Tuesday, March 14, 2017

To A2Z or Not To A2Z

So we are coming up on April.  Insane I know.

This is the time of year I start going into blogging overdrive to get posts together for the annual Blogging from A to Z blogfest.

I have participated every year since 2011.  It is a lot of work and ultimately enjoyable.
But it is a lot of work.

In addition to posting something A to Z I have been part of a team that helps other bloggers do their A to Z, I visit scores of sites every day to post on others blogs and try to squeeze in a post or two above and beyond normal.

This year I am just not feeling it.

I have a lot of projects that need to get done that need my attention.
I have other work I have been doing that also is making demands on my time.

Plus I am not blind to my traffic numbers. I see I get a bump from outside my normal postings, but the engagement isn't there.  I feel like with the A to Z I am ignoring my regular reader in favor of new readers that really don't stay on.  I could be wrong about that, but I am basing it on posting behavior and my Google Analytics data.

My plan this year had been Free (or Cheap) RPGs. Knowing what I know about my audiences I wanted to try to get people that are not gamers into playing with a low barrier to entry.    I like being an ambassador of gaming, but I also know I can get more people to play if I just sat up shop a couple weekends a year at my FLGS and ran demos.

I don't know.
What do you think?

Are you going to miss me doing the A to Z this year?


Pun Isaac said...

You're the reason I started doing the challenge and it would be weird not seeing you do it, but I see where you're coming from.

Cross Planes said...

You got me doing it too, but sometimes the best thing to do is to follow your gut. Take one year off, doesn't mean you are throwing in the towel. It means you know yourself well enough to do what you feel is best.

Alternately, you could do the A to Z, but take a break from being a helper.

Jonathan Linneman said...

Obviously we'll all "understand" if you choose not to take part, but I did want to throw in a thought: I think part of the "problem" with your participation is that your blog posts are always so damn good! I know there were times last year when I was lucky to spend a few minutes throwing something together for the A2Z, and then I'd look over others' posts and realize you had provided a comprehensive history of another classic D&D adventure.

I'm NOT suggesting you sacrifice your commitment to quality (although if you need some tips on half-assing blog posts, I'm sure I can help), but maybe if you set up a structure that necessarily limited the time and effort each entry took? If you were to do the cheap/free RPGs, for example, perhaps you could limit yourself to 100 words of commentary or something, and readers all still benefit from the info and (presumably) link...?

Not sure if that even matches the vision you keep in mind for The Other Side, but it's a thought...!

Timothy S. Brannan said...

Thaks for your kind words all!

You know. A 100 words (or something like that) is a good idea.
Certainly that is doable.

Have to think about it.

Arlee Bird said...

I hear what you're saying. I was considering not doing it this year (seems funny, huh), but so many people were anticipating it. Then the few remaining on the previous A to Z team eventually decided to go the social media route that we've now decided on and dispense with the list so I figured okay.

Without the list we don't have anything to monitor which is why I didn't contact you this year because we don't have those individual teams this year. I'm still not feeling real enthusiastic, but I'm getting the buzz from others who are more psyched up about it. I've just started on putting together my posts--none written yet, but letters in place and a theme devised. I'll start writing short--very short I hope--posts over the next week. You could maybe do that.

The social media approach will be an interesting experiment. Looks like a lot on board with it in India where they've started their own A to Z community with their own list though they are also tapped into the A to Z site. We'll see what happens. Actually I mostly never used the list except for the clean up we were doing and that was kind of a drag.

Someday maybe I can get the programmable list that I'd really like to have. But for now it's just a dream.

Short posts doesn't mean you have to sacrifice quality. Best wishes with whatever you decide. And thanks for your assistance in the past. Who knows--I might have to call on you again in the future if our experiment turns out to be a bust.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out