Monday, May 5, 2014

A to Z Reflections

A New Appreciation for Blogging

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

Finally my reflections post on the awesome Blogging from A to Z April Challenge! This was my first year participating and I'm very glad that I did. I gained a few new followers and began following new and interesting blogs myself. That is probably the best part of the challenge, the networking that it creates. I know that I will continue to follow many of the blogs and bloggers I discovered throughout the month.

It was also a great exercise to blog everyday (except Sundays) for a month. It puts your writing and creative muscles to the test. 

I joined the challenge only a few days before it began so many of my posts were written the same day or one day in advance at the most. I did however, try to make a list of what my topics would be about in advance. This helped a lot although a few ended up being switched up in the end and others I had to come up with the day of (X, W and Y are prime examples).

Because of this chaos I wrote without a theme which I didn't really mind. I would love to do the challenge again next year though, and might toy with a theme then. It will probably help with the timing of my posts as well as allowing me to comment and visit more blogs than I did this time around. By scheduling more posts in advance I would be able to dedicate more time to visiting and commenting.

I did managed to post every letter, some just in the nick of time and only once did I have to make a make-up post (With Q) so I can't say that this year was a "perfect" run but I do feel I did pretty well.

I enjoyed many of the themes other bloggers came up with like writing about books you hate (Finley) or English words with Arabic origins (The Word Trance), Hungarian weirdness (Mop Dog) and drabbles, the drabbles were great(Colin and LG). There were more of course but I won't mention them all here.

One of the things that peeved me a bit was the way comments are handled differently in blogger and wordpress. If you have a wordpress account (which I do), it makes checking up on comments on other blogs so much easier. Whenever you go on a wordpress blog there is a bar with a notification that let's you know when someone has replied to your comment. It then allows you to add another reply easily without leaving the current wordpress blog you are visiting. 

With blogger you have to check the box for notifications for new comments on different posts. Which is fine normally but when doing the challenge I found that my e-mail would be filled with different comment notifications from various posts on different blogs not just replying to my comments but all comments being made. It got to the point where I decided to simply not check the box to be notified by e-mail and only rarely followed up for replies manually.

This however is a Blogger/Blogspot thing and not much can be done by the A to Z team which did a great job overall. All in all the challenge was fun and I would definitely do it again.








23 comments:

  1. Hi Cely - glad you enjoyed yourself and it was good to meet you. The WP and blogger thing is something we live with .. I struggle with G+ ... and email subscription .. I learnt that problem a couple of years ago .. fine when I started blogging after that - it was an impossible inbox!

    Good for you - so pleased you enjoyed yourself and participated .. and I'll check out the blogs you mention - as I'm not sure I've come across them ... See you soon .. cheers Hilary

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    1. Thank you Hilary! It was great meeting you too and I found your posts very interesting as well. There were so many bloggers who did really well. I'll see you around the blogosphere! =)

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  2. I'm really glad we got to connect through the challenge-it was fun doing it with another newbie challenger :)

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  3. It was great meeting you during the month, Cely. Wordpress' comment sometimes threatens to drive me mad - as someone who uses Blogger. Most times, I opted to use Twitter, which made the job easier. I realize that choosing to follow comments can be a nightmare, so I didn't.

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    1. Same here! Your cartoons were great. Maybe I'll use twitter more next time. Being in Tehran twitter tends to be blocked most of the time and it's a real pain trying to get it to work.

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  4. One thing that annoyed me most about the challenge was trying to find people's blogs. Did anyone else have that problem? Someone would comment yours and you'd click over and it would be a Google profile. Every blog they commented on was on their feed, so that wasn't an option. I finally started clicking on "About" and looking for their blog there, but some people have 7,000 blogs listed and it's almost impossible to figure out which one is theirs and not one they group blog on!

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    1. I know! I had that problem at times to. Some times I would end up googling their names in order to find them. Maybe for next time they should make a tutorial for people to add a link to their blogs at the end of their comments.

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    2. I had that problem too. I was glad I learned last year about leaving my blog along with my comment to help people out with that. I really dislike google + for that reason. I did the same kinds of things. Love your reflections, Cely. I enjoyed visiting your blog during the challenge and appreciate your mention of fellow bloggers you enjoyed. I will make sure to visit them too. Thanks for the info on the differences between blogger and wordpress. I have wondered about the benefits of making the switch. Maria, Delight Directed Living

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  5. I would never have guessed you were writing your posts as you went. You did an awesome job. I use blogger but I understand what you're talking about with the comments. There's no easy solution.

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    1. Thank you. Yeah with some technicalities we simply have to roll with the punches.

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  6. I'm glad you enjoyed the Challenge, Cely, and I'm glad we met. :-)
    Deb@ http://debioneille.blogspot.com

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  7. I think you did a really fine job with the challenge. It's pretty good that you were able to post rather spontaneously. It's been nice meeting you through it!

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  8. Yeah--I'm glad we met!! I hate how blogger comments are set up. And what Stephanie said above, there were several people I wanted to try and find, but I'd click through and find a maze. Hard to navigate from a phone or when you're in a hurry. Not sure if I'd do the challenge next year....but I'm glad I did it this time :)

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    1. I'm glad we met as well!! Blogger isn't perfect but the challenge really was great!

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  9. I've enjoyed reading your posts during the challenge this year, Cely. You did a great job keeping them interesting. If you want to do a theme next year, I think you could do something that tells us more about your experiences as a Mexican in all these countries you've lived in/visited, the languages, the cultures, etc. I think that would make fascinating reading.

    As for commenting... as popular as Blogger is, I'm amazed at how bad its comments system is compared to others. It's only been within the last couple of years that you could reply to posts and have that reply appear as a sub-comment of the comment you're replying to. I'm not a Blogger user, but I know this from the many Blogger blogs I follow. I like the WordPress options, and the fact that if you don't want to comment, you can "like" a post so that at least the writer knows you visited and enjoyed it.

    Keep up the great blogging, Cely! :D

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    1. Thank you Colin! I've enjoyed your posts as well and that is actually a really good idea. I don't think I would have coome up with that myself. I guess I'm so used to it that I tend to forget the uniqueness of my situation. I'll keep that in mind though =)

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  10. That would be so much easier if blogger did comment notifications like that.... That's why I try to reply to the commenters blog, so I know they'll see it.

    and ps - sorry it took me so long to check out your blog! Will be going through your A-Z posts today to try and catch up....

    xo

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    1. Oh my gosh, no worries! Thank you so much for visiting now! I really would have liked to visit more blogs during the challenge but now with the post a to z road trip I'm going to try to visit more in a calmer manner.

      Thanks again! (n_n)/

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  11. Hi,
    Thank you for your comment in my blog, and I am glad to 'discover' your wonderful blog, which I don't think I had a chance to visit during the challenge itself.
    I am looking forward to the challenge next year.

    Romi @ In the Way Everlasting

    PS. The Bizcocho Bear is saying 'Hi' to you, too. He is delighted to read your comment about his name.

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  12. Hello there. Congratulations on completing the challenge! It was my first challenge too. Thanks also for visiting my blog. See you on the Road Trip!

    Entrepreneurial Goddess

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