There have been a lot of concerns regarding the absence of the Linky List this year. How will the new system work? How will I know who is participating? Why isn’t the list being used this year?
That last question has several answers. It wasn’t an easy decision to go list-free, but it was the right one. Here’s why:
The Linky List is massive – and overwhelming. Many have stated they stare at the thousand-plus blogs on the list and don’t know where to begin. Now there won’t be an intimidating giant list.
A lot of people sign up who don’t participate. Some sign up and then life just gets in the way. Some post a few letters and then quit. Some sign up just to get more traffic to their site. Some are just out-and-out spammers. Under the new system, you won’t encounter those people.
This list is time consuming to maintain – and a bit soul-sucking. To understand the man hours required, this was the process:
- The co-hosts’ minions/helpers visited a certain section of the list and reported back non-participants.
- The co-host had to confirm each blog reported by visiting it.
- The co-host then had to list all blogs that required either removal or adjustment on another list.
- The List Master (which for the past seven years has been me) had to go through the lists from a dozen co-hosts every day and remove/fix links, a process that never took less than an hour.
- This process wasn’t limited to April – culling the list of ad sites and spammers started in February.
Finally, there are just not enough co-hosts this year to maintain a list of that magnitude.
So, how will it work?
Before the Challenge begins, we will have a post or two where people can comment and announce their intent to participate. At that time, you can visit some and add to your Feedly reader, Bloglovin’, sidebar, or other location.
A to Z Facebook Group. Once you have posted for the day, copy that link and leave a comment here or at the Facebook group. Then, start visiting others who have also left a comment, either that day or the day or two before.
You can Tweet your link with the hashtag #atozchallenge and look for others doing the same – and visit those people. (A to Z Twitter)
Once you start finding blogs you enjoy, make a list in your blog reader, sidebar, or even just copy the link into Word.
So, it’s not as difficult as it sounds. You can even include your theme when you post your link, which will be even better than the old codes from the Linky Lists of the past.
While this sounds like a huge and earth shattering change, it actually goes back to our roots. Because that very first A to Z Challenge in 2010 had no Linky List. Founder Arlee Bird just added everyone who commented they were participating into his sidebar and we all visited each other from that. And you know, that small scale made a huge difference, as many of us formed friendships that have lasted over the years.
So don’t fear the lack of a list – embrace it!
Any questions? Hot Tamales candy welcome.
Co-host Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh is the author of Amazon Best-sellers CassaStar, CassaFire, CassaStorm, and Dragon of the Stars, founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, and his blog can be found HERE