07 February 2010
You are all my Valentines...following up on last week's discussion
As is very typical, life got extremely busy over the past week or so. Appointments in other areas, car problems, interviews for projects I'm doing, plus this one big project that will have me quite occupied until August, all conspired to keep me from doing a whole lot in the way of followup on the post that has generated a huge amount of discussion and feedback. That post, of course, is about encouraging other garden bloggers.
I've said this before, but it bears repeating: THANK YOU to all who have read and commented, brought suggestions to the table, put your own suggestions into action, inspired others. With more than 80 comments, it was obvious that this topic matters to many people, and that there are great ideas on giving a helping hand to others. I call it blogging karma, helping out others the way some of us were encouraged when we began, but I wasn't surprised that a number of people mentioned that they wished they'd had some sort of a mentor or feedback when they were starting out.
Starting out has its challenges, to be sure. How do other people know where to find you? Well, although it's not a perfect answer, one great place to start is by registering at Blotanical. Many of us who are active there regularly go through the list of new bloggers, and while it's impossible to read all blogs, we do what we can to visit other plots, welcome new bloggers/Blotanical members (because you don't have to be a new blogger to register there, of course) and encourage them to participate and have fun. There are drawbacks to the site--it grew rather quickly, and Stuart IS working on navigation and speed issues, but he does this as a volunteer project, not a fulltime job, I stress, so it takes a while to revamp something as large as the site.
A number of people have come up with their own ways of drawing attention to newer blogs. This can be a challenge, because so many of us read many online now, have our favourites, and wonder how we can possibly add any more (I'm abandoning housework, personally). Some are choosing to adopt a few blogs. Jean at Jean's garden is doing a Garden Blog(s) of the Month post, an excellent idea. She picked out three blogs from the newer ones listed on Blotanical, and highlighted them so that others can easily visit.
Charlotte, our intrepid Galloping Gardener, writes entertaining and delightful posts as she gallops around the world visiting places many of us will only get to see through the joy of reading blogs. She's chosen a handful of blogs to promote on her blog, and you'll find at least one or two or five that you'll want to follow regularly, too.
Teza was the first to take up my little challenge request, and promptly put up a sidebar on the righthand column of his blog with a different blogger being promoted every week. I liked this idea so much that I’ve done it myself. You have to check weekly and mouse over the photo to see what the blog of the week is, mostly because the widget he and I are using doesn’t allow a lot of editing. As neither of us told the blogger of the week who they are, it's a surprise for them when new visitors start arriving. I like giving nice surprises to people. Sort of like Valentines. Hence the pink-flowered collages in this post--pink and red are known as Valentine colours, and I thought I'd start with pink just because it's a nice contrast to the snowy days many of us are having. I'd give you all chocolates, or blue poppy seeds, or something if I could. A virtual hug and a floral sign of gratitude is the best I can do for now.
Jen from Muddy Boot Dreams suggests that people pick out a link or two from her blogroll and visit those; also a good idea, especially for someone like Jen who keeps her blogroll regularly updated. Drop by some sites and they have all kinds of blogs listed, some of which no longer exist, or haven't posted in months, etc, and that gets annoying for those looking to visit new-to-them blogs. I've been guilty of not housekeeping mine at times too (note to self--do that!)
Cindee at Moonstone Gardens is including the link to a "Blogger of the Week" at the end of her posts, too. I like what she says: "I'm hoping it will funnel some readers to new friends around the world." Nicely done, Cindee!
I know there are others doing similar things, but I'm supposed to be writing plant profiles right now so I can goof off later tonight, so I'll leave you with two things. If you're doing something cool to promote other bloggers, please leave me a comment, and I'll add you to this post with a link, of course.
Speaking of links, ways to get others participating, and just plain fun, I was really glad when Jan at Thanks for Today began blogging again. It both meant she was feeling better, and that we’d get to enjoy her heartfelt posts and stunning photography. In her typical generous spirit, Jan is thinking about the planet and about other bloggers, and is focusing on Earth Day, which is 22 April in the US and Canada alike. Jan believes that every day ought to be Earth Day, which is a good point, but as a way of encouraging lots of dialogue on the topic, she has created a giveaway to entice bloggers to write a post for Earth Day and sustainable living. Pop on over to Thanks for Today and see what she’s offering and what she’s asking.
That's it for today, friends. Again, thank you all for your enthusiasms and wisdoms. One more round of pink festivities to everyone.
LATE BREAKING NEWS! I don't know what's going on today, but I've had a gazillion spam comments try to go through on this post. I approve all comments but it's getting annoying having to wade through to my layout section and reject the spam comments (I'm afraid of publishing one somewhere by accident and not being able to find it) I'm disallowing anonymous commenters for a day or so to see if that stops them. As far as I know, anyone with a blog, google id, etc can still post.