What I learned from A to Z...

Whilst I was convalescing, I missed a deadline. To be honest, I missed the assignment, so I am completely self-forgiven for having missed the deadline. A bit over a week ago all the troops from the Blogging A to Z Challenge were supposed to put up a summary of sorts to let the audience know what all of their suffering reading support lead to in terms of blog results. Let’s not do that exactly.

You all know my penchant for numbers and statistics, so let’s do have a brief recap of numbers.

19% increase in traffic

This was only partly due to quite a few new visitors from the Challenge. Mostly, it was due to the faithful M3 Readers who were curious what in the world I had for the next letter. The last bit was for all the M3 Readers who went to the page to find out what they had missed. Oh, there was one more reason, but that is to come…

K is for Keirsey took the top prize for most hits, followed closely by I is for Illusion and O is for Observant.


We had some of the most amazing conversations! Which leads to a winner… post with the most comments: K is for Keirsey.

The field trip was fun. There were quite a few Aha! moments and some speculation as to the results between readers.

283% Increase in Hatemail

By far, some of the best fun we had was laughing at the ne’er-do-wells in the stupidest inbox in the blogosphere. By far, your favorite, judging by hits, likes, the love button, stars and shares with your friends… Alphabet Challenged. Quinna made us all scratch our heads.

100% Survival Rate

We all came through with flying colors and quite a bit of discovery, even some extra-sensory perception. So, amidst the psychology, what did I learn from A to Z?

1. I have the best audience in the blogosphere…bar none. The proctors of the A to Z challenge came by more of the posts than I ever expected and commented…and not just canned comments, either.

2. Some of the bloggers in the challenge could not read the rules. To give them a little credit, perhaps they just thought the rules did not apply to them.

We made through 26 posts in 30 days!

  • The majority of the challenge blogs I visited were on Blogger. They employ the use of captchas to keep away spam (not the best way, I feel compelled to add). What it kept away was my comments. There was no ease in comment, like the M3 Readers enjoy with merely a tick box to prove they are anti-spambots.
  • The blogs on the list did not reciprocate visits nor did they follow the Challenge suggestion of visiting the next five blogs on the list.
  • The suggested schedule was not followed by the majority of the blogs I visited. In fact, more than half I visited never completed the challenge. Many fizzled by the time they reached G, only arriving there a week late. Many skipped letters throughout and only posted the letter for the days they usually blog.
  • While the word limit suggestion was great for those trying to reach all the blogs, I hated the bloggers who put up 100 words per day about nothing whatsoever. Not the flash fictioneers, who did a fabbo job. The bloggers who talked about what they ate for lunch or the colleague they cannot stand.
  • The word limit was hobbling for M3, but left so much unsaid we will revisit a lot of the topics for further exploration.

3. Themes rule. The blogs which had themes showed the best commitment to the Challenge and kept up. My guess? Like me, they were interested in their subjects.

4. Break the rules. No, not the Challenge rules. The I can only blog about things in my niche rules. Diversification is a good thing. My long term fallout is the rise of Yerkes-Dodson Law as a search term. It is hit every single day.

5. Play it again, Sam. I never dreamed one, much less EIGHT of you, would suggest M3 do A to Z every month. Somewhere, I see this change in attitude a phenomenal improvement over the laments I post entirely too much, entirely too often. Perhaps, fixing the subscriptions to only one per day (max) did the trick.

Bottom Line

Based on the Psychology theme, the A to Z was a true challenge. The research was fun. The writing was even more fun. The stream of subjects for exploration over the next months means a long line of topics without ever mentioning writer’s block.

Biggest drawback to all the great subjects? Which one should we explode first?

One lament: I missed some of the regular features which were sacrificed to dedicating a post a day to something other than the M3 Readers’ favorites. I am so glad to have the Saturday Evening Post back.

It is all about YOU!

There is no way I could have done it without your constant support. For that, I have a gift to give you, which the lovely Deb of Debbie Adams Art bestowed upon me in the midst of all the alphabet madness. This one is for you, my darling M3 Readers.

For Every Single M3 Reader

I am imposing no silly nominate six bloggers/blog readers for the award. Please, take the award to post on your site with M3’s compliments. Without you, I would be scrawling in a diary the million words. Thank you for all you do to support me and M3.

Red. <3


I asked you which was your favorite post, so this time I want to know what your favorite hatemail was from the A to Z Challenge. Did you miss any of the posts? Did you enjoy our journey? (Most important to Red?) Did you learn something about the psychology of everyday living and identity?

(c) Ann Marie Dwyer 2012
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  1. I did the A-to-Z challenge last year and that is a real challenge!

    Thanks for the shout out to the Fictioneers. Some of them were participating in A-to-Z and combined their Friday flash with their challenge posts, which I enjoyed.

    LOL, I like your “All Non-Spambots” option 😉
    Madison Woods recently posted..Tuesday’s Guest: Celestine Nudanu, Ghanaian living in West Africa who loves books and readingMy Profile

    • Red

       /  May 15, 2012

      The non-spambot box is the best! A to Z is tough, but rewarding. It is a great way to build loyalty with your audience. The Fictioneers did some awesome posts for the challenge. They deserved the shout out. Love what you do with them every week. Thank you for stopping by tonight, Madison!

  2. What an outstanding reflections post this is! Sorry you were out of commission and missed getting this on the list. I’ll at least pass it on in hopes others will see the important points you make here.
    Over all I was quite impressed by most of the posting that I saw. There are always those who can’t keep up, but that’s part of any Challenge I suppose. We tried to keep the list cleaned up and did get rid of over 200 links in the process, but it was difficult to adequately stay on top of things. We’ll keep trying to find ways to make it all work better.
    Thanks for this great post.

    Wrote By Rote
    An A to Z Co-host blog
    Arlee Bird recently posted..First LoveMy Profile

    • Red

       /  May 15, 2012

      Thank you for stopping by, Arlee. The hosts did a fantastic job of getting around to everyone. I was quite surprised by how many of them I saw here on M3. I will have to percolate on the idea of how to viably tick off the lost sheep in the challenge, without creating either an email storm or a massive potential for abuse. It was something I only gave fleeting thought at the time.

      I know you cleaned out a ton. I began the challenge at #1,714 and ended at #1,524, with two of the original five after me (which I did visit) eventually dropping from the list altogether. Overall, I adopted quite a few of the bloggers on the list, and have even interviewed an author I got to know quite a bit better through A to Z. It is a great networking experience…a benefit I will tout again before next year, certainly.

      You put together a fantastic challenge. I will be very interested in seeing how much it grows by next year. One (private) blogger, who is a regular M3 Reader, finished the challenge in 12 days. There was indeed some amazing talent. Looking forward to next year!

      Do stop by the Green Room and leave a link to your blog. There are quite a few of the M3 Readers who would really enjoy your space.

  3. Red, I liked your ‘late reflection’ on A-Z. A thoughtful reflection on a project is not made less important by being late, any date, or deadline. IMHO an analysis and opinion is valid whenever offered. Oops..I did not know there was any word limit. I wrote what was necessary for the letter/subject at hand. “:))
    Raymond Alexander Kukkee recently posted..The Intruder: What’s This?My Profile

    • Red

       /  May 15, 2012

      Ah, well, you and I jumped in at the last minute, as I recall. Rules, schmules. When, praytell, have you ever known me to adhere to a word limit? I was doing good to keep most of them down to 1,000! My average (including two which were pictorials under 200 words) was 866 per. I foresee doing it again. Who knows, M3 may embark on another one before next year 😉

  4. Great summary of the challenge, even though I was one that broke the rules and was a few days late with x,y,z posts…but paying customers win sometimes.
    A Fetered Mind recently posted..What defines an “Intelligent” species?My Profile

    • Red

       /  May 15, 2012

      I completely understand that! I am a natural rule breaker. I ignored the word limit (see my comment to Raymond). Overall, it was an exhilarating run. Looking forward to doing it next year, but really enjoying the hop button. I am finding some really fun places to haunt with it! So very glad you stopped by!

  5. PS. As a WordPress user I read/followed mostly those users and found BlogSpot a little harder to link to.

    • Red

       /  May 15, 2012

      The backlinking system is not terrifically user-friendly between WP and Blogger (now blogspot). I have almost always had to physically go to Blogger to link to those I wanted to know what was going on at WP…and that continues even after dropping the .wordpress. Some of the Blogger bloggers have gone a long way to ease the technogap between the two platforms. I think that, in and of itself, strengthens the blogosphere.

      Do drop by and leave a link to your blog in the Green Room so other M3 Readers can find you!

  6. HEY RED …:)
    CAT XO
    Cat Forsley recently posted..Love Like There is No Tomorrow Cat Forsley ©My Profile

    • Red

       /  May 15, 2012

      Oh, sweets, I knew you would have it whipped in a matter of moments. But you know what I do not remember you doing…Have you left a link to your blog in the Green Room? I need to go see who is still missing from those who migrated here from Deb’s place. I have a few A to Z’ers who are MIA in the play room.

      Thank you for all your kindness. I am so glad you are here 😉 Red. xxx

  7. You had a quarter mile of comments if measured in feet. I wonder if the means anything?
    Binky recently posted..Full BrainMy Profile

    • Red

       /  May 15, 2012

      ROFL! I have set the thing to only show a few per page…and still the pages are so long! Lots to discuss in the comments!

  8. I like your reflections, very informative. I’m sorry I missed your Blog – I’m still going through the list now 🙂

    • Red

       /  May 16, 2012

      Welcome! Have a look around. You can find all the A to Z posts in The Map on the top menu bar. Features are below the header. Check out Welcome Home for the skinny on how things work and drop a link to your blog in The Green Room. Grab a cuppa and snuggle into a rocker. 😉 Red.

  9. You know I loved your A-Z, you did such an incredible job with it but, I don’t think I would saddle you with a monthly. No, don’t think I would do that I would miss you other regular features far to much.

    This was a wonderful reflection both on what you learned and what we learned from you.

    Thank you as always for sharing your talent, thoughts and life in words with all of us.

    • Red

       /  May 16, 2012

      You are so very welcome, dear heart. I have something cooking which I hope will meet with the same enthusiasm we had over Quaint, Mate and Inner Child way back then.

  10. Nice job Red! 🙂

    If I had a fully functioning memory I’d be able to remember all the hatemail you shared, but as I don’t all I can say is that I loved the way you dealt with the idiots!!! 🙂

    Love, hugs and get well soon!!! 🙂

    prenin recently posted..Tuesday – More editing work.My Profile

    • Red

       /  May 16, 2012

      Oh, Pren, I had to go back and look at some of them! I do not even remember them all. Frankly, I prefer not to remember them, but remember the fun we have poking them with a stick. 😉 {HUGZ} Red.


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