Monday, March 16, 2015

Themes. Themes. Themes.

The first year I did the A to Z, I didn't use a theme. To be honest, I didn't know that most people did use themes. I didn't do much advanced planning that year, either. Every morning I wrote a post, alphabetical, of course, so I got that right. And I visited as many blogs as my nimble brain and fingers allowed, then I patted myself on the back. Great job!

What I discovered was the bloggers who created thematic posts were the most interesting to visit. Guess what? The second year I had a theme.

To wax a bit nostalgic  here are some of the themes that I thought were the most exciting in the 2014. I couldn't get around to the hundreds out there, so I know there were others I would have put on this list.  Here are a few that I returned to daily and really enjoyed.

Why were these among my favs? Here are the qualities these bloggers brought to the Challenge.
They were

  • informative
  • humorous
  • fun with puzzles or games to play
  • short or with lots of white space
  • well-written
  • easy on the eye (no fancy dark background with green fonts or flashing gifs)
  • no word verification

This year I'm looking forward to finding more favorites, and I have a feeling that the themes I'll gravitate to will have these qualities.

Ready? Set? Almost GO!


Jeremy [Retro] said...

I am going for knowledge and a bit of humor... I spent the weekend getting everything ready.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I didn't have a theme the first year either and didn't have posts ready ahead of time. It was a mad scramble. Like Jeremy, I spent a lot of the weekend preparing.

Rob Z Tobor said...

I do like a good theme. I tend to go for very obscure ones myself based entirely on fiction allowing me to make stuff up and ramble. . . . . . . .

I do like a good ramble. (Verbally not on my legs). .

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That was my first year. It was a mess. A theme is the only way to go.

betty said...

I definitely agree with the idea of having a theme. Did a theme last year and doing another one this year. Going with short and interactive.


Anonymous said...

I didn't do themes my first two years. After doing a theme once, never will I go themeless again! I'm doing the same theme as last year too and am in the process of getting the posts scheduled.

Anonymous said...

This is my first time and I have a theme. I am going to let the cat out of the bag on 20th and see how it goes from there :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Lee - thanks for giving me a nod .. I've always enjoyed the A-Z and inadvertently I started with a theme and I've stuck to the same concept ever since - same this this year ... next week will be the reveal!

I'd like to make mine shorter .. and they are my normal posts ... I just seem to be verbose A-Zer!! Oh - but I am easy on the eye??!?!?!!!!!

Enjoy everyone .. cheers Hilary

Bushman said...

This is my first year with a theme, although without one, they sort of seemed to theme up anyways.
My theme will be revealed on March 23rd during the great theme reveal.

2015 A to Z Challenge Ambassador

Anonymous said...

I am writing mine ahead of time, and love it

Barbara In Caneyhead said...

I am more ramped up for the Challenge than I have ever been before! And looking forward to read the posts of others, more than ever before! It just gets better and better.
Life & Faith in Caneyhead
I am Ensign B ~ One of Tremp's Troops with the
A to Z Challenge

Pearson Report said...

Ah, I am the lone hold out… I still think it's all about winging it. But I do enjoy reading other bloggers themed posts.
I think it's the flash fiction beast in me… I like to see what the day will bring.

Back in 2012, when I was a Co-Host I prepared my posts in advance. Sadly, that wasn't as much fun for me as it is to write something the day before it's due. (Yes, I do start on March 31 and go from there, so I'm one day ahead with my writing.)

I wish everyone the best of luck whether themed or not - it's all about having fun!

Cheers, Jenny
2015 A to Z Challenge Ambassador

Anonymous said...

Sure, it's hard to find nice theme for blog. The main problem is in a process of customization. Many themes do not able to transform as i wish. It was my headache for a year, and i decided to hire designer to create own, custom theme for my blog.

Suzy said...

Your post resonated with me. The first year I too had no theme and it was actually harder. Having a theme was a lot easier and more fun too. All the best to everyone and looking forward to discovering some new blogs.

Fil said...

The idea of finding a theme is driving me nuts!! last year was my first year and I winged it and had loads of fun - this year I'm trying to find a theme that will fit in with the rest of my blogging and I'm so stressed about it lol So at the minute I'm between three stools - don't do it at all, wing it, or find a theme that no-one but me will be interested in. Aaaaaarrrrghggggghhh
Fil’s Place - Old songs and Memories

Debbie D. said...

Last year was my first AtoZ and I chose a Travel & Culture theme. It was fun, but the posts were complicated to format, so I'm keeping it more simple, this time.

Click said...

I kept on coming back to my first year theme when I was trying to come up with a theme for this year (my third) so I'm kind of revisiting my theme from the year before last.

I definitely find the themes easier to read than the ones which don't follow a theme. I try to bookmark the ones that interest me and then go back to visit them throughout the challenge.

Michelle Wallace said...

Thanks for the shout out!!
My first challenge also consisted of pre-written random posts, based on the letter of the day.
This is my 5th challenge, and I've since discovered that a theme is the way to go. It's less stressful.

J.L. Campbell said...

Thanks for the mention, Lee. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with this year too!