A-Z Reflections Post

A-to-Z Reflection [2016]

This was my third year participating in the A-Z Challenge and it was probably my best year. Although each year I had all my posts written and scheduled months in advance of the April challenge, this year was much smoother than years past. Probably because for the previous two years I was always tweaking my posts the night before and this year I really didn’t. I highly encourage everyone to prepare well in advance: it makes the whole experience so much nicer, richer and definitely less stressful.

THE GOOD:

I found so many interesting blogs and there were some absolutely fantastic themes out there! I have made a great number of new blogging friends! This is what this Challenge is mainly about, in my opinion. The blogosphere is full of fabulous people and it’s so cool when nice people find each other!

I’m fairly inexperienced with Twitter and still learning the ropes but I found that many of us tweeted each other’s blog posts on a regular basis. What a great way to help build a following and generate traffic to our blogs!

This was also my best year for visiting others’ blogs. Because I essentially didn’t have anything to do for my own posts this time, it afforded me time to spend A-Zing. And I was really committed to visiting and commenting on as many blogs as I could. I did at least 20 per day on a slow day and many days I did upwards of 50. My butt hurt from sitting in front of the computer for so long but it was worth it.

I was also a minion this year, one of John Holton’s Minions, and was responsible for helping to keep the list clean. I think we all (the Co-hosts and all the minions) put in a good effort as the list was cleaned up quickly and efficiently. Last year was horrible for going to links of people who weren’t participating at all or were so far behind it was obvious that they didn’t really care about it. That’s incredibly frustrating, especially when time is of the essence. This year was so much better in that regard.

THE BAD:

Two major gripes I have:

  1. People leaving comments but failing to include their blog addresses so I could go visit them back. I make a point of visiting and commenting with everyone who pays me a visit and leaves a comment. It’s important to me to act in kind. But when people don’t leave their blog addresses, it’s often impossible to find their blog simply by their name or email address. And then it makes me feel bad that I can’t go visit their blogs.
  1. People not coming to my blog when I’ve commented on their blog multiple times. That really irritates me and I find it highly rude. And this happened several times. For example, there were actually quite a few blogs on which I commented a minimum of ten or more times and yet received not ONE visit from these bloggers. That’s just bad blog etiquette. And it’s disheartening when others don’t share that same common courtesy.

I think these are issues that the Challenge Hosts should continue to highly emphasize and stress to all participants, especially about putting links in comment signatures. I don’t mean to complain; I just think that everyone should be on the same page with what this Challenge is all about: meeting, greeting, sharing and discovery.

All in all, this was a fantastic Challenge and I’m so happy with all the new friends I’ve made. Not to mention all the wonderful and amazing blogs I discovered along the way! Thank you to founder Arlee Bird and all the hard-working Co-Hosts who make this Challenge what it is. I’m proud to say that I am once again an A-Z Challenge Survivor. Thanks to all of you (co-hosts, minions and Challenge participants) who made this year so much fun!

survivor-atoz 2016 v2 - sm_zpsx3dtq1n6

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55 thoughts on “A-Z Reflections Post

    • Thanks Linda. Thanks for saying that. I didn’t want to come across as being negative but those things really did get on my nerves. 🙂
      Loved your walrus video this morning!

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  1. You did a great job with the challenge, Michele, and I thoroughly enjoyed flashing back to my favorite television series of decades past. Your posts gave older readers like me a chance to reminisce and contribute trivia about shows that came and went before you and some of the other readers were born. In turn I learned a lot about more recent shows that I missed during my adult bachelor years when I was hanging out in clubs every night and didn’t watch much television.

    If finding new blogs to follow and making new friends is important to you at this point in time, then challenges and hops make sense for someone like you. I applaud you for visiting my blog and leaving high quality comments throughout the month of April, even though I did not participate in the A to Z and you had dozens of other blogs to visit. That’s the mark of a dedicated friend and I will always remember how you came through for me.

    Once again congratulations for presenting 26 very entertaining and nostalgic posts about vintage TV series. Enjoy the week ahead, dear friend Michele!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Shady. I wanted to present a comprehensive collection of TV shows that I grew up on. I watched all the programs that I showcased, though some of them were already in reruns by the time I saw them. But I did watch them all. I’ve been a TV addict for a long time it would appear, huh? 🙂
      Speaking of TV addict: what did you think of The Good Wife’s series finale last night? Interested to get your opinion. I won’t say anything now in case you didn’t see it yet…

      And thank you Shady for being a loyal friend too! It means a lot to me. More than you know!

      Like

      • Hi, dearie!

        Mrs. Shady and I haven’t watched the series finale of The Good Wife. We didn’t start watching the series until a year ago and we have been slowly working our way through the seasons on Hulu. We are approximately two-thirds of the way through the series and nowhere near the end. I am going out of my way to avoid reading articles about the final episode so please don’t be a spoiler. 🙂 Without giving anything away, can you tell me if you found the finale to be satisfying or disappointing?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Well, I’m not exactly sure. I guess that means I wasn’t totally satisfied with it. It’s open to interpretation and I usually like to have things tied up with a nice neat bow… When you get there, let’s chat about it… 🙂
          I am definitely going to miss this show. I’ve been a loyal follower since the beginning… You guys have fun watching it!

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  2. I agree with your frustration about not being able to find blogs of some who leave comments. One big problem here are the bloggers whose profile links lead to GOOGLE+ but don’t have their blog listed at their profile. I’ve wasted a lot of time because I’ve wanted to be nice and leave a comment and can’t find the blog.

    I don’t know how to solve the not commenting issue. It’s rude. But it may also be something to do with bloggers not being able to understand certain cross platform commenting or maybe just being scared or something. I had it happen a lot. I guess that’s just one of those weird blogging things we contend with.

    Thanks for joining in again this year and for your Reflections on A to Z.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Lee. Yes, I found that quite frequently, where I’d go to Google+ only to find the blogger hadn’t listed their blog site address. That’s too bad, because they’re missing out too.
      Re: the no commenting, I guess it could be not understanding or being shy about leaving comments but it also happened (to me) with someone who regularly comments so I don’t know what her excuse could be. No matter. It’s not that big a deal in the scheme of things, just an irritant.

      Again, thanks for creating this wonderful Challenge! It’s always great fun. You’ve put a lot of hard work into development and maintenance of the project and your overall contribution is greatly appreciated.

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  3. Excellent thoughts on the challenge. I enjoyed your posts. They were well researched and you can tell that you spent a lot of time putting them together.
    I’m so glad that we were able to connect this year through A to Z.
    Wow! You made your way around this year. I’m impressed.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have the exact same complaints as you! And I have the same loves of the challenge. It is so much fun to read others blogs and to make new friends. Next year I am going to try to figure out a way to deal with my frustrations about people not commenting. I think if they just want to say…simply visiting from the link! Good job with your challenge and your reflection!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Agreed! I can see someone not commenting if you’ve just made one comment on their blog but I was going to some of the same blogs everyday (because I liked their themes) and commenting and some of those same people never paid a visit to mine. Really ticked me off. I’m someone who is big on common courtesy and decency —and there are a ton of people in the world who, sadly, are lacking that common courtesy characteristic. You have to wonder how they get by in life… being rude. I’ll never understand rude people. It costs nothing to be nice and you get so much out of it, in terms of just feeling good inside. I kinda feel sorry for rude people because they’re really missing out on a joyful heart.

      Thanks for coming by today Paula. See you soon at your place! 🙂

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  5. Congratulations on having such a successful challenge, Michele! 🙂 Your theme was lots of fun. The commenting issue is definitely annoying. What I didn’t like was some people would leave a short, generic comment and obviously didn’t even read the post. They just wanted to drop their link. 😛 Kind of defeats the purpose of the exercise and I didn’t bother making a return visit. Some lasting blogging friendships have come about through the A to Z though, which is where we first met in 2014. Let’s do it again next year! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh that would be terribly annoying, someone leaving generic comments like that. I didn’t have many of those this year, really. I just had no-shows!
      I’m so glad you liked my theme. That’s really the goal, to present something that people want to read and want to keep coming back for. I don’t know if I have it in me to come up with another fun theme next year. I’m kinda brain-dead on ideas right now.
      Loved your theme and all the doggies! That was great fun.
      Thanks for being such a great friend…for the last two years! Wowsa. If I ever get back up to Niagara Falls, we are so getting together! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. You had a great A to Z and you did better than me. I had more challenges this year. I have also commented on blogs who never commented on mine and it is a bit sad but I decided not to get upset because then I find it less fun. I have the choice not to visit theirs and I want blogging to be fun and not a stress. I hope to post my reflections soon….hahahaaaa late as per norm

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha. Hey, no stress, remember?! You’re right: It’s not fun if one gets upset by the “little things” so best to just shrug it off and move on.
      Thanks for being such a loyal blogging friend Birgit. I really liked your movie theme and learned much from all the cool tidbits you shared. I’m making Netflix and Hulu selections based on many of your movie highlights. 🙂
      Thanks for coming by…

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  7. I really enjoyed stopping by your blog each day. I thought it was a lot of fun sharing our posts as well. I experienced the same issues you did with the making visits, but not getting visits in return. After a few visits of not getting anything in return, I would stop visiting particular blogs. Time is too valuable to be wasted on those type of bloggers.

    It was a lot of fun getting to know you better, too. Hope your mom is feeling better soon.
    Looking forward to seeing what you come up with for next year’s challenge.

    Mary
    Jingle Jangle Jungle

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Mary. I’m so glad you enjoyed my theme. Thanks for telling me that! It means a lot.
      Re: the non-return visits: you’re right. I kinda did the same thing when people didn’t visit after leaving several comments on theirs, I quit going. It’s a shame because it’s really their loss…

      It was fun getting to know you better too! Looking forward to a long-lasting friendship! Thanks for the well wishes for my mom. I appreciate that!

      Like

  8. Congrats on a great AtoZ – I have very much enjoyed your posts and your comments. I had a couple of people I just could not find too, because they didn’t leave a link. Even just a blog name helps, because then I could search the list, but sometimes the names people comment with have nothing to do with their blog names and if they don’t leave a hint it’s impossible to find them.
    Tasha
    Tasha’s Thinkings

    Liked by 1 person

    • Absolutely! And I had some people who were regularly leaving comments and I couldn’t find them. I even would leave a message in my comment back to please come back and leave a link to their blog so I could come visit but still nothing. I have to wonder: did those folks even have blogs? Maybe they were just readers and not bloggers? Hard to figure. Maybe next year the signup list will have some kind of “instructions” that people have to read and agree to before signing up…not that that would ensure follow-through. Some people are just rude and selfish and that’s just the way it is I guess.

      I’m so happy that you liked my theme! Thanks so much. Be talkin’ to you soon. 🙂

      Like

  9. I loved your A to Z. This was my first year participating and I, too, appreciated the way the participants were watched. I started a different blog challenge once and most of the participants turned out to be spammers, selling shoes and the like. I found none of that here and I’m sure you and the other minions are responsible for keeping it real! I have to admit that I found out during the challenge that if I did not change my identity, some of the comments I left linked to my WordPress account, which is not really functional yet. My Google presence does have my blog listed though so people who were directed there could find me, something I will definitely remember for next year. Thanks for stooping by my blog on occasion and thanks for all your hard work! Have a marvelous May!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Janet. I’m so glad you liked my theme! Thanks for telling me that. I appreciate it.
      It’s terrific that you had a good experience on your first year. Congrats on completing the challenge. I’m happy to hear that you found the list to be clean. That would totally suck signing up for a blog hop and have most of the participants be spammers!

      Was just over at your blog and read your Reflections post. Thanks for posting all your A-Z links. I can’t wait to go read your post about 8-tracks. I had such an awesome collection of music, unfortunately on 8-tracks! They were so bulky and crappy! 🙂 Will look forward to reading more of your posts.
      And thanks so much for including me in your Reflections post! I’m very honored. Thank you Janet. Talk to you soon…

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Speaking as a beginner, not so much in the writing/blogging but in the engaging, I am one of those who had no clue about the commenting piece when I first did a blog challenge a year or so ago (not the A-Z). So I’m hoping the complaints are a matter of education rather than selfishness. For example: I have referred to this briefly a couple of times in other posts, so forgive duplication, but the first week of this challenge I realized I needed to reconfigure my Blogspot settings to realign with my G+ brand page rather than my personal profile. Otherwise, as you have pointed out, when commenters click on my personal profile, they have to do a little more work (clicking on my About page) to discover my blog site and other contact info. I think I have corrected this, but it was something I was unaware of until I discovered it by accident as I was carping about why people don’t have their blog info on their profile – and I was one of the offenders LOL.

    Also regarding commenting vs reciprocating a blog visit, maybe people just don’t realize this is important and think by replying to your comments on their own site, they have done their duty. I’m sure there are some Blog Etiquette 101 posts out there somewhere that spells all of this out. In fact I’ll Google here in a minute. I def need a refresher.

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    • Thanks so much for your input Lissa! I can totally see where you’re coming from. That’s funny how you came to find out about your Blogspot settings not directing folks to your blog and I’m so glad you got it fixed at the beginning of the challenge.
      Regarding the reciprocal visits: there are probably a good percentage of folks who don’t realize that they really ought to be reciprocating visits and comments so that’s a very valid point. I do know though, that some of the people who I was referring to are experienced bloggers and know the ins and outs of blogging etiquette but just chose not to reciprocate. In those cases, that irritates me. In cases where people just don’t understand how it works, I totally get it and it’s okay.
      Hopefully the Challenge communications will speak to that issue for next year. I know some of it was mentioned in passing in the A-Z posts but you raise a really good point: maybe there should be a Blog Etiquette 101 post that educates prior to the beginning of the Challenge. I’ll mention that to Arlee (who founded the Challenge). Good idea!!

      Thanks so much for your visit today! Great comments. I look forward to checking your blog out too.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Like blog posts this theme, I think we share many of the same pet blogging peeves. There was at least one person who I visited on a regular basis (26 days) and I’m hard pressed to recall if they even visited me back. Not surprisingly, comments left on their blog numbered about 2-5 a day. Some days even less so. That tells a lot about the persons blogging ethics. I’ll get more into that when I post my reflections post, later this week.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wonder if it’s one of the same people I was referring to… 🙂
      I’ll look forward to reading your Reflections post later in the week.
      Thanks for coming by today Jeffrey.

      Like

  12. I thank you (and the other minions) for all that you did. I enjoyed a number of your posts – the amount of work you put into each post was obvious and you sent me down Memory Lane several times. (And yes, last year was horrible for links that led nowhere.) I hope to participate in A to Z again next year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Alana! So glad that you had good success with the list links this year. There were a lot of us minions at work, I think over 55 of us working the list so that was definitely a team effort.
      So glad you enjoyed my theme! Thanks for telling me that. I’m hard-pressed to come up with another idea that will be interesting and fun for next year.
      Glad to hear you’ll be doing it again next year… But we’ll see each other before then! Glad we connected. 🙂

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  13. Kudos on prepping your posts WAY in advance! This has always been my intent and this year I managed to prep 25% of my posts in advance LOL Maybe I’ll do better this year. I get you re: bad blog etiquette, I try to visit the blogs of folks who’ve left comments on mine and when I forget, I feel SO bad and immediately rectify that oversight. I managed to visit more blogs this year and find wonderful new ones, this I feel is the heart of the challenge, finding wonderful new blogs and e-meeting new people 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Absolutely AJ, the heart of the challenge is indeed the discovery of new blogs and new friends. I’m glad you had a great experience with the challenge this year. Here’s to prepping our posts early. I’m already trying to think of a theme to do for next year. I think I just came up with one a few minutes ago, which is much better than the one that’s been percolating in my head over the last few days. Lol.
      See you ’round the blogosphere. Thanks for stopping by today!

      Like

  14. Two things you’ve mentioned are right on: The butt thing for one. I finally started using my laptop during part of my blogging day and stood/walked while reading and commenting. Second, the commenting back. I guessed my posts didn’t resonate with some and so people moved on, but I did feel at least one recognition comment was a courtesy. Also Lissa (above) really hit one the head. I absolutely hated having to sort through Google to find the blog post I wanted. I think my link was directly to my website where my blog is clearly featured, but maybe people didn’t even want to make that extra click. I should ask before the next round of AtoZ arrives.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your blog is very clearly marked and easy to get to Lee. I don’t think you have to worry about that. But then again, generally, people moving around online can be pretty lazy and want instant gratification so you never know.
      That’s a great idea about standing to do your reading and commenting. I think I’ll do that next year!
      Thanks for coming by Lee.

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  15. This year was my “biggest mistake” as a host I thought encouraging new sites to the list was the direction, sadly I missed out on the sites I love… now I have been missing so much since last year and well you know I love your work. We made it…Hope you had a great time, thank you for your Reflection!
    Jeremy [Retro]
    AtoZ Challenge Co-Host [2016]

    T-SHIRTS, MUGS, FREE MAGAZINE… OH MY!

    HOLLYWOOD NUTS!
    Come Visit: You know you want to know if me or Hollywood… is Nuts?

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Totally with you on the leaving a blog link in the comments, I did find a few dead ends and wondered if people were just reading and not participating (or indeed not having a current blog).
    Which is totally okay… maybe it would be good to ask readers to identify themselves as readers?

    Obviously if they had a current blog I would still visit back… I didn’t expect some blogs to visit me back as they had TONS of comments and I’m sure if they visited everyone back they’d never be able to do anything else. I did read one blog, a new blogger, and realised that the person just didn’t really understand that side of things, so an ettiquette post would be a great idea 🙂

    Mars xx
    @TrollbeadBlog from
    Curling Stones for Lego People

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a good idea Mars, asking people to identify themselves as readers only when leaving comments at the A-Z posts.
      And I think the Blog Etiquette post idea is gaining traction…

      Thanks so much for stopping by today.

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  17. Hi Michele, loved all your posts and so glad I found your blog and I’ve got a list of tv shows now that you’ve reminded me about that I need to find on one of the many online tv sites. I must also keep an eye out for those shows that never made it to Tasmania. Your theme was great and I’m definitely going to try and be more organised next year like you.
    Pamela

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh thanks Pamela! I got caught up in all these old shows too and just ordered the Box Set full series of Lost in Space and also the box set series of Tour of Duty! They’ve already arrived via amazon. And I’m catching some of the other fun stuff through Netflix and Hulu. There was definitely some good TV back in the day!
      So glad you enjoyed my theme. Thanks for coming by and I’m glad we connected because I Love your blog.

      Like

  18. It’s actually really bad for SEO for both the blogger leaving the comment and the blog with the comment if there’s links in them, that’s why I don’t leave them – Google see them as spam. I agree that the reading and commenting is one of the most fun parts of the challenge and it baffles me why so many people don’t seem to want to do it!
    Debbie

    Liked by 1 person

    • I never thought of the spam issue…
      And I don’t get it either, why so many people don’t take advantage of the networking opportunity this challenge provides. But people never cease to amaze, right?
      Thanks for coming by today Debbie.

      Like

    • Very sad. I can understand a few bad apples but geez, a whole bunch?! Some folks I think just don’t get it, but others don’t have that excuse…

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  19. Michele, first off I want to say thank you from the bottom of your heart for your frequent visits and comments last month. You were sensational to show support. I know there at the end I sort of flopped on things, but I think I finally commented on all the comments and did return visits, but now I can’t swear to it. I just hope I did get caught up on that much and while I certainly didn’t get to indulge in all of your wonderful posts I enjoyed the ones I was privileged to read. I like your suggestions. They make perfect sense, especially including ones URL for easy return visits and that’s the one thing I tried to do this year. Sometimes I didn’t do it, if that person visited me first so to not confuse them, you know? It’s easy to forget who you visit sometimes. You’re so right about getting those posts written in advance. It does make the difference. That’s what brought me down in the end, the alphabet catching me. lol Next year I WILL get it down before April. Thanks for your active role as a minion or didn’t John call his troops something else? Oh well, you really rocked on a job well done!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cathy, thanks for your comment! I appreciated all your visits and comments on my posts and so happy that you enjoyed them!
      I can’t even imagine having to write posts amidst all the A-Z craziness so I can absolutely see how one can get backed up and behind. I think I had all my posts written by Christmas last year and that made all the difference in the world.
      Thanks for your compliment on us minions. I’m definitely doing it again next year. Being a minion makes you visit blogs that you probably wouldn’t normally go to and I found some real gems in doing so. It’s very rewarding.
      So now we’re back to regular programming so I’ll see you in a few days for Battle of the Bands.
      Thanks again for your comments! All of them!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  20. I aspire, if I participate in 2017, to have at least 23/26 entries composed and ready to roll out before the challenge begins. Keeping up with my day job, composing my entries, responding to comments, and attempting to visit new blogs made for chaotic, exhausting experience. Live and learn, right? I enjoyed reading your reflection. Kudos to you and the other team members who patrolled the blogs for nonparticipants! Have a great day!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Erika! And that’s a good aspiration: by all means, strive to have those posts done before April even begins because it makes the whole experience so much more enjoyable. Congrats on finishing the 2016…and I’ll look forward to your 2017 posts! 🙂 Of course, I’ll see you before then for sure…

      Like

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