Monday, May 2, 2011

2011 Blogging from A to Z Challenge Reflections Mega Post

Blogging from A to Z Winner\
Please copy the Badge and display on your blog to let everyone know that you  finished!




           We made it!  Some never started, a few had to stop early, but as far as I have been able to tell most of you made it to the end of the alphabet.   It was fun, but it was sometimes grueling.  It was a Challenge.

            I want to start by extending my deepest thanks to the A to Z Team who so effectively helped to co-host this event:

Jeffrey Beesler's World of the Scribe 
Alex J. Cavanaugh Alex J. Cavanaugh 
Jen Daiker's Unedited 
Candace Ganger's The Misadventures in Candyland 
Karen J Gowen at Coming Down the Mountain 
Talli Roland 
Stephen Tremp's Breakthrough Blogs 



      These bloggers did a fine job of making the rounds in visiting as many participants as possible and I hope everyone will stop by to tell them thanks for keeping this Challenge going.

       Next I want to thank each and every one of you who made it to the end or at least gave it your best shot.  I have made many wonderful new blog discoveries and met wonderful new friends just like in last years challenge.  I think that several of these new friendships will last a while and may lead to some interesting collaborations.  And I really want to thank the many of you who continually gave me and the rest of the team such positive feedback and words of encouragement and thanks.   Thanks to all of you.

        This year's A to Z Challenge showed even more creativity that the Challenge of 2010.  The many returnees had the hang of the process and showed their mastery of day to day blogging.  There were so many amazingly creative entries for each day from the veterans and the new participants alike.  There were short stories, poems, essays, and informational pieces that were original, thought provoking, and often absolutely dazzling.  Anyone who thought this Challenge would produce a bunch of hack work and trivial blog posts was proven wrong on a daily basis by some of the quality that appeared on some of your posts.

       It was a challenge for sure, but for me it was great fun and highly rewarding in many ways.  For the month of May I will be cutting back extensively on my blogging activity so far as posting goes.  Instead my focus will be on responding to all of you who posted your reflections. trying to keep up with regular daily visits, and attempting to continue on through that monster list of over 1200 bloggers who signed up for the A to Z Challenge.

       My plans at the outset failed and I don't know that I even visited half of the blogs that signed up--I still hope to do so.   I had not expected as many daily comments on my own posts as I had received and now I remember why my email box was so full last year after the Challenge.  This year I have over 1800 emails to get through.   Without daily comments I should be able to go at a faster rate, but still it's going to take some time.

        I want to give a special thanks to Marcus at Writing Investigated for creating the Blog Navigation buttons.   I know many of you had fun with these and even relied on them to a great extent.  "The Next Blog" button has been a great aid for me in keeping track of how far I am on the list.  The "Surprise Me!" button helped break things up for me and skim the list when I was feeling like I wasn't getting along far enough.  Marcus volunteered to do this for us and I hope all of you will stop by to thank him.

        So enough from me.  I want to hear what you have to say.  In a few weeks I am going to try to have a recap post where I will compile some of the best suggestions that you have to offer and things that occurred to me as the Challenge was underway.   There is much improvement that can make the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge better, but I want to assimilate the data first before I come to final conclusions.  So stay tuned for a post near the end of May.

       What about next year?   This Challenge seems to be a hit so we'll definitely consider that option.  But for now I think a lot of us need some down time as far as blogging is concerned.  And maybe even some extra sleep and perhaps a vacation.  I'm going to Tennessee next week for nine days and have time with family.  I'll slow down some during that time.  But like the Terminator--"I'll be back".



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67 comments:

  1. Thank you (and your family) so much Arlee Bird for the sacrifices you made to provide this challenge and to encourage all of us newbies. It has been a blast--not to mention educational, inspirational, and convivial (I just found that word and loved it!)
    Thanks again!
    Blessings on you and yours!

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  2. Many congratulations to you and everyone else who completed the A-Z challenge. I could not enter this year due to time constraints but I have seen some excellent posts from other bloggers throughout April. I hope you do have a rest now, well done! :-)

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  3. Thanks from me too, Arlee, for all the hard work you and the others put into this to make it a success. You really achieved your aims, I loved it. It was the first year I'd taken part and I'll definitely do it again because, not only did I find some wonderful friends, but also I LEARNED so much. There's such variety out there with different interests and takes on things. I became an avid follower of mythology and runes, for example. My only regret is that I didn't get to everyone. And, I'm ashamed to admit, I didn't SEE the "next blog" button until last week :( I really must pay more attention LOL.

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  4. Dude! 1800 emails?
    Losts of reflection posts going up, so a lot of reading this week. On my post, almost everyone is in full support of Hart's suggestion, so hope we use that next year. Can you say 10,000 participants in 2012?

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  5. thanks Arlee - it was a blast - I'll get my reflections up right now and look forward to hearing what others might say.Jan Morrison

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  6. well done team and well done everyone who completed it. I think there should definitely be one next year even if it was a challenge, it is a challenge well worth doing.

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  7. Reading your intro and the strategies you were adopting, and some pointers made me decide to go ahead and join the Challenge, despite earlier reservations as detailed in my Reflections. I had a fantastic time coming out with what I hope had been interesting and stimulating posts.

    Thanks to you Arlee and those other wonderful hosts.

    Yes, take that time off to be with your family, and have an enjoyable break. You deserve it!

    Grandpa
    Life on The Farm

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  8. Enjoy your vacation...you deserve it.

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  9. My Mega Post is completed and posted. Thank you so much for this challenge. It definitely helped enrich my blogging experience. Thank you from My Heart Blogs to You (on Blogger).

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  10. OK,so when do us poor people who read all of these challenge post get finally paid? :PP
    I accept only euros, no VISA :)

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  11. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I've had a blast in my first year participating. I too am still working my way around. Enjoy your down time you have more than earned it.

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  12. Well Lee another one over and done with, I didn't expect to see so many entries though.
    I did enjoy myself,
    Enjoy your trip to Tennessee at least I've been to that State.
    Next Monday I have to have hospital treatment it's only an half hour job but is a liitle nervous about it,.Thanks for the comment,

    Take care.

    Yvonne.

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  13. Happy to be a part of it and nice to know you Arlee..like you I too hope to see more of us in each other's blog and have a great vacation :)

    Cheers!

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  14. Thanks yet again Lee and to the other hosts as well. The A-Z is marvelous. I have met some wonderful new bloggers who I know will be friends for a long time. You enjoy your break. Cant wait for next April :) XX

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  15. goal for today, try and hit as many reflection mega posts, as possible... its been great!! thank you for getting the ball rolling on it

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  16. Thanks for hosting! It was fun. While I didn't participate every day, it helped me to keep to my more regular posting schedule of M-W-F. The best part? Meeting new writters, readers, and bloggers.

    Thank you!

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  17. Thanks Lee. The challenge was fun and a great experience and opportunity.

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  18. Arlee,
    You had a massive undertaking on your hands! It was a lot of fun for me as a reader to explore some of the blogs & marvel at the creativity that I came across. Great job to all who participated & I liked the catchy logo I saw! :)

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  19. What a GREAT April this turned out to be. Thanks for that Lee, and to your co-hosts too. I've got some other work to get out of the way (namely my sad weigh in vid) but then I plan to spend the rest of the day commenting on reflections.

    I'm so grateful for your gathering of so many awesome bloggers so that I can pick n share to the end of days. YAY.

    Have a great vacation and don't forget to breathe.

    Cheers :)

    PS: I don't feel right snagging an award, since I didn't sign up officially but I LOVE the ones I've seen so far.

    CONGRATS to all the A to Z-ers and see ya next year :)

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  20. I was really impressed by the creativity out there too. I plan to spend this month getting to know all the people I followed.

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  21. I didn't visit a lot of blogs, as the number was intimidating, but I did stick to my theme.

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  22. Thank you for the Challenge my friend, it truly was for me. I enjoyed the new folks but I also learned something. I can't deal with single letters, they scare me :)
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

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  23. Thanks, Lee, for all the hard work from you and your team! Now go and get some R'n'R - you earned it!
    :-)

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  24. Thank you to all of you for the challenge, and for the daily visits.
    I made it to the end in one piece, and all while my family moved residences. It was tough, but in the end, I felt good about it.
    I didn't do a reflection post, but I reflect good thoughts about it all and hope to do it again next year... when I'm not so busy.

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  25. I want to express my thanks for all of the kind words so far. I will probably not be responding individually in this section so I can make a greater visit to respond directly via email or on your own Reflections post.
    This blogging community is great!

    Lee

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  26. Thanks, Lee, for the A-Z Challenge. It was my first go-around and I loved it! I read a lot of great writing during the month, and 14 people started following my blog in April. I am also following some new blog sites because of the A-Z Challenge. What great fun!

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  27. Thanks for hosting! I had a great time. I've posted the badge (it's down among my finished challenges.

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  28. I had a wickedly awesome time Lee!
    This was my first challenge, but not my last.

    I have posted my "aftermath" to this challenge - now I can breath and do laundry! (the pile is quite high)

    Cheers, Jenny

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  29. Thanks for this Lee..and thanks to all the co-hosts as well...it was fun..I'm looking forward to the next challenge or contest, or whatever it will be!

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  30. Hi Arlee,
    SoSoSo enjoyed this fab experience. and am enjoying reading about everyone else's experiences too.

    I thought that I had already signed up to this hop, but couldn't see the link, so have joined again with the specific post link on number 171. If there is an earlier entry for me, I do apologise!
    Lxxx

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  31. You so deserve a break, Arlee. Just know how grateful I am and I'm sure everyone else is as well for everything you did and do to make this successful for all of us.
    Karen

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  32. Thank You Arlee!!! This was my first time doing the challenge and I loved it! I met so many new bloggers and found great new blogs to follow!! It was a great experience!! Blessings, Joanne

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  33. Sounded fun! Too bad I missed it. Anyway, I like blogging, it helps me calm down. I have to love and care for every living thing. My blog is http://takinitonestepatatime.blogspot.com/
    and I blog about, well, life and everything!

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  34. Thanks to everyone--the hosts, the bloggers, Arlee. It was a blast. I met so many interesting people. Can't wait until next year.

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  35. Great team for the Challenge. Congrats to all!

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  36. I totally had a ball doing this--except for one thing. Now I really really want to learn to juggle!
    I think YOU are AMAZING!
    jean

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  37. This was such a great challenge! :)

    Have fun in Tennessee.

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  38. It was a great success! I had a lot of fun with it this year, and I look forward to it next year.

    On my reflection post today, I mentioned that since there were 1,000+ participants, I wish there’d been a way to mention what type of blog everyone has and group them together when we signed up (Writing Blogs, Photography Blogs, Sports Blogs, Fashion Blogs, Medical Blogs, etc. etc.). I think if they were grouped by type, I could’ve read the blogs about writing during my scheduled blogging time and gotten to the other types of blogs during extra time. Maybe then I would’ve had an easier time getting to more blogs, too!

    Thanks for much for hosting the challenge again this year! It was a blast and I met so many wonderful new writers and blogs, which is the best part!

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  39. Thanks for everything that you did! I had a great time. I discovered some great blogs and made some wonderful new friends!
    I'll be back next year for sure!
    Hope you get to enjoy some R and R!

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  40. Fantastic! What a great experience. Thanks big for getting this organized, I learned so much.

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  41. Thanks Lee for doing it again! It was challenging, but I learned a lot~
    I think we should do a number post.
    Post something number related, a movie, book, a story, poem...whatever appeals. Just not now...I need down time, time to get my zest back and catch up on my Zzzzz's. My family wore me out~ Thanks Lee n' posse round#2!!!

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  42. Lee, sorry I fell behind but I finished today! I tried to make worthy posts each time, not just some "cop out" I don't know what to write kind of thing. :)

    Most of the time, I always had something! Thanks for finding the time (which I don't know how you did) in visiting and commenting on my site! I love community and people's comments, especially when they share a similar experience or something that happened in the opposite!

    I had a few people swing by from the list, and a couple of us visit each other's blogs back-n-forth, here and there!

    I'll try and find your section to post comments about my experience and provide ample feedback.

    Sandi
    http://www.ahhsome.wordpress.com

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  43. This blogging challenge was so much fun! Thank you all SO much for putting it on!

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  44. Thank you, Arlee!

    I have to say, this year it was a real struggle to produce anything and I feel like some of my content was less than my best. Hopefully next year things will be a little better. And I apologize to everyone for not getting to read as many blogs as I wanted.

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  45. Just wanted to thank you for organizing and hosting the event. It was a blast and though I'm exhausted, I'm so glad to have participated and connected with so many new bloggers. You can put this one in the books as a big success. :)

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  46. Woo, thanks for the award! :D And biiiig thanks to you and your fellow hosts for running this awesome challenge :)

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  47. Enjoy Tennessee & some well deserved down time! :)

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  48. Hello..thank you for hosting this challenge
    It was fun & I've learnt lots of things
    Looking forward to next year

    Graywolfie
    Http://graywolfie.andrewandgrace.net

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  49. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I can't say it enough. Everyone did a great job so don't be saying anything bad about the jobs you did. I'm keeping track of some of the great suggestions and will be compiling them in my Challenge evaluation post at the end of the month.

    Lee

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  50. Here's what I wanted to thank you for on this challenge!

    http://donpennington.blogspot.com/2011/05/one-final-note-of-gratitude-on-april-to.html?zx=75b3a005970f8d80

    You've inspired someone very important to me.

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  51. I really enjoyed participating in A-Z! It was fun to realize that there is always something to blog about! Thanks for the challenge!

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  52. Thanks for organizing the A-Z Challenge! It was a lot of fun!

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  53. That's a crazy amount of emails. I reckon you did well in staying on top of them. Impressive. I've started my down time already (that's why I couldn't take part in the reflections post--need that break! hehehehe). I'll try and visit everyone though.

    Thanks again for organising a brilliant challenge.

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  54. I was astounded by how many talented writers are out there, working quietly in the shadows and producing such exquisite work. Thanks to you and the rest of the hosts for bringing them to light with the challenge.

    One question: I missed posting on a couple of letters because of moving right in the middle of the month. Is it still okay to use the badge?

    I do appreciate the thoughtful comments you left on so many of my posts. Hope you have a wonderful, carefree vacation with your family. You certainly deserve it!

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  55. Again thanks! And Walk2write -- sure! If you made a decent effort to reach the end I think you deserve the badge. As I have always maintain, we set up the premise of this Challenge but each of you set up your own rules and can decide the exceptions. I think anyone who made a reasonable effort and made it most of the way has met the Challenge.

    Lee

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  56. What can I say but, "You rock for hosting this challenge!" Thank you so much because I discovered that I can rock too! Congratulations and blessings to everyone! :)

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  57. I've never taken part in anything like this before but I'm so glad I did. I've met so many lovely bloggers, and like you I hope they'll become regular blog-mates.

    Thank you for all your hard work.

    http://rosalindadam.blogspot.com/

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  58. I enjoyed it and would do it again. And yes, I made it to Z. I think we need to figure out how to delete spammers and blog links that don't work off the list. Also, ones who never did start. If you had more members to your team, you could maybe split up the list, and say the Monday of each week each of you would visit a section from the list, and delete any bum ones. Also, I think the signups should end on March 31.

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  59. Hi Lee

    Just wanted to say a personal thank you for all your efforts.

    I also made it to Z, albeit a couple of days early. The A-Z challenge was great fun, it showed me about discipline and writing every day, I met some superdy duper blog cyber friends and like-minded people, some of whom I'll be friends for life with. I wanted to get to 100 followers. I'm currently at 152.

    I'll be honest, it was a challenge - that's why it's called one - I neglected my WIP (and other things) but for me, it gave me a little buzz/a spark back/confidence/ mo jo...

    I was floundering a few weeks ago and somehow, I seem to be back on track.

    For now, I'm glad of the rest but I'll be seeing you next year...

    Thanks again
    warm wishes
    Debbie
    x

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  60. Thanks Lee! What a challenge. You and the team did a great job. I had only been blogging less than 3 WEEKS when the Challenge began and was still trying to figure out blogging, let alone the Challenge. You, Gregg, Alex and the other participants were great veterans to learn from and I made some great friends along the way!!! This was an amazing experience and I'm IN next year!

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  61. For some reason, my link goes to my home page, I was sure I entered the full url to the reflections post, but I must have screwed it up. It won't let me re-enter it, so...

    My Reflections post is right here.

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  62. Enjoyed the challenge and made some good friends. I was surprised at how fun it was to blog daily-- coming up with something for each letter. (=

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  63. Nice "Terminator" reference to end the post with :)

    Have fun in Tennesse. I know a woman in TN who does movie scores and one of her tunes is actually going to be used on my TV show that is starting this summer.

    The Madlab Post

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  64. Thanks for your continued comments and suggestions. I will be addressing these in upcoming posts. Hope you'll check them out.

    Lee

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  65. Hi Arlee. Unfortunately I missed the reflections post timescale (was away over the weekend), but just wanted to say thanks to the hosting and the effort you made in April - it was fun, and your work is appreciated.

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  66. Tim --Thank you for stopping by and for being a part of the Challenge.

    Lee

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  67. Thanks for the opportunity to participate in the challenge. I enjoyed it beyond my expectations. It's taken this long but I am finally following your blog. Next year should be interesting.

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Lee