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Sunday, April 8, 2012

#atozchallenge: Sunday Summary April 8, 2012

Artwork by Ada Z from
On Behalf of the A to Z Team:

         Hello-- Arlee Bird here from the A to Z Team.  Over the past many weeks leading up to the Challenge I've been putting together a Sunday Summary in which I've recognized some of the blogs that the A to Z Team had come across during the previous week.  I had every intent of doing another one this Sunday.  Then, something happened.

         As soon as the Challenge started we became overwhelmed, deluged, and inundated, not to mention very busy.  In other words, there is so much going on that none of us had the time to assemble a list of blogs that had mentioned the A to Z.  And add to that the fact that hundreds of you participants had special  A to Z announcement posts prior to the Challenge opening day and had special posts that talked about themes and discussed other Challenge related topics.

         So rather than make up a giant list of links let me extend a huge thank-you for all of the shout outs and promos that so many of you put on your own blogs prior to the opening day. Also thanks for the tremendous back up we got from many of you on Twitter, Facebook, and other places.  The success of this year's Challenge is due to all of you participants and our top notch A to Z Team of dedicated bloggers.

What's Happened So Far:

          We've got some hard working bloggers out there as you have surely noticed.  There are more blog posts than any of us can humanly keep up with, but I'm seeing amazing efforts by most of you.  We all appreciate the comments and we encourage all of you to keep commenting as much as you are able to.  Try to find a few new blogs each day and leave comments.  Don't forget to follow the ones that interest you.  No blog should leave the Challenge with less than 100 followers.

           Some of you may have noticed that the list has seemed like it's gotten smaller.  It did.  The Linky list topped out at 1936 blog sign ups at the Monday night closing.  As of the time I write this the list has gone down to 1851 and it will get still a bit smaller.

            The reason for the shrinking list is that there were some duplicate links and bad links that led nowhere.  Likewise, as we promised from the start, in order to keep this year's list of the time wasting sites (as far as our Challenge is concerned) we have been culling the blatant advertising sites or any other sites that have no intent of actually being a part of the A to Z Challenge and apparently were added only to get the attention this event provides.  We want this Challenge to be fun for the participants and not just a place to get a link noticed while doing nothing pertaining to the A to Z event.

          As links are removed from the list, all numbers below that are moved up.  If you no longer see your blog at its original number on the list, be sure to follow up the list at least 100 numbers and you will probably find it.  If for some reason your blog link has disappeared from the list and you have been a daily participant please let us know and we'll try to help.  The A to Z Team is trying to be very careful to keep the list intact with participants, but cleaned of those who are not participating.

A Cheer for the Team!

        All of the A to Z Team members have their own blogs entered in the Challenge.   The team member blog links can be found in the sidebar about a quarter of a way down the page.  Please show your appreciation to these hard-working team members by click on the links to find each of their blogs to say hello and follow them.  The A to Z Team members have done an incredible job organizing this event and continue to do an incredible job visiting blogs and leaving comments.

          Another thing the Team has been doing is maintaining this A to Z Blog during the Challenge.  We wanted to keep the blog active throughout April, but we had no idea that so many of you would keep things buzzing in the way it is been.  Your comments on this blog have been better than ever and we are about to reach 1200 followers.  If you like the Blogging from A to Z Challenge be sure to become a follower of this blog as it will remain active even after the Challenge of 2012.

          Our A to Z Team deserves a round of applause for the great posts on the A to Z Blog so far and for the posts to come throughout the Challenge.   The A to Z Challenge Blog is your place for Challenge news and announcements.

For Those Who Didn't Make the List On Time:

         The official list is closed but that doesn't mean you still can't participate.  You can do it but off the list.  Actually that's not as bad as it might seem because since the list is so big that after a few days a lot of people stop using it.

         Our advice if you want to be a part of the A to Z is to post the daily letter posts like you're supposed to.   Then leave a comment at that you have posted for that day's letter and leave a link to your post.  

       Then, using the list which can be found on the A to Z Blog, visit as many of the participating bloggers as you can, leaving a comment and your link so they can visit you back.  Follow blogs whenever you see one you like and let them know you've followed in case they'd like to follow you back.

       Finally, announce your link on any social media sites you are involved with, such as Facebook or Twitter, etc,  You can also put your link up at the A to Z Facebook page.

       With enough networking, not being on the list won't matter that much.  In other words it's network blogging as usual.

       Good luck and happy to have you join in.  Be sure to send us your link to your blog with a request for us to add it to the Sunday Summary at the A to Z Blog.  If you know other bloggers that would like to participate in this same way let them know--you can forward this same information to them--and we can likewise announce their blogs as unlisted participants.   We had several last year who went on without being listed and they had a great time with it.

Here are of few of our latecomers:

       I know there are more, but in all of the chaos of this opening week I've lost track of them.  Please, if you are one of those blogging from A to Z without being on the list, leave your link in the comment section so we can find you.

Now a few final notes:

        Some of you may be lamenting a lack of visitors and comments.  I assure you that if your blog is inviting and interesting the comments will come.   Make sure that your comment section is open and easy to use.  If you have some complex system, visitors may turn around and exit before leaving a comment.  

       But rather than wait for the comments to come, you can speed up the process by visiting others and leaving comments on those blogs.  After all one of the main goals of the A to Z is to network with other bloggers.  Your chances of receiving comments are greatly increased by visiting and commenting on other blogs.

       If you have a very specialized niche or are "not for everybody" you may have to wait for a while for those who are looking for your type of blog to show up.  And if they don't, well that's life in the blog lane I guess.  You may have to rethink what you are doing with your blog and reach out to a different demographic.  It's not often that I can't think of something to say when I visit a blog, but I have dropped in on a few where I didn't know what to say and sometimes just didn't want to say anything.

        There are a lot of different blogs out there with a lot of different topics and blogger personalities.  Some you will love, some will be okay, and some you may disagree with or even loathe.  If you don't like what you see you have the choice to turn around and leave.  The A to Z Team is not responsible for what people write on their blogs and we don't want to be in the business of censorship.

          The last word here is to keep having a good time.  Make friends and become a better blogger.  The A to Z Challenge is intended to be a positive and memorable experience.

          Now back to the business of having fun Blogging from A to Z!




Thanks to all concerned in the smooth running of the challenge.
You deserve a medal.


Our Life In A Caravan said...

Enjoying the Challenge, nothing planned at all it's all off the top of my head and on the hoof! That way it's natural and real. No pre written posts for me!! Have fun guys!

PR said...

Excellent post. You guys are doing a brilliant job. I'm having a great time woohoo! I can't believe there were so many bad links though, that's slightly worrying.

Universal Gibberish

Laura Clipson said...

I'm enjoying participating in this challenge a lot, thanks so much to all of you guys for making it so fun for everyone! :)

Huntress said...

You people are amazing. No way can I keep up.

In addition to the time warp continuum problem and my clone idea falling flat, I have trouble 'following' people who aren't set up to be followed.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Lee and all A - Z blogging team .. you're doing an amazing job - I'm enjoying the participation and have once again met some very interesting bloggers ..

I have to say I'm going along at my own pace - but such is life .. and I'm involved and happy to be here ..

I do congratulate you all and love the Challenge process ..

Happy Easter to one and all .. Hilary

Joyce said...

Thanks so much for managing a large crowd. I appreciate you culling the list. With so many participants its going to be tricky getting around to see everyone but I try to at least pop in a few each day. When its advertising that's annoying! I'm enjoying the challenge again this year so thanks again for hosting.

Texas Yellow Rose said...

My warm thanks for the team putting together this year's Challenge!

This is my first year to participate and, although approaching it with trepidation and OHMYGODWHATHAVEIDONE, as it turns out I am having an absolute smashing time with it!

Again, many thanks to the team and to all the bloggers for making this an awesome experience!

Happy blogging, everyone!


Dave said...

Thank you for all your hard work

Dave Wrote This

Sue McPeak said...

What an amazing feat of Blogland Communication you guys have accomplished. It is very exciting to be a part of the A to Z April Challenge. Thanks A-Z Team!
Sue...CollectInTexas Gal
AtoZ Family Tree

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Chaos is a good word to use! But it's been a happy chaos.

Arlee Bird said...

I'm happy to see so many of you as happy as we are about the Challenge results so far. It is at times tiring, but it's tiring because we're having so much fun. This is a good thing.
Thanks all!


Unknown said...

Wow - I didn't realize how much work you guys were putting into this, and I appreciate it so much! Having a great time - some posts were scheduled while others, well, let's just say that life happens and that is how my blog happens, which, really, is kind of good for me :-)
Loving all the new comments, this is something new for me, so it's been great interacting with other bloggers! Thanks again for all you guys are doing to make this thing a success!


pamlovesbooks said...

this has been so much fun!

Sarah Tokeley said...

Thank you so much to all who are helping make things run so smoothly. It's a huge undertaking and it's much appreciated.

Unknown said...

Thanks so much for taking the time on our day of rest to fill us in on all of the details and goings on, appreciate it!

Melissa Ann said...

Was feeling very overwhelmed when I signed up to do this but am having a great time. Found some great blogs to follow so far and some great new followers. Thanks for all your hard work.

Anonymous said...

100 followers.. really? I can't imagine that.
I'm happy with what I have and see some coming back for more which is lovely. Is it really only one week?
Well done to Lee and all the team of co-hosts. You're doing an amazing job keeping us sorted, reading so many and even posting your own and then some on these pages.
Enjoying the challenge.
Twitter: @lynneinPborough

Tina said...

Thanks, Lee. I needed a shot of encouragement and a good rah-rah speech! I've met some great new bloggers this last week and have gotten involved in some fun back-n-forth with like-minded folks. I'm just going to keep doing my thang and not let myself be overwhelmed with the volume. It's all good!
Tina @ Life is Good
Co-Host of the April A to Z Challenge
Twitter: @AprilA2Z #atozchallenge

Donna B. McNicol said...

I so appreciate all the work the hosts have done and are doing. You guys are amazing.

I'm having a blast honing my fiction skills and finding new blogs to follow. I have 70 blogs I try to read every day, add at least one new one daily and know I'll be sticking with at least 1/3 of these when the challenge is done.

The wide variety of blogs, topics, writing styles and stories is unbelievable. No excuse to ever be bored!

Nicole said...

The first week of the 2012 A to Z Challenge has been a crazy mix of excitement and minor roadblocks but there's no stopping us! The party is just getting started.

I've been trying to find a word that has a similar meaning to "rewind" so I can make a post listing all of my recent A to Z posts, but haven't figured one out yet so I'm glad to have read the A to Z Blog today...I hope you don't mind me borrowing the "Sunday Summary" title! However, if you do, just let me know and I'll continue working on finding something else that goes with Sunday ;)


Blog: The Madlab Post
@MadlabPost on Twitter

Patricia Lynne said...

So far, I think our hosts are doing wonderful... and if not, I'll just pretend you all are. ;) Having a blast with the challenge so far.

D.G. Hudson said...

Thanks for motivating us, Lee. If we start to lag, we need our coaches to spur us on. This is a blog marathon.

I'm glad the team is monitoring the list. There are always those who either don't like rules, or assume they're for everyone else.

I've learned so much this week about things I didn't know I needed to know.

Problem: One thing I noticed is that a few of the blogs are posting late in the day, so not as many readers will get to see those, depending on which time zone the blogger is in. Perhaps someone should re-post about scheduling.

Fareeda Alhady said...

Great job A-Z team. The build up was enticing, the follow-up supportive and most of all the it's been a fun experience. Thanks for it all!

Fareeda Alhady
Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Chuck said...

I always try to make time to stop by here, Lee. The writing and tips are so good and then find others who I can then visit. The first three days of the challenge I kept going to blog after blog on the list that had not posted anything yet for the A-Z...and in some cases had not posted in quite some time. Needless to say I wasted a lot of valuable time. Then I decided I would do my visiting by reciprocating to those who visited me and new blogs I found in the comments while doing that. That became more productive. Just thought I would share. Happy Easter!

Sanjeet Sirah said...

I joined in a little late but I've done A to H so far here's my blog feel free to follow -

Sonia Lal said...

Didn't realize this challenge was so much work.

Sonia Lal, A to Z Challenge

Nel said...

Wonderful job all you hosts! This is my first year and I have already met several new people and a bloggy friend that I had lost touch with! You are doing a great job!
until next time... nel

The Poet said...

This is my first time participating in the A-Z Challenge. I didn't realize there was so much work involved on the part of the hosts. Just want to say a big "Thank You" for investing so much time and effort in bringing this amazing event to us. Have a great week ahead everyone!

Thoughts Of Beauty In The Stillness Of Dawn...

Anonymous said...

Wow wow wow...thanks for all the incredibly hard work you all are doing to keep this running! What an amazing event. Hats off!

Annalisa Crawford said...

A great round-up, and just highlights how busy you still are. The number is overwhelming, but I've started following the links of people who are commenting on the same blogs that I'm commenting on. This falls down slightly when I realise I keep ending up at the same blog post!

Here's to the next 3 weeks!

KjM said...

And I thought the effort of a daily blog entry was high!

Trying to organize (or reduce the creative disorganization to manageable levels, at least) is a huge undertaking.

Thanks for doing such a good job and providing this pool for all of us to play in.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the great encouragement! It's also good to know that someone is working so hard to keep the list paired down. I've visited a few blogs that haven't had a post since the middle of march! It's disappointing when the A-to-Z challenge is such a fantastic way to connect with other bloggers who are interested in being dedicated and disciplined in their blogs.

Thanks for all of your guys' hard work!

Juli said...

I have to say, I commend the whole team. I'm having trouble keeping up with posting and reading, but doing my best.

I can't even comprehend managing the site as well.

Nicely done. :)


Anonymous said...

First, thanks so much to all of you who work so hard to bring this together for us.

Second, I'm sorry I haven't been able to comment as much as I would have liked. I've been having issues with my OpenID credentials not being accepted in other places, mostly Blogger but sometimes even on WordPress. Go figure :p It seems to be fixed now, so hopefully I can catch up.

Pa Ul said...

Well said and thanks for the tips :)

SueH said...

Trying to keep up with commenters to my blog and attacking the list, too. Thought pre-scheduling all my poats would leave more time for commenting on others' blogs but time gets away from me! (glad I'm not a host - you guys certainly have your work cut out for you)

Thank you, host-team, for keeping it all together! :-)

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU to all the hosts of the challenge. I think everything is going quite well. I'm having a lot of fun participating.

Funny in My Mind said...

This has really been fun and has made me use my brain.

Al Penwasser said...

Seems like this year is a lot more work than last year. I just cant kep up with visiting blogs, commenting, and returning comments on my blog. Plus, I have many more on delayed post, but that doesn't seem to have reduced what I feel is the workload. That being said, I'm having a great time! Thanks for coming up with this!

Rebecca said...

H is for having a Happy Easter!!!!

M said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
M said...

E is for entertaining...which I have been visitng many A-Z April blogs.

MunirGhiasuddin said...

Thanks for the update. I was wondering if we still get a break on Saturday and Sunday.

Charmaine Clancy said...

It an be overwhelming. I think you're right, it's a good chance to visit blogs other than your usual ones. Will visit those latecomers :)
Wagging Tales

Empty Nest Insider said...

Thanks to Lee and all of the co-hosts! My second year is going well, and everyone has been very friendly and welcoming. Sometimes I get slowed down because I can only comment on certain blogs on the iPad, which I don't always have access to. Thanks again for all of your hard work! Julie

Grammy said...

Hey, My friend! I add an AMEN! to all the comments on your all doing such a great job. KUDOS to all of you. Arlee, could you ever imagine two years ago when we began doing the Challenge that it would grow into such a huge success??? Thank you and the other team leaders so very much. I'm so glad to have met you all. Love, Ruby

Sue said...

My head is reeling - you're doing a great job, cheers from 'downunder'
Sue: An A-Z of Climate Matters

LJ said...

100 Followers?? I have three. I have family and friends who don't follow anything, so I think I have more readers than are actually "followers". Follow? I HAVE been pretty serious in some of my A to Z topics in the last few days, but starting tomorrow, I will be a lot less serious!

kzieben said...

Mike said...

i only got 1 follower ever since i started this

Rob and Lisa said...

We are having a lot of fun with this challenge and have already gained 8 followers!! Thanks to the a-z team for all your hard work :)

Lisa and Rob

Jessica Marcarelli said...

Thanks for the encouragement and reminders. And a huge thank you to the entire team for all their hard work!

I've been noticing a slight drop in new comments in the last few days but I'm not worried yet. Easter just passed, so I'm sure people didn't have as much time over the weekend to stroll through blogs.

SF & Fantasy Writer @ Visions of Other Worlds

Life Strings said...

I love the whole idea of the challenge.. Inspiring so many souls.. :) I bumped into the challenge on a fateful night, while working on something totally different from blogging, and felt very excited about it. Though I did not take part in the challenge yet I am enjoying it a lot. I pushed my friend, who aspires to be a writer and is blogging since 2004, into it. The challenge helped her get rid of the "writer's block disease" :D
You all work to encourage hundreds of bloggers and wanna be writers, I do that only for one :).
So, please do drop by on my friend's blog if you like. The address is:
Thank you for creating an event like A to Z CHALLENGE. I am glad to be a part of it, though indirectly :D

Paula Martin said...

Enjoying the Challenge, and have met a lot of new bloggers. thanks for all your hard work!

OKinUK said...

I appreciate the team's efforts. Keep on keepin' on!

Liz Powley said...

Thanks for all your hard work. I was rather scared of failure going in, but I'm still going strong and having a great time.


Mary Aalgaard said...

Thanks for the update, Arlee, and the great advice on how to be successful during the challenge and while blogging in general. You are a generous person.

Play off the Page

Unknown said...

Excellent advice, Lee! This week has been crazy fun; can't wait for the rest of the challenge!

Fellow A-Z Bloggy Buddy
Mithril Wisdom

Narayana Rao K.V.S.S. said...

"No blog should leave the Challenge with less than 100 followers."

I think this activity of followership has moved to Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Unless the blog fits into the reading must of a blogger, blog follows may not happen easily now. Bloggers have to get into the social media to share their posts to their followers. An extra work for bloggers, as blogs are no longer the social media vehicles. Blogs have now become broadcasting vehicles. It will be good if there is more collaboration in the way adding relevant content to a blog through comments. But most of the comments you see on a blog are of thank you variety or a great job comment from friends.

Narayana Rao K.V.S.S. said...

Thank you A to Z team for making a list on Twitter. I followed many of the bloggers on Twitter.