Saturday, January 08, 2011

How to Create a Blog Party

Can I tell you how overwhelmed I am about the response the Bead Soup Blog Party has received in the past two days?  In two days, we've surpassed the previous two Party sign-ups.  As of this writing, we have 113 114 115 bloggers participating (and sign-ups aren't even over!).  We have folks from the US, Canada, Sweden, Russia, and other far-reaching areas.  We have experienced people and newbies, people who have participated in this Party and ones new to the excitement.

Bead Soup sent from Mermaid Glass for a past Party.

So what goes into a blog hop that involves pairing up people?  It's the actual pairing up that takes up the most time and effort, and on the surface you wouldn't think that, would you?  But let me walk you through what I do for this particular Party. 

For each sign-up:

* I enter the name onto my blog.

* I visit their blog and hotlink their blog onto my own blog.

* I cut and paste their name and email into an email distribution list.  This way, when I need to send emails after sign-ups close, I only have to send ONE email.

* I email the person to let them know I received their info, remind them to check their info on my site, and to stay tuned.

Bead Soup sent from Sharon Palac during a past Party.

Next comes the fun part.  Snort.  Fun as in, pass the chocolate, please.  I do so love these parties, but this is the part where I give myself a few days so as not to make an eye-crossing mistake.

* I start an Excel spreadsheet.  For me, there's just no other way to do this.  I need a sortable, changeable way to mess with the data and Excel works for me.

* I enter names, blogs, emails, addresses, and if the person wants to ship internationally.  I make note of special requests or mark down who the person has swapped with in the past.

* I highlight in yellow all international swappers.

*  I visit all the blogs to see what medium the beader works in.  I do this so I can try and avoid putting a polymer clay person with a polymer clay person.  That doesn't always work, but I do my best.

Bead Soup sent by Lisa Harrington for a past Party.

And then, I start pairing people.  Usually, it comes out wrong at least once and I have to figure out who I paired up twice and who got left out.  But that's the beauty of Excel -- it's pretty easy to figure it out.  And now I have a system where I highlight in purple people I've paired up on another spreadsheet.  (Yup, TWO spreadsheets!)

During the Party, I keep in contact with all the partiers, making sure beaders have made contact, that dates are being met, making suggestions for promotion, that sort of thing.  I look at this Party as a way for you to promote yourself not only as a jewelry designer, but as a blog writer and part of the beading community.

More Bead Soup sent my Mary McGraw for a past Party.

I hope this Party will be a good experience for you, and that you find some awesome new bead artists to buy from, some jewelry artists to bond with, and some bloggers to add to your daily reads.  I love doing this, and I'm so glad you're here!


Lori Anderson creates jewelry for her web site, Lori Anderson Designs, and wrtoe the blog An Artist's Year Off.  She's also a contributor to Art Bead Scene.

34 comments:

  1. HA~in the time it took me to drop you a line on fb 10 people signed up.Bead Craziness, I tell you!I've told you before & it bears repeating, THANK YOU LORI for doing all this. You were my first foray into swapping in the blog community & will always be my favourite

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  2. Yes, there cannot be enough thank yous! (you's?) :)

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  3. Lori, I hope you got my email with name, etc. Wow, what a response...

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  4. Hats Off to you Lori! And a Big Thank You!

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  5. I am excited to be a newbie at the blog party. Thanks for all the work you're putting into it.

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  6. I am a newbie also, although have read every blog of the one last winter. Wonderful explanation, and a bit thank you for doing this.

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  7. Thanks Lori! I am really excited about the Blog Party. This is my first time and am loving every minute of it! Thanks for all of your efforts.

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  8. I am thrilled to have joined the craziness. Thanks for taking all the time to coordinate the swap.

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  9. This is my first and I'm so excited!
    Thank you for all your hard work, Lori!
    We all appreciate it. :)

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  10. I'm already enjoying this experience, Lori! Thank you so much for hosting this party!

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  11. Thanks Lori!
    I always thought you had to make your own beads so this is my first time participating!
    Thanks for all your hard work,
    Shannon C

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  12. Oh, what a lot of work (but fun work). I feel like I should quickly sign up and get myself a blog so I won't miss all the fun! I will have to content myself this time w/ being the Blog Party Voyeur. Can't wait to see what you all do!
    Sally

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  13. Yeah--give me a room full of college students any day of the week! And statistics students at that! I wouldn't trade positions with you at all, but I'm humbly grateful...make that eternally grateful that you do ALL this hard work so the rest of us can have FUN!

    I am a returnee to BlogHop Beading Party and I have never regretted it.

    BTW--You can put me down for any type of materials in your spreadsheet. :D I love a good challenge!

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  14. Lori, kudos to you for putting in so much work to really let the party fly. This is a really special event that does so much for connecting people.

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  15. All that work that goes into that great party - once again, thanks fro doing this! You are the best, Lori!

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  16. So crazy how many people have already signed up, but the more the merrier! This is going to be amazing :)

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  17. Lori, thankyou so much. It's wonderful to hear how it all works. My hat goes off to you! You must be one Organized lady!...

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  18. Thank you! For coordinating all of us. I can't wait. :)

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  19. A big THANK YOU for all the work you are putting into this, Lori! What an amazing response!

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  20. What a lot of work you do for us. Thanks.

    FYI: I sent the last group of beads, etc. And the ceramic focal was from Firefly.

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  21. Wow I knew it was alot of work, you ROCK!!! And now I'm drooling all over after seeing all the past bead soup stuff, oh lordy I can hardly wait!!

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  22. Lori You have a lot on your plate so since I haven't signed up if there is something I can help with let me know!

    Hugs

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  23. Lori, I was only an observor on your previous bead soup and I loved it. The behind the scenes of how you do this is incredible. Thank you for making this such an incredible event.

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  24. I think that it is so important to understand the goings on behind the scenes to a successful blog hop. They are a lot of fun to participate in, and a lot of fun to administrate, but they are a lot of work! This is a record-breaking blog hop to be sure and it is all because you are so dedicated to making it work out just right. I am so proud of you Lori! This is just the best time and I have been encouraging others to jump on in.
    Enjoy the day! Thank you for all your work on making this a success!
    Erin

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  25. Lori,
    Thanks for organizing the Blog Party!
    I can't wait. Sign me up:)

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  26. I am really looking forward to this! Thank you so much for all your work!

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  27. I just popped by to see what you were up to, my you are busy. It looks like fun, best of luck with it. Lorrie

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  28. This will be my first Bead Soup Party and I am so happy and excited to be participating. I already suspected that it was tons of work on your part--now I know the details more. Yah, I'd have to use a spreadsheet, too, to organize something like this. Thank you so much for all your work. You are appreciated!

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  29. LOTS & LOTS of work...but we all appreciate what you do so that we can all have a bit of fun and meet new people!
    Michelle

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  30. I am so excited, but nervous! You guys are pros and I am just a jewelry as a hobby gal! I can't wait to meet my partner. And thanks, Lori for all of the work you are putting into fun for us!

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  31. Lori, I am so excited about the Bead Soup Party. This is my first time to partisapate and I am so thankful for your efforts, and atthe same time aI am so fearful that what I haave to offer will not be as wonderful as what I see in your examples. Be Blessed

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  32. What a great article, it's good to see what goes on behind the scene and it only confirms what I was thinking: it takes a looooooot of work. Thank you for taking all that time and effort Lori. ^_^ Virginie vivibijoux.com

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  33. Wow, that is a ton of work. But you do it right!!

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  34. Hard to believe there was a time when only 115 people signed up ;)

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