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Friday, September 12, 2014

MOP Monday - Reflections

Today I will not share with you my weekly progress, but my recent troubles in understanding YOU people in the blogland :) I also have a winner for for my giveaway so read the entire post to learn who won!

I am a scientist... so I am trying to use a scientific approach to understand a very simple thing:
*why are my linky party always pretty much empty?*

Using the scientific method I collected some facts, some numbers, some statistics about others and some comments. And then I drove some conclusions and set a plan for the near future.
Can you review my argument and help me understand if I am wrong or if something can be done to reverse the trend??

-- Facts --
  1. I started the linky party in Jan 2014, to share my weekly progress and open my blog for others to share theirs;
  2. The link is open more than just a single 24 hours, so even if I call it "Monday", people can add their link from Sat/Sun to Tue, so I think I am pretty flexible in terms of time;
  3. You can link anything you want: I don't require a finished project, nor a wip to be then linked as finished, nor a specific technique, nor a specific pattern/qal, and I don't even require that the blog post is recent. So I think I am pretty flexible in terms of content;
  4. I don't require to add a link back to my blog in each post, nor that you follow my blog: so I think I am pretty flexible on other extra-steps that you should do;
  5. I often offered giveaway for people that adds their link: I don't have sponsors and I have a full-time job so it takes an effort from my side to take the material out of my stash and to go to the post office and mail it to whoever wins (domestic or international, I never had any restrictions there either). 
  6. So basically what I ask, is for people to add a link so that we can initiate some kind of relationship and we can get inspired by each other. Despite this very simple goal and my efforts to offer as much as I can from my side, it seems that the participation is close to zero (see the next section for the actual numbers).

-- Numbers --
  1. I had linky parties for 28 weeks;
  2. The parties (and my blog posts) have thousands of views (so it's not like none comes by... they come and leave without saying hi :( ). I could collect the exact numbers but it would take too much time;
  3. I had a TOTAL of 45 links, which means an AVERAGE of 1.6 links per weeks, with a MAX of 6 links for 1 weeks, and a MIN of 0 links for 8 weeks

-- Others --
  1. I myself join several linky parties... and link my own blog post (with my own linky party) in those other places;
  2. I add my link in parties where there are few links and in places where there are hundreds of links (to get some visibility... and I get views, but I don't get links...);
  3. Some of the hosts of these other parties do not comment on my entry (which is totally fine since they are so big that they probably don't have the time to do that) BUT some others comments on my entry, which means that they see the linky party and often it is still open... so why don't they link their own post in my blog?? I don't know... (**this is one of the points that surprise me the most... I really cannot understand this one**)
  4. as I said before, I participate in small and big parties, so these are some numbers from last week (and they are pretty consistent over time).
    "Small" party: 10 entries (in ONE week)
    "Medium" party: 59 entries (in ONE week)
    "Big" party: 147 entries (in ONE week)
  5. Most of the others have either a very short range of time in which they are open, or they are about a specific technique, or they have text link without picture, or they require you to add buttons/link back, or they ask you to link just finished work, etc... all restrictions that are perfectly fine by me but I thought that less restrictions may help my case... apparently not

-- Comments --
  1. This is not a "new" issue, because I have seen these things discussed in several forums. And actually what they were discussing is from the other side: "is it worth it to add your link to a linky party?".  And the discussion that followed really surprised me because it seemed that the answer from many people is "No, if the blog is small because you don't get traffic back on your site" or "No, if the blog is too popular, because if there are too many links you don't get traffic back on your site". So the only thing that matter is "traffic, traffic, traffic" O_O.
  2. While I understand that traffic may be important for people that have a business connected to their site, I have always seen link parties as opportunity to get inspiration and to create personal connections with people all over the world. So my approach is quite different: if my current blog post follows the rule of the linky party, I add my link, no matter if the blog is popular, if there are tons of other link or just few, if there are pictures or just text, ... If I come across a party, I add my entry, that's it. And I hoped that people would do the same on my blog... but apparently not...
  3. I know that not everyone has a blog... however in these linky you can link a flickr picture or anything that has an url. So even if with an estimate of 10% of the viewing people to actually have a blog and a blog post to share, I would have hundreds of links every week! even 1% would add more links that what I have now!!

-- Conclusions --
Even if the statistics about viewers of my posts are pretty good and even if I receive encouraging comments from people on my patterns/projects, it looks like they don't want to party with me.
It makes me feel like I am in high school organizing a party and giving out all invitations and then nobody shows up at my house :) I get a lot of support when I distribute the invitations but then no people to play with because I am not "the popular girl" that give traffic to their blog :(
And it doesn't even matter if I don't have restrictions on what to link nor if I offer giveaway out my own pocket.
So this situation calls for a plan!

-- Plan for the near future --
I already decided to cut the giveaways (in general) because the response is not what I expected. I will probably participate in the annual big one on Sew Mama Sew even if I believe that big events like that are pretty useless in terms of making personal connections because everyone is just rushing through the post to enter as many giveaways as possible (a lot of traffic, but that doesn't really matter to me). This is not always the case, because I found great new blogs to follow myself because of that event... but it's not so common to make real connections in that situation I think.

So now I give myself an ultimatum: I will keep the linky party open for other 4 weeks, but each week I need at least 5 links (from different people). If I get to the end of this "trial time" with the desired minimum number of links, I will keep the linky open for another few months and keep monitoring the situation. If for one of these "trial weeks" I don't get to 5 links I will just close MOP Monday and I will just share my own projects without asking you to come on my blog to inspire me and others with your work!

So as a famous character said: Let the game begin.

P.S. The winner of the giveaway is Gador Medea! I sent you an email and I will get your prize in the email as soon as possible!! :)


  1. I agree that the bloggers with a lot of traffic have the links to generate traffic to their site, and therefore generate potential ad revenue.
    You are doing it because you want to connect, which is much more admirable. Personally I don't link often because I primarily use an ipad and while I enjoy reading blogs, cutting and pasting my link is kinda a pain.
    Good luck achieving your desired results!

    1. Thanks for the comment Jennifer.
      I totally understand that sometimes people just enjoy reading a blog without further involvement, and that's just fine! Then I will just stop my linky party and go on sharing my projects in a simpler way.
      It's just that sometimes is hard for me to keep myself motivated if I don't see any feedback from the other side (and to me simple "traffic/views" is not feedback, I need an active human comment/link/email/contact).
      So thanks for spending the time and leaving me this feedback!! :)

  2. I'm a bad one about both commenting and linking up. I don't think to link up. Even when I have a project that fits a linky parties guidelines, i don't think to link up. I don't know why. I may just be lazy. I link up for a quilt a long, usually at the last possible minute though. I forget to take the picture, then to upload it to my computer, then to the link party, etc. I think I asked talked to you once about how I couldn't link because I didn't have a blog, and you agreed. I know you said above you didn't require a blog, but at one point I thought you did??? Anyway, since then I read your posts, but nothing about the linky rules, and check out the links, but that's it. If you want a more personal relationship, I'm all for it. I'll work on commenting, and on linking, and you can email me back, that would be great. I love your projects, especially your paper piecing projects. Another linky I need to remember to do this weekend, the Celestial Star QAL on Blank Quilting. I have my top done, need to take picture, etc, etc. I may even remember to link it to my Instagram page, maybe, lol. Maybe you can help me get in the hang of posting to Instagram too? My email is dahlgren0609 at gmail dot com

  3. I love to look at what others are doing and I try to leave comments often when I visit. For numerous reasons, I don't accomplish much and don't take photos of what I do. So, I started to blog at one time and knew it took more energy than I had at that time in my life. So, I don't have anything for anyone to really look at anyhow, Maybe I should think about blogging and that would encourage me to finish some even short term goals to share, Last year was a very, very tough year and I'm just now starting to bounce back and stress is not a good thing in my life. I thrived on stress for many, many years and it just is not my friend anymore. I need peace and calm and not unnecessary demands in my life right now, I am inspired by seeing the work of others right now.

  4. I have a little facebook page, I just paddle doing charity quilt tops, so to inspire and keep you motivated I will add my page link on a finished item and in between email you my works in progress :) Said with hand on sewing machine, raised hand holding scissors and a big smile :)

  5. I don't have a blog so I have nothing to link up. At the rate I can fit in sewing in my life right now, I would probably only be able to link up once a year if I did blog. I guess I much prefer to browse and read right now.

    I follow your blog via email. I usually come and look and read. I am sorry I don't often leave comments. I will try to do better. I follow quite a few blogs, but there are only a handful that I actually read each time I receive a notice. Yours is one of them.

    Thank you for all the patterns you have provided. You do wonderful work.

    1. Thanks for your kind comment and for taking the time to read my posts every week!!
      I received a lot of answers similar to yours, so it looks like people just like to read and be inspired and don't have time/opportunity to create their own post or to link them on other blogs. I totally understand that!! My reflections come more from the fact that I link myself on many blogs that comment back but they don't add their link, which is very strange to me so I wanted to understand why in general people don't add their links.

      But following and leaving a comment once in a while is all I need for keep me motivated, so if I will drop the linky party, it won't be such a big problem for me: I was just curious to understand the reason behind this low participation! :)

      Thanks for your support and your kind words!! :)

  6. hm. I can only speak for myself. I suspect my reason is quite unusual. I don't link up because of the prize. I have a bit of a stashing problem and just can't risk adding anything new. Believe it or not, I've accidentally won several giveaways and had to go through a bunch of trouble declining it. Someone offers to give me something and I want to be very grateful and accepting. I find it awkward and a bit painful to go through the whole it isn't you, it is me thing. So - if you promise not to add any more fabric to my stash, I'll try to do better about adding links. :)

  7. My problem is I don't have a camera!! Can you believe that? And I have an old fashioned flip phone that doesn't connect to my computer! I also don't have a blog, but I managed to put one project on someone's link party because I had my son-in-law take a nice picture of it. And I had a hard time understanding how to link it, but I did it! I don't remember if it was on one of your linky parties though. So that's my issue, no camera.

  8. I just came across your blog today when I was looking at another blog I follow and saw your comment to her. I think linky parties have changed a lot in the last year. I used to do them a lot, and quite frankly it was to get comments and try to make my blog grow a little. In the last year comments have really fallen off and I see that on other blogs as well. The linky parties seem to still seem to garner a lot of links though. And in spite of that, I've thought of starting a linky party for something that is fairly unique. It's the very real possibility that only one person would ever link that keeps me from doing it.

    One thing you might do, if you don't already, is visit other blogs and invite them to link on your party. And possibly leave your party open for a week. A few years ago when linky parties were just beginning, I used to get a lot of invites from people who found my project through a search or linked to another party.

    I would think that people would be MORE inclined to link to a small party rather than be lost in the crowd at a large one. I've added you to my roll now and will post to your party next week if I have anything finished. ;)

  9. I have only linked up a few times, but I do enjoy your linky party. I will be posting (hopefully) a new post on my blog tomorrow and I will link up :)

  10. My problem is that I can´t add my link and when I try , there is an error and don´t know where.

  11. Ahh sweetie I do enjoy our relationship formed by your blog and my heart always breaks with your forthright honesty of how it hurts not to get comments or linkys. I really think the underlying problem is a social problem taking place in America right now. While everyone loves seeing what goes on in the internet world and the online community, people in general talk less to each other...especially strangers. I agree that even BIG blogs have LESS comments than they should be getting. People are so connected to their devices that we as a society have forgotten how to socialize!!! While some blogs pride themselves on answering every single comment ...I think the person on the other end loves their anonymity. I think they fear the loss of their anonymity when we comment back so they lurk and don't want to comment. I try to leave a comment when visiting a blog but certainly know I do it less than 20 percent of my blog visits. Probably MUCH less if I did a scientific study on it. I know I get no where near enough if any comments on my blog and some of my work is stunning if I say so myself but people look and leave. We can't fix society overnight...Rome wasn't built in a day, worse yet I don't know if we can fix it at all. I still say the reason I don't link more is I don't post often enough. Usually only once every week or sometimes longer :( I, too work fulltime :( HUGS

  12. Hi there - I have been here a number of times but haven't linked up before. I don't know why. Linking up!

  13. I had been hoping to enter last week (I loved the dots!) but then, unfortunately, it slipped my mind. Boo. I was in and out of town with a queen sized binding to sew so I took a break from my computer to finish. (I did manage to finish on time though. Yay!) I'll put you on my calendar to link up next week! :) I too have found that people don't comment very often and it almost seems to get worse as the link parties grow. Perhaps people are distributing the same amount of time between more blogs?

  14. Hello, this is my first time visiting your blog but I will share my thoughts on linky parties & comments.

    There are a lot of linky parties out there now, and to participate with good linky etiquette takes considerable time {commenting on the host's post, and 2 or 3 other linkers} I just don't have time to link to all the quilting linkys. Plus, you often see the same blog posts linked up at the various parties. I do take notice of how much traffic is generated by the different sites I link to, and when I'm short on time I will prioritize the biggest traffic drivers. Anyone who wants to label me shallow, or my motives somehow less pure, is welcome to do so. However I don't see this as any different than evaluating how many meaningful conversations or links a party generates, because you can't converse with people who don't find your site.

    The larger parties I am aware of have been running for considerably longer than you have been running yours, and I remember when some of them were smaller. Like anything else, growing a linky takes time and patience. It also takes advertising. A certain mid-week linky is so widely participated in, that you can hardly read your quilt blogroll on Wednesdays without seeing a link to it - this creates a snowball effect because every reader of a participating blog is made aware of the linky. In other words, as your linky grows you will get more advertising which will grow your linky more {provided your party goers put a link-back in their post, which is why most parties require it} You might consider making a button for your linky, which would be more noticeable than a text link at the bottom of people's posts. {btw, I found your blog through one of your party linkers who had a text link at the bottom of the post, and was also linked to one of my regular party stops}

    I have noticed that even if a party is open for a week, it is really only active the first day. Even if I link up later on, I don't get any traffic from that site, so if I miss the first day of a linky I will wait until the next week to link to it.

    About comments, I found myself doing what a lot of commenters do on quilt blogs, leaving a brief "great quilt!" or "Love your quilt!" and nothing more. Now, I don't mind people leaving these comments on my blog, because I appreciate that someone was there and took the time to let me know. And sometimes I just want people to know that I was at their blog and took time to leave a comment. The thing is, I'd like to leave a more meaningful comment. So lately, even if I like the quilt posted about, I now often just move on if something in the post doesn't inspire more of a comment than "fantastic job!" What I suppose I am trying to say, is that I have been wrestling with more meaningful dialogue vs greater volume of dialogue, both in the comments I leave and in my posts, so I can help to inspire more conversation in the comments on my blog also. {Ironicly, this is one of the main reasons I haven't posted lately. I have been considering the future of my blog and my blogging 'style', rather than just blindly lumbering on in the same manner I have been} That is why I have been mostly lurking without commenting lately, anyway.

    I hope you find something in this very opinionated comment to be useful as you consider the future of your linky-party hosting endeavor. good luck! :)

  15. Well, for me ... MUCH LOV E for your patterns, your dedication to doing this, and the amount of just plain effort you put into it! You probably aren't thanked enough for all you do, but I say a HUGE Thank YOU!!!!!! from me. Because I don't know what I would do without the variety of patterns that designers like you make sure are out there. It's given me something other than my arthritis to concentrate on and something to be excited about during a very difficult time in my life. You guys rock, and you are very much appreciated :) <3

  16. I love your blog and your patterns, but I don't generally participate in Linky parties anymore because there just aren't enough hours in the day. They can be super fun to participate in, but most of my online time is taking up running three websites and all the communities formed around those websites, I tend to stick to the events going on there just to keep my brain from overloading! Luckily for me, you're part of that community, too, so I get to see you "around." :)


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