• Yeah they will probably go into spam. Through the challenge I accept that I will have to look in there and remove links manually because the hosts advise people to do it, but whether or not other people do the same I don’t know. Thanks for your visits 🙂

  1. This was so far the most honest reflections post for A-Z that I came across. I do agree that we need a linky list next time around. Saves a lot of time and inconvenience. Congratulations on successfully completing the challenge!

  2. I didn’t care for the omission of the “linky list” but that was only one of the reasons I decided not to do the challenge this year. I actually wrote a lengthy post in March telling my readers why. The only A to Z posts I read were from bloggers whose blogs I read regularly anyway.

  3. Not whiney at all, in fact, most of us have shared the frustrations you described. Next year? Like you, I’ll wait and see. Thank you for including me in your list. I’m honoured to be in such esteemed company.

  4. I’d forgotten about the links issue, given that so many participating in the challenge aren’t professional bloggers. That’s a very good point and hopefully, a better solution will be forthcoming next year. I enjoyed your theme but also fell behind and didn’t visit as often as I would have liked to. Thanks for the mention!

  5. Well, I didn’t put any links in comments because those just irritate the pants off me anyhow (I figure a simple “Happy A-Z” gets the point across,) so I didn’t suffer from that. But you’re sure right that this is sufficiently time-consuming that real life could suffer.

    But still, I enjoyed it. I found a good core group of blogs I visited regularly, (hint: I’m only commenting on the reflections posts for that particular group ;-D) and had fun moseying around to see how others handled the challenge. I think it does build a sense of community, even if the ties are sometimes a bit loose.

    I really enjoyed your daily dose of motivational encouragement and am STILL ever-so-grateful that you saved me from the embarrassment of premature publication. ;-p
    I’m glad I found your blog – I’ll be checking back in.
    (Oh, and thanks for the nice words!)

    • It does irritate me too if I’m totally honest and I agree that mentioning A-Z is enough to let people know where you came from.

      I did enjoy the challenge and I found a great group of blogs to read too. Thanks so much for sticking with me through the challenge and I’m glad I could help, even if it was in a slightly unconventional way haha 🙂

  6. Hi Debbie, Being new to blogging, I did not know about the link issue in comments. I could not figure out why many people left them out. Makes perfect sense now. So, if they leave a plain text URL instead of HTML, is it treated just as plain text? Or does that also affect SEO?
    Congratulations on another successful A to Z! I loved my first year and will be back.
    My Life in Ecuador

    • Plain text won’t necessarily flag up but if you comment a lot, you also get penalised for leaving the same comment again and again and it could recognise the pattern. Also, most bloggers will delete it because it looks a little messy but it would be much less of a risk SEO wise for the actual challenge blog.

      Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed your first challenge 🙂

  7. Not in the least bit whiney. Not a bit. I’m sure a great many of us share your views and you went to the trouble to articulate them in detail.
    Interestingly, too, almost all of the new traffic to my blog came via the Facebook links.
    Thanks for supporting my journey.

  8. Congrats on another successful challenge done and dusted! Interesting reflections. This was my first so I am not sure about how last years linking up compares with this years.
    I didnt know that putting your post signature in the comment marks it as spam- is that what you are basically saying?

    • Yes, pretty much. It doesn’t always mark it as spam on the actual blog – once a blogger has approved a few of your comments, it will recognise you and not go into their spam folders, but Google still recognise it as spamming which can affect your rankings on search results.

  9. Congratulations on finishing another year of A to Z. I had more comments this time around and found a lot more interesting blogs thanks to the links than I normally do weeding through the list, but I may be in the minority.

  10. Honest feedback should not be considered whiny. It has never occurred to me that leaving links might be marked as spam.

    Agree with the difficulty re finding new blogs to visit due to the time zone determining who linked up when I visited the main site – glad to know I am not alone 🙂

    The overall impact the linkfree format has had on my A-Z is no different from the years there was a linky list.

    I hope all the concerns raised here get taken care of in the next A-Z.

    Congrats on completing the Challenge!

    Best wishes always,

    • I still got plenty of views and comments too I just felt like I didn’t interact with people as much as previous years. One of the co-hosts whose blog I follow has replied to comments saying that all of this year’s issues will be discussed, so hopefully they’ll come up with some middle ground for next year.

  11. I’m not against the link list but the few time that I participated, it was rather long and some people just leave links and not do the challenge, plus, I’m not even where to click. mostly I just click on the blogs with interesting names.

    but I do kind of like the no link list because commenting is a little more interactive and some people said the funnies things when promoting their blog.

    I enjoy the challenge this year and I also found a few new blogs to keep on visiting.

    thanks for dropping by my blog, have a lovely day.

  12. Congrats on finishing your A to Z.
    Yeah, I also wasn’t wild about the new format this year and didn’t visit anywhere near as many blogs as in the past or have as much traffic on mine as I’ve had previous years.
    Will probably still do it because I like the challenge in itself, but wish they’d go back to the master list.

  13. I am glad to find your blog, after the fact though it is. I am in the process of making an altered book where I keep my favorite quotes so I am going to go back and catch yours from A to Z. I did not know about the spam issues, although I was kind of afraid of that. Fortunately I didn’t have any, but I don’t know if my comments went to spam folders, although I tried to go back and see if the poster left a response to my comment. The huge linky list was overwhelming to me, but that’s just me.

  14. Thanks for commenting on my Reflections post, Debbie. You make some interesting points about SEO, which I was not aware of previously. Sue from Sue’s Trifles.

  15. First off, I really enjoyed your theme – it put a smile on my face and I hope you will participate again next year. I agree that the daily sign up list was not ideal, due to the issues over links. I’m sure a lot of people just didn’t bother and that meant I wouldn’t see their posts. I do think the theme reveal is a great feature because it allows you to earmark blogs that sound interesting and follow them throughout.

  16. I have not heard of this challenge before but like the sound of it! Will go and have a look (although the points you make look very valid, particularly the one about the links). Its great to have a list of some lovely blogs to visit (will check them out!). #bloggerclubuk

  17. I’ve never heard of the challenge! I am amazed, every week I see something new from the blogger world! Will have to have a read now 🙂

  18. I enjoyed reading your A to Z posts but I can how it because a big job. I don’t think I could post every day. Good on you though.l for accepting the challenge. Maybe it will be revamped this time round?

  19. I took the challenge like you, third time in a row and I appreciate the fact that you were honest with your thoughts. I am sure even the organizers would appreciate that.
    Coming to the daily thread and no sign-up link, I didn’t feel much of a difference. I read folks at random- 5 new each day, followed who I liked and moved on. It worked. Though I agree, differently.

  20. The changes do sound challenging, a liny list does sound like the way forward. I’m glad you enjoyed it overall though #bloggerclubuk

  21. Firstly well done! I struggle to find time to blog 3 times a week so every day for a month must be verybtime consuming. It sounds like a lot could be done to improve the challenge. Hopefully they’ll take some of your points on board #bloggerclubuk

  22. I had no idea that this was a sign up challenge previously I just thought it was something you did. A great idea for content!! lol. I am sorry the new system didn’t work. If there is a sign up list then I maybe tempted to take part myself x

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