I have just finished the round up for my first Food/Wine Blogging Community event. I looked forward to hosting something so much and the experience didn't disappoint me at all. The only thing I wasn't prepared for was the length of time it took to do the round up. There were 39 wines and it took me no less than 8 hours to create my post. I am a pretty fast and prolific blogger normally so this caught me totally unawares.
I read every post carefully and left a comment on everyone's blog (except for the ones that required registration of some sort to do so). I spent a little time on the visuals which perhaps wasn't totally necessary (I would say about 1 of those hours was spent on the pictures), but personally I like my blog to look visual at all times so this part was important to me. Also, I think the pictures help break down what could be the monotony of a very long post.
Anyway, this is not by any means a complaint post, it is a warning post. I am in the queue to host some more events in the future and I intend to learn from my experience this time round.
Here are somethings I am thinking of.
Insist on receiving the entries by email - perhaps with a required subject matter so the emails can be easily sorted.
the easiest way by far must be to round up is with no categories, in the order you receive the entries.
If you do divide the round up into categories and just round up one category at a time. (Specify category as part of the Subject line in the email). There are lots of category possibilities depending on your email. Continent of poster/time of post/countries/sweet/savoury/ veggie/meat/all sorts of things.
don't think about starting the even til at least 24 hours after the even closes. some people are understandably late each time.
ignore pressure to have the round up straight away. take your time, don't stress. Everyone else hopefully will start to understand how long it will take you get round to writing up everything.
spread your round up over several days/posts. (ask the owner of the meme if this will be ok, first). Alternate with your regular posts to keep thngs varied and fresh for yourself, posting wise.
don't offer to post for somebody who hasn't got a blog. These days there is no excuse for not having a blog. You will have your work cut out for you without that extra work.
Ask people to include specific information you need for your roundup in their post. IE name of wine, country, year. (It's suprising how many people didn't actually state which country their wine came from in their post).
Ask people to include their name, their bblog name, their location, all in their submission email. Otherwise this info can take some searching.
Please bear a thought for your hoster next time you join in an online event and try and do everything you can to make their job as easy as possible.
OK - that's all my thoughts for now. Please add any more of your own.