I posted my Bloggiesta to-do list on Friday morning. It wasn’t very long, but it was pretty heavy on time-intensive post-writing, so even as I put it together I wasn’t sure I’d be able to accomplish it all. And then Natasha had to mention the mini-challenges, and I thought about trying out a few of those too – hey, they were mini-challenges, right? How much time could they take?
Some of them took longer than others. I spent about 8 hours on Bloggiesta this weekend; I was at work all day Friday and out of the house on Saturday morning, and my family actually wanted to see me for some time this weekend (go figure!), so I did have some limitations. I didn’t get as much of the writing done as I intended, but diverting some of that time to mini-challenges was worth it, for other blog-related reasons.
I won’t restate the whole original to-do list here – why dwell on all of the things I didn’t get done? Let’s just celebrate the Bloggiesta accomplishments!
- Drafting my next two posts for the LA Moms Blog was actually my first priority, and I got that done on Friday night. I’m supposed to post there twice a month, so I now I’m set into July – plus, I’ve got ideas in the works for the next couple of posts after that! Momentum is good.
- I set up drafts for six book reviews, which means I’ve actually planned my reading for the next few weeks – that never happens! I’ll just need to write my discussions, rate the books, and add in links to other reviews. Head starts are good.
About half of my Bloggiesta time was spent on these two tasks. I still have a Weekend Assignment to write; that’s probably not going to happen within the Bloggiesta time frame, but there’s still some weekend left!
The mini-challenges weren’t part of the original plan, but some were both irresistible and useful:
- Rebecca at The Book Lady’s Blog proposed some helpful suggestions for cleaning up the ol’ feed reader.
I found the Trends page in Google Reader. It turns out that one of the things it tracks is inactive feeds – thanks to that shortcut and individual inspection of the rest of my subscriptions, I deleted about 50 inactive and/or rarely-read feeds. I’ve used folders to sort my feeds for quite a while, but I reorganized some of them, and I edited the “blogroll” gadgets in my blog sidebar to reflect the changes. I just didn’t have much time to read many blog posts on Saturday, and had to resort to the “mark all as read” button. Fresh starts can be good.
- Emily from Emily’s Reading Room suggested that setting up Google Alerts for your blog is good – I’ve got ’em now.
- Deborah from Books, Movies, and Chinese Food asked us if we had an “elevator pitch” for our blogs. I didn’t, but now I’ve got a start on one, at least. What do you think?
- Trish at Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin’? pitched bloggy branding with favicons and gravatars, and assured us that they weren’t hard to create, either.
Well, they weren’t exactly quick-click tasks for me, but within about an hour or so, I had created both a favicon for my blog and a gravatar to follow my profile around the Internet. And as far as I can tell, they both work! You’ll probably be seeing them around. The favicon is, of course, very tiny, but it’s the new logo my husband designed for my blog business cards – hopefully, it’ll actually be on the blog itself soon!
- Ruth from Bookish Ruth recommended using Website Grader to – well, it’s probably obvious from the name of the site.
It just takes a couple of minutes to generate the ratings and rankings. This blog got a grade of 87% – that’s almost a B-plus, which isn’t all that shabby – and a page rank of 4, which makes it “(a) popular site with a fair amount of inbound links.” Popularity is good, isn’t it? I don’t have a lot of experience with it.
I don’t have a lot of experience with these bloggy marathons, either – this was my first. I am amazed by the folks that can dedicate giant chunks of their weekends to these things! Even though we had a window twice as big as the 24-Hour Read-a-Thon, I couldn’t devote a lot of hours to Bloggiesta. I work full-time, and there’s only so much of my “normal” weekend stuff I can put on hold; and I have a feeling my family might not entirely appreciate my spending so much time with my MacBook and not with them. Given that, I probably should either avoid mini-challenges or decide to focus on them, with a much shorter to-do list for myself!
But having said all that, Bloggiesta was good! Thanks to Natasha for creating and hosting such a fun event, and I hope this won’t be the first and last time! Hopefully, I’ll be able to get more actual writing done the next time, though.
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