Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Let Me ‘Splain

No no, is too much. Let me sum up…

What do I mean? Lee asked us, after the A to Z Challenge to do a little write up of the experience, which I am HAPPY to do… liking to evaluate and all…

Organization: Holy Freaking COW, these guys were awesome… I can’t imagine the undertaking it was to do this, and I think they did amazing. So huge THANK YOU to:

Arlee Bird @ Tossing It Out
Jeffrey Beesler @ World of the Scribe
Alex J. Cavanaugh @ Alex J. Cavanaugh
Jen Daiker @ Unedited
Candace Ganger @ The Misadventures in Candyland
Karen J Gowen @ Coming Down the Mountain
Talli Roland @ Talli Roland
Stephen Tremp @ Breakthrough Blogs

You guys (and gals) totally rocked!

Quantitatively: I think I earned 100 new followers… I have a hard time separating A to Z from Blog Crusade business, ABNA stuff, and my own personal… erm… whatever it is I am and do, but I am up more than 190 followers since February and this project has NOT been an insignificant part of that.

The Important Part? I made several friends—people that make the daily exchange and the blog roll… I love that about networking… that people who really enjoy each other get to gravitate together and form friendships… I mean, I’m easy… I like most everybody, but there are people you really CLICK with—knowwhatImean? And I FOUND SOME!

…and I am a little overwhelmed thinking about my increased blog obligation from here forward… but that is good. (might even force me to work out a system, as I no longer feel quite adequate to keeping up with my blogroll).

I also LEARNED something silly… my work computer has Internet Explorer… there are a few blogs I enjoy that it hates… I discovered if I just go to Firefox, I can GET THERE! (persistence pays!)

As for the rest:

We earned an Awesome Award! (Thank you Elizabeth Mueller for designing it!  It's fabulous!)

Blogging Daily: This isn’t a huge deal for me. I blogged 330 days last year… blogging daily is what I do. I DID though, use more pictures and less words in an effort to be considerate. This wasn’t problematic, but it’s possible I skipped some topics I might have liked… the letter order plays into this, too… if what I want to talk about is critique partners, and we are half way through the alphabet, then I can’t use Beta, First readers, OR Critique… (just an example). Then again that bendy thing requires some use of creativity, which is a good thing...

And while I loved some of the gimmicks, I missed some of the variability of some of my regular haunts…

The BIGGEST challenge though… 1200 freaking blogs? Are you SERIOUS!? I started at blog #555 (I like 5s and that was middlish, so I figured would be neglected by both those starting at the beginning AND those starting at the end…

My plan was to work my way through, but I ALSO wanted to visit back people who visited ME… which some days was ALL I could do. I think I made it through almost 500 from the list, and I think I back visited probably 90% of people who visited me (I had some days things ran amock)—and that took A LOT of time… I mean REALLY a lot. I normally try to hit about 30 blogs a day… I just can’t manage more with my day job and such… so I think I did quite well.

Alex said next year they are taking a suggestion I made and applying it… start with the blog after YOURS for working your way through the list—that way everyone equal distribution of visitors… I am glad—I like the equity of it.

I might ALSO suggest a Keyword in the blog title. (So I would be Confessions of a Watery Tart-Writing)  I don’t want to be rude, but there are some blog types that I just can’t make myself be interested in. I have trouble with 90% of the Gaming ones, I am annoyed as heck out of the BUSINESS ones (are you freaking serious—how do they NOT think they are going to annoy everyone?), I was a little annoyed with the ones with no comment possibility—I go read, yet you have no way to know I was there? What is the POINT? (not social networking, that’s for sure).

For the most part though, I really enjoyed finding new blogs!

So Thank you, gang!


Enid Wilson said...

Great reflection. I didn't participate because I thought it would be too much work. Perhaps next year.

Fire and Cross

Gail M Baugniet said...

I enjoyed reading your summary and reflections on the A to Z Challenger. This was my first blog challenge. I'm just glad I made it to the end.

Your suggestion to start with the blog following your own is a great idea. Wish I'd thought of that but when I signed up (#492) I thought I'd be the last on the list!

mooderino said...

I like the keyword idea, althoug i might be tempted to make mine 'cake' to get some extra traffic.

Moody Writing

Kyra Lennon said...

I really found the challenge hard work to keep up with, and to comment on everyone's blogs when I had work to do too. However, I did bookmarka bunch of my favourites and even though I didn't comment regularly, I promise I will do better now there is less pressure!

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Sounds like the challenge was tough, but you did a great job with it!

I use Firefox all the time, now--IE is too slow to load.

Dafeenah said...

I had the same issues with IE. Now I just use Firefox all the time. Less headache. This was my first year participating and I truly had no idea what to expect. However it was so much more than I could have imagined. You're right about the # of blogs and blogs that are just not my cup of tea but I tried to find something positive to say.

Cathy Webster (Olliffe) said...

You had me at the picture!
I like Alex's idea, too. You got through way more blogs than I did. I might have visited 100... maybe... it was a full time job! But a fun job, for sure! I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

Old Kitty said...

Going firefox does tend to solve some of the issues with loading up some blogs. I don't know why IE does this though - gives up or explodes or just has a meltdown with certain blogs!. Oh well!!!

Yay for being NAKED as always!! Take care

Sarah McCabe said...

I like the idea of blogs being clearer about what type they are. I got a long way through the list before I realized how many blogs there weren't by writers or about writing at all, which is why I'm here. Then I got discouraged when I hit the really long stretch of gaming blogs and ended up giving up. Ah well, there's always next year.

Hart Johnson said...

Enid-it IS a lot of work, but I think it's worth it if you don't have a conflict.

Gail-I know that feeling of THINKING you are late and realizing you're a trendsetter! teehee

Moody-CAKE! Ha! Fabulous keyword! (would hint at silliness, so i'd visit cake...)

Kyra-I kept a list for a while, too, but I am even worse at THAT than getting around at the time.

Elizabeth-tough, but helpful... And yeah, I use Firefox exclusively at home, but at work, all our official stuff is set up already on IE...

Dafeenah-I tried to always say something positive, too (except those business people, who I just left), but if the GOAL is expanding network, I think it's most effective to find 'like' blogs.

Cathy-I will definitely do it again, too! (and I adore Princess, Bride, but especially Inigo Montoya)

Jenny-I think IEs problem is that Microsoft doesn't like to play with others... or something...

Sarah-I am mostly here for the writers, too, though anybody with a good sense of fun... the Gaming stuff just flies over my head... I have no interest in the technical part. The fantasy setting stuff is fun, but mostly it's just too--jargon-y.

Katie Mills said...

great re-cap! I hear ya- it was quite the challenge, especially finding new blogs. I gave up after the first week and just followed new followers or clicked on foreign names in the comment section every once in awhile. 1200 participants was just insane.

Chris Phillips said...

Great summary. That is a lot of blogs to keep track of. If you just keep track of mine you should be good to go.

Helena said...

I am amazed at your blogging abilities. For the last few days I haven't even read any blogs, let alone written in my own. And I missed reading yours and others. But life gets crazy, ya know? And I prefer Mozilla 'cause its much better than IE.

Laura said...

Hello you!
Good little sum-uppage there :)
I like the idea of working through the list from your own number... very cunning!

And... argh, business blogs did my nut in!!!
Loved the challenge but also loving catching up on my old haunts a bit

Sarah Allen said...

Great splaining :) (love the photo). I had a great time with the challenge, though it was indeed challenging. Great blog here!

Sarah Allen
(my creative writing blog)

Jessica Bell said...

Hart, when you figure out that system, please spill the beans! :o)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Hart, your experience was similar to mine! (Only I began with #450 - at the time I selected it, that WAS the middle. Little did I know...) I think your suggestions rocks and will help everyone next year!

Grandpa said...

You did VERY well, I must say Hart.

I find 1,200 overwhelming, but am using the Reflection Blog Hop to visit those I missed.

I agree with you about those blogs you didn't like too.

Life on The Farm

Trisha said...

1200+ blogs was the really amazing thing. I wonder what numbers next year will pull :D

There was a cool blog I found that dedicated the A-Z to types of beer. hehe. I have a feeling the entire blog was about brewing beer though ;)

sue said...

I came over to read your recently posted piece, but either you've removed it (you did sound a tad annoyed) or it's hiding. The thing I most want to join you with here is in a very loud grumble about the business blogs. and I would love for anyone not contributing to be removed permanently from the blog roll. When you're trying to do the right thing yourself and other selfish people either have no intention of doing that it is mighty irritating. Nothing against the people for whom stuff happened, life does crap on us sometimes, but it'd be lovely if their linky was removed. Your idea of starting with the blog next in line is excellent.
PS - New Zealand superfine wool is ok, kind of silky. Particularly if you're wearing silk underneath ;)

Jo Schaffer said...

A-Z was the shiz.

I have no idea how to keep up with all the new blogs I like though. I think we need to extend the 24 hour day a bit. Let's vote on it.

Sugar said...

I missed most days :) but I still have to go visit the participants.. it was a weird month.. and I got lazy! eh well.. the blogs will be there forevah.. right?