Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Hashtag the Heck out of Us!

Now that we're just getting into the swing of things, let's make the most of the A to Z Challenge by keeping in mind that it stretches beyond your blog. We’re social, with a presence on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ to make it easier for you to find likeminded participants and keep up with what’s trending – including the latest news from the challenge Co-Hosts. That is why it’s important to tag the challenge by using the official #atozchallenge hashtag when referencing the challenge in your social media updates – especially Twitter. Adding the A to Z Challenge hashtag to your tweets can help all of us cut through the clutter when searching for blogs to visit or staying up to date on discussions related to our daily alphabet party.

If you’re still wondering “how the heck do I use a hashtag?” or “why the heck would I use a hashtag?” the time for guessing games are over. Here are simple ways to Hashtag the heck out of the A to Z Challenge.
Hashtag your correspondence with us
When you send a tweet to us by writing @AprilA2Z, also make sure to add an #atozchallenge hashtag to the tweet. Unless it’s a really pertinent matter, you probably would do better just replacing the @AprilA2Z text with the #atozchallenge hashtag, altogether!

Hashtag your comments
Everyone and their momma is leaving comments that are one variation of “Hey, I’m stopping by from the A to Z Challenge!” or another – as if we really need to know (and we really don’t…or at least, I’ll speak for myself by letting you know today that I don’t need the reminder that you’re doing the challenge, ok?!) this bit of information. We get it. We read the memo. It’s been signed, sealed and delivered. Now here’s a thought…
If you really…I mean, really need to inform the blog that you’re visiting about your A to Z Challenge status, just put the #atozchallenge hashtag at the end of your comment. It takes up much less space and is less likely to leave a blogger wondering why he or she wasted time trying to read a comment that was nothing more than an announcement along the lines of “me too! Yay!” when it could have just as easily been summed up with a simple hashtag.
Hashtag your questions
Most, if not all, of the questions that people ask A to Z Challenge administrators can be useful to other participants who have similar concerns. Using the #atozchallenge hashtag can help your fellow participants get answers to something that they may have been wondering. At the very least, it also puts other bloggers on alert about matters that they are curious to know. Adding a hashtag can help simplify the question-and-answer sessions for @AprilA2Z on Twitter as well as other social media websites. It is easier for some participants to create a list or do a search for topics that are of interest to them if the hashtag is utilized more often, because it cuts down on the workload of having to find profiles and topics that might have come up in conversation about the challenge.
Hashtag your photos
Add hashtags to the photos that are included in your blog posts related to the challenge. This can be done by adding text directly in the image, using photo editing software or online photo apps such as Pic Monkey. If you don’t want to interfere with your visual masterpiece that you snapped in preparation for winning visitors over with your photographic images, you can also add hashtags to the “caption” section when editing the photo before publishing the blog post. The official A to Z Challenge hashtag can also be used to promote your blog posts on Facebook and Instagram.
So tell us…
How are you Hashtagging the Heck out of the A to Z Challenge?

2013 Blogging from #atozchallenge Co-Host
See you at the movies!


JoJo said...

Hashtags on Facebook = One of my biggest pet peeves. I don't tweet or use instagram, so when I see them on Facebook it drives me up the wall. I am starting to see a huge backlash against them too. Some of my friends will write a 2 word status and then 10 words with # in front of it.

Unknown said...

I've been loving following the #atozchallenge hashtag on twitter. Found a lot of great blogs I might have missed that way.

Rinelle Grey

John Wiswell said...

Those comments that are exclusively "I'm doing this challenge!" were very annoying at first, but I ignore them now. I'm really just looking to engage and have some good conversations in the blog hop, and there are some lovely folk around. It's been a pleasure thus far.

from John at The Bathroom Monologues

LuAnn said...

I am not a hashtag fan at all.

Unknown said...

I've really been enjoying finding all the new blogs to follow.

Patricia said...

I haven't added the hashtags to anything yet - I guess it just feels sort of counter-intuitive to everything I do outside of Twitter, but I will definitely tweet about it!

Always looking for new blog followers. :)

Mary Kirkland said...

I've been using the hashtag whenever I put a link to my new blog post. Been having fun reading new blogs.

Dark Thoughts Blog

Ali said...

Hashtags are great for finding other *active* A to Z bloggers (so many on the original list seem to have dropped out). I just hope they don't annoy my normal Twitter followers. -_-;;

Anonymous said...

I've been hashtagging my posts, but will start getting hashtag crazy now!

Unknown said...

I usually forget that hashtags exist, even on Twitter. Maybe I should hop on the A to Z one. Hmm...

Jessica at Scary-Simple-Smitten

Anonymous said...

I don't have a twitter and I only sometimes go on facebook. I prefer blogging the way I do.


Julie Jordan Scott said...

I have been using hashtags on twitter A LOT and use tweetchat to follow them. I tend to comment back on twitter, again, to engage conversation - as well as retweet. Another A to Zer Margaret Almon, taught me about which has a similar appearance to pinterest. You simply plug in the tag #atozchallenge and there are blog posts from active A to Zers ready for your reading pleasure. I personally find this more visually appealing and less confusing than on tweetchat or directly on twitter - but I am always very happy to interact on twitter as well as in comments.

And, well, I do use a signature on my comments - I was taught that the first year and shall continue - but as you can tell, I speak before I "sig"

Happy A to Z-ing!
Julie Jordan Scott
Our Literary Grannies from A to Z:H is for Hannah Adams
tweet me - @juliejordanscot

Kajal Kapur said...

My twitter account is disabled for the moment...does that mean, my posts would not be considered for the challenge? Please clarify.

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Not so much myself. But I do know hashtags are important.

Paula said...

I don't get the whole Twitter craze. And if I am offending someone by saying I came because of the A to Z challenge, so bit it. I am not at all offended to see how someone found my blog. And I would never dream of being rude to them because of it! So all of you who want to just leave a comment that says "A to Z" feel free. I will LOVE it!

Arlee Bird said...

Hashtags are just an option so don't anyone worry if you're not using them. They're good for the folks who know how to use them effectively. Personally I use them if I remember to use them and sometimes I don't. I still have to figure out more about the way the work to my advantage.

Tossing It Out
An A to Z Co-host blog

Pat Garcia said...


Thanks for all the assistance with telling us how to do things. I have just learned how to sign with a hyperlink signature and it is really neat.


Pat Garcia

AJ Lauer said...

I just started using Twitter, so I've been enjoying being able to use the #atozchallenge hashtag to identify when I post my daily blog link. It's fun to see how everyone promotes their posts for the challenge. Some are quite creative :)

Christine Rains said...

I've been using the hashtag! :)

Susan Kane said...

Okay, I WILL learn this!

I don't twitter or tweet.

Andrea said...

hashtag clueless!

Lyre said...

Oops. I have not been hash tagging. I will do that from this point forward!

I always forget about the hashtag part.

Lyre at Lyre's Musings #atozchallenge

Jason "J-Ryze" Fonceca said...

Well now...

What can I say.

I'm new to A-to-Z, so far I've posted 2 letters on the wrong day, and my hash-tagging is minimal.

But at least its not invisible. I've been #AtoZChallenge 'ing when I remember.

Nicole, I really appreciate this because it reminds me to do something that connects and unites the whole #AtoZChallenge community.

It also reminds me to use my own tag more often -- #ryze !

Anyway, count me in on the #hashtag revolution, thanks again.

GreyKnight said...

Oops, I left this comment on the wrong post here... oh well.

A-Z of people, places, monsters, and weirder stuff

Anonymous said...

Hashtags are important!

Sonia Lal

Kristen said...

This reminds me of the funniest hashtag I've heard, on a sitcom: "hashtag not really": #notreally. LOL!

#atozchallenge, Kristen's blog:


Anonymous said...

I have just learned how to do the signature links. I like to know whether someone has stopped in to check out my blog because of the A to Z blogging challenge or if they found it on their own. I do not use Twitter and some links I have followed use only the hashtags and I have difficulty following them. Thank you for your suggestion but it doesn't work for every one.

Denise at Organization and Inspiration for Fellow Writers, participant of A to Z Blogging Challenge
Denise Reashore on Facebook

Mark Means said...

Thanks for the reminder...I need to be using that hashtag when I post on Google Plus.
Left and Write

Shannon Mashinchi said...

H is for Halcyon Days...Sometimes peace comes from strange places...The Other Side of the Equation

Unknown said...

Wow a lot of information about #. Thank you I now can use these in many ways.

Jak said...

I've been using #AtoZChallenge since before the event began. Do the caps specifically make a difference?

If so, I've been doing it all wrong this entire time.

I am old school and kind of new to Twitter and Hashtags.

Jak at The Cryton Chronicles & Dreams in the Shade of Ink

Unknown said...

I've found following the hashtag on Twitter has been a great way to find sites to visit, in addition to the original list of participants!!

Anonymous said...

Good to know... Will start doing this.. "Have" a great week !


Susan Scott said...

O my, I'm still confused - when I take another breath I'll try to get my head around this thank you!

Susan Scott's Soul Stuff

Tina said...

Thanks Nicole, the mud that is my brain is S L O W L Y learning Twitter. I haven't been hashtagging at all...but will begin.

Tina @ Life is Good
Co-host, April 2013 A-Z Challenge Blog
@TinaLifeisGood, #atozchallenge

J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J said...

I have to be honest. If feels a bit chiding to say we should refrain from saying, hey I found you via the the A to Z Challenge in the comments on participating blogs. I am not trying to make waves, but some of us say things in a more descriptive way. I will refrain from saying that now, but just had to be said. Sometimes it is best to let others express themselves in their way, even if the blog writer finds it annoying. I will use the #atozchallenge tag in the comment, but I wanted to express my reaction to this.

Anonymous said...

I'm trying to catch up on reading blogs. lol I'll try to remember Hashtagging #atozchallenge

Anonymous said...

Hey, I love the title of this article! "Hashtag the HECK out of us"
I faithfully use the #atozchallenge on Twitter.