The Inner Workings of Memes and Hops – by Brinda Berry
This is the continuing series where we discuss the best practices for creating a web presense. Last week, I had Wednesday off to watch Gloria strut her snarky stuff. It is Gloria at her best. I can tell that Gloria is LOVING the blog hop she started because she’s such a social butterfly. She makes new friends easily. A blog hop is the way to do that whether it’s your own or someone else’s.
The fact is I’ve met a lot of new friends through blog hops. Online friends can support you in your writing and ultimately help you market and promote your work. It’s also a way to share readers with referrals. I want to help my friends succeed, and I assume that they want the same for me. So, the purpose of a Holiday Memories blog hop or even the Christmas Meme is to have fun, support your fellow bloggers, and build a network.
For Gloria’s blog hop, she had a terrific and catchy idea. I did encourage her to “go for it” even though it was last minute. In hindsight, the best tactic would be to announce sign-up for a couple of weeks in advance. Gloria did a great job of promoting her blog hop with tweets and facebook announcements. I also saw that she mentioned it in comments on other sites. This promotion is crucial. As Gloria’s personal assistant in this crazy last minute hop, I helped out by making her badge and grabbing the Mister Linky code.
First, the badge was created in a software program I use quite often. Adobe Fireworks is a bitmap and vector graphics editor. Some advanced graphics users like PhotoShop. What if you don’t know the first thing about graphics? You will need to use something that allows you to work in layers. By that, I mean I was able to place text on top of a picture. I also could manipulate the picture to the desired size. I plan to do a tutorial on my blog soon, and I’ll ask Gloria to give a shoutout when I do.
For the beginner, you CAN use PAINT if it’s all you have. You should have that on your computer and can open it by going to the Accessories folder on your computer. PAINT allows you to import a picture and type text on top of it. Make sure that you do not infringe on copyright. You must give credit in some cases or you may be restricted on use. I grabbed the image on Gloria’s badge from flickr.com and did a search for images in the Commons category. The picture I chose had no copyright restrictions. You can purchase pictures from various websites for use, but that’s a topic for another post.
I had not used Mister Linky in the past, but how hard could it be? It was not difficult to open an account, but there are variables to know. Mister Linky (http://www.blenza.com/linkies/) has free and subsription accounts. I paid for a $5 Silver subscription so I could have a few more benefits. Here is the important thing I learned. Not every type of widget will work on a WordPress account. Out of the six types of widgets, only two will work on WordPress. Also, the link list will not display on the user’s WordPress site but is displayed on another page. In other words, you can put the button on WordPress where people can click, but you cannot see the registrations on the blog page. This is a WordPress restriction. I looked at using LinkyTools.com which is also popular, but it has the same restrictions.
So, that outlines what you must consider when planning your blog hop. The Christmas meme I posted on my site was easier. I tagged people to encourage their participation and didn’t bother with a linky list. There are lots of writer memes you could do. Six-Sentence Sunday is one where you post six sentences from your book or current manuscript. I first discovered the Six-Sentence Sunday when I began following Sarah Ballance’s blog. Sarah rocks a lot of things, but she’s terrific at selecting just the right piece to tease readers. Here’s a link to her post from this week. I tried it for the first time this week on my blog here. I posted the first sentences from my upcoming release, Whisper of Memory. That’s it….easy button - you’re welcome. Teaser Tuesday is one where a blogger posts two teaser sentences from a random page of their current read. Shelly Munro’s blog at this post link is the first blog where I noticed this meme and now I see it all the time! Waiting on Wednesday is where you spotlight an upcoming release you are anxiously awaiting as a reader. Here is a post link from my reading queue this week at Readers Girls. I actually did a Waiting for Wednesday in November when I participated in the I Love Dark
YA Blogfest. I found the Christmas meme online and there are similiar ones with lists of questions that you must answer.
I hope you’ve participated in the meme and hop and had a great time. I certainly have. Before you leave us today, click on this link to access a special online card just for you. Gloria and I love comments. Do you have an idea for a meme or hop? Have you seen some cool ones from your writers’ network?
It’s not too late to join the blog hop. See the first post and directions here. Participate in the blog hop by adding your name to the Linky List and using the super cool badge. If you want the URL for the badge image, it is located here OR you can right-click the image and access the PC menu to Save As and place it on your computer. Click on Mr. Linky below to add your name to the blog hop!