The Improved A to Z Plan

I’ve scrapped my original A to Z plan. I am not doing the challenge at Just Gene’O. I’m only doing it here, and I am throwing a generous amount of Tolkien into the mix so I can link to some of my Tolkien pals who I’ve promised to promote during A to Z.doctor evil

If I’ve invited you to do a post, you are still invited. If we reached the point of a topic discussion, your topic is still good if you want to do it.  If you’ve changed your mind or decided not to accept, but haven’t mentioned it yet, please let me know.

Here is how Sourcerer will do A to Z.

  • We will run our regular features in April at their normal morning times.
  • We will follow those up with afternoon A to Z posts.
  • I may post late photos and use them as a teasers for the next day on some days.
  • This eliminates the need to rigidly structure the A to Z topics.

They still need to be pop culture posts. But, for instance, we don’t necessarily have to make all our Wednesday A to Z posts comics posts. So everyone who’s agreed to write one can keep their topics if they still want in, but I’m committing to writing as many of the posts myself as necessary.

These posts will need to be short and light so as not to step on the early post and hopefully generate scroll-down reads. Ideally, they’ll be less than 400 words and will link to one or two other posts either here or at a friend’s blog

sourcerer_imageReasoning, etc.

  • If some of our contributors need to take a break to get through A to Z at their own blogs, me guaranteeing A to Z here ensures we will have at least one post a day in April.
  • Our contributors and the people I invited are welcome, but I’ll do any or all of the posts and if you’d like to adjust days or topics, I am open to that.
  • I’m not straight-up asking any regular contributor for more posts, and I do not want to suspend the morning post routine once we get it rolling again.
  • The original idea is way cool, but it has too many moving parts. We can pull it off, but we aren’t to the point of doing smoothly yet. I don’t want to overextend myself or anyone else.
  • My concern here isn’t lack of support. I have the support, but not sure the original plan is good for us long-term.
  • Given the changes I’ve made at both blogs, their relative sizes, and the Facebook progress, posting every day in April at Just Gene’O will only help a little and it will only help me.
  • Bringing A to Z readers to Sourcerer every day in April will help the larger project and will help a lot of other bloggers.

Keep in mind my goal here. It’s Sourcerer I want readers for the most. My entire social media is set up to serve that end. I’m happy with 30 to 60 daily views at my personal blog forever as long as a high percentage of my readers are friendly bloggers and as long as Sourcerer is growing.

Sourcerer is now set up to be inviting and mobile-friendly. The archives are so well-indexed with pull-down menus that a person who is interested in any part of what we do here can get lost in them for hours. It’s designed to attract social media followers and to help people discover contributors’ blogs.

Close friends and contributors who do the challenge can have their own A to Z headlines displaying in sidebar widgets at Sourcerer. I am already set up with lists to give A to Z and friends who do it my full support on Twitter and on Facebook. I am primed to register the second the list goes live. Think about that for a minute.

The best course is to only register one blog, make sure it succeeds without overtaxing me or anyone else, and reblog selected A to Z posts at my own blog for friends. I want an A to Z Survivor badge for Sourcerer so much I can taste it.

This is my personal survivor badge. I earned it fair and square. No one can take it away from me. Sourcerer needs one of these.

This is my personal survivor badge. I earned it fair and square. No one can take it away from me. Sourcerer needs one of these.

Just a note about my planning methods for those of you who follow along. When I plan months in advance, I always make the biggest realistic plan possible with the full knowledge that it will probably need to be scaled back. I do that because I never know when 100 people might jump on board and help me pull off something huge. When it’s time to get serious, I think about contingencies, take stock of my capacity, and adjust. I don’t get bummed out when I need to scale back. I’m just grateful I have enough people on board with me to make the planning worthwhile.

This is a minor adjustment. No worries.pirateflag

But do let me know where we are on the A to Z if you’ve been involved up to this point.

I need to have this figured out in the next month so I know how many posts I need to write my ownself. 🙂

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18 thoughts on “The Improved A to Z Plan

    • Noted. 🙂

      Given your blogging style and penchant for making almost everything hilarious, I’d say don’t give it an official theme, at least until after you pick the topics and see what you’ve got.

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      • Hm. Thinking it through a bit: Can I claim “W” (Walking Dead) and “Z” (Zombies) and if you want to hand me another letter or two, go ahead? Does that work, or do we not want to be thinking about specific assignments just yet?

        Liked by 1 person

        • W is yours. I set that one aside from the beginning for the Walking Dead, and to be written by you. The only reason I didn’t give you three is that we were just starting out with the collaboration thingy, and I didn’t want to push my luck 🙂

          Z is Diana’s unless she tells me otherwise, because she has a thing for Zombies and I want her to have the last post if she cares to write it.

          I’m about to strip the themes out of this schedule and ping a bunch of people to see if they are really in, but the open days are good. You can have two or three picks from those right now, by which I mean sometime in the next week.

          http://justgeneo.wordpress.com/planning/april-a-to-z-2015/sourcerer-a-to-z-schedule/

          If I need to throw specific letters at you in late February, I will, but that seems sub-optimal. Would rather you find one or two letters that work for you and run with them.

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  1. Pingback: If We Were Having Coffee . . . . . . (I Survived Another Year! Edition) | Just Gene'O

  2. I’ve already picked my theme and come up with a topic for every day except N (amazing that I can find a post for X and Z relatively easily but not N…I’m nothing if not atypical). I chose five of those topics that I feel slightly less strongly about, plus N, and will be offering their slots to a few bloggers I know who write on a similar theme. If none of them participate, it’s not a big deal whatsoever, but I’m expecting maybe two claims to guest post.
    I’m suspending my monthly Firsts series for April and possibly arranging for a guest to do a May 1 First Story. I’ll also be suspending the monthly series that I’m announcing in January for that month too.
    I’m planning to write all of the posts ahead of time if possible, which honestly means most of them will be written between January 7-16 (my only true downtime this winter break). I may or may not do afternoon photography (which wouldn’t fit the theme–either I’ll do a separate photo theme or do no theme) to go along with the morning written post.
    Reading your planning posts always inspires me to do my own planning and makes me glad I’m not trying to balance multiple contributors, ha!
    ^Now I feel like I should take this whole thing and turn it into a post. I’ll probably include snippets in Monday’s stats/goal progress evaluation/New Year planning post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is a post I want to read, if you do it.

      Sounds Like you are in. I’ll add you to my Twitter list for A to Z mayhem next time I get on there.

      It’s a public list that includes the A to Z account, which totally dominates the list, Write on Sisters, and Diana. Luther has also indicated he is solidly in, so I’ll be adding him, too.

      Basically, that list will grow into a list of friends who are doing A to Z plus the actual A to Z account, so we can all see what one another and the A to Z blog is doing once we get into March. Much fun to be had with that list.

      I have last year’s sponsors on a list too, but that one is private 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ll definitely make sure you see it! And yes, I’m now definitely in for A to Z.
        An A to Z list is a good idea. I need to reorganize my social media and create lists–that’s on the list of blogthings to do this break.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Last year was my first A to Z, and I think where I “met” you and PTM, so it was an adjustment. I had asked for audience particpation and I think for 20 of the posts I stuck to the suggested topics.

    I think I am going to do the same sort of thing this year, solicit suggestions, but give them an overall theme to stick to (comics, music, something; not sure yet).

    Like

  4. I haven’t made a definitive decision about the next AtoZ but I’m already of the mindset that I’m not doing it this year. I like the way I’m set up and running now, though I have enjoyed A to Z in the past. So I’m just going to run the month as I usually would.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s what we did here last year. I decided to do it here this year and give it a pass at my personal blog this time around. It is quite a bit of work, but the crowdsourcing of the posts should help that out a lot.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m not planning to enter A to Z in 2015, but depending on the topic I might be more than happy to contribute one to Sourcerer. I’m just unsure of what type of content you are looking for, though you did mention pop culture. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • We can definitely discuss that. Pretty much any topic will do as long as it fits with our normal fare here — tv, comics, movies, etc., and would prefer short posts. I’ve only got four good letters left to fill and four more difficult ones, and still waiting on a couple of people to tell me if they want to have picks before the easy ones are gone, but I’d be happy for you to write one for sure.

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  6. Hi, I would love to participate. I have never done an A-to-Z challenge. Do you have more info on what you are expecting or is it literally any theme that follows the alphabet convention? I would definitely write everything ahead of time. Also, would I post it on my blog first and then link to from a comment in yours? I have only done one challenge and that is how it worked. Suggestions, comments, etc. welcome 🙂

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    • Hey Shawn, thanks for stopping by! A to Z is not my brainchild, I am just a participant. So, no linking to me is required and it’s something you’d do on your own blog. Here is the way it works.

      1. April has 26 days if you exclude Sundays, so you blog through the alphabet six days a week starting with A on April 1 and take Sundays off from posting. You can have a theme (last year I did a writing theme), but it isn’t required.

      2. A registration list will be posted here sometime in the next month. http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/ You’ll want to register your blog there. That is how other participants will find you in April.

      3. You should also visit 5 blogs from the list every day in April and leave some comments.

      4. Short posts are recommended — 250 to 400 words, because you’ll see a lot of first-time visitors and they’ll all be trying to post six days a week AND visit 5 blogs a day, so not many A to Z visitors are going to read a 1200-word post unless you really grab them.

      If you want to see some examples of A to Z posts, all my posts from last year are linked at the end of my reflection post here. http://justgeneo.wordpress.com/2014/05/19/things-i-know-now-that-i-didnt-know-on-april-1-an-a-to-z-reflection/

      It’s a lot of work. I strongly suggest writing as many of them in advance as possible and not adding any extra work on top of the posting and visiting. Last year I built a page to link to all the blogs I visited, and just that little bit of extra work almost did me in. I was also writing them as I went last year, and that put a lot of pressure on the schedule.

      It’s worth it, though. April was my best month at my personal blog this year, and I met several people through the Challenge who I’m still talking to, and some of them have since become friends.

      Liked by 1 person

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