Saturday, December 15, 2018

The Google+ Board Is No More



As you might have heard, Google plans on shutting down its Google+ service next year. The original shutdown date was scheduled for August 2019, but owing to more than a few data breaches, they've decided to push that up to April.

Seeing as how the service wouldn't be around during the next challenge or at any time in the future, and that signups for the AtoZ '19 would be coming up, we made the decision to delete the A to Z Challenge community now. Sorry for any inadvertent inconvenience.

John

Thursday, December 13, 2018

This guest post from Janet is sure to give you a smile

Shortly (because you know time flies when you're having fun) it will be time again for the A to Z Challenge.  This will be it's 10th year and I have been participating since 2016.

At the end of this year's challenge there was a poll about the different things we liked and perhaps didn't like about the organizational aspects of the challenge and the benefits or drawbacks to participation in the group and there was a contest to win a guest spot on the main A to Z Challenge blog.  I know there are hundreds of participants in the A to Z and I don't know how many entered the contest but I did and I was among the winners!





The A to Z of the A to Z according to me:

I was ABSOLUTELY thrilled when I found out I had won a spot as a guest blogger in the A to Z poll contest.  Then I had a moment of panic.  What would I write about?  I hope that my insights will be BENEFICIAL to those who may not be sure about joining for the 10th year of the A to Z.

There is a feeling of CAMARADERIE among the participants, even though the focus of our blogs can be very DIFFERENT.  We are not all writers or crafters or music lovers and yet we can find some common ground.  The EXPERIENCE of blogging almost every day for a month brings about a feeling of FELLOWSHIP among the participants and I GLADLY open my emails during the month of April to see what new posts there are.




Some people write HISTORICAL blog posts that are very INFORMATIVE and that helps to JUSTIFY the time I spend reading them!  KEEPING up with them all is a LABOR of love.   Some folks write about words and their MEANINGS, some write NOSTALGIC posts about their family history.

I love that the A to Z Challenge is OPEN to anyone who wants to join the PARTY and there are always the helpful co-hosts to answer any QUESTIONS that may come up.

I am excited and READY to start planning for the 2019 version and hope that I can bring a SMILE to your face as you read my posts.  I have my THEME and hope that I can share something UNIQUE to keep you coming back.

Our founding father, Arlee Bird, was truly a VISIONARY ten years ago when he started this WONDERFUL project.

I have only been doing the A to Z for the past three years so I am not sure if there have been any XYLOGRAPHERS who have shared their experiences, but the word itself may have been used by someone looking for that hard to find X-word.

This YEARLY gathering of bloggers is certainly something that I look forward to because there are some ZANY folks out there who put a lot of effort into coming up with new ways to entertain us.

Thanks again for allowing me to participate as a guest writer on the A to Z Blog.  Can't wait to see what Arlee and the gang have in store for the 10th anniversary!




Wednesday, December 5, 2018

The importance of a mindful break in the life of a solopreneur ~ Guest post

The importance of a mindful break in the life of a solopreneur ~ Guest post #atozchallenge
Hello,

My name is Sonia Chatterjee and I am an ex-Banker turned writer. My journey as a writer began in September 2017 with the launch of my blog http://soniasmusings.com . I have been one of the eight lucky ones to be picked up for a guest post on this amazing A2Z portal and I couldn't have asked for a better platform to share my thoughts on a topic that has gained a lot of importance in my life recently - the importance of a Mindful Break.

A couple of days back, I finally aced my debut NaNoWriMo Challenge. The novel conceived during this campaign is barely three fourth completed and I also know that when I start editing next month onwards, quite a few chapters are going to get scrapped. But what makes me genuinely happy is the fact that I finally have another story to tell and a way forward. The blog has seen very little of activity this month with NaNoWriMo consuming every minute of my writing time. But today when I sat back to reflect on my journey as a writer, I strongly had the urge to share a very strong emotion that engulfed my senses in the middle of October.

I had started blogging since the last quarter of 2017 but the pace of writing went up to a crazy level when I participated in the A2Z challenge in April this year. As per the rules of this challenge, I was publishing articles every day of the month except Sundays. I ended up writing twenty-six posts in the month and reading even more posts per day. May was even more hectic as this was the month when I made my debut as an author with my novella 'Deal of Death'. This was followed by the Write Tribe Festival Of Words in June that needed me to write every day for a week on certain creative and photo prompts. July was about Bar-A-Thon wherein I was writing every alternate day for two weeks at a stretch. August turned me into a storyteller on camera after I won the Lights, Camera, Chatter contest by Blogchatter and the event Breaking Barriers by Women's Web in Kolkata made me take the plunge into becoming a public speaker. September was about My Friend Alexa campaign turning me into a flash fiction writer as I experimented with a particular theme. This was the phase when my articles were getting their due recognition and I ended up winning badges on BlogAdda, getting featured posts on Women's Web and having top posts on IndiBlogger. I was flying high.

But October was meant to be a different month. The statistics related to the blog like DA, PA, Moz rank, Alexa Rank and Indi Rank had started looking good. With the beginning of the toddler's preschool vacation, we had planned a trip to our native town to soak in the festivities associated with Durga Puja. I had still decided to work on a series called Bloggers Durga Puja during this period. However, after wrapping up of the festivals, there was a strange sense of fatigue that took over my body and soul. I had become so obsessed with penning down my thoughts that the idea of taking a break had begun creating a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out) in me. Knowing that NaNoWriMo was going to keep me occupied in November, I knew I had to deal with the issue immediately.

For the next two weeks, I consciously stopped myself from writing like a possessed soul. If I had ideas, I jotted them down in a notebook with a promise to return to them later. I logged out of all social media platforms. It was okay to stay disconnected for a while. All I did was read and re-read books that I grew up with and explored life beyond my writing desk with my three years old.
The importance of a mindful break in the life of a solopreneur ~ Guest post
It is amazing how beautiful the world can be when one looks at it through the wonderstruck eyes of a child. The final outcome was that I participated in NaNoWriMo this month with a rejuvenated heart and mind.

Over the last one and half months, I have realized how important it is to make an effort to consciously take a break, especially when in the profession of being a self-employed individual, a solopreneur or an entrepreneur. Here are the five things that I have discovered and imbibed in me about mindful break -

Listen to the needs of your mind and body - Mindful break doesn't just mean that long vacation that you have promised yourself only after achieving a milestone. It is a process of consciously switching off as need be.

There's more to life than your profession - As a solopreneur in the field of writing, I have been quite comfortable with the fact that this is a lonely job. But it is extremely important to ensure that we have a few people in our core circle who we can reach out to. So, take that break and make some time for them to let them know that they matter.

Sustainability is the aim- At a certain point, we are all juggling with various things in life. When it starts taking a toll on our health, it is a realistic thing to step back and assess how important each of these items is. Letting go of a few to make time for ourselves might be the logical way to deal with it.

Build up hobbies beyond your profession - Until recently, I always said that reading was my favorite hobby. I love to travel as well but that is not something that happens on a daily basis. But of late I have realized that there are things that I might like beyond my chosen area of work. That is how I developed a liking towards watching stand up comedy shows.

Nurture your soul - Meditation and exercise are few things that bring a positive change in the body. Music and reading bring about a feel-good factor to the mind. Keep a few minutes aside daily for activities that have a positive impact on both mind and body. A mindful break always helps in calming down and let's the brain get back on track.

For me, the process of slowing down gave me the right amount of energy and motivation to finish NaNoWriMo. Even during this month, I traveled to Mumbai on a short vacation with family and decided to refrain from writing until I returned back to Kolkata. The choice of taking a break with consciously enjoying my surroundings and its happenings have taught me the biggest lesson of how to compartmentalize and prioritize life for a long-term sustainable vision of the future.

So, step back from whatever you are doing today and ask yourself, when have I last taken a mindful break? Now might be the best time to embark on this journey.

Deal of Death
Solopreneur

Friday, November 2, 2018

A Jubilant Guest Post from Jill of J-Dub's Grin and Bear It

Hello everyone. My name is Jill and my blog is J-Dub's Grin and Bear It. I began blogging in earnest in July of 2016 as a way to deal with the newness of an empty nest. I had no idea then just how much I would gain from the blogging experience. Opened up a whole new world. Cheers bloglandia!!!

This month, I was lucky enough to be chosen for a guest spot on the Blogging A to Z Challenge. Pinch me I must be dreaming. I feel just like Sally Field (no s).

You Like me! Right now, you like me!


Um don't get ahead of yourself Jilly beans. "They" whoever "they" are don't even know you yet. Trust is earned. Ya-da, Ya-da. Blah, blah, blah. So on and so forth.

Any Who, what was I thinking by dropping my name in the virtual hat?

You weren't thinking at all. Yep! Most likely you silly, silly girl. You who needs to learn to slow her roll. You were thinking that you wanted to show off. Perhaps? You were thinking that you have a desperate need to be liked. Maybe?

C'mon, we're all friends here in bloglandia. You can admit it. You want human connection. And you are not alone! Check out this article The Science of You Like Me.

Go on, click the link and take a quick read. We'll wait!



You're back! Wasn't that great?

And now you can feel the theme developing.

Drum roll puhleese!

rata-tat-tat, rata-tat-tat, rata-tat-tat

The Mandela Effect


What the what have we here? That Oscar Speech and more. I could get into a real rat hole. Mass mis-remembering as in Sally Field (no-s) and what she really said in her Oscar speech is captured above compared to what people remember. There was no REALLY in the line. See the following eight examples of the Mandela effect phrased in question form:
  1. Did Nelson Mandela die in jail?
  2. How many states does the America have? Hint NOT 51 or 52 :)
  3. Berenstein or Berenstain Bears?
  4. Jif or Jiffy Peanut Butter?
  5. Forrest Gump – Life IS like a box of chocolates, or Life WAS like a box of chocolates?
  6. Looney Tunes or Looney Toons?
  7. Oscar Meyer or Oscar Mayer?
  8. Did Rich Uncle Pennybags aka the Monopoly man have a monocle or no monocle?


So let's play a game shall we? Please answer in the comments what you think the correct responses are to the questions above? No fair using Google. Yes I know that Mr. Google is our friend but that'd be cheating. :)

Monday, October 22, 2018

Upcoming Schedule of Events! #AtoZChallenge Please Share This!

Upcoming Guest Posts

The following are date ranges. Exact dates in those ranges are up to the winners.
  • October (5 to 18) Debbie Stott [already posted]
  • October (19 to 31) Laura Roberts of Buttontapper Press
  • November (1 to 15) J-Dub
  • November (16 to 30) Sonia Chatterjee
  • December (1 to 15) Janet Miles of A Smile 4 U from Janet
  • December (16 to 31) Tupeak Hope
  • January (1 to 15) 2019 Wendy of Wendy's Waffle
  • January (16 to 31) 2019 Shalzmojo
  • February (1 to 14) 2019 Camille Flores
  • February (15 to 28) 2019 Tom of true north bricks [Has not responded yet, but this was the only unclaimed date.]


JANUARY 7-18 2019


First Annual #AtoZChallenge Book Reviews, Tour, and Blog Hop SIGN UP

WEEKDAYS in February 4 to 28 2019


First Annual #AtoZChallenge Book Reviews, Tour, and Blog Hop
19 days total

March 1 2019


A to Z Sign Ups OPEN
(Closes on April 6.)

March 18 2019


THEME REVEAL
(Closes on March 28.)

APRIL 1 2019


THE TENTH BLOGGING FROM A TO Z CHALLENGE in April begins


Our tenth anniversary! Celebrate with us.

May 3 2019


A to Z Challenge after survey OPENS
(Closes on May 17)

May 6 2019

Reflections OPENS
(Closes on May 17)

May 20 2019

Road trip 2019 OPENS

It would be great if you could share this post to help us spread the word. Thanks!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Delight in this Guest Post by Debbie from Dibzzen

Hello, fellow 2018 A to Z Challenge bloggers!

I'm Debbie from Everyday Delights (dibzzen.com). I was delighted to be one of the survey respondents who won the chance to write a guest post for the A to Z Challenge. The brief for the post was open. I thought it would be good if I could find a way to link it to my A to Z challenge and the alphabet whilst hopefully making it interesting! I also wanted to give readers a sense of what my blog is all about. Not as easy as you would think!

2018 was my first A to Z challenge. My little Lego friend Dabelle went on a quest to understand South African English and she did very well. She found at least one word for each letter but was completely exhausted at the end of it. She discovered that she needed to fall back on her Feel Good List to help her feel less frazzled. All her A to Z adventures are available from one post. Click on the image to access it.

Dabelle A to Z 2018 © Deborah Ann Stott 2018
Dabelle A to Z 2018 © Deborah Ann Stott 2018

Dabelle tends to get all the fun adventures, so I decided to go on a quest of my own. We all need adventure at some point or other, right? My quest would be to come up with a Feel Good List based on the letters of the alphabet. I've talked about my Feel Good List on my blog before. I have a list already, but not one that uses all letters of the alphabet! The list reflects the small things that I do often that bring me joy, make me feel better when I need a boost in energy or to find some balance in the hectic-ness of life.

Some background

For readers who don't follow my blog, let me give you a little background. A few weeks ago I had an epiphany about joy in my life. I decided that rather than fighting it or waiting for some arbitrary time in the future for my life to be joyous and/or happy, I could really just start living joyfully! Right now! I plan to document when and how these moments occur on my blog of course. I suppose you could call it research into Living Joyfully. My research is not limited to my own experiences either and I am eager to hear other views about what brings joy to your life and how it happens for different people.

A to Z Feel Good List

Ta da! So here's the list. It took me a few days to come up with ideas for E, K, V and X, but I got there. I hope you enjoy it. I'd love to see / hear about your Feel Good List if you care to share it!A to Z feel good list © Deborah Ann Stott 2018

I'm looking forward to next year's A to Z challenge, although I don't have the faintest idea of what I will do! I read in the survey feedback, that some people plan way ahead and even write the posts way ahead. Aikona, eish - I'm super impressed, that's organisation for you!

Debbie blog sign off 2018
If you want to know more about me or my blog, click on my signature.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Revealing WINNERS and Wrapping Up the #AtoZChallenge 2018 Event Feedback DAY FIVE

After the A to Z challenge 2018, there was an Event Feedback survey.


The last of the potatoes!
Potato Photo by Benjamin Manley https://unsplash.com/photos/pAxU2_st5jo


33. Anything else you need to say here?

Please double-check the time-zones.

I appreciated your daily posts.

Please make the t-shirts available internationally.

I assumed some people weren't participating because they didn't clearly display the logo on their blog.

"I like the traditional logo because it makes me think of a passport stamp and traveling (which you kind of are doing as you travel from post to post)." -- Kelsey Ketch of kelseyketch.com

We Need Weekly Twitter Chats

It is always worth the time spent!

I just didn't feel the same excitement this time around.

I appreciate the time Jeremy took to make the logos for us.

Sort blog names alphabetically. Encourage commenting/ visiting blogs on those alphabet day.

I wonder if a minimum word count be encouraged?

T-shirts are nice, but so are mugs and other stuff.
"Put photographs of ALL those who participated with the blogger link in FB and offer more discounts for the T shirt."-- Ravi Shivram of slogansmith

Some people write posts that are too long. When a post is too long, I just comment that I was there.

"Nothing wrong with the list if you've got a computer that allows you to see it and use it." -- LynneInPborough of lynnelives.wordpress

"I stopped visting bloggers who did not respond to the comments I left on their site, or not commenting on mine."

"I get the idea about sharing comments ... that is kind of the point. But to me, commenting just to get noticed or simply because someone else did is kind of insincere. I comment when I feel I have something to say, not out of obligation. Granted I am not a prolific READER of blogs, but I will visit when someone visits me." Steve Kramer of taochild

There should be more bloggers in my category!

I did not like pre-scheduled links on the daily sheets. They went to non-existent blogs.

"I would have liked some of the organizers to check out my blog. I was also really surprised by how few bloggers joined this year. My second year, I think there were over 1,600. Why such a drastic drop off?" -- Stuart Nager of StuartNager.wordpress

"All of these lists creates confusion and dilutes the impact the challenge may have. I'm hoping that at some point in this reflection you ask people if they are Full Time bloggers because I am not. I don't have time every day to go searching for blog posts on Twitter, FB, the Wordpress blog, the whatever the other blog is, and whatever other link lists you have. The master list gave me context for what kinds of content I could find. I sorted by category first and started browsing around from there to see what I thought looked interesting. Having as many options as you do for sharing content means people either need to participate in every channel, which may be doable for a FT blogger, or your blog doesn't get noticed because people get lost in the digital weeds. I think that piece of data would be helpful in determining how active people can be during one month. Also, maybe ask people to rate themselves on their ability to use technology and social media, separate ratings. I know some people are vested in the way things used to be and hate change, but hello, you're a blogger. Things are going to change. If you don't keep up with the tech and social media, you're going to be left behind. Having an idea of how proficient people feel they are with the challenge might help in terms of preparation. And neither logo is easy to read or attractive." -- Declined to be named.

"There were a few times I would like to have been able to search the Master List for a specific blog / blogger."
"I kept looking for a search option on the spreadsheet and never found it - was it there and I just missed it?"
~~ Edit-- Find and Replace. Be sure you've made a copy first, as per the instructions.

And there were a lot of people who said thank you to the team!
Thank you Photo by rawpixel Unsplash - Revealing WINNERS and Wrapping Up the #AtoZChallenge 2018 Event Feedback DAY FIVE


34. Did you see that there's an official shirt? It's made by our volunteer graphics guy, Jeremy Hawkins. Blogging From A to Z April 2018 Challenge Shirt-- https://buff.ly/2JsbQxT

Only 22% didn't know about the shirts.

35. Which of Jeremy's awesome A to Z 2018 logos is your favorite?

Announcing #AtoZChallenge 2018 Remarkable Event Feedback and Revealing WINNERS

The new logo won.

36. We are giving away guest post spots on the A to Z blog.

Those who won, please comment here.
Or contact @JLenniDorner on Twitter.
Or atozteam2018 @ gmail .com

Two guest spots a month from October thru February.

WINNERS




Way to go! Please contact us soon. First come, first serve for the dates.

"I really don't understand twitter." -- Several people mentioned this. If anyone is interested in writing a Twitter tutorial for bloggers, let us know!

Double potato heart sorry

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Stupendous #AtoZChallenge 2018 Wonderful Event Feedback PART FOUR

After the A to Z challenge 2018, there was an Event Feedback survey.


Break out your potato crisps, chips, or French Fries! This is a week of long posts!

potato crisps, chips, or French Fries https://unsplash.com/photos/Uf0aVyl5C70


27. Why did you take part in the A to Z Challenge 2018?

Collection of answers:

Been doing it for years. It's a tradition.
I'm new to blogging and it looked like fun!
I enjoy discovering new blogs because of the challenge.
Making a connection with fellow bloggers. Engagement.
To find some like-minded bloggers.
It keeps me motivated to post.
To learn and evolve as a writer.
To grow and promote my blog.
Motivation to do research.
I love the community feel of the challenge.
Challenge my creativity.
I love participating - both writing and reading other posts.
Needed to prove I could.
For fun.
Intrigued after seeing other bloggers do it previously.
The discipline.
To learn more about blogging.
Our blogger group wanted to take part.
Defeat writers' block / procrastination.


28. Do you follow us on Twitter?

Half answered that they follow! https://twitter.com/AprilA2Z

14% follow the co-hosts. @ArleeBird , @JLenniDorner , @TarkabarkaHolgy , @OneHandTyping , @JRVincente

26% search for the #AtoZChallenge hashtag on Twitter.


29. Did you use the #AtoZChallenge hashtag or share the link to the A to Z website on *other* social media sites?

In order of popularity:
  1. G+ / Google Plus 54%
  2. Pinterest 33%
  3. Instagram 31%
  4. LinkedIn
  5. Tumblr
  6. StumbleUpon (*Which is now Mix)
  7. Reddit


30. Any feedback about our online presence/ social media?

  • More active participation on Instagram and Pinterest.
  • I didn't even know there was a Facebook page.
  • I found that letter posts on Facebook were inconsistent.
  • You do a great job and cannot expect to fulfill everyone's needs.
  • I think the Twitter feed is pretty quiet. I know that I didn't get a RT or like for any tweets during April.
  • I'd like to see more of the A to Z Challenge on Instagram! -- Laura Roberts of Buttontapper Press


31. Are there any other blogging categories you feel we should include?

Advice/ How-to
Midlife - there are a lot of AtoZers in this age group
Opinions, ideas, projects, thought-provoking discussions
country specific
Languages
Children's stories/ blogs
Kid Lit
teacher-authors
Fashion
Philosophy
Art commentary, or just visual art in general
environment and words
break "art" into more categories
toys
continuous 26 part story
Fandoms
eclectic
Emotional Health
Science, Midlife & Beyond Women bloggers, Lifestyle
Multi niche category.
Something more specifically to music, rather than placing it under entertainment
"You should have some way for people to include a short description of their blog. "Other" is too vague. When we check "other" maybe include a space for the short description." --Dena Pawling of denapawling

32. Any overall feedback for the event?

This year, the lists felt a little more complicated. Not sure why participation dropped. Would love for this to keep going.

I loved being able to sort the categories. Please don't go back to the old system.

Best one yet.

The announcement needs to be in January, so I know the event will happen.

Funtastic.

Do it twice a year!

I prepare over months in advance.

There were still some dead links.

New system was easy and quick. I liked it.

I love the addition of the Daily Links!

Everything I needed was right there on your blog!

I'm not sure every blog on the list was actually a blog.

Getting rid of the Linky List was genius. Google sheets was a terrific move.

Please add the ability to include a topic entry on both the master and especially the daily lists.

Three people wrote they like the new logo in general, but prefer the old logo as a background for the Daily Letters (or didn't like this years letters).

Loved, loved, loved it - thanks for all your hard work. And please continue the challenge!

I also should have watched all of the instructional videos, since I had no idea I could attach my pre-scheduled links.

"I became involved in this event when it first started, and have done it several times. I think it is a great idea for multiple reasons, and think you guys have done an awesome job of both organizing it and getting the word out."

"I liked the google sheets, especially because they were sortable. I thought the daily sign-up sheets were a benefit because I was assured there would be a post. Unlike the master sheet which could lead to a blog that had not kept up with the challenge. Perhaps the daily sheet could provide a field for the title of the post for that day. "-- "495"

"People need to turn off CAPTCHA and that other garbage that prevents comments and engage with other bloggers! So many people would have had comments from us but the process for leaving a comment required: captcha, sign in to WordPress, sign in to blogger, a blood sample, a urine sample, plus a first born child. In the end, some people still didn't engage with their commenters. (It makes me wonder: what do they think a blog hop is for?)" -- Shelina of www.dragonsandspaceships and www.twomindsaboutit.com

"I have done other blog link ups before but none this organized or supportive. Participating in this event definitely increased my site stats."-- Donna Connolly of retirement reflections

"I just appreciate the crafts category. Yes, I do sell on Etsy, but no, my blog is not just about selling. In fact it's mostly Not about selling and I appreciate the chance to expose that fact." - Stephanie Finnell of katy trail creations

"The master and daily lists should include the actual name of the authors. Some left a comment using their real name, and there was no way to find out the URL of their blog and therefore return the visit." --Tamara Gerber of The Three Gerbers

"I liked when the daily list allowed us to see the title of each post. Sometimes a particular interesting title brought me to a post I might not otherwise visit. This year we could see only the name of the blog, and most of the links didn't have much of a visible title in them." --Anne Nydam of http://nydamprintsblackandwhite.blogspot.com

"I loved it as always, and this time, it was very user friendly too. The Google sheets and Google form were better than the Linky, and helped find and sort similar categories. I hope this is continued into AtoZ Challenge Year 10." --Vinay Leo R. of art of leo

"I used a linky on someone's blog to sign up. The admins never added me."
~~ There was no other location to sign up. The co-hosts did not sign up anyone.


One more post to go! Tomorrow will include WINNERS!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Thar be gold in th' #AtoZChallenge 2018 Treasure Map Feedback PART THREE

Aft th' A t' Z challenge 2018 went t' Davy Jones' Locker, thar was a loot map written by th' captains 'n filled in by th' crew.


Break out th' booty! 'tis a week o' long posts!



16. In the past, sign ups opened in January. In 2018, sign ups for the "April blogging from A to Z Challenge" opened in March. What is your preference?

Ahoy, me mateys! MARCH be where X marks th' spot.

17. Theme Reveal 2018!

Fav'rit answers in th' loot chest were:
  • I LOVE the theme reveal!
  • I added my Theme Reveal link to the official Theme Reveal Google Form.
  • I added my Theme Reveal link to Twitter and used the hashtag #AtoZChallenge .
  • I added my Theme Reveal link to my own Facebook profile and/or page.
  • I visited blogs using the Theme Reveal spreadsheet.
  • There's a space to mention a blog's theme on the Master List, but I still like the Theme Reveal as well.
  • I missed my chance to take part in the theme reveal (write in answer).


18. Please mark your choices about the Master list.

Most scallywags didn' care. O' those who did, th' majority said:
"I feel the Master List should stay open for ONE WEEK after the challenge starts, and those who wish to copy the list can do so whenever."

19. Please mark your choices about the Daily lists.

Winnin' by double th' amount be:
"I feel the Daily Letter sign-ups should CLOSE after 48 hours, as they did this year."

20. Which are nearest to your opinions and feelings?

Visual of chart
Th' top answers be:
  • I love the Master List and USED it.
  • I love the Daily Letter lists and USED them.
  • I'm glad that Google was able to provide a free option that kept this blog hop alive. Keep using it.

Also worth noting, 23 people didn't know that the April Blogging from A to Z Challenge and the Blogchatter challenge weren't run by the same people, and therefore were two different events.



21. Websites:

Almost half of you ONLY visited the main blog site.
30% never realized there were two different sites until reading the question. (The backup being on Wordpress.)
18% MOSTLY visited the Main blog site, but also visited the backup.

compass image


22. There are "pages" on the A to Z blog. Were you able to find and interact with them?
pages image

75% said yes.
Another 15% knew they were there but didn't use them.
While 8% don't know the pages are there or still can't find them.

23. In February, we let you know how to adjust Facebook to see our posts. Did you mark the A to Z challenge as a See First?

Facebook See First image


"you can click on up to 30 pages to see first"

Results:
Facebook See First results


spyglass

24. On a scale of 1😞 to 5😍, did you feel like the A to Z team gave you motivation to do the challenge?
win image Announcing #AtoZChallenge 2018 Remarkable Event Feedback and Revealing WINNERS

Most scallywags gave us a 3 gold doubloons or higher. Yo ho ho!

25. Please check any of these you are interested in.

Thin's that respondents showed an interest in, by order o' interest:

  1. A column on the Master List for people who write connected stories during A to Z. (Choose your adventure, short stories in 26 parts, etc)
  2. An additonal separate list for people who write connected stories during A to Z. (Choose your adventure, short stories in 26 parts, etc)
  3. Being part of an A to Z book blog tour, as an AUTHOR, during another month.
  4. Reading books written during or because of the A to Z challenge.

25 blogs are interested in Hosting an A to Z book blog tour, as a BOOK blogger, during a month other then April.
32 want to write reviews of books written during or because of the A to Z challenge.

That's great news for the 35 who answered that they have published a book/ will publish a book as a result of the A to Z challenge!

26. How many A to Z posts did you complete?

40% posted about the challenge beforehand, did the theme reveal, and completed all 26 posts.
30% did the theme reveal, and completed all 26 posts.
18% completed all 26 posts.
Thanks to Lucie Hošová for making this photo available freely on @unsplash 🎁

Sail back tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Amazing #AtoZChallenge 2018 Remarkable Event Feedback PART TWO

After the A to Z challenge 2018, there was an Event Feedback survey.


Break out your potato masher! This is a week of long posts!
mashed potato


7. Which of these Facebook methods did you use for the 2018 challenge?

  • The most popular answer is that 28% link up on a personal Facebook profile AND those include #AtoZchallenge hashtag.
  • Whereas 41 people have links to their blog posts on a personal Facebook profile BUT DO NOT include #AtoZchallenge hashtag.
  • 25% have links to blog posts on a Facebook PAGE and include the #AtoZchallenge hashtag.
  • Conversely, 13% have links to blog posts on a Facebook PAGE, but those DO NOT include the #AtoZchallenge hashtag.
  • Linking to blog posts in the comments on the A TO Z Facebook page was done by 40 respondents.
  • Only 15 people used the direct links on Facebook to surf to the A to Z page to read the daily posts from the co-hosts/ guests.
  • And 18% said they don't use Facebook.
  • A few people wrote in that they have Facebook, but do not link it to their blog or do not share their challenge posts on Facebook.
  • Two people said they tagged the A to Z Challenge when sharing blog posts on Facebook.
  • A handful of people weren't sure the differnce between a profile and a page.

"A profile is a personal Facebook account. Pages are public profiles that let artists, public figures, businesses, brands, organizations and nonprofits connect with their fans or customers." Click to learn more- https://facebook.com/help/337881706729661?helpref=faq_content
💡 Tagging our Facebook page is nice, but it does almost nothing to improve your post's visiblity.

8. Instructional videos and PDFs:

The majority of people said they skipped the videos and instructions, but did okay anyway.
Reading the instructions was the second most popular choice.
Both reading instructions and watching the how-to videos came in third place.
At fourth place, 18% had no idea the videos or written instructions existed!
In last place, 8% regretted not checking out the instructions.
Three people wrote in that they don't watch or enjoy videos.
One person said we offered too much information.

9. Regarding your commenting on A to Z participating blogs. 

"I followed links left in comments on my blog." By far, the most popular answer.
People also visited their usual stops and visited links found in comments on other A to Z blogs.
Daily Letter Sheets and the Master List were not far behind.
Only two respondents said they didn't comment at all.

10. Receiving comments:

A staggering amount of people recieved over 100 comments!
Some people said they didn't count their comments. A few said they got likes instead of comments.

11. Commenting:

"I commented on over 100 blog comments last month." Was the most popular answer. Way to go, majority!
Commenting on less that 25 blogs came in second.
Some folks didn't count how many they commented on.

12. Replies:

"I replied to ALL the comments that were left to me on my blog in April." Another sweet reply by the majority!
A few said they planned to reply later.

13. Visiting Blogs:

Do you know the unwritten reciprication karma theroy?
The A to Z bloggers do!
"I visited the blogs of ALL of the people who left comments on my blog." Vast majority for the win.
For the win image


14. Co-host comments:

Most people reported receiveing at least one comment from someone on the A to Z team. (Arlee Bird, J Lenni Dorner, Zalka Csenge Virág, John Holton, or Jayden R Vincente)
39% didn't get a comment from anyone on the team. 😞 #FAIL
Others weren't sure, either because they didn't look, didn't open up to comments, or didn't know who the co-hosts were!

15. Some people had trouble scrolling on the Sheets.

11 people never figured out how to scroll on the Sheets.
Most people had no trouble. Others figured it out.
A handful didn't know there were Sheets for the Master List or Daily Lists.

Be sure to check out tomorrow's post! It's gonna be awesome.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Announcing #AtoZChallenge 2018 Remarkable Event Feedback PART ONE

After the A to Z challenge 2018, there was an Event Feedback survey.


Break out your potato peeler, folks, it's time for a week of long posts!
picture of potatoes


Here are the results:



1. On a scale of 1😞 to 5😍, how satisfied were you with the Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2018?

Over 88% of respondents were 😊 or 😍! Only one person was totally unsatisfied.

2. How relevant, useful, and/or helpful do you think the hop was for you and your blog?

#atozchallenge is relevant, useful, and/or helpful for #blogs


3. 2018 A to Z logos on your blog:

  • 56% said they created a post with a logo in March.
  • And 49% support the challenge with a logo on the blog's sidebar / widget area.
  • Slightly more than half include it with April posts.
  • Eight people never noticed the Banners/ Badges page tab on the top of the A to Z site, and thus didn't know about the logos!
  • 28% only used the letters that match the new logo, not the logo itself.
  • Only 1% answered that they don't use our logos to show support of this blog hop challenge.


4. Which of these List methods did you use for the 2018 challenge?

The overwhelming majority responded that they were on the Master List.
Only 14% had pre-scheduled post links on the Daily Lists.
But 69% included direct links on the Daily Lists after their posts were published.
Less than 5% of people didn't sign up on the lists, or thought they signed up but then couldn't find themselves.
A few people reported that they stopped using or missed out on a few of the daily links.
And since it came up in a write-in reply:

The A to Z Challenge uses feedburner to run the email list.



5. Which of these statements apply for the 2018 A to Z Challenge?

12%= I did not share links to my blog, but I did the challenge.
NO ONE only commented on blogs, but did not create blog posts.
30%= I visited the A to Z website each day in April and read the posts from the co-hosts/guests.
55%= I visited the A to Z website some days in April and read the posts from the co-hosts/guests.
8 people did not visit the A to Z website in April, and did NOT read the posts from the co-hosts/guests.
20%= I have links to my blog posts in the comments on the A to Z main webpage.
8%= I have links to my blog posts in the comments on the A to Z Wordpress site.
8 people marked "none of the above."
"I used the theme reveal to make a list of blogs to check in on during April, which I did." - Anonymous
Posts I created (days) late were not able to be added on the daily link lists.
Could not link in the comments on A-Z wordpress.
"After the first couple days I started to use a link under the letter badge with a comment hinting at what the team post was about so folks could go check the AtoZ site out." Cheryl Carter of promptlings
I made pins on Pinterest for each A to Z blog posts.
Too overwhelming.
Mainly promoted on Pinterest.
I was not aware there was a A to Z website. Saw this on a blog I follow.
Master list, starting from the end of the list, I visited every blog on that list, commenting on many of them.
I didn't notice the difference between the Wordpress and main site (Blogger) until late in the month.
"I visited the theme list and the daily list and chose almost 60 blogs to follow before the start date." - Donna McNicol of dbmcnicol.blogspot and ourprimeyears.blogspot

6. Which of these Twitter methods did you use for the 2018 challenge?

  • 85 people included the #AtoZchallenge hashtag in the title of blog posts.
  • 47% said they tweeted blog post links AND included the #AtoZchallenge hashtag.
  • 27 people tweeted blog post links BUT DID NOT include the #AtoZchallenge hashtag.
  • Only 11 respondents have links to blog posts in the comments on A TO Z Twitter posts.
  • 6% used direct links on Twitter to surf to the A to Z page to read the daily posts from the co-hosts and guests.
  • And 26% of the survey takers said they don't use Twitter.


Information Pit Stop image


#AtoZChallenge is our hashtag. @AprilA2Z is how to tag our Twitter account. Hashtags are easy to search and follow. They're a way to share a common conversation topic with anyone who is interested. When the "@" is used at the start of a tweet, it shows up in fewer places. It's a way to mention a Twitter account. More information- Click https://www.sheknows.com/living/articles/993583/hashtag-etiquette

Hashtags are used for searching. Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest all support hashtags searches. Using a hashtag in a blog title, assuming that blog post's title is shared on social media, make seaching for it easier. If the hashtag isn’t something that is being searched for, then it’s not useful. Using a hashtag can group relevant topics into a search, which increases visibility, which can mean more shares and favorites.

Blog tags or labels: Check out this article, and be sure to scroll down to "What Are the Benefits of Using Blog Tags?" Click https://trafficgenerationcafe.com/blog-tags-seo
And here's another great article: Click https://bigonblogs.com/2016/12/30/the-purpose-of-labels -- It talks about tags (Wordpress) or Labels (Blogger). Using them can help readers find content on your blog, especially if you have a tag cloud on your sidebar/ widget area. They can be used by search engines (such as Google or Bing) to find your blog.
#atozchallenge search results image

That answers most of the questions and addresses most of the remarks left in the "other" option box for this question.


Tune in tomorrow for more results!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

ROAD TRIP #roadtrip #AtoZChallenge 2018

#AtoZchallenge 2018 logo

The ROAD TRIP is back! 

This year, we ask that you pick ONE post from your #AtoZChallenge 2018 offerings to link it up.

Which post that you published this year was your favorite? That's the one you put in the link up. JUST ONE DIRECT LINK PER PERSON/ BLOG.

Signing up for the Road Trip is a commitment that you will continue to hop to other blogs on the road trip from May thru March. 

That gives you ten months to stop at each blog on this list at least once. (Yes, you may skip Adult blogs if you are a minor or unwilling to view such content.) Please, first comment on the person's linked A to Z blog post, and then consider surfing to the person's latest post to comment there as well. 

Be sure to include this phrase in your comments:
"Stopping by from the #AtoZChallenge Road Trip!"

Here's where you put the direct link to your favorite 2018 A to Z post from your blog: 

https://goo.gl/forms/8n0rnvW7fc2UE1gt1

The form will remain open until June 23, 2018. Please remember to link directly to a post you published for the A to Z challenge in April 2018. 

(Your link will probably look long, as it likely includes your title in the link. If you only see your blog name, that's not a direct link to your post. Try visiting your blog -- not where you WRITE the posts, but where others go to view your posts-- and clicking on the date or on the title of your posts. That should bring up just the post, making it easy to copy the direct link. If you need help, please ask in the comments -- include a link to your blog and the letter of the post of which you need a direct link.


And here's the sheet to use to keep your commitment to visit others on the road trip:

https://goo.gl/xfYcCY


Yes, you may hop to the blogs on the list to comment even if you don't sign up for the road trip, and even if you weren't in the Blogging from A to Z challenge 2018. 

#AtoZchallenge 2018 logo 2

Monday, May 7, 2018

Reflections #AtoZChallenge

2018 A to Z Challenge Reflections

Congratulations!
Whether you completed all 26 posts or whether you only completed 1, that's still a step in the right direction. We now invite you to take some time and reflect on how things went this time. What went well? What could have gone better? (Tip: If you haven't filled out our survey yet, you should! It often sparks ideas on what you might want to include in your reflection post.)

We ask that everyone includes the link to their Reflections post on the list so that we know how many people finished the Challenge!

Form to add your link:
https://goo.gl/forms/zYL3XbeSoZlPG8jA2

List of Reflections Posts:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1gi-JUhMz1cuaIbuWV7A3ez80o56oiQvuqGunhoSi5c8/edit?usp=sharing

Master List:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1nd9634nZWf1FmHFZ6ofKxBiIwGPWqkct9T9H5ugDQBA/edit?usp=sharing

Now before you think we're done for the year, hold onto your hats! The Road Trip is coming in about two weeks, so start thinking about which post is your favorite to share. I know I personally saw lots of blogs where people were barely holding on, and I know that I didn't go look at as many blogs as I wanted to. So take some time in May and June, and beyond to visit blogs you didn't have a chance to visit before. And don't forget to let people know how you found them!

Happy blogging!
Jayden R. Vincente
Erotic Fiction Writer
A to Z Challenge Co-host



Wednesday, May 2, 2018

#AtoZChallenge After Survey and May Announcements

#AtoZchallenge 2018 May


Welcome to May, A to Z bloggers! Here's what's going on right now.


  1. The link to the after survey is below. Please fill it out if you did the challenge, didn't complete the challenge, thought about doing the challenge, did the challenge in a previous year, might do the challenge next year, etc. In other words, WE WANT YOU. Listen, the last few months were a real bear for the team. We had to adapt and come up with creative solutions to a lot of behind-the-scenes problems. Your feedback is the ONLY way we can know what we're doing right, doing wrong, or not doing at all. PLEASE, make time before May 18 to take the survey. Thank you.


  2. GUEST POST SPOTS GIVEAWAY! What!?! Yeah, you read that right. We're giving away guest spots as a prize. To enter, fill out the after survey and check YES, that you wish to have a chance to win. Write your own, have team captain J Lenni Dorner interview you, or pitch us another idea. Use it yourself or auction it off. Any all-ages content, up to 2000 words, 7 images max. This blog has an impressive reach, as you probably know. The prize must be used between June 4, 2018 and March 3, 2019. Dates on a first come, first serve basis.  


  3. Bonus good news! Filling out the survey can help you write your reflections post. It has been known to inspire discussions about what you did or did not like about the challenge. And it can remind you of what you've learned this month. For that reason, the SIGN-UP for reflections WILL REMAIN OPEN until May 18. (The same day the survey closes.) For those of you who don't know what a reflections post is, stop by on May 7 for the post with the details
    #AtoZChallenge reflections logo 2018


  4. The ROAD TRIP is coming back! This year, we're asking bloggers to pick ONE post from your #AtoZChallenge 2018 offerings and link it up. Which post that you published this year was your favorite? Start thinking about it, because the Road Trip is coming on MAY 23. (The Road Trip is where bloggers continue to visit each other from May thru March. Often, people will comment on one A to Z blog post and then surf to your latest post to leave a comment there as well.


  5. Tee-shirts for sale. Our awesome graphics guy, Jeremy, made a tee-shirt for the 2018 Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Think how cool you'll be strutting your stuff in the only official gear of the #AtoZChallenge! Impress people with your month of blogging and blog hopping fortitude by wearing a shirt that showcases your passion for this challenge. Post selfies in your shirt using our hashtag! Randomly find each other on the street. Wear it to remind yourself that you're part of an online community. Or wear it when you're going somewhere and need something that no one else is likely to wear. Perfect attire for rock concerts or the first day of college! It also makes a cool conversation starter among those who don't know what the challenge is. 


  6. Former team member DL Hammons has WRiTECLUB voting still going on all month. It's your chance to make a difference for aspiring writers. Please check it out frequently!


#AtoZchallenge 2018 friendly new badge logo
To take part in the survey, please click: 


https://goo.gl/forms/ov9AUyP1dJ6lhoPl2

This form will close on MAY 18.

The A to Z team recommends TimeAndDate or WorldTimeBuddy for your time zone calculation needs.
We use Midnight GMT.
Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) is the standard by which all time zones are based. Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) is the time zone used for UTC. That's why we use it.



#AtoZchallenge 2018 traditional badge logo
https://goo.gl/9f9mfR
Click for the MASTER LIST
of all participants who signed up for the #AtoZchallenge 2018!



Monday, April 30, 2018

Z is for Zzzzzz #AtoZChallenge


CONGRATULATIONS!

You have reached the end of the 2018 A to Z Challenge! Whew! Whether you planned it, winged it, stumbled or breezed through it, you deserve a pat on the back! Good job!

And now, go get some sleep.

Literally. Figuratively. Go and relax. Take some time off. Do something lazy and fun. Don't forget: Relaxing is important. Us writer-y, bloggy types tend to constantly go for the rush of writing, or feel like we should be writing, or thinking about writing. But it is just as important to let your brain rest occasionally, and recuperate for the next project.

So. Go sleep it off, and don't feel bad about it! We'll see you on May 7th for the Reflections posts!

#AtoZchallenge 2018 friendly new badge logo
If you wish to include a direct link to your blog post of this day's letter, please click: 


[LINK TO DAILY LETTER FORM ]

This form will close in 48 hours.

The A to Z team recommends TimeAndDate or WorldTimeBuddy for your time zone calculation needs.
We post at Midnight GMT.
Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) is the standard by which all time zones are based. Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) is the time zone used for UTC. That's why we use it.


If you wish to visit other blogs in this bloghop challenge who have incorporated today's letter into their current post, please click: 

[ LINK TO DAILY LETTER SPREADSHEET ]

(If you intend to make a copy of the spreadsheet, we suggest waiting until the form closes.)

#AtoZchallenge 2018 traditional badge logo
https://goo.gl/9f9mfR
Click for the MASTER LIST
of all participants who signed up for the #AtoZchallenge 2018!


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Once again Jeremy Hawkins has designed a special T shirt to commemorate this year's challenge.
2018 Blogging from A to Z Challenge T shirts now available!   For info visit A to Z T shirts.

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Saturday, April 28, 2018

More Testing 2

Still more testing...

More Testing - Please Ignore

Nothing to see here, folks...

Y is for You! #atozchallenge



If you've made it this far, you should be proud of yourself. You've done something not every blogger has done: posted every day (except Sunday) for a month. You still have today and Monday, of course, but after what you've done so far, you can probably do those with one hand tied behind your back.

Today's a day to celebrate! Get your post done, and have a good one!

#AtoZchallenge 2018 friendly new badge logo 
 
If you wish to include a direct link to your blog post of this day's letter, please click: 
https://goo.gl/forms/lqllqK9SIEOP39p13

If you wish to visit other blogs in this bloghop challenge who have incorporated today's letter into their current post, please click: 
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1MGCPo2Vg-HzH0vCiSvZkjFYNesOeGLv56c8GofvSvus/edit?usp=sharing

#AtoZchallenge 2018 traditional badge logo
Click here for the MASTER LIST of all participants who signed up for the #AtoZchallenge 2018!
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1nd9634nZWf1FmHFZ6ofKxBiIwGPWqkct9T9H5ugDQBA/edit?usp=sharing


Just one more to go!


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Once again Jeremy Hawkins has designed a special T shirt to commemorate this year's challenge.
2018 Blogging from A to Z Challenge T shirts now available!   For info visit A to Z T shirts.

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Friday, April 27, 2018

X is for ??? #AtoZChallenge


AtoZChallenge 2018 X

X is for ???

It's an incredibly difficult letter to come up with a post for, isn't it? Ironically, I used Xerox (adult content), which I now see the top result when googling "words that start with x."

xeroxedxerarchxyloses
xeroxesxenopusxerotic
xiphoidxylitolxysters
xanthicxylenesxeruses
xylidinxanthanxeroses

Then there are all the words that start with "ex," which aren't actually x words, but are close.

eXperimentationeXemplificationeXpressionless
eXcommunicationeXperimentalismeXtraodinaire
eXtracurriculareXtralinguisticeXhibitionists
eXhaustivenesseXcitabilitieseXasperatingly

Hopefully you have all found good X words for 2018!  
What are your favorite X words we should keep in mind for next year?

~Jayden R. Vincente 
jrvincente.wordpress.com (adult content)

#AtoZchallenge 2018 friendly new badge logo
If you wish to include a direct link to your blog post of this day's letter, please click:
https://goo.gl/forms/AlXbVsKzfo18H5po2

If you wish to visit other blogs in this bloghop challenge who have incorporated today's letter into their current post, please click:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Z_0uDboo4zj2FsA0GemaFF8fTSuNKVeFpJpj17cL9V8/edit?usp=sharing

#AtoZchallenge 2018 traditional badge logo
Click here for the MASTER LIST of all participants who signed up for the #AtoZchallenge 2018!
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1nd9634nZWf1FmHFZ6ofKxBiIwGPWqkct9T9H5ugDQBA/edit?usp=sharing


Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence. - Vince Lombardi

2018 Blogging from A to Z Challenge T shirts now available!   For info visit A to Z T shirts.