A to Z Reflections 2017
For posterity, this year’s A to Z Challenge will henceforth be known as, “The Year I Fell Behind on Visiting and Commenting and Never Caught Up.” Catchy, yes?
It started off well enough. Probably because it was a Saturday, and I was able to spend a fair amount of time that first weekend visiting and commenting. But then Monday rolled around, and it pretty much went downhill from there. That’s not to say I didn’t spend a fair amount of time visiting and commenting the following weeks. I did. As much as I could spare/mentally handle. But it felt like no matter how much time I spent, it was never enough.
Going by what Google Analytics tells me, traffic to my blog was roughly the same when compared to April 2015, which was the last time I did the A to Z Challenge. There was about a .09% increase. So, pretty negligible.
Instead, I looked at my Akismet stats, and it turns out in April 2015 my blog got 651 comments (legitimate, not spam). This year in April it got 1206 comments. That’s almost double the amount, which is pretty cool. Why so many more though? I suppose one reason could be my theme was more popular (magical and medical herbs vs. flash fiction based on tree names). The posts were also a lot shorter than my last challenge. This year, most installments were only a couple of hundred words (compared to 2015 where the average post length was about 500). So that probably helped.
What didn’t help the issue is the fact that I’m a slow reader. Seriously. Some people might say they’re slow readers, but I’d bet money I’m slower. So, trying to visit a couple dozen blogs a day at my molasses reading pace, makes for a big time sink. I’m not sure what to do about this for future challenges. Learn how to skim? We’ll see.
And now, because I can and because I find it entertaining, some meaningless stats:
Posts with the most comments:
- Zhi Zi
Posts with most traffic:
Despite the fact that I spent most of the challenge in “catch up” mode, and didn’t visit nearly as many new blogs as I would have liked, I still like to think of the challenge as a success. And it was fun, too, in a this-is-my-life-now-just-deal-with-it kind of way. I met some new folks and found some new blogs to follow. And that’s what it’s all about, right?
And, speaking of fellow bloggers, here are some of my favorite blogs this year. I didn’t always visit all of them every day, but these were the ones I most looked forward to. In no particular order:
Positive Letters… inspirational stories — Aspects of Rare Breeds in the British Countryside. Lots of handsome animals, some mythical, but mostly real.
Molly’s Canopy — Childhood memories of growing up on a rural farm in the 1950s.
Keith’s Ramblings — Short stories from the quaint and quirky town of Amble Bay.
Djinnia and the English Language — Anime Extravaganza (that’s my name for her theme, and I’m going with it).
Ronel the Mythmaker — Folklore and fiction.
Temenos of the Blessing Light — Promoting pronia, peace, and quiety based on unusual words.
Sophie’s Thoughts and Fumbles — Dragon flash fiction.
Pamela & Ken’s Days of Fun — Exploring the Scottish Highlands.
The Old Shelter — Illuminating the intricacies of Film Noir.
The Multicolored Diary — WTF – Weird Things in Folktales.
Marna Reed — Greek mythology, hilariously told.
Atherton’s Magic Vapour — Stranded! – Re-captioned old photos from Strand Magazine, made into a story.
Thanks everyone for visiting and making this challenge a fun one. Thanks to my new subscribers for hopping on board. Thanks to my current subscribers for continually putting up with me. And thanks to all the folks that organize and make this crazy challenge happen every year. It’s like a exercise in madness, but those are the most fun.