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Showing posts with label blog fest. Show all posts
Showing posts with label blog fest. Show all posts

Friday, February 21, 2014

Our other favorite Blog Hops!

If you are like us co-hosts, you may be looking at your calendar thinking, "What am I supposed to do with the next 39 days until the April A-Z Challenge starts?" Well, it is just your lucky day because we have some suggestions! Here are some of the co-hosts' favorite ongoing blog-hops. We do hope you'll stop by and join in the fun.


A-Z Theme Reveal Blogfest!
In its second year, the A-Z Theme Reveal Blogfest is a "hop within a hop" - an opportunity to join with other A-Z'ers to share what your theme for the month will be (if you have one, which you totally don't have to do. We <3 pantsers too!). This year the big day is March 21st! Hope to see you there!

Insecure Writer's Support Group
This is a great group of people, sponsored by Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh, whose goal is to help one another, "rock the neurotic writing world." Known as IWSG, this hop happens the first Wednesday of every month. If you've ever worried if you're the only writer who feels nervous, insecure, insufficient, or just plain weird, this is the group that will tell you that you are NOT alone. And they'll tell you in funny, insightful and wonderfully supportive ways.

Blog Blitz
Hosted by the incredibly kind and talented (and previous A-Z co-host!) DL Hammons, the Blog Blitz is an opportunity to show lucky bloggers some love, in a BIG way. Periodically DL will select a member or two of the team and email everyone their website, and then we ALL show up and leave comment love on that person's most recent post, on the same day. It's a great way to meet new bloggers, and who knows? You might get selected and have your day in the sun! (Co-host AJ was selected last April and can verify - it's quite the rush!)

Here are a couple of smaller, weekly hops that we think are pretty rad:


And if you're really searching for something to do, several of the co-hosts are not only great bloggers, but also have books published!


What are your favorite blog hops? We know some of our participants are authors and artists, too - take this opportunity to share a link to your work!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Tim Brannan guest post

Hello everyone and my name is Tim Brannan, some of you might know me from either of my two blogs The Other Side (gaming, horror and geek life) or The Freedom of Nonbelief (atheism, science and human rights).  I also am one of a groups of bloggers at Amazon Princess and Red Sonja - She Devil with a Sword.  I am guest posting at the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.

One of the reasons I first got into blogging was to expand my abilities as a writer and help build an audience for my various game books.  I started my blog, The Other Side, as a design journal for my then WIP The Witch.  Then something interesting happened.  I became part of a community.  Sure I had been part of an online community before, via message boards, chat and even going all the way back to BBSes and Telnet.  But a blogging community is something a little different.  I can say my bits here and then others respond, I respond back and there is the back and forth that is very nice.  I then go to other blogs and repeat the process as a responder.   Over the years I have integrated nicely into a community of other bloggers in both gaming and atheism.  I continually get ideas based one what ever the topic du jour is.

I do not underestimate the value of community here.
That is one of the reasons why I feel the Bloghop or Blogfest is critical part of my blogging experience.  For the month of May I am participating in seven different bloghops/blogfests.  I am considering adding an eighth.

I enjoy participating in these for a number of reasons.

First off it exposes me to new bloggers.  I get to read something new and potentially someone new to follow with each one.  For the A to Z challenge I end following a dozen or so new bloggers.  Likewise it exposes me to a new audience and potential followers to my blogs. There are a lot of blogs out there. There are even blogs out there that have similar interests to that I never saw before.  Joining a Horror-related bloghop, for example, is a good way for me to find people with similar tastes outside my normal circles, but joining a "First Loves" bloghop really gets some diversity for me!

Secondly it stretches me a writer.  So with all of these blogs you think I have a lot to talk about.  Yet I have to admit that there are some days that I open up Blogger and stare at a blank screen. A good bloghop gives me ideas, and failing that it gives me motivation.    One of the more obscure ones I joined was one dedicated to silent film star Mary Pickford.  Now you might ask how a game-blog with an emphasis on old-school games and horror can have anything to say about a silent film star, but in truth there was a movie that had a huge influence on my future writing.  Being able to share that with my primary audience (my regular readers) and my new audience (people in the blog hop) was great, especially since I needed to write from the point of view to satisfy both.

At this point I do want comment on not alienating your audience.  I know there are some people, not a lot, but some, in my regular blogging circles that do not like blogfests, and the A to Z one in particular.  I want to be cognizant of this.  Not tailoring my involvement to the loudest minority mind you, but what it means to my primary audience.  If I were for example were to spend the entire month of June doing nothing but talking about silent movies the people that come to my blog for gaming material will be turned off and leave.  I participate in these bloghops/blogfests, but I have to make sure that anything I post would have been something I would have posted anyway.

I enjoyed being in the A to Z blogfest the last three years.  Each year I do something a little different.  I am thankful to all the mods, helpers and minions that made this years' run so much smoother.  A real special thanks goes our to Arlee Bird for driving this Leviathan every year.  This year I was more focused and did things that will end up in my next book Eldritch Witchery.  Again, stuff I was going to write anyway and share.  This time it ended getting more diverse feedback than say if I had done it in June.

In the end I guess these things are what make of them.  For me they have been a great experience both as writer who happens to be blogging and as a blogger in a community of bloggers.   Now if there was only a central place where all the blogfest and bloghops were advertised that would be great!

Maybe someone else can take that on. I have some posts that are screaming at me to write. ;)

About the Author: Tim Brannan is an author and blogger living in the suburbs of Chicago.  He has worked on a number of games including the Buffy the Vampire Slayer RPG, Ghosts of Albion, and The Witch.  He is currently working on Eldritch Witchery for Elf Lair Games and Darwin's Guide to Creatures for Battlefield Press for the Gaslight RPG.  When not working on game material or blogging he spends time with wife and two sons.  During the day he designs curriculum for universities going online. Prior to this he was teaching Statistics at the university.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Blogging Basics: Blog Hops/Fests & Memes

Last week, we discussed the basic ways of making connections in blogging.  This week, we'll touch on the next step, which involves taking part in blog hops, blog fests, challenges and memes.

Last week's steps were 1. Visit Blogs, 2. Leave Comments, 3. Follow Blogs, 4. Have Something to Say, and 5. Respond to Comments on Your Own Blog and Visit Back.

Before we get started, we should probably define the terms we're discussing:

1. Blog Hop/Blog Fest: This is a virtual party that often involves a theme.  People sign up to participate in whatever the theme is.  They then post to that theme on their own blogs during the designated time period.

Ex: The A-to-Z Challenge.  We challenge participants to blog every day except Sundays during the month of April.  Further, we ask participants to go in alphabetical order with their posts.  Any theme will do, as long as the basic rules are followed.

Note: Blog hop and blog fest are fairly interchangeable and don't necessarily have a different meaning.  For the rest of this post, they will be referred to as blog hops or, simply, hops.  Challenges, campaigns and any other types of hops/fests will be included in this simple definition.

2. Meme: An ongoing blog hop, of sorts, that occurs repeatedly and consistently, such as once per week.  These are always to a theme.

Ex: Wordless Wednesday.  There are many different iterations of this meme, but they usually involve posting a photo or image of some sort once per week, rather than posting a written or wordy post.

Why do people do blog hops and memes?

It's a fun and easy way to meet other people.  Why do we have parties and meet-and-greets in person?  Same reason.  You get a bunch of people together so they can meet, rub elbows, forge relationships, and enjoy themselves in the process.  And when it's done via blogs, no one has to spend money on food and decorations.

How can they help me make connections?

When you participate in a hop or a meme, you sign up on a linky list or submit your name/blog in some fashion.  You're then expected to try to visit other participants, and the same is expected of them.  This means you have people dropping by your blog who might not have done so if you hadn't both signed up for the hop/meme.  Exposure may gain you readers/followers.

What are the basics in participating in blog hops and memes?

1. Be sure you're interested.  Don't sign up for every single blog hop or meme you happen across unless you are genuinely interested in doing so.  Choose only those you actually want to take part in.  If you don't enjoy the hop/meme, it will be obvious in your post.  And if you sign up for too many, you will quickly find yourself overwhelmed.

2. Participate once you sign up.  Don't sign up for hops and memes only to draw people to your blog.  You must follow through and put your post up on the appropriate date.  While you may think it will benefit you just to have people drop by, despite not taking part, you may find it harms more than helps, as people are deterred by your lack of participation.  (Note: Honest mistakes happen.  Don't be afraid to address that you forgot to put up your post once you realize what happened.  People will understand.)

3. Follow the rules.  Yes, sometimes the rules may be flexible, but try to keep to the overall idea of the original hop/meme.  Don't sign up for a blog hop about cats and post about UFOs.  Follow the rules as they've been set out, so that you aren't cheating other participants or the hosts of the fun of the hop/meme.

4. Visit other participants.  Try not to just throw your post up then leave it.  You should make an effort to visit at least a few of the other participants and leave comments for them.  If you truly enjoy the topic, which you should if you signed up, you'll enjoy reading other people's take on the topic.  Get out, have fun, rub elbows.  The main point in a hop/meme is to meet other bloggers you may have something in common with.

5. Help "advertise" the hop/meme.  If they've made a badge, be sure to put it in your sidebar.  Even better, link the badge to the host's site, so others can participate if they'd like.  Put the badge in your hop/meme blog post, along with a link to the host's site.  If you can mention the upcoming hop/meme in advance, try to slip that in somewhere.  The more, the merrier, so you want more participants to share in the fun.  Be sure that you make it clear that this post is part of the hop/meme.  If participants are confused about your post, there is a good chance they will skip it.  I always try to put the badge beneath my introduction or at the top of the post, so participants who are stopping by know they've reached the right place.

The best way to learn about a hop/meme is to participate and learn as you go.  Just bear the above pointers in mind and jump in with both feet.  Hops and memes are meant to be fun, so don't be too serious about it, and don't allow yourself to get stressed out about it.  Enjoy yourself!

May you find your Muse.

Shannon
The Warrior Muse  




Monday, December 17, 2012

Choose Your Own Apocalypse

Hello out there, A-to-Z'ers!

Perhaps you've heard, or maybe not, but the world is ending Friday, December 21, 2012, or so say the Mayans (or at least the people who have decided this is what the Mayans had to say).  What better way to ring in the end of the world than with a blog fest?  Join Shannon, of The Warrior Muse, and Chuck, of Apocalypse Now, for the Choose Your Own Apocalypse Blog Fest, Friday, December 21, 2012.


Assuming the world doesn't end until later in the day, it should be quite the party!

You see, while many people think the world really is going to end on Friday, the 21st, most of them can't agree on HOW.  Will it be an alien invasion?  Zombies? Collision with a mighty meteor?  The super flu?  Solar flares?  Oh my, there are so many ways the world could conceivably end, but the question is, what do YOU think will happen?

Visit one of the following blogs to sign up:

Shannon: The Warrior Muse
Chuck: Apocalypse Now