Thursday, July 04, 2013

Thursday Tutorials - Linky Party

Happy Independence Day y'all!

I heard the history of this day put into perspective by my niece's FB status this morning:
"Okay guys, one more thing, this summer when you're being inundated with all this American bicentennial Fourth Of July brouhaha, don't forget what you're celebrating, and that's the fact that a bunch of slave-owning, aristocratic, white males didn't want to pay their taxes." ;)
 She's so cute.  Love that she used the word brouhaha, it's such a throwback to seventh grade English class with Ms. McGovern.
 Today I thought I'd focus on providing a little tutorial. This is going to focus strictly on technology and not specifically for use in your classroom. Once I got the idea settled I had to think what I wanted to share on this day of Independence. The problem I've been trying to solve in the past few days for myself was the mysterious phenomenon known as a "Linky Party." A ton of the blogs I've been visiting through the TpT community seem to have conquered this strange method of binding themselves together into a tight knit group. 
 Never wanting to be left out of the loop, I want to decipher the code that surrounds the Cool Group. As I struggle to get it working for my blog, you are coming along with me for the ride. Are you ready? Got a cool drink and a cookie? Let's go!
1. The first thing I always do when trying to create something is to head over to Google. So I typed in: How do I create a linky party. The first site it took me to was It's a Blog Party that claims to  know the secrets behind linkies in the post "Building your Blog: Host a Linky Party." We shall see. 
2. One of the things you definitely need in order to host a linky party is a 'button.' This is a little image that acts as a link back to your blog. You can see mine off to the right under the Grab My Button heading. You can add this to your Blogger site by adding the gadget HTML to your blog and sticking the code you see under my button into the gadget box. Just make sure that you change the information between the parenthesis over from my blog site to yours and then change the information between the second set of parenthesis from my image location to yours.
You'll have to load your image up to a separate  sharing site such as Photobucket and grab the direct code from that site in order to plug into the HTML code above. 
3. Next you'll need to build your own linky platform. There are two choices that I looked into Inlinkz and Linky Tools. Both are free to join, but if you want the real benefit from the program, you'll need to pay about $2 a month for the upgrade. YES! There's money involved. Just wanted you to be aware of this before we move forward. 
I think I'm going to go with Inlinkz. Their website just looks cleaner and they offer a discount of $20 for the year if you pay at once. Save yourself $4 for some Starbucks, right? Once you are all logged in and confirmed your subscriptions through your email (there will be two, one for newsletter and one for the site itself, make sure you confirm both or it won't let you log in) you'll have two choices: Go to Dashboard, or Project Manager. 
Your first Linky Party with thumbnail images is totally free. After that you are allowed text only Linky Parties. If you want thumbnails (much more fun for me) you'll need to change your subscription over to the paid service. Let's do that first. Click on "Account" at the top and click on the blue "Extend your Plan" button next to link-up tool subscription. You'll see payment options there. I chose the $19.99 for one year - save 18% option and paid it off. 
If anyone also wants to join this site, here is My Referral Number
4. Now you're ready to start your very own Linky Party, or "Collection" as Inlinkz calls them. Click on the "Create New Collections" button and give your Linky Party a name. 

5. Give it a duration of time that you'd like it to run:


6. Then set up the information for how you want the links to display:
(here I am going to go with the suggestions provided by It's a Blog Party
since they seem to know what they are doing).


7. Finally, you have the option to be emailed when someone links up. This way you can check for spammers and such to delete that mess right away. Also, if you are going to repeat this type of collection again in the future and want to save the settings, create a "Meme" name for it and it will show up under the "Add new based on" pull down at the beginning of your dashboard. Save yourself some time.

SUBMIT!

8. You'll get this gobbledy-gook HTML code that you can include in your post. When you're ready to start the Linky Party, create a new post and go through the motions of explaining it all to your loyal readers. Then when you are ready to include the Inlinkz information (usually at the end of your post) you can switch the post content "Compose" to "HTML". I see it sitting at the top left of the screen underneath the Blogger icon and my blog name. Once in HTML, just insert the Inlinkz HTML code you saved earlier at the end.

9. Preview your blog to see the actual link box happening to see if it all looks perfect.

10. Then you are ready to publish your first Linky Party.

I really hope this was helpful. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave me a comment or email me (that icon is at the top of the page in the far right corner, just click on the little envelope icon).

Stay tuned tomorrow when I release my first ever LINKY PARTY! Hope to see you there. 


 

 

 

 
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