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Incoming BYTES
contains highly variable subject matter including commentary on the mundane, the extraordinary and even controversial issues. At Incoming BYTES
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Monday, May 7, 2012

Reflections on the A to Z Challenge


  In the rear-view mirror, the dust from the A to Z Challenge of  April is almost settled. Perhaps with the flurry of activity it is even unsettling to see things returning to normal, whatever my undirected normal at Incoming Bytes may have been.
I haven't evaluated specific statistics, but  marginally  increased traffic to Incoming Bytes  continues to be a good thing. A number of amazing new and absolutely incredible writers  and followers have been discovered.  New friends. Stuff learned.

A couple of  off-the-cuff comments on the challenge:
  • Many wonderful blogs were signed up, and I looked at a lot of them  -it was impossible time-wise to read anywhere near all of them.  I simply did  not find myself with enough free time to devote to that luxury.  
  • I was amazed to find the incredible quality of writing and diverse content on impressive blogs that I was fortunate enough to visit, perhaps 400(?) or more.  Most were solid-value blogs,  high-calibre content -- and highly readable.
  • I certainly was not able to write comments on every site visited by any stretch of the imagination. I only commented on a few; I  found myself too challenged for time. The 'capcha's on many of them were  a  distinctive nuisance.  Waiting around for 'boxes' to show up and faced with trying to interpret smudgy idiotic captcha's  made me instantly "forget it an move on" with a vengeance. Yes, I  gained a few followers which I very much appreciated, and I reciprocated, but that doesn't preclude the fact that time is limited.
  • The blog list was HUGE which was good, but I ended up just clicking through a number of them.  What was the deciding factor?  Content type .                                                                                                
  •    I would have liked to see some kind of directory, an indication of the 'general content' of blogs. Even a category definition  "general interest" in many cases would have been helpful.
  •  A basic directory would be very simple and makes sense:
 As an example,  "Incoming Bytes:  A diverse, general- interest blog. 
  •  It wasn't a race or a rule by any means, but not surprisingly, I found it mildly annoying to be told 'you're ahead'  and "post "x"  or 'other'  on a certain day.  That  raised the middle finger of the mind.  Waved the red flag at the bull.  If anything was annoying about the challenge, that was  it.
 Excuse me, but let's digress and examine the question:
 Q: Whose blog is this anyway? 
 A:  Guess. Writing is a personal thing.  A freedom enjoyed. One to be kept free, and kept enjoyable.

In arbitrary observation, would one care if they were 'lagging the pack'  a couple of days
 Bottom line,  individual writing schedules are highly erratic--so, surprise! -- We  post offerings when enabled, when written, when the schedule allows, early or late, the kaflooie of being a non-conformist --or not
Interestingly, I even tried to 'meter' the  A-Z  postings to the 'correct day', -- only to find others ahead, behind, all over the place, or, imagine this, in some cases, abreast of whatever 'letter'  I coincidentally happened to be doing anyway. The spirit of the challenge was certainly not broken, displaced, or ignored.
  •  The objective:  26 posts using all 26 letters of the alphabet in 26 days
  • Status:  Completed.                                                                                                                          
 Overall?  It was an enjoying challenge and will be-- until  the fun is eventually micro-managed right out of it.    
Will writers continue to generate interesting content to generate excitement, making the A to Z Challenge an actual event?   
 Will we participate again? Perhaps.  

Is that incoming I hear? 


  1. Valid points well stated, Raymond. Micro-management is a tough thing to deal with...had a boss that drove me crazy once. I'm sure he'll end up being a character in one of my fiction pieces someday. Those are the best kind, the silver lining, bright side, etc. etc. Whatever it is, we get more writing material out of it...

    As you know, I had a grand time... slowed down on all the visits to pay attention to the blogs being visited - never tried to count on that score, just popped the link into my navigation bar and clicked away, enjoying the ride, as it were. I'm doing it again with this reflection list...taking my time. Funny thing though...getting through this list is so much easier than the actual challenge list. I've a few thoughts as to why...but there again, more writing material, waiting to be written...

    1. Thanks, M.J., my bottom line really being that a 'challenge' like this is supposed to be fun and enjoyable, rather than being a painful process. I had a great time with it too, read a LOT of stuff! I think reflections will be helpful in the long term. Thanks again for commenting, have a wonderful day! ~R

  2. Perhaps they will find some nice cash prizes next time around! I plan to doggerel 'em to death anyway.:0)

    1. hi Mac, I replied to you, see below, but with my engineering qualifications, pushed the wrong button, and out came a muffin. I hope you got it. This ought to bring some attention to that doggerel anyway. ":)) ~R

  3. hi Mac, that would be good, I could use a big cash prize, a few mil would do. Got any in the shed kicking around? A major heap of doggerel would help bury the bureaucratic 'pile' wouldn't it, good idea! I wonder if these guys are going to 'rule' the fun out of the thing. Thanks for visiting, remember to bring Farm Girl with you next visit. ":)) ~R

  4. You made it! Way to go Raymond, and I am glad you were able to both increase your blog traffic and connect with quality blogs.

  5. Hi Christyb, I'm thinking connecting with the quality blogs is the most important to see what REAL bloggers are doing...LOL Of course I like the extra traffic too, especially the ones that comment. ";) Thanks for stopping in, my friend! ":)) ~R

  6. this post makes me glad to be on the far edge of the pool, i have been away in wheelbarrow land, carting tons of material for house and garden; far and way too wide. so my last reviews and green blog writing at verdigrass was stretched too thin..i don't even envy you the load of reading and writing, not for all the clicks online..thank you for being there, as i attempt a slow return to this space at my own pace..

    1. Nadine, welcome back! Thanks! I guess you've been working really hard hauling stuff for the garden, but it will pay off in very lovely produce! I know you're still reading when you can! Please do visit when you can, and even a single line is much, much appreciated my friend! Do take care, and we shall connect! I hope you're still writing a bit! ~ R ":)

  7. Raymond, I want to thank you for stopping by my blog, http://bagladysjournal.blogspot.com/, even though I wasn't even in the A to Z Challenge. I appreciated the nice comments and wanted to let you know that I tried the Translator you suggested and liked it. I now have one on my blog. I have numerous readers from other countries (though my globe is too new to reflect that...lol) and this should be quite a help for them. Again, thanks.

    1. Hi, Karen, welcome to Incoming Bytes! Thank you for stopping by and telling me that you tried out the translator. I sure like that translator too! Your blog is excellent, and so what if you weren't in the challenge, that's fine! I do hope you visit again! Thank you for commenting, much appreciated! ":) ~R

  8. Where did that weekend go and half the Week Raymond? Sounds like you had a busy time, and congratulations on your dedication,and once again just to say I enjoyed your A to Z.. Wishing you a Great 2nd half of the week... ~Sue

    1. Hi Sue! I have no idea where the weekend and half of the week has gone. Time is going SO fast, or has been shortened. Thank you for the wonderful and encouraging comments and dropping by! Have a wonderful day! ~R

  9. I think I shall backtrack and post one of these. I was still in the prison, er, custody, I mean, care of the hospital when this time came 'round. I really enjoyed your A to Z. You seemed to have a grand time with it. Makes it so much fun for your readers!

    1. Hi Red, I think it's a wonderful thing to post a reflective roundup after all the damage is done. Being in prison (er, the hospitality section) was a great excuse for not posting one, but now they've released you upon society again it's a fun thing to do. We did have fun with it, make sure you criticize it a lot where warranted...LOL Thanks for dropping by! ~R


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