Did you get your Reflections Post done and on the list? We ended up with 382 links on this year's list. Not a bad showing I'd say. Like in the Challenge itself, there were some outstanding posts presenting thoughts on the 2013 Challenge.
I'm still wending my way through the list and leaving comments at each one I visit. I hope that more of you will do the same in order to show appreciation to the A to Z participants who took the time to add their thoughts and experiences.
For the most part the Challenge reviews have been glowing or at least positive. The usual negatives are there--word verification, commenting difficulties, lack of visits or comments, and not as many new followers as in previous years. We had less of a problem with non-participant blogs thanks to our teams of helpers. A big thank you to all of you who were part of that effort.
Here are a few specifics that some mentioned:
Adult Content Labeling: Nagzilla and a few others expressed concern about the labeling on the list. Some thought we were practicing censorship, but I emphatically disagree with this charge. The AC labeling is a warning in the same way the film industry labels films with content adviseries. And even FCC blocking of such content from public airwaves is probably not considered censorship. Offhand I'm not sure what you call that, but A to Z is not unique in calling for some sort of screening for content that some find offensive. We will continue to study this issue and hopefully come to a satisfactory solution. We welcome your thoughts about this and ask that you try to understand our position on this. I don't see that we are unreasonable in any way.
Topic Labeling: Many of you liked having the opportunity to have blog categorizations to make it easier to find blogs that interested you most. This is still in the experimental stage. I agree that all of the different labels were difficult to remember. Many suggestions have been offered on how to improve this. I will stand by my suggestion from previous years of having a flexible programmable list that requires a few more registration steps. The Linky List is fine for smaller blog networking events, but somewhat impractical and labor intensive for an event that has become as large as A to Z. Any expert programmers out there who would like to contact me about this? Since A to Z is an all volunteer project, we can't afford to pay for a programmed list, but I'm willing to listen to your ideas.
Creating subgroups and communities: I was interested in what Corinne Rodrigues organized from her site From 7Eight. You might want to check out her post. This may be part of the future of A to Z and the idea of creating communities is something we've encouraged since the event began growing as it did in the second year. Corinne Rodrigues will be visiting the A to Z Blog on May 20th with more information.
Comment complications: My Rite of Passage provided a good overview of the problems some blogs have in their commenting systems or even tracking back to the blog of whoever commented in the first place. You might want to read this for your year round blogging activities. Not getting as many comments as you'd like? This post explains some possible reasons for that.
Highlighting other bloggers: Rosie Amber is among several bloggers who added lists of other blogs to her posts. It's a nice touch to feature others and make friends in the process.
Watching stats and recording blog performance: Katie at Adventuringathome was into stats. You can check out how she did during April and read about her thoughts on the Challenge. How was your month? Did you keep an eye on blog stats?
Please continue to visit the links on the Reflections Post list. That list will be accessible all year. And join us on the A to Z Ultimate Road Trip. That list will be open all year so you can join us any time, but now is the best time so you can stay caught up.
Do you have any observations about the A to Z Challenge that you would like to add here? What do think about some of the points made in this post?