I write stuff for kids...and muse on writing, children's books, and the publishing industry in general

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Second Writers' Platform-Building Crusade Wrap-up

I'm really, really sad to see the end of my Second Crusade. I've had a wonderful time meeting so many new people, some who joined me from my First Crusade and others I'd never met before. I was blown away by the interest shown in this Crusade, and I know we would have had FAR more than the 217 Crusaders if I hadn't closed the list!

The Crusader Challenges were awesome fun, and I couldn't believe the quality of the entries. The flash-fiction 100-word Challenge with the beginning, "The goldfish bowl teetered" was my favorite I think, just from the amazing range of topics covered and the level of creativity you all showed. It was followed (very) closely by the "Show Not Tell" Challenge, which combined with Lee's A-Z Challenge for the letter "S". I had such a great time judging the Crusader Challenges, and thanks to everyone who volunteered to help me with the judging. Thanks also to Lynnette Labelle and C.A. Marshall for donating the fantastic prizes!

I've learned a lot this Crusade, and I'll be doing some things differently next time:
  • numbers have grown to the point where it's no longer possible for all Crusaders to follow each other. A huge thanks to all those Crusaders who did make the effort during the Second Crusade, I know so many of you found it worth it even though it did take a lot of time. In future Crusades, I'll just be asking Crusaders to follow those within their own groups, which should make things a lot easier all round. What it won't do is give everyone that huge increase in followers, though I know that won't matter to those who join for the networking opportunities the Crusade gives.
  • I won't be able to personally assign Crusader Groups anymore, given the numbers I'm expecting for the Third Crusade. I'm planning to have linky-links, where people can add themselves to the Group(s) they want to join. This will let everyone get to know their Groups much sooner, and make things a little easier for me *grins*.
  • I'll be announcing the dates of the Crusader Challenges beforehand, so people can pop them in their calendars ahead of time.
  • I'll be keeping the Twitter #amcrusading hashtag for people to chat all things Crusade-related during the Third Crusade. I'll also re-start my weekly Crusader Notice-Board. Lynnette Labelle's idea about the Yahoo Group was awesome, so we'll set up a forum for Crusaders for all Crusades going forward. And Chris Kelworth had the fantastic idea to set up a Critiquing Crusaders opportunity, which we'll make sure to carry forward in future Crusades as well.
I really hope you'll join me for my Third Crusade. It'll run from August 22nd to October 31st - make sure you join up as soon as possible after August 22nd, 'cause I'll be closing the List of Crusaders on August 31st.

And keep an eye out for our Choose Your Own Adventure Bloghop, featuring the Group 9 Crusaders from the Second Crusade - it begins on May 17 at Kerri's blog (just click on the badge in my sidebar to take you there).

I'd love to hear your thoughts: Did you enjoy the Crusade? What did you get out of it? Any suggestions for improvement, noting the comments I've made above? Are you coming on board my Third Crusade?





44 comments:

Stina Lindenblatt said...

The linky idea is a great idea. :D

Jess said...

Wow, Rach~ you are amazing! I've met so many cool blogging friends through the Crusdade and am sure you're going to be blown away with interest this August :) Love the Twitter hashtag idea! Thank you again!

Rogue Mutt said...

Thanks. I got a few more followers, so that's something positive.

Zan Marie said...

Rach,
I'm still astounded by the amount of work you do to help other writers connect. I know I reaped the benefits (from 18 followers to 200). I'll be here in August, I promise. And any new bells and whistles (links, etc.) you see fit to use to help reduce the load you carry will be great to us.

Sophia Richardson said...

People adding themselves to a group via seperate linkys sounds like a good plan. I'll definitely join the third crusade so I better get cracking on my manuscript and blog content so I have something to show come August! I so admire what you're doing, Rachel, the amount of work and enthusiasm you put into the crusades is awesome.
- Sophia.

Deana said...

Can't wait to join up next time!

Summer Ross said...

Those all sound like good ideas Rach! Specially the linky link one. Sadly I start classes in August and its fall semester which is my heaviest burden every year so I wont be able to participate.

What did I learn from the crusade? How diverse people can be even in my own groups. I was pleased with the challenges and had lots of fun doing them.

Kerri Cuev said...

Rach, your new ideas are fab. and will make it easier on you. I can imagine the work that went into organizing. So, thank you.

What fun this was. I connected with so many wonderful people and have been introduced to some awesome authors. My May schedule is full of Crusader fun!

Can't wait for the bloghop!

akossket said...

I think all the new change that will happen for the third Crusade will make it many times greater than this one. That's not to say this wasn't great either. :)
I had a blast. I got overwhelmed and still had a blast. There is no word strong enough to express my thanks for what you've done to many of us writers.

Liz Fichera said...

It was fun, Rach! Thanks for organizing. I'll definitely be back for the Third Crusade. :-)

Angela Felsted said...

The crusading is a really good idea. I'd be more tempted to join if it didn't require me being on twitter.

Chris Phillips said...

You did a great job analyzing some positive changes. I love the idea about posting challenge dates, because I'd completely miss them almost every time, so other than the initial challenge and getting around to my group, I felt less connected than I expected to.

Bluestocking said...

I like the idea of limiting who you have to follow to your core group. One of the reasons I didn't participate in previous crusades was the mandatory following of participants I may or may not be interested in. Limiting it to a core group with similar interests makes more sense from a management perspective and allows for more genuine interaction between crusaders.

Amanda Milner said...

Great ideas Rach! Definitely looking forward to the next Crusade :) Especially since I fizzled out near the end of this one. :( Darn spring chaos. Lol!
I like the idea of being able to put the Challenges on our calendars so we can plan ahead. :-)

Janet Johnson said...

It's been so fun to watch your ideas grow. I haven't joined in yet because of time, but maybe for the Third. :)

Definitely sounds like you're getting a handle on this amazing idea!

Dafeenah said...

I really wanted to participate but I found out about it too late. Although I am definitely looking forward to participating in the next one. Your ideas for the future crusades sounds amazing. Keep up the great work!

Deborah Walker said...

Thanks for all your hard work, Rachel. It's been so much fun. You rule.

Daniel said...

Hi Rachael. I just learned about your Crusade about the time the second one closed. Seems like a good idea. I'm new to fiction writing and have few contacts, so I think the experience would be incredibly valuable. Count me in for August. I'll mark my calendar to come back and sign up.

Raquel Byrnes said...

I learned so much and made a lot of new blog buddies. I liked the groups and think your idea to do specific group linkies is awesome.

I liked the first challenge the most. It was such a fun adventure to take with you and my fellow crusaders.
Edge of Your Seat Romance

Michael Offutt said...

It was definitely fun. You're a great organizer Miss Aussie.

Aimee L Salter said...

My hat is off to you! What a fabulous job you did (and the ideas for the next one sound brilliant).

Thank you so much for administering all of this! Much, much writerly fairy dust to you.

Aimee

kelworthfiles said...

Hey! Thanks for organizing the Challenge, and for the shout-out.

As a minor point of correction, though, my first name is spelled without a 't'. Also, I'm nobody's saviour.

Chris Kelworth

TayLyee said...

Can not WAIT to sign up for the the third crusade!! I'll totally be there!! :D

Crystal Collier said...

The blog hop is going to be ROCK awesome! Thanks Rach for pulling together the Crusade. It's been such a blast!

Margo Benson said...

This was a wonderful experience, thank you so much for all your hard work and enthusiasm!

I had to go AWOL for the latter part of this Crusade but I had a blast and will definatley be there for the 3rd!

Rachael Harrie said...

Hey guys, thanks to all for your lovely comments :) I can't wait to see most of you on board the 3rd Crusade!

@Chris, LOL, what a place to make a typo ;) Fixed now *grins*

Hugs,

Rach

li said...

Hi Rachael,
I missed the sign-up for the Crusade, looking forward to number 3. And I want to thank you for saying it was OK for non-crusaders to write for the Show-Not-Tell challenge, I really enjoyed writing a piece and met several very nice Crusaders!

The Golden Eagle said...

Great ideas!

I really enjoyed the Crusade--I met a lot of people, learned more about writing, increased my follower/comment count. I also wrote some pieces of fiction I know I wouldn't have otherwise.

Looking forward to the Third Crusade!

Deniz Bevan said...

The crusade was amazing Rach! I wasn't expecting it to be so huge and yet manageable, and those challenges were an absolute blast to meet. Looking forward to the next one already! Hope I don't miss the sign up, since I'll be out of town then...

Kari Marie said...

Thanks for hosting the Crusade and planning everything Rach. It really is a wonderful idea.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Terrific ideas. The linkys and especially following just your groups. It was nearly impossible to get around to over 200 blogs on a regular basis.

You did a FANTASTIC job Rach, and I'll be back for THREE!

Liz said...

I met so many interesting bloggers on the Crusade. I have no idea if I'm going to do the 3rd. Only following a core group will make things easier, so maybe (I got overwhelmed following everybody).

Thanks for all the hard work you put into this one. It was a blast.

Lisa Potts said...

I'll be back.

Theresa Milstein said...

Thanks for organizing this crusade, Rachael. I enjoyed it. It was nice to have the follower boost, but was impossible to keep up with all the blogs.

Having people pick their own group is smart. I'll probably participate next time too.

Carol Riggs said...

I had great fun with this Crusade! Thanks for all your hard work. Perfect idea to have US choose the list/group we want to be in, to save you time and energy. Will I join the next one? Depends...gotta do some serious writing/revision in the next few months. :)

Cherie Reich said...

*applauds you* Thank you, Rach, for coming up with the crusade. I've met so many new people and my blog followers increased more than I ever thought possible.

Although the next one comes at a busy time for me, I hope to participate in another crusade in the future.

All of it was awesome, and I look forward to our bloghop on the 17th. :D

J.L. Campbell said...

Rach, I definitely enjoyed the Crusade. Think your idea of letting people sign up for their groups is brilliant and a lot less of an administrative headache. All being well, count me in!

Carrie said...

Rach thank you so much for all your work with the crusade! It was so fun to meet new people and I loved participating. You are a wonder :-)

Lisa Gail Green said...

You've done an amazing job! I'm starting to think Crusaders might be taking over the world. They're everywhere. Or at least the blogosphere! :D

Angela Scott said...

Oh, I'll be there!

Crusading is in my blood :)

Rachael Harrie said...

BTW, you guys all rock!!! :)

Hugs,

Rach

Nas Dean said...

Hi Rachel,

You are truly astounding! All the work you do...I've met so many new blogger friends and made some personal friends as well...Thank you!

Adina West said...

Love your ideas for the next Crusade Rach...'cos talking as someone who did get around and follow 200+ people, it took a scarily long time...

And I liked the goldfish challenge best too. :-)

Susan Kane said...

I love the flash fiction, goldfish bowl. The snapshot in my head came out so naturally. I look forward to the 3rd. crusade.

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