked up all the time I think to get people to visit my blog. Now, I don’t link every week and don’t link to every party…just a few of my favorites.

    2. Do you link back in your post?
    Most of the time I do. Sometimes I post not intending to link it and then decide later to share. It’s those kind of posts I sometimes forget to go and add the link back.

    3. Hidden party buttons – good or bad?
    I have the buttons on my blog, not hidden. I think its a courtesy to the blog hosting. However, I have a page that lists the links to my favorite parties. It really is for me because I forget the days of the week that a party occurs.

    4. Thumbnails vs. text linkups in your posts – which one do you prefer? no preference

    5. Separate headings – like it?
    Yes. I only like the parties where people show decorating, trash to treasure, etc. I don’t like recipes, a lot of crafts, etc.

    6. Anything goes or themed? I like themed.

    7. Sidebar features – notice them? Yes

    8. Do you like SNS every weekend?
    I like to look at it but I don’t link every weekend because I simply don’t have the time to do a project every week. I think once a month or twice a month is good. If you choose to do themed, do one theme once a month and another theme on a different Saturday once a month.

    9. Advertising your own giveaway/linkup in comments. Comments? I don’t click on those links because I think it is rude and self-serving.

    10. Giveaway events – miss them? Doesn’t matter?
    Doesn’t matter since I don’t win much. I don’t enter every giveaway that’s out there.

    11. Why SNS?
    Because I like your blog and I’m hoping if people link at your blog they might have similar projects and decorating styles that you have. I know that doesn’t always happen. Like I said, I only participate in link parties for blogs I like.

    12. Anything else?
    Love your blog.

    13. Picture linked or list linked party?
    picture!

    14. Why are all my posts so dang long?!? πŸ™‚
    I don’t know but I read them all!

  22. I’ll try to keep this as short as possible since you have so much other stuff to read =)

    1. Why do you link up to so many?
    I only link up to SNS. Ok, I linked up to 1 other party a few weeks ago, but that was it. But I agree with everyone else about things getting old.

    2. Do you link back in your post?
    Yes, I do, but sometimes I don’t remember to for a few hours, but I swear I eventually remember! I know, shame on me.

    4. Thumbnails vs. text linkups in your posts – which one do you prefer?
    Thumbnails, for the same reason everyone else has said.

    5. Separate headings – like it?
    Yes, except sometimes I don’t know if I should put a project under ‘home decor’ or ‘crafts’ because a lot of projects could be considered both and I think people should only link to 1 category.

    6. Anything goes or themed?
    Either one. I think there will be a LOT less people posting for a themed party because everyone has different taste or projects going on though. And my question about this is can we link something that is over a month old for a themed party since we wouldn’t be able to post all of our projects if all the parties were themed? Does that make sense?

    7. Sidebar features – notice them?
    Always. And it’s a nice feeling to see your project featured because it lets you know you are doing something right =)

    8. Do you like SNS every weekend?
    I personally do, but I think every other week would be good too. I think if it was once a month people would be linking up tons of projects and it may get a little overwhelming. I love looking at everybody’s projects and I think it’s a nice way to get your name out there. It’s hard when you are first starting and feel like nobody is even looking at your blog.

    9. Advertising your own giveaway/linkup in comments. Comments?
    Eh, I wouldn’t mind if people stopped doing it. Esp. a linkup.

    10. Giveaway events – miss them? Doesn’t matter? Doesn’t matter to me although I was very excited to win the decals =)

    11. Why SNS?
    You were the first person to email me back and were so kind when I first started so I’m partial to Funky Junk.

    Sorry, this still turned out to be long.

  23. I used to love link parties, but after going to so many of them and seeing the same old tired post, I have almost stopped bothering to even LOOK at a linky party… and that really bums me out. I have a strict policy of only linking one of my blog posts to one party – even if it gives me less hits/followers, I just feel better knowing I’m not contributing to the madness… and in my opinion, the destruction of the fun of link parties.

  24. I have been trying to start my own blog for awhile now. Ummm, I think I need a shove. I have loved reading so many and seeing all the projects on SNS! Polly pretty much said everything I was thinking. Even her #12 was like she was reading my mind! If I want to see an unfinished project I can look in my garage ;)I do have a question…what exactly is a Hidden Party Button?? Why are people hiding things? Would someone mind explaining that to this newbie? Thanks.

  25. Hey! Ok, I can’t read all the comments, but I did read MMS and I totally agree. You are a junker, that is why I am here, that is what I would love more inspiration on. I like to be restricted to that but not to “coffee tables” because then I can’t participate as much. And yes to the once a month, I like to look forward to something…
    πŸ™‚
    Christine

  26. When I see 8 and more party link ups it wears me out, because really it is a small world out here when you’ve narrowed down to your specific style. I’ve not linked up to very many parties… but recently started a monthly themed party. It is small and most folks I regularly comment back and forth too, anyway. I like the thumbnails and you know I love junk theme. It is always unique! Love your blog, too. Lezlee

  27. i took the poll.

    but of course, i have a few things to add.

    as a whole, if i have something to link up, i usually do no more then 4-5 link parties a week. i do tend to go with ‘the bigger parties’, but i have noticed that with smaller link parties i have found real readers and now more blogging friends.
    at first i HATED the link picture parties, but i am starting to like it. *kindof like judging a book by it’s cover* way of thinking.

    as one that has been feautured on your side bar, i love it. EVEN WHEN I DON’T HAVE SOMETHING TO LINK UP, I AM HERE SATURDAY MORNING WITH MY MORNING COFFEE. love it. and your sidebar.
    YES, do add another catagory of junk to jewel! fabulous idea!

    i show the host’s link party button on my sidebar on the days/week i link up. – always!

    honestly, i’ve never thought of it being an “issue” to advertise a giveaway at the end of a DIY post. i would think if anything, the visitors would appreciate the opportunity to enter the giveaway. it is their option to enter or not.
    but maybe, i am in the wrong for thinking this???
    now i do think it is WRONG just to link up a giveaway post. but if you are reminding everyone at the end of a post of a project you just did, i think it’s ok.
    (gulp.) i hope it’s ok.
    why SNS???
    because hands down it is always my favorite for many reasons!
    *it’s the best. i love what you create & there are some extremely talented bloggers who link up with you!
    *it’s a perfect time for me. like i said earlier, i’m here whether or not i have a link up.
    *you are one of the RARE few who comment. now, i do realize how hard it is to comment on close to 200+ entries, but i have often thought of not linking with parties who’s host & have yet to leave a comment. week after week. – just saying & venting. πŸ˜‰

    i am sure some saturdays you would prefer to do something else rather then leaving comments or hosting a SNS. i would totally understand if you wanted to do it once or twice a month. all i know, is that is a regular staple in my weekends.
    wowza! what a long comment & you have opened a HUGE can of worms!!!

    kellie

    can’t wait to come back & read more comments or what the poll showed. please do a post of the results! i’m curious.

  28. 1. Why do you link up to so many?
    Honestly, just trying to get my projects out there and noticed, increase my readers. But I’m finding that as the parties grow, I’m not getting seen even though I’m still clicking on links… I’m definitely joining in on a lot fewer parties than when I first started.

    2. Do you link back in your post?
    ALWAYS – I don’t join a party unless I can get in to edit my post and link back. And I’m appalled that only 39% of people link back?? And then only 6% have a hidden page? REALLY people? I think that’s just RUDE…

    3. Hidden party buttons – good or bad?
    Meh, I’ve thought of it just so I have a list to come back to, but I like linking in posts and will keep doing that.

    4. Thumbnails vs. text linkups in your posts – which one do you prefer?
    I do a bit of both… lately I’ve been using thumbnails.

    5. Separate headings – like it?
    Yes! I love the categories and organization.

    6. Anything goes or themed?
    Anything goes can be fun but generic. There aren’t many themed parties and I think that would be fun! Sort of a SYTYCD challenge for the rest of us rookies πŸ˜‰

    7. Sidebar features – notice them?
    YES! I love them and look forward to them (and secretly hope I’m picked, haha!)

    8. Do you like SNS every weekend?
    Absolutely!

    9. Advertising your own giveaway/linkup in comments. Comments?
    I don’t really like it… especially with the giveaways. I just had a giveaway and if it was relevant to the person’s post, I posted a link. But just going to people’s party entries and posting a link seems like spamming to me…

    10. Giveaway events – miss them? Doesn’t matter?
    I love a good giveaway, but they’re not necessary. I’ll still keep coming back.

    11. Why SNS?
    I don’t know, it just seems different from the rest. It was one of my first parties to join and I guess it’s always been a favorite.

    12. Anything else?
    Nope, I don’t want to make this too long πŸ˜‰

    13. Picture linked or list linked party?
    Either! Picture is nice, but a list works too

    14. Why are all my posts so dang long?!? πŸ™‚
    I don’t know, I have that SAME problem, haha!

    Thanks again for the help with the irons! I will be taking care of them hopefully next week, can’t wait to link them up, haha! πŸ™‚

  29. Good questions Donna. Makes me think more about my link party.

    1) I try not to link up to soooo many parties–I simply don’t have that much time. I like to limit my link parties to no more than 5. And I think it is a little overkill.

    2)I try to remember to link back. Sometimes I forget and have to go back and edit my post.

    3) Not really sure about this. To keep my blog clutter free, I don’t put the buttons in my sidebar, but instead put the link in my post.

    4. The picture link ups are nice, but the posts do get to be very long. So I prefer the text links.

    5. Separate headings–Since you started the separate headings, I noticed that I don’t visit as many links. I’m not interested in cooking so don’t visit any cooking links.

    6. Themed–I’m neutral here. If the link seems interesting, I will visit it. Well, maybe somewhat themed. No cooking!

    7. Sidebar features–Yes, yes, and yes!

    8. Every weekend?–That depends on you. I may not have anything to show off, but I still enjoy visiting every weekend.

    9. Advertising own giveaway–I’ve seen this done tastefully and not so. If it is done tastefully, then I don’t mind.

    10. Giveaway events–would be just as happy without them.

    11. Why SNS–because you have such good stuff here.

    12. Anything else– I really enjoy SNS. If there is something about it I don’t care for, I just let that slide. Can’t please everyone all the time, even me.

  30. 1. Why do you link up to so many?
    I don’t. It makes me feel like I begging for attention.

    2. Do you link back in your post?
    Absolutely!

    3. Don’t know what they are, but they sound evil πŸ™‚

    4. Thumbnails without a doubt. I have been sorely disappointed by misleading titles. Visuals are wonderful.

    5. Separate headings – like it? – Love it.

    6. Anything goes or themed? Themed. Definitely. And for those who gripe about “old” projects – I think if the project fits the theme, who cares how old the post is as long as one hasn’t posted it in every corner of cyberspace. I don’t even link a lot of mine because the competition is fierce! If I see my entry is no. higher than 100, I figure it’s gonna get lost in the shuffle anyway.

    7. Sidebar features – most awesome!

    8. Do you like SNS every weekend? I do, I really, really do.

    9. Advertising your own giveaway/linkup in comments. Poopie. That’s like standing up in church and giving your own sermon before the minister is finished.

    10. Giveaway events. Nope, never have cared much for them.

    11. Why SNS? You’ve got to be kidding. YOU ARE THE ABSOLUTE BEST! You put so much more into your blogs than anyone else. You are the most generous person in blogland with all the information and advice, always tasteful and thoughtful and you take the time to make comments to little peanuts like me.

    One more comment… I don’t always comment on the host page because here again, when I have to scroll forever to post, I figure it gets lost in the shuffle. Besides. With so many, many comments, it kinda seems silly to reiterate what has already been said. Perhaps it is a greater compliment to the host to give her honorable mention on your own blog.

  31. Hmmmm. I am new to all of this. Started in January. Never really thought about it being bad to link up to too many partys. I thought that was the idea, but now I can see why it isn’t such a good idea. I will be more selective from now on. I did my first give away. A company contacted me and I said yes. I am just doing it for the fun of it. I am not asking anyone to follow me or do anything extra other than commenting so I know they want to be counted in the drawing. I think it is brave to ask such questions and get everyone thinking.

  32. I’m sorry for not explaining the hidden button thing better. I’ve reworded that in the original post.

    Hidden button page:

    Some listings of buttons are so long that many have a dedicated post to display all the buttons. You must click the link to view the page. Therefore, I called it hidden because you actually have to make an effort to find it.

    Hope that helps to clarify!

    I’m really enjoying all your comments! This is awesome. thanks!

    FJ Donna

  33. Here’s my 2 cents as well πŸ™‚
    1. Why do you link up to so many?

    I don’t, maybe a handful throughout the week. I only post once a week at the most so the same thing will be in a few parties that week, sorry.

    2. Do you link back in your post?

    Yes, with a text link because all the buttons were all over the place and it started to look messy.

    3. Hidden party buttons – good or bad?

    It depends on what the host blog has stated in their party rules, if they’re ok with it I am too. I wouldn’t personally do it since I know a lot of host blogs specifically ask you to link back in your post.

    4. Thumbnails vs. text linkups in your posts – which one do you prefer?

    Thumbnails are great, such a time saver! With text links you never knew what you were going to see and at least I spent forever just looking at things I wasn’t interested in and then just gave up on the whole party. With thumbnails I visit fewer posts BUT I’m more likely to comment on them because it’s something along what I’m interested in.

    5. Separate headings – like it?

    Yes, because it’s easier to find the things you’re interested in.

    6. Anything goes or themed?

    Tough one. Themed ones are great, but then again I hate not being able to join in on a party when I have something to show off because it doesn’t fit the theme. Maybe I just don’t know of all the parties out there? Also some of my projects don’t fit any theme I’ve ever seen, then what?

    7. Sidebar features – notice them?

    Not very often, no. Sorry, I’m in a reader and only pop over when I want to comment or hear you say anything in a post about something in the sidebar that sounds interesting.

    8. Do you like SNS every weekend?

    I like it, but less often would be ok too. I’m sure it’s a lot of work having it that often.

    9. Advertising your own giveaway/linkup in comments. Comments?

    I don’t like that, it makes them seem very “commercial”. Is their project so poor they need to advertise free goodies to get people to come over? I never visit them.

    10. Giveaway events – miss them? Doesn’t matter?

    I don’t like giveaways. Most of the time I’m not interested in getting whatever it is they’re giving away. If I was interested the chances of winning are so slim it’s not worth the time it takes to enter, it’s like spending money on a lottery ticket. The giveaway posts are the kind of posts I completely skip in the reader.

    11. Why SNS? I like that you have original ideas that I haven’t seen before, you have the party on the weekend when I and everybody else has more free time on hand. You’re also one of the few party hosts that actually come by and leave comments and I guess that made me feel welcome πŸ™‚

    12. Anything else?

    Yes. I think you should do with your blog and party what you want to do since you’re the one putting all the effort into it in the first place. Blogging may be for the public but it should first and foremost be what you like to do, right? So if you want a themed party once a month I say go for it. We who like you will still come back for more πŸ™‚

    I’ll stop yapping now πŸ™‚

  34. 1. Why do you link up to so many? I don’t – I’d like to link up more but don’t have a ton of time. I feel if you are going to link up then you should commit to looking at others work and make comments. If you
    are not prepared to take the time to comment you have no business linking up in my opinion.

    2. Do you link back in your post? Yes, as soon as I figured out how to do it. I’m not a techie.

    3. Hidden party buttons – good or bad?
    (these are links to a separate post/page on one’s blog – you must click the link to view the list, so basically put, you have to find who they are linking up with) Bad, keep’em all on the same page with out question!

    4. Thumbnails vs. text linkups in your posts – which one do you prefer?
    Thumbnails

    5. Separate headings – like it?

    6. Anything goes or themed? Doesn’t matter to me. I just won’t link up anything that is not allowed.

    7. Sidebar features – notice them? Yes I notice them, and always like what you are showing.

    8. Do you like SNS every weekend? Honestly, it doesn’t matter to me, I always check in and see what people are showing off if I have the time. Must be exhausting for you though – you always leave the most generous comments – always a gracious host – I don’t know how you do it!

    9. Advertising your own giveaway/linkup in comments. Comments?
    Not cool!

    10. Giveaway events – miss them? Doesn’t matter? I only enter then if it is easy and I am right there. I don’t go looking for them, and have never won anything. I’m ok with that though – I have won so much in inspiration and motivation and I’m blown away by all the talent and creativity.

    11. Why SNS? Because your talent amazes me everyday.

    12. Anything else?

    13. Picture linky or list linky party? Picture linky

    14. Why are all my posts so dang long?!? πŸ™‚

  35. 1st off thanks for hosting this wonderful link party each week. I love to join in as often as I can.

    I second what Allison said, I myself link up to lots of parties, my blog is new and I want it to be a success. My feeling is that we help each other, the link party should be about both bloggers, not just the host. It shouldn’t matter how many parties you join as long as you support and visit other blogs in each party. The more traffic my blog has, the more traffic your blog has, we grow together.

    I always link back a permanent link in my post as well as post your button in my sidebar for the day of the event, each day I switch them out to represent the current party I’m linked to. I never link the same post twice at a link party. If I don’t have anything new, then I don’t link up.

    Hidden party buttons are ok as long as you have a permanent text link in the post.

    I like themed parties, If I was interested in recipes or crafts than I would go to a different blog. I enjoy your trash to treasure creations and furniture redos.

    I always look at the sidebar features they’re the best of the best.

    Picture linky definitely makes it easier to find what I’m looking for, and which posts I really want to read. Saves time.

  36. 1. Many links?
    I don’t link to many, but some people really do! To be honest, how did we all get started and get to so many followers (not me, I don’t have many)? Really the way most did was by linking to others parties and hoping that by doing that there would be people who wanted to read more from our blogs. So it is a way to get people to know about you isn’t it?

    2. Link back?
    I have only linked back a few times, and here is why. If that is part of the party rules, I do it or I don’t link to the party at all. If not, I don’t because my blog is different than a lot because I am making things out of wood from scratch and have woodworking people reading it that I assume have no interest in link parties and crafts and baby clothes, etc.

    3. Hidden Party buttons?
    If that’s the way some people do it, who cares?

    4. Thumbnails?
    Yes, photos help a lot to weed out things I’m not interested in. If people could better describe their blog, then a text list would be okay, but usually they don’t explain what the blog is about very well.

    5. Separate headings?
    Yes, makes things go faster, and let’s face it, who has time to see all this. If you do, then you aren’t doing much else.

    6. Anything goes?
    I like the themed idea. Even if it’s old posts, say you have a “pallet” theme, then people can post any thing they did with a pallet in the last year. That would be fun!

    7. Sidebar?
    Yes, like to see your selections. Once I had something of my own there and just about fainted… I called my teenage daughter over to see it on the computer screen!

    8. Every weekend?
    No, whenever you have the time to do it is fine.

    9. Advertising?
    I don’t like it, it just seems to be poor etiquette.

    10. Giveaways?
    No need, there are usually too many hoops to jump through so I don’t enter. And really, one of the blogs gave for example, a free can of spray paint. And all the things you had to do to try and get it. I’d rather just go and buy one for $5. To bloggers giving that kind of thing away… that is really cheap advertising for the company, and often you are being used.

    11. Why SNS?
    Because we love you, your unique style and your passion.

    12. Anything else?
    I have said this to you before. I think we will see bloggers dropping out in large numbers. There are too many blogs that are the same and too many parties and just too much to take in. People feel they have to make something new and wonderful every few days… that takes over your life and causes burn out.

    One other thing, and this is not YOU, Donna but I have seen people posting “before” photos of their house or some lamp or wood thingy and describing it as scary or ugly or whatever. Please remember, there are people out there who lived in these houses, and made or bought these things. There are even people who left houses because they lost a job and couldn’t afford to keep it. Please consider that someone was there and maybe they loved that house, maybe they painted that table bright green because they liked that colour. Please try not to insult the previous owner. Also I have seen “before” photos that looked better in my opinion than the “after,” so it’s all different tastes and we are all trying to do our best. In other words… be polite.

  37. 1. Why do you link up to so many?
    Personnally I am still trying to find the best parties to fit me. I link to multiple ones per day to get a feel for how they fit with my blog. I slowly eliminate those that do not seem to be my “audience”.

    2. Do you link back in your post?
    Yep I link back at the end of my post.

    3. Hidden party buttons – good or bad?
    (these are links to a separate post/page on one’s blog – you must click the link to view the list, so basically put, you have to find who they are linking up with)
    They are okay I guess. I am not a button person so I just add a linky in my post.

    4. Thumbnails vs. text linkups in your posts – which one do you prefer?
    Thumbnails rock.

    5. Separate headings – like it?
    Love it.

    6. Anything goes or themed?
    Anything goes.

    7. Sidebar features – notice them?
    Nope. Sorry I have never noticed….need to start looking.

    8. Do you like SNS every weekend?
    YES!! It is one of my faves! I will definitely be keeping SNS as one of my go to parties!

    9. Advertising your own giveaway/linkup in comments. Comments?
    I HATE THIS!! I think it is rude. Unless your post has to do with the topic being discussed you should not comment on it.

    10. Giveaway events – miss them? Doesn’t matter?
    I could take em or leave em. I often leave em.

    11. Why SNS?
    I love SNS!! It is one of the best on the block! πŸ˜‰

    12. Anything else?
    Nope.

    13. Picture linky or list linky party?
    Picture

    14. Why are all my posts so dang long?!? πŸ™‚
    I am not sure! πŸ˜‰ LOL!

  38. Amen sister!!

    Marianne at songbird! I totally agree!!

    “1. Why do you link up to so many?
    I don’t, I only link up the current post of the day and never to more than three or four parties that are THAT day. I hate visiting parties and seeing posts from days ago or even weeks ago in the list or multiple posts from one person.”

  39. I didn’t read the other answers, but here’s my input.
    1. Why do you link up to so many?
    I’ve started limiting myself to 4 parties per post. Does that make sense? I HATE seeing the same posts at all the parties.

    2. Do you link back in your post?
    I wasn’t before I enacted my Rule of 4, but I am now. πŸ™‚

    3. Hidden party buttons – good or bad?
    (these are links to a separate post/page on one’s blog – you must click the link to view the list, so basically put, you have to find who they are linking up with)
    Bad.

    4. Thumbnails vs. text linkups in your posts – which one do you prefer?
    duh! Thumbnails. I quit linking up to the other parties.
    5. Separate headings – like it?
    yes.
    6. Anything goes or themed?
    I think themed would be cooler. πŸ™‚

    7. Sidebar features – notice them?
    Never notice them. πŸ™
    8. Do you like SNS every weekend?
    Yep.
    9. Advertising your own giveaway/linkup in comments. Comments?
    Bad idea. Annoying.
    10. Giveaway events – miss them? Doesn’t matter?
    Never enter giveaways. Annoying when my blogger dashboard is completely full of giveaways!
    11. Why SNS?
    picture linky, The workshop series, repurposing, and just because I love your blog in general!
    12. Anything else?

    13. Picture linky or list linky party?
    Isn’t this the same as #whatever?
    14. Why are all my posts so dang long?!? πŸ™‚

    You’re wordy like me. πŸ™‚

  40. Hmm, wow lots of questions, lots to say. No problem. πŸ™‚

    1-I do personally link up to several parties a week. It is partially to do with plain old excitement over something that I made that turned out well. The online equivalent of me loading it into my car and driving around to all of my friends houses to show it off! πŸ™‚ Also, when blogs such as yours and some of the other “Big Blogs” highlight something I’ve done, I feel like someone that I admire and appreciate has just come over to give me a high five! You highlighted some family blocks that I had made once, and I was all, “Oh my gosh, Donna likes my blocks!!!” to my husband, who was like, “Who likes them?” You know what I mean. πŸ™‚ Because you write with such transparency, including about your decor, we readers start to feel like we’re friends with you. So when I link around, I kind of feel like I’m saying, “Okay I need to show this to Donna, and Kimba and Kari…”

    Also, half of the blogs that I link to are because that blogger has come over to my site and invited me to a link party that they are hosting, so I usually oblige.

    2,3-I do link back, of course, but do use the hidden party button link. Sorry if that is annoying!! It is purely for efficiency!! But we always direct readers to the link parties, and our link parties tab is the first on the blog. We appreciate the hostesses, we just are trying to be efficient and keep a clean look on the homepage.

    5,6-I think having 2 headings is fine, but preferred just 1 b/c I often find inspiration for something that I’m not looking for. I start off browsing pictures for window treatment options and then end up seeing an easy art piece that would look amazing on my kitchen wall! Being pressed for time, as we all are, I am less likely to look through both sections.

    As to themes, I am sometimes bummed out by them if I have something that I am incredibly proud of and feel like I can’t show it off to my friends b/c it doesn’t fall into any themes. (The recent St Pats Day and Easter themes on some sites made me crazy b/c I had a few furniture re-dos then that I loved and ended up just sitting on. Maybe I just need to be more seasonal though πŸ™‚

    That said, it would be totally reasonable for you to do “Junk to Jewels” a few Saturdays and tell people to bring only their best project of the month to an anything goes the last Saturday or something as to not leave anyone out. (Sorry, not telling you what to do, just brainstorming!!)

    9-Personally I think it’s a little lame. To be done on your own site, not on others.

    10-Nah, leave them. I actually hate when I see something really cute and then know that I am going to get drug (willingly, but still) through 4 more steps before I can be entered to win. Maybe I would like them more if I’d ever won anything, lol πŸ™‚

    11-Yours is my favorite, honestly. You have such a good writing tone, I feel your personality coming through your writing, and you are so gracious in commenting back and making us feel loved. Also, if you frequent DIY/craft blogs you tend to come across the same things (my own projects included)…spray paint, mod podge, scrapbook paper, hair bows…OHMYGOSH Donna just made this freaking awesome bulletin board out of scraps from a junk yard! Seriously, your stuff is amazing, truly out of the box even though I hate the phrase.

    Sorry for the novel. Keep up the good work, we love you!! πŸ™‚

  41. I voted along the side, but I’m going to add a couple of comments.

    I link to a lot of parties. Yes, I do feel like the post gets stale, but I figure you’ll get more exposure anyway. Does anyone have a good solution? Link up for two days of parties vs. an entire week, or something?

    I don’t like the separate link pages, while it does keep the post clean, I feel like the blogger is too lazy or doesn’t care enough about the hosting blog to list separately.

    I love themed parties, however, sometimes I have (what I think is) a cool post, but it doesn’t “fit” the category(ies), so I’m left out. Or, I’m not sure if it fits, as I want to be respectful of the host…

  42. When I occasionally post to a link party it is usually 3 or 4. I always link back. Always. I think it’s tasteless to advertise your own link party at someone else’s party. It is actually so off-putting that I make it a point not to visit. I know, how childish am I!? Love, love, love the sidebar highlights. Nine times out of ten you have highlighted the projects to which I am most drawn. Which brings me to your parties. I visit every weekend because you have such a unique and inspirational style. What you do stirs creative juices I didn’t even know I had! And, I think, others are also challenged by what you do so it’s fun to see what your “disciples” are doing. Love the pictures as opposed to the lists. Great time saver. What else? Giveaways? meh, I can take them or leave them.

  43. Hi Donna, I think you’ve been reading my mind. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.

    I do link up each project to several parties, but I’ve been tapering off lately. I have noticed the same projects at party after party. I started using a link page a few weeks ago and I have been linking to that at the bottom of each project post. I don’t link up to every party on the link page though. I host a weekly party too and I don’t mind if people have a link page that they point to as long as my link is there, so I hadn’t thought until recently that the hostesses wouldn’t like it. I “overhead” a Twitter conversation a few days ago between two bloggers who thought it was extremely tacky and disrespectful to do it this way. Althought it was a very snarky conversation, it made me think twice.

    I love the thumbnail linkys. It really helps me save time and still check out a lot of projects.

    I do click on your features in your sidebar. Always great ideas.

    I don’t think it’s cool to advertise your giveaway in your link.

    I don’t really care either way about giveaways.

    I like the idea of a themed party. I love coming to your blog for your creativity and fresh ideas. SNS is my favorite blog party out there. I feel that the projects linked up to your party are usually a step above those linked up to other parties.

    Thanks for starting the conversation!

  44. I started reading through all the comments but there are just too many LOL! So I decided to jump to my answers πŸ™‚

    First off, I’ve been a food blogger for about a year and a half. It’s a different world than being a craft blogger! The link parties were all very new to me and I only started entering them about a month or two ago. With that said…

    1. Why do you link up to so many?
    Mostly because I’m trying to get my blog out there and recognized. So many of you already know each other, as I do with many food bloggers, so I enter many hoping to get new visitors and followers. Granted there are a LOT, so eventually my plan was to skinny them down to just a handful. Seems like new ones pop up all the time though, and there’s always someone inviting me to join yet another link party in my comments. I also find it kind of addicting seeing if anyone will feature me LOL! Pathetic, I know. πŸ˜›

    2. Do you link back in your post?
    Always. I actually use a basic McLinky list, no thumbnails. I open it long enough to enter that day’s link parties, then I close it again so other visitors don’t confuse my linky with a link party. That way all my link parties are listed at the end of my post.

    3. Hidden party buttons – good or bad?
    I don’t do this. While it’s nice to keep the blog clutter free, I don’t think it’s really fair to the link party host. After all, when we join the link party our links are available on that page, the host’s link should be available on our pages as well. I don’t like all the millions of buttons, so again, I use a linky form. It’s much cleaner.

    4. Thumbnails vs. text linkups in your posts – which one do you prefer?
    Definitely thumbnails. I like the larger ones though, my eyes aren’t what they used to be and some of the pictures are so small

    5. Separate headings – like it?
    I like it

    6. Anything goes or themed?
    I actually like the idea of the themed parties.

    7. Sidebar features – notice them?
    Yes

    8. Do you like SNS every weekend?
    Yes. Mostly because I post usually twice a week. That way I can highlight two per week without being overbearing. If it were monthly I think it would be to tempting for people to enter all their posts for the month, making the parties overwhelming.

    9. Advertising your own giveaway/linkup in comments. Comments?
    NO. I hate that. I don’t like it when people post them in my comments either. I think it’s rude.

    10. Giveaway events – miss them? Doesn’t matter?
    I don’t enter, so doesn’t make any difference to me.

    11. Why SNS?
    I’m fairly new to your blog, so it might not be fair for me to answer this. I do enjoy your projects and think you are very talented. πŸ™‚

    12. Anything else?
    I’m like Polly above, I think that when you get to a blog post, you should see the finished photo FIRST, that will determine if you want to scroll all the way through everything. Of course, that has nothing to do with your link party LOL

    13. Picture linky or list linky party?
    pictures

    14. Why are all my posts so dang long?!? πŸ™‚
    πŸ™‚ Doesn’t bother me a bit!

  45. I love reading everyones responses and opinions, very interesting. As a newbie, i have wondered about a lot of this stuff too.

    I do have my “link” party page that i refer to at the bottom of my post if i am going to link a project to any parties, and i have wondered how a “host” such as yourself feels about these?

    When i first started my little blog the only way to really gain exposure is by linking up to these parties – its good to know that people like what you are doing πŸ™‚ but the time that it was taking to add the hostess’s buttons to my posts was out of control!! So thats when i decided to do my link page. I have always wondered if its “proper” or how the host feels about it? I see alot of blogs have their parties on the side of their blog, is that better?!? I dont know??!!

  46. Well, I feel just awful. I am so new to blogging. Last Sunday I joined the blog hop and thought it was incredible. I wanted to stay home from work and try and get my creativity on… Even though I went to work, I spent hours gazing at everyones projects and actually had 2 people (I think) look at mine. Here is the awful part, I didn’t understand the, “link back” thing. I’m not sure I still do… Must read for info. and not just look at all the pretty pictures. I sincerely apologize if I offended you.