Last year I was a slightly disappointed with the A to Z Challenge because I made a concerted effort to participate with two blogs in the challenge, and I commented on many blog. I felt at that time I received very few comments in comparison to others, and honestly, I was a bit discouraged. At the end of the challenge in 2014 I was not sure if I wanted to participate again due to the amount of work, but I started feeling differently once 2015 rolled around.
I realized I missed the challenge, and I did want to participate again this year. However, rather than stress myself out with two blogs, I decided to only participate with my photography blog. I commented on blogs when time allowed, and posted whatever was on my mind for the letters A to Z. My posts might not have rung every bell in the blogosphere but I shared photographs and thoughts about what was on my mind.
This year I had a lot of fun with the challenge and did not stress about comments. There are so many people participating in the challenge, so it is not the end of the world if you blog is not the super star. Also, I think some people who have said certain blogs that did not receive comments were boring are not completely accurate about that. Some of the more popular blogs covered topics I did not find exciting, but I would comment on a blog even if the topic was not my cup of tea. This is not meant to be a critique, but during a blog challenge we cannot expect every topic to be our favorite. Over time perhaps we gravitate to the blogs we have an affinity to, and that is okay.
Also, one thing I have noticed is the divide between WordPress and blogger.com users participating in the challenge. I use WordPress, and it is pretty universal about allowing comments linking back to any blog. Blogger.com, on the other hand, often requires that people have an account to comment, and some bloggers do not allow for you to post your blog link.
The challenge encourages us to post a link to our blog, but I decided not to do this this year because I felt that if someone really wants to visit my blog, that I have posted it on my Google+ profile. Some people directly commented on my Google+ profile thinking that was my blog, and they did not click through to the actual post. It did not hurt my feelings or anything, but this was another reason I decided not to link drop. If someone really wants to read and comment on our websites, they will do so. There were many people who did comment on my website, and also went to the trouble to comment on many websites with various platforms. I always felt part of the challenge was pushing ourselves to do that comment wise, but perhaps I am in the minority in feeling this way. At the end of the day there will always be a divide between WordPress and Blogger.com users, and the only solution I can think of is if there would be a universal commenting widget that all participants had to use during the challenge. I actually would suggest that to the people running the challenge, but perhaps that would be too cumbersome. Just my thoughts about it.
Overall I loved the challenge, and I think it is great we all blog about different topics. I have no interest in sports, but I love to go for a walk and take pictures of the sunset. So a sports enthusiasts might find my affinity for photographing the sunset boring, but I also tend to zone out when people blog about the boxing match of the century. In the world there are many topics as there are blogs about these, and we should share what we love. I know that has been my driving force in the world of blogging, and I had furn with my third go around in the A to Z Challenge.
Above is a photo gallery of the sunset that I spotted last Friday, and I also created a short video compilation of the sunset from various view points. Mount Baldy is in the distance, and there are power lines and pylons obscuring the view. I wish I could capture the sunset without these obstructions, but I did not feel like climbing over the hills that day to do so. Besides, this is a true depiction of what the sunset looks like in my part of Southern California, so I decided to just share my real and raw photographs. None of these were edited. I do not edit many of my photographs or videos anyway because I like to capture the moment in time.
So until the next challenge in 2015, I bid you adieu. If you like my blog you can always stay up to date with my postings here. My others blogs had fallen to the wayside during the challenge, so over the last few days I have spent time working on these.