Monday, May 6, 2013

Hmm... Reflecting on A to Z 2013

Congratulations to all who participated to any extent! A to Z 2013 was like a party! I had a great time and me met a bunch of new bloggers. But now that I'm older, I can't party like I used to. I should have gone to bed earlier... I'm worn out! But we made it so here's to us!
I tackled the list as I did last year, visiting as many blogs on the letter of the day as I could, winding my way through the list, starting each day where I left off and doubling, tripling, even 5x-ing up letters. With life so crazy, I visited less people this year than last, but still 715 (not counting my weekly Sunday visits to my good friends who visited me almost daily! see list below - thanks guys!) Here is a pic of my notebook. And I compiled my journey into numbers...

My A to Z 2013 Stats:
I visited 715 blogs and commented on 405, 57%
Out of those 405,
I really liked 110, which is 27%
85 commented back, 21%
26 new friends follow me, 6%
and I followed 19 (working on visiting back and following more!), 5%

Reasons I didn't comment:
  • no A to Z post for several days
  • too long (I mean, tooooooo long) and no white space...
  • not my taste or interest, couldn't relate
  • too racy or gross for me
  • technical difficulties, kicked me out after a couple of tries
Those reasons vary from person to person, commenting is very subjective. I did make it a point to comment on those with fewer responses, to encourage them to stick with it! If you didn't get very many comments, see #1, 2, and 5 above. But the main reason I believe one would have low numbers is:
  • You must make the first move and go visit! Look at my numbers above, only 21% of the people I commented on commented back, but wouldn't have if I didn't visit them first
Also, I was hesitant to follow if I couldn't find the person's name. I understand those new to this might be shy and not want to shout out their name, but if you want followers, you have to put yourself out there. As a writer, you want your author name to be well known so you can sell your book(s)! And I want to know a little bit about someone before I follow.

Suggestions for A to Z 2014
  • First - Thank you, thank you, thank you, Arlee Bird for hosting this gargantuan blogging event! Hope you are still up for it next year! And all the many helpers who hosted and helped!
  • I loved being a minion! Jeremy was a terrific boss! It was a great idea to break down the list and see who was serious and who was... not. I hope you all do that again next year.
  • The List. The categories were a great idea too. But if there is a way to group bloggers into those categories when they sign up, keeping them separate, it would help those with common interests find each other. We probably wouldn't need that many categories (Writers/Readers, Arts & Crafts, Gamers, Movies, etc) Rachel Harrie did this for her Campaigns.
  • Prizes? I bet regular participants would be willing to offer a prize or two... just a thought =)
Extra shout outs to my wonderful friends who visited on a regular basis:
Fida - Tweeted my posts!       MJ - super star posts!       Heather G - Stormy's bucket list rocked!
Alex - movies & spotlights!       Dana - her artists were inspirational!       Mark - nostalgic comic relief!
Elizabeth S - terrific trivia!       Carrie Anne - fun fonts & flashes!       Christine - another terrific tale!
Carol - Solomon's Compass sweetness!        Sheena - Sacrifice Her teasers!        Julie L - great supporter!
Vikki - total tv mania!       Rhonda - the BEST international travel tips!       Rena - never lets me down!

Congrats again, everyone! Who knows what we'll be doing next year! Still writing, that's for sure!! 
I think my Lazy Housewife needs some videos. Maybe that's my project for next year. I better start now!!

One more note. Here are some events coming up in May!

When Hollywood runs out of ideas, they remake older films. Sometimes this works, and sometimes it fails miserably.Hosted by Alex, Stephen Tremp, Livia Peterson, and Al Diaz.

Rachel Schieffelbein is hosting the Secondary Characters Blogfest on May 22 to support the release of her upcoming book (get it? support?).

Julie L posted about the 30th Annual Colorado Gold Writing Contest of 2013 which is accepting entries from unpublished writers of COMMERCIAL novel-length fiction. Get your novel in the hands of an acquiring agent or editor!


Stephen TrempAlex (again!),  Michael Di Gesu, and L. Diane Wolfe have teamed up for a Blog Hop to remind us of our healthy New Year's resolutions! I need a reboot!


VikLit said...

Phew look at all the people you visited. I'm exhausted just reading that ;)

Thanks for the shout out. Hugs.

Brinda said...

OMG! Your notebook is freaking me out. You are way more organized on the A to Z than I ever thought about being.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

As soon as I saw numbers and percentages were involved in this post, I knew I needed more coffee. :)

I agree about some of those really long posts and not seeing an actual name. You're right about commenting being subjective etc because I kept returning to a blog or two that used word ver (gasp!) because I really enjoyed their blogs. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Glad you had a successful Challenge!
I encountered a lot of long posts as well, more so than any other year. And a few I just couldn't relate to.
Thanks for the mention! And touting our two upcoming blogfests.

Unknown said...

Wow, you were like a blog visiting machine, Tara!!! That's terrible that a few ignored the word count rule. What were they thinking? And let me guess, their comments on blogs were of the minimalist varieties.

Dani said...

These are some great points and tips for 2014. When it came to commenting, I felt the same way as you. You hit every thought I had during the challenge!

Weaver said...

Tara, this is a freakin' awesome summary of your experience. And I love your explanation for why you did or did not post. I'm sharing this.

Rhonda Albom said...

I don't think you can call yourself lazy and have a hand written list that looks like that. Wow. Plus some impressive numbers. Now I wish I kept track of mine. Thanks for the mention. You are pretty awesome too!


Al Diaz said...

Wow, just from reading your stats you got me exhausted. No wonder you got tired, hahaha. That's a bunch of sites. You're a true soldier of the A to Z!
Thanks for the shout out about the bloghop. I'm all signed up for the healthy one too. I'm sure there will be plenty of useful info there. :D

Suzi said...

Wow. Can't believe only about 20% of people commented back. Whenever someone new stops by, I always do. But if it's someone I visit often, I don't always comment back that same day cause I know I'll be back soon after.

One thing that annoyed me was some of these comment sign in thingies. Sorry, thingie is about the only name I can think of. They're ones where have to register somehow to leave your comment.

And I'm not talking about leaving your name/e-mail and http. In many you had to sign in and had to choose either FB or Twitter. Twitter okay, but FB for me is more personal.

Then I ran into this one and I had to go through a few extra steps. Okay, no big deal. But then there's this message: by by accepting, you are agreeing to our terms of blah blah blah and will allow this application to have access to your Twitter information. (Obviously I'm paraphrasing.)

I went through that one several times trying to just leave a comment without allowing some unknown program to access my Twitter stuff. Couldn't find it. Finally cancelled out. No comment.

Did you hit any like that?

Dana said...

I really like your suggestions, especially the one about separating the blogging categories.

Thanks for the shout-out. You were one of my first blogging buddies. Love your blog!

Fida Islaih said...

That's a lot of blogs you visited! I don't think I could do that, if I did I'd have to bring out my organizational skills. That's good to have a notebook! Thanks for the shout out! (:

Heather M. Gardner said...

You're like a machine!

Great job, Tara.

I enjoyed your theme very much!

And thanks for the Stormy shout out! You know how he loves being the center of attention!


Printed Portal said...

nice to see I am not the only one that kept a notebook :)

Enjoyable packed full reflections posted.

EvalinaMaria said...

You did it, well done! I love your stats and next year will pay more attention to mine.
Evalina, This and that...

Unknown said...

I'm humbled by the shout outs-- thanks, Tara.

Even though I didn't participate, I enjoyed visiting the posts throughout the month. There were some fantastic themes out there. I loved stopping by here (always do) so the pleasure was mine.

David P. King said...

Glad you survived, and I love your statistics. See, I would have been one of those "didn't post enough" people if I had joined this year. :)

Sheena-kay Graham said...

I added practically one hundred blogs to my blogroll during the challenge alone. But visiting over 700 blogs during the challenge? Girl you're a master. Your meme was a lot of fun and congrats on finishing the challenge. Great reflecting Tara.

Cassie Mae said...

Wow! Look at you! And keeping track of it all yeesh!

Unfortunately I wasn't able to visit as many people as I wanted to. But it was fun posting and visiting with the peeps who came to see me :)

Darn deadlines. I need a pause button on life. ;)

Carrie-Anne said...

Thanks for the shout-out, Tara!

Echoing what Suzi said, I also encountered some blogs that required you to create an account with some service in order to comment. You couldn't comment with your regular blog, Google, or other normal account you already have, but something you create just to join that particular blog's network.

Rena said...

I think that it's sad only 20% of people commented back. On the other hand, I can totally see getting swarmed by comments.

And thanks for the shout out!

Unknown said...

Wow- how do you keep track of it all?! Amazing! I've been trying really hard to comment on other blogs- that's the key to receieving comments!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tara .. I'm not at the coffee end of day - it's more vino time! This year I was less of a 'leader- goer' .. i.e. I visited fewer blogs - but kept my own great commenters going ... and was extremely lucky when people came over to me ..

... also the list will be there and I can check out various bloggers now.

Re the Listings .. I'd love to have the 'guess me button' - not the right terminology .. someone put it in place a couple of years ago .. and we got sent wherever .. that would be good to have back ..

Cheers - it's been a fun time - Hilary

LD Masterson said...

I was strictly a spectator and only followed the A - Z circuit on my regular blogging days (M-W-F) but the reasons I didn't always comment were pretty much the same as yours.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

There were a few topics I couldn't relate to, and one I didn't even understand. But otherwise it was fun.

Suzanne said...

Hi, visiting from the reflections list :) Love you blog and the way you write :)
Suzanne @ Suzannes Tribe

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on completing the challenge, also your very good detailed Reflections post.


Christine Rains said...

Your posts were awesome this year! I'd nominate you for the award if Heather hadn't beaten me to it. :) Thanks for the shout-out. I like your idea of prizes. Maybe get some participants to donate their books. I would!

Marianne (Mare) Baker Ball said...

nice wrap up. I, too, would like the themed blogs grouped. It would speed up getting through the list. Impressive stat list you created! I wrote my reflections from last year here, if you'd like to see them. I agree about 'no white space'.
Nice to find you! I've not added a new post since the a-z ended, as my dad's been ill.

Crystal Collier said...

Yay! I'm glad you kept the stats. Yeah, I didn't get as many visits back either, but I did notice at the end that I had a loyal group of friendlies who always stopped in--and I LOVE them all. Yay! Here's to new friends, eh?

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I feel so special, so very,very happy that I don't have to take that picture and blow it up, find my blog, and see if I rated a like mark.

:)Thanks Tara! I think your A-Z posts were absolutely a-mazing!!

Tammy Theriault said...

hey chick with the mad skills! wow, that notebook...intense. those stats...major intense!!

Mark Means said...

(Sorry I'm late, I'm still playing catch-up!)

Man, you -were- organized. I think I'm going to borrow your book idea for next year as I have no idea how many blogs I visited or commented on.

This was one of my favorite stopping places of the entire challenge...I really liked all your tips and I could tell you put a lot of work into each post. Very well done! :) (I also have an award for you, which will be up later!)

Sarah Allen said...

Wow!!! You are so awesome and organized :) It was a fun one, great job!

Sarah Allen
(From Sarah With Joy)

Deanie Humphrys-Dunne said...

I wasn't quite brave enough to join the A-Z Challenge this time, but I might try next time. I recently started my own blog so that kept me extremely busy. Great job on finishing the Challenge, Tara. You should be proud.

Tara Tyler said...

thanks, you guys. i dont know if its organization or anal! but i was determined to finish!
dont know if i can do that again, but we will see!

Trisha said...

I took the whole A-Z list and divided into 30 days' worth of links, and then tried to visit about 66 links per day. Didn't work out too well - way too overwhelming. Gonna have to rethink my method next year. ;)

Thanks for all the blogfest links. Noooice! :)

And congrats on your A-Z achievement!


Anonymous said...

I would love to see the A to Z in categories next year, too. I'd like to find more who write about writing more easily.
Still visiting A to Z blogs myself. It takes time! I like your notebook list. I just started one myself.

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