Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Blogging A to Z Reflection


Is there a format that I need to follow? If so, well…oh well.

This was my first year participating in the Blogging A to Z challenge and although there were a few days I struggled with my posts, overall I enjoyed the challenge.

When I learned about it way back in February, I was convinced that I would be able to prewrite all my posts and have them scheduled to go so that I could concentrate on reading other blogs and commenting.

Oh that younger idealistic me! So adorable!

While I was able, for the most part, to prewrite my posts, it was typically only by a day…maybe two…before the scheduled letter. My theme lent itself to easy writing – My Favorite Memories. How easy can that be? No research involved. Just me and my memory. Yup. The problems happened on cool letter days like B and…umm…C? I had a lot of ideas and it was hard to narrow the choices down.

Early on I developed a system to look at the other challenge participants: numerically. I started with one and ended around 1200 and something (I’m not working right now, so yeah, I had time to spend looking at all these blogs). So while I didn’t look at all the blogs I looked at most. But despite looking at all the blogs I did look at, I was really picky about them and often after just a quick glance, I clicked to the next.

If a blog had me “click here” to read more, unless I loved the first paragraph or so, I didn’t continue. If the blog was crowded with lots of ads, buttons or doo-dads, I tended to move on quickly. I like plain, clean layouts, anything else bugs my eyes right out of my head. If there was an overwhelmingly religious tone to the blog, I didn’t stick around. Now before people wig out on me here, there are a number of blogs I follow that the writers are clearly religious and post about their beliefs but for the most part, for my own personal reasons, the blogs where the theme was specifically religion, I didn’t linger.

About the commenting…The thing is and I feel sort of bad saying this but I didn’t comment all that much. Here’s the thing and I know a lot of people do this: if I don’t have anything good to say, I’m not going to comment just for the sake of commenting. There were a few where I put a simple, “Awesome” or “great post,” but unless I had something to say, I kept my fingers shut.  And, if the blog had captcha turned on, while it didn’t prevent me from posting my comment, I was less likely to return to the blog. Also, I don’t understand what disqus is but I hate it! Almost as much as I hate commenting on wordpress blogs.

Man this reflection makes me sound completely stuck up and a blog-snob. I’m not. Really! I’m just…picky…fussy…controlling…sigh.

I did end up following a lot of blogs…almost a crazy amount that makes it nearly impossible to read everything. Just looking at my daily reading pane makes me break out in a sweat and I get heart palpitations. But as a major side benefit I gained a bunch of new followers (hi guys! Thanks for following!!).

So it all comes down to this…would I recommend Blogging A to Z to friends next year? Yes! Just like I’d recommend NaNoWriMo. It is a fun challenge that introduces you to new people, new ideas, new everything! It forces you to make a commitment to your blog. And quite honestly, it helped me get back into writing everyday mode…which I had been sorely lacking since January.

Would I do this again next year? At first, when the challenge had just ended, my original thought was “No Way!! This is way to freaking stressful! How am I supposed to come up with another theme? More ideas? Argh! I can’t do it!”

Don’t judge.

But, now that I have my rosy glasses and a week between me and the challenge, I’m thinking, “Yeah…What can I say? I’m a sucker for stress!”

Next up? Try to cover a few more blogs on the A to Z list that I didn’t get to and see if I can gather more minions followers.

8 comments:

  1. I loved your A to Z posts. I didn't read any other blog that was doing it.

    I totally understand the not commenting just to comment. I try and do that too. But I'm a blabbermouth, so it carries over to my typing. Typewriter diarrhea?

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    1. Thanks. My non-commenting ways are why I didn't have any followers until this past January. Then BAM! I started commenting and people came...just like the movie!

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  2. I'm a minion now? Are there perks, benefits of minioning? Will there be murder involved?
    My favorite line in this was "keep my fingers shut". It took me a minute to process that (because minions aren't generally quick on the uptake, like the Wicked Witch's flying monkey brigade) but once I caught on, great turn of the phrase.
    You did great with the challenge. And congrats on finishing.

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    1. You aren't just any old minion, you are my Prime Minion!! You get a snazzy uniform and everything. I decided, just for you I'll wave the regulation headgear and allow you to continue wearing your fez.

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  3. Visiting from A/Z post challenge reflections. I like your thoughts about the challenge, blogs, etc. I have to agree with you about commenting; I often wonder sometimes if people say something like "awesome post" or "great job" did they actually read what I wrote or did they just "fly by" to the next blog? If I'm going to leave a comment, I want it to be relevant to what was written so that the author knew I actually read it and formed some thoughts about their thoughts to write something somewhat intelligible about it. I'm with you too about not liking to comment through disqus. what a disaster in my opinion.

    I tried to write ahead my posts and to get them to post at a scheduled time but that didn't work. For some reason my scheduled time for it would not "take" and I'd have to post it manually so to speak when I was next on blogger.

    But all in all, it was a great challenge. My jury is still out if I'm going to participate next year.

    betty

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    1. Thanks for stopping by. I haven't even begun to look at reflection posts yet. I have been (oddly) busy this week. But you are right about the commenting. Like I said I don't just want to leave a blah comment. I want to say something with purpose.

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  4. Congratulation on finishing the challenge. During the challenge I didn't visit as many blogs as I would like to but, cross my heart, I'm visiting every single one with the reflection post! I am so glad my journey brought me here.

    Evalina, This and that...

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    1. Thanks! I got through a lot of blogs but I didn't comment on nearly enough of them. I started working my way through the reflections but got sidetracked. I'm glad you stopped by and liked what you saw enough to follow!

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