Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Way We Are: Blogfests

There are a lot of blogfests* going around right now.

(*Don't know what a blogfest is? It's basically this: A blogger / group of bloggers decide on a cool topic, make an awesome image depicting the name of the blogfest, then invite others to join and post about that topic on the same day / same week / over a period of several weeks. You can go to the blog of the host(s), and sign up on their linky list. Then you can click on everyone else's link in the list to see what they wrote about that same subject. Make sense?)

I want to know what you guys think about them! Can't say no to any of them? Don't care? Love them with the fierceness of a thousand starving tigers? Haven't ever participated because you're unsure? Haven't participated because you're not a fan? If you've participated, what made you want to?

I've only participated in two. Sometimes, though, I feel like I'm missing out on all the fun! There's a blogfest I'm considering-- the Blogging from A to Z one. Anyone else doing it? If I'm understanding it right, your first post title starts with an A (or the subject is strongly A-centered). The second day is a B and so on. It has potential to be a lot of fun! But then I think, Ugh. I'll have to post on Saturdays. But then I think, But what if I see everyone's awesome posts? It'll totally make me wish I had.

I swear I'm not this indecisive on everything, guys. Really.

(But obviously I could use a little help being swayed one way or the other. Plus, there's the whole bandwagon effect that can be pretty powerful.)

So I guess I have two questions. 1) How do you feel about blogfests and 2) How do you feel about the A to Z one specifically? Feel free to answer one or both. Or neither. I heart lurkers, too. :)

41 comments:

E.D. said...

Hi Peggy - I participate in some blogfests as it is a great way to "meet" other writers. Blogging from A to Z actually sounds really great and I think I will try it too because it has a real theme.

Nicole Mc said...

I agree with E.D., great way to make blogging/writing contacts. You gain a lot more followers and it's fun. Last year I LOVED A-Z. Some of my most favorite posts came from that challenge and I definitely plan to do it again. I just need to blog again, I've fallen off the wagon!! :)

The thing I liked about A-Z was the freedom of it. You can make it personal, about writing, random. Anything you want. You should definitely try it. I suggest part of yours should be the picture of a cookie that starts with that letter!! lol

Delia said...

I've done a few blogfests in the past, not recently, though. They are rather addictive, but I stopped when I realized they were cutting into the limited time that I have to do real work (i.e. work that has a shot, however long, at being published). The A to Z one sounds interesting. You could always write more than one post and schedule them ahead of time, right?

K. Turley (Clutzattack) said...

For the short period I've been a follower, it seems like you have no problems doing posts on a regular basis. I think it'd be easy for you.

You can always have blogger automatically post it for you if you create it in advance.

Annalisa Crawford said...

I pick and choose which ones to do - I wouldn't have time to do them all. I'm doing the A-Z for the first time this year, and I've already made a start of a couple of posts. I plan to have them all done slightly in advance, so I've got time to visit other blogs. Everyone says how much fun it is.

Shell Flower said...

I have been eying the A to Z challenge myself, but it does seem to be a lot of responsibility. I rather like blogfests for meeting like-minded folks and seeing how everyone has a different take on the same subjects or prompts. Also, I get more comments from blogfest posts than almost any other posts. It's just the pressure of reading/commenting on others' posts and keeping up with the challenge that can be tough.

Kelly Polark said...

I like blogfests. It's a great way to meet new bloggers. I only do about 3-4 a year though, because they are time consuming.

Tonja said...

A-Z is super fun. Because there are so many participants, I think it's preferred to keep the posts short. So you could write multiple short posts in one day and schedule them to post later instead of writing individual long posts.

Kelley said...

I've never done A-Z but I've done a few others, recently actually, and love them. I get to see so much great writing and interesting people. They are very time consuming though so I wouldn't do too many.

Maria Zannini said...

Blogfests for the most part are time sucks.

The only one I've ever liked was Rachael Harrie's Platform Building Campaign. She does one spring and fall.

I like it because you can choose bloggers with qualities that appeal to you. She has them sorted by genre, location, newness, you name it. It's extremely well organized. And the challenges, if you choose to do them, are useful.

Jay Noel said...

This is my first year trying blog fests out, as I spend the first seven years just doing my own thing. It's been fun. Got to find new great blogs.

But my time is limited, so I have to pick and choose.

Caryn Caldwell said...

I like blogfests, but sometimes I think they focus more on quantity than quality - just getting that daily post on there, no matter what it's about. That obviously depends more on the actual blogger, though, than on the blogfest! If they're still doing the Thursday Thirteen, that one's a lot of fun. It's only once a week, and there's tons of room for creativity. Plus people were very good about visiting each other, so it was fun to see what everyone else came up with each week.

Tasha Seegmiller said...

I really like blogfests and I am doing the A-Z challenge this year. And as for the Saturday post thing, remember you can pre-schedule your posts. My goal is to have most of them up before April rolls around so I can just meet other people.

That being said, I am pretty picky about the blogfests I'll do. I tend to not participate as much in the flash fiction write this kind of thing fests because I feel like it takes away too much time from what I need to be writing. But I always try to figure out a way to make it work with my current WIP.

Sara B. Larson said...

Blogfests are fun, but so time consuming. I often WANT to, but end up not being able to do it. Or not being able to visit everyone else's blogs on the list (especially when there are hundreds) and then I feel bad. But overall, I think they're great!

Patti said...

I like them but don't participate in all of them because like someone said they are time consuming. I think the A-Z would be hard, mostly because you'd have to post on the weekend and I take a break from everything blogging on the weekend.

Colin Smith said...

I have participated in a couple of Blogfests. The primary reason for me is exposure--both of my blog to others outside my regular readers, and me to blogs outside my RSS feeder. It can be an enormous time hit if you visit every participating blog, especially if you comment at most or all of them. While the A-Z Blogfest sounds fun, and I could certainly make it work within my blog, the idea of visiting hundreds of blogs every day for a month sounds daunting. On the other hand, if I picked a different handful to visit every day, the chances are I would encounter new blogs to follow.

So, I guess I'm with you Peggy. Not sure. Sorry--this was to supposed to help you decide, not nurse your indecision!!

Angela Cothran said...

If the topic of the blog-fest is something I'm interested in I'll do it. My favorite ones are the fests that make me grow as a writer :)

LindaK said...

I've only taken part in one blogfest, but I have to say I really enjoyed reading everyone's entry and swapping comments with them! It's a good way to get around a bit and meet some new people, especially for bloggers like me who are still trying to build up their following! On the A-Z subject, I've ducked out of that one simply because I think I'll feel too stressed about having to blog every day!

Joshua said...

I pick and choose. Just depends on what they are about and if I feel like I have time. Or if I'm not being lazy. I'm more of a "single day" bloghop than a month-long one.

JeffO said...

Like Joshua, I'm kind of picky about them. I've had fun with a couple of them, but one of the things I don't want is to overly disrupt my routine and end up with four or five posts in a week instead of two. The other issue is they take a heck of a lot of time. The Origins fest had 200+ participants. That's a lot of time to spend reading.

Tracy Bermeo said...

Hi Peggy. I've participated in a couple. There's one I do every Friday called Perfect Picture Books which I love doing. I just finished the Valentine's day blog hop- total fun and I entered the St. Pat's Day blog hop. I am also doing the A to Z challenge. What I like about it is that there is no posting on weekends and you can basically write everything ahead of time and then just schedule. I've been jotting down ideas and posts to get myself started. A writer friend told me that writing in *new territory* and within specific word counts is good exercise for writers. I say go for it!
A2ZMommy and What’s In Between

David P. King said...

I didn't really join in any until late last year. I must say, it does take up time, but it sure helps you find other writers who write the same things you write. And the more time you put into it, the more you and everyone gets out of it. I'm in the Campaign right now and plan to join Marks Irish hop next month. All in all, you have to pick and choose which ones interest you the most. And if you do two at a time ... well, I did it, but I most likely won't again. :)

Jessie Humphries said...

I am torn as well Pegs! I am not sure if I can squeeze any more time out of life for one at the moment. They are great for meeting new peeps though I know.

Ruth Josse said...

They are a lot of fun and like some of the others have said, a great way to make connections. But they do take a lot of time. That's probably the thing that holds me back the most. I have guilt issues so I feel awful if I don't post on time and can't visit all of the other participants.

S.P. Bowers said...

I'm indifferent to blogfests. They are a great way to make connections and friends but they can be a huge time drain. I'm in the campaign right now and completely overwhelmed trying to keep up with visiting everyone. Sometimes it gets old if every blog I click on it doing the exact same thing too.

The A-Z one sounds interesting because technically only the letter would be the same. The subject would still bu up to the blogger. It could be a lot of time though.

Basically you need to look at it in a cost rewards relationship. Do you have the time and will the connections and self-worth you get out of it be worth the time? Or are there other ways to spend your time that will get you more of the type rewards/benefits you want?

Cherie Reich said...

Blogfests are both a lot of work and a lot of fun. They're a great way to meet new people and find new blogs to read. The downside is they do take a lot of time, but everyone knows it's impossible to get to everyone in the bigger blogfests (like the A to Z).

As for the A to Z Challenge, it's awesome. I participated last year with one blog, and this year, I'm doing it with two. And if you don't like to write a post on a certain day, write it ahead of time. Seriously, scheduling posts ahead of time is your friend in the A to Z Challenge.

J. A. Bennett said...

I like blogfests in general, they help me connect to other blogs and can give me a post in a pinch. I'm not the A-Z though, too time consuming!

Angela Brown said...

I enjoy blogfests a great deal. Participating has its benefits, such as getting to read so many wonderful posts, commenting, and having some of those same great bloggers coming back to your blog, reading, commenting and even following.

Your mind can be opened to so many new perspectives, helping to unlock new and different ideas in your mind that you may not have considered.

It's just great to have a challenge sometimes.

I do not participate in a lot of blogfests. I'm selective because I don't have a whole lot of time to dedicate to every blogfest that comes along. I'm sometimes sad I don't get to participate in the ones I really would like to.

I will be participating in the A to Z blogging challenge. Number one, it's a challenge. Like a bull with a matador waving red before my bloodlust eyes, I just can't resist charging into this one. Although, I was unsure at first. But as I've sat and thought, considered and pondered, I want to do this one. I've got a simple blog plan and I've got a more interesting one. I'm leaning toward the interesting one.

Stacy Henrie said...

I've only done one or two blog fests. When I'm reading entries in a blog fest, I like those that share something about the person, like the A to Z one.

Carrie Butler said...

1) I'm a little picky about the blogfests I choose to participate in. There are only so many hours in the day, and I don't want to half-do anything. Know what I mean?

2) There's no way I can make that kind of time commitment right now. I wish, though! :)

The Golden Eagle said...

I really like blogfests, though they can take up a lot of time--both writing posts and then getting around to all the other participants.

I loved doing the A-Z Challenge last year. I met a lot of new bloggers, had a blast writing my posts (learning a lot in the process due to the subjects I chose), and it was fun seeing what other people came up with for the letters. :)

Leigh Covington said...

You crack me up. "Love them with the fierceness of a thousand starving tigers?" That line rocks!

I do love blog fests, but with so many going on I've had to pick and choose. I am planning on doing the A-Z challenge, but that one is a HUGE commitment! Having to post on a Saturday would be rough. Still, it is intriguing.

I know - I was no help at all right? I know you'll figure it out cause the "force" is strong with you! ;)

Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking said...

I think they are really nice but I would probably pick and choose!

Trisha said...

I love blogfests - they're great for networking and also for challenging yourself. But I don't participate in all of them - only the ones that interest me, or the ones I have time for.

The A-Z is very full on, but it's also amazing to participate in. Oh, and you could always schedule your Saturday posts. :) I'll be scheduling most of my posts this time around as I'll be out of the country during the start of April.

cherie said...

When I was new at blogging, blogfests helped me meet other people quickly. And I've found really good friends through them. And then I stopped doing the blogfests for a while because I wasn't blogging much and life was getting too hectic. But I've recently decided I needed to challenge myself again so I could get back into the blogging passion. So I signed up for the A to Z challenge (gasp!). It only took me about 3 weeks to make the decision, hee! I'm scared that I won't be able to do it, but I won't know it til I try it. So if you do sign up, it means I'll be seeing you with your ABCs too! ;)

Bonnie Gwyn said...

Personally, I love them. Helped me get started and think about what my readers want to hear. :) For the A-Z, I'm doing it. How is a whole other question, but I'm guessing some scheduled posts will be in order. Can't wait to see what everyone comes up with. :)

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

I love blogfests that are on a topic of interest to me or that relate to my area of writing!

Connie B. Dowell said...

I tried a couple before I focused on comics. They were really fun! I wish there was a similar thing for comics. Maybe there is, and I just don't know it; I'm kinda new to this game.

Nick Wilford said...

I'm currently taking part in the Platform-Building Campaign, my first blogfest, and really enjoying it. It's a flash fiction challenge and I'm loving visiting all the other entries, and also enjoyed sharing my own work and getting feedback. However, I'm also learning just how much time it takes! I want to read every other story and I've been immersed in that since Monday and I'm not halfway there yet. This is me taking a break and trying to catch up with my "old" friends. I'm doing A-Z too, and I'm excited about it, but I worry I'll end up following more blogs than I know how to handle! I was bad enough at keeping up before.

So it's up to you. I would definitely encourage doing A-Z, and I think the hosts suggested visiting 5 per day so it doesn't get overwhelming. The campaign is great for meeting people and just the plain fun of it. I think the key is not to feel guilty if you don't visit every single person, as we're only human.

Sorry, this comment is long. I might make it into a post!

Peggy Eddleman said...

Okay... You guys talked me into it. As of RIGHT NOW, I am signed up for the A to Z one. I figure I already post five days a week-- what's six? ;) Thanks SO MUCH, everyone, for all of your great opinions!

(And thanks, Nick, for pointing out that they recommend visiting 5 a day. SO much less daunting than the thought of hundreds!)

Kitty said...

It is kind of a Catch 22 with Blog Fests. I love them but it's really challenging with all the time that it takes to not only do whatever the challenge in particular is, but also to do the obligatory jumping around to all the other blogs. But, then again, the jumping around to other blogs is part of the fun, too! How's that for a non-answer?! I have participated in a couple and loved them.