Reflecting on a month of A to Z-ing

Overall I’ve had a wonderful time, and I think the A to Z team did a great job in organising it all. Well done guys! I’ll definitely be coming back next year for more.

For me the big revelation was getting to chat and hang out in the comment sections with other bloggers (on their blogs or mine). I got to know some awesome people that I’ll keep in touch with going forward – not only was it great fun, it was most definitely worth the desperate daily scramble to find a subject and write the post for the day’s letter.

There is, however, one ugly cloud on the bloggosphere’s horizon, one stumbling block to the epic blogatory love-in that A to Z should be. And that is the inability of WordPress and Blogger to get along so that we can chat in a way that doesn’t involve epic headaches. WordPress and Blogger are about as compatible as Mac and Windows, it’s a bit ridiculous and really frustrating.

There’s no way for a WordPressite (is that what we’re called?) to hear of replies to a comment left on a Blogger blog, short of going back there manually – and who has that kind of memory, especially during A to Z? Meanwhile, a Blogger blogger (haha, see what I did there?) can only get notified of all subsequent comments left on a WordPress post – rather than just hearing of replies left to her comment.

And erm, since I like to chat back to my commenters, if anyone has subscribed to my comment sections, they would have received a load of totally irrelevant / random stuff. (I may have recently have exchanged a few comments with the lovely Sammy D about writing poo stories. I mean, who would want that clogging up their inbox? Clogging being the operative word. *trying not to laugh*)

It’s a shame, because as a result, both Bloggians and WordPressites are missing out. I found myself veering more towards WordPress blogs, simply because of the ease of communicating with them, and because for me the aim was to interact and chat with other bloggers. I don’t think I’m the only one who did this as most of the people who visited my blog were WordPressites. Likewise I would assume that Bloggians found it easier to chat with other Bloggians. Don’t get me wrong, I visited plenty of Bloggians too, but it often felt like I was throwing comments in a bottle, knowing that I wouldn’t get a bottle back unless they visited my site.

It’s a real shame because it’s detracting from everyone’s experience, and surely there’s a piece of code somewhere that would enable all blogs to have a “subscribe to replies” option. Blogging is a social media tool, so it seems silly to make it difficult to communicate with other blogs (even if *gasp* the blog is hosted by a rival service).

Here’s hoping that by next year, WordPress and Blogger get their act together and sort this thing out, so we can be one big happy blogging family. And here’s looking forward to A to Z 2015!

Oh and also, that word verification thing is evil and has been spawned for the specific purpose of irritating the shit out of real people. I’m sure for blogs with enormous traffic it is necessary to have them, but otherwise, for the love of Neil Gaiman, people should remove them from their blogs! I cannot tell you how often I get those things wrong and how much energy has been wasted yelling and swearing at the screen whilst making my second or third attempt.

PS: does anyone else think that there could totally be a bad movie a la Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus made, called Bloggians vs WordPressites? It sounds like one of those terrible sci-fi movies: Bloggians would be aliens, WordPressites would be some sort of cyborg.

I’m ashamed to say, by the way, that I’ve seen Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus, it’s even worse than it sounds. It’s so bad, it’s gone beyond the “it’s so bad, it’s good”, all the way back to “it’s so epically bad, it’s just bad”. If you’re intrigued, I’ve embedded the trailer below, so you can feast your eyes on the worse thing film has to offer.

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31 thoughts on “Reflecting on a month of A to Z-ing

  1. I’m with you on the WordPress / Blogger interface nonsense. I tried to reply and follow a commentator to my blog, but couldn’t because she is a Blogger. Reminds me of Sharks and Jets. God forbid if young love ever tries to cross this divide. The result will be bloody.

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    • Yeah, it’s just so frustrating! Although you can add blogger blogs to your WP reader. If you go to edit the blogs you follow, there’s an option to add a URL. It’s not that reliable but it should give you the latest posts for blogger blogs that way….

      Great minds, I had thought of adding a Montague vs Capulet comparison 🙂
      I have to admit I’ve never watched West Side Story so I had to google Sharks and Jets (and I thought I was going to see actual sharks and actual planes. Haha. It would have been in keeping with the bad video I added at the end 😉 )

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  2. Poo? I never talked about poo. You got me mixed up with some other WordPress Samster!

    You don’t need to use email notification for comments. At least on my WP theme, in the upper righthand corner, there’s a little icon that turns orange when I receive a like or a comment. Or you can use the “notification” selection (when you call up dashboard, it’s a W link just above the dashboard menu)

    Are you using your Reader to read the blogs you follow? When you are in Reader mode, on right side of screen there’s an option that says Blogs I Follow with an edit button. Select the edit button, and you’ll see a place to type the hyperlinks of the Blogger bloggers (!) you want to follow. All the new Blogger blogger posts should then scroll through your reader, although I warn you WP is sometimes inconsistent and not 100% come through … Yet, but it improved sbout halfway through A to Z so I’m hopeful the techies are working out the bugs.

    Hope that makes sense, and works the same for your theme. Let me know if it’s totally confusing !

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    • Oh yes, WP works brilliantly as far as other WP blogs, to follow comments and get notifications. I meant for non WP users, they have to use the email thing and receive all subsequent comments which will quickly clog up their inbox.

      I use the Reader to follow Blogger blogs too but I’m with you, half the time I don’t get their latest posts. The ones I really like I just visit manually every few days…..I hope the Blogger/WP divide will be removed soon, it’s a shame to miss out on interacting with other bloggers because of it!

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      • OMG I had no idea they had only the email option and received all comments! That is such a huge time waster!

        Google is eventually going to suck us all in! I’m resisting but they’re like a giant octopus eith tentacles everywhere!

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  3. I am so glad that I got to find you through A to Z, chère Celine! I agree 200% about the WP – Blogger debacle. Thanks, Sammy, for telling me how to put blogger blogs into Reader! I knew there should be a way, but I was too lazy/unobservant to figure it out! I just can’t do Google…it’s so…invasive. I feel bad that I couldn’t comment on some really lovely blogs who only allowed comments with G+ 😦
    I am so so happy that you are a WordPressite 🙂 I really look forward to reading anything you publish, here or elsewhere! Je te souhaite mes meilleurs voeux pour ton écriture !

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  4. There has to be a way for the two platforms to communicate better. Both platforms have talented coders. They simply need to put their minds to it and figure it out.
    I have to admit that if I was asked to fill in one of those captcha boxes before I could comment, I thought twice about commenting at all. The point of blogging is to engage with people. We need to put as few obstacles between us as possible.

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  5. I know what you mean about the comment thing. But since I have a wordpress account as well it’s easy to be notified of replies I get on wordpress which is great. I just set up my site on my information as the blogger site and it all works out fine.

    With Blogger comments is messed up for bloggers as well. I am informed about people replying on my own blog but I can only know about other replies on other blogs by clicking the notification for e-mail. But then I get any other comment written on their posts in my inbox. It really wasn’t worth the trouble afterwards…

    But I agree wordpress and blogger should really look into that. Bloggers want to interact with their readers and fellow blogeites. =P

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    • Oh that’s cool, I didn’t realise you could have a non blogging wordpress account. What I’m finding out from the comments to this post is that basically I still know very little about the great big world of interblogging communication (typing on my phone and it wants me to say inter logging. Those logs don’t communicate well I hear!) but there seem to be a few workarounds which is great!

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  6. On the WordPress side, there are probably dozens of plugins to help with this, though most may only be available to self-hosted blogs (not the free ones on WordPress.com). The worst thing about Blogger blogs IMO is word verification. If I see it, I usually won’t even comment, especially if I’m reading on my phone (which I do a lot), because they are totally unreadable there!

    Congrats on completing the A-Z challenge!

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    • Yeah I’m with you. Word verification is a massive put off! I’ll have to check out the plugins and see what I can rustle up. Have you used any specific plugins to make sure people can receive replied to comments?
      And thanks! Good luck with the rest of row80! 🙂

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  7. Great point and I do wish it was easier to interact between the two interfaces. I’m just glad I finally (I’m slow LOL) figured out how to use Feedly because I used to not even be able to follow WordPress blogs. I’m glad I met you through the Challenge!

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  8. I’m so glad you did A to Z because I found your blog and you’re amazing. I love the way you write and your sense of humor. You’ve got style girlfriend!

    I second your frustration over the communication issues with Blogger bloggers!

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    • Aw, thanks Melissa! (by the way, I pictured you saying “you’ve got style girlfriend” with three clicks of your fingers and with attitude – which has made me laugh!)
      I’m really enjoying your blog too – this is what’s awesome about A to Z and blogging – how else would a French actuary and a Texan accountant meet to discuss novel writing 😉

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      • Oh – small world indeed! There aren’t many actuaries about either.

        To be correct, I was an actuary, I quit when we moved to Hong Kong: although I have an affinity with maths, I needed to do something more creative…..So I never quite made it to the end to be a fully qualified actuary. Has your son passed all of his exams?

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      • Actually, he didn’t pass all the exams. He got a degree in actuarial mathematics from the University of Michigan. Then he passed a couple of exams and landed an awesome job. He is doing so well he hasn’t really continued on with the exam path. I don’t know if he’ll go back and do it someday or not. But he’s sure happy with what he’s doing, and his employer is sure happy with him.

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  9. I agree about the terrible interface. There were times when I almost was able to comment across the wide abyss, and then something happened with the verification on a blogger account and I lost what I was doing. I got to the point where I stayed in my side of the pond more than I would have otherwise. I’d like to cross over and play with both sides. There has to be a way to make it easier.

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    • Absolutely. It’s a shame they make it so hard, it feels like we’re missing out on all this interaction with Bloggians. The back and forth in the comments is the best part of blogging! I’m sure they’ll come up with something soon. *crosses fingers* At least in time for next year’s A to Z-ing!

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  10. The wordpress/blogger thang is on their side, because some folks have it down. It has to do with if they choose to sue a certain button. I think the same might b said here. And I am dyslexic, so some captcha boxes make me CRAZY because I simply can’t see it.

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  11. “For the love of Neil Gaiman” Love this!!
    But yea, it is annoying, this lack of cross-pollination. I have to sign in to WordPress to see all the comments to a post I commented on, which is ok. I can see how it would be annoying if you were a WordPress blogger though that simply didn’t want to have to set up a Blogger profile, just to be able to comment on Google-hosted blogs.
    Word verification and captcha are totally useless and very annoying. Worse, though, are blogs that aren’t set up for commenters to log in on, so that you have to enter your name, email, website, passport number (I kid!), etc. before you can even leave a comment. Argh!

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    • Haha thanks 🙂

      Do you know, recently I wrote out a nice, long comment to a new blogger that I’d just come across, only to be told that I seemed to be a spam bot and therefore was blocked!

      Speaking of blogs, what’s yours so I can come by and say hi?

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  12. Haha WP vs Blogger would be an awesome movie! We could have like a WordPress avatar with a really corny 90s superhero suit, with a giant W facemask, and a giant P as a weapon, like a battle axe! I’m talkin’ white legging and blue cape and really fake muscles complete with bad special effects! What would the Blogger avatar be?

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    • I know right?
      Blogger would have a gun that shoots captcha word recognition that you have to solve on pain of death, to its irritating AND lethal.
      I think we’re onto a winner here. Hollywood, here we come!

      Like

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