#atozchallenge Reflections…

13 May
#atozchallenge Reflections…


The nice people who organised April’s A-Z challenge have asked that anyone who participated in the month long blogging marathon publish a feedback post, giving their reactions and opinions on the whole experience.

Today is the deadline for the posts, so I thought I’d do a quick summing up.

The task of posting every day for a month is something I had already done once this year, for Just Jot It January, so I wasn’t overly worried about the schedule.
It was only the format that I thought might be a problem; I mean, coming up with a blog post themed around each letter of the alphabet sounds easy enough to begin with, until you realise how few subjects begin with “U”, “Q”, “X” and “Z”, to name just four.

So I had to cheat occasionally; finding that photography was a good fallback option, when I was short of time or inspiration, but I think I managed to acquit myself fairly honourably overall.

The one thing I found more problematic though, was the part of the challenge which required everyone who took part to visit other blogs and comment on them.
Not that I object to reading other bloggers’ work, you understand, (I spend a lot of time following, reading and commenting on a increasingly large number of blogs and enjoy the whole interactive element of the blogosphere) but the list of blogs who were supposedly taking part in the challenge was somewhat hit and miss.

For a start, the number of Blogger powered blogs made it impossible for me to comment on any of them, due to some sort of incompatibility between their platform and WordPress, which was frustrating.
But the thing that annoyed me the most was the fact that many of the blogs on the list clearly had no intention of taking part in the first place (a few of the links took me to blogs that hadn’t had a post published for several months) and featured no #atozchallenge posts whatsoever.
I can only assume that they either changed their minds after registering, or had signed up purely as a way to attract traffic. The fact that some of these blogs were on Blogger made them a moot point, and I did find one or two interesting posts on the non-participating blogs, on which I commented anyway, since I was there.

I also ignored the suggestion that I stuck to visiting the five blogs either side of me on the list (I think it was something like that, I’m not big on reading instructions) and simply browsed the list each day and stuck an electronic pin in it to pick my daily selection of articles, which led to some very interesting juxtapositions of style and content.
So if you were a regular visitor to Diary of an Internet Nobody for the month and I only popped by to see you once or twice, it wasn’t because I didn’t enjoy your posts, I just wanted to take in as many new blogs as I could.

As to whether I’ll do it all again next year; well, I think you probably know by now, I’m a sucker for challenges and collaborations, so it seems very likely.

All in all a very rewarding experience and one for which I’d like to express my gratitude to the organisers, who did a fabulous job of curating such a massive project.

Thanks for reading, see you next April for more alphabetized abstractions and blatant cheating.



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19 responses to “#atozchallenge Reflections…

  1. John Holton

    May 13, 2016 at 18:37

    Blogger can be a real pain in the backside when it comes to commenting. About the only way you can be sure you can comment is by getting a Blogger account. Also, the only way you can get replies to you comments is to get them by email, but signing up for that means you get every comment anyone leaves on that post until you unsubscribe. But, people looooove it…

    We tried as much as possible to get rid of the non-participants, and pulled something like 700 blogs off the list. I think we decided we spend more time on the people who don’t participate than on those who do. We’re looking for a better way to monitor the list.

    Thanks for participating! Hope we see you next year!

    • dalecooper57

      May 13, 2016 at 18:40

      Oh, not to worry, I’ve had plenty of terrible experiences with Blogger before. I even had an app, but it was SO useless that I didn’t bother with it and used the desktop editor on my phone for when I wrote guest posts on a couple of Blogger blogs a while ago.

      Never again.

    • LindaGHill

      May 13, 2016 at 19:08

      I know some of the blogs I reported to you were still there weeks later. Not saying it’s your fault – they probably moved out of your range. But that was the problem: Maybe we need to concentrate on names rather than numbers. Anyway, I think there needs to be one or two people whose only job is to take people off the list. Or allow all the helpers to do it.

      • John Holton

        May 13, 2016 at 22:36

        That’s one of the things we’ve been talking about doing: getting one or two people to sweep the list every couple of days and identify non-participants for deletion. My idea was to have the co-hosts do the sweep, but only a couple of times during the month, so the list stays stable and no one falls thru the cracks. I’m starting to like the sweeper idea better, though.

      • BarbCT

        May 14, 2016 at 02:08

        I like the sweeper idea, at least once a week. But with the ever-increasing number of people who sign up I would recommend they start at the bottom and work up. I found a huge amount of those at the bottom who either never posted at all or only one or two. Maybe have a dedicated “team” for the task.

  2. LindaGHill

    May 13, 2016 at 19:10

    I enjoyed what I read of your A to Z. 🙂 You did do well.
    As for reading other blogs, I’ve been guilty of hovering over the names to check to see if they have wordpress addresses. 😛

    • dalecooper57

      May 13, 2016 at 19:22

      Oh, I never thought of that.

      • LindaGHill

        May 13, 2016 at 19:26


      • LindaGHill

        May 13, 2016 at 19:28

        It’s not fool-proof, and you tend to miss blogs like ours that don’t have the “wordpress” extension in the address. But it’s handy when you’re short on time.

      • dalecooper57

        May 13, 2016 at 19:32

        Not sure the hovering thing works on a phone anyway, it’s either click or not click.

      • LindaGHill

        May 13, 2016 at 19:34

        Ah, right. Oh well. If you ever splurge and do the real computer thing, you’ll have a trick to use.

    • John Holton

      May 13, 2016 at 22:38

      Problem is, the A to Z Challenge is run by a bunch of Blogger bigots…

      • LindaGHill

        May 13, 2016 at 23:44

        Meaning they love Blogger or hate it?

      • John Holton

        May 13, 2016 at 23:46

        Love it, naturally.

      • LindaGHill

        May 13, 2016 at 23:47

        Right, makes sense. The challenge is on Blogger. 😛

  3. artistpath

    May 13, 2016 at 23:17

    This was my first year with the A to Z challenge, and blogging! I agree with the frustrations you shared about commenting on Blogger and non-wordpress posts. I will say however, that I truly enjoyed the challenge and meeting the amazing folks in the blogosphere! I’ll likely take the challenge again next year!

    • dalecooper57

      May 13, 2016 at 23:21

      I’m glad it wasn’t just me who found the same problems, hopefully it’ll mean they get sorted out next year.

  4. BarbCT

    May 14, 2016 at 02:12

    My first attempt at blogging was using Blogger and I ended up quitting. I’m glad I found out about WordPress when I decided to give it another shot. BTW, I’m definitely very glad I found your site via the challenge.

    • dalecooper57

      May 14, 2016 at 06:22

      Thank you.
      I just realised that I forgot to link this post back to the list, so I’m not sure if there was any point in posting it, but I enjoyed the challenge and I discovered a great many blogs to enjoy, including yours.


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