Thursday, May 2, 2013

Reflecting on the 2013 A to Z Challenge

By Timothy Valentine
[CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)],
via Wikimedia Commons
I am wiped out, y'all.

This A to Z, my second turn at it, I volunteered to be a helper/minion/ninja for one of the co-hosts. I had only two distinct tasks, one involving promotion, the other regarding following up on various bloggers to see if they consistently stuck with the A to Z program (and reporting for deletion those who didn't). I feel like I didn't do my best with this. In fact, I know I could've done better.

April was a weird month for me. The day job continued to use me, sometimes brutally, and then...well, I got caught up in this thing about a guy. (There's always a guy.) I was distracted. OK, I allowed myself to be distracted. It seemed impossible for me not to be distracted. (Hell, even though this heart-throbby business has come to its inevitable end, I'm still bloody distracted!)

Which is all to say, I wish I'd followed through better on my help-y/minion-y/ninja-y responsibilities.

I also had less patience/head-space for commenting on blog posts. Sure, I scanned way more than five links per day, sometimes averaging twenty links a night, but I just couldn't concentrate well enough to comment intelligently. I feel this to be another failure, on my part—I definitely exerted myself more last year. To be fair to myself, I didn't have the additional duties then that I had this year (nor the emotional nonsense). But whatevs; it was making connections w/other bloggers which most excited me about the Challenge, and my level of engagement was sorely lacking. Mea culpa.

Finally, I feel I must be true to myself and voice one criticism about this year's Challenge. Specifically, I thought the practice of requiring participating bloggers with adult content to code themselves with the AC tag, while other bloggers were free to code themselves or not, was inequitable.

For the sake of clarity: I absolutely agree that blogs with adult content should identify themselves as such, especially those involved in the A to Z Challenge, for all the reasons given by the A to Z Co-Hosts. I have my standard warning up through Blogger anyway, so I readily tagged myself with the AC code on the linky-list. I also agree that folks who didn't self-identify as hosting adult content material should be removed from the list.

What I don't agree with is that AC bloggers were the only participants for whom the coding was mandatory. Some folks wrote that they wouldn't be coding their links because they didn't want to be "boxed-in" or pigeon-holed. Well, that's essentially what the mandatory coding did to bloggers with adult content, and to them only, since no other bloggers were under the restriction of coding their blogs. I truly feel the coding should be required of all bloggers participating in the challenge, to insure an even-handed experience, with equal opportunities for exposure, for all A to Z participants.

That aside, I congratulate every A to Z-er who stuck with the Challenge to the bitter end. I aim to pop in on folks from the linky-list whose blogs I've not yet visited during the remainder of 2013. Folks whom I regularly visit when not in A to Z mode: I'm sorry I didn't make it around to you in April. I'll do my best to atone for it in the coming months.

God bless and God speed, y'all. And, you know, I'm not above requesting prayers/good thoughts/chocolate for some help in getting over my heartache and focusing on my personal goals for the rest of 2013, specifically, going the indie publishing route and reconnecting with my music.


83 comments:

  1. Don't be too hard on yourself - commenting on 5 or more blogs a night are a lot! And it's not life or death. If you miss a few, it's OK. You did a wonderful job on your own posts, and I'm sure Alex really appreciates the work you did for the Challenge.

    I didn't know what the labels meant, so the AC didn't bother me. I guess it's for those with "delicate" sensibilities. That kind does exist...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Lexa. I do have very high expectations of myself. I don't mind the labels if everyone's made to use some kind of label. It's singling out AC folks that I thought wasn't equitable.

      Delete
  2. I think, all told, I visited close to 600 blogs during the month of April but left very few comments unless it was one that held my attention. Curiously, I found myself checking the AC blogs out of curiosity to see what was adult about it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmm, I should do a count of how many blogs I hit when i get home...dunno that I beat you, though! :-)

      Delete
  3. Oddly enough I feel the exact same way you do about your minion duties. I'll express it in my reflections but I don't think it's our fault. In anyway, you did a lot more promotion than I did. LOTS more. Congratulations for surviving, Mina! And thank you for all the shout outs you gave me. You're a sweetheart. :D

    ReplyDelete
  4. This was my first time in the A-to-Z Challenge, and while I missed two days, and didn't really get around to commenting on other people's blogs, I sort of feel like I succeeded. I became so enamored of your work this past month, that when I was given a Liebster and needed people to award it to myself, you were one of the first I thought of. So, the information is here.

    ReplyDelete
  5. All prayers, thoughts, and chocolates going your way. Heartaches aren't fun. I hope you recover quickly and that your romantic road shines bright! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Rocky. And I'll be sending the same to you. (Minus the chocolate; that's mine, all mine!) ;-)

      Delete
  6. So awful, to write a month full of blogs on aphrodisiacs and then have a break-up! Horrible!

    I think you did a wonderful job! But I did not get to as many blogs as I wanted. I did try to visit new folks and choose folks based on the most unique names. Have to have some reason to choose, but I wasn't paying attention to the labels. Still I agree, I saw nothing on your blog to warrant the AC label, but yeah, some folks do get offended. Not me, I even used the F word publicly (in a comment) for the first time ever -- I'm bad! :)

    Dark chocolate on the way!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wasn't involved with someone, I thought I *would *become involved, but it hasn't happened and I doubt it will. Alas. But thanks for the sympanthy and compliments. Again, I don't mind the labeling, so long as everyone's held to it and it's not one small sub-group being singled out.

      Delete
  7. Na sorry you are just a serial abandoner Mina -oh well I can talk. I checked out a couple of yours (the one with movies of course) and they were good but I need to get back to check out some more as you had a kicking theme in me umble opinion :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If I can bestir my exhausted ass, I may create a page for all my A to Z posts this year. Ah, what the hell, maybe I'll do that for 2012's posts as well. If I can bestir my ass, that is.

      Delete
  8. I actually am torn. I loved doing the Pinterest theme, but those new peeps I aqurired aren't going to find much Pinterest going on come June. It's not how I normally roll, ya know? But alas, I am also a failure as I often didn't get to as many of the other bloggers as I would have liked and honestly didn't comment on even half of the ones I did.

    I mean really, what can I say about their pet hamster? Or about their new chicken coop?

    I did find some good ones... and some on day X that hadn't posted since D....

    But I do have a suggestion for your incoherent commenting... someone hit a bunch of the blogs with a "cut and paste" comment. It was a genuinely written one, but it was the same on every blog. Could save you some time later on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ohmigosh, really? Copied/pasted the same damned comment??? That's just awful. Shit, and I thought *I* was lazy! :-D

      Delete
  9. Matters of the heart can be tricky, and yes, bloody distracting. Either way, you survived April, and that in itself is an accomplishment. Even more so with the minion duties added in!

    I think you make a good point about the mandatory labeling.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, LG. I fell way behind reading your fabulous story, but definitely intend to catch up!

      Delete
  10. Great post, Mina. It was tough to get around and, as you mentioned, comment intelligently at times. I was surprised to look back and see that last year's list was close to the same number - this year just felt HUGE for some reason. I feel like I barely scratched the surfaced. Interesting point about the AC. And it will be interesting to see if subject headings (mandatory or otherwise) make it into next year's challenge. See ya around the Webs!
    Jess/Blogging on the Brink

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, the list felt pretty dauntingly huge to me as well. Be seeing you in the Blogosphere!

      Delete
  11. You could have fooled me. I seemed to see your comments all over the place and I thought you did an exceptional job as a "minion". And you finished royally with the content on your own blog. I can understand the travails you mention as I had many of the same problems for myself.

    As to the AC label, well you and I had this discussion, but I will clarify our position. What we were trying to avoid was bloggers stumbling onto material that they found offensive and not having any warning about it. It's the same as why movies, recordings, and video games are labeled. I don't think it's an unreasonable request to make. We had a number of complaints last year due to some extreme material which even I found to be something I did not care to see in an event such as this.

    The irony is that from what I've seen on your blog, I don't think I've come upon anything that I found offensive. Adult content by nature due to eroticism, but that is a lot different than extreme pornography or blatant abusive of expletives merely to shock. You have a blog that tastefully presents content for adults. No problems that I can see. And you have provided an adequate warning before anyone enters. You do it right and respect the sensibilities of others. Good for you and thank you for showing respect. Not every cares about doing this.

    The labeling issue is something that we will have to continue to look at and try to figure the best way to handle this. I'll be looking for any suggestions people may have. I've stated what I think would be a good solution in past years' analyses and I will keep revisiting the concept of a better registration process with a programmable list that separates categories for those who have this concern.

    In any case, Mina, I have a lot of respect for you as a blogger and a person who in return respects others. I think you and I will continue to have some amicable communication in the future as I think you have a lot of positive ideas to contribute to this Challenge.

    A big thanks to you!

    Lee
    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Lee, for your kind words; I do appreciate them but in my heart, I know I could've done better.

      It would be pretty dandy to have a way for all bloggers participating in the Challenge to give a bit more preliminary info about what they'll have going on for it, right in the linky-list. The simplest way, I reckon, would be for folks to use up to three (or more?) codes.

      Or maybe, in addition to the linky-list, other pages could be added to the A to Z blog for the categories and blog links added to them. So, for instance, there'd be a page for writing blogs, another for craft blogs, another for gaming blogs, etc. (Again, in addition to the page with the main linky-list). This would, of course, have to be done by A to Z co-hosts/helpers, but could be doable.

      You've mentioned elsewhere, Lee, that your ideal would be something like a Web form for bloggers to fill out, which could hold all of that kind of info and list it in an organized way. Surely some A to Zers are HTML/Interweb pros, no? I think if you put the call out now for Web savvy volunteers for this purpose, you'd get some takers. (Or have you already tried this?) If I had the skills, I'd be happy to do it.

      Delete
  12. I admire all you minions. It was a very difficult job. I didn't use a label but I thought they were a good idea.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have to admit, I felt a certain bit of righteousness every time I caught a non-participating blogger. It was sort of like being Batman. Only less gadget-y. :-)

      Delete
  13. Well done for being a minion.

    I feel your concern around labelling for adult content. It does pigeon hole, but I don't think there's any other way of doing it, sadly, and the warning does need to be there. Personally, I turned off the 'adult' label on my blogger blogs, because it was not technically discriminating enough, even though the warning says there may be 'some' adult content on the blog, the back end flag assumes it is all adult and prevents any sharing to Google+, and also stops the new G+ comment options they're introducing. So I just warn in the blog header that some content is adult and label each post individually with adult warnings where necessary and hide adult stuff behind a --more-- cut for anyone browsing all posts.

    As for the other A to Z labels, I have no idea what I would have labelled my personal blog, because it's such a mixture. So content ratings is a good idea, I think, but other labels seem superfluous - I generally went by the name of the blog and if I liked the sound of it for which ones I was going to visit :)

    Good post.

    Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles
    Fantasy Boys XXX

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sophie.

      I disagree that labeling for non-AC blogs is superfluous. When you've a list of over 1600 (!!!) blogs to get through, and you have not a lot of free time and only a few thematic interests, it's helpful to know who's doing what, so you can go straight to what you want to read and don't lose time investigating the mysteries of coy, non-coded blog links.

      Delete
  14. I agree with you about the AC thing. Wouldn't we know that anyway when we click yours and get the AC warning??!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, I know bloggers who host adult content and provide no warning at all, which I don't believe is fair to unsuspecting readers. So I support the AC label - I just want equality across the board, is all. :-)

      Delete
  15. I have often found that when I have an actual responsibility, I work less well. But if I am doing something that nobody has asked me to do or expects me to do, I am much better at doing it. Weird, but true.

    The thing about the coding is that I would happily have done that for my blog...if I had had any clue what I was going to be doing when I first signed up. Possibly it could work if bloggers could only sign up when they'd finally decided on a theme, but I dunno. :P

    This year was exhausting to me as well, but every year has been so far!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL on your first point, Trisha. I resemble that. :-)

      Delete
  16. I wish everyone was as reasonable as you are. I totally get what you're saying about the AC being the only required category. Just for the record, we ended up slapping that label on lots of people who chose to ignore our request, and we deleted some blogs who just tried to stir up trouble. I'm on the side of NO labels, and the warning your blog has as you enter. We tried to get some bloggers to add that, but they refused. Yes, a rather cantankerous set of folks I met along the way, one who wrote a whole post about how rude it was of me to ask that...again, thanks for being so cool about all of this.
    I agree with Lee that I find nothing offensive at all here - I plan to come back and take advantage of your whole series ;-)
    Also, don't beat yourself up. You visited more blogs than I did, I'm positive.
    Sorry things didn't work out with your "distraction"...
    Take care, and thanks again for your really cool theme reveal hop-within-a-hop. Great promotion for us and we thank you.
    Tina @ Life is Good
    Co-host, April 2013 A-Z Challenge Blog
    @TinaLifeisGood, #atozchallenge

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Tina. Your words brought a smile to my sad-clown face. :-)

      Delete
  17. P.S I think this post should be at the A-Z Blog. If you'd like to guest (I think your minion wrangler probably already asked you) I really would like this post. (Yes, I'm in charge of the guest scheduling...)
    ~Tina

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What, the whole thing, with all my bitching and middle-aged-Goth-Mom-unrequited-love angst? :-) Whether in part or its entirety, it's yours if you want it. If you like, I can put the whole thing into a txt file and e-mail it to you, and y'all can use whichever bits you like.

      Delete
    2. I agree with Tina. This is the best reflection post I've read so far.

      Delete
  18. My one big regret this year was not being able to continue visiting blogs and also, replying to comments on my own. I'm making a vow to do better next year. But it was soooooo much fun!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice to meet you Jess-ie-y! :-) A to Z is pretty great in a lot of ways, for sure.

      Delete
  19. Good for you for sticking with it even though you felt overwhelmed! I was a minion, too! I checked my section of blogs twice a week (Wed. and Sat. or Sun.), and usually only four or five blogs needed to be reported in the beginning. It's a bummer so many people stopped so soon or didn't bother to post at all! But the staff did a good job culling the list.

    Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heya, Laura - kudos to you, too! :-)

      Delete
  20. From one AtoZ cohort to another ~ cheers!

    thriftshopcommando.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  21. Thanks for all you did with keeping the links clear of spam and ad sites. I noticed that fewer links this year led to non-A to Z related blogs.

    I personally think a category should be required for all participants next year. It made it so much easier to ID what I clicked on. I ventured out from my writing and book blogs, and the categories really helped.

    ReplyDelete
  22. We can only do what we can do, Mina. Last year was weird. It was my first year; I was new and didn't know what to expect...I didn't report them or anything, but there were some blogs that were so offensive when it came to sex last year. I hit the back button as fast as I could. This year, I didn't see a single blog that went out of bounds in this regard, and there were many sharing adult content in a variety of ways. So I'm on the fence about labeling in this regard. I don't know if it helped or not, but if it did, I'm all for it. If it didn't, then blogger notification should be enough. I simply don't have enough information to make an educated judgment.

    As to life getting in the way and feeling distracted...so many bloggers felt that way this year. For whatever reason, life interrupted a lot of people in April, and this community made all the difference. We became a support system, friends to be counted on and people to believe in. Trust in who we are, because this community respects and appreciates you. That's more than clear by all the comments you've received on this post. Take a deep breath and know that it's okay. Virtual chocolate being sent your way...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, MJ. To Arlee's point, above, it's unfortunately true that some folks hosting adult content don't use the Blogger warning, even when asked to. I try to "do unto others" and since there are definitely things I don't want to see, I think it's only fair for folks to have an opportunity to back out of stuff, if they want to.

      Delete
  23. Hey Mina,

    Well articulated, my friend. I think one of the problems with this month long challenge was that a lot of people placed too much pressure on themselves. What with everyday life beyond the computer screen and trying to balance the challenge with a daily blog and interacting, I think personally, it's way too much. One shouldn't feel overwhelmed. And I know many did. That's just not right. I was hoping my satire would be a bit of positive relief for those who were struggling or not struggling.

    Even though I have actually promoted the challenge in my own satirical way, I would never, ever commit myself to such a thing. I personally hope this is the last ever A to Z.

    However, in fair balance, even though I'm not a part of it, I've got to know thoroughly decent folks such as your good self, Mina. That aint such a bad thing. Big respect to you and all those who did manage to complete the challenge. A peaceful weekend to you, my friend.

    Gary at the alternative anarchic alphabet adventure :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL, thanks Gary. It's been a pleasure getting to know you, as well. You make some good points, here. It's a fun idea, in principle, and even though it tuckered me out last year, I enjoyed the hell out of it. This year was different...and that's the way life rolls, ain't it? :-)

      Delete
  24. Congrats on surviving the Challenge! Yours was one of my favorite themes. I have a bit of an A to Z hangover myself. I need a very long nap. I agree with you about the mandatory coding. I've read this on a few other blogs too and generally people think it unfair.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ditto and thanks, Christine. "A to Z hangover," LOL - yes, that's just how I feel. :-)

      Delete
  25. I think you did an awesome job girl! Don't be so hard on yourself - your posts rocked - you commented a lot more than you realize - and you've met a ton of people who will follow your witty commentary beyond the A-Z *and I learned to make a mean, sexy pesto* If it makes you feel any better, I can send you a bottle of wine delivered via Talos *hot, Parisian model*
    Cheers!
    Sam

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. W00F! Thanks for the offer! ::drools:: :-D

      And LOL, did you try out one of the recipes? DID YOU GET SOME AFTER EATING THE PESTO??????????

      Ahem.

      That's absolutely none of my business, of course. I only ask in the interest of science. Yeah, science...that's the ticket. ;-)

      Delete
  26. Congratulations on finishing. I didn't get to your blog, sorry. I tried to get around, but....

    I don't believe in labels so if I'm required to label myself, then I'll not participate.

    If we can't be ourselves and post what we are led to post then why do it.

    Sorry you felt labeled. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No worries, Teresa - I sure as heck didn't get to a LOT of sites. And you've been kind enough to pop over now! :-)

      Delete
  27. I enjoyed your posts. I had a great time with the Challenge. I couldn't have been a minon... you really ROCK!! I did keep up though. I'm excited to try again next year!

    Connie
    Peanut Butter and Whine

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Congrats, Connie - keeping up is a victory in itself! :-)

      Delete
  28. Thanks for sharing your A to Z challenge experience. I hope to have my own reflection post up soon, but I am taking a little breather. I know what you mean about work taking its toll on us. Good for you, for taking time for a guy.We should always do that. I'm sorry I didn't get around to as many blogs as I hoped to. The month was tough on me as well and if I had planned better I would've done a better job. I understand why you are upset about having to label your blog, but I can relate to both sides of it. Most of the AC blogs that I visited did not have anything remotely offensive to view, but I can see why Arlee felt the need to require this. I imagine he had complaints last year. In all fairness, perhaps we all should be required to label our blog. Then again, what about those bloggers whose blogs don't fit into a particular label? Tough issue, all the way around. I wanted to extend my gratitude to you and all of the minion/ninjas, without you, this would be an impossible task for Arlee, so thank you very much for volunteering . I will visit your blog more often, as soon as I recover from the fun and hectic month of April.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree that there's a need for the AC code; I just think all bloggers should have to code, maybe using more than one code, if their particular blog topics can't be categorized by just one. Here's to a swift recovery from April for us all! :-)

      Delete
  29. Congrats on surviving...and on managing a wee bit of April distraction as well. C'est la vie, right?

    I have mixed feelings about labeling for Adult Content, which is why I don't put a warning on my blog. I get why people might want to, though. HOWEVER given the GIANT size of A to Z, labeling all entries is going to become necessary for ease of use. Basically, I agree with you. I figure too that there are going to be people who click on your link because of your Adult Content. I see that and I think, oooh! I'm technically an adult. Maybe this will be for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "I'm technically an adult." - ROTFL. Yeah, I'm technically one too, though my mooning about over a fella all April (and *still*, if I'm being completely honest, alas) makes me feel I'm a dopey 15 year old, all over again. Gah. :-)

      Delete
  30. Replies
    1. Yes, thank you. I did it and it's done! :-)

      Delete
  31. Stopping by from the #atozchallenge . Congratulations my fellow reflector post maker!
    @JLenniDorner

    I loved the codes, personally. Thought they were a great idea!

    Adult content... Sometimes it is obvious. Sometimes it is not. "When Harry met Sally" - that is rated R. Would it be rated R if it came out today? Is it really that adult? I have seen far worse on the FX channel. Even ABC's Desperate Housewives, I think, is on par with the "adultness" of that movie.

    We rate tv, movies, and video games.
    No one really rates books. They get sorted into genres based on who is likely to buy them.
    One genre is Young Adult.
    The real lives of young adults certainly qualify for an "adult" rating. (At least they seemed to at the parties I attended in my youth.)

    Some rating scales have more specific notes. (Drugs, Alcohol, Violence, Language, Sexual Content, etc).
    There are some "gray" areas. What I think is adult, another might not. What someone else thinks is adult, I might think looks like what goes on in the Wal-mart parking lot at night.
    But if I were asked "will your posts contain certain elements" - that's a more direct question.
    Of course... some posts only elude to those elements.
    "The Sims" games are rated T for teen. The characters can use a bed to "woo-hoo," which creates a baby in some cases. Pixels cover bodies.
    Is that "adult" content? It wouldn't be appropriate for a young child. What in blazes is a young child doing on the Internet without an adult to supervise?

    And there, I think, is where the line is really meant to be drawn.
    If an actual adult wishes not be be exposed to certain elements (sex, drugs, drinking, gambling, etc), they should be warned upfront.

    And for those who "fear that box" - the porn industry makes millions of dollars from people who actually do hunt for such content. Those are your target audience-- not the folks who are going to call you immoral and have you shunned. Why be afraid to have your target audience enabled with a way to search for you faster in a list of over 1000 people?

    OMG. I did not mean for this comment to turn into a long post. Sorry sorry sorry.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ROTFL - You're a hoot! And you make some very good points. And I agree that adults should have a chance to back away from content which can make them uncomfortable; putting up a warning is the sporting thing to do.

      Delete
  32. I am so sorry your heart is hurting (((HUGS)))
    Don't forget the best revenge is happiness and success so just get busy with those goals.
    I suppose you are right and we should all use the code-y- thing.
    Thank you for volunteering, I'm not sure I could handle that...yet:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right you are, Madam. I'm striving to follow my own advice from the "Antidotes" section of my "Yearning" post from the challenge. I'm pushing forward but it does take time to heal. Though I'm not quite there yet, I expect I will be. Some day.

      Thanks so much for the hugs. ((((((((((Doreen))))))))))

      Delete
  33. Hi Mina,

    Don't be too hard on yourself. I believe that, on the whole, we always feel that we could have done better. I congratulate you for even trying the challenge AND the minion-y duties on top of life in general.

    I didn't get around to as many visits as I would have liked and I feel my posts severely lacked in well-thought-out content on most days. But we survived and there's always time to go back through the list and discover new and exciting blogs!

    Happy to have found you through the reflections list!
    Cheers,
    Jen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jen, and lovely to meet you too! I'm definitely continuing down the linky, though I've not signed up for the "road trip" as I feel that obliges me to visit all links, whereas I'm doing more targeted visiting, at this point. I'll pop round to visit you in just a bit! :-)

      Delete
  34. Mina~ I am sorry about the guy! It really does hurt. Have been going through some stuff on that level too. As you know, there isn't a whole lot to say about it because time is the one thing which will prove to heal...one way or another.

    As to the challenge...girl you did a kickin' job I thought. Just read your post about the self publishing list thingy too. OMG, is that what we have to do? I'll tell you now that my follower numbers aren't all that high but I will be happy to pimp your book when you are ready. Just let me know. What good are we if we can't help a fellow writer chick out?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Time, time, time, see what's become of me...

      Hugs to ya, Sister. With enough chocolate, we'll get through it. :-)

      As to my other post, that's what I *think* I have to do - I'm worried there'll be more and I won't realize it till it's too late!!! :-D Thanks for offering to be my pimp. Uh, I mean, offering to pimp my book! ;-) I will definitely take you up on that.

      Delete
    2. Hugs right back atcha babe! Cool take me up on it. Dusting off my fedora as we speak lmao. ;)

      Delete
  35. Hi Mina,

    Thanks for being one of the help-y/minion-y/ninja-y folks assisting with this year’s Challenge.

    I was one of those bloggers that did not identify myself as a type (code). I’m a little around the board so to pick one was difficult.

    In light of your comment it seemed to me that AC sites needed only to identify that they were AC; they were not required to state more than that.

    There are many types of AC and it would have been an excellent addition for an AC site to put what kind of adult content (code) they were along side the AC.

    Given the frustration last year, when I co-hosted, I can see there was a need for identifying AC sites in light of the content on some sites.

    For me this year it was frustrating to constantly refer back to the code list to see what a blog might be about based on the code.

    I guess there’s no easy solution, is there?!

    That being said I want to thank you again for your involvement with this Challenge - it can be daunting. :)

    Jenny @ PEARSON REPORT

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "I was one of those bloggers that did not identify myself as a type (code). I’m a little around the board so to pick one was difficult."

      Allowing more than one code/label helps with that.


      "In light of your comment it seemed to me that AC sites needed only to identify that they were AC; they were not required to state more than that."

      True, which wasn't great for us. All "AC" blogs were lumped under the same umbrella, with no ability to explain what varieties existed therein. Some types of AC could be OK for some folks and not others - but how would they know from the list what had what? They couldn't. If we'd been given an opportunity to provide more info, rather than less, it would've been more equitable with folks who had the freedom to not pigeon-hole themselves.

      I agree about it being annoying to have to scroll up to look up a code. In my reply to Arlee, above, I suggested maybe, in addition to the honking huge linky, having different categories on different pages. I think, the larger the linky, the more daunting, and the less inclined participants are to root through to find what they like (so, less visiting/commentary overall).

      Delete
    2. As this was the first year for using categories, including AC, I imagine the Team will use the feedback they are getting and see if there is a better way to streamline things.

      But I'm a little confused in reading your reply - could blogs using AC not use any of the other codes to help give more information? Because then indeed that would be inequitable.

      You are right the linky is daunting and though I made only a small dent in those blogs that were around my number because of personal time constraints I am now leisurely popping by blogs (using this Reflections list first) to read their overviews and then to check out the A-Z posts of those that pique my curiosity. Funny thing is that I'm really finding my reading journey quite enjoyable and done at a pace I can manage. I often think there needs to be a way to encourage the "reading of 5 blogs" to continue throughout the year.

      Anyway... there's always room for change and improvement. I know the Team (and that includes you) will have lots of wonderful discussions about the above. Have fun! :) I look forward to seeing what's up for next year.

      Delete
    3. On the sign-up page, the instructions read that AC content blogs must self-identify as AC. Further, folks using a code were instructed to use one code only.

      I'm continuing through the linky as well and also feel less pressured than I felt in April. But April was a hectic month.

      Delete
  36. I'm sure you're not giving yourself nearly enough credit. You did an awesome job with your minion duties, people loved your theme (especially moi), you stayed on top of it all and still had crazy working hours. You did great Mina! As for the AC thing, I had some concerns over the label too. A-Z has gotten so big, not sure what the best solution is.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Merci, Madame, for your kind words. I think one main linky-list, as there's been so far, plus individual pages for the different types/categories, with a one-sentence description of the A to Z theme (or an explanation that it'll be a mix of stuff) would be a start. Also, I think all participating bloggers should mention whether there is/isn't any adult content anticipated and then provide another brief description of what type (language, violence, sexuality, etc.). I feel the focus should be less on building up the linky-list and simply making it more navigable for participants.

      Delete
  37. I appreciated all the sites that coded themselves, no matter what the code. I didn't know what to call my Randomness, so I was a slacker here.
    Way to not let heartbreak stop you, even if it distracts a little...okay, maybe a lot. Loved this post.

    ReplyDelete
  38. You could've fooled me...because if I didn't know any better, I would say you were pretty active during the A to Z Challenge. I saw you all over the place...on blogs that I visited and on social networks. I don't know what all of your minion duties entailed since each co-host had their own thing going on but you seemed to be pretty active from where I stood. All in all, we must chalk this year up as a learning experience...all the blogging, visiting, commenting and additional tasks that were bestowed upon us may have almost wiped us out but if anything, it made us more equip to handle similar activities in the future. That is a blessing! :)

    While I understand your position regarding the AC label, requiring Non-AC bloggers to also label their links in a category is not necessary because their content does not warrant such a requirement. Using the FCC and/or even online entities, for example, websites that contain adult content such as Playboy, Gambling or Liquor companies are required to verify that their visitors are at least 18 years of age before entering the website. YouTube even has this requirement for some of the videos. On the flipside, websites for MSNBC or The Disney Channel (for example), however, are not required to have these verification processes in place because the nature of their content does not warrant the need for any type of "warnings" for people visiting their website.

    All websites and blogs have the right to co-exist, posting whatever kind of content they want on their websites. However, any websites that choose to post adult content are placing themselves in a whole different ballgame when it comes to the general public. It is because of those differences that "Adult Content" categories and/or labels are necessary to give people a heads up on what to expect before they visit a website and are shocked or offended at what they might find.

    Of course, this is regarding blogs that are explicitly AC. That is not taking into account the blogs that do not fall into that category but may still contain some content that might be explicit, from time to time. Many non-AC blogs fall into these parameters and we've urged such bloggers to at least post a disclaimer on their posts.

    At the end of the day, you made it! You survived the A-to-Z Challenge amidst heartbreak and work/life balances that tried to slow you down. Be proud of completing 26 days of blogging. You've come a lot further than some, and for that, I say...cheers to you!

    ~Nicole
    2013 #atozchallenge Co-Host
    www.madlabpost.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nicole, thank you for your kind words. I appreciate them.

      I can't agree that it's not necessary for non-AC blogs to identify their content - I think it's necessary for different reasons from why AC blogs should identify theirs. Simply put, the linky's too long for folks to comfortably hit all 1600 or more A to Z participants - having all identify their content allows folks to hone in on their preferred subject matter within their own individual time constraints. I've seen other A to Z-ers talk about not having read/commented as much, and I suspect it's symptomatic of feeling overwhelmed by the honking huge participant list. I know if I'd seen a list of, say, 60 bloggers identifying themselves as romance writers, for example, I'd have felt relieved and eager to check them all out. Arranging participating blogs into bite-sized chunks by content, so to speak, has the psychological benefit of making all the required blog reading/commenting seem do-able.

      Also: AC channels not only identify that they have AC content, but also get to provide at least a blurb of description for viewers (you frequently see programs put up a preliminary warning which returns after each commercial break that describes the kind of AC content), which AC bloggers didn't get in this year's A to Z Challenge. And non-AC channels, like Disney, very wisely describe their programming so as to attract those who enjoy it.

      Delete
  39. I think you did a great job, and should in no way feel bad. Real life is real life. Look at me, I'm just finally getting around to visiting all the Reflections posts. And valid point on the AC and other labels. Makes a lot of sense as you put it. Labels and AC have been sticky topics.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Shannon. There really aren't enough hours in the day (or energy in my body) to do everything I want to do. :-)

      Delete

C'mon, post a comment. All the cool kids do.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...