|Badge by Ada Z from collagepodge.com|
We're almost there! We've passed last year's sign-ups and as of this writing pushing toward 1400. We encourage you to sign up now if you haven't done so already. The list will close on Monday night April 2nd. After that it will be too late to get you signed up. Decide as soon as you can so you can start making preparations. We'd hate to see anyone get left out who really would like to be a part of this exciting and rewarding event.
Is your blog dressed for the event?
Before we take off on Sunday, now is the time to get your blog in order. Do you have the official A to Z Challenge logo (pictured above or find code in sidebar) displayed in a prominent place so you are readily identified as a participant? In my blog travels of late I've run across some blogs on the list that show no indication that they will be taking part in the A to Z Challenge Please display the A to Z badge prominently, preferably toward the top of the sidebar, so we know you're in the Challenge.
For those who prefer to use one of the other badges on the "banner and badge" page of this blog or your own design because of matching color schemes, again please display this badge prominently. Make it obvious to visitors that you are participating.
Also feel free to dress up your blog with any additional badges and banners that will make it more festive. Co-host Jeremy has created a stunning array of blog bling which can be found in a tab at the top of the page. Feel free to decorate your blog for April.
Stay in the game!
Starting Sunday April 1st make sure you are posting with the current letter prompts. If you do encounter a problem that might cause you to be absent for a day or two, please make sure your most recently displayed post provides an explanation so we know your intentions are good.
If we see a blog that stays inactive for five days or more or if we see a blog that shows no indication that they are actually participating in the Challenge, we will pull that blog from the list so as not to waste the time of the bloggers who come to visit you. The list is intended for A to Z participants only and not for advertisers or blog-hoppers just trying to get noticed.
If you do encounter a problem with posting (illness, computer crashes, emergencies--things happen we know), let us know and we will work with you and try to help in any way we can.
A Warning to those on Blogger
Have you noticed this message at the top of your Dashboard:
Blogger is getting a new look in April. Upgrade Now.
The Blogger dweebs are at it again and conveniently timed for A to Z. I haven't messed with this yet because I am concerned about it. According to the Blogger Blog there will be an option to switch back to the old interface--if I understood this correctly. If we have this option I plan on switching back to the old format for April. I guess I'll change it to the new interface in May because they say that all blogs will be changed eventually.
I thought I might give you a heads up in case you hadn't seen this message. If you're brave you can experiment with it before Sunday. Some of you have already changed. I hope this doesn't whack a bunch of us with a huge monkey wrench, but I guess we've probably survived worse.
Do the right thing
You may have received an email already from one of the A to Z Team members or you will receive one soon. I'm going to provide a copy here as well just in case you don't see your e-mail. This pretty well gives the basics of what we hope you'll consider doing to make the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge the best experience it can be:
The A to Z Challenge kicks off on Sunday!
As a co-host, I’d like to thank you for participating. The Challenge is all about discipline and making new friends. Your blogging skills will be sharpened and you will meet a lot of cool new bloggers in the process. The A to Z Team has worked hard this year to make it the best Challenge ever, and once it is over, we invite you to post your thoughts and reflections on the Challenge on Monday, May 7.
Here are the basic guidelines:
Post on a topic or word that matches the corresponding letter of the alphabet, starting with “A” on Sunday, April 1, then every day except Sundays after that. (B is April 2, C is April 3, etc.)
Visit fellow Challenge participants starting with the blog immediately following yours on the sign up list. Aim to visit five blogs a day; more if you have time.
Keep posts SHORT!
Turn off word verification. Make it easy for others to leave comments.
Make it easy for others to follow you. (Move that Google Friends Connect widget or other following device high up in your sidebar.)
Use the official A to Z button. Link back to the A to Z Blog - http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/
Have fun and make new friends!
Any questions? Let us have them in the comment section. Get ready to have the best A to Z April Challenge yet.