Monday, May 9, 2016

Reflection - A to Z Challenge

During the month of April, I participated in a blog challenge called  “Blogging from A-Z Challenge” 
What was it?
Blogging every day.  It began on April First with a topic themed on something with the letter A, then on April second another topic with the letter B as the theme, and so on until I finish on April thirtieth with the theme based on the letter Z.   The theme of the day is the letter scheduled for that day.

I am pleased with myself because I completed the challenge for the fifth time.

After the challenge, the bloggers who participated are asked to write a "reflections" post.   What we liked about the challenge.  What improvements could be made.  

A to Z Challenge

First of all, I have immense respect for Arlee Bird, the creator of the challenge, and his co-hosts.   I can't even imagine the amount of time and effort that goes into the organization and running this event.

Thank you!

Arlee Bird @ Tossing it Out
Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh
eremy Hawkins @ Hollywood Nuts
Damyanti Biswas @ Daily Write
Heather M. Gardner @ The Waiting is the Hardest Part
Author AJ Lauer
am Brown Margolis @ An Unconventional Librarian
Zalka Csenge Virág @ The Multicolored Diary
Joy Campbell @ The Character Depot
John Holton @The Sound of One Hand Typing

I found the encouraging posts on the AtoZ blog each day to be helpful.  I looked forward to those.  They gave me the oomph I needed to keep on going.

I think the "staff" did a good job in keeping the sign-up list current.   I think I started out as number  1000 something and ended up in the 600's.  

I'm not sure if this was ever addressed, but when I was doing my visiting and would come across a blog that never started, or was way behind, I thought about "reporting" it.  But I didn't know how or if I should do that.  If it isn't already mentioned, perhaps there could be a list of people who are the ones who keep the list up to date.  And if we, the participants do know of blogs that are no longer in the challenge, then we could let the "keepers of the list" know. 

Visiting other blogs is a part of the challenge I enjoy because I do want to find new blogs to enjoy.  
 It is time-consuming to go through the list, which is okay with me, but there are many blogs that, frankly, do not appeal to my interests.  However, that is my personal issue and has nothing to do with the organization of the challenge. 

Someone mentioned in a post, sorry I don't remember who, that one of the ways to find new blogs is to visit the bloggers who comment on blogs that you do like and visit often. 

I found that tip to be helpful.  Although, that does seem to keep us all in one circle of blogs.

I wonder about the people who don't respond to comments and or don't return visits.  I would apply the "three strikes and you're out" rule.   

I would do the challenge again.  It helps me get back into writing and makes me remember how much I enjoy it. 

I love the artwork on the 2016 survivor gear.  I think I'm going to go with a tank top.

A to Z Survivor Gear


  1. Five years is a respectable number of challenges. I'm impressed! I tried a few different methods when I had a spare moment to find new blogs to follow. I checked out other comments on blogs that I currently follow, as well as visited blogs from the master list. I always tried to make an effort to reply to the comment, and then to visit their blog and leave a return comment. Those who didn't return comments need to learn a thing or two about blogging etiquette. Congrats again on completing the challenge.

    Jingle Jangle Jungle

    1. That’s the way I feel too, Mary about blogging etiquette. :) Thanks for visiting.

  2. Congrats on 5 years! That is an achievement! That's a good idea about a central person to report to if you find a blog that hasn't started the challenge yet, etc. As part of a minion crew, I was responsible for 15 numbers on the list (block of 5 numbers and then a block of 10 numbers). The names of the blogs would change as people got eliminated from the list. I did report some that hadn't kept up (general rule if they fail more than 4 days behind on letters). I also reported a lot of other blogs that were falling behind as I went to visit them. But I reported them to the person I was minion to (she had set up a Facebook page for A/Z stuff for her crew).

    I agree with you about return visits; I can't tell you how many blogs I visited that I didn't get a visit back. And then commenting on some blogs was absolutely ridiculous with the ordeal to go through and then I never knew if the comment "took" or not because then I wouldn't see it.

    I have to admit, I'm terrible about commenting back on my blog, but I always visited people who would visit me and comment on their post and leave a thanks for visiting and if someone asked a question about something I posted I would try to email them back if I had their email address or leave the answer to their question when I visited their blog.

    Now to next year!


    1. Betty, you are the best at visiting and leaving comments!

  3. The tip you shared is great – about clicking through to read blogs who have commented on a blog you enjoy! I'll have to try it. But like you said, that can make it easy to end up in a blog circle rather than clicking through to get to know other bloggers. I guess a mixture of both clicking through the A-Z list and checking out bloggers who read blogs you like could be good.

    I agree that it would be great if we could report A-Z bloggers who aren't blogging. I'd imagine that would make the organizers jobs of clearing out blogs easier. Or if the blog we reported could at least be removed from our list so we know not to click on it again. Of course that would require A-Z to use another "linky" tool instead of Linky. I wonder if there is a better one out there?

    How did your three strikes rule work? Did you comment on one blog three times and then stop following them? What if they were busy during the times when you commented and came back to comment on your blog say a week or two later? Would you reciprocate?

    Either way, congrats on making it through A-Z! I hope you had a lot of fun participating! (I imagine you did, if this is year 5!)

    1. My three strikes rule worked out fine. I have to admit, I did stay with a couple of blogs even though they did not visit mine. What can I say, I simply liked their blogs.

  4. I made a separate directory of saved links for the blogs I liked the most and hope to keep up with them. One problem that I found was that some blogs were really difficult to find the link to post comments. If bloggers wonder why they are not getting comments, check and see how visible your Comments link is!


    1. That's a good point about difficulty in leaving comments. Yes, on some blogs you have to search for where to go.

  5. I liked your suggestions for getting some of the blogs removed from the list. I think it would help the minions. They did a fabulous job and probably wouldn't mind the help. I doubt there is a way to compensate for rude bloggers. They won't see themselves that way. I more found it annoying to try to figure out how to leave a comment on some of the blogs.

    1. I agree the minions did a great job. Probably since I use Blogger I find it the easiest to leave comments on that type of blog.

  6. Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting! I got to be a minion this year, and I loved it. I agree that there should be a way to "report" even if you're not a minion, but then I think there should probably be a minion operator to forward the info to the right co-host. :)

    1. Your welcome! It is apparent that it takes quite an effort to make the challenge a success.

  7. I know Birgit said she did that one year (the commenting on blogs that commented on blogs she followed). I'm sure she's not the only one.

    I like going through the list as that's one way to not stick to that one group that seems to form, although I seem to still be in that same group. But that group has grown a bit.

    Congrats on making it again. And for a fifth year!

    1. I will still go through the list months after the challenge is over.

  8. Your blog was a joy to me and I enjoyed it. I looked forward to visiting it and now that I am a follower on Blog Lovin you will be seeing me more often.
    All the best.
    Shalom aleichem,

  9. Wow 5 years! Good for you. It was my third year, only my 2nd time, completing it. I almost didn't....I had to play catch up. It was fun...but glad its over.

    1. Congrats on finishing! I feel the same way, it is fun, but a relief once it's done.

    2. Congrats on finishing the challenge :) I enjoy finding new blogs too and I came away from this challenge with a list of blogs I'll still be visiting over the year

  10. Lynda I also wondered about those occasional blogs that looked like they had stopped participating. But then I thought, maybe they will catch up later? So I figure the admins have a good system for handling that and I didn't want to interfere.

    I had my hands full staying current in the challenge, visiting blogs, commenting, and trying to reciprocate comments. I don't know how I could possibly keep track of people who didn't comment back to me. I'm just gonna let that one go for now.

    So there are different styles of the shirt available? I love Mark's design but I can't tolerate a crew neck. Will check this out.