Before we get rolling….our prize winners from the tour! Chosen by Random.org…Lisa808, Joanne Gilch, and Melissaward! Please email info@operationwritehome.org, and we’ll hook you up with your prize!

Is anyone else just basking in the creativity of the blog tour last weekend? If you missed out because you were out of town, you can still go be inspired – just click here to go to the start post. You may need to scroll down on some blogs to get to the actual card shared in the thumbnail, since people may have posted the main blog url rather than the post url.

Feelin the love…
We received so much feedback during and since the Tour….lots of pennies for your thoughts already. Check out what one of our bloggers, Loni, emailed us: a bunch of comments from her blog — she had asked the question, “Why do you love OWH?”

Ginger said…OWH is wonderful, connects so many people in the world… shows what a group of love, joy can bring to the many faces of our world.

Noelle’s Corner said…I like OWH, because it helps keep families connected and form friendships.

Sherry H said…I just found OWH a few weeks ago and I love being part of something that benefits our troops overseas. I am also happy to be part of such a creative community!”

Lisa of ML Design Works said… I enjoy OWH because I love to make things for people who need them–and this gives us an opportunity to fill a need. It is a great organization!

Our Little Inspirations said… I love OWH because there are so many generous volunteers who care enough about those serving our country to give something back on a personal level. It’s a great organization with fabulous participants!

Marlene D said…I recently discovered OWH and love it because it answers the question ‘what can I do… I’m just one person?’. One person and another person and so on can do a lot to support our troops.

Sandy said…What I love about OWH? Our heroes and our cardmakers!

Marianne said …What I love about OWH – of course the OWH family but the fact we can touch the lives of our service men and women.

Dee B. said…I love everything about OWH! All the talented people coming together for a great cause and knowing that somewhere there is someone who loves a handwritten card from their loved one deployed more than any other item in their possession. I still have all my hubby’s letters he sent me!

Rufus said…OWH is a truly marvelous organization of caring, giving, friendly folks. It’s my way of showing the troops that I support them and appreciate the sacrifices that they and their families make for all of us. If you think that one person can’t make a difference all you need to do is read some of the letters written to OWH. Be warned it’s best to have a box of tissues by your side while you do this! My short answer when someone asks this question, given today’s age of email, twitter, facebook etc. is yes, but how many people print out an email and keep it in a box under the bed???? There is still something special about a handmade, handwritten card.

Songbird Cindi said…I just sent my first box of cards to OWH because I’ve had family and friends who have served. It’s so important to be able to send something tangible to your loved ones back home.

Jessica said…I love OWH blog hops/tours & what y’all do. Hubby has served over seas 5 times in 10 yrs & it brings a smile to my face & touches my heart that so many wonderful people support total strangers they way you do. Thank You.

rstuck2003 said… I LOVE OWH because it gives the wonderful men and women serving our country a chance to send their loved ones back home a card to let them know they are thinking of them. It allows them to know that we back home have not forgotten about them! 

Debb said…OWH-such a great organization with a wonderful mission! I love to make cards and how much better to tailor my cards to use them to send to OWH!

Isims said…OWH is great because it encourages service men/women. They deserve all the help and encouragement possible.

Robin said…I love the blog at OWH because it is so inspirational! I’ve made several cards for the organization too .. it’s a simple thing to do for so many

Grandmalee said…I love OWH because they care for our soldiers which my daughter happens to be one. She is a MP with the CO Army National Gurad and spent 18 months in Iraq, so I know all too well what these cards mean to our troops! Thanks for participating!

Dixie C. Said…I love OWH not only for the mission but for the community we have managed to achieve online. LOTS of new friends!

Diane L. said…I’m just learning about them in the last few months and am thrilled at the amount of selfless giving. Stampers are indeed very special.

Jengd said…I love that people are willing to share their time and efforts making something to share with someone they will likely never meet. In return, that person will be able to share something they normally couldn’t with their loved ones. What a great organization!!

Susan said…I have many reasons I love OWH.

1. it is the very least thing any crafter could do for those fighting for liberty and freedom, and helping to right some wrongs, bring back humanity to places where it is long been missing.

2. for myself, being disabled and being without a car (and sooo missing my work, I loved my career) This gives me a purpose, this makes me feel like I have a “job” and an important job at that!

Theresa said… Love what OWH does for our servicemen.

Shirley said… I think if I were a wife or a mother or even the child of a serviceman to receive a card that he or she had sent to me would give me a physical link to him that no phone call or e-mail can do. I love knowing that OWH helps to provide that link.

Jamie said…I love OWH because as a former military wife (my husband honorably discharged in 07 from the Air Force) I know how much small things like letters home can mean for our service men and women and their families and I love being able to give back.

And just today, one of our featured cardmakers sent a surprise thank you note – for featuring her. How sweet is that? Here’s what she said:

Thank you again for featuring me on the S&S blog. It was a thrill to see my cards online! Not only do you give to the troops, you also give to your cardmakers. I’m proud and happy to be one of them!

Hope you’re all feeling the love, too! If not, go to the hero blog, we’ve had some absolutely wonderful emails and cards and letters sent in the last few weeks. Take kleenex with you!

And now….the Question:
We tried a different format for the “blog tour” vs our regular “blog hops”….and from what we can see there are a few pros and cons of each. Please read this and let us know which you prefer via a comment (or an email to info@operationwritehome.org if you’d rather make a private comment).

Blog Hops: For these events, we take pre-signups; bloggers are each sent a link to the following blog, so as hoppers go through, they click straight through from one to the next.

  1. Pros: People tend to look through all the blogs, not skip over any. Seem to have more comments made per post. We also have a better idea how many blogs will join in since we have signups. Each blog is a “surprise” as hoppers go through; since there are no thumbnails, it can be a delightful “ooooooh” to be found around every corner! No spam, since we check out all the signed-up sites ahead to be sure they’re cardmaking blogs.
  2. Cons: Getting everyone coordinated and posting at the right time is a bit of work. There’s a bit of pressure to be sure to post, and if someone drops out, we coordinate skipping over them in the order. And if you don’t sign up ahead, you can add a post at the end, but those don’t get many views. 
Blog Tours: For this event, ie this past weekend, we did not take signups ahead. Everyone added their link via InLinkz once the tour post went live.
  1. Pros: No pre-signups – less pressure. Can post anytime, no urgent need to have everyone start right away. Thumbnails available right away. People can also post several times throughout the hop and add more cards, more candy.
  2. Cons: Fewer comments per blog post; people skipped around based on their interest in the thumbnail posted. We noticed a lot of people leaving a lot of comments for others asking them to come enter for blog candy; not sure if that meant people were unhappy with the number of folks viewing their blogs or not. We also had to weed out spam sites as they appeared, since InLinkz accepts anyone who adds a link.
So….let us know what you think. Tour? Hop? Both? (We can alternate, have some tours like this more often, since they’re less work to assemble….and do a big hop once or twice a year using the other format. Or just go with one format or the other. I’m open to suggestions!)