The Sunset On The A To Z Challenge

The Pink And Purple Sunset With Tinges of Orange

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 users participating in the challenge. I use WordPress, and it is pretty universal about allowing comments linking back to any blog., 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 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.

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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.

23 Replies to “The Sunset On The A To Z Challenge”

  1. I enjoyed following your participation in the A to Z challenge, but it is not something I would want to do. I hope to have readers for my blogs who are actually interested in what I write, rather than those who comment only because they want me to comment on their blog. However, I do enjoy reading your blog posts and seeing the beautiful sunsets!

    I have two Blogger blogs, as well as two WordPress sites. In my experiences, I have many more readers than people who comment, but many of those readers are persistent followers of the blog, so that is good enough for me.

    People who are not writers themselves tend to be better at reading than writing, so it stands to reason that they will neither comment on blogs nor review books, even though ultimately it is their opinion, and not that of other writers, that really matters.

    1. Your comment sums things up quite well. I like meet like minded bloggers during the challenge, but I am afraid some of us are deemed a bit on the boring side among some circles. Last year I stopped expecting comments, and this year even though I commented on a variety of platforms, I did spend more time commenting on people’s whose blogs I found interesting.

  2. I think you were wise to only do one blog for the challenge; I think any more than that can be overwhelming. I do agree about comments; I’m not sure why one blog gets a lot and another doesn’t; not sure if that is because a “popular” blog has a big following before the challenge and then adds to it during the challenge. I wanted to comment on more blogs than I did this year but had time constraints with mandatory overtime at work which I didn’t realize would happen when the challenge began. But we do what we can! Gorgeous sunset!


    1. You sound like a busy lady. That is amazing you could do the challenge with all the time constraints πŸ™‚

  3. I enjoyed seeing your photos and reading your comments. I never think about all the comments I got. I did at the beginning when I would actually have 0 or maybe 1 comment but then I thought, I am enjoying myself and it is not a popularity contest”. I now have more people commenting than i ever thought possible! I have no care/desire about sports. Seeing 2 people pummel one another is not my idea of enjoyment. I am not computer educated or blog educated. This means I have no idea if people have a tough time to comment on my blog. I hope they do but I would not know how to fix it unless someone gave me a step by step problem solve. Love the sunsets! Looks like a beautiful ending to the day and month of April

  4. I think the towers and such in the foreground add an interesting element to your photos. The photo with a close-up of the towers had me imagining they were monsters or aliens about to wake up.

    I recall your comments from last year, so I’m glad you put it in perspective and joined in for another year. And, that you dropped in on me during the first days. I now have both your blogs in my RSS feed.

    See ya.

      1. Glad that you were blogging again on the A to Z Challenge this year. Yes, the power poles do look a bit like monsters, very cool!

  5. When I started blogging 4 years ago I had a blogger blog. I later switched to a word press account. Therefore, I have ids for both platforms and can comment on either without any trouble, unless someone is still using capcha with the numbers. I just skip those. It’s not that difficult to sign up for a free acct. on the platform you don’t use. You don’t have to blog there but perhaps it opens up your commenting options.

    While reading reflections I found a way to leave a signature link and I’ve starting using it. So far, no problems.

    Finding Eliza

  6. Congratulations for finishing the Challenge! I loved your pictures and will try a smoothie with spinach for sure! πŸ˜€ And thank you for your thoughts on comments and vistors… this year being my fist, i found it hard to write and visitit other blogs to comment on the same time. I did not visita s much blogs as i wanted, but i found some interesting ones. And even though i love sport.. well at least football (soccer) – my blog is mostly about my favourite team, and my short stories – i enjoyed reading your posts and the pictures of your area and your adorable cat!

    1. I think it is cool if people write sports blogs. I just notice those people might get more page views, and that is okay. Some topics are more popular than others, and it is most important to be drawn to what you find the most interesting.

  7. I found myself struggling with some of the different blog platforms and figuring out how to comment on them – A few did not make it easy either!!
    I didn’t find yours during the challenge itself, love the sunset pics! One of the challenges I encountered for comments was when I just didn’t know what to say — often with a photography or art post I could come up with SOMETHING, but after a while it could feel kind of insincere. Hopefully you got some good engagement!

    1. I got some encouragement, but I feel I need to work on just knowing that there will people who read my blogs, and I read theirs. I think meet bloggers who stay the course is what is more important.

  8. Agree that it would be helpful if there were some sort of universal commenting widget. I love the photographs on your blog btw I guess that the challenge in part is rather like belonging to a book group; you’re forced to go outside of your comfort zones and visit blogs that you’d normally not go to. That said, I do tend to gravitate towards those ones that have a common interest with myself – human nature, perhaps?

    1. In all honesty, I think we all tend to gravitate towards people who share common interests. Aya Katz shared in the first comment above about why she would not participate in a challenge like this because she wants to comment on blogs that interest her. The A to Z Challenge is not for everyone, and even people participating in the challenge eventually gravitate towards commenting and visiting blogs more in their interest zone. I think that explains why the challenge starts off with lots of gusto, and putters out towards the end.

  9. I’m just now getting around to the other blogs. April was a very busy month for me. I do want to help clear up a tiny misconception about WP v Blogger. Those Blogger sites that require you to have a Google account in order to comment are giving the rest of us a BAD name! They have connected their blogs to their Google +, and the comments go directly to Google plus. There are also Blogger blogs that have BLOGGER comments that go directly to the blog. I have a Blogger blog, but I use a different commenting system that does not require one to have a Google + account. I’ve also encounted a few WP blogs that wont allow me to comment either. I think bloggers IN GENERAL need to take some time to configure their blogs correctly if they are going to participate in challenges such as this.

    1. I am one of those people who connected my account to Google+, and I do not believe those blogger sites are giving people a bad name. Actually, connecting your account to your Google+ account is in one’s favor because it helps your blog be more readily found in Google. Google told people this a few years ago, and that is why so many have migrated over. A couple of years ago Google+ asked me to do this, so I did. My Google+ profile had my primary A to Z Challenge blog listed at the top, so anyone who was taken to this when I commented with my Google+ account could have seen this. I did not want to link drop during the Challlenge, and suppose I would have got a few more comments

      I have primarily WordPress accounts, but I also have Google+ account connected to a blog I do not update as frequently. The Google+ thing is coming pretty universal these days, and most of my online friends are using it. There are a few WordPress blogs that are difficult to comment on, but so are people using Disqus. I might not be a computer programmer, but I figured out how to comment on most blogs. Google+ and WordPress are pretty universal commenting formats, and I still see a divide as in people in the two camps seem to not want to adapt to either. I am not trying to sound like I took a large amount of time to comment on all platforms, but I did, and people who try can as well. It is not rocket science, but it just feels like people give up on things easily if it is not readily accessible. When it comes to commenting in a blog challenge I think the challenge itself should create a universal commenting widget if they want to fix the divide. I still feel pretty firm about this.

  10. Hi Julia – well done for completing the A-Z .. and it’s a free as to how we do it … but I try and conform … however my posts are long, and next year I really will get that signature link up and working – in fact sometime soon.

    I really don’t like G+ – but I’m not into media promotion … and don’t do FB or Twitter et al … but I do comment on everyone’s blogs if I can – so important in the A-Z – especially if we’re welcoming all and newcomers. Some subjects I can’t get to grips with … so I may not comment often, or not comment – but I really enjoy the rapport from other bloggers and enjoy the learning curve we get on a range of subjects and ideas …

    I believe as we’re part of a voluntary set up – we have to accept a few minor challenges ourselves to participate … I certainly don’t want it to be tied by rules and regulations … many of us happily cope with the platform divide and understand the challenges …

    Cheers – good luck with all your photographic studies and practices … Hilary

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