Monday, May 28, 2012

Feedback Needed Please!

Badge artwork by A to Z artist Ada Z
    This post brought to you by Arlee Bird at Tossing It Out:         

         Today I had originally planned to post about the negatives of the A to Z, but instead something else came to my attention which I wanted to get your opinions on before I continued with the Challenge evaluation.   I will discuss the bad next Monday.

Something else we'd like some feedback on:

        Here's a link that was brought to my attention through my Google Alerts for "Blogging from A to Z Video Challenge"    You might enjoy checking this out. I found it to be quite a surprise.   I've never seen a YouTube notice like this which includes not only all of the entries for the A to Z Video Contest, but also many links to blogs that have something to do with the A to Z April Challenge.  Check this out.   Your blog may have been included.   Have you seen something like this from YouTube before?

            So far in the Reflections or the evaluations posts I haven't read anything about the A to Z Video Contest.   I'll tell you more of my thoughts about the contest in a couple of weeks, but perhaps you can tell us yours in today's comments.   Did you pay much attention to the Video Contest?   Do you think it added value to the Challenge?   Were the video promos that were later linked to on Twitter, Facebook, and elsewhere effective in reaching those unaware of the Challenge?   

             Did you watch any of the videos?   If you missed them, you can find them at YouTube or at the A to Z Video Challenge.  How did you like this year's video entries?   What suggestions would you give to the entrants?

               Would you be interested in submitting a video for a future contest?  Would quality prizes such as gift cards, video related equipment, cash, or something else be a greater incentive to participate in a contest of this nature?

              What suggestions do you have concerning a video contest for the A to Z Challenge?   Are there other types of pre-April contests we might consider to bring more attention to the A to Z Challenge?

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Huntress said...

The video aspect completely passed me by. *checking now*

A Daft Scots Lass said...

I did make a video but it was far too late for submission. I did post it on my blog during the A to Z Challenge for followers to see. It's still on YouTube if you wanna look at it.

A Daft Scots Lass said...

I love doing videos and vlogs so I'm in for next time.

Tina said...

Wow! I'm now subscribed! My "Getting to know the co-hosts" post was linked!!! This is awesome. I saw that it was auto-generated by YouTube. I wonder how much activity on one topic it takes to get that kind of notice...
As to ideas for the video contest for next year:

a) I am no video maker, but thoroughly enjoyed them, watched them all, voted, and would have done so even if I wasn't a co-host

b) I think we confused people when we introduced the contest and a LOT of bloggers thought that it was about doing a video for each letter. Next year we need to say "promo video" over and over again.

c) prized always motivate me. But it doesn't take a prize, I'm just naturally competitive. Exhibit 1: Nicole's J scramble. Would not stop until I had them all

Tina @ Life is Good
Post A-Z Road trip!

Jo said...

I was totally unaware of the video part of the challenge. Personally wouldn't bother, haven't really got the capability any more, although I was delighted to see my guest blog there.

I only found out about the challenge by accident because I blog I follow was taking part.

Anonymous said...

I knew about the video challenge, but did not participate. I thought about maybe giving it a try for next year, but will have to wait and see. I did watch a few of the videos, but not all of them. I did like the ones I saw.

Arlee Bird said...

Huntress -- I think a lot of A to Z-ers missed the video contest, especially if they signed on to the April Challenge at the end of March and weren't following the A to Z blog.

Scots Lass -- You made a wonderful video and it's too bad it came in late, but we're glad you did it. Thanks for your support.

Tina -- I know people were confused even though I tried to clarify it numerous times. Of course we tried to convince people to get rid of Word Verification many times as well. A lot of people don't read the details even if they're in giant print.

Jo -- Video is not for everyone, but there are a lot of people who enjoy it.

Susanne -- I hope more people will join in if we do the video contest again.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'll have to go watch that video!
Thought the video challenge resulted in some really creative videos. Not sure it did a lot for marketing though.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Hey, my book trailer is listed - whoa!

Jolie du Pre said...

I didn't check out the videos at all, but I'm sure they're great.

Precious Monsters

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Lee - I think I'm a one type of person - I blog .. and I suppose have no reason for much else that is social media.

Though I'd love to learn one day ..

I did watch a few of the movies - and everyone did so well .. but it was another strand for a much publicised event that I was committed to.

I'm sure there'll be more interest for videos as time goes on - probably for an App or two too ..

How YouTube works I have no idea - and only visit on recommendation .. as there's only so much we can all do ..

I've yet to work out how everyone else copes with much more on their plate!

Cheers Hilary

Lynn Proctor said...

i didn't realize about the video part---yes i am sure prizes would help---and i may be interested in doing one!

Barbara In Caneyhead said...

Since I live in the boonies and don't have anything but dial up, I don't do video. Tend to steer away from blogs that embed a lot of video or music. - Barbara
Life & Faith in Caneyhead

Unknown said...

I haven't seen anything like that on YouTube before - really cool to have all those videos "collected" in one place!
I enjoyed and paid attention to the video contest, but then, I'm actually interested in making videos. Many people may not be. I would definitely enter again! (And it would be great if there were prizes!)
What about ... a photo-type contest. People take photos of themselves next to some real life object that clearly represents a letter of the alphabet. Or something like that!

Arlee Bird said...

Alex -- I think marketing value is still up in the air about a lot of things on the internet.

Jolie -- You should check out the videos so you'll know what was going on.

Hilary -- I hoping to touch upon something for everyone since many of the A to Z participants don't primarily think of themselves as writers.

Lynn -- If we had some really nice prizes I think we'd get a lot more interest in the video contest.

Barbara -- Ironically, the guy who inspired the contest with his video, Ron Easton, is in the same boat as you--he only has dial-up. I hope he get high speed for next year.

Rachel -- A photo contest is a great idea. Less intimidating for the technically challenged. We'll toss that idea around. Thanks for your winning entry to this year's video contest.


Chuck said...

Those videos were so creative and unique. I have not seen all the ones listed before. I guess since I did not make one it wouldn't be in there...but maybe next year, if I start right now!

JoJo said...

I had way too much to do to worry about videos too. I wouldn't participate in a video challenge. I posted only one video during A-Z. Overall I just don't have time to watch videos. Half the time you have to sit thru a stupid ad too.

Nicole said...

I have not seen anything like what you linked to, on YouTube before reading your A to Z blog post, so it's nice to find out about the neat little things that YouTube "automatically" aggregates surrounding a particular topic -- in this case, the 2012 Blogging from A to Z Challenge.

Yes, I watched the videos...all of them, some more than once. I liked the variety in this year's video entries. All of the suggestions that I would give to the entrants that I can think of at the moment has probably already been mentioned in my A to Z video guest posts on this blog, so I won't rehash them all here, lol.

Yes, I would be interested in submitting a video for a future contest, regardless of there were prizes involved or not.

I think a separate badge would's easy to implement (which is probably even easier, since you have Jeremy on board and the lady who also helped with designs...I forgot who it was) and I think that bloggers would be satisfied to get a chance to win a badge to proudly display on their blog(s).

The only suggestion that comes to mind concerned a video contest for the A to Z Challenge would be to maybe offer optional themes to be covered, in advance, such as testimonials; advantages of participating in the challenge; A to Z styled parodies of television commercials; etc.


you could have participants sign-up in advance for one specific letter and the letter would be exclusive to one entry. Give the entrants a deadline to get their videos in....say, 2 weeks or 30 days or whatever, and if they don't, then they forfeit their letter and it automatically becomes open for another person to use it for their video promo. That way, you will at least know you have 26 promo videos already in the works.

I don't have any other types of pre-April contests that you might consider to promote the A to Z Challenge, sorry. I'd hate to leave you hanging on that subject though, so give me a minute...

Maybe a photo contest could work. Entrants could submit one (1) or up to three (3) photos that represent either the alphabet or one specific letter. The photo would have to be taken by the entrant and could be a self portrait or some type of nature photo, or architecture, or whatever.

There you have it! Hope that helps :)

Blog: The Madlab Post
@MadlabPost on Twitter

Arlee Bird said...

Chuck -- The YouTube page links to some videos that were not part of the contest, but on posts related to the Challenge. Hope you do submit one next time.

JoJo -- I think like many others you are misunderstanding what the Video Challenge was. Next year I will have to make it more clear.

Nicole-- A video contest badge is a great idea that we'll have to consider next time. I was hoping to get enough video entries to break the contest into categories--maybe next year. I like the idea of the photo contest as well. We'll have to consider that one.


mooderino said...

I'm sure a prize would up the number of videos and the standard, but I'm not sure many people saw them. I'd say finding ways to get the good ones out there would be helpful.


Joyce said...

I didn't watch any of the videos. I enjoy the writing aspect of the challenge and liked visiting new blogs. There are only so many hours in the day so I skipped anything video.

Arlee Bird said...

Mood-- The links to the videos were being tweeted, put up on Facebook, and appeared on a number of blog posts. Not sure where else to go for exposure. The contest was a last minute thing this year and I don't think a lot of people understood it. With more lead time in the future I think it could have potential. If we could get more media exposure that would be great.

Joyce--The A to Z Video Contest entries came before the April Challenge. I think like so many others you are confusing the Video Contest with videos that appeared on A to Z blog posts.


loverofwords said...

The Challenge inspired me in many ways--there are so many writers and readers out there and the creativity is amazing. I did watch many of the videos. I would not make one of me but I might make one of Hobbes my stuffed lion puppet who has written a book and is now in South America publicizing the Lions' Club projects. Fun for me to write in another voice. Prizes and winners--probably would get more participants

Stephsco said...

I'm not personally that interested in video blogs BUT I know other people are, so I think it's worth keeping for the future. Since this was my first A to Z challenge, I did watch at least one of the video blogs. :)

Arlee Bird said...

Loverofwords-- video adds an extra dimension of creativity.

Stephsco-- The videos in the contest had nothing to do with video blogs. They were merely intended to be advertising promotions for the Challenge that were shown prior to April to create greater awareness for the A to Z. Video blogs are one thing, but did you see any of the promo videos that were done leading up to the Challenge?


Whole Foods Living said...

I had no idea there was a video component to the competition. I've never made a video, but I'm willing to experiment. Hmmm, going to watch some of them now. Thanks! ~ Angela, Whole Foods Living,

Michelle aka Naila Moon said...

In all honesty, I did not pay a lick of attention to the video components. I did make a video of my response to the overall challenge (the reflection post)and somebody saw that...although, it is not included in the above link.

~Naila Moon

Sherry Ellis said...

I honestly didn't check out the video component of the A-Z challenge. I think time was an issue for me. I still think it's a good idea, and that you should include it next year. I'll try to watch some of those Youtube videos.

Arlee Bird said...

Angela -- The video contest ran from January until mid-March. It was a quickly organized aspect of the April Challenge that many missed.

Naila -- The videos were fun and I hope you'll check them out. I'll have to check yours--I'm not sure that I saw it.

Sherry -- A lot of folks apparently missed these great videos. Maybe next year we can get the word out better.


Anonymous said...

I like the idea of the video contest, though I doubt I'd ever contribute a video to it. I would enjoy visiting video blogs and commenting on them, but I've no desire to chat it up on video myself. I prefer quiet thoughts and tapping a few tangled yarns to keep things interesting:) Happy Tuesday to you!

Mina Lobo said...

I was dimly aware of the video challenge but, as others have already noted, really had no time (and, to be frank, no great interest) for it. It's great that others did, though, if that's what floats their boat. My boat floats on text. :-)
Some Dark Romantic

Ron Easton for Dads UnLimited said...

A little late to the game here, Lee, but I thought I would add my two cents worth...

I thought maybe if we just made the video guidelines a little more streamlined for next time it would be we didn't have prizes per se, to announce ahead of time, we didn't even have firm guidelines on what was being "judged" (if I recall correctly).

I think it would take one really unique video to make it work as a marketing tool, otherwise, its more hype, fun, and community building than anything. I enjoyed it. I had a couple of other ideas that I may pull out for next year if we do it again....Green Screen!

Arlee Bird said...

Ron -- Never too late! Appreciate the comment. We threw everything together this year and kind of just winged it. Next year should be better planned. Green screen? That would be very cool. Time for some real technology.