Reflections on A to Z 2016

A-to-Z Reflection [2016]

For the past couple of years, personal responsibilities things have taken priority over A to Z blogging for me. My decision to join in 2016 was a last-minute thing, because, frankly, my blogging frequency has been almost non-existent for the past year, for a variety of reasons.

My main goal from the challenge was to give myself, and the blog, a kick in the proverbial to restart my commitment. After all I’d already done two challenges and I knew it was critical to pre-schedule my posts, especially given I’d be out of town for half the month.

The next decision was what theme to pursue.  My previous challenges had two quite different themes on two of my blogs:

2012A genealogical travelogue or a travel genealogue

2013Australia’s northern regions and some Aussie-isms

I had several ideas for 2016 but some would have required a longer preparation time. In the end I settled on How to pursue an interest in family history or genealogy. I knew this would have more limited appeal, but decided since my goal was to kick-start myself, and hopefully inspire some potential family historians, I’d just get on with it.


I was surprised to see how many genealogy bloggers were taking the challenge this year and was thrilled to see some of my genimates among them. We’re lucky that we have a great community of bloggers under the umbrella of Geneabloggers which has some 3000 members.

Even so, I found some great new-to-me geneawriters among the A to Z list, though they were hidden under history (mostly). I thoroughly enjoyed their stories and their journeys from A to Z. Here’s a list of them -hopefully I found everyone.

I also found some enjoyable and entertaining writers and photographers on various themes who I enjoyed reading. I tried to encourage myself and others to randomly select from a different range of 100 blogs each week eg 400-499.

Compared to earlier years it was a pleasure not to be hounded by CAPTCHA requirements. Alleluia!

I only wish that more bloggers had “like” buttons so you can show you enjoyed their story even if you didn’t have a comment you wanted to make.


The increased number of geneabloggers meant that I focused heavily on their stories, trying to read every post (though I missed some) and comment on most as well.

The consequence is that I read, and commented on, fewer other types of bloggers’ writing, which is a shame. It probably also partially accounts for why I had fewer visits to my blog from non-genealogists.

The sheer scale of the challenge is becoming over-whelming. I understand that the names have to go in as they sign-up but it’s then a search and find mission to find specific types of blogs.

My Weaknesses

It’s fair to say I’m probably never going to be short and snappy in my posts – perhaps my challenge for 2017?

While I’m happy to read a variety of blogs, I choose to ignore certain types that I know just don’t appeal to me (eg fantasy writing, no matter how good it is – sorry people).


It’s true that we should really start thinking about next year almost as soon as we’ve finished this year. Unfortunately, if I pre-schedule too far in advance I’m likely to lose interest in the whole process before April.

If I participate in 2017 I will venture away from family history (I think) into other fields I’m interested in (photography and travel perhaps).

thanksIt would be fantastic to have a genealogy code among the options but I get that you would then be asked for different headings under craft, for example.


Once again, thanks to the organising team who must put in a huge amount of work to bring this challenge to us each year. Great work people – I have no idea how you do that AND write your own blogs.

Thanks also to all those bloggers who shared their stories with us this past month. May your blogs continue to grow and give enjoyment.

15 thoughts on “Reflections on A to Z 2016

  1. It’s largely your fault that I joined the challenge Pauleen. Thank you for the nudge – I learnt from the exercise.

    So pleased that you have returned to blogging – I missed your pithy posts.

    Like you I’ll be calling on my collection of photos next year with a travel/remininscence focus. Great minds….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Who wants short and snappy? If some blog readers do, maybe you could just do a 3-bullet summary, as many newspaper articles do these days, and keep writing your usual thoughtful and interesting posts for the rest of us!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You clearly achieved your goal, Pauleen, by kick starting your own blog activities and inspiring other family history bloggers with your overview of both basic and more unusual aspects of research. I echo much of your sentiments on the A-Z Challenge. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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