Monday, May 7, 2012

A to Z reflections

Who knew there were so many gerbil blogs? Or born again Christian blogs? Ok, so I knew there were lots of the latter (day saints) but I didn't realize so many blogs were completely devoted to God and furry rodents. Not that they have anything in common – I'm sure God doesn't spend his days eating rabbit pellets and running on a wheel – what? You think I'm a complete heathen? Sheesh.

My point is I was bowled over by how many special interest blogs there are in the world: God, gerbils, guinea pigs, diseases, art, writing (yes, writing is a disease). You name it and I found it in my quest to visit as many A to Z Challenge blogs as possible during the month of April. When the dust settled there was 1,719 blogs taking part in the challenge and despite a serious attempt to get around and say howdy, I only managed to visit 410. "Only."

There were some people who ploughed through a lot more. I don't know where they found the time or the stamina. Alex J. Cavanaugh, the dearly beloved Alex J. Cavanaugh, was EVERYWHERE. He was so busy spreading love dust through the blogosphere that I swear that man was hopped up on bennies and espresso.  Either that or he's a zombie or a vampire or some other critter that never needs sleep. (Gerbils don't sleep much... not that I'm saying Alex is a gerbil, but seriously, have you ever seen a close-up photo of his whiskers face? Or his paws hands?)

While the gerbil blogs weren't MY cup of tea, I'm sure gerbil lovers were delighted to find those blogs during the challenge. That's what it's all about, isn't it? Find other bloggers who ARE your cup of tea. People who write like you do, who think like you do – or even if they aren't anything at all like you, they're funny enough, or they're wise enough, or whatever enough to make you want to pull up a chair and stay for a prolonged visit. I found many, many bloggers just like this. I wanted to say, "Where have you been all my life?" but I thought they might have me arrested. Still, I'm a happy new stalker for many of them. That's the best part of A to Z – meeting new people. Socializing like a big old butterfly.

If I liked a blog at all, I gave them a follow. First off, following is the only way I'll find them again. And hey, everyone likes getting new followers – it doesn't cost me a darn thing to give someone a new follow so why wouldn't I do it? I was absolutely thrilled by how my own followers increased during the challenge. I went from 260-something to 398. In the last week my followers crested the 400 mark. Don't think for a delirious moment that I wasn't dancing around the kitchen! It wasn't long ago that I started a blog late one night, thinking that no one else was reading my pathetic bleatings. Then one magical day I got a comment – I just about fell over with joy! Then I got a FOLLOWER! Wooooooot!!! I appreciate each and every person who takes their precious time to read my drivel and to comment on it. (Hugs to you all.)

One of the things I did find difficult was visiting all my "regular" favourites during the challenge. I simply didn't have enough time in the day to get around to see everybody and I apologize to my blogging friends for being absent during April.

Overall, I think the challenge has made me a better blogger. There's more to blogging than just writing a post and waiting to see who reads it. Yes, you have to strive to produce creative, interesting posts but you should also:

1. Respond to people's comments. If they can take time to comment on your blog, you should acknowledge them.

2. Read and comment on their blogs. Follow them, if you aren't already.

3. Support other bloggers any way you can. If I find something I love, I'll mention it on Facebook. Why not spread some joy?

I mean, really, why not?

:)


59 comments:

  1. It truly was a "challenge" wasn't it?

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  2. Why wouldn't people love you? You're funny, witty, charming, boisterous, etc...in short, you put a smile on people's faces. :D

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  3. I'm glad I found your blog. You are very funny. I'm also a "Canadaphile", so love hearing your stories about life up there.

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    1. I've never heard that expression before - Canadaphile.... oooh, it sounds kinda dirty, JoJo! *snickers*

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  4. a lot of the latter (day saints) - bahahaha

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    1. Heheheheheh -thanks for laughing at that... I was laughing out loud at my own vast humour this morning ... pathetic, I know!

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  5. The variety is one of the coolest things about the Challenge! I find some really neat blogs every year.
    And while I am a born-again Christian, I promise I am NOT a gerbil. Or a robot. Or a clone! Just a guy who gets to blog from work and enjoys visiting all of his friends.

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    1. Oh way to go, Cathy, poking fun at born-again Christians and ALEX is one of them!!!!! Geez, sorry dude - hope you're not offended. Good thing you're not a gerbil, eh? If you were a BAC and a gerbil you'd be doubly cheesed at me.
      oxooxox

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    2. And I DO like the variety. If I hadn't found all those gerbil blogs, what in heck could I write about?

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  6. I didn't join the A-Z but I tried to stop by as many of my friend's blogs I could to support them and show them a little love.

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    1. Thanks Jaybird - my favourite Joisey girl!

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  7. Cathy, you are fast becoming the 'poster-girl' for blog-hugging!

    I did spot those rodent-based blogs, too - cute scraps of furriness with the added 'aaaahh' factor! But then, why not? To each his/her own - and that's surely the essence of the blogoshpere?

    I, too, am a born-again Christian (that phrase always bothers me a tad - as if it sets up a hierarchical distinction amongst those who follow the Christian faith; as for me, I just say I'm a 'practising' Christian - trying hard, not qualified yet! ;-p)

    As for the robots and clones - I didn't encounter any as such, but I came across a fair few complex R-P gamers - like entering another realm! :-o

    And writers - yup, new blogs to add to my list! ;-)

    And lovely, interesting, enthusiastic and encouraging blog-commenters - like yourself, Cathy! ;-)

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    1. OH GREAT - that's TWO BACs I've insulted this time out! *laughing out loud here... I know I should feel guilty but it always cracks me up when I do something stupid!!!!*

      I'm a poster girl? Like Farrah? In the 70s? On the back of every boy's dorm door? *looking for my curling iron*

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    2. No insult taken Cathy - there are plenty of 'wacky' Christians giving the rest of us a bad name; some of us are almost 'normal'! ;-p
      Mind you, three 'strikes' and you're out - never mind the curling iron, a few flashing thunderbolts from the heavens will do your hair to a crisp! ;-p ;-)

      Ah, you 'mek me laff', girl!

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  8. Hi again,
    Yes, A to Z was totally mindblowing! I took a week off after it, but I'm back today, with renewed energy. Good to stop by yours, a breath of fresh air.

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    1. Catherine Stine, famous author, saying 'hi' on my blog.... life is good!

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  9. Ya know, I hear you on some of the themed blogs. For me, the ones I really struggle to comment on are the gamer blogs. It's a little like they're speaking Klingon...and sometimes they actually are! Not that there's anything wrong with that (says the woman who keeps finding her husband in front of the tv watching old Star Trek episodes).

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    1. Oh yeah, how could I forget the gamer blogs? Was that Klingon? I wasn't sure... but yes, you're right... I also recognize it from MY husband's Trek addiction... (JOHANNA! I'm starting your book tonight! So excited!)

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  10. I too was surprised how many blogs signed up that posted about nothing but rodents.

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    1. Maybe we're missing out on something Matthew... maybe it's the New Big Thing. Only it would be the New Big Little Thing... I guess...

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  11. So glad I found your blog. Love it...love your writing...love your humor. Finding great blogs like yours was definately the best part of the challenge.

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    1. Stop being nice to me! Geez, Gerri, I'm a HORRID person! Trust me! Horrid, horrid, horrid.
      *hugs you anyway*

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  12. I'm so glad I just found your blog, you make me laugh! I was intrigued by the number of gerbil/hamster blogs out there too so it was funny that you mentioned it! I like your blog very much and am following. Now I'm going to have a look at your A - Z :)

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    1. Weird rodent world out there, eh Nikki? Thanks for the follow! Appreciate it muchly and I'll be around to see if you have any gerbils/hamsters/guinea pigs on yours!

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  13. You are funny! Are there that many blogs dedicated to rodents and God stuff? I guess there is. I am so pathetic in blogger world I still have no idea how to find blogs about many things unless they are already linked to something I see or do. Thanks for the laugh..I needed that:)

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    1. Birgit, you are SO welcome... you're not pathetic... you're here, aren't you? OK... so maybe that's an eensy bit pathetic... LOL!

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  14. The first paragraph of this post made me laugh out loud. But I'm not surprised. It's one of the reasons I "follow" you (in a blogger-ish way, not in a stalker-ish way, of course.) :)

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    1. How come not "stalkerish?" I've never had a stalker, nor a stalkerish, which is the female form of the stalker if I'm not mistaken...

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  15. I also found it hard to follow my regulars. And also was stunned to find out how many people have a love of rodents. I did find some fantastic blogs though, some found me, and I followed a lot of new people just to see where they were going.... and then they started moving faster, so I started moving faster. And then they started running, so I started running.

    I still have no idea where they were going, but it was terrifying and thrilling all at the same time. :)

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    1. You are so funny, Juli, you truly are! This comment cracked me up.. for some reason you remind me of Ellen Degeneres.

      And what's with those rodents anyway? I followed them to be polite but did i see ONE rodent here? Noooooooooo.... *sniff*

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    2. I did not follow any rodents. I don't want them to know where I live. :)

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    3. Ha ha ha ha! ROFLOL ;-p

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  16. That's my biggest problem with the A to Z: I visited, read, commented, and followed 100 times more blogs than returned the favor. That was pretty disappointing for me. For all the work I put into it, I didn't get nearly as much love back. But I did make some a few good new friends, so that's good. But as far as the God & gerbil blogs go, I sure wish the blogs had been put into some kind of context, like arranged by subject or something, cuz neither one of those interests me at all, at least not in the blogoshere.

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    1. Ah geez, sorry Nancy! Maybe I got lucky... I was basically following along the line of blogs behind me... last year I did it higgly piggly and got totally messed up. So perhaps my group was more following-inclined than yours? You've got a GREAT blog, Nancy, so friendly and happy - folks are silly not to follow you!

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  17. I was happy when I found your blog, you're always up to something funny.

    ps: I used to follow a hamster blog. But then the hamster died, and I was sad.

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    1. Tragic, Daisy. (Um, you didn't eat him, did you???)

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  18. Well, now I feel sad.
    I maybe gained 10 new followers and that's all. Do you think maybe it's because I talk bad about fundamentalists and rodents?
    Seriously. I really didn't receive many new comments except from my regular buds. But I also missed seeing the Christian and gerbil blogs. You get what you put into it me thinks.

    I can easily see why you picked up a lot of new followers. You and your blog are in my favorites now because you're quick witted, intelligent, and loving, and you always leave the best comments.

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    1. I did work hard at it... I can't do anything by halves, apparently. It's either totally ignore something or dive in head first (bi-polar much????).

      Aww Rubye... I just wanna be more like you. If you could share just a bit of that backbone you have, I'd be a lot better off.

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    2. Gawd, I was just kissing your butt, wasn't I? There's this great girl at work, Angie, and she is always rubbing her nose in my direction, laughingly accusing me of brown nosing... I'm beginning to think she's got a point...

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    3. Actually, to me there is no better compliment than "I just wanna be like you." So, you can hang with me any old time cause I wanna be just like you.

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  19. Well, no gerbils were harmed in the make of my blog. Not sure who finds enough interesting things to discuss about gerbils or geraniums, but kudos to those who do. I have met many new followers and great bloggers though.

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    1. Clarissa, you have a really happening blog. So much going on there, so many good people. It's a joy, really, it is.

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  20. 140 new followers? That's amazing. I got 25. I saw that some other people didn't even get 10.
    wow...

    I have to say, the guinea pig blogs kind of freaked me out.
    Seriously.

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    1. Not even 10? Oh crap. Now I feel guilty... and yeah, the guinea pig blogs - just as creepy as the gerbils only giant-sized.

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  21. I had the same thought many times about the huge number of specialized blogs out there. Gerbils, pirates, gardens, food, gaming-- something for everyone!

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    1. Oh I'd forgotten about the PIRATE blogs! Ahoy! There are a TON of pirate blogs out there! What is UP with that???????????

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  22. yes, there were a lot of small animal blogs - and they had some very cute photos, which brightened many a day before work :-) One thing the A to Z does is expose me to blogs I never would have found - or thought to read - on my own. So even if I wasn't participating, I'd be using the Linky to look for new and exciting writing and ideas!

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    1. Ok, I have to admit it, those rodent blogs were pretty cute... I even followed a few... not that they followed me back *sniff* but that's ok... (see if I bother bringing a carrot next time I visit...)

      Li, I hope organizers keep the Linky list active for a while.... it would be nice to continue to visit new blogs in the coming year... on a less frenetic schedule!

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  23. Great post. This was my first A to Z experience and I benefited GREATLY: followers and knowledge. :) Can't believe it survived it!

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  24. I've had a blast during the challenge, finding new blogs and making new friends. Congrats on finishing the challenge and keep up the great writing!!!

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  25. Of course bloggers love you. What's not to love about a woman with your wit and exuberance.
    Not to mention stamina.
    Wearing my serious hat (which does fit sometimes) I have been blown away by just how supportive the blogosphere is.

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  26. Hi Cathy, wow! You visited a lot of people, and I sure do appreciate your visiting and following me. Thanks so much. I agree with you, I followed nearly all that I visited and responded and visited those who left me a comment. It bothers me when I leave 3 or 4 comments without a response. Part of my blogging enjoyment is the reciprocity of the whole thing.

    Take care,

    Kathy M.

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  27. I enjoyed the heck out of the A to Z Challenge and during this recap I have found so many people I didn't meet DURING April!

    It seems like we all love comments. I return comments but I don't always respond on my blog probably because I don't go back and check. LOL. I do like when others visit my blog though and comment back.

    Especially thoughtfully.

    I'm glad I found you today & will hopefully know you before next year when we start all over again!

    Julie Jordan Scott
    Fellow A to Z Challenge Writer
    twitter: @juliejordanscot
    A to Z Recap Post

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  28. I've loved reading your blog during this challenge. I agree with what you say in replying to comments which I know you always do and so do I. I have visited some blogs where I am the only person who's commented and still they don't reply but continue to blog,where is the fun in that?

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  29. I didn't get to as many blogs as I would have liked, but I found some really great ones during the challenge. Some people found me too, which is fun. I love having new blogging buddies.

    You got a ton of new followers, which is awesome. You deserve every one and more.

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  30. No wonder rodents don't follow you - you've got the Cat Ass Award!

    Congratulation on finishing the challenge. I didn't visit all blogs during the challenge but, cross my heart, I'm visiting every single one with reflection post! I am so glad my journey brought me here.

    Evalina, This and that...

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