This Is Me--2019 A to Z Theme

My A to Z Theme for 2022 is My Vinyl Record Collection. This will be about the music I still have on my shelf. Be sure to check the links for samples of the albums and music I'll be talking about. There will be a lot of interesting music ahead for your listening enjoyment.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Negative Responses to Blogging from A to Z

Blogging from A to Z Winner\

Why an Evaluation?

          The purpose of evaluation is to see how things can be improved--what works and what doesn't.  Authors will get evaluations of their works through beta readers.  These readers will offer suggestions to help the authors improve their works before they go to the next steps toward publications.  Companies go to extensive efforts and pay large sums of money to conduct surveys and do marketing studies in order to improve their products or services.  Likewise, if the Blogging from A to Z Challenge is to continue and grow in years to come, I'd like to see it become better than it is now.

         In my Monday posts in May I will be addressing all aspects of the Challenge--bad, good, and your suggestions and opinions.   On May 30th I will culminate the series with my evaluation of what I have learned from you and from my own observations.

        If you're thinking that you don't want to hear anything more about this Challenge or that this information doesn't have anything to do with you, please at least take a listen to what will be said.  An event such as this is normal everyday blogging on steroids.  There is merely greater intensity of posting and networking.  What you can learn by normal blogging can be intensified in a crash course that event blogging can offer.   Everyone can learn from what bloggers learned in A to Z and likewise the A to Z bloggers can benefit from the knowledge that you may have.   Some of the best input might be gotten from the objective observations of non A to Z participants.   So let us hear from everyone who has an opinion and keep an open mind about the thoughts that you will be hearing in the weeks to come.

        And if for some reason you have no idea what this A to Z thing is all about you can go to read about it in the A to Z Announcement Post.

Let's Start With the Bad

        There is so much positive feedback that we've all been reading about the Challenge that I know as far as I'm concerned I feel pretty good about it all.  But I certainly wouldn't want to be content to bask in that positive glow and totally ignore some of the problems that were perceived and the bad feelings that some people had about the A to Z Challenge.  I am going to list through these negatives with little comment--I'll make most of my comments in the last two posts of this series.   Please leave your thoughts in today's comment section.

Here is what some of you said (with my thoughts or questions in red) :

1)   Blogging everyday is too difficult or stressful.   Some bloggers don't like to post on week ends.  (It's a challenge!)

2)  Too much of a chore to blog everyday.  ( It's also a chore for many of us to go to work everyday.  It depends on how do you look at it?  Thankful?  Optimistic?   Do you make the best of things or turn the negative into something good?)

3)   Too restrictive -- I want to blog what I want to blog about.  (And how did A to Z not allow you to do that?)

4)   I really hated A-Z because it caused bloggers to write about what they HAD to write about rather than what they WANTED to write about. Or at best, figuring out a way to hammer a square peg into a round hole to accomplish both.  (Once again, the prompt was a letter, the possibilities of what to write were endless).

5)   I didn't like A to Z because I like "normal" posts.  (And how are the A to Z posts abnormal?)

6)  It’s been hard to keep the personal connections with all the chaos of challenges.  (Chaos?  What chaos?)

7)  "Differences in blog hosts."  (I'm sorry but I copied this from a comment and now don't recall what this referred to exactly--did anyone have a negative feeling in regard to this?)

8)    Difficulty in accessing certain blogs.  (There were some blogs that I found difficult to understand how to navigate them or find ways to comment on, if indeed one could comment)

9)   Some blogs seemed to be just advertisements.  (I noticed this too)

10)    The only frustrating aspect of the challenge that I experienced were the CAPTCHA word verification features that many bloggers had on their blogs. This made it difficult to visit and comment on as many blogs as I hoped.   (How many times has this been said?  Not just here in this Challenge either.)

11)     Encouraging negative thought trying to get others to quit with them or turn against the event or some of the organizers.  (Sadly, I noticed a few instances where certain people were unhappy with the Challenge and tried to encourage other participants to quit or made unkind comments in reference to me.)

12)    The list was too big!   (Can an author have too many readers?  Can a business have too many customers?  Can you have too many friends?  It's mostly a question of management and organization.    This will be covered extensively on the final evaluation post.)

13)   There were too many different kinds of bloggers on the list!  (Another of the most common complaints which will be addressed in greater depth in my evaluation post.)

Now I turn it over to you:

           Here you have the thirteen most common complaints that I've run across so far.  I think there is a solution to all of them.  Some may come down to personal preferences.  Others are definite legitimate gripes that should be addressed.   I look forward to hearing all of your thoughts and I will be including those in my May 23rd post and they will also help me in my evaluation on May 30th.

            Can you think of any other negatives about the A to Z Challenge?  Which of these above cited problems are of greatest concern to you and what do you think is the solution?  How would you address the ones that are of little concern to you?  If you did not participate, what did you dislike most about Blogging from A to Z?



  1. My only issues were that with so many entrants it was hard to visit them all (not much you can do about that) but might have helped if there was some indication of what kind of blog it was. I visited all sorts, but would have preferred to prioritise the ones in my areas of interest.

    As for being too much work, that was kind of the point. No ne was forced into it.

    More about tweaking than fixing for next time, IMO.

    Chapter One Analysis: The Hunger Games

  2. Good on you Lee. I think the whole point was for it to be a challenge, no apologies for that. If you don't want to post on the weekends, don't enter. If you don't like the format, don't enter. If you don't want to play by the host's rules, don't enter. Simple.

    I find the restrictive comment perplexing. Words are made up of letters, be creative in choosing a word that reflects what YOU want to write about. I can't imagine not being able to write about what I wanted - I chose the themes - I doubt you'd have come up with them! I didn't feel at all restricted. Creatively challenged, but not restricted.

    The commercial ones were a pain, rude to clog your hosting - a bit like gatecrashers at a party. Are you able to delete them?

    I would like to have visited everyone, but have to live with the fact that I didn't. I found the quantity of blogs overwhelming - my problem, not yours.

    I didn't come across any negativity. My thought is that you are doing this as a gift, and I'm grateful for your and the other hosts generosity. If someone wants to discontinue, leave graciously (hmmm, was my theme bullying?)

    The variety was great! I've come across blogs I'd never have known existed, It's widened my horizons - that can only be good. Perhaps getting people to categorise their theme might help, but I suspect that'd be like trying to herd cats. I wouldn't have a clue where I'd fit for starters. (Miscellaneous? would anyone visit?)

    Very thorough analysis Lee. How about a fee to enter? Although that's probably got heaps of problems too, but - ah well, worth throwing out there.



  3. Yes it was difficult at times, but that was the point really, it was a challenge. There were many and varied blogs, but again, if you didn't like the blog, or it wasn't your thing, you could just move on. I didn't visit nearly enough new blogs but even though the challenge is over the links are still there, so when I get time I will visit some more. I didn't reply to all the comments on my posts, but I will, I'll be working my way though them.
    My only real problem was with the word verification, switch them off, blogger is excellent at catching the spam. Not one spammer got though on my blog.

  4. Oh and if you don't want to blog at the weekend you can always write your weekend post in the week and schedule it for the weekend.

  5. In a way I agree with Item 5) but only because I chose to change my usual blogging voice and I know my regulars missed my chats.

    Item 9) I navigated away from the 'advertising' type blogs.

    Item 11) I never came across any negative bloggers. [Whoever tried having a go at you? Just point me in their direction and I'll tell them what I think!!]

    Item 12) Yes the list was too big for any one blogger to visit everyone, 13) there were many different types of bloggers, so maybe we would have benefited from being divided into interest groups. I tend to follow and chat with writers. I notice that some bloggers prefer to talk about films. Just a thought.

  6. Like everything in life, nothing is 100% perfect. I prefer to concentrate on what was exciting, fun, rewarding and challenging in a VERY good way about the A-Z Challenge. If you can come up with improvements that is fantastic. If it stays just the way it is, that also is fantastic. You did a great job organizing the event and keeping tabs on all of us.
    For those that felt restricted by the alphabet and wanted to post about what THEY wanted to post about.....I am confused......Why would you post about something you didn't want to post about, and, who said you couldn't post more than once in a day; I certainly did.
    For those who didn't want to post on the weekend; you DID read the rules before you signed up didn't you?
    I agree that the confirmation letters are a bit of a pain, but, people have a right to retain them if they want to and you have a right to decide not to visit and comment on their blog if you want to.
    It WOULD be nice if topics could be categorized but then, we might miss out on some really great bloggers just because their main theme is one we have no general interest in. Also, some of us are hard to categorize.
    Sue may have a point about a would certainly sort out the negative nellies.
    Once again, thanks so much for creating, organizing and now dissecting this great, fun challenge.

  7. The only argument on that list I can agree with is No. 9: It appeared to me, that quite a few just entered their blog without participating the challenge - which is very lame. On the other side, as soon as I've seen no A-Z entries I've left this blog immediately! It was only a little annoying to have vasted time instead of visiting another participating blog!

    All the other so called arguments on your list are for me just lame excuses for not writing every day!

    Okay, I have ONE wish of improvement for the next time. I loved the long blog list, really, only my time was too short to visit each and every blog. I would really appreciate to have something like an additional sentence or some keywords, what all those wonderful blogs are all about. I don't like the thought, to have missed some good blogs! *sigh*

    I've seen that the list of the Reflections Mega Post is much shorter - I think I give this list another try, because then I know that these bloggers really have finished the challenge! Yeah!

    Karin @ Nofretiris Dream Of Writing

  8. Some of those are odd...
    I found the schedule of letter easier than normal blogging days. Maybe that's because I selected a theme and just had to match up the letter with my theme.
    The size of the list did overwhelm some people, myself included. My only other thought is I felt bad for the blogs toward the end, as I don't think they saw as much action as those at the beginning of the list.
    Overall, the positive definitely outweighed the negative!

  9. Some very strange negative points there - I'm glad I didn't see anyone trying to force others to quit. For me there were a lot and I didn't get to all of them, but then again I missed the "next blog" buttons (until the last day!) so my fault.

    The fact you have to use a letter every day is very creative - you can easily turn the letter to your advantage (I did - I even cheated once!)

  10. First of all, again, as I already did on my blog, I would like to THANK YOU !! for this challenge. It sure was a lot of work, and that you now have to deal with some downright negative comments, makes me feel a bit sorry for you. For me, this WAS a challenge - especially regarding the restriction to come up with a theme from A-Z. But I like challenges, and before I signed up, I did a short brain-storming whether I would be able to come up with topics easily enough. As for the different categories ... yes and no ;-)) I'm a textile artist, so I would have ended up in the category "misc" or something like that. It would have been nice to visit every participating blogger, but of course, this did not happen over here (which is a pity - but not your fault!). And still, I met some wonderful blogger from around the world, and I hope some of them will turn into friends once in a while.
    So, in a nutshell - it was a great experience, I'm finally over 100 followers (yeah me !!) and I don't have the urge to complain. Not at all ;-))

  11. It's like anything else, there will be those who like and those who don't. If the overall consenus was positive, I'd focus on that, because nothing is perfect.

    Good job, Lee.

  12. 1. there were a few people in the challenge who didn't blog everyday. It's all open-ended so I don't think it matters. I even considered only posting by my usual 3-day-a-week. I didn't, but I could have it I found daily posts too difficult.

    4. the challenge actually HELPED me come up with post ideas. And that was awesome.

    6. we can't expect to form a personal connection with EVERYone taking part. I picked up a handful of new connections I didn't have ebfore and that's win.

    8-9 It would be good if there was some way to edit the list to remove the those who chose not to take part after all.

    13. I liked the variety because it meant I visited blogs I wouldn't normally go to--and I found some great people that way.

  13. I think you and the other hosts did a bang-up job of having a party. I met some swell new folks, hung around the drinks table with some old pals and avoided the clutches of sales people. Sure I hung out mostly with those who have similar interests but I did reach out to a few movie freaks, some gamers and lots of vampirish/zombi types BECAUSE it was a party and if I didn't want to play, I coulda stayed at home!
    The only thing, besides the word verification and light writing on dark backgrounds, that seriously bummed me, were folks who didn't do anything - it would take me some time to find out. It was like (keeping the party metaphor going) people who sent cardboard cutouts of themselves instead of coming. I'd like to think that you could have a cadre of volunteers who each take on visiting twenty or so blogs and if participants aren't playing reporting back to you so they could be pulled. Would that work? You could also pull the sales types at the same time. Dangerous to us egalitarians to think of, I know, but....?
    As to the other complaints I think my new friend Sue said it best - if you don't want to play by the host's rules, don't enter!
    See you at the next one...

  14. somebody made an unkind comment in reference to Arlee???? Who was it? He/she will never work in this town again, we shall expose the villain and make him/her leave the town

    There were blogs which seemed to be just advertisements??? I'm shocked.

  15. Hmmm, those are some strange complaints. I took the challenge as “you get what you put in”, so the only way you can fail, or have a miserable time, is by not taking part properly or by viewing every hiccup or speed bump as a huge failure.

    I messed up one of the days by posting seventeen minutes after midnight, not a massive failure and it was my fault so I shrugged it off.

    I also had a hard time writing ‘useful’ and reasonably sized posts every day. I’ve never had a blogging schedule as ‘rigorous’ as this one before, but again that was up to me. I didn’t have to write posts as long as I did and I didn’t have to make them all articles offering writing advice.

    But I did, and it was MY choice.

    That’s what I enjoyed about this challenge, the chance it offered for every blogger to be themselves and give back whatever they wanted to the blogging community.

    The only thing that was slightly frustrating was not been able to visit each and every blog and read all of their posts, but that’s not a complaint. The fact that so many people completed the challenge is a wonderful thing, and I can imagine just as many people complaining if only six people had taken up the challenge!

    I guess you can just never please some people.

    I do like the idea of categorising the posts, but then again it would be very hard to do this. If people were allowed to create their own category then we’d probably end up with thousands of different headings, confusing people more than the blog titles do already! On the other hand if you created a list of defined categories, you’d have people moaning they didn’t fit into the ones you picked. Either that or 90% of the blogs would be classified as ‘OTHER’.

    The only things that I can comment about in a negative way were down to individual bloggers such as poor content (one sentence a day about utter garbage), word verification (gets boring after a while) and the negative bloggers that wouldn’t stop complaining about how ‘hard’ it all was…don’t take part next time, please!

    You did a great job, Lee. Don't let anyone tell you any different!

    Steven Chapman (writer)

  16. My only complaint again was WV, turn it off! The negative I felt was self imposed not the challenge. Life met blogging and melt down occurred.

    I'm not trying to promote but that is not to say someday I might need to and this is what the challenge is great for. Meet and greet.

    Good post, Lee.
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  17. I wasn't a participant - the challenge seemed too much for me - but it was fun seeing what people came up with for their letter of the day. The only down side was an increase in posts on blogs I trying to follow faithfully which made it a bit harder to keep up.

  18. I've seen this mentioned elsewhere and it's something Rach (Rach Writes) mentioned for her next Crusades. It might be easier for folks to find what they're interested in reading if there's a way to group challengers according to what they write, etc. writing, craft, travel. Forgive me if I'm suggesting something that's already covered in the comments here, but I didn't read through before I commented. I clicked on blogs to find that I wasn't necessarily interested in what the writer was talking about. I suspect it might be the same with some who visited my blog.

    Don't get me wrong, I also found some gems. Sad that folk tried to turn others off. Sometimes it's best not to say anything if you don't have any constructive comments to make.

  19. I can honestly say I had no negative comments about the challenge and I'm fairly baffled at some of those criticisms listed above. Having a huge range of choice is surely a good thing, and a mark of how successful the challenge is?

    I don't use captcha security on my own blog, but I regularly post on several that do. I've never found that losing a few seconds to that has significantly impacted how easily I can post or read more blogs.

  20. I think this was a very interesting & through post of the problems that can be found in the challenge. If a blogger finds it difficult to blog every single day then they shouldn't have signed on for the task. I really enjoyed the blogs I was able to visit & agree w/ you that it was a challenge. If it was simple it would've been pretty boring for both the blogger & reader.

  21. You are absolutely right Lee - if it's easy it won't be called a Challenge.

    The hosting has been great, I don't understand why there're gripes.

    The number of blogs which took part was overwhelming and I struggled to visit/comment while at the same time doing the posts. I'm still visiting them now!

    I have to visit to see exactly what each blog is all about, and whether I like the voice and style. Going by the name or category alone can be misleading. As I wrote in my Reflections I didn't have many followers may be because few readers are interested in farming, not realising that I write much more than about growing crops. It just so happen I live on a farm!

    Life on The Farm

  22. I read all the complaints and #3 and #4 just didn't get what the challenge was all about. I didn't change the "format" of my blog. Wednesday I post about fashion, fridays art saturdays a question and that is what I stuck to...I just used the Letter of the day and posted as usual. I am not going to say that it was always easy, but that is why it was a challenge. It really helped me to think outside the box and push myself. I got alot out of it and again found some really awesome blogs. and for that I am grateful. Blessings, Joanne

  23. Mood -- I'll be addressing more of this in my Evaluation post.

    Sue -- You put a lot out there. I'll include some of your ideas in my post on suggestions on May 23rd. Thanks for the great comment!

    Eliza -- Yes challenge is the point. And now we have a great index of blogs to which to refer. Like you I have still not gotten back to all of those who commented on my posts--I still have hundreds of emails to sort through. And right! Problems with weekend posting? That's why we were recommending prescheduled posts. There was also an option of consolidating posts to accommodate days when a blogger didn't want to post.

    Rosalind -- As is frequently the case with disparaging remarks they were not voiced directly to me on my blog, but I happened across them in certain comments, but I don't want to name any names. As far as the long list, you figure that there are millions of blogs out there so we always have a huge range to choose from. In comparison this list is actually pretty small, but it brings things down to a little more manageable focus.

    Mybabyjohn -- Your attitude captures the spirit of the Challenge very well. This is the kind of thinking that would be of most benefit to participants and allow them to have more fun and to learn more.

    Karin -- I think what you've said captures the essences of the negatives. They are not so much faults of the Challenge, but shortcomings and personal preferences of certain participants. I'm not judging anybody in a bad way, but just telling it the way it is.

    Alex -- I find the very general prompt of letters make it much easier to come up with topics. I don't understand how anyone could have felt limited. I'm going to focus on those issues related to blog size in my evaluation.


  24. I just felt overwhelmed and didn't know where to begin on the list.

    And wasn't the whole point of the challenge to blog according to the alphabet? What did people think they were signing up for?

  25. Sue R -- I didn't see anyone trying force anyone else to quit, but I saw things like, "I quitting the Challenge does anyone else want to join me?" and I thought that was kind of weird especially when I saw comments that reflected that they were considering it as well or congratulating them for quitting. The letter per day can be adapted to anything. Creative thinking is what it comes down to.

    Quilt -- Don't feel sorry cause most of the negatives were not antagonistic, but merely comments about what certain people felt were difficult aspects of the Challenge--and some I agree with or at least understand to an extent. Like you did, the main thing is to accept the Challenge as such and have a good time.

    Teresa -- Thank you so much! Since much of my background has been related to marketing I understand an insidious effect that can come from even the smallest negatives. Even though raves may predominate, it's a good idea to address the negatives before they blow up in your face. Think about what happens to many politicians.

    Lynda -- Like some of the preceding comments you have made some excellent points. Editing the list became so overwhelming for Jen that it was difficult for her or even the rest of us to keep up. I'll be addressing possible solutions to this in my Evaluation Post.

    Jan -- I like your party analogy since often that is what the event was like. Networking is such a big part of a blog event such as this. Some of those blog negatives are every issues that many have addressed even before the Challenge and that may come with education or some bloggers will never change. Your thoughts about editing the list will be something I'll bring up in the suggestions post on May 23rd.


  26. Holy negative.... SH@#
    I did not think anything negative except some blogs were ads.. and there was so many in the challenge..I was unable to manage.. visiting them.. all but this was my problem.... I thought I was reading a highschool forum... here.. what a bunch of negative.....nellies..IF you do it again.... I will be there... if not... IT was fun while it lasted....and I bet you can come up with a great challenge this summer... and a lot of us will join... and we won't be NEGATIVE>>>> constuctive critism.. is good.... but this is a bit much.. sorry for all my typos.. I was mowing today... and my hands are so crammed.... you did a great job don't take it personally...I know it wasn't all antagonistic... but ... I love doing the challenge.. I can endorse it anytime..LOL

  27. The above 13 negative points seem very stupid to moan about apart from a couple i.e. advertising & prompting others to leave.

    I can't really think of any negative points that really affected the challenge, the only one being time but that was mostly a personal point of mine due to the whole lack of it.

    The points moaning about lack of time or the regularity of having to post was all point of the challenge, without this it wasn't a challenge so these people really should not be complaining about it.

    I thought the challenge was done brilliantly and I will be coming back next year, if time allows me too that is, so big thanks to you Lee and all the other guys that helped host the challenge.

  28. I have no complaints about the Challenge. Hmm...wasn't that the point, challenge? I loved it. I met so many new people and discovered some awesome blogs. My only regret is that I couldn't read all of them. Can't wait till the next challenge!

  29. Dezmond -- Yeah! What's this about advertisement blogs? I've never seen such a thing.

    Steven-- I'm still mulling over this categorization concept and will be talking about it in the Evaluation Post. The rest of what you say mostly is a matter of personal approach. There are plenty of blogs that I'm sure we've run across that have lazy content or subject matter that is not particularly interesting to many of us. That's just the way blogging often is. I know I've slapped up a few silly slacker posts on my site on occasion--some may say frequently. It's also a matter of taste.

    Jules -- The Challenge is flexible and can meet the needs of many in many different ways. A sense of discipline and melding blog life with personal life can be a benefit to those who need this aspect, but not everyone is looking for that either. The Challenge can be met on many levels and it's up to participants to find others on the same level with whom they would like to establish ties.

    Linda -- I think many of the non-participants felt they were challenged by the increase in post by the bloggers they normally followed. A to Z became a Challenge for even them.

    J.L. --Yours was one of the more common complaints and I will address this more in my Evaluation Post on May 30th.

    Paul-- You've got a good attitude about this.

    Lisa --Some people sign up for the Challenge without knowing what to expect and some of them just don't have the fortitude to push themselves. Life is like that sometimes isn't it?

    Grandpa -- Some of us are going to be visiting the blogs on the list for some time to come aren't we? The Challenge is a stimulant to inspire more and better blogging.

    Joanne -- You are making a point that I've tried to make in the past. Even when someone would tell me they couldn't participate because they had all their posts scheduled for the month, my argument would be that they could still use the same posts but merely come up with a title that aptly described what their topic was. Can anyone say "synonyms"? Creative thinking is all that's required and it doesn't really take that much either.

    L. Diane -- Probably it was better not to focus on the list itself. That's why I think a lot of people became so enamored of the "Surprise Me" button. I think some people just see a "blogfest" and just sign up without really thinking and others just don't want to be challenged. Who knows?


  30. Lisa -- Thank you for that great endorsement. I don't mind some focus on negatives when the intent is improvement, which what most of this was. And of course there will always be some folks with negative feelings and we can't do too much about them other than be as nice as we can to them until we have to just ignore them. I appreciate your spirit in the matter--you have the right approach.

    Sam -- A big thank you for the encouragement. The negatives are worth addressing if they can be improved upon, so I do want to hear them. I had thought of some of these same things myself. Some of the others were the inspiration for some of my posts during the Challenge--it was a matter of people learning self-motivation and self-improvement. That's not a fault in the Challenge, but something in some participants that is exposed by the Challenge and these folks can find away to address these issues if they really want to.

    Ladydragonfly -- The Challenge list should be available for several months so you still have time to visit many of these blogs to see what you missed. Glad you enjoyed this Challenge.


  31. Lee - I admire the integrity that you and the other hosts bring to this challenge, including the evaluation. I look forward to next year! My take on any feedback is that it reflects more on the commenter's state of mind/place in life/etc. than it does on the post or challenge. It can be helpful, it's just also very subjective. I sense you agree. As you've said, with this many participants you're going to get negative comments - I appreciate your desire to improve this challenge if possible. Perhaps I read the rules too quickly, but I got no impression from them that if I was unable to complete each entry as intended, you would send the blog police to my door or shun me from the group. I did my best and enjoyed and learned from the other participants I read. Thank you for this opportunity! Objectively yours, Kerri. :)

  32. I assume the advertisement thing was where the blog hadn't actually been created and it was still the provider advert. I saw a couple of those.

    I can't believe there were people encouraging others to quit. That's just unprofessional.

    I guess the only thing that bugged me was arriving on a blog to find that the person wasn't actually taking part. But as a previous commenter has said, I just closed it down and went on to the next one.

    Thanks for all your hard work. Look forward to your personal analysis of the event.

  33. I did not participate this year, but when I started following it was very interesting!
    I have met alot of friends and I hope to continue to meet more. It was difficult for me to get to all that entered the challenge..but only because I was trying to find my way around...
    Have a wonderful day!

  34. I'm very puzzled by some of these complaints, and amazed that some encouraged others to quit. The complaints about being too restrictive or forcing bloggers to write about something make zero sense to me, as this challenge was 100% voluntary, and no one was forced to participate.

    I can truthfully say I did not have any complaints about the Challenge. I had a great time writing posts, and met more wonderful bloggers than I can count. I felt that I got exactly what I signed up for, and more.

    Thank you again for hosting this event.

  35. I cannot believe that some people were so negative they tried to get others to quit and malign you as well. This is why I have trouble in groups. My experience of the challenge was so positive. I had some of the same issues mentioned in your post, Lee, but they were so minor and are so fixable. I appreciate you and the work you put into the challenge so much. Thank you.

  36. There were days when I had trouble thinking about a topic for that letter. There were also a few days that something would pop in my head but it was a on a topic where the letter had been used. And I didn't want to do a separate post because some people would see that and figure I wasn't participating and pass on.But, those are really minor and are more to do with me than the challenge.

  37. The restriction comment didn't make sense as the rules were clearly stated from the beginning. It was time consuming for me but also invigorating. I could see it being difficult for bloggers who also have full time jobs. I also didn't have the opportunity to see as many blogs as I had hoped due to computer problems and time restrictions. Overall the positives outweighed the negatives. Julie

  38. I reckon if you undertake anything like this and are successful on the scale you were, you'll always encounter negativity, no matter how you try to placate people. It certainly seems to be the case here! The overwhelming majority of people had such a great experience, I wouldn't dwell on the negative too much.

  39. It was definitely a challenge! But that is what I loved about it. Blogging everyday was at times taxing. There was one time I got sick and was unable to do more than tell everyone I was "Under the weather" that was thankfully on "U" day so it was applicable. Other than that I got through, and I am thankful for the challenge. It helps me with my writing AND my abysmal spelling.

  40. Last year I did the challenge and enjoyed it......noit knowing what I let myself in for,
    This year I got all 26 post done well in advance and entered with my eyes wide open . sure there was quite a few extra entries, we had been asking people to sign up and they did so why did people moan?
    With the A to Z you CAN write about whatever you wish. I personally enjoyed it and once again a huge thank you to you Lee and all the other hosts.


  41. I agree with Moody (mooderino--first comment) word for word.

    It would be fantastic if there were some sort of way to categorize the blogs (perhaps a question to ask entrants on the sign-up form?) so that those of us who have definite interests can find what we are looking for right away? I did find it fun to read and follow blogs I wouldn't have otherwise been interested in, but ultimately, I'm trying to promote interest in my writing blog so chances are I know other writers/potential followers will be interested to know that that is the category I'm in, know what I mean?

    Other than that, I enjoyed myself. Can't understand some of the other complaints. But, as they say, the more successful something is, the more negativity it'll be faced with. (The old, "success breeds enemies" adage, I guess.) You did a great job, Lee. Don't let the haters bring you down! :)

  42. Wow...*pauses to wipe gobsmack from face*...blogging is too stressful? What part of "A-Z BLOGGING challenge" led you to believe you would be avoiding the stress of blogging?
    Don't take a lot of those criticisms to heart, Arlee. This challenge is something we take on voluntarily...if a gun was being held to my head at any time, it was me what was holding the gun and pointing it, nobody else.
    I must say I think the idea of culling the obvious commercial blogs and others entering with no intent of actually participating in the challenge should be entertained. I don't think it should apply to anyone who even made a stab at it, however...posting a few days and then falling by the wayside as the month went on...they definitely deserve to stay on the list.
    Also, I must disagree with those who suggest an entrance fee as a way of discouraging idlers. The commercial sites will pony up a fee because they can write it off whereas someone like myself, on a limited budget and writing because of my love for the artform will pack up and move on down the road.
    You've done a great thing here, Arlee. I hope you're not taking the self-indulgent moaning of most of those complaints to heart.


  43. damn...all that fine prose and I hit the post at the wrong time...

    anyway, meant everything but left a broken link in the identity....


  44. Kerri -- As I had stated many times and to many bloggers, there were no strict rules, only the general parameter of blogging through the alphabet. You are correct that most of the difficulties were due to personal issues and not the Challenge itself. I tried to address most of those issues before the Challenge begun and while it was going on, but still a Challenge can be an ordeal on varying levels depending on the individual.

    Juliet -- Some blogs have the purpose of advertising with no real creative content and I think this is what some were referring to. I ran across a few that somewhat puzzled me and I just moved past them. The non-participants may have had good reason, while others may just sign up for any "blog hop" opportunity that they see. I will address a solution to this on my Evaluation.

    Fishy -- There were a few onlookers like yourself who followed along and that's something we like as well. You get to see what's going on to join in next time and you give participants an audience.

    Julie -- Your sentiment is certainly the one we prefer to hear. Thank you!

    Karen -- The negativity will happen in groups. I'm not going to go so far as to say anyone tried to malign me, but mostly it was misunderstandings or difference of blogging philosophy and it was taken to a somewhat personal level. I'm not going to say I'm angry towards anyone, but I realize I can't please everybody either.

    Ruth -- Your difficulty was one faced by many I'm sure. Actually I saw several blogs that had more than one post per day and I would sometimes have to scroll past book reviews and such to get to the Challenge post.

    Julie -- Jobs, illness, computer problems and other obstacles were all things that contributed to making A to Z a bigger challenge for some--part of the lesson of time management, problem solving, and other techniques of compensation.

    Talli -- That's the way it usually works isn't it--there's always some folks that will find the bad in something. In the interest of "Blog Science" and marketing data I want to know so I feel the need to ask, but not dwell.

    Marjorie -- You derived one of the precise benefits of the Challenge--learning to deal with life and write or blog at the same time.

    Yvonne -- I have no worries about you. I can always count on you to meet a challenge and encourage others in the doing. You demonstrate what this Challenge is all about.

    Jeanmarie -- I won't let the "haters" bring me down, but I do want to let them know that I listen to their concerns if they have a sincere desire to bring about change for the better. I'll be addressing the issues about categorizing blog listings when I post my Evaluation.

    Moe -- Don't worry, I'm fascinated by the complaints. Besides there's been so much positive that I'm absolutely glowing and have a hard time making it dark in the house at night so my wife and I can sleep.
    The fee is an interesting suggestion, but I understand what you are saying about that as well. This will be examined a bit more in the future posts.

  45. Interesting analysis. I am intrigued not detered by the challenge, and will be a participant next time.

  46. very interesting complaints many of them are actually blessings! to many blogs? Ummmmm more potential to get yourself out there right?
    Hard to comment on a blog...well just leave and don't some point the person will learn to make their blog more user friendly...or send the author an email. The A to Z challenge was a challenge (hence the name) but anything in life worth doing is a challenge at some point or another. The complaints are not far fetched, I'm not saying some of those things weren't hard or annoying but its all about the individuals perspective.

  47. Hi Lee ... negative: people don't think or evaluate the other 1200 challengers ..

    Challenge: I enjoyed it far more than I thought - but I had to work out what to do .. having not done one before ..

    1), 2), 3), 4), 5) - don't do it or just get your act together .. if x number of bloggers are happy with the way things are = then the fun challenge works .. if not it's a free society .. don't participate .. in other words Lee = I agree!

    6) - exactly .. work your own organisation and admin out .. it's your own muddle ..

    7) Inevitably people will be different - the hosts promote to their readers to bring in more participants - they did a wonderful job.

    Two leaders took on the main roles - good for them .. and tahnk goodness for them

    8), 9) I agree - but leave them ... tough

    10) captcha is a pain .. and I changed mine to a separate comment box - can move the box against the item I'm replying to or comment on as here - works wonders ...

    ... and spam gets into blogger's filter

    Spam or questionable comments - need to be checked out ..

    I deleted someone who'd followed as I was really uncertain of their provenance .. I checked via Google separately and didn't publish a comment.

    11) Selfish .. totally selfish - ignore them .. it's a free environment

    I saw one lot directed at you & I just thought how sad they must be .. you certainly do not deserve that sort of treatment.

    12) Yes - it was huge .. but the introduction of the Reflections posts .. and the fact the list is still available .. means we can still seek people out. Exactly - management and organisation ..

    13) Ok I'm not an author - but I'd have hated to just be reading authors posts, or how to write posts, or self-development posts, even recipe posts .. variety is the spice of life .. we need to find what's there and make an intelligent decision to comment, follow, subscribe, ignore etc ..

    Please do not categorise .. everyone together is great ...!!

    Getting everyone to understand the rules of engagement - freedom to leave if don't understand, or dislike, try and make life easy for everyone blogging and commenting ..

    we're all individuals and people will relate to us - if we relate to them ..

    Cheers Lee - I think it was an excellent time .. and brilliant of you to conceive the idea last year .. but my first run this year - was fun ..

    We can take it or leave it .. up to us ..

    I take it and have loved meeting loads of souls around the blogosphere .. have a few wonderful days with family and old friends .. Hilary

  48. Hi Lee .. just to add .. don't charge - not a good idea .. I can see the good idea, but won't work ..

    and someone mentioned film sites .. perhaps I came across a few, I'd add gaming sites .. but I just moved on - simply not for me .. but I'd hate them to 'rule the roost' in numbers ..


  49. My only thought is that participating in the challenge was a choice. And that's really what life is all about choices. We choose to participate or not. We choose to live or not. We choose to write or don't. Whatever the choice we make, we just have to live with the consequences.

  50. Golly Bum! i had a great time writing, as always, and I always did my blog before seeing what anyone else was writing about. I love meeting new people, and reading their thoughts on whatever they chose to write..that is what makes this such a fun activity. So many people, so little time. :)
    I think I was one of those who complained that I have a difficult time finding the commenting button (or whatever you want to call it), but that is not necessarily a new problem for me. Some people are just more inventive than I. I am looking forward to next year's challenge.Thanks to you and the other hosts, it was a wonderful time! One thing I didn't understand how to do was to install the button that would take readers of my blog to other blogs, but then I am not really a techie, just a writer of random thoughts.
    Thank you for all your work on the followup, too.
    P.S. I will be in Tennessee 11-19th of May as well. :)
    Love you, my friend, Ruby

  51. Leslie Rose -- You will now know more about what to expect. We will welcome your participation.

    Jacqueline -- I agree that many of these complaints were blessings to other bloggers. In my next Monday post you'll see some of these same things mentioned.

    Hilary -- Your comment was epic! Thank you for such a comprehensive coverage of my post. I really appreciate not only your participation in the A to Z Challenge, but your analyses here and in your Reflections post. I will be addressing some of your thoughts here in my last two Challenge study posts, including the topic of a entry fee.

    Jeffrey -- Anybody can choose to play, but I hate to see anyone trying to spoil the fun of the others. It's just fun that can have a usefulness to some of us who are looking for that aspect.

    Grammy -- You took it as it should be taken. The Challenge, just like last year, was intended for a good blogging time for all and whenever we could learn something from it that was a big plus.
    Have a great time in Tennessee! I'm excited about spending time with my daughters, mother, and the rest of my family.


  52. Read through most of the comments. Agree hosts should be allowed to eliminate anyone who is obviously just advertising or trying for blog exposure without really participating. With 6 hosts, should be able to get a consensus so no one is 'picked on'.

  53. I can't think of a negative thing about this challenge. Yes, I felt that there were too many participants to get to, and I tried it once and didn't make it. But that isn't a negative, I just went to as many as I could and where I wanted. No, there were no negatives.

    So what if there were different kinds of bloggers, I just kept hitting the next button if I didn't like the type of blog it was. Obviously that is what some 1200 did when they hit my blog, my comments went up but not like everyone elses. I know mine is differnt, but I just passed the ones I didn't like.

    I never did see a negative comment or a comment trying to get someone to quit - holy cow, grow up.

    Even the captcha verification isn't really a negative, more a nuisance.

    The advertising blogs I just skipped over, the is the beauty and benefit of having a thing called discretion, I just kept going.

    The hard blogs I just went on and forgot em. Not a negative to me, just didn't bother to mess with them if they were too hard or confusing. Yes, some were.

    Difference in Blog hosts? What is that? Holy Cow, grow up. The hosts really didn't do anything, certainly that had any bearing on the challenge. They were namesakes and figureheads for encouragment.

    Agreed, what chaos?

    It is so funny that people couldn't take a letter and write anything they wanted that their little hearts desired. How was it restrictive. Sounds like people don't have any imagination.

    I admit sometimes blogging daily is tough, since I don't what to just phone it in. I want a quality blog every time. It was a little rough. But one I knew in what February it was coming? My posts were written in February and March. It is called planning.

    Dude, I can't wait until next year! Bring it on!

  54. Some of that negativity surprises me. I mean if you don't want to do it or it becomes too much, you just stop right?
    I ran across blogs that did stop, but they were all polite about it and encouraged everyone else to keep it up.

    For me, truly the most negative experience was getting to a blog and then having no idea what do to when I got there as far as where the content was or how to comment.

  55. Li-- We tried to keep up with editing the list, but discovered it was more difficult than it seems like it would be. We will probably need to approach the list differently next time or have some means of editing that is simpler. See my Evaluation Post on May 30.

    Gregg-- Yeah! I like your attitude. You said it all very well. Let's face it, some people react to things differently than others and will tend to make things more complicated than they should be. Thanks for the enthusiastic support, Gregg!

    Holly -- Yes, there were indeed some blog mysteries out there and sometimes I unraveled them but it took too much time. Others I never could figure out. There were even a few that showed up on Google Alerts that appeared to be doing the Challenge but as far as I could tell were not on the list--they must have been using the Challenge as a search engine trick to lure people to their blogs.


  56. Negative comments?? I cannot imagine? Every negative comment can be blown to bits.

    The challenge was created well enough in advance (thank you) so that I could start early. I picked whatever letter inspired me, By April 1 I had only 7 letters left! By April 5, they were all done in cue. I had a "Vacation from blogging!" I liked that!

    If people didnt like the "rules" why did they sign up? I dont get that. And if they wanted...they could just drop out quietly. No need to be hate mongering. Just go away!!

    I dont get some people. Just ignore the nay-sayers. There are those that hate Mother Theresa. So dont let a few jerks get to you.

    It was fun, I enjoyed it.


  57. Hi Lee - thanks for the reply .. looking at your reply to Holly - re Google Alerts .. could you elaborate on how that works for you ..

    can it be used as a listing?

    Thanks - enjoy your travels .. Hilary

  58. 3rd time's the charm. Blogger has eaten my comment twice already so hopefully he isn't hungry today.

    I can't believe those are the "negative" comments that you received. I think some people just want to complain and feel the need to degrade others to feel better about themselves.

    Yes there were days where I felt challenged, but it was a challenge. I expected it and if I hadn't felt challenged, then it wouldn't have been as fun.

    My one and only "negative" experience would have to be the large number of people who signed up and were not even participating at all. I don't mean quit but didn't even post A. They just signed up like it was a blog hop. One day I clicked on more than 20 blogs that were like that. My time is online is limited so those people wasted my time and kept me from being able to visit those who were truly participating. That being said, I am not quite sure that there is even a solution for this issue. But it definitely didn't make me want to quit and I would definitely participate again. I truly enjoyed my time and I got so much out of it. Met amazing people and learned so many new things. I think you all did an amazing job.

  59. While I didn't participate this time around, I did miss it. I liked the challenge of it. Key word there is CHALLENGE.
    So I have a couple of responses to the negatives as well...
    First of all, yes it is a challenge. So is National Novel Writing Month. While it may seem like a daunting task, it is just for fun. Having to write about a specific topic is not for everyone, but there are creative ways around it.
    And honestly, what is up with the trying to get people to quit? No one is twisting their arms to do this. If they drop out, yes people will be disappointed but the world certainly won't end. Good grief.
    I do have to say the captcha thing is a bit annoying. Perhaps a suggestion would be to shut it down during the month of the challenge. Not being able to find blogs through links, again annoying but there are literally dozens of other blogs to read.
    Honestly, Arlee, I have nothing negative to say about the challenge, but am more than willing to help make suggestions. ;)

  60. Hi Lee .. I don't know whether when you're doing your whole post .. you can add in some general blogging suggestions ..

    general niceties .. I've come over from x blog, and am participating in the A - Z challenge too.

    Or I was recommended by x blogger and came to say hello ..

    Or I loved your comment on x blog and am delighted to have found you ..

    Don't ask people to visit .. they will if they have time and want to ..

    Give some value to your comment - not just 'great blog', 'good post' - we're building relationships ..

    comment on the blog post itself ..

    Link to your blog, not your webpage ..

    Maybe these are excessive ..

    Equally I realise people from other countries will have different perspectives on life ..

    Cheers - H

  61. I loved every minute of this challenge and gave myself leave to do something different just for a month.Some of my regular followers chose to take a whole month off blogging during this time, which was disappointing, as I had tailoured my posts to fit in with my usual blog theme.

    Dividing blog participants up into subject areas would help, as Rachel did with her Crusader Challenge.

    Weeding out the non-participants, would help.

    I loved the blog buttons which enabled me to hop from any bogus blogs to another fairly quickly.

    I wished all those whose posts I commenetd on had had the time to reciprocate on my blog posts too. :O)

  62. I don't have anything negative to say. I had a theme and wrote most posts in advance so the Challenge wasn't a burden in any way. I'm already looking forward to next year!

  63. I must say, I really appreciate and respect the thorough job you've done--and are still doing--with this challenge. There are of course going to be downsides to any endeavor, but overall the upside of taking part in a challenge, as long as it doesn't severely hamper a writer's (or any profession) career while doing it, far outweighs the negative. I didn't take part only because I knew the amount of professional non-blogging work I had on my plate during this time. But I've done them in the past and will always give due consideration to others as they are presented--especially with this kind of fastidious thought and preparation, including follow up, analysis, and feedback gathering and sharing. Great job!

  64. I didn't agree with any of those negatives, Lee. WOW. Thankfully I haven't come across any real negativity associated with this, other than the list being rather long and that many of the bloggers who signed up didn't actually finish or even start...(which is sad but makes the reflections list THAT much easier to peruse)...

    Either way, I'm looking forward to your continued evaluations through the rest of the month and your assessment of how next year's A to Z will be even BETTER...if such a thing is possible...

    Cheers :)

  65. When I saw this post title I thought it was a joke. Why would anyone join a A-Z blog challenge and not realize it was going to be a challenge? My brother and I learned a lot about how to run a blog and made a lot of new friends. It was hard, but nothing worth doing is easy.
    I visited about one fourth of the blogs though. Maybe you could add blog categories to the list so it could be easier to browse?

  66. I found out about the challenge on Day One, and decided to jump right in. My day job is in an accounting office, and April's kind of a busy month, so did the challenge kick my ass in various ways? Yes it did - but that was MY problem, not the fault of the challenge. There may have been others like me who thought the challenge sounded like great fun, joined at the last minute, and didn't have time to write a lot of advance posts, so it may have been more of a challenge for us than for others.

    So what? Not the Challenge's fault, and I hope to participate again next year, because despite the stress and pressure, it WAS great fun.

    I do agree that it would be helpful if people were able to post say, 3 keywords about their blogs. I would liked to have visited all the other writers (and haven't totally given up hope of visiting everybody,) but keywords or some kinds of categories would have allowed me to focus my efforts - if I was visiting 10 new blogs a day, could have picked 7 in my areas of interest, and 3 random, for instance. I know I've missed some excellent blogs. :-(

    Thank you, Lee, and all the other hosts for putting this together, and all your encouragement and time spent for everyone. Well done! Writing in Flow

  67. If I have to come up with a negative, or a way to improve next year's challenge it would be to group blogs by niche, even though it kills me to say this since my blog crosses into a couple different niches.

    Some of these complaints seem silly to me seeing as how it was a challenge and therefore, some difficulty or stress is expected.

  68. Lee, I've just had a few ideas, are you able to email me? Sue

  69. Whingers - all of them, just a bunch of whingers.

  70. Whingers - all of them, just a bunch of whingers. Why would people complain about a blogging challenge? You either do it or not. The choice is entirely up to each blogger. Give me a break! Whingeing about a blogging challenge? Quit your whingeing a write your blog!

  71. I became extremely overwhelmed by the number of blogs to visit. There is no telling how many great blogs I've missed. It would be awesome to have the entrants leave a description of genre and their personal believes. I know it takes some of the community and surprise factor out of it, and it may also have a tendency to lean toward cliquishness, but I have a feeling that this happened (for most) anyway because of the large numbers of entrants. I really do admire those of you who have set out to visit each blogger! Oh, yes, and those CAPTCHA word verification features, grrrrr! Blessings!

  72. My real complaint was the ads; people not being genuine. I enjoyed the challenge and my family, even though I did say, it made it more of a challenge. It did, no lie there. They aren't into blogging. I talk about blogs and they look at me like I'm from another world(lol, I am ;-D )

    I am glad we pressed onward and did it. Some of the negatives for me are weird, you can blog about anything, but be creative. Yes, Q, X and Z are difficult, but it is a challenge~ Thanks Lee!

  73. All right, I'm just going to say that some of the negative comments are just plain dumb. Sorry, but they are. As you pointed out, there were no restrictions to what we could post.

    And the CAPTCHAs drive me nuts, but you tried your best to cover that before the challenge.

    The one thing I think would be helpful, but would take a LOT more time from the organizers, is to approve all links before they get added. There were a lot of ads, a few deleted blogs, and many that never started at all.

  74. I have nominated you for The Versatile Blogger Award. See the post on my blog.

  75. I don't think any of these were really valid complaints. I noticed that some bloggers had given up on the challenge or not even started, but why sign up for an A-Z, 6-day-a-week challenge if one is then going to complain about precisely that?

    I thought the whole challenge was excellent and I've met a whole lot of blog friends in the process.

    Duncan In Kuantan

  76. I enjoyed yoru sarcastic banter.

  77. I had a pretty good time with the a-z challenge and since I've only been blogging for about 3 months it was a great learning experience. Life got hectic for my about halfway through the month and I wasn't able to visit as many blogs as I would have liked to, but that isn't a reflection on the contest just me.

    Thanks to all the hosts for putting on the challenge and I look forward to it again next year.

  78. Oh what a pile of wind! I'm a stranger here, I came to the AtoZ just before the challenge, via Becca's blog my life. I've never done a challenge like it, I suppose I've been a bit of an isolated blogger, however I took up the challenge, because it was just that a challenge, it was a bit of fun. Some of my posts were interesting, people told me so, others not so much, but then so are my 'normal' posts.

    The people that are moaning so much about it surly miss the point that a challenge is meant to be a bit of a challenge. But also, nobody held a gun to your head and forced you to do it, it's wasn't mandatory, the blogging world would not stop just because you can't think of something to write that could have a connection to a sigle letter.

    It was a fun thing to do, it opened up my blog to new readers and I found some very entertaining blogs also, but, gosh, coming back here to find so many negative comments, some rude ones too, makes me feel slightly down and depressed about being in a this world of bloggers.

  79. Well, this is the 1st time I'm joining in the A to Z challenge...& I've so much fun that I can't thinking of any negative thing about it...

    But I do agree with (8) Difficulty in accessing certain blogs & (9) Some blogs seemed to be just advertisements...

    Thank you so much for hosting this...looking forward to A to Z challenge 2012...!


  80. am your newest follower + this blogging challenge really piqued my interest, i will be signing up as soon as i finish all my blogging backlogs, thanks:)

  81. I really enjoyed the A to Z blogging - yes, some days were a little harder - it is kind of a challenge to find a recipe that started with X - but that was part of the fun!

    Overall, it was an enjoyable experience and I really liked checking out all the other participants blogs - the variety was super!

    I think the worst thing was when my computer was down for almost a week/2weeks - It was hard to complete the challenge because of it - but I did!!

  82. is my two cents...Since time is of the essence for most of us, I have a teensy suggestion..
    What if there were an A-Z Challenge for "SPECIFIC" categories???..For instance, one on Poetry...One on memoirs..One on books...One on recipes/cooking...and then the group of bloggers could "join" the list for the category that they enjoy...Say, someone loves crafting and wants blogs on quilting, paper journals, fabric postcards, ATCs..they could find blogs to follow that are in their same interest category...Then, as the writers are interested in the finished product of an author, then they could choose from their category, but still in the A-Z...
    Make sense??...Poetry as well, as some love that category do many photographers that like the same blogs....
    Just a suggestion ...
    Now about any gripes????
    I am GRIPING about ME...I chose to take on this challenge and I almost failed, but finished...I was angry at myself that I could not COMMENT on the many, many blogs that I adored~!! I think that the long list was a bit intimidating and it was even rough sometimes getting to read...But, believe me when I say that I LOVE IT~!!!
    Sooooo-ooo--- If I could see a category A-Z challenge with the similar interests that I have, then it might go smoother??...Make sense...
    THANK YOU for the Challenge..I am proud to say that I participated and will probably do it again if you continue...
    Huggles and see you around the blogosphere~!!

  83. Nobody should diss you, Lee! I thank you again for such an innovative challenge. It was great.
    I'd have to vote against blog/topic catagories for two reasons - most (including mine) would be varied, other, flavor of the day, etc and I ran into some that I loved who I wouldn't have visited if I'd seen the subject first.

  84. No negatives here. It was a fun challenge. Didn't get to all the participants--my time is somewhat limited--but got to many.

    Will join in again.

  85. Lee, the only one that has any merit is #10. The word verification, the wordpress requirements they were (and still are)unnecessary wastes of time. The other 12 are all ridiculous and since it's a free choice to participate or not, if they don't like it don't do it! Personally, I liked it for many of the reasons listed above...that was the purpose!!!

    Can't wait til next year!

  86. Whilst A to Z was hard work at times, it was a challenge and I had fun keeping up with it.

    My only negative point would be that some of the blogs I visted did incredibly long posts and I ended up skipping them. I didn't have time to read hundreds or words or view dozens of pictures.

  87. Thanks for the additional comments. And the negatives were not anything I'd call malicious or mean--they were mostly just suggestions, so don't let it get anyone down in any way. If it leads to improvement on one side or the other, the negatives are not all that bad.


  88. Only thing negative was that I couldn't get t a lot of my loyal friends who didn't take part.
    Thank heaven I listened to you and Alex and scheduled ahead. I would have drown otherwise.

  89. Hi, Lee. I know that due to certain events outside my control I was unable to complete the challenge but because there was nothing I could do about it, even though I kept on trying to, I don't feel guilty however there is one thing that I've noticed. The list of followers is displayed with the newest followers and then going backwards to the earliest. Bloggers with whom I had a relationship before the challenge now no longer visit my blog and leave comments and I find myself just clicking on the followers displayed on the first page too. I now have far more followers than I used to but seem to have lost the personal relationship I had with my first followers. This has saddened me to some extent. There have recently been some problems with posting comments and some comments that were published that have simple gone missing??? Anyway my friend I still do think your April challenge was a great idea and there are lots of positives that have come from it. By the way you were the fourth person to follow my blog. God bless you my friend. Love, Geoff.

  90. I don't understand some of those common negatives that you highlighted since they pertain to the aspects of a blog hop Didn't they know what they signed up for? If you don't want to blog everyday, don't sign up. If you don't want to visit others, don't sign up. I guess I do have one complaint: if you're not participating, kindly have your link removed. It was frustrating to end up at blogs which had stopped participating. I think the suggestion of more info in the linky would be good for next year.
    It seems overwhelming to visit 1282 blogs, but I've challenged myself to do it. Shannon Lawrence of The Warrior Muse and I have teamed up to encourage others to do so also. Alex J. Cavanaugh is on board and suggested I contact you through comments since you were swamped with email. I put this link in my comment on the positives, too. My signature will take you to my challenge post.
    Tina @ Life is Good

  91. I agree with many who said that they would have liked to have some way to know the focus of the blogs.

    MM the Queen of English

  92. hi Lee, I'm sorry I missed this life is all kinds of confusing these days.

    I agree with your thoughts a 100 %, and I'm not just saying do have a very reasonable take on the whole evaluation, and the fact that you're going to the length of analyzing the challenge and seeking to improve it should show your detractors (I didn't spot any detractors so far, tho) that there is a good reason for your spectacular success.

    I, for one, would always stress the positives: because the challenge had an immense impact on my confidence as a writer in being able to produce a new piece of fiction almost everyday for a month.

    I look forward to the challenge next year, and will help any way I can in case it is needed!

  93. Thank you for these latest comments.

    Geoff-- I'm honored to have been among your earliest followers. I think if you just go to the blogs of some of those who haven't been commenting lately and just leave your comment, they will come back.

    Tina -- I have received the email sent by Shannon and answered to you both. Since I am limited to computer use due to my current vacation I haven't been able to do too much.


  94. I didn't agree with any of the negative comments you listed--my only observation (not a complaint at all) was that I didn't really have many views from the challenge. I would hop onto others and they had SO many. But I didn't start blogging for lots of viewers anyway, so it's no big deal. I just remember everyone saying how the challenge got them so many new followers and I'm still wondering "How?". Not a big deal though. This whole things is such a huge undertaking..can't wait to see how you upgrade "A to Z" for 2012!! :) Have a great weekend!

  95. For me it all comes down to a simple idea. You can't please everyone.

    I loved it. I finished late (mom in hospital and rehab) but I finished. And I am catching up on my reading. Down to 250 posts from over 900 that I wad behind.

    No complaints from me.

    I'll be back. Actually I am picking topics now. When I do this again, I will have everything written and scheduled.

  96. For me it all comes down to a simple idea. You can't please everyone.

    I loved it. I finished late (mom in hospital and rehab) but I finished. And I am catching up on my reading. Down to 250 posts from over 900 that I wad behind.

    No complaints from me.

    I'll be back. Actually I am picking topics now. When I do this again, I will have everything written and scheduled.

  97. The only thing I really struggled with was visiting the other sites since there were so many and I was used to blogging 4x/week rather than 6, so the balance was a challenge.

    However, a huge thank you for keeping the list up on your site. I do plan to visit each site, even if it's after the fact, so that I can support the fellow challengers.


Go ahead and say something. Don't be afraid to speak your mind.
I normally try to respond to all comments in the comment section so please remember to check the "Email follow-up comments" box if you want to participate in the comment conversation.

For Battle of the Bands voting the "Anonymous" commenting option has been made available though this version is the least preferred. If voting using "anonymous" please include in your comment your name (first only is okay) and city you are voting from and the reason you chose the artist you did.

If you know me and want to comment but don't want to do it here, then you can send me an email @ jacksonlee51 at aol dot com.