Monday, January 31, 2011

"Swap Followings" Linky Party - 01.31.11

As I visited your blogs, my dear friends, Deepak Chopra's words kept ringing in my head, "Intelligence isn't the only force that wants to express through you. So do creativity, truth, beauty, and love.” Your blogs contain beautiful things to share to the world and all of you have displayed so much intelligence in your posts. I'm glad to meet you all. By the way, I was blown away by the good turn out - 47 participants! How awesome is that? Thank you everyone for making our first linky party a success!

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Random.org generated link #4 as our spotlight blog and that is Jen from Life, Crafts, and Whatever. Jen lives in Texas with her hubby and 3 girls. She loves crafting and thrift stores. She had me with her paint chip wall art - just under $10 but made such a huge statement in her kitchen wall. She's new to blogland but one can already tell how much dedication she has in putting quality posts in her blog. Thank you, Jen, for linking up.

I'm happy to share that I'm a new follower of Alicia from Purple Paisely Pinwheels. Her blog caught my eye because she dreams of owning her own Inn or Bed and Breakfast, completely renovated and decorated to a traditional, modern, casual style. Thanks, Alicia! Hope you will invite us all one day in your Inn or Bed and Breakfast grand opening.

Now to our linky party.

To all newcomers, WELCOME, and feel at home! To our veterans, THANK YOU for choosing to join us again. I made some changes to our party guidelines and you can read them again here. I promise that next week, these info will just be linked so as to spare you from long reading. I have fine-tuned it a bit so I'm re-posting it here, in that way everybody will be on the same page.

What is "Swap Following"? The concept is: I follow your blog, please follow mine. The best analogy to illustrate this is during Christmas parties when we join the exchange gifts because we want some fun giving a present and receiving one. This linky party is all about giving the gift of your following and receiving it in return.

How did I come up with this idea of "Swap Following" Linky Party?

As a new blogger, I realized how motivating it is to receive comments and have followers. I got invitations to follow their blog in return for their following me. So I thought, why not just have a linky party all about following bloggers by connecting bloggers and followers?

Each time I visit a blog, I hear the common yearning of having more followers. It's time to take action and take matters into our hands! No more soliciting of someone's following through leaving comments, after comments, after comments; no more waiting for somebody to become your follower after publishing that syndicated post you just made; no more implicit hope that each visitor will become your follower. We have to get the word out there that our blog exists, that we have something valuable to contribute to the blogosphere, that we're worthy of being followed, and that we’re willing to get to know each other, follow blogs and in return, get followed.

So the main rule of this party is to follow 2 or more blogs (preferably the one before you and after you before visiting other blogs) and that already spared you from asking the gut-wrenching question, "Can you follow me?"

But here's the catch - you have to do the same to others in order for it to work. Not only that, leave a comment to the bloggers you just followed letting them know that you're following them. If you're the one being followed, then please be gracious to return the favor to the follower. Come to think of it, if it takes the simple task following 1,000 bloggers in order for you to receive 1,000 followers in return, are you willing to do it? I am.

So here's a summary of the formal housekeeping rules that everyone needs to be aware of. We raised the bar this time because we already have proven and tested that the Swap Followings Linky Party is an effective way of fast and easy gain of followers in a short period of time. All participants deserve a pleasant experience out of this party and we won't settle for anything less.

When you join, you are expected to:
1. Make a post mentioning the blog (or blogs) you're following because of this linky party and why. After you wrote the post, notify the blogger you're spotlighting. This will start goodwill and treasured friendship between you and the one you're following. This newly created post is the one you will link up.

2. Include this party button in your post. This is a must and I explained the reason why in here.





(Another alternative is include the party button in your sidebar, create a new post that also make mention you’re joining the linky party, and a link back to the party.)

3. Follow 2 or more blogs, preferably the link before and after you, and leave them a comment that you're following them. That will make it easier for them to find you back and follow you. If you're the one being followed, please be gracious by returning the favor. What would you lose in following somebody anyway, except gain more followers?

4. Party link opens up every Monday at 5:00 pm, PST, and will close Saturday at 11:59 pm.

5. To make it fun, every Monday, I'll spotlight a blog and random.org will choose the lucky blogger.


Take note that when I visit your blog and I see that there's no post about this party, I will definitely send you a gentle reminder to do so. If you're just a new blogger and don't know how to include the party button, read this link. I'm still thinking what to do with repeat offenders but please don't let me go that far.

You may think that the requirements are too cumbersome but here’s the thing. We want to attract quality bloggers and an initial measure of that is if they abide by these requirements. IF they are willing to invest the time to meet these requirements, then they are also willing to invest the time to build meaningful friendship with everybody. We are not a one-night-follower-stand kind of party – we want to foster long-term relationships in which we could learn from one another and influence each other for good.

Beware! Malicious links will be deleted immediately. Malicious links include, but are not limited to porn, gossips, those with racist contents, or anything that are not in harmony with the intent of this party, which, I would like to emphasize again, enduring friendships unmarred by unscrupulous posts.

So go ahead, mingle with one another, follow to be followed, and have fun. The PARTY begins right now!



Sunday, January 30, 2011

$10 Garage Sale Dresser Turned from Drab to Fab

After learning the ropes of painting her $4.49 Goodwill junk turned TV console, my mom is on the roll that she wanted to paint everything she can lay her hands on. Luckily, we have this $10 garage sale dresser that she poured out her creative juices on. This dresser-soon-to-be-labeled-junk by Mr. Homemaker On A Dime is in for an extreme makeover :)

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She already discovered that any beat up and unattractive furniture can turn from an ugly duckling into a majestic swan with the magic of paint. She set out to work like a kid who just received her new Guitar Hero game.

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She sneaked in working her magic in between baby-sitting Princess Two and other myriad things she does at home while I'm at work. She excitedly filled up the holes, sanded it to rough it up, primed it, then gave it two coats of Behr white semi-gloss paint. One time when I came home for lunch, I was surprised to see this. She painstakingly put tape on the drawers to make stripes to echo the same stripes of the TV console she just recently painted.

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I then drilled holes so these knobs from a previous project can get installed.

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Here's her dresser from drab to fab!

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My mom's new passion for painting is yielding good results. It keeps her mind and body active, and at the same time, she produces beautiful pieces for her bedroom.

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For just $10 plus sweat equity, we're all happy.

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Linking here:
I hang out here:
The DIY Showoff, Metamorphosis Monday~House in Roses ~ Southern Hospitality ~ Round Tuit ~ Crafts Keep Me Sane ~ The Girl Creative ~  C.R.A.F.T.  ~ Craft-O-Maniac ~ Dittle Dattle  ~ Skip To My Lou ~  Making The World Cuter  ~  Sumo's Sweet Stuff ~Keeping It Simple ~ Thrifty Decor Chick{T}The Lettered Cottage ~ Coastal Charm ~  Today's Creative Blog ~ Home Stories A 2 Z  ~ A Stroll Thru Life ~Tip Junkie ~ Sugar Bee  ~ Ladybug Blessings ~Not JUST a Housewife ~ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia ~ A Bowl Full of Lemons ~ Homework {W}Type A, Savvy Southern Style ~  Creations By Kara ~ Someday Crafts ~Sew Much Ado ~Seven Thirty Three  ~ Lil' Luna ~ Fabric Bows and More ~ Handy Man, Crafty Woman {T}Somewhat Simple, Beyond The Picket Fence, No Minimalist Here, The Shabby Chic Cottage ~Fireflies and Jellybeans ~  ~ Paisley Passions ~  ~What Allie's Making Now  ~ Saved By Love Creations ~ Brandy's Crafts {F} Finding Fabulous  ~Fingerprints On The Fridge  ~Simply Designing  ~The Shabby Nest  ~Chic On A Shoestring Decorating ~Simply Sweet Home   ~My Romantic Home ~ Just A Girl ~   ~ A Little Knick Knack ~ ~ ~Miss Mustard Seed ~ Whipperberry ~ 504 Main ~ {S} French Country Cottage, Romantic Home, Shabby Nest,  Finding Fabulous Vintage Revivals, Remodelaholic, Amanda at Serenity Now, Designer Garden, Be Different...Act Normal ~Funky Junk Interiors ~Tater Tots And Jello ~Along For The Ride ~ Lolly Jane ~ {Sn} I Heart Naptime ~Under The Table And Dreaming ~ Flamingo Toes

Friday, January 28, 2011

Faceless image following you - ok or not ok?

There must be something special going on in our Swap Followings Linky Party because I already heard a lot of suggestions from concerned participants. And I tell you, THAT IS GREAT! That means that you care for the welfare of the party’s participants – that you want our linky party to evolve for the better. My dear friends, as part of the community, I need you to weigh in on some matters that affect us all and I’ll discuss them with you as my time to post permits. For now, we’ll discuss the first one I received which is about the faceless image of a follower with no accompanying name to identify it.

See this group of faceless followers? We can assume that they are new bloggers and haven’t figured out how to insert an image.

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I officially started blogging on September 28, 2010 though I created this blog in May 2010, so I know how daunting it is to get your bearings in blogland. Through trial and error, I found a way to include an image that people can associate with my blog. (I find this caricature sooo cute that I want this to represent me as a follower).

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Now to the tutorial. Go to Dashboard, then click Edit Profile to get to this screen. On the Photograph section, click From your computer if your picture is coming from your computer and From the web if you have the url to your picture. Mine is from the computer so that's what I clicked.

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So the picture got uploaded and for this illustration, I used my button. See the one I marked with arrow above it? Always remember to put your blog's name in the Display Name box. Then go all the way to the bottom to Save Profile.

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When you see a blog that you want to follow, and if you haven't uploaded yet a picture in this window, here's what's going to appear - the dreaded faceless image. Easy fix, just upload a picture but before doing that, type something in the Name box above it.

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Next is click Edit picture and click on the image you want to appear and you're done. Click Follow and you can easily be identified already.

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For me, I don’t mind anybody following me with no image or name at all coz at some point I might have done the same as a beginning blogger. On the other hand, because we need to be cautious, too, having a picture to associate with a name gives the feeling of authenticity as we interact with others in the blogging world. We tend to follow those who have names and faces we can recognize. As such, I encourage you to do so, now that I have shown you how.

What are your thoughts? Are you ok with a nameless and faceless image follower? Why or why not? We all wanna hear.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Why adding the blog party button and leaving comments are important

What a pleasure to visit all your blogs, my dear friends! You are all so talented and have great things posted on your sites.

For the benefit of everybody, I'm raising up the bar for the next Swap Followings Linky Party. From now on, all participants need to whip up a post about the party (just like most of you did, thank you for doing that), include the blog party button (A MUST!), and highlight the blogger you're following (then inform her so she'll feel acknowledged, too).

Why the change and the emphasis on including the blog party button? Because it's our way of spreading by word of mouth the benefits we're all having for celebrating this party. Some of you have joined because you were intrigued by a post a participant made about our party and imagine the benefit this will be for all of us. If we have 20 new additional participants because of the shoutout you made in your post, that means 20 new bloggers that we can follow and 20 possible bloggers who may follow us, in addition to the fact that there will be 20 happy bloggers, too. Don't you love that? I would like to emphasize also leaving comments that you're following the blogger. I'll explain why. Jessie just followed me and I definitely want to follow her back. I didn't receive a comment from her but I still want to trace her site by going to my list of followers and clicking her picture in it. Sometimes the blog's link is in there but in her case it's not. So how can I follow her back and leave a comment? See what I mean. Lucky for me, she linked up her blog in our party so I was able to reach out to her and leave a comment. But what if she didn't? Then one lost chance of somebody following her.

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Hopping to another topic. Ana and I are best buddies so I invited her to join our Swap Followings linky party. I love her to pieces because she's a sweet lady and our kids used to play together. When I visited her blog yesterday, I noticed that the party's blog button wasn't included in her post, so did the other blogs who just entered the world of blogging, just like Jesse. No worries, I'm here to help.

See this button and the text area under it? Put your mouse's cursor inside the text area, select all the contents inside (either by Ctrl A, or right-clicking the mouse then highlighting Select All), copy (either Ctrl C, or right-clicking the mouse again then highlighting Copy), go to your new blog post then paste (either Ctrl V, or right-clicking the mouse then highlighting Paste). It's the same procedure you have to do when you want to include the other fabulous bloggers' linky party buttons you may want to join in the next days ahead.

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The good thing is both Ana and Jesse were able to navigate their way around the html codes being copied and pasted in their blog post before I did this post. Hurray for you, ladies!

To conclude, please spread the word, join again, and see you all for our Monday's second Swap Followings Linky Party!

I've been writing this post in between potty accidents, shower, feeding (though she's already full), Ni Hao Kailan show, etc. of a very active toddler. If you find grammatical errors or some stuff that don't make sense, please overlook it. Thanks.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

"Swap Followings" Linky Party - 01.24.11

WELCOME, and thank you for choosing to join this party :) Since this is my first party, I'm opening it up earlier than scheduled. Starting next week, we will open at 5:00 pm, Pacific Standard Time.

What is "Swap Following"? The concept is: I follow your blog, please follow mine. The best analogy to illustrate this is during Christmas parties when we join the exchange gifts because we want some fun giving a present and receiving one. This linky party is all about giving the gift of your following and receiving it in return.

How did I come up with this idea of "Swap Following" Linky Party?

As a new blogger, I realized how motivating it is to receive comments and have followers. I got invitations to follow their blog in return for their following me. So I thought, why not just have a linky party all about following bloggers by connecting bloggers and followers?

Each time I visit a blog, I hear the common yearning of having more followers. It's time to take action and take matters into our hands! No more soliciting of someone's following through leaving comments, after comments, after comments; no more waiting for somebody to become your follower after publishing that syndicated post you just made; no more implicit hope that each visitor will become your follower. We have to get the word out there that our blog exists, that we have something valuable to contribute to the blogosphere, that we're worthy of being followed, and that we’re willing to get to know each other, follow blogs and in return, get followed.

So the main rule of this party is to follow 2 or more blogs (preferably the one before you and after you before visiting other blogs) and that already spared you from asking the gut-wrenching question, "Can you follow me?"

But here's the catch - you have to do the same to others in order for it to work. Not only that, leave a comment to the bloggers you just followed letting them know that you're following them. If you're the one being followed, then please be gracious to return the favor to the follower. Come to think of it, if it takes the simple task following 1,000 bloggers in order for you to receive 1,000 followers in return, are you willing to do it? I am.

So here's some formal housekeeping rules to make it a pleasant experience for everyone.

1. Link opens up every Monday at 5:00 pm PST.

2. There are 3 ways is only one way to link up and here's the button that you need to include in your post:




A. Any blog post you have is ok to link up as long as you're mentioning that you're joining my party to gain blog followers, and my button is included in your post.
B. You can even link up your whole blog as long my button appears somewhere in your blog.

C. Make a post mentioning the latest blog you're following because of this linky party and why, and include my party button in your post. This will start goodwill and treasured friendship between you and the one you're following.

Just remember that whatever the post you link up serves as our virtual hangout and creates the first impression about you as a blogger so always present yourself in the best possible light.

3. Follow 2 or more blogs, preferably the link before and after you, and notify them that you're following them. If you're the one being followed, please be gracious by returning the favor. What would you lose in following somebody anyway, except gain more followers?

4. To make it fun, every Monday, I'll spotlight a blog and random.org will choose the lucky blogger.

Meet, mingle, have fun, and most of all, follow to be followed. Let the PARTY begin!



Boring Girl's Bedroom Gets Makeover for Under $100 - The Reveal

When we acquired this house, Princess One's bedroom looked like this.

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We painted her room's walls with Citron by Behr then installed laminates for the flooring.

The holiday season put this project on hold for a little bit and only this month did I get the chance to focus on it.

Here's the entrance to her bedroom.

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I want her to look her best before leaving for school so I hung up this mirror right by her door. It's a very old one from our previous apartment which I just painted hot pink so I didn't have to buy a new one.

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As a mom who worries about the outside influences on her daughter, I bought this sticker quote from Dollar Tree that says, "In a world where you can be anything...Be Yourself." This is a great affirmation for her not to get easily swayed with the latest fad and craze among tweens.

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At the foot of her bed is this closet covered by her favorite purple curtains. I got the fabric from Joann's on sale and I give my mother a big credit for sewing these lovely curtains.

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She loves the butterflies and dragonflies in the fabric design that the curtains right by her window got the same fabric. Her nightstand is from a previous DIY project. (Ooopsies, I just noticed that her pair of stockings is peeking out. Excuse me for that).

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These picture frames serve as her wall treatment. I just cut these from gift wrappers and framed them - easy peasy, and cheap. Each frame is $2.50 from HomeGoods.

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These are currently her headboard design. The Believe and Dream are from 99 cents store and the Princess sign is $1.99 on clearance from Ross. (Noticed the butterflies again?)

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Across her bed is her study table. We inherited this table from her cousin and I just painted it hot pink.

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Here's Princess One savoring her pretty room (according to her).

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It's time to do my other projects so I'm on my way out of her room. Til next time, bloggy BFFs.

I hangout here:
The DIY Showoff, Metamorphosis Monday~House in Roses ~ Southern Hospitality ~ Round Tuit ~ Crafts Keep Me Sane ~ The Girl Creative ~  C.R.A.F.T.  ~ Craft-O-Maniac ~ Dittle Dattle  ~ Skip To My Lou ~  Making The World Cuter  ~  Sumo's Sweet Stuff ~Keeping It Simple ~ Thrifty Decor Chick{T}The Lettered Cottage ~ Coastal Charm ~  Today's Creative Blog ~ Home Stories A 2 Z  ~ A Stroll Thru Life ~Tip Junkie ~ Sugar Bee  ~ Ladybug Blessings ~Not JUST a Housewife ~ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia ~ A Bowl Full of Lemons ~ Homework {W}Type A, Savvy Southern Style ~  Creations By Kara ~ Someday Crafts ~Sew Much Ado ~Seven Thirty Three  ~ Lil' Luna ~ Fabric Bows and More ~ Handy Man, Crafty Woman {T}Somewhat Simple, Beyond The Picket Fence, No Minimalist Here, The Shabby Chic Cottage ~Blue Cricket Design  ~Fireflies and Jellybeans ~ House Of Hepworths ~ The Shabby Chic Cottage ~Paisley Passions ~ Somewhat Simple  ~What Allie's Making Now  ~ Saved By Love Creations ~ Brandy's Crafts {F} Finding Fabulous  ~Fingerprints On The Fridge  ~Simply Designing  ~The Shabby Nest  ~Chic On A Shoestring Decorating ~Simply Sweet Home   ~My Romantic Home ~ Just A Girl ~   ~ A Little Knick Knack ~ ~ ~Miss Mustard Seed ~ Whipperberry ~ 504 Main ~ {S} French Country Cottage, Romantic Home, Shabby Nest,  Finding Fabulous Vintage Revivals, Remodelaholic, Amanda at Serenity Now, Designer Garden, Be Different...Act Normal ~Funky Junk Interiors ~Tater Tots And Jello ~Along For The Ride ~ Lolly Jane ~ {Sn} I Heart Naptime ~Under The Table And Dreaming ~ Flamingo Toes

Sunday, January 16, 2011

$4.49 Goodwill Junk Turned TV Console

I bought this certified junk (according to hubby) for $4.49 along with this $18 Goodwill dresser turned hallway console. It was so beaten up that nobody was taking a second look at it. But of course, as DIY-ers, we all know that we can breathe a new life into it by a fresh coat of paint, and that's what my mother and I did. It's my mother's first stab at painting a piece of furniture and I took the opportunity to be her mentor (Don't you love it when there's a role reversal? :) She spent a good deal of time telling me how to do this and that, and now, I get to boomerang it back to her...LOL!)

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In college, I was purged with all formulas and equations that even in my dreams, I saw the integral and differential calculus symbols dancing right before my eyes. Why did I mention this? Well, after painting different pieces of furniture for the last 6 months, I realized that the process is just like this formula:
Pretty painted furniture = wood filling + sanding + dusting/cleaning + priming + painting + polyurethane-ing

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Mother followed the formula above, with my close supervision and a little help here and there, and here's the result.

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I'm the yellow-and-anything-warm-color type of woman and my mother is my opposite. She loves blues and whites and her wish is granted in this little nightstand turned TV console.

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Here it is in her bedroom. Yes, that's an old analog TV that we inherited but even in the world of HDTV, that thing still rocks.

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She is 69 years old and I salute her for daring to do something new.

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I hangout here:
The DIY Showoff, Metamorphosis Monday~House in Roses ~ Southern Hospitality ~ Round Tuit ~ Crafts Keep Me Sane ~ The Girl Creative ~  C.R.A.F.T.  ~ Craft-O-Maniac ~ Dittle Dattle  ~ Skip To My Lou ~  Making The World Cuter  ~  Sumo's Sweet Stuff ~Keeping It Simple ~ Thrifty Decor Chick{T}The Lettered Cottage ~ Coastal Charm ~  Today's Creative Blog ~ Home Stories A 2 Z  ~ A Stroll Thru Life ~Tip Junkie ~ Sugar Bee  ~ Ladybug Blessings ~Not JUST a Housewife ~ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia ~ A Bowl Full of Lemons ~ Homework {W}Type A, Savvy Southern Style ~  Creations By Kara ~ Someday Crafts ~Sew Much Ado ~Seven Thirty Three  ~Paisley Passions  ~ Lil' Luna ~ Fabric Bows and More ~ Handy Man, Crafty Woman {T}Somewhat Simple, Beyond The Picket Fence, No Minimalist Here, The Shabby Chic Cottage ~Fireflies and Jellybeans ~  ~  Saved By Love Creations ~ Brandy's Crafts {F} Finding Fabulous  ~Fingerprints On The Fridge  ~Simply Designing  ~The Shabby Nest  ~Chic On A Shoestring Decorating ~Simply Sweet Home   ~My Romantic Home ~ Just A Girl ~   ~ A Little Knick Knack ~ ~ ~Miss Mustard Seed ~ Whipperberry ~ 504 Main ~ {S} French Country Cottage, Romantic Home, Shabby Nest,  Finding Fabulous Vintage Revivals, Remodelaholic, Amanda at Serenity Now, Designer Garden, Be Different...Act Normal ~Funky Junk Interiors ~Tater Tots And Jello ~Along For The Ride ~ Lolly Jane ~ {Sn} I Heart Naptime ~Under The Table And Dreaming ~ Flamingo Toes

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Yes, Mary, you can respond to comments via email.

Mary from The Crafty Gals posted this question, "How do I reply to a comment??"

Comment is a good thing for you as a receiver, because it gives you feedback about your blog post. In blogland, a blog's popularity is 'somewhat' measured by the number of comments each post receives (I just said 'somewhat' because there are also other factors that come into play that makes a blog popular like readers' direct emails to the blogger, advertisers' direct contact to the blogger, number of blog visits from faithful readers, number of new visitors, etc, but to simplify things, we'll just focus on responding to comments in this post.) As a recipient of good comments, and knowing how much time it also takes to leave a comment (especially when it entails typing in word verification), I try to be gracious by responding to them first via email and secondly, leaving a thoughtful comment in their most recent blog post...or more, when I get to read their older posts. By using this method, I've built good friends in Blogland in which we exchange info outside blogging. So here's what works for me:

In your Dashboard, go to your Settings tab, then click Comments.

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Go down way below on this page and you'll see a textbox for Comment Notification Email. Type in the email address where you want the comments emailed to you. Before you leave this page, click Save Settings.

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When you receive a comment, it will show in the email address that you provided in the textbox above. As you can see, I typed in homemakeronadime at gmail dot com and that's where all comments come in.

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As soon as I read your comment, I emailed my response just like this one.

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How did I do it? First, I hovered my mouse over the sender's name, in this case, The Crafty Gals, to see if it's a valid email address. Before, I used to hit reply all the time without checking, only to find out that I was replying to noreply-comment@blogger.com, and that simply means it didn't reach the intended recipient. Once I confirmed that your email is legit, then I hit reply.

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As soon as the email is sent, I clicked on the sender's name, The Crafty Gals, which brought me to your profile.

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Clicking the sender's name lead me to your profile, which in turn directed me to your blog.

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From there, I can easily go to your blogsite, read your post, then leave a comment. (This works only for blogs that are meant for the public to see.)

Having an iPhone (or any smartphone that's connected to the internet) also gives you quick access to email so you can give a prompt response to comments.

That's how easy it is to respond to comments. If you have further questions, just leave a comment and I'll respond to you through the process that I just described above :)
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