As far as I was concerned, the A to Z Listless Challenge lived up to expectations.  That is, after all, what the A to Z Hosts want to hear.  The online survey gave options that I answered truthfully.  They give a completely inaccurate picture of my satisfaction with the Challenge this year, because they failed to ask two further questions – 1, did you enjoy it (scale of 1 – 5 would be good) and 2, would you do it again next year?

If you want to know what my expectations were, read this post.  If you have visited me regularly through April, you almost certainly don’t need to do that!

The A to Z’s own Reflections post could redress all the problems within this year’s Challenge.

There is absolutely no reason not to provide a linky list for our reflections post links.  We have all done them, we have all blogged from A to Z (or enough to make us worth visiting by anyone who wants to.  It usually gives us a chance to do our Road trip, should we wish to do so.  But without the linky, we will be reduced to scrolling through the 200-or so comments.  It doesn’t sound much, but it’s off-putting, because it goes on so long – c10 lines of scrolling per link instead of one for a list line, or one-half if it’s two columns.  More importantly, some people have had a lot of trouble leaving/posting comments on the A to Z’s posts.

But I’ve lost hope that they will do this simple step that so many of us have asked for.

I think veterans of the A to Z will be irritated by the survey because of the assumption that we are all marketing our blogs for the first time.  The survey gives me the impression they only want to hear how wonderful the A to Z has been for new bloggers.

The good reflections

There are of course, some great things that came from this year’s Challenge.  I hope those new people who’ve been visiting regularly (and most of them were named in my ‘How is it going?’ post for H) will continue to visit, and I hope I’ll continue to visit you.

I have added new blogs to my master A to Z Blogging list on Pinterest

I got two more blog followers! Welcome!  I love you!

I did get more views in April than in March

But you know what?  None of those indicators of the success of A to Z are anywhere near what they’ve been in past years.  Yes, it’s partly because I found it difficult to fit in my ten – twenty blogs visited each day, because I wasn’t working down the list.  Working from the comments was off-putting.  I’m sure the same happened to other people, hence 50% fewer visitors than previous years.

This is in part because I tended to refollow people I’d visited in the past, so I renewed acquaintances rather than made new ones, and by following back commenters, I followed their commenters too.  So it strengthened existing relationships rather than create new ones.  Maybe I should just be happy with that.

Actually, I am happy with that.  I’m proud to know Rebecca, Anabel, Hilary, Kim, Kristin, Nick, Patricia, Susanne, Noelle, Liz, Melanie, Chris, David and others who came earlier in the month and didn’t comment later. I’m desolate that I didn’t get to read Jazzfeather’s and Shalini’s posts from A to Z; I really meant to (I’ll be back!).

But was it worth that “five minutes” putting my link on the A to Z post each day?


I think I’ll finish with the same finish that I made to that post in February which I linked above.

I’m still not sure I’m going to bother with the Challenge at all this year, though.  It’s a Blogging Challenge, not a social media one.

For ‘this year’ read ‘next year’.  No list, no challenge.  Bye-bye, A to Z.

Afterthought: I was a minion once, and I’d be a minion again if it meant getting the list back.  I seem to remember much of the co-ordination of co-hosts and minions seemed to revolve around Tina.  Maybe we’re all just missing her too much.

#AtoZChallenge 2017 – Reflections of a disgruntled blogger
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14 thoughts on “#AtoZChallenge 2017 – Reflections of a disgruntled blogger

  • 8 May, 2017 at 7:35 am

    Hi, Jemima. You made some good points. I spent more than 5 minutes a day linking my blog to all the places I could. I didn’t click on any of the lists, but visited bloggers I already followed and new ones, who visited my blog. Sue from Sue’s Trifles.

    • 16 May, 2017 at 12:08 pm

      Thanks, Sue. I’ll be over to check yours out soon 😉

  • 8 May, 2017 at 9:05 am

    Hard to comment, because I didn’t do it this year, but I can’t see how this could work as well. (Ok, I’ve commented anyway!) With the list there was logic – you started in a particular place and worked your way down. Following social media comments favours those who get in early and, as the order is random, how do you make sure everyone gets a fair chance of a visit? As a non-participant I continued to follow those I’d met on previous challenges but wasn’t tempted to seek any further.

    • 16 May, 2017 at 12:11 pm

      You’ve hit the nail on the head, Anabel. There is no way that having a daily comment thread (or Facebook post) can make it fair.

  • 8 May, 2017 at 10:17 am

    Hi Jemima – I can’t do the social media aspect … I don’t want to drown in tweets or FB likes, or such like … I want to blog, meet fellow bloggers and reciprocate with comments. We definitely miss Tina – well I do too … she was down to earth, practical and totally realising everyone’s abilities re the net …

    I enjoyed George, Kevin and Percy … and oh dear! a.n.o. …. ?! Now I’ll be put out to grass by the Guinea pigs … and I owe you an email … it’s a-coming … sometime!

    Cheers and thanks for being around … I enjoyed the Guinea Pigs and sometime I must get into reading your books – I remember the geology posts! Cheers again – Hilary

    • 16 May, 2017 at 12:13 pm

      Thanks, Hilary, and Percy & Kevin were very chuffed to be graced by you so many times.
      Someone requested some way of making it clear who was who on the guinea pig page, so I’m thinking of a sort of timeline for all the inhabitants and authors.

  • 8 May, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    Hi Jemima. This was my first A to Z challenge and I enjoyed writing the posts but I gave up scrolling down the 200 or so entries every day after a week and did the same as you, visited the challenge entries of people I already followed. I picked up about a dozen followers and followed them in return. That’s how I ‘met’ Hilary. I don’t know whether I’ll do another a to z challenge. I did not do the survery as the questions were self-serving as you pointed out. Kim

    • 16 May, 2017 at 12:15 pm

      I’m glad you enjoyed doing it. I hope the organisers actually go round the many posts that gave up posting on their blog and see what the real world was doing while the 200 put their links up. 200 is a very small number for the A to Z – I hope they consider that.

  • 8 May, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    Over on my reflections posts I mentioned what I thought was wrong with not doing the linky. If you don’t feel like going, I basically said it looked like we were all posting our links in the comments then not bothering to read other comments to find blogs. I know I found it cumbersome to scroll through the comments instead of a list.

    But I do get why they tried it. Having to maintain a giant linky list like that is a lot of work and if everyone isn’t doing their fair share it falls only those who are. That’s not really fair. Although, I can’t say if that was the case.

    • 16 May, 2017 at 12:18 pm

      Yes. I’m not sure why it was such a problem. Maybe after the year I did it they had more trouble getting teams together. I know it sometimes took a while to get blogs I’d reported as not posting removed from the list, so much so I wondered why I was doing it. Maybe the real world got in the way of those who had been doing it.

      I know I’d thought of volunteering if anyone I ‘knew’ needed a minion. As it turned out, it was just as well I didn’t because my real world got in the way with a vengeance (as shown by these very late responses).

  • 8 May, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    The whole thing may be summed up by the fact that I didn’t know today was the day for Reflections posts. I may put something up tomorrow (or maybe this IS my reflection). But you said it all pretty well. In the end, I stopped bothering to even put my posts in the comments (and only fussed with FB once, since that’s a pain in the patootie). Because of time differences and my schedule, I was always about the last one there anyway, and no one was finding me. I noticed that there were often the same people just above me, which did give me some consistency. I visited far fewer new blogs than usual, mostly visiting and re-visiting the ones who visited you and me.

    You know, one thing I missed more than I expected was the “blog type” indicators. I am not interested in some kinds of blogs, and it was often impossible to tell from the links. So I visited quite a few that I didn’t comment on and would never follow, rather than putting my energy into connecting with the ones that interest me.

    Not worth it for the distraction it is from actual writing. And maybe that’s okay: we aren’t primarily bloggers. We’re writers. Maybe at some point we move beyond this kind of thing to write more. (Only…marketing. But…if no one’s finding me, with my posts going up at the very end of the line, it’s not marketing).

    • 16 May, 2017 at 12:20 pm

      I know – and your post gave me more food for thought on what am I trying to do here. Also, I know Kim has far more followers than I have although she’s only recently started. I must be too grouchy or serious to attract people. Then again, maybe I attract exactly the right people, but we are all very special and have particular wants and needs!!

  • 8 May, 2017 at 9:32 pm

    I was hoping for a linky for reflections too. Oh well. I only posted where I usually post when I put up a new blog post and, as others here, followed those I knew and found others through comments. I have kept them in my feedly and will both check back during the year and follow them if they do a to z.

    Finding Eliza

    • 16 May, 2017 at 12:22 pm

      Thanks, Kristin – a great and pragmatic point to finish on. I’m delighted to have met you, and everyone who visited for the first time this year (or the first time my addled brain remembers)

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