Sunday, May 6, 2012

A-Z April blogging challenge reflections post.

2012 A-Z Blogging Challenge wrap up

Well, I did what I said I’d do! I completed the task of presenting information on climate change and peak oil to the best of my ability. 26 posts, of reasonable length, considering the topic is enormous, incredibly interlinked and complex. (Link to preamble here.)

My biggest frustration by far was having minimal internet availability at the beginning and end of the month and in to May (including the present moment).

In the first week of April I was returning from Canberra where I’d given a presentation at the Career Development Association of Australia annual conference about blogging. I mentioned the A-Z blogging challenge as a great discipline and fun way to interact with other bloggers and to find your way around the blogosphere. It went well and we may have some additional bloggers next year!

Having extremely intermittent internet meant returning visits from people who’d commented on my posts was and still is, almost impossible. I felt, and still do feel guilty about that, like a rude hostess who hasn’t acknowledged her guest’s presence. I won't have good, reliable access for another week, so my apologies in advance for not following up with comments and visits.

I managed to visit up to 20 blogs per day when I had good access, but no where near what I’d have liked.

I thought I’d set up the first few posts to go up automatically, but obviously hadn’t. That was pretty annoying as I know how frustrating it is to visit a blog on the list and find they don’t appear to be participating. My apologies to anyone who had that experience.

The second annoyance was discovering that word verification was still on. I was so sure I’d taken that off last year, but either I hadn’t and it’s been there all along (begs forgiveness) or in the changeover to the new look somehow it got added again. I thought that might have accounted for the minimal comments, but there was little change when I fixed it which was disappointing.

I visited some fantastic, thought provoking blogs and have added them to my list. Others were witty, delightful, and a great take on the challenge! I’ve confirmed yet again that I’m not interested in frou-frou posts but usually found something kind or supportive to say. The ones I had most difficulty with are the overtly religious ones wanting to take their brand of religion to the world.

Some stats:
Visits: At the time of writing (4th May), over the last month, the bulk of visitors came from the US (1303) followed by Australia (217) UK (199) and Russia (joy oh joy, so much spam).

Views: Least views was 7, most 448 for E is for Eat. (What is the attraction of that particular post? Do people like it, is it what they expected when they dropped in? I don't think it's amazingly outstanding. Are they incredibly disappointed with the content? The search words don't give me much clue how they're finding it, so it's all a bit perplexing.)

Comments: Quite a few posts received 3 or 4 comments, the least received 1, the most 10 (E is for Eat here).

I’ve had my share of non-comments. The kind that basically says “I was here”. I dislike these lazy copy and paste visits that you see repeated word for word on other blogs. They don't encourage me to visit the blog. One in particular I found almost insulting, a kind of gushy “lovely blog, delighted to visit” on a post talking about anticipated famine, or something equally dreadful as a result of climate change. I understand that my theme may not be to everyone’s taste, but would prefer no comment rather than insensitive and inappropriate comments. The person clearly hadn’t bothered to even scan my content.

In contrast were the perceptive comments from other visitors, sometimes directing me to further information or adding something thoughtful or thought provoking. It was reassuring to have some people come back a couple of times and each time add something worthwhile. I was especially delighted when someone would say “I’ve never thought of that”. Thankyou! Though few and far between, they are the gems I’ll remember.

A special visitor was Hilary Melton-Butcher at Positive Letters....Inspirational Stories (here) who not only visited EVERY post, but clearly read them, pondered the content and commented thoughtfully. I feel deeply supported by her willingness to give of her time so generously. She’s a busy lady and a fantastic blogger. Each of her posts gets lots of visitors and comments, yet she replies to each one of them with thought, compassion, and never fails to say something kind or supportive. She is an amazing woman, and I’m so grateful for her unwavering support.

I chose the theme of climate change knowing it’d be tough and unpopular, but believing it’s the least I can do to add my voice to the growing throng of people concerned that the world we leave our children has some semblance of liveability.

We could do so much, yet there is continued government inaction on addressing the vast range of devastating issues related to climate matters. Instead, they find the funds to kill, maim, mutilate and ruin the homes, livelihood and lands of innocent civilians, communities and countries to feed the voracious war machine and addictive lust for oil. Pockets are being lined by those with vested interests. Corporate greed and obscene levels of power obscures and obstructs our need to act creatively and proactively...Now.



Anonymous said...

You had an interesting theme. I did read every day even if I didn't always leave a comment.

Arlee Bird said...

I totally understand your situation with limited internet access. I have a difficult enough problem with consistent access, although a super-fast computer with faster access would do wonders for me.

You picked a theme with relevancy which is a nice change from some of the more vacuous topics. Of course, that may put off some visitors who are afraid to think.

I congratulate you on accomplishing what you were able to do.

An A to Z Co-Host
Tossing It Out

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sue .. you're a star - many thanks. Climate Change is a subject we should all be aware about and be ready to at least do our best for ourselves, our children and the future of the planet ..

You highlighted loads of important information in your posts .. and that's useful for the future ..

Serious considered posts will always be challenging for many to read - as we have to take time out to read and inwardly digest before answering/commenting. I'm British and probably have a better inherent idea of Climate Change .. and I've lived in Africa - so have another perspective ..

Though I couldn't agree more - with completely nebulous comments - irritates the hell out of me too ..

Cheers for now - you know I'll be back!! .. Hilary

EvalinaMaria said...

Climate change and peak oil? How the heck I missed your blog during the challenge?! I'm going back and reading all your posts!

Congratulations on finishing the challenge, hopefully we will do it again next April!

baygirl32 said...

there were a lot of non-comments (I'm noticing them a lot going through the challenge reflections list)

Climate change is an important topic!

Janet Johnson said...

It's been interesting reading these reflections posts (I took a blogging break in April, so I missed all the A-Z posts). Non-comments are annoying, especially in the case you mentioned. Yeesh! But in other points, I completely agree about Hilary! She is such a lovely blogger and friend.

a.eye said...

Great topic. I'll have to peruse through to see all the letters for climate change... can't even imagine what you chose for some of the letters.

I hadn't really noticed the copy/paste comments on blogs until going through sites with the reflection posts... there are some that I have seen so much from one poster that it is just annoying.

Congrats on finishing!

a.eye said...

Great topic. I'll have to peruse through to see all the letters for climate change... can't even imagine what you chose for some of the letters.

I hadn't really noticed the copy/paste comments on blogs until going through sites with the reflection posts... there are some that I have seen so much from one poster that it is just annoying.

Congrats on finishing!