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The @AprilA2Z Retrospective

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A-to-Z-Challenge-ReflectionThe Chinese Quest participated in the great April A-to-Z Blogging Challenge.  The premise is simple; The challenge daunting!  The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is writing a blog post every day in April except for Sundays (they gave us those days off for good behavior).  And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, we blogged about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 was “B,” April 3, “C,” and so on.  You can use a theme for the month or go random – just as long as it matches the letter of the alphabet for the day.

A week before the Challenge started we revealed our theme.  It should have come as a surprise to no one that our theme was “Chinese Food“.  Since revealing our theme, I have updated that post with links to each of the 26 articles that I posted during the Challenge.

The A to Z Challenge is a great way to get into the blogging habit and make new friends.  For more details, and its history, go HERE.  And if you missed the Challenge this year, there’s always next year!

A fellow blogger, Shantala, who writes the book review blog, “Shanaya Tales”, mentioned it to me a few weeks ago and I thought to myself, why not?  Why not indeed!

A-to-Z-April-Challenge-2015-SurvivorWhat was so great about the A-to-Z Challenge?

  • I published a LOT of content!  LOL
  • I discovered so many new blogs  (over 1800 bloggers participated this year!)
  • I made so many new friends (I don’t dare list them all here because I just know I would leave someone out, and I’m not about hurting anyone’s feelings).  But, you can tell from the comments that people posted on my A-to-Z articles there was a lot of synergies between blogs.
  • It was a great way to attract, and hopefully retain, new readers.  Hint, Hint:  You can subscribe to my blog here.
  • I love how the organizers of the Challenge cross-promoted all the participants, and encouraged people to share links on the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge Facebook page.

What could be improved in the Challenge?

  • Not much actually.  The only thing that I could think of, is that a few, but not most, but categorized their blog by category.  To find blogs of the same category, or a category of interest, I would suggest sorting the list/link of participating blogs by category.
  • Cull the list of blogs down, by eliminating from the list those blogs that couldn’t stand up to the challenge!  The final list should be just those blogs that completed the challenge!

What to look forward to next year?

I’m not committing yet to participating next year (hey, I’m running out of article ideas!), but, I think a really cool theme if I do, is writing a review of a Chinese Restaurant who’s name corresponds to each of the letters of the alphabet!  I think we better launch a Kickstarter campaign now to get funding for that!  Any Angel Investors out there want to sponsor us?

How-am-I-doingIt was lots of fun, and if you haven’t discovered The Chinese Quest yet, I hope you’ll check out not only our A-to-Z articles, but also our other articles, and of course, our unbiased reviews of Chinese restaurants.  And please comment and let us know how we’re doing!

All of my A-to-Z articles can be found, of course, under Chop Suey in the appropriately named sub-category “A-to-Z Challenge“.  Yes, I know, so incredibly original.  I can’t imagine any other blog coming up with a scheme like that!  Brilliant!!

Until next year (for the Challenge), and until tomorrow (for our on-going Quest to find the best Chinese restaurant on Long Island and New York City… and perhaps one day, The WORLD!),

Mee Magnum  (“Chop!  Chop!”)

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  1. Apologies for the extremely delayed response to this reflections post. I was visiting India the last 3 weeks and was having a difficult time finding a stable internet connection. It did not help that I was distracted by lots of family and un-ending supply of yummy food. 😛
    I am so glad you decided to participate this year. I have thoroughly enjoyed your posts. Informative and entertaining at the same time. I love your ‘tentative’ choice of them for next year. Must say the fundraising idea is not without merit. You could also invite restaurant suggestions/ guest posts (if you are comfortable with the idea) from people across the US/world. That would give variety and also reduce your load a bit.

    • Shantala, did you have any good Chinese food? 🙂

      I would LOVE to get some guest posts on our blog. They’re always welcomed… we have had a few. We always give complete credit and links back to the authors website or blog.

  2. Mee… it seems many of us are saying the same thing about blogs needing to list a category. This is something I noticed from the start this year, unlike the previous year, that many did not include a class. Oh well…maybe those bloggers will get on the bandwagon in 2016. I will have to check out some of your A2Z posts. As you know, my weak area during the challenge was visiting new blogs. I hope to correct that now in the aftermath so-to-speak. I appreciate your visit. Who knows maybe we’ll bump into each other in Blogosphere from time to time. Thanks for following!

    • Cathy,

      Thanks for stopping by! I’m still discovering new blogs every day. There are so many that participated in the #AtoZChallenge. I’m glad I found yours, and I look forward to reading more of your articles.

  3. Interesting reflections. Agree with your observation regarding categories for blogs. Thank you for visiting my blog.

    Best wishes,

    • Nilinjana, thank you for coming to visit The Chinese Quest. Now that you discovered our blog, we hope you’ll subscribe and stay on board as we Quest to find the best Chinese restaurants!

  4. Good luck if you do decide to try out your idea next April.

  5. I was thinking something of the same thing. Arrange by categories. I love finding food and writing and gardening folk. I’m not into adult content blogs and would prefer not crossing into that territory. Glad you mentioned this. I’m making note. And so sorry I didn’t find your blog during the challenge. I love to eat. I don’t care what kind of food as long as it’s interesting and good.

    AtoZ Challenge Team Leader

    • So glad you found our blog now! It’s never too late 🙂

      Fair Warning: An hour after you read one of our articles, you WILL be hungry to read another! 😉

  6. Thank you for visiting my blog.

    Your theme looked fun to research as well as to write up. I am a great fan of yum cha and all Chinese food


    • Anne, thank you for some great tips on Diabetes… I’m a loyal follower of your blog now too!

      We would love to read about some of your experiences eating Chinese food. We LOVE to publish guest articles!

  7. I enjoyed your posts, and your blog is wonderful. I hope to see you again in the challenge next year! 🙂

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    Multicolored Diary

    • Thank you so much for stopping by! I’m still making the rounds of all the blogs that participated. It might take me until next year’s Challenge to finally checkout all who participated this year!

  8. Congrats on completing the A to Z Challenge! Looking forward to next year!

    Mary @ Jingle Jangle Jungle

  9. I am returning your visit to my ‘Reflection’ post…thanks for visiting and leaving comment…and now, EggRollWow…what a great blog and fun theme for the Challenge. Your blog format is one of the easiest .com’s I have seen to maneuver through. The set up is very effective and conducive for readers to get right to the heart of your post and not be over powered by your ads and other sidebar interests. I will be back to read more of your AtoZ posts as your Link Within pics look very interesting. I may just have to read ‘Z’ while I’m here. I am a longtime Zodiac fan…Aquarian…you know how curious we are!
    Sue at CollectInTexas Gal
    AtoZ 2015 Challenge
    Minion for AJ’s wHooligans

    • Sue, thank you for your very kind words!! Glad you enjoyed, and I hope y’all come back (y’know, you WILL be hungry in an hour to read another article! 🙂 ) soon!

  10. I only recently discovered your comments in my spam queue, so I thought I’d stop by and say hello, see what you’re about 🙂

  11. Thanks for stopping by my blog..Your theme was so much fun! Congrats on completing the challenge. I will read more of your posts as well..
    Keep writing! 🙂

  12. Hi Mee – thanks for stopping by my blog – We love chinese food, so I’m going to catch up on your posts!

  13. Visiting restaurants from around the world for the next challenge would be absolutely amazing–both to experience as well as read about. Especially since Chinese food has been one of my favorite cuisines for as long as I can remember. I’d get on board for a crowdfunding project to make it happen.

    Congratulations on completing the challenge! Was nice having you stop by my blog. 🙂

    • Thanks Sara! I will save your email address and send you the link to our crowd-funding page… if and when we set one up. But, we are getting a lot of interest and encouragement… and that makes me happy 🙂

  14. Love the attitude here! I have a great fried rice recipe I make all the time hear at home. I want try the shrimp/asparagus dish I saw on your homepage!

    Stopping in from Life & Faith in Caneyhead.
    I am Ensign B of Tremps’ Troops
    Don’t forget to snag the Survivor Badge for your sidebar!

    • Thank you Barbara! We always try to be positive, witty, and insightful… if nothing else, we at least amuse ourselves! Glad you enjoyed! Please let us know what you think of the low cab shrimp and asparagus dish.

  15. Just reading your Reflections post made me wish I had gotten here sooner! This is such a catchy idea for a blog, and your A to Z theme was both sweet and spicy! My fortune cookie said, “This is your lucky day,” and it was right!

  16. Thanks for popping by my blog – happy to discover yours – even now in post-atozlife — Looks fun, so will come by again. Congrats on completing the challenge:-) Busy but soooo fun:-)

    • Thanks Eli, I have a lot of fun writing these articles… but, the most fun is when we discover new Chinese restaurants. That’s a great adventure. Heck, it’s a Quest! 🙂

  17. Truly said, there were lot of synergy among blogs. Congrats for completing the challenge:)

  18. You had a terrific idea. Maybe for your ‘world’ theme you could collect reviews from all over the world from your fellow bloggers and fit it to the challenge. Congrats on finishing.

  19. It was a great challenge! It was my first too and I can’t wait to do another.
    What? It’s in one YEAR?????

    • Thank goodness! It will take at least a year to recover AND to come up with new ideas for next year… Or some crowd-source funding to pay for an around the world trip so we can find a Chinese restaurant that starts with each letter of the alphabet!!

  20. Love this post and I loved your theme for this year’s A to Z Challenge! I hope you’ll play again next year! Thanks so much for visiting my “W” entry! Cheers!

  21. Mee, I was very impressed by your blog entries this year and they were among my favorites of the Challenge. Hope you can do this again. A crowd-funding campaign might be totally appropriate!

    As for your downsides concerning the list, this has been my nemesis from the early years. We keep getting better with it I think, but the system we use is rather ineffectual and labor intensive. I know the best solution, but it would be expensive to achieve (or we’d have to find a good programmer and website builder/hoster to make it work). Maybe A to Z needs to start its own crowd-funding program!

    Thanks for a great series of A to Z posts as well as this outstanding Retrospective of the April Challenge.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host

    • Lee, Thank you for your very kind words! It’s unanimous now, we have to start a crowd-funding campaign! 🙂

      I can only imagine how labor intensive it is to maintain those lists… especially with 1800 blogs in the list. It’s not something one person can do. Perhaps we could have a “Champion” for each Category and they can be responsible for maintaining the list of the blogs in that category.

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