But I hung up my party hat for another year a couple of hours before midnight - not because I wouldn't like to spend much more time meeting more fellow bloggers. But the reality is that I just don't have the time. Both last year and this, I've felt comfortable devoting a lot of my free time for one week to the pursuit - it's been a welcome respite and really fun to see beautifully-designed blogs, read inspiring life stories, and connect with like-minded women. And I'm planning to make room for it next year and in the future. But to everything there is a season, and one week for blog-partying seems like a good place to draw the line. Those I met during that time were those I was supposed to meet; those I didn't...well, maybe that'll come next year.
That said, I've compiled some interesting stats on this year's party:
- By the time I "left the building" last night, 2,970 blogs had been listed in seven different categories.
- In addition, 908 Facebook pages and 1,027 Twitter handles were linked. All tolled, that's one heck of a guest list!
- The category in which I posted, Christian and Religion Blogs, contained 412 posts.
- I chose to limit my hopping to my category...and, I accomplished my goal of visiting every one of the 412.
Well, my blog was number 73 on the list. Last year, a fellow party-goer had suggested starting with all the blogs ending in the same number as one's own. I liked the idea (because it's a system!) so I planned to use it this year, too. And then, almost immediately, my music-smart kicked in and I remembered this song. So...once I finished visiting the 3's, I started hopping through the 6's and then the 9's...and, well, you get the idea. And last night before I went to bed I hit the last of the 0's!
Now, if you're wired at all like me, you'll think that's clever. If God's set up your brain in a more abstract and/or random way, you'll think I'm daft. But that's okay; it worked for me...and I got to hum that hip SchoolHouse Rock song all week as a bonus!
- About 20 of the posts were spam from two different sources.
- A couple dozen real bloggers didn't actually write "party posts" as they were supposed to; each of those ladies just linked us to her whole blog, hoping we'd read recent posts even if they weren't related to the party.
- Taking out the spam and those who didn't follow directions (sorry, but I am a rule-follower!), I think I commented on every other blog in my category - maybe 370 or so. Yep, I had a system for that, too!
- I chose to start following almost 20 new blogs.
- I don't know how many visited me, but as of this writing 104 folks from the party have left comments for me.
- Though I didn't think to check my starting number before the party began, I know I've gained close to 40 new followers. As of this evening, that means some 205 people have indicated they'd like to hear more of what I have to say. Wow.
The party also gave me the opportunity to do some "spring cleaning" - not in real life, of course, because I was "carousing" all week. But at least here on the blog!
If you've been here for any length of time, you'll notice I have a new header, which was designed by my talented graphic artist husband, Jeff. That inspired me to change the look of my dates, post titles, and text font to match. And I spruced up my sidebar as well. Plus, you'll notice I now have a button you may "grab" if you'd like; Jeff designed it using the new header as a base, and my friend Betty Eisenhour helped me with the coding. I hope it's not vanity to admit this, but I really like looking at this new look!
I also did some downsizing of the blogs I follow (those listed under I Enjoy Reading... at the bottom of the sidebar). Of course, I added in the new blogs I started following from the party - but I also deleted 25 I'd followed in the past. Not because I don't like them anymore...but because none had posted anything in a long time - in some cases, not for a year or more. I was loathe to "dump" anyone, but I finally decided to let go of those who hadn't written in at least three months, hoping I'll somehow run across them again when they get back to their blogs.
That got me down to following "just" 165 other blogs. No, I haven't been very good at keeping up with most of them over the past year - on average, I've probably gone to my reader about once a month, at which point there have often been upwards of 800 posts available to read at one time. An impossible task. And that has meant that, unfortunately, I've simply missed a lot of great things my bloggy friends have had to say. But, from one writer to others, I plan now to do better.
Of course, that'll probably involve some sort of system.
I wonder which SchoolHouse Rock song would fit?