Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The 2015 Challenge- The Fifth Year of the Blog and the Future

On January 1 we'll launch the 2015 Europa Challenge, and 2015 will mark the fifth year of the challenge and of this blog. That's awesome and I'm so excited that we've reached this milestone. Thank you to everyone who's ever posted, and to Europa Editions for being so supportive of this project.

With that said, I've decided to make some changes. Participation is way down, posting has been way down, and it's been months since we added a new member. I want to keep the blog going but the posting model we've been using clearly isn't working, even though I know lots of people in the book blogging world read and review Europa books all the time.

Starting January 1,  the 2015 Europa Challenge will use a Mr. Linky system for tracking review and you will no longer need to post to this blog to participate.

Starting on January 1 and at the beginning of each month,  I'm going to do a post with a Linky where you can add your links to your Challenge reviews of Europa books on your own blog.

What this means is Challenge participants will no longer be obligated to post to this blog. You can continue to post here if you want to; I probably will continue to post, and I hope many of you do as well.

Looking at our statistics, we get about 1,000 hits per month regardless of the number of reviews posted, which tells me that people don't just use this site to read current posts. People use this site to research lots of Europa books, on a consistent basis. I think building this little informal review bank is a great accomplishment but if we want to be a community and not just a database we can't continue in this vein. I know from my conversations online that requiring people to have Google accounts and to be willing to sign up and post to another blog is confusing and cumbersome and has been keeping people away.

You are welcome to continue to post to this blog and I will continue to tag and index the posts on this blog.

I haven't done this before because Linky costs money to use. I'm happy to spend time on the blog but I like to keep my money for buying books. But buying a Linky account means I can make widgets for my own blog too and I've decided the small investment is worth it.

Coupled with this change will be a big drive on Twitter and through the book blogging world to recruit more participants. I love doing this project and would love to see it grow, and I want to thank each and every one of you for everything you've done to contribute to this community over the past four years. I've had a lot fun and read some wonderful books. I hope you have, too, and  I hope you stay with it as we enter the next phase.