Showing posts with label 2013 A-Z Blogging Challenge. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2013 A-Z Blogging Challenge. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Get to Know Me, An Unconventional Librarian #atozchallenge

You're probably wondering what a librarian has to do with the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, right? It's simple; librarians like information and the Blogging Challenge is a giant repository of information! One thing you learn in library school is that information wants to be free, which I thoroughly agree with.  Blog hopping is full of free resources that help enrich my life. I'm a student of life and am always wanting to learn something from someone, ANYWHERE.

And speaking of learning, can I tell ya a bit about myself? A very long time ago in a galaxy far far away, I earned a BS in English writing, technical writing to be exact. Don't know what that is? Sure you do, read the how-to manual of any gadget you buy.  A technical writer wrote that.  I took that degree and quickly moved to Texas from PA to work for the US government. While in Texas

  • I learned how to shoot a gun
  • I drove a flight simulator
  • I fingerprinted people
  • I worked on a NASA project that invented voice activated technology
  • Met an astronaut 
  • Worked with a governor
  • Got stopped at the Texas/Mexico border
  • Became a mother 
  • Learned to drive

What have I learned from all of these experiences? I've learned that life is too short not to try everything at least once and that Texas really is a whole 'nother country. Once back up North with my Yankee family, I:

  • Became a certified teacher
  • Became a certified librarian
  • Learned Czech
  • Traveled to Prague
  • Taught preschool
  • Wear a tiara to work
  • Sang in French at a French monastery
  • Read over 100 books last year
Have you learned enough about me yet? My love of learning keeps me motivated every day. That's why I love blogging and the A to Z Challenge; it's like Texas, it's a whole 'nother country blog hop! 

What do you love about the A to Z Challenge?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Don't Get Busted by the Photo Police: #atozchallenge advice

Hi friends (waving), PammyPam here!  If you're like me, you love love love to have photos on your blog.  Especially those big, bright, and beautiful (see what I did there) photos that are pin worth (as in Pinterest)! The problem is, how do you find these photos?

To be sure, there are many places on the internet that offer photos.  You can use pay services or copyright free sites, as well.  These are great ideas but you MUST remember to correctly cite the owner of the pics or you could end up with a visit from the photo police.  But what if you don't have the time or the notion to find just the right pic for your blog?

Do what I do, my friends, and take your own photos.

Yep, take your own photos.

If you have a camera enabled phone or even a small digital camera, you can become your own photographer! There are many benefits to using your own photos:
  • They are free (no costs to join)
  • They are yours to use again and again
  • You control how they are used 
  • Did I mention they're free?
  • You can get exactly the shot you want
See? You can't lose with taking you're own photos.  I blog about books and there is nothing easier than going to my bookshelf, pulling out a book and staging it exactly the way I want it.  Maybe I want a shot of a dog reading a book? Easy, just go grab the dog, some doggie treats, and BAM. Done. Or perhaps I want that all to common Pinterest pic of a stack of books with a tea cup on top? Simple; snag the books I want, set them on the table with a tea cup, get down level with the books and POOF! Instant pic. See?

Once you've taken your photos, upload them to a photo editing site to create them to your liking ( I like picmonkey).  BE SURE TO WATERMARK THEM WITH YOUR BLOG NAME.  Save the photos and VOILA!  Not only do you have customized photos for your blog post, now you don't have to worry about the photo police coming to get you! 

Here's a tip: My A to Z Challenge always includes book titles; I start taking photos of books early to ensure I find a book for each letter of the alphabet. I do this process in steps. 
  • Keep a list of the letters you need pics for
  • Take the photos. 
  • Upload them to a photo editing site and edit (make a collage!)
  • Save new photo with the title of the book
  • Upload to blog
  • Write blog post
Don't try to do all of the steps in one sitting. You'll go batty.  Remember, this is supposed to be fun and to keep you from getting busted by the photo police; if you make it too difficult you might not keep up with it.  Slow and steady wins the race here, folks.

Where do you find your photos?


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Evaluation of A to Z based on Reflections

     Did you get your Reflections Post done and on the list?  We ended up with 382 links on this year's list.  Not a bad showing I'd say.   Like in the Challenge itself, there were some outstanding posts presenting thoughts on the 2013 Challenge.

        I'm still wending my way through the list and leaving comments at each one I visit.  I hope that more of you will do the same in order to show appreciation to the A to Z participants who took the time to add their thoughts and experiences.

        For the most part the Challenge reviews have been glowing or at least positive.  The usual negatives are there--word verification, commenting difficulties, lack of visits or comments, and not as many new followers as in previous years.   We had less of a problem with non-participant blogs thanks to our teams of helpers.  A big thank you to all of you who were part of that effort.

Here are a few specifics that some mentioned:

Adult Content Labeling:   Nagzilla and a few others expressed concern about the labeling on the list.  Some thought we were practicing censorship, but I emphatically disagree with this charge.   The AC labeling is a warning in the same way the film industry labels films with content adviseries.  And even FCC blocking of such content from public airwaves is probably not considered censorship.  Offhand I'm not sure what you call that, but A to Z is not unique in calling for some sort of screening for content that some find offensive.  We will continue to study this issue and hopefully come to a satisfactory solution.  We welcome your thoughts about this and ask that you try to understand our position on this.   I don't see that we are unreasonable in any way.

Topic Labeling:   Many of you liked having the opportunity to have blog categorizations to make it easier to find blogs that interested you most.   This is still in the experimental stage.  I agree that all of the different labels were difficult to remember.   Many suggestions have been offered on how to improve this.  I will stand by my suggestion from previous years of having a flexible programmable list that requires a few more registration steps.   The Linky List is fine for smaller blog networking events, but somewhat impractical and labor intensive for an event that has become as large as A to Z.   Any expert programmers out there who would like to contact me about this?   Since A to Z is an all volunteer project, we can't afford to pay for a programmed list, but I'm willing to listen to your ideas.

  Creating subgroups and communities:  I was interested in what Corinne Rodrigues organized from her site From 7Eight.   You might want to check out her post.   This may be part of the future of A to Z and the idea of creating communities is something we've encouraged since the event began growing as it did in the second year.  Corinne Rodrigues will be visiting the A to Z Blog on May 20th with more information.

 Comment complications:   My Rite of Passage provided a good overview of the problems some blogs have in their commenting systems or even tracking back to the blog of whoever commented in the first place.   You might want to read this for your year round blogging activities.  Not getting as many comments as you'd like?  This post explains some possible reasons for that.

Highlighting other bloggers:     Rosie Amber is among several bloggers who added lists of other blogs to her posts.   It's a nice touch to feature others and make friends in the process.

Watching stats and recording blog performance:  Katie at Adventuringathome was into stats.  You can check out how she did during April and read about her thoughts on the Challenge.  How was your month?  Did you keep an eye on blog stats?

        Please continue to visit the links on the Reflections Post list.  That list will be accessible all year.  And join us on the A to Z Ultimate Road Trip.  That list will be open all year so you can join us any time, but now is the best time so you can stay caught up.

         Do you have any observations about the A to Z Challenge that you would like to add here?   What do think about some of the points made in this post?

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Monday, May 6, 2013

Submissions Open for Your Best A to Z Post of 2013

Sandra Tyler of Woven Tale Press is inviting A to Z submissions from 2013 to appear in an upcoming edition of  The Woven Tale Press:

In honor of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge which annually spurs so many bloggers to persevere in writing daily for an entire month, a special edition of The Woven Tale Press is planned, to highlight some of the best of this year’s A-Z challengers’ posts.

The Woven Tale Press is an e-magazine  an eclectic monthly culling of the blogging web; too many well-conceived and artful posts are relegated to their archives too soon.  Posts ephemeral, but meant to be indelible.

So to prevent your posts from gathering dust in those archives, submit your favorite 2013 A-Z post from 2013 for consideration at:

To read the most current issue of The Woven Tale Press, click on the cover below:

Important Update from the publisher:

The Woven Tale Press has been blessed with so many terrific submissions! However, 
despite so many submissions, many are duplicate letters.

So A-Z challengers who have not already submitted, consider submitting your best of letters:

B, D, G, H, L, O, Q, S, T, U, W

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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

It's Not Over Until It's Over! Time to Reflect

The "I Survived" Badge Is Ready!
      Thanks to our in-house art guru, Jeremy Hawkins from Retro-Zombie, we have available for all of you who finished this year's A to Z Challenge a badge for you to proudly display on your site to show all the world of your amazing April feat.  Congratulations to all of you!

The Blogging from A to Z April Challenge Reflections Post 2013

         By now you have probably heard mention of this Reflections Post.  Those who are past A to Z participants are undoubtedly familiar with this Reflections Post and may have done one in previous years.  For those who don't understand what this is all about, I'm here to explain it to you.

          The A to Z Reflections Post is a post presented on your own blog site giving the A to Z Team, the other Challenge participants, and any other readers your thoughts about this year's April Challenge.  The way you present your post is up to you.   Essentially you can take the same approach with this post as you did your other Challenge posts.

          We are looking for feedback about the Challenge.  Tell us what you liked and didn't like, what worked and what didn't.   If you have suggestions about making future A to Z Challenges better, this is a good time to let us know.  You can highlight other bloggers who you felt did an outstanding job or direct us to specific posts that particularly impressed you or that you found to be very helpful.

          In other words, we want to know how the A to Z Team did and how the Challenge worked for you.  If you'd do it again, tell us why.  If you would never consider A to Z again, let us know what would make you feel that way.

         Please put up your Reflections post between now and Thursday May 9th.  After your post has gone online you can add the link to that specific post to the Linky List once it has opened starting Thursday night.  Enter the link that goes directly to your Reflections post and not your general blog address.  The list will remain open for entries for one week and will be accessible for the remainder of this year.

         The list is intended for A to Z Reflections posts only.  Any links to advertising sites or non-relevant posts will be removed from the list.    And remember that these posts will be directed to a diverse audience of varying ages and sensibilities so please respect others by refraining from posting obscene materials or hurtful attacks upon others.  We want a productive interchange of ideas that can lead to positive innovation.

Coming Soon!  The A to Z Road Trip!

       Details for this will be coming on this blog in the next few weeks.  Be watching for more information about this event.

       If you still have questions please let them be known in the comment section.  

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Friday, April 19, 2013

QUICK! Let's Do Something Now! (#atozchallenge)

Badge from 2012 designed by Ada Z

    Here we are past the halfway mark and I'm still finding some blogs with a lot less followers than they should have.   So today I'd like for everyone to try a little exercise in social media networking.

       Since a big part of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge has to do with networking, building communities, gaining followers (who you hope will become your regular readers), and discovering new blogs to follow, let's try to give a power boost to everyone we can today.

        Below I've listed some blogs that have a Friend Connect widget.  Some of these are below 50 followers and I like to see us get them to that number.  In the second list there are blogs that are on their ways to 100 followers--let's get them there today.  And if you see that they've already hit today's goal then help them get to the next level.  If you don't see the widget first off then scroll down until you find it.  As of this writing these blogs all had a Friend Connect widget.

         How will it help you besides maybe giving you a good feeling that you helped others?   If you follow any of these, leave a comment letting them know that you've done so and invite them to visit your blog as well.  If everyone is following the blog etiquette of reciprocity then you'll both get a new follower from your actions.

        So how about it A to Zingers!   Give the community a boost today and let's see how much growth we can all experience in our blogs at the midway part of the Challenge.

         Extra Bonus:   If you want to take it even a step further, when you visit a blog to make a comment, visit the other bloggers who have already commented on that blog and join their blogs.  You can see some very serious blog building action with this added step.   This is a bonus move for those who have the time to do it.  I think you may have fun with this one.

      Here are the lists--take a look and spread the blog lovin':

Help these bloggers reach 50 followers:

Little Moments

In My Own Words

Profiling Great Americans

A Devotional Mosaic


Diary of the Sunday Visitor

Maui Jungalow

Random Musings from the Kristenhead

Kids Math Teacher

Designs By Row


The Sun Will Rise

Mammajenna Says It

Random Thoughts From a Random Guy

Reading Practice

Help these bloggers hit 100 followers:

The Written Word of Yvonne Lewis

Unveil the Other Side

The Occasional Adventures of a Hermit

Live at the Moment

Lynda Grace An Hour Away

Awakenings and Reflections

Joanne Clancy

The Ruralhood

It's a Joy!

CHill Thoughts


.Naturally Sweet

        Is your blog not on this list and you think it should be?   Please tell us in the comments.   Now let's get out there and do some quick networking.   Quick!

        And thank you all for helping make this push today!

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

O is for ... Other Blogs!

What? I know I did something similar for L, but so what? It was awesome.

Now that we're over half way done with the challenge, how are you faring? So far, I have posted every single day except Sunday, and have visited at least ten blogs on the list every one of those days. It's a lot of work, but it's also a lot of fun.

Anyway, here are some blogs related to the letter O that I have been enjoying during the challange:

Michael Offut has been posting about Star Wars: The Close Wars, the animated TV series.

Oh Frog It! has been embroidering song lyrics.

Tim Brannan, from The Other Side, has been covering all kinds of monstrous topics.

Duncan, at Our Home Called Kuantan, has a nice series of Keep Calm.

Outside Perception had a lovely tribute to Boston yesterday.

Do you have any blogs you've discovered through the Challenge that relate to the letter O? Feel free to share them in the comments, and make sure to visit my five, follow them, and tell them I sent you. Oh, and you can find my blog here: The QQQE, if you'd like to follow me.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Neck and Neck - #atozchallenge

There are 26 laps on this alphabet track with 14 down and 12 to go. We've traveled far and wide beyond our wildest expectations -- of ourselves and fellow blogathon contenders. Many of us had to make pit stops along the way -- some to adjust and others to regroup. There were even some crashes (shout out to Stephen Tremp workin' that phone and tablet!) that caused a blog or two to spin out of control but many drivers on this track prevailed and remained on the leading lap, as a result.

It does not matter who is in the first, ninth, fiftieth or eight hundred and twelfth spots because everybody is aiming for that checkered flag, or rather -- badge, representing their survival through one of the wildest events to ever hit cyberspace. There's no one winner in this race to the flag. In fact, this isn't even a race. It's more like a multi-caravan cruise along the letters that link us together from different states, countries, time zones, viewpoints, hobbies, experiences and generations.

At times, some of us were way ahead of others while the rest was just trying to keep up. The ones who have perfected their visiting, posting and commenting down to a science have started just coasting along and riding their comfy wave in the winner's circle, but now...

We're all pretty much Neck and Neck.

So, let's keep it that way and meet each other at the finish line!

Your A to Z Challenge Co-Host,

Nicole @MadlabPost on Twitter

Saturday, April 13, 2013

L is for Love

Blog love, to be specific.

After all, isn't that kind of the point of the A to Z Challenge? I mean sure, part of it is to push yourself to write a lot of posts, but mainly the idea is to visit a lot of blogs, and show them some love.

So here are a few of the blogs I've been reading during the Challenge:

Shannon Lawrence has covering Histories Mysteries.

L. Diane Wolfe has been sharing a lot of great Promotional Tips for Writers.

Joe Lunievicz has been writing about swordfighting.

Laura Eno has been writing about cats! Who doesn't love cats?

Andrew Leon has been posting about How to Be ... any number of things.

Do you have any blogs you've discovered through the Challenge that relate to the letter L? Feel free to share them in the comments, and make sure to visit my five, follow them, and tell them I sent you. Oh, and you can find my blog: The QQQE, here if you'd like to follow me.

Have a great weekend, and enjoy your Sunday off!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Hashtag the Heck out of Us!

Now that we're just getting into the swing of things, let's make the most of the A to Z Challenge by keeping in mind that it stretches beyond your blog. We’re social, with a presence on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ to make it easier for you to find likeminded participants and keep up with what’s trending – including the latest news from the challenge Co-Hosts. That is why it’s important to tag the challenge by using the official #atozchallenge hashtag when referencing the challenge in your social media updates – especially Twitter. Adding the A to Z Challenge hashtag to your tweets can help all of us cut through the clutter when searching for blogs to visit or staying up to date on discussions related to our daily alphabet party.

If you’re still wondering “how the heck do I use a hashtag?” or “why the heck would I use a hashtag?” the time for guessing games are over. Here are simple ways to Hashtag the heck out of the A to Z Challenge.
Hashtag your correspondence with us
When you send a tweet to us by writing @AprilA2Z, also make sure to add an #atozchallenge hashtag to the tweet. Unless it’s a really pertinent matter, you probably would do better just replacing the @AprilA2Z text with the #atozchallenge hashtag, altogether!

Hashtag your comments
Everyone and their momma is leaving comments that are one variation of “Hey, I’m stopping by from the A to Z Challenge!” or another – as if we really need to know (and we really don’t…or at least, I’ll speak for myself by letting you know today that I don’t need the reminder that you’re doing the challenge, ok?!) this bit of information. We get it. We read the memo. It’s been signed, sealed and delivered. Now here’s a thought…
If you really…I mean, really need to inform the blog that you’re visiting about your A to Z Challenge status, just put the #atozchallenge hashtag at the end of your comment. It takes up much less space and is less likely to leave a blogger wondering why he or she wasted time trying to read a comment that was nothing more than an announcement along the lines of “me too! Yay!” when it could have just as easily been summed up with a simple hashtag.
Hashtag your questions
Most, if not all, of the questions that people ask A to Z Challenge administrators can be useful to other participants who have similar concerns. Using the #atozchallenge hashtag can help your fellow participants get answers to something that they may have been wondering. At the very least, it also puts other bloggers on alert about matters that they are curious to know. Adding a hashtag can help simplify the question-and-answer sessions for @AprilA2Z on Twitter as well as other social media websites. It is easier for some participants to create a list or do a search for topics that are of interest to them if the hashtag is utilized more often, because it cuts down on the workload of having to find profiles and topics that might have come up in conversation about the challenge.
Hashtag your photos
Add hashtags to the photos that are included in your blog posts related to the challenge. This can be done by adding text directly in the image, using photo editing software or online photo apps such as Pic Monkey. If you don’t want to interfere with your visual masterpiece that you snapped in preparation for winning visitors over with your photographic images, you can also add hashtags to the “caption” section when editing the photo before publishing the blog post. The official A to Z Challenge hashtag can also be used to promote your blog posts on Facebook and Instagram.
So tell us…
How are you Hashtagging the Heck out of the A to Z Challenge?

2013 Blogging from #atozchallenge Co-Host
See you at the movies!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

#atozchallenge: About Arlee Bird

Arlee Bird's First Birthday
Arlee Bird many years later
     Since I didn't do my about me post yet, I thought I'd slip in quietly on this Easter day and do my quick little turn at a few of the questions.

"Where do you hail from?" (D.G. Hudson)  -- I was born in Cleveland, Ohio, where I lived for the first seven years of my life.   But I feel like East Tennessee is my home.
"Have you ever wanted to be a rock star?" (Alex J. Cavanaugh) -- Oh of course!  I've fantasized about this since high school and still imagine it now and then, though now I think more country than rock.

"Would you rather have your own personal sailing ship or spaceship? What would you name your ship?" (L.G. Keltner) --  Since I have a bit of a fear of water and don't take too well to being out in open water, I'll probably go with the spaceship.  Although I guess being in airless space is a somewhat scary thought as well.  It is kind of exciting to imagine though.  My ship would be named "Imagination".

"Favorite childhood memory" (Tina) -- I had such a great childhood that it's really difficult to single out any favorite childhood memory.  I guess this is why I like writing memoir--I like remembering and telling the fun stories.   My favorite memories would probably be related to fun times at home and with family.

"How do you use those HTML tags .. and I've yet to learn about the signature line too .." (Hilary Melton-Butcher)   -- I've been a huge proponent for the signature link and the HTML tags.  They are so handy to direct people to specific links I want them to see and to my own blog.  It's so much quicker to visit blogs if I have a link that takes me right there.  I just hate that WordPress, other systems, and often the other bloggers mistake a link in a comment or the signature link to think the comment is spam.  I really have a strong distaste for spam and spammers.

"Describe the last Halloween costume you wore." (Nicole) --- Many years ago when my kids were still in school and before I got remarried, I dressed in old green coveralls, sprayed my hair green, and put on green make-up and went out with my kids.  When people asked what I was supposed to be, I answered, "Broccoli".   Why do some people find broccoli to be so scary?

"What's more important, space exploration, or under-sea exploration?" (Matt Conlon) -- That's kind of a tough one as they are both fascinating frontiers.   I love the idea of forging on into the outer reaches of the universe as well as a concentrated study of our own solar system.  So much adventure!  But on the practical side of what could be more immediately useful and accessible to us I'd have to put the priority on sea exploration.  It will be probably be easier to access the resources of the sea before what's in space.  I hope we don't give up on either.

Coke or Pepsi?" (Mina Lobo) -- Funny how things can change.  In the 80's I had a clear preference for Pepsi, then somewhere along the line I started preferring Coke.  Maybe they had the better sales?  

"If you could sing any song with the artist who wrote/performed it, what would it be and with whom?" (Tracy Bermeo-A2Z Mommy) -- What a strange experience this would be!  I'll go with "Living for the City" with Stevie Wonder and I'd want to do a bluegrass arrangement of the song.  I wonder if Stevie would approve?

"How old were you when you realized your passion for writing?"   "Who inspired you to write in the very beginning?"    "Who inspires you now?" (Magical Mystical MiMi)--  My mother inspired me to tell stories when I was perhaps five or so and my father inspired me to write when I was about eight.  Writing and reading have been passions since I was young.  Now my writing inspirations are Flannery O'Connor, Cormac McCarthy, and many great bloggers out there.

         Happy Easter to all!   And now let the Challenge begin!

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

#atozchallenge News Round-up

Click Badge to add your Name
To the list.

     Have you signed up for the A to Z Challenge yet?   If not, the list can be found by clicking the tab at the top of this page.  Now's the time to get on the list.  You still have time to at least get started on preparing posts.  And even if you write as you go you'll still have fun.

       Many of you have been helping to promote the Challenge on your own sites.  Here are a few that we've run across:

Co-host Tina had a new commenter on her blog.  First challenge, 9 followers. Tina was the first to comment on her A-Z promo post.  If you have a chance, show her some love at Tales of the Reborn Crafter

M. J. Joachim has become a ubiquitous presence in the 2013 A to Z Challenge.   You can find one of her guest posts at the equally ubiquitous P. V. Ariel's

When readers run across an A to Z promo post they will sometimes let us know about what they find(since we often don't see all of them on our own).  That's how we found the post from Wayne at Random Stream of Consciousness.  Thanks Wayne!

Ambassador Tim Brannon from The Other Side made a post to try to get more people from his corner of the internet involved.

Beth Lapin talks about her A to Z theme on her special blog set up for the Challenge.  Check it out at Beth Lapin's A to Z Blog.

With her third A to Z Challenge ahead, Michelle tells her A to Z story at Writer-in-Transit.

Here's a good A to Z post from M.M. Pollard at MM's Fundamentals of English.    You may learn a few things from her during April.  

Maria at First Draft Cafe is working away at her posts for April.  

At first she wasn't go to do it, but now Nel Ashley has decided she should.  Read more at Nel Ashley.

Sharon Bayliss did a great interview with co-hosts Tina and Nicole at her blog Write for Your Life.

Julie did a lovely tribute to the Challenge at Empty Nest Insider.  

At her  blog Being Catholic, M.J. Joachim added the A to Z Challenge to the current events of the day.  We are newsworthy!

Be sure to stop by ...The Slightly Eccentric Diary of Rob Z Tobor for a lesson on A to Z blogging.  

JoJo at Tahoma Beadworks & Photography is part of Tina Downey's Terrific Team and started her duties with a Challenge announcement.

Challenge veteran Dale from Smurfin' the Web gave a good word for the Challenge--yes, he's ready to go.

If you're a U2 fan you will definitely want to check out On The Road With U2.  Deena's back for a second go around with the alphabet.

Rosie Amber is looking for you!  Stop by to read about her A to Z intentions at Rosie Amber

And to close this edition out with a bang, take a look at Andi-Roo's epic A to Z promo post at The World 4 Realz.  Yes, Andi-Roo is back for another year and that's for realz. 

         There you have it!  This will probably be the closing edition of  the A to Z Promo news, but don't let that stop you from adding your own promos to your blogs.   Tell everyone you know.  Tweet it.  Announce it on FaceBook.  Let's get some more sign ups.  Can we break last year's record?

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Friday, March 15, 2013

Have You Scheduled Your #atozchallenge Posts Yet?

Sign up to Reveal Your A to Z Theme!
As A to Z Challenge co-hosts, one of the biggest challenges we face is how to keep our own blogs going while taking care of a whole host of behind-the-scenes activity.

Last two years, I've gone with one blog. This year, I'm being brave and have submitted two, Amlokiblogs, and Daily (w)rite. I know of people who have submitted up to five blogs!

Before we know it, April would be here-- we have less than a month left! Where did all that time go? Seems to me we were just announcing the challenge and the co-hosts in January!

So, how many of your AZ posts are done? And how can you get them done in a way that is relatively quick and painless?

The most important thing, imho, is to decide a theme.

This makes it easier to pre-schedule posts.

For those of us doing the challenge, deciding a theme is half the job done, and if you've done this job, you can showcase it too, before the challenge starts: Mina Lobo has announced the "Big Reveal Bloghop" where we all reveal our themes a week before the challenge: March 21st. So go ahead and sign up and get to know/ renew acquaintances with a few other A to Z participants!

If you have all your A to Z posts done and dusted, and I know a lot of you have got just that, stupendous! Just make sure you spread the comment love. As DL Hammons tell us in his post, this is the one good way to make your blog part of the community!

If you haven't got your A to Z posts scheduled yet, what are you waiting for?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The A to Z Challenge Guide to Defining Adult Content

If Disney/Pixar studios called you today and offered to make a film adaptation of your blog, what rating would the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) give the movie? 

Ready. Set. Rate it! 

The answer to this question provides a general idea of whether or not your blog belongs in the Adult Content (AC) category – where participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2013 is concerned. Blogs that have adult content are REQUIRED to add this category to their blog title on the sign-up list. Like any other category, this should be done when first signing up to the challenge, as Damyanti explained in January. All other categories are optional for participants to add to their blog during the signup process.

The guidelines and enforcement procedures for Adult Content categorization, where necessary, stem from our concerns that there is no age limit on who can participate, so long as they have a blog. So with that in mind, we decided that our definition of what constitutes “Adult Content” is based on whether the blog contains material that would be inappropriate for teens.

Adult Content – The A to Z Challenge Co-Host Dictionary Reference:

We define Adult Content as anything that might be something a teenager shouldn’t be viewing. By “Adult,” this means nudity, frequent use of harsh language, gore, sexual content, and overtly violent content. By “Content,” this includes blog posts, images, graphics and any other related material that is on display at your blog.

Adult Content Checklist - Does your blog contain any of the following material? If the answer is YES, then it should be marked as such with the (AC) category code:

  • Nudity
  • Frequent use of harsh language
  • Gore
  • Sexually oriented language
  • Explicit Violence

Again, does your Blog contain any of the above material? If the answer is YES, then it should be marked as such with the (AC) category code!

As our guidelines are fairly simple to follow, this is not rocket science; it should be easy to figure out whether your blog fits into the Adult Content category. If your blog contains any of the above listed material, you MUST have your blog labeled with (AC) on the signup list. Otherwise, your blog will be flagged and removed.

Our thought right now is also that a few profane words in some blog posts don’t require the blog to be listed in the (AC) category. Those of you who may be one of the many Non-AC blogs, however, are not out of the woods regarding the nature of the content you publish. That said, if you are among the Non-AC bloggers who do happen to have some harsh language here and there, we urge you to at least put a Disclaimer/Warning at the top of your posts with questionable content. The Disclaimers/Warnings can help to protect you if a teen participant happens to come across your blog during the A to Z Challenge.