So you get another two-fer because YAY! It’s my favorite day of the year, the high holy day in my religion. It is Star Wars Day! May the Fourth Be With You!
Why, yes. I DID wear my Yoda t-shirt and Leia buns to work today. Why do you ask?
The good Lutheran girl in me always wants to respond to that by saying, “And also with you.”
I originally was going to do my A to Z recap on the first, but then I saw something that said recap day was supposed to be the fourth, so I waited. Because of that, this post will be a hot mess of random. You’re welcome!
So, what have I learned this year?
Not a damn thing.
No, that’s not true. I learned lots of fascinating things about New Zealand, cross-stitch, ways to die in medieval Hungary, liberal politics, Japan, and lots of other random stuff. And that’s just what I learned visiting other people’s posts! I also learned a lot about this continual adventure we call blogging.
I learned that an AC rating is death– or at least it is on the A to Z sign up list. Because of my propensity for cussing, I threw on the AC category so I wouldn’t get booted. It was like a warning sign for folks not to come visit. My stats alone showed this to be true. In the past Challenges, it wasn’t unusual for me to get 5-10 clicks from the A to Z site per day. This year? I was lucky if I got one or two. There were several days when I received no traffic from the list. Disappointing, but I think maybe they need to rethink how they categorize. When I looked at other AC blogs, there was a lot of sex and/or violence. I don’t think my love for using the F-bomb from time to time qualifies me to fit in that category. I would suggest that maybe in the future, they add a PG-13 category that fits those of us who swear. I’m not going to change how I write, but I’m frustrated that because of two little letters, a large group of people avoided my blog without even giving me a look.
I learned I need to set aside daily time for visits– Because of the AC thing, my ability to visit other blogs was critical. My biggest days were driven by the amount of time I spent visiting and commenting on others’ posts. Which, if you think about it, kind of negates the whole AC rating anyway. If I’m doing the blog hop as I’m supposed to and being social (and they, in return, are hopping back based on my comments) then they aren’t going to know I have an AC rating anyway. I’d be kind of curious to know if I even needed to sign up for it to participate, or if I just use the list and socialize and have the same results. Might be worth experimenting. But it does tell me that building an audience is ongoing work. Not something I can just do once or twice a year. I need to carve out regular networking time to read and connect with others if I want this thing to grow.
I learned that blog hopping on my smart phone was a pain in the ass– Visiting WordPress sites? Super easy. I could like, I could comment, it was a piece of cake. Visiting sites that were not WordPress? Ugh. Maybe I need to install a Blogger app or something else, but that was one of the greatest challenges (for me at least) in doing the hop part of the challenge. When I had the time to visit, I usually didn’t have ready access to a regular computer. And if I didn’t have a regular computer, visiting non-Wordpress sites was an exercise in frustration. I can’t tell you the number of times I had a comment all filled out, and then my phone prevented me from doing anything other than looking. Grrrrr. I’ll have to see what I can do between now and next year to make this go easier.
I learned a theme is way more fun to work with– I’ve done the random thing before, but there’s something super fun and challenging about making things fit into a certain defined workspace. I also found that the blogs I tended to go to as a repeat customer were ones that stuck to a theme, because I wanted to see what they did next. Also, making my own creative header was fun and allowed me to utilize my mad doodling skillz.
I drew this myself. Isn’t she adorable?
And now I’m going to do something I haven’t done before. In the past, I highlighted key blogs that I enjoyed, but this year I’m giving out an award. Yes, my Zillas and fellow A to Zers, I present my
First Annual Nagzilla’s Star of Excellence Awards
You know you want one.
While I didn’t get to visit as many blogs as I had hoped, there were some specific ones that I found myself going back to time and again because they were entertaining, fascinating, and really well-written. Please give some love to the following blogs (in no particular order) on their distinguished honor of being the first recipients of the Nagzilla Star of Excellence Award:
Not a Punk Rocker
Nerd in the Brain
No Page Left Blank
WTF Am I On About Now?
Plucking of My Heartstrings
A Daft Scots Lass
If you’re on this list and do the award thing, feel free to copy and save Nagzilla up there and post her in your awards section. If you’re not on the list and think you should be (or you want this major award), tell me in the comments and go ahead and grab it. I’m an inclusive kind of gal. I saw a lot of awesome blogs, but these are the ones I bookmarked, or followed, or kept going back to. Congratulations on completing the challenge!
That’s it for this year, but that doesn’t mean I’m going into hibernation. I still have to finish writing about the rest of my 50×50 list, and there’s always new Dollar Daze entries to complete. Plus writing about weird random shit that happens to me on a regular basis. Plus there’s a con coming up this weekend, so you KNOW that’s going to need to be reported and shared. It’s going to be an interesting summer, so you won’t want to miss out on future posts. Stay tuned, y’all. This is just the beginning.
Thanks for hanging out with me during April. It was a grand adventure. Here’s to many, many more!