Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A-Z Reflections 2013: Ornery's Wife from Zoe's Cottage

As I was out reading Reflections Posts, I came across some fantastic ones that I thought would generate a good discussion. Perhaps you were too weary to write your own, but I'm pretty sure you still have some opinions. I thought Ornery's Wife did a great job of outlining some of the main topics we as co-hosts want to hear your opinions about. So comment away, or if you've already done so in your reflections post, feel free to leave the link to it in the comments. ~Tina

Since I have a strong tendency to FORGET things, I may have forgotten to write this when I had planned to and in fact may forget to put in some important thing.  I hope not...

First, the Positive aspects of the challenge:
  • It was very well organized and advertized
  • There were many participants, from diverse backgrounds, locations and perspectives
  • I found a LOT of new blogs to follow
  • Many new friends are following my blog :)
  • There was a lot of information up front about how to be successful and by reading that I was able to finish the challenge successfully and change up many aspects of my blog to make it more reader and comment friendly.  I do love me some comments!
  • After reading so many blog posts with the Captcha turned off, when I found one with that in it I was shocked! :)  I only had one or two anonymous comments that were unrelated to the post and those were directed to Blogger's spam folder.
  • I like only having to link up ONE time at the beginning of the challenge instead of daily--sometimes I can't get to my computer until late in the day and not having to stress if I didn't make it at all was really nice!
  • My Google Chrome browser highlighted which blogs I had already visited on the linky list so I could check out new ones easily since (as I mentioned before) I am inclined to FORGET things like where I had been before.  It only worked if I clicked the link directly from the list (as opposed to from another comment on a blog) and in Chrome (not Firefox) but that was how I usually went "shopping" for another friend. :)
  • I love that there was not a set theme other than the alphabet letter for the day--you could choose your own theme for the month or choose not to use one at all and fly by the seat of your pants. 
  • I was also glad there was no length requirement.  Some of my favorite reads were just a picture with a caption.  I also found that if the post was really long and about a topic I was only marginally interested in, I didn't spend much time there.
  • I was challenged to amp up my writing, both in quality and quantity. The challenge seemed to attract a really large group of "real" writers, and their content was more often than not meaty and fun to read with fewer glaring grammar errors. 
  • Truly, this was an amazing collection of bloggers!  Not only did most of them reciprocate visits, a lot of them left great comments. I have never had that type of response in any other blogging carnival/hop  in the past.
Now for the negative aspects, if one could call it that--Perhaps more like constructive criticism?
  • There were several blogs I visited that never did post a single entry for the challenge after they announced they were participating or else dropped out early in the month. I couldn't find the email address to send the links to so I didn't ever report them. Even at the end of the month I was still stumbling across some of those.  Perhaps there could be a link on the linky page of the A to Z blog about where to report? (or did I just miss it??)
  • I came across several blogs with Adult Content that were not flagged on the list. I may choose to visit one, but I would like to know in advance it is such. Otherwise the tags on the blogs were somewhat helpful when deciding which ones to visit.  For the most part the AC notes were the only ones I tended to avoid because I FORGOT what the different letters stood for other than WR and I didn't want to take the time to go back up and read the list.
  • The Disqus comment thing was annoying.  Some of the blogs allowed you to comment with just your name and email address, but others required you to have a Disqus account or log in with Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter.  I didn't comment there.
  • Some of the blogger profiles are linked to their Google+ account, but there is not a visible link to their blog in their feed. So, when tracing down a comment I was directed to Google+ but couldn't reciprocate their visit because I couldn't find their blog address.  Perhaps if someone has their blog set up this way they might add a blog link to their home page or else in the comment itself.
  • I was more likely to comment on a blog whose comment link was at the bottom of the post as opposed to having to drive back up to the top to find it.  Some of them were so small and hard to find it took a lot of time.  
  • I was more likely to read a post if the entire thing was displayed when I arrived on the site as opposed to having to click a "read more" link. Page re-loads take valuable reading time and as I mentioned above, I have a tendency to peruse the length of the post before I read it to determine if I have enough time (or attention) to give to a lengthy piece or not.
And that is about it.  Thanks to Arlee Bird and all the helpers who made the challenge so much fun and easy to participate in.  Thanks to all my new followers and those who left such insightful comments on the posts. Thanks to you for reading this one!  I'll be back next year, maybe on more than one blog! :)

Thanks, Ornery's Wife (love that name) for sharing. Please go visit her at Zoe's Cottage and give her some more bloggy love.


mooderino said...

Interesting comments. Not being able to find people's blog address was something I found frustrating too, and all too common.


Anonymous said...

Here's a link to my reflections post.
I think people may have found my A-Z posts difficult to find as my other blog is more closely associated with my username.

Tina said...

Mooderino - completely agree. Even though I'm a google+ um, participant, I don't know enough about how it works to find people's blog unless a post is right in front of my face. But sometimes it's someone else's post.

Sue- thanks for the link. Paid you a visit. Great reflections post!
Tina @ Life is Good
Co-host, April 2013 A-Z Challenge Blog
@TinaLifeisGood, #atozchallenge

Sandy said...

Zoe is one I'm glad to now be connected to. I agree with all the negatives, and wish my success was as good as hers. I found more that didn't reciprocate visits and comments then did; but did still find some new friends. I'll probably not do as many blogs next time and will cut back how many I join with vs adding on like Zoe.

JoJo said...

I am glad I stumbled on Zoe's blog during the challenge! I'm following her now. Gee I sound like a stalker.

Sheena-kay Graham said...

You made very valid points. I too loved the diversity. I also hated blogs that had too complicated a way to comment.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

We tried our best to remove the non-participants, but sure a few slipped through.
Google+ is an issue anytime. I often can't find a blog through someone's profile there either.

Billy Blue Eyes said...

I'm on the roadtrip at the moment and though in the challenge I only visited a few blogs the roadtrip I am doing them all. I leave comments on blogs I enjoy and have come across a few who have not even bothered to finish the challenge or blogged since it finished. I feel sad for them but just pass through. I feel very alone amongst all the writers as I just show photo's and seem one of the few. A great synopsis of the challenge you have written which I agree with fully.

Andrea said...

Great summary on both sides! As a minion for Tina, I tried to check in once a week on the 25 blog numbers I was responsible for checking on. I was really surprised when my other random visits found non-participating blogs!

Unknown said...

Some great reflections here! I too had a LOT of problems with Diquis. Half the sites using it wouldn't let me comment at all, and those that did, wouldn't display my comment, or anyone else's on my computer. No idea why.

I also tend not to read blogs that only display a snippet of the post. It have to constantly click on the post, then go back to find the next one, so I usually don't read more than one post on blogs like that.

Comment links at the bottom of the page. Yes. My blog doesn't have this, the theme I use doesn't support it. :( But I love it otherwise. Wish there was some way to change it!

Mark Means said...

I think at least part of the Google Plus issue could be resolved if everyone who was using that as their comment system would have a link to their (current/main) blog in their "About" section.

I clicked on many G+ profiles and still couldn't find a blog addy for them only to have to go searching through their posts and finally finding it there.

This was more common an issue than I would have thought.

J Lenni Dorner said...

I agree with a great deal of this. Well written!

You brought up another Adult label point that I had yet to think of (in addition to my thoughts about target audiences). If a reader had children, that reader might opt to visit the Adult blogs when "little eyes" were not around. It does not mean that a blog would be skipped over necessarily, but rather that a parent might prefer to enjoy certain images during "nap time." I visit several such blogs on a semi-frequent basis, but would not visit them while my nieces or nephews are visiting.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Lee .. I think Ornery's Wife said it like it is ..

Good for her - as she was busy .... and I was delighted to interact with her during the challenge ..

Cheers to you both - Hilary