Before I dive into my Reflections post…
Very special thanks to ML Swift for his IWSG post. Mike started a monthly spotlight feature, and Wednesday it was me. And I was completely blown away! I was truly humbled, Mike. I’m just a dude with a blog, a guitar, and a couple books trying to do his best…
By Donna Hosie
Natasha Roth and her older brother, Arthur, have removed the magical darkness that had fallen over the land of Logres.
But all actions have consequences….
Available May 31, 2013
My Challenge Reflections
This was my fourth Challenge and my third as co-host. That first year changed my blog forever, which is why I will always champion it.
Once again, this year was massive. We have an awesome team in place and worked hard to make it the best experience for everyone. The codes were something new this year and that seemed to work very well.
I was pleased so many liked my theme. It was a lot of work. Between selecting movies, characters, blogger buddies, song, trivia, not to mention finding links, images, and adding the Ninja News and formatting, each post took a minimum of four hours to put together.
But it was worth it to feature twenty-six of my blogger buddies, most of whom thanked me in an email or on their blog. I picked everyone and everything with care, making sure every post was special to that person.
My only regret is I had over sixty names on the original list and I wished I could’ve highlighted everyone. There’s always next year, although at this point, I have no idea how to top this year…
My thoughts, the good and the bad:
I did gain a big batch of new followers and found some cool new friends. I also became reacquainted with some older followers through the Challenge. (Yes, I need to update my blogroll soon…)
Some of the themes were really amazing. I intend to interview some bloggers for the A to Z Blog again this year, highlighting their awesome themes.
Some themes worked better than others. Many writers highlighted their books in a unique manner, such as Nancy Thompson, Julie Flanders, Carol Kilgore, L. Diane Wolfe, and Charity Bradford.
Others posted snippets of their work: Gwen Gardner, LG Keltner, and Christine Rains. Nick Wilford even wrote his day by day, using words suggested by commenters that corresponded to the letter of the day!
And some other cool themes included Mary Montague Sikes’ animal painting a day, Father Dragon Al’s dwarves preparing the Dragon Cave for the tour, Golden Eagle’s daily science, Clarissa Draper’s mind puzzles, and Elise Fallson’s “ology” series.
I confirmed my geek twin in Lynda Young - scary how similar our tastes and how much we have in common!
There were a few who had really long posts. We encourage short posts, but I wonder if we shouldn’t suggest a word count, such as 200-400?
I didn’t encounter word verification very often, which was great!
Comments and blog visits:
This deserves a section all by itself!
Many people see a surge in comments during the Challenge. I normally post every other day, so mine tend to dip a little, which is fine.
I knew I was in trouble when my A post garnered 263 comments. (And since I reply in batches, about 250 of those were unique.) I may have clones, but no way I could keep up with that.
And the comments didn’t dip below average until the end of the third week.
I told Lee, I think there may be such a thing as too popular.
Every day my Blogger Buddies folder in my reader would hold 150 or more posts. Add new followers and comments, plus my section of the Linky List, and you’ll start to get a feel for my daily experience. I’ll admit it was more than I could handle, and I had to skip a few blogger buddies now and then just to maintain.
So for anyone I missed or did not return your comment, I’m sorry! Next year I’ll make more clones…
Did anyone else drown in comments?
Overall, another amazing year! Lee, thanks again for your vision.
VikLit’s Celebrating the Small Things – I’d say surviving the Challenge qualifies!!
What were you thoughts now that the Challenge has ended?
Do not sign up now! Wait until you have posted your Reflections and then come back to add the exact link to your post.
Enjoy May’s IWSG posts? What are your thoughts on this year’s Challenge? Did you make some new friends? Have any issues? What themes were cool to you? Ready for next year? Who else went into hiding on Thursday?
And who else is seeing Iron Man III this weekend? I won’t be seeing it until Saturday as I’m seeing something even better tonight. Will explain next week…