Sunday, 6 May 2012

Reflections - after A-Z 2012



Well, all done and dusted for another year........but not quite!

To all who called in here to catch up on my daily serialised story, I would like to say a hearty THANK YOU! As promised, I have posted 'Approaching Zero' in full here (and I'd still value your comments!)

Last year I arrived at the sign-up for A-Z 2011 with barely a few days before the challenge commenced - hence my posts were an eclectic selection of various ideas and formats.

For 2012, however, I decided to be more organised and have a 'proper' theme and all that! Having chosen to write a story that was broken up into 100-word sections required a planned approach rather than the ad-hoc arrangement of last year.

To some extent, having all my 2012 posts pre-scheduled took a little of the breathless excitement out of things, although it did mean I had more time to visit more blogs, despite family commitments and holidays being added to the mix. Needless to say, I merely scratched the edge of the surface in that regard - SO MANY PARTICIPANTS!

The upside to the challenge - many new blogs visited and followed! (and much entertainment derived, too!) Also, now following other bloggers on Twitter! :-)

The downside - commenting was sometimes hampered by 'captcha' and (my personal bug-bear) the 'comments displayed after approval' variety. Having tried to write an engaging/witty comment in appreciation of a post, it's a tad annoying to have it whipped out of sight for later blog-host approval! Personally, I always like to see that my comment has displayed properly (yes, I know that's what the 'edit' feature is for....) but on at least one occasion I thought I had left a comment only to find later that it had never registered at all.  :-(

Trying to visit everyone will take months - I hope to manage that! The 'surprise me' button was great fun as I had no idea where I'd end up - it was like a magical mystery tour.

Did I enjoy the challenge this year? Yes.

Will I do it again next year? Yes, indeed!

Will I be promoting it to all my blogging buddies? You betcha! (and actually, I did manage to persuade a new-to-blogging friend to join in at the last minute and  her daily video-posts were a delight!)


Thank you to Lee and all the hosts for a sterling job - it cannot have been easy managing the great influx of blogging participants, but my goodness - what a tribute to you in seeing so many people taking part in this challenge together!

And now, what shall I think of for 2013.......?   ;-p


36 comments:

  1. We love that you liked the challenge and mean to do it again next year. If you'd prefer, you could help us make the next challenge better by raising awareness on issues like Captcha (and your take on it)-- by guest blogging on www.a-to-zchallenge.com.

    Damyanti
    #atozchallenge co-host 2012

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    1. Would be happy to - how do I go about dong that?

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  2. The challenge this year was as fun as last year. I loved your little story and glad I found you through the challenge.

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  3. I came across captcha that were so long you could have counted as flash fiction. I wonder if it actually helps reduce spam.

    mood
    Moody Writing
    @mooderino
    The Funnily Enough

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  4. I'm glad you enjoyed it, as I definitely did too. I promise to come back & see what you're up to :)

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  5. Glad to hear your positive experiences. We hear you on the commenting issues. We certainly said plenty many times, but some folks are just plain resistant or have no idea what people are talking about. Good luck with the visiting to come.


    Lee
    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out

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  6. I couldn't agree with you more, this challenge is so much fun. I was a first timer this year and i had a super positive experience.

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  7. It WAS fun, wasn't it? But geez, so many participants! I tried to visit as many new ones as I could but I still think I only managed 400 or so. Kwazy. You did great with your story, by the way. Great idea and great response. I HAVE TO FINISH READING IT BUT CAN'T RIGHT AT THIS SECOND... TONIGHT! I SWEAR!

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  8. This was my third and just as exciting as the first. I'm pleased you enjoyed it and hope to see you around.

    Yvonne.

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  9. I love how many new people I met. Personally, I'm taking it as a big reminder that people who have blogs need people to read and comment! It's good to expand our blogging horizons all year long by visiting new people, reading, commenting, and finding ways to keep in touch.

    Elizabeth Twist: Writer, Plague Enthusiast

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  10. It was awesome! I didn't find you during the challenge but I'm following now :)

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  11. EXCELLENT story, Sue! Just excellent! I lauded you muchly on your full post but I just wanted to say again how your blog stood out on this year's challenge. Well done!

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    1. Aw, gee - that's an embarrassment of praise, Cathy! (but very gratefully received ;-p)

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  12. I loved your story - though how you're going to top it next year I don't know! ;)

    I'm quite taken with the a-z...may have to take part next year if life is not throwing me curveballs any more xxx

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  13. I'm glad I found your blog, your challenge posts were great. I missed a few I think, so I'm going to go back through and read the story again.

    I will agree, there were a few times I found word verification and 'upon approval' on a few blogs, which is so irritating. The same thing happened to me-I thought I had posted a comment but when I went back to the site it wasn't there.

    Anyway, glad to see you enjoyed it and that you'll do it again next year. :)

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  14. Hi, Sue,

    I'm getting to you after the fact, but I suppose that will be the case for a lot of other people too.

    I found the captcha a nuisance too, but thankfully, not that many people had it turned on.

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  15. I loved your take on the Challenge - in fact, I liked it so much I included you in my Reflections post :)

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    1. Glad it kept you entertained, Claire! And thanks for the shout-out in your Reflections post! ;-)

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  16. Congratulations on finishing the challenge and sharing your reflections. I'm following you now and hopefully, next year, we will do it again!

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  17. Glad to hear you had so much fun doing the challenge! And now you've got a cool story as a souvenir. :)

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  18. Enjoyed reading your story, and will go back to reread the whole thing beginning to end. It certainly was fun! And you are right about getting it done ahead, I could just make some revisions and had some fill-in dates to do last minute, but it left some time at least for reading and commenting on others' blogs. Catch you later!

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  19. I enjoyed reading all the posts. I hate capcha stuff. There are times when you think you're done with the comment and move on only to find out you didn't get your comment up there because of missing the redirect to the capcha form. Ugh.

    Good job!

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  20. Reflection is a good thing, You have done a great job on the A to Z Challenge...

    Jeremy [Retro-Zombie]
    A to Z Co-Host
    My New Book:
    Retro-Zombie: Art and Words

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  21. What planning posts in advance takes from the excitement of spontaneity, it makes up for in the comfort or confidence in knowing that you have all of your posts completed and ready to be published on time, every day in April :)

    You make a good point about the "comment will be visible after blog owner approval" annoyance. When I used Blogger, I had moderation setup on my blog due to previous issues with spam and anonymous comments, so I gave A to Z participants who had the "approval" thing on their blog some slack because there is a chance that they might have it setup for the same reason.

    I do, however, think that an exception could be made during April, to just disable all of the things that cause hurdles for commenters including the Approval Moderation System. That's why I'm glad that I could setup my blog so that comments post automatically, no matter what. I figure, if there is spam, then I'll just remove it later. So, I'm right there with you on those points.

    Cheers! :)

    ~Nicole
    My 2012 A to Z Reflections at The Madlab Post
    Also socializing @MadlabPost on Twitter

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  22. i too will do it again next year! Lovely to meet you, I shall read your entire story or whatever you decide to do next year. I may even follow your sensible example and schedule all posts in advance... this year I ended up writing 3 a day sometimes to get it done by the middle of the month as I had a book coming out and needed to concentrate...

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  23. Some of the regular blogs on my subscribe list participated in the A-Z challenge and for the most part, it was pretty fascinating.

    If I'm still blogging for a fifth year (can you believe it) I will definitely sign up for it.

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  24. I'm glad this was a positive experience for you. Also glad that you were able to corral some newbies to join the fun! I hear ya about the comments...it's been my experience that blogger catches 99.9% of the spam, and having more comment because they DON'T have to jump through the anti-robot hoops is so worth it, even IF I had to delete something. Looking forward to seeing you next year.
    Tina @ Life is Good
    Co-Host of the April A to Z Challenge
    Twitter: @AprilA2Z #atozchallenge

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  25. Great reflections post! I haven't been able to get through much of the big list, but I'm trying to tackle a few more in the "aftermath" of A to Z.

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  26. Visiting from A/Z post challenge reflections. Congrats on finishing it! I'm with you about the comment moderation blogs; I too like to see if my comment "took"; never knew for sure if they did or not on those blogs and never had the time to go back and see if that was the case with wanting to check out new blogs, keep up with my own blog, etc. Kudos to you for prewriting them all for the month! I tried to stay 2-3 days ahead.

    betty

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  27. Enjoyed your reflections post and wish I would have found your blog sooner than this. I'll remedy that right now with a "follow." Looking foward to reading more of your posts!

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  28. Thanks for visiting my blog on the last day of A-Z! Zoey was born on May 1st ... so close! I put up a pic if your interested.

    Loved your reflection. I'm still working on mine! :)

    Cat
    http://catsstuff.blogspot.com

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  29. Good reflections post...glad it was a good one for you. I'll see you next year!

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  30. Congrats on being able to pre-write your posts. I will have to do more of that for the next challenge.

    And I totally agree about the annoyance of captcha and the blogger approval of comments. I, too, like to see that they are there.

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  31. A serialised story sounds like a great theme!

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  32. This was my first A-Z, and I loved it. I do hear you about the captcha thingies--seriously annoying. And the "after approval" thing--I thought I was the only one frustrated by that one, haha. There should be some way to get everyone on the same page about this here. Thanks for sharing your experience!

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  33. Hello, Sue, from #62 - aka Rockin'Chair Reflections! I didn't get to everyone during April, but have begun my trek through the list, hoping to finish up before next year's challenge! Congratulations on finishing. Come visit when you can. Finally getting around to you. It's been quite a challenge, this time around. LOVED your serialized story. Great concept. Thanks.

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