Showing posts with label Marcus Clearspring. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Marcus Clearspring. Show all posts

Monday, May 21, 2012

the good

Artwork by Ada Z from
         I plead guilty to somewhat dropping the ball on this post.  I waited until the last minute to compose this so it may not be as thorough as I had hoped.  On the other hand, if you've read even just a few of the Reflections posts you saw many of the same good points of the A to Z Challenge repeated many times.  Or you could just go back to lasts year's post of  The Positives of Blogging from A to Z and that pretty well sums up most of this year's positives.

         I'll mention some of the obvious positives in passing.  Many of you cited the benefits of improving your blogging or writing skills by posting something everyday.  There were the elements of self-discipline and creative thinking.  Sense of community and opportunity to meet new bloggers was often mentioned.   The diversity of participants and the high quality of the writing on many of the blogs were other positives that were pointed out.

        Several people told how they broke in new blog or revived on old blog with the Challenge.  For these bloggers it was a trial by fire experience that helped instill good blogging habits and add followers.   The learning experience that A to Z offers is something veterans can use to encourage new entrants in the future.

        One thing that I had neglected to mention in my previous thank yous, but was brought up in many of the Reflections posts is the addition of the Navigation Buttons offered by Marcus Clearspring.   These were tremendously popular last year and we had many requests for their return this year.  Fortunately Marcus came through again and once again the Navigation Buttons were a hit.  Thank you Marcus.

        We received a number of kudos for the responsiveness, presence, and helpfulness of this year's A to Z Team.   We thank you for your kind words and I for one will concur on this.  Thank you Team--great job!

         Hopefully, you can give us some numbers, but I've heard of a number of the April A to Z series that will be getting published in one form or another.  That A to Z is becoming a springboard for published works is great news.   Last year I heard about at least three books that came out of the Challenge.  I know of a few from this year's Challenge, but I think there will be more.   If you have a book or some published material that was born from A to Z, let us know in the comments and keep in mind that since we are accepting guest posts at the A to Z Blog we would like to hear from you if you would like to do a post about your book.

          One other thing that many of you saw as a big positive and I heartily agree is this A to Z Blog.  This has been a great forum--or as one of you said "water cooler site".    Being able to have a site devoted to A to Z news and tips leading up to and during the Challenge was a huge benefit in many ways.   There is a lot more that we can do with this site.   What are some of your suggestions about this?

         A couple of excellent Reflections posts that you might like to check out are those of Elise Fallson and Susan Kane's thecontemplativecat-- very different in presentation, but both capturing the essence of the spirit of the April Challenge and what it represents.   But by all means don't stop there.  If you haven't read any of the Reflections posts yet, you should read at least a sampling.  Over four hundred of you have left your A to Z Reflections, which is a pretty impressive statement in itself.

          Next Monday I'll be discussing some of the negative aspects that we heard from the Reflections posts and elsewhere.  Then on the following Monday I'll bring it all together with your comments from these two posts and some additional ideas I have about this year and next year.  

           That's what I've got for now.  What positives can you think of that I've left out?   Do you agree with the ones I've mentioned?    What was the biggest A to Z plus in your mind?

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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Get in the locker room! It's half-time!

Alright team, let's huddle up. It's half-time, and that means it's time for our locker-room talk. (I'm an avid football fan and would love to know what the coaches say to the team when they head in there for either a tongue lashing or a rah-rah good job talk...)

We're ½ way there! You're doing an awesome job out there! I've seen some great plays! No fumbles so far, and we're sticking to our game plan. Are there any questions?

Yeah, coach. I was wondering if I could sit out the third quarter. I'm just so tired!”
*If you need a couple of plays off, that's fine. There's nothing wrong with posting twice in one day to catch up for a rest day of no posting.

Coach – I've visited a lot of folks who haven't visited back. Should I just stop reaching out and concentrate on those who are being active in this game?”
*That's a tough one. Your call. As far as I'm concerned, the visiting is one of the most exciting parts. You never know what you're going to find. You don't know if your next blogging buddy is right around the bend, five blogs away! I think the navigation buttons that you'll  be able to install will get the fire going again on the visiting.

Coach – I've got lots of energy left. Where should I spend it?”
*That's an easy one. Visiting! I'm sad to say some folks have only gotten a very few visitors. Sad state of affairs! So if you've still got a lot of spring in your step, then step up your blog-hopping. Wherever you land, they'll be glad you came by.

Ok folks, it's time to head out there again. Keep up the good work, and don't forget our goals. Discipline to blog frequently, and community building through finding new bloggy friends! When this is all over, you'll be glad you stayed in the game.

And now some news!

A to Z Reflections post on May 7th

       On Monday May 7th the Linky list for your Blogging from A to Z Reflections Posts will open.   For those who have blogfests or other plans made already for that day, don't worry the list will be open for the entire week.  We hope all A to Z participants will plan to sign up and present your thoughts about the April Challenge.

        Be watching for more information about the Blogging from A to Z Reflections Post.

The A to Z Navigation Buttons Are Ready!

Many of you have asked for the A to Z Navigation Buttons that we had last year.  Those of you who do not know what I'm talking about can find the buttons at the top of the side bar.  Check them out--they are pretty cool.

Marcus Clearspring who created the popular A to Z Navigation Buttons for last year's Challenge   has done it again.   For those of you who are interested in adding the buttons to your site visit Marcus's site Writing Investigated.

If you don't want to add the buttons to your site or would just like to test them out, there is a special site for the badges at

Here are a few more words from Marcus:

1) Blogger's new "Dynamic Views" do not show custom widgets. Choose a
theme from a different group, if you have switched to Dynamic Views.

2) (only .COM) bloggers cannot use custom widgets. They
simply don't allow it. For these people, the page at
offers the buttons. You can just add an image in your sidebar and
link it to open the above page.

Here are some more Challenge participants who Missed the List:

Kerrie at Here I Am Kaycee has been leaving some wonderful A to Z posts with excellent reminders for all of us.   Stop in for a visit and while you're there click her follower button to help her try to reach her first 100.

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