From reading your blogs and what we've seen on Facebook and Twitter, people are really looking forward to the 2017 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge, and we're sure those of you who are veterans of the Challenge know that it's about this time that we make The List available for people to sign up so that everyone knows they plan on doing the challenge this year.
Those of us on the A to Z Team have been talking about preparations for this year's challenge, and one of the things we've discussed is The List. The truth is, The List is a lot of work, and we have fewer people to check the list and maintain it so that the only people who are on it are the ones actively participating. Our focus changes from the people who are actively participating to those who aren't, and that isn't fair.
We came up with a great solution to this:
- Each day of the Challenge, we'll add a post with the letter of the day to the A to Z Challenge blog. When you've posted your entry to your blog, post a comment to the Challenge blog with a link to that day's post on your blog.
- We'll also add a status update to our Facebook page each day with that day's letter. You may also post a link to your daily post as a comment to the latter post, either in addition to or instead of posting the link to the Challenge blog.
- And, we encourage you to post a tweet to Twitter with a link to your blog post. Be sure you add the hashtag #atozchallenge to your tweet, so we can find you.
"But wait," you say, "what about the theme reveal?"
The Theme Reveal will start on March 20. We'll add a post on that day to which you can comment with the link to your theme reveal post. Again, no sign-up list, just add your links to the blog, the FB page, and use the hashtag #AtoZReveal on Twitter to share.
- Our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/atozchallenge/
- Our Twitter handle: @AprilAtoZ
- Our Twitter hashtag: #atozchallenge
- A to Z Team Email: email@example.com
1 - A
3 - B
4 - C
5 - D
6 - E
7 - F
8 - G
10 - H
11 - I
12 - J
13 - K
14 - L
15 - M
17 - N
18 - O
19 - P
20 - Q
21 - R
22 - S
24 - T
25 - U
26 - V
27 - W
28 - X
29 - Y
30 - Z
3 - B
4 - C
5 - D
6 - E
7 - F
8 - G
10 - H
11 - I
12 - J
13 - K
14 - L
15 - M
17 - N
18 - O
19 - P
20 - Q
21 - R
22 - S
24 - T
25 - U
26 - V
27 - W
28 - X
29 - Y
30 - Z
The A to Z Challenge is a great opportunity for you to find new blogs and meet new bloggers, and we want to make commenting as simple as possible, so we'd like to make a couple of requests:
- Please disable comment moderation for the duration of the Challenge, including the theme reveal. We understand it's a way to prevent spammers from posting comments, but a commenter might see the message that their comment will be visible after approval as a sign that you don't trust them.
- Also, please disable word verification (CAPTCHA) for the duration of the Challenge. Some visitors might have trouble reading the characters and decide leaving a comment isn't worth the effort.
238 comments:1 – 200 of 238 Newer› Newest»
So, my immediate thought is - wait - I have my posts scheduled for when I'm away over Easter for a family wedding... and no, I won't have internet connection. Then I thought - well, maybe one of my buddies would put the posts up on your list daily, and I can return the favour for them.
So, as an ex-minion, I see why you're doing it, but I don't like it.
Just like everything else going on at present, I suppose.
Sounds like a great idea, my biggest bugbear has always been landing on dead links, and last year there seemed to be a lot of them. Thanks for running it again, looking forward to it - better start thinking of a theme :)
That's pretty awesome! So looking forward to participate in A to Z challenge this year. Oh, it's going to be my 4th consecutive year. Yay!
Looking forward to the Challenge. Maintaining the list is enormous amounts of work for the hosts, so - completely get the reason it's being dropped.
No sign up will mean 2000+ comments on the initial posts (assuming same levels of participants as prev years and cent percent start off participating) - I'll have to figure out some system to track who/how to visit without the '5 new blogs below' guideline. Mildly nervous and cautiously optimistic that I'll be able to work something out :)
So pleased that it's back! Thank you!
When do the registrations begin ? Last year was the first time for me here and I managed to compile my posts into an ebook ! Looking forward for 2017 challenge !
Yayyyyyy! This is great news! And I think the changes would work great too! Time to start planning for the challenge :)
OK. So now this old brain has to remember to do something everyday my pre-written posts appear. Well, I always tweet my posts, but if my granddaughter is born early, all bets are off, LOL.
Thank you for your comment. I can see how this would be a problem for you. But, I also like your solution. It would be like having your own 'Street Team' to help you post on social media sites. Heather
Best of luck in the Challenge.
We appreciate that.
That always seemed to be the issue. Lots of sign-ups, but not as many participating. This way, you will only see who is active.
Best of luck in the Challenge!
Hi! I responded to your Twitter inquiry. We look forward to your posts!
We hope so.
Family always comes first. :)
At the top of this thread another participant mentioned a similar situation. Their solution might help you as well.
This will be my third Challenge and I'm assuming (guess I'm also confused) no registration, we just post on either Facebook, the blog's daily post for that day's letter, or both? I agree the list last year had so many dead links I finally just gave up. The first few days may be really hard to manage but I see why you have to do this. Turning off comment moderation - if the spam becomes an issue we'll just have to see. Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com
I am confused. So does this mean there is no sign up list? With no sign up list, how do we know who is participating early to visit new blogs?
I think it is going to take a few days to remember to go back and do this as all my post are pre-written but so many dead links last year that it is worth the effort. I have found some of my favourite bloggy friends through the A-Z. :)
I think I can just about adjust to the new approach - and look forward to taking about stab at the challenge. Huge fun - and a great success - last year. Looking forward to it.
Paul --- http://www.theironpact.com/
That's correct, no list. And, you can post on your blog, our blog, Facebook, Twitter, and any other social media site you are a part of.
Please do whatever is best for your blog concerning comments.
Correct, there will be no sign-up list.
If you're a regular follower of this blog, and any of the other Challenge social media links, you will find other bloggers talking about the Challenge.
Thank you and best of luck in the Challenge!
That is exactly why we think this will be the best way to go.
Thank you and good luck!
That's great news!
Thank you and best of luck!
Hmmm; this does make things a little more difficult for those of us who pre-write and schedule posts ahead of time, but I understand the need to streamline the process. This will be year 4 for me! ☺ I always tweet and add my link to your Facebook page. Will have to remember to leave it on your blog as well. Thanks for the schedule. I was wondering how that would work this year.
There is a way to preschedule Tweets and FB announcements whenever your blog post goes up. I've done this on FB with my blog posts through Networked Blogs & Symphony. I'm pretty sure it can also be done for Twitter. And then there is the sharing like you do with my blog posts. I think there are a number of ways to accomplish this. This sounds like a great blog post or two for us to put up at this A to Z Blog.
Tossing It Out
Keep following the posts on this blog as I'm sure some creative thinkers will find ways to address the questions like you have.
Tossing It Out
I have started to write posts. But I am 100% sure that I won't be able to provide my link daily as erm there are some great things happening in March. I will try but I might need help from my readers just like Jemima ;)
I do use an automated RSS feed, so that should work. Haven't tried to schedule Facebook posts yet. Will look into that. Thanks.
This is something I'm sure will be on a lot of folks' minds going forward, and I'm working on a post that will address this issue. Stay tuned!
First, congratulations on your upcoming event. :)
The subject of "how to let everyone know you have a post" will be addressed. Stay tuned!
I'm not the biggest fan, but I guess I get why you're doing it. You're gonna make me visit other blogs more regularly this year though.
Song a Day
Noah, to be honest, I'm not the biggest fan of the idea either, but I don't like change that much. I think we'll not only get used to the idea, but we'll find some innovative solutions to make it work. If it doesn't work this year then we'll figure another way or go back to the old way. For now let's see what happens.
Tossing It Out
I can understand why maintaining the list with current participants would be a huge amount of work for the team, hence an active daily sign-up is a more positive/less of a drudge step. But I really liked having the full list as a reference point, especially as that showed type each blog was. For example, last year my theme was book genres, so I sought out book blogs first, moving on to others afterwards. I also went back to the original list after the challenge closed to browse new blogs whenever I had time. So, for me, the list was a constant resource not of participants, but of new blogs to read. It'll be a shame to lose that.
Thanks, Heather & John - maybe somebody else will come up with another good idea.
Even though there were numerous deadlinks, I started visiting the blogs prior to the first day of AtoZ so I will greatly miss a master list of all participants.
So we will end up with a big ole long list of "A's" and very few "Z's."
Visiting blogs early in the day is something I was wondering about, Gossip-girl. It's always been a tad confusing because those of us in the eastern hemisphere post ahead of those in the west. It would help if the AtoZ post for the day went up at 00:01 UTC or something like that, rather on US time.
On the other hand, it would only affect us on day 1, since when we're on day 2, everyone should have put their day 1 link up, so we can visit that.
THIS IS TERRIBLE! I can't believe you stayed up all night and came up with this solution. Most of us who have been doing this for awhile (Number #5) for me write ahead, scheduled them and spend what time we have working our way down the list when we can, maybe one day, maybe not. Now there is all this extra linking etc. You may have lost me. I read HUNDREDS of blogs by working my way down the list, starting place random. If no one is home, I move on in an instant. Now you want me to check in, add my link etc. etc. I'm so disappointed that in making it easier for yourselves, if you feel you must check the sites, that you have made all this extra work for the participants. Instead of signing with my usual, I love the AtoZ, I am signing, I'm not willing to fool with all this extra steps to prove that I am participating, when today you may not have time to read anyway. This is a bad solution, folks. Love ya, but .......
I AGREE with you whole heartedly. This is really a bad idea. I have done exactly as you do, after the challenge still browsing, but having the full list is a reference list too. I love looking at the themes I prefer first etc. This solution is no solution for me.
I am taking the time to lend weight to those who don't find this solution the answer. Hoping others are brave enough to say they don't like it, rather than deciding not to bother this time around....which is my position...and I hate that idea too.
You see...here is someone else objecting to the daily link idea after working ahead, getting things scheduled and sitting back to relax and read others work when possible.
Biggest problem I see here in some ways is that those who are farthest west may lose out on readers--we won't be up to link our posts until many people have stopped looking. Yes, the previous day's list is always there, but there will always be so many more ahead of us. I don't know if I can figure out how to have posts automatically post to someone else's FB page--I haven't even managed to get them to post to my OWN FB page!
I'll reserve judgement until I see how it all works. As Arlee notes, we can change it up or change it back next year if this doesn't work.
You think! A little more difficult, yes in deed. I really agree with those who are saying, "Hey, you have just added more work for the participants that is not necessary."
I think that's a great idea since looking at the list was kind of overwhelming. Posting on Facebook usually shows a picture of the blog and a little info about it so it will be easier to pick the blogs to read that you are interested in. I don't pre-schedule blog posts as a rule so that won't bother me either. I have all my letters figured out already, just have to get busy writing! Thanks folks for organizing once again!
I have read through these comments posted by noon on Feb. 6 and HOPE that the objections/problems are taken to heart. No list, nothing to work your way through, extra work when 'scheduling' takes care of daily fussing with the challenge. How will anyone KNOW what themes they want to begin with etc. Plenty of time to rethink this.
Excited about AZ Challenge 2017.
The last year was amazing
That same Friends and community miss it all
I am disappointed in this new linking thing. I use a public pic for my bogs and have to schedule my posts ahead of time. I'll still be doing the A to Z since I've already done the research and am ready to write. I just won't be linking up with you because it's one more thing I have to do in the limited time I have at the library. Very disappointed. Probably won't participate next year.
Stepheny, I understand your passion about this. There are many arguments that favor a master list, but we who have monitored that list in the past realize its shortcomings whereas we have also seen the great amount of daily posting of links on Facebook and elsewhere. In past years, I became more reliant on the FB postings of current daily posts as I saw more inactive and non-participant blogs on the master list.
I hope you will stay with the postings on the A to Z Blog in the weeks to come as we work through the concerns such as you and others have expressed and perhaps come up with creative solutions that will work for all (or most) participants.
Believe me, after 6 years of working with different Teams who were dealing with the Linky List system, we have recognized the tedium of tending and maintaining the master list. In past years' Reflections posts I have offered some ideas about solutions that I am positive that would work, but would require--at least to my knowledge--a financial investment far more than what I would be willing to do or a knowledge of coding that I do not have and so far no one else has come forward with.
The Linky List systems might work well for a short term event, but for a month long large event such as A to Z these list systems are greatly flawed.
Hopefully, most participants will find ways to adapt with our social media experiment or come up with some better ways to approach this. Things were much easier in the debut year when we had less than 100 participants, but once we got past 1000 the event became difficult to keep up with.
A to Z remains a work in progress and unfortunately not everyone will always be happy with every idea we as a Team come up with. But we're trying!
Thanks for you enthusiastic concern. I hope we can come up with something that works for you, for us, and for everyone--or just about everyone.
Tossing It Out
Rebecca, in all honesty, in recent years I for the most part stopped referring to the list other than in my capacity as a Team member to maintain the list. After a certain point it became so easy to visit the daily links posted on FB and Twitter that this was where I usually found the blogs to visit who were actually up-to-date in their posting. Combine this with reciprocating as many visits as I could with those who had commented on my posts I always had more blogs than I could reasonably visit in a day's time.
Having a master list is kind of nice, but until we can come up with a list that is more flexible and essentially self-maintaining then the master list is more work than any team can reasonably put into doing. After all, many of our team (as well as participating bloggers) have outside jobs and personal responsibilities to which to attend. Maintaining the list as it needs to be maintained is like a full-time job even with a large number of Team members and sub-teams.
A to Z is a flexible entity that can go in many different directions. WE will adapt as needed, but we may also have to experiment now and then.
Thanks for your patience and understanding.
Tossing It Out
Be watching for future posts that hopefully will come up with notification solutions that may make things easier for all of us and easier than you are seeing at present. I do understand your concerns and we want to address those in the best way we can. This may turn out better than any of us thought. It could be worse too, but we're hoping for better.
Tossing It Out
I also liked being able to see what subject each blog was about in the list (e.g., books, writing, photography, music). It's good to explore new blogs, but I think many of us gave first priority to blogs in our own areas of interest.
I do think this is a good idea to eliminate the problem of people not participating who sign up. I'm not doing A to Z this year (I'm taking a blogging break in April), but I do see the concerns of many. I would probably forget to link to your posts because I'd be too busy that day with the Challenge and every day life.
The reply feature seems to be turned off. I just wanted to say thank you for your responses to my question and I guess I will either figure it out, or post it alone- IDK. Thank you.
I'm not wild about the idea of linking each individual post (e.g., different time zones, some people may not be on the computer until near the end of the day, not everyone will check the list throughout the day for new links), though I do understand how the existing system had issues. Last year, I had a lot of bad luck, particularly in the first week. I clicked so many blogs with interesting names, only to discover there hadn't been any posts in months, even years.
I really hope participants take to heart the plea to turn off comment moderation and captchas. I run into those every year, as well as some blogs that require a unique to the blogger commenting service. I was ready to comment on some great blogs last year, only to discover I'd have to go through the whole rigamarole of registering for a commenting service almost no one else uses, or that's only used for that particular blog.
Well, I am really glad you are addressing the 'dead link' issue. Some folks never even started and it just wasted my time. My three-year old is pretty computer savvy, maybe he can link when I am not able to.
One-Liner Wednesday has a similar system. It's a lot easier than going back to a master list to follow bloggers. In the case of AtoZ2017, if you miss a day, or two, or three of posting on the daily 'home' post, you could add the link later. Most AtoZ bloggers are going back and checking other bloggers' posts later anyway. Does that make sense? :)
I agree with Stepheny. I have been with the challenge nearly from its inception.
Without a master list, even with its flaws, there is no way I will be able to sort out who is new, who I would like to visit.
I will have to push my posts each day to FB (which I already have to do since they removed the networked blogs feature) AND list them daily to the Blog and the AtoZ FB page. 3 pushes for each post.
You might lose a lot of long-time participants with this setup.
I've just taken part in a Challenge to post weekly in which around 600 people were taking part. They had an FB post for each day's blogs to be linked to. Frankly, it was overwhelming and hard to remember on the subsequent days' links, who'd you'd already read and liked - and who you'd read and didn't. Last year I picked up blogs on my writing group's FB page, my twitter feed, but mostly on the sign-up list. Please have a sign-up list - you don't need to maintain it. It's easy to know where you've been before because the links change colour on the list - there is no easy way to do that on either daily FB post or Twitter feed.
I agree with Carrie-Anne. I'll miss the list. Flawed as it might be, it was my go-to when looking for one place to see who was involved in this challenge. I do not see myself coming here, or wherever, to add my post every stinking day of this challenge. It's enough work just to get the blog posts written and up on my blog. Plus what about those of us who don't use FB and/or twitter? What you're telling me is that I'm on my own with this challenge. Are you sure this is what you want?
One thing the Team should take into consideration - the master list acts as a reference or place to visit AFTER the challenge has ended. I still get pageviews from AtoZ after the fact (maybe even more so). So when the master list settles in as those actually participating, it is a great source for those of us who have put in the effort to post for every letter (rather than just picking and choosing which letter to highlight).
Tami, you do make a good point with which I would agree. For example, the list was the go to place for the Post-Challenge Road Trip which has become a tradition. We may have to consider some sort of alternative to allow for that. The problem still would remain for the non-participant blogs, ad blogs just trying to be seen, or whatever other problems there might be.
Maybe we'll come up with something if we all think on this and banter our ideas back and forth. Keep the ideas coming.
Tossing It Out
Maybe that's the answer, Arlee: have the list, just don't check it.
Second year a-z blogger here. I like that you try to address an issue, sometimes it is important to experiment to get to something better. I schedule my posts in advance, but always visit them on the day to make sure everything looks all right (I'm terrible with computers) and I have simply added a note to my to-do list to add the link to your posts every day.
And what is the incentive to complete the challenge now that the removal from the list was the deterrent for signing up and not participating?
Since I visit nearly every blog listed on the list (with the exception of AC - just not my thing), I report ALL of the deadlinks I encounter. If you need someone to visit and report just on deadlinks, make me a Master Minion, or medicated Minion (whatever you want to call me ....)
I wish I could understand ONE word of the changes.
I worked hard yesterday in preperation for the challenge......now I'm not so sure whether to take part.
I am not techically minded so will make my mind up when I have re-read your post a few more times.
PS: I have NEVER missed a challenge, in fact I am proud to say I was the first one ever to sign up on the very first challenge.
I agree Carrie - and the problem then is that they don't realise how many people they've put off!
Lee - how about having a sign up for the Theme Reveal which would be a good place for those of us that prefer to work from a list (and who can't or don't troll around FB a whole lot). Then do the daily posting how you like. Okay, so some bloggers would miss out if they don't do a theme... but I'd probably miss them if they only go on the FB or Twitter notification anyway.
Come to think of it, Jemima, I think I worked off the Theme Reveal 2016 list because I could count on the bloggers there to be active throughout the challenge. Good suggestion! :)
The list WAS a pain--but I liked the categories on the list since I read mostly book blogs. Is there any thought to how to use some sort of flag on comments to indicate blog category?
I will not participate this year after four years of joining in, due to the last couple of years' results for my blog and because of these changes. I'm not of fan of the 'no list' change. I don't use Twitter or Facebook, so as you increase that portion, I decrease my participation.
I liked the A to Z Challenge the way Lee originally started it.
Perhaps by encouraging those larger audiences on Twitter and Facebook, you get more participants signing on, but due to their short attention spans, they forget there is a work post commitment as well. My view of this: 'you need to post in one place, but also link here and here and oh yes, here too'. Sorry to bow out, but I can use that time for writing in other ways. I also don't ever do the Theme reveal part of the challenge - I have always preferred to 'reveal' that on the day the challenge starts. That said, I wish all who do participate good luck.
My point exactly, the linking here, here and here part.
Thanks, Ally, for stating some of my concerns (see DG Hudson comment below)
Yes, what John said.
Checking in at the end of the day after reading everyone's POV. The discernment process tells me people are unwilling to spend more time linking here and there and many do not use Facebook etc. Those who took the time to reply basically are considering bowing out, which would be a shame. For those of us who really work through the list in the categories we have an interest in, find plenty of people who never got started or fell by the wayside. You click, you look, you move on. It has never seemed to me that the list is up to date, so what is the problem of continuing to signing up, picking a category, a theme, and leaving it to the participants to do what works for them? If I can't work from the sign up list I will not find or be found. I would say that this initial response is not positive. I love you guys, and appreciate how much it takes to organize etc. so I hate for you to think I am being negative, but please leave it as is and don't worry about who isn't home when people check in. Move on.
D. G. Hudson, you bring up many good points. Thanks for reading my comment & taking the time to respond. Much appreciated.
I will miss your posts DG! Have really enjoyed reading all your content for the A-Z the previous years.
Nope. I don't want to link EVERY day of the month. I've participated for the past 5 years. I schedule posts to go up so it isn't a problem when I can't get to it for some reason or other - there's no forgetting - and I can make sure to get to sites to comment. I like one place to go to for links. The list worked great for me. Yes, there were some dead spots, but I just quickly skipped on to the next. Sorry, this may be a deal breaker for me. I have got my theme, but the daily linking may be a bridge too far. Sigh.
I can see the allure of getting rid of the list. It was massive and I honestly didn't look at it much. I tried to each day and being a minion helped me to look at blogs, but it was overwhelming.
I turned my comment moderation off four years ago and have very, very little spam. In fact maybe only once!! Give it a try
I don't think it is more work at all. I like the idea. I hated the list!!
I like the idea. I haven't decided if I am participating yet! But that huge list of wasted links was a pain in the your know where!!
I have participated in other challenges where they have a daily link list and it works fine. It will just take time to get used to it. Sounds like there are more than one person here who doesn't like change. I hate change too! Most of us oldies do. But this is change for the Better!! I'm on board. Come on Stepheny. Give it a chance at least!
Oh for Goodness sake. After reading all the complaining here I don't even know if I want to bother. I was one of those who hated that list. And there were hundreds of blogs that either didn't even start or quit after a few days and I felt like I was wasting huge amounts of time. But I didn't realize there was so much dissension. I am all about being more positive this year. And this post is surely not that!!
Stepheny, exactly! Well said. [And it only took me two tries to get a comment here!]
We understand your concerns about time management. Pre-scheduling posts has always been the easiest route. It should only take a moment or two to provide your daily link to this page's comment section. No more than it took for you to join us today.
Until we have a trial run of this new system, most likely the Theme Reveal, none of us will really know.
The Master list had very little information about blogs at all. Just a name and if you were lucky, a two letter code.
This new system should give us a little more to work with. At least you know when you see links on this page, they are actively participating.
I don't believe any of us should give up just yet.
The list was overwhelming.
In essence, adding your link onto this page during the Challenge is creating a daily list of actively participating blogs.
I am not on Twitter and a light user of FB, so I will just have to put up links here. Just been trying to work out how to manage the time lag - there is at least an 8 hour difference between the USA and me. Bloggers eastwards will be 10-15 hours ahead of the posts here. Will the posts on this blog go live in time to accommodate us who are ahead of USA? If not, any tips on how can the time lag be best managed? Thanks.
I'm disappointed that you're not able to give this new idea the chance it deserves.
I hope you realize that the co-hosts are all volunteers just trying to make the Challenge an interesting blog experience for everyone.
I hope you don't think that any of us took this change lightly.
We're simply doing the best we can.
We hope you will join us and try to make this change as painless as possible.
You will have a daily list, via these comments, to work through.
You should be able to see more information about each blog from the links.
It should only take a few moments to share your daily link.
Dear Ally, thank you for voicing your concerns. Please refer to the post above. FB and Twitter are additional options; there will also be posts here on this very blog, every day, for people to post their links in the comments. So not having FB or Twitter is not a problem. And please don't think you are on your own. Just as you are having a conversation with 40+ people right now about this right here, you will have company during the Challenge as well ;)
I think we're all going to figure it out together.
I hope you give it a chance.
I also schedule some of my posts, but I'm frequently adding my links to different places, like Twitter, FB, Pinterest, G+, my personal FB page, and the like. It only takes a few minutes each day of the Challenge month.
I would think when you post your link in a comment box, like this one, that you would be able to post anything you like.
#atozchallenge - Letter A - 2017 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge
My theme...Killer robots and how to love them.
Thank you for your comments.
There is absolutely no requirement to link to Facebook or Twitter or any other social media site. Those are simply options.
Posting on this blog would take just a few moments a day, no more than it took for you to share your views above.
Simply put, the way Lee started the Challenge was brilliant. But, it's moved beyond that small start-up Challenge to something that can't be easily worked by a few volunteers any longer.
We hope some of you will give this new idea a try, before you decide.
We hope you don't leave us just yet.
I'm not surprised to see so many people voicing their concerns. I'm sure we've all had those concerns when something we're used to, changes.
We knew that this 'no list' idea would be difficult for some participants to hear.
Of course, we didn't want to make any changes.
The list just takes too many hours to maintain. And even when we spent those hours maintaining it, there were still problems that slipped by us.
I suppose we were under the impression that most participants came to this blog often during the Challenge to use the list, so taking a moment to add your link to the daily list wouldn't be such a big issue.
Yet, some of you are pointing out that it will be a hardship.
We hope that no one gives up on the Challenge yet. Let's see if we can be more accommodating to some of the issues you brought up.
Thank you for your time.
As somebody who blogs daily already I always used this as a sort of signal boost for my brand, but I confess I was never good about reciprocating. This year I'll be forced to contribute and, while I find it to be a little annoying I can't really be mad. I honestly miss the convenience of having a list of names, but what's the worst that happens?
I don't see as many people as last time.
I don't catch the themes so I can't look for music blogs like myself.
I don't get to brag about being in the low hundreds to my friends.
Honestly I'm not missing out on much without the list, it's all good to me. Lists like that are tremendous maintenance and if I wouldn't want to do it I can't imagine forcing somebody to do it for free if I wouldn't.
Arlee, thanks for the response, I look forward to how this and any future ideas work.
Stephany, I really feel like you're taking this way worse than it is. I don't like it, but don't skip out just cause it's harder this time around. As a hater of new things I can't imagine this will take that much to get used to.
I can see both sides of this. Last year, I came across many "dead" links and it is frustrating when you're trying to manage your time and you spend what free time you have for blogging searching for actual participants.
However, I also prepost all my posts and my first thought was, "Man. Now I have to do another step."
Bottom line: I'm not an admin. I've been an admin on another List and it's a lot of work to visit actual participants and keep a list of those not posting. I see the benefit of streamlining the administration's process. I for one am going to do the extra step and enjoy not having to comb through dead links to find a post.
I'm looking forward to this year's challenge. I'm trying something new this year and I'm excited yo see what others come up with.
Have a good evening,
My first reaction was: I don't like this at all. I like having a list. Why not have a list without maintaining it AND do your daily postings on the A-Z blog? That way those of us who like a list will have something familiar to work with. Honestly, even though it was a bit frustrating to run into dead links and out of date pages, it was no big deal to simply click out and move on. Someone suggested having a Theme Reveal List which I think is cool but it does leave out those who aren't using a theme. My suggestion is to still have a master Sign Up List AND incorporate your new idea. What's the harm in having a list that isn't maintained? Those of us who like lists will just have to deal with the frustration of dead links and that's okay.
Just a thought...
Me vewy, vewy scared:) all I can do is my best.
I'm so excited to return for my second year of A to Z fun, I even started planning a couple weeks ago! Thanks for the updates, I'll see you all on Twitter, Facebook, and the web!
Michele, our "new idea" is actually an idea that has been used extensively over the past several Challenges which is why we thought we might be able to go this route without the list. In past Challenges many bloggers were not even on the master list and only relying on exposure via social media and visiting other blogs.
As we evaluate the response to today's post we might end up deciding to go with a defective master list that receives no maintenance. The other problem with the list is that we got so many emails from people who wanted to change something on their list posting, make corrections, be removed, or whatever. If someone were paid to do the list it might be an okay job, otherwise it's like a full time volunteer job.
Let us continue to think about this and the Team will decide if we want to consider the list. Right now we're putting the idea on the table to stir up discussion.
Keep those ideas and suggestions rolling in folks!
Tossing It Out
While I'm trying to be optimistic about these changes (it might work great!), it's hard for me to be excited about it. I liked the list. Had you asked for more people to help maintain it, I would have happily volunteered. In saying that, though, it's not really a problem for me to post here daily, and I usually post to Twitter and Facebook regardless. I think my biggest concern is finding new people to visit. I could be wrong (and I hope I am), but it feels like I'll only see the same people posting on the blog at the same time every day when I visit (I live in the EU, so much of the US is still asleep when I'm lurking around). But maybe that means I should go back to the day before and see who's posted there? Or, more likely, this is probably a non-issue and I'm over thinking it. It's an experiment, that's for sure. I will remain optimistic, for science!
Hi, I just looked if I am already following you on twitter. Could it be that it's @AprilA2Z instead of @AprilAtoZ ?
It's harder to put the post on the daily list because last year I prescheduled some of my blogposts. So this year I will actually have to go online every day. But I am sure I can manage.
I am looking forward to the theme reveal. I have a glimpse of an idea what to do. Let's see if it works out.
I just don't get what people found so great about THe List! I hated it! I hope you don't change back just because a few are complaining. Can't we at least try something new to see if it works or not??
Well, the 'new idea' has indeed been tried and tested, which is why I know I don't like it, Lee. I've tried to add my link to the FB post, and some years it works for a few days, and sometimes I give up very early on. Some days FB deigns to show your daily sign-up on my feed, some times it doesn't. And with all the noise on FB at present, I really don't want to use it that much.
That's me. Others adore FB and would probably rather post their entire A to Z challenge on it. But that's not Blogging, is it?
You and the AtoZ Team have my respect, Arlee Bird!! You amazing people have done this out of a love for blogging and a dedication to other bloggers. You created the best Challenge! Do what you think is best. You're the ones in the trenches doing all the work to make it happen. Thanks!
Oh I read the post. I understand what's going on. If I don't play the daily link-up game, I'm on my own because there's no one resource listing everyone in the challenge. Instead there will be 26 places for everyone to be found, over and over again. It's a less simple, more cluttered approach.
This whole issue seems like a tempest in a teapot. It's possible for you to provide both the master list and the daily link-up, thereby allowing each of us to be involved in the A to Z Challenge in our own way. And doing our own thing, being unique with something special to share, is what got all of us bloggers into this challenge to begin with. 'Ya know? Just saying.
I think we will be putting up the letters the evening before to accommodate different time zones.
I'm hoping that your optimism will catch on.
As for the themes, I still think we will be able to share what our blogs will be about in our links.
We will be able to share our themes in our links. I'm going to do an example link post in the comments below.
I'm sorry you feel that way, Ally. We don't want you to feel that you're on your own during the Challenge.
In so many ways, the list was just too overwhelming for the volunteer team to handle.
We hope you don't give up on the Challenge just yet.
This entire Blogging Challenge was supposed to be a fun way for bloggers to network and share. It didn't remain that way.
The Team is doing its best.
We hope you don't give up on us yet.
#atozchallenge Stormy's Epic Adventurous Quest Journey - A
Stormy the Weather Gnome, and friends, star in this action-filled docudrama detailing Stormy's quest to find the cure to his ... predicament.
This is a simple example of what a post could look like each day. It took just a couple of minutes to post the information here.
My link on the list?
Heather M. Gardner
That's all you would have seen.
That should be the correct Twitter address.
Wordpress has a feature that can post to Facebook and Twitter (and a host of other social media sites, including one I never heard of) when you post to your blog. This can be done on a post-by-post basis or turned on so that all your posts send this. Using the hashtag #atozchallenge in the title of your post will cause it to show up when a user on FB or twitter searches for it.
Both Blogger and Wordpress users can use IFTTT to post to the two sites automatically, either whenever you post to your blog or when you post to your blog using a specific category or tag. I'll be posting something to this blog on how to use IFTTT and will also set up some sample applets (what they used to call formulas) that you can copy and modify for your own use.
Really, the only people who would need to post a link as a comment to the blog would be those who didn't use one of the techniques I listed above. I know it's a less-than-perfect solution: FB and Twitter have turned into war zones and you have to wade around all the vituperations to get to the content you want. (Believe me, I know; I'm ready to ditch both of them myself.) This is why we came up with the "post your link as a comment" idea.
Our main concern was how many hours were being spent weeding out people who weren't participating, dead links, links to Canadian pharmacies and porn sites, making requested changes, etc. Not having a list would free us of this work and give us more time to read and comment on your blogs. It's apparent that many of you would prefer an imperfect list to no list at all. We'll be discussing this (at least I think so) and I hope will come up with a solution everyone can live with. Please bear with us...
One other thing: we're acutely aware of the time zone thing. 12:01 AM Wednesday in Sydney, NSW is 8:01 AM Tuesday in Atlanta. We got that. ;)
Sara, I liked the list too, but it was overwhelming even when we had somewhere around 100 "volunteers" who kind of helped patrol the list, but in actuality were not always reliable. And then there were the issues that we had to double check the blogs and often send emails to the blogger before deleting their links. It was an imperfect process which is mostly the nature of anything requiring a personal effort to make sure everything was happening as it should. I can envision an automated process that would be almost foolproof though it would take some extra steps from each enrolling participant.
But, yes! Optimism for the sake of blog science! That's the spirit. Positive growth usually entails making some changes and change is usually scary or uncomfortable.
Thanks for your thoughts.
Tossing It Out
We will be here to help you along the way, Birgit :)
We are happy that you are joining us again, Maggie! :)
Sara, that is my plan too: To visit the links posted under the letter from the day before. That way, I get the most out of the time difference. :)
Looking good! :)
That is perfect! Problem solved. Thank you so much. Off to plan the posts now. I am confident working list-free will turn out to be a positive, make this Challenge neater, and more fun. For those who want to have a list as a 'record' maybe one for the 'Reflections' post would serve that purpose - all survivors in one place for handy reference.
Best wishes to all who plan to participate, and to you the co-hosts.
I am so on board with Stepheny. Not trying to be a negative Nellie but I have been a very active participant in AtoZ and have seen the best and the worst of it.
If the new rules remain as is, I too will be bowing out.
Phew what a lot of debate. My initial reaction was oh no! Mainly because I'm due to be away for the first 10 days of April so was aware I'd need to preschedule my posts. Not sure how much internet access I'll have to visit or comment on other sites or link my posts. But things change. So I'll work it out - somehow. Will be interested to hear more from John Holton on how to automatically link to Facebook. As for the list. I get that people don't like losing the familiar. How about the compromise of combining registration with the theme reveal. That way hopefully those that bother to have worked out a theme and sign up on the theme reveal day won't turn out to be dead links. The team do a great job but I appreciate it must be difficult to get enough people on board to make sure the list stays up to date. Thanks for all you do. I haven't been in it since the beginning but over my involvement I have seen the number of participants increasing dramatically.
I've helped maintain the list as a minion and it helped me get around to see other bloggers that I might not get to otherwise, but it was a lot of work and a lot of hours.
I think it's good to try something new as a solution.
If we can't take the time to link our post to a comment or a twitter feed or a facebook post, then are we really taking the time we need for this challenge? I mean, is it really fair to just pre-schedule posts, walk away, and never visit? Because it seems like the arguments I'm hearing are really about the ability to do that. I was really frustrated both by dead links and advertisement links the last time I participated. Plus, I was frustrated by those who just stick posts up and never visit other blogs, using this challenge and the list as a marketing tool without any social networking. I know I'm guilty of not getting around to visit everyone who comments, but I try to get to everyone within a week. Those that post and never visit are not really participating.
Hey, D! If you remember, last year I was still too banged up and concussed to consider doing this, but it was on my To Do list and... I'm gearing up this year. Glad to be part and can't wait to meet new friends.
One of the advantages of holding off registration, whatever that ends up being, until 11 days before the challenge, is that the list won't be sitting out there as temptation for spammers for an extended period of time. (This is also one of the advantages of going list-free, but let's hold that discussion for later.)
I'm planning the post that explains IFTTT and what it can do for Blogger (and Wordpress) users. It's weird that there isn't a way built in to do this for you automatically, but, well, Google...
Amen to that. A significant number of blogs I follow all year are people I've met during the Challenge, and they're also the ones I visit first, as well as the people who leave comments on those blogs (and mine).
We are glad you are joining us! :)
I think you've misunderstood the complaint - it's not walking away from the pre-scheduled posts - it's spending the time visiting other people and commenting on their blogs -working through new blogs on the list PLUS responding to comments on your own posts PLUS visiting those commenters back (who may be miles away from your list walk-through). And I then go back through all the bloggers I've met through the A to Z and saved to my Pinterest board to see what they're up to... Visiting and commenting on other people's blogs is the essence of what made the AtoZ great. Making blogging friends.
So before we get started on that we have to visit the new AtoZ post and put up our links in the comments - and there is no automation possible for that - if we don't do it, our post is not listed, our blog is not listed for that day, so it looks like we haven't participated in the day. It may only look like five minutes, but that's 2-4 blogs not visited that day - 120 lost in the month.
This will be my third A to Z Challenge, and you’re not scaring me away! I love the challenge because it lights a fire and gets my creative ideas burning. I already have theme ideas to carry me through the next 8 years of A to Z Challenges.
I like to schedule posts in advance because it frees up my time to respond to comments and visit other blogs! So posting a link to this webpage (I don't use FB or Twitter) is not a problem… that’s what I’m freeing my time for.
Question (and someone else voiced the same concern): The old “list” system required blogs with adult content to add AC to their link. With the daily link up, will we be forewarned about adult content?
I understand the why but worry a bit about the execution. Will we be divided by theme? There are certain themes I enjoy checking out and others that just don't interest me.
I use Blogger and pre-schedule. I will have to come up with a naming convention for perma-links to keep it easy on me. LOL!
Keep up the good work!!
Thanks for sharing an example. I like that we would get more information about the blog and/or post!
Thank you, Tyrean.
I think you're citing worst-case-scenario.
We do understand that it might take another moment to share your link, but we also see the benefits of not running into numerous blogs that were not participating or spam or porn on the former list.
I hope you will give it a chance.
Thank you for your comments.
We plan to mention this a few times before the Challenge to get anyone with AC content to mention it in their link or at the top of their post.
There won't be any separation and the category codes were always optional.
But, being able to put information about your theme or post with your link in the comments will help.
Check the example post in the comments above.
But by having all participants link up separately is forcing those of us without internet at home to be alone in this challenge. I know you can't please everybody but you can try to come up with a better solution. You're throwing the baby out with the bath water.
It takes only a minute for you. What about the rest of us who don't use all that other social media stuff?
Right, that's how I'll approach it as well then. Good stuff.
Arlee -- Thanks for the insight "behind the scenes." It does sound pretty crazy and I can understand the desire to get away from it. All in all, the changes are starting to soak in and the excitement is surfacing. I think it'll work just fine.
Thanks for all your hard work guys, it is appreciated! :)
Have been reading the first comments. I personally have no problem with having a list. I liked that I could go back to those I visited and know whom I hadn't yet. It helped, too, that my WordPress is connected to my email so even up to now, I go back to those who have LIKE-d and/or FOLLOW-ed me to say my thanks (and even check out their blogs still). I think if thissystem stays, the Team should not beat themselves up checking every link and all of us participants should report deadlinks. If for some reason, we have to stop participating altogether, let everybody know in the comments.
I do also understand the reason for the linking thing. I do link to stuff anyway, in fact, my WordPress is linked to my FB page and my Twitter account so followers are updated. That said, I think this linking thing could be overwhelming especially if many people have already added their links before you do. It could end up like with what happens when users use Google--they normally just check the first ten of the search results (although this maybe solved with the settings: latest comment at the top). But as for updating readers, the good thing is you can still add the link to yesterday's blogpost under the right letter in the A-to-Z FB account (unless the Team rules that it's not allowed anymore).
...But this is just ME. I just gave my ten cents' worth. Whatever you all decide on, I will accept. I will try to participate without fail (because I admit to having failed A to Z before).
Hi Heather- I hit reply to reply to a comment, but it doesn't work. I saw in a post you were explaining leaving your link in comment with the
I have tried that before and I can never seem to get it to work. Do we type in our http where it says myblogtitlehere or the title of our blog? Sorry to bother you yet again. :(
Ugh. I made a reply here but it didn't post...Anyway, sorry to butt in, and hope I don't come off as a know-it-all especially because I don't know it all at all, he he...
If you need to put a link in the comments, try this URL format:
"TITLE OF BLOG". Then follow it up immediately with "<" and ">" with "/a" in-between them (sorry, had to find a way for Blogger to post what I am saying). That finishes the link.
Oh, wow, Blogger messed it all up! Add these before the title: < and a together, (space), href=page URL, then > .
Alright, that must have confused you even more, sorry. Just check out this link and you'll get it if you haven't yet: HOW TO LINK
Hello :) I've participated last year some of you might remember my blog. If I understood well, there will be no sign up list this year? I loved it the last time and made something similar available to the blogging community here, in Serbia also during April - it's great since our alphabet has 30 letters! Best regards!
I have followed John's advice about using IFTTT and have been posting my blog on my original blogger site and then it automatically posts it to WordPress, my Facebook page and a board I have on pinterest. One post, 4 sites at once. The only thing I have a question about is how to link it to the specific letter on the facebook group page using IFTTT. I would imagine it would just post to the general facebook page of A2Z but aren't we going to try to keep the letters in one grouping?
Yes, good idea--but it might be a good idea for the organizers to standardize it/require it in the comments?
jgifederizo I did not take it as butting in. I need all the help I can get. :)
Thank you so much. I have tried that before and couldn't get it to post.
Lee, I think these changes are excellent ones. This will make life easier on you and your co-hosts, as well as everyone else participating. Now, I need to get cracking on my theme and posts. Thanks to you and your brilliant co-hosts for putting this thing together every year!
Thank you, Cathy. This is the kind of positive thinking we need. It's a new solution worth trying. Maybe it won't work, but either way we don't know until we try it.
Tossing It Out
I will be facing new parenting obligations in April, so daily providing of links won't be possible every day, especially when the visits from relatives and friends won't cease...
Is it normal that I had to try 5 times to post my previous comments, and I think just as many for the 1st one? Because if it will be that way in April, I think I will cry :(
MLQ, thank you for those words of encouragement. We never know what will work until we try it.
Tossing It Out
Hello everyone! Thank you for being courageous enough to shake things up, it's always good to let some fresh air in through the changes. ☺
I love the idea. In fact, The Daily Post on WordPress uses it beautifully. Of course it's a little easier on WordPress because if you put a link in your post, it automatically creates a "pingback" = a comment with your post's title and they link. I'm not sure if it works from other platforms (as in: do the links on blogger create a pingback too?) but worth a try because if it does, all the pre-schedulers could get their comment in automatically. Have you looked into this yet? Maybe change platforms even if it's just for the actual A to Z daily links? I think it would be worth a try to see what's out there. I'm happy to help if you need any.
And please don't get discouraged about the naysayers. They just love the challenge as it is this much! We all do ��
Hmnnn...I wonder why...I was able to do that with the link I gave...My only usual problem when posting replies is when Blogger does not accept the IDs I use (using the "Reply as" dropdown feature plus when Blogger says I made a mistake that I don't understand -- like now, this is my second attempt to post this because apparently "URL contains illegal characters"...There is NO URL!!! Where did that come from???). I often have to repeat everything I've typed down. Whenever I remember that, I make sure to copy the contents first before clicking Publish so I won't have to repeat.
We were asked to mention any concerns. So it is not necessarily negative thinking or naysaying.
But anyway, thanks, guys.
Great idea to nix the list and have a link to daily posts. I haven't a theme yet but will by April 1. Been part of the challenge since 2011. Looking forward to 2017.
Linking back often fails (that's one of the issues with WP #dailyprompt, for example), furthermore some (many?) of us would not approach Facecrook with a barge pole! So... over there we are not ecstatic about the change... :-(
Thank you for your comment.
I think 'linking back' is different then just leaving your link in the comments. I can look into that further. FB is only another option, not a requirement.
Absolutely. Concerns and questions are welcome.
Thank you for your comments.
There are some options we are looking at.
There are blog posts that we will be putting up through March that explain how to leave your link in the comments.
Please stay tuned.
I think the change to NO LIST is awesome.
That list was daunting and I found it dispiriting to wade through.
Oh, my...I still have not decided what to do. Last year was my first year.
So...no sign up? I just leave my link here, in your comments for each day?
People using Word Press, those of us not using WP cannot sign in and read your blogs. Any way to help us with that?
All comments are being read. Everything is being discussed.
(What you are calling "themes" I am 99% sure would actually be "categories".)
There are 7 hosts this year, some who are more here for support or just doing certain roles. There were 10 last year, and they had teams. In 2015, 372 blogs had to be removed from the list, and that doesn’t include links that were removed prior to April 1. At 26 letter posts, that's someone needing to take out about 15 links every day-- time that could have been spent commenting or writing.
It sounds like you did the hop the same way I (mostly) did. Well, the only thing I can suggest is trying Ctrl+F (on a PC) and searching a term you'd enjoy (like the word "book"). I hope April works out better than you think.
I hope my upcoming posts will give you some incentives.
We can suggest it.
We can leave instructions.
But as far as "requiring," I believe the Team is trying to get away from having to spend enormous amounts of time on enforcement.
I DO see what you're saying, Jemima.
One of the blogs that I visited EVERY day in April last year was the A to Z blog. Some people made a comment every day on the A to Z blog post of the day.
And some of those people had a comment signature which linked back to their own blog.
And that isn't a whole lot different from what is being asked of people now.
So, really, it would just be, maybe, adding one more blog to the daily visit in April, maybe starting at that one, and leaving your link there in a comment.
And I'm pretty sure that people can still go to the post of the previous day and the day before that, etc, to leave a link for any letter they did not have a chance to link up to before. Those "late comers" will probably also check out whoever posted above them (I'm not sure, that's a guess), so that will probably help people who link later. Just thinking.
Is this an issue you have with ALL WP blogs, or just ones where someone uses the wrong link (it has "wp-admin" in the URL)?
I have WP. Can you read mine?
Yup! Detailed how-to instructions will follow. But yes, you've got the basic idea.
I cannot comment on any of them. When I went to your blog I could read it, I am just unable to comment on anyone who has Word Press
Where is the link to sign up???? Every year I have to ask this question because it is the most difficult link to find. Why is that?
There is no sign up link this year, that was the main information in this post. There is a rather cool new thing they going to try where we will comment links to our blogs on the main A to Z blog comment section each day, but unfortunately no list this year.
Cool Heather, thanks.
Ugh, not liking this change at all.
I left a comment yesterday, came back to see if anyone had replied and my comment isn't here - can see April being fun if that keeps happening!
Anyway, my original comment addressed leaving links in the comments on a daily basis. That sounds like it's going to be awful messy and finding people will become a chore.
Having said that, I get why the long sign up list might be seen as work for the people running the challenge (although in fairness it's easy enough to click a link, see they aren't participating and leave).
So my suggestion would be a compromise between the two methods. Have the daily post for each letter so there isn't dead links, but instead of the awful system of leaving links in the comments section, can't we have a link up list for each letter so we would visit on A day and join that list, then B day etc.
It would make it so much easier for participants to see the blogs at a glance and hosts wouldn't have to any extra work.
I think it's a good idea. That sign-up list with around 2,000 links to blogs was daunting! Let's give this new approach a try. I have planned in advance for this year's A to Z and am excited for it!
For personal reasons, I'm unable to turn off comment moderation. Can I still take part in the challenge?
Katrina, sure you can still participate. Turning off the comment moderation is merely a suggestion to make your blog more welcome to visitor comments, but not a rule or anything like that.
Tossing It Out
I have included your blog in Interesting Blogs in FRIDAY FOSSICKING at
Thank you, Chris
There you go ;)
Hi. Because I have WP, it's been years since I last tried to comment without logging in (because I just log in). But I remember that before, people were asked to choose which kind of "ID" to use, much like when I try to comment here on Blogger. Aren't you asked to choose an ID when you try to comment?
Plus I get comments where people choose to be anonymous, so I know they are able to comment even without logging in.
Okay, I tried just now. You just need to provide information (email, name and website) so your comment maybe posted. Meanwhile, the new rules say to disable comments moderation if you're going to participate.
This will be my 3rd year participating but this time it will be with my photo blog. I'm excited for the challenge to begin!
This will be my 3rd year in the challenge - it is mentally challenging, physically exhausting and entirely enjoyable! & there's nothing like ordering that survivor T-shirt when it's all over. List, no list - doesn't matter. I'm coming back every year.
That's the spirit and just what we want to hear. Please spread the word!
Tossing It Out
Last year was my first year and I had a blast. The good news is look how many people are passionate about the challenge and comment on changes! The list was a moving target & cumbersome. I completely understand your decision. I started using FB for cross posting awhile back & the traffic increases exponentially. It takes moments to go back to post to FB if you schedule ahead. We can all offer our suggestions & insights as we go along. I can't wait to participate again.
Thank you for letting us know! I'm sorry I was so slow about processing your information about the list. (sheepish grin) Just so you, both of Cauldrons at inspirationcauldron.wordpress.com and inspirationcauldron.blogspot.com will be participating. Their 2017 theme is a continuation of their 2016 theme. Last year it was 'My Characters Have the Last Word'. This year, it's 'Character Snippets'. Please stop by and see what stories are cooking in the Cauldrons! :)
As long as the links can be added 1-2 days later - I'm in :D Not that I'm planning on adding anything late, but everyone knows, life happens. After all - we all are doing it to have fun and meet new blogging people, right? :D CAn't wait!!!!
emilia @ BookBug's World
excited to participate! This is going to be my first time ever.
I like the idea of a daily link up list.
I am new and I think this new system is quite logical and will work well. For those individuals who post in advance and are not available to put a link on the appropriate, could those people still put links on that days blog on a later date? After all, if you click the link and go to their blog you will see that it is date stamped for the appropriate day. That is, if I schedule my "B" post to go live on April 3 but I don't link it to the "B" blog post until April 5, you will see that indeed I posted it on April 3. Wouldn't that work?
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