Monday, February 1, 2010

The Evolution of a Mere Garden Blog

I’ve been amazed by the sheer number of bloggers around the world that share their gardening passions regularly.  Its truly amazing the breath of knowledge and experience that each gardener shares from their corners of the world.
What I find really interesting is that quite a few bloggers are becoming more innovative with how they present their topics, they are creatively adding more tools and new ideas to increase interactivity. They have transcended the mere one person dialog to a full fledge interactive and shared experience. Here’s what a few garden bloggers are doing and I would like to share my observations and why I think they succeed.

The Poll Post
Nell_Jean at Secrets of a Seed Scatterer  includes in her posts and side bar a regular poll about an interesting topic that really makes you want to participate, her current poll is about what type of fruits you will be planting this season. I also love that you get a final poll result from this tabulation, thanks Nell_Jean for making this fun!

The Meme Post
Carol at May Dreams Gardens is one of the first innovators of gardening memes and her monthly post on the 15th of the month titled “ Garden Bloggers Bloom Day “ has caught on by storm. A few other gardeners have also come up with interesting gardening memes including
Foliage Follow up Day on the 16th by Pam at Digging
The Rainbow Challenge by Rebecca at Perfect to be in the Garden
Fertilizer Tuesday by Tootsie of Totsie Time
Blooming Friday by Katarina at Roses and Stuff
There’s a whole list of other Memes that you can participate in , go visit Gardening Gone Wild Site for more details on some more interesting memes.

The Expert Panel Post
My friend Teza at Teza’s Garden has created a very interesting panel of expert bloggers that will pontificate about a monthly topic that he considers apropo or current. Take a look at his monthly topic when you get a chance.
Another hilarious gardener is Liza at Good to Grow and she does a really funny friday panel that is having too much fun with her topic of the week, the last one was on name that plant problem. Check it out if you haven’t seen her friday’s expert panel posts.
I’m enjoying reading these panel posts and hope others can enlighten me on other panels that are out there in the blogosphere.
A Fine Tuned Post
One of my favorite bloggers has fine tuned the art of photography, story telling and poetry all into one amazing blog and who else but Carol at Flower Hill Farm can really make that type of impact and inspire other bloggers consistantly.
I am really looking forward to discovering other blogs that put together amazing effort into each of their posts with amazing stories and visuals, please do tell?

Questions and Comments Post
Now Jodi at Bloom Writer is what I would consider the queen of comments and questions, I’m totally inspired by her in that she really contributes wonderful comments to every post she reads especially new bloggers. And she asks very thought provoking questions on her blog to start up really good discussions in her comment section… a great tool that everyone can easily utilize in their posts.

Who Wants to Win an xxxx Post
Having a contest is a fun way to start a readership, Running Garlic just started her gardening blog and offered a pair of hand made baking gloves as a way to meet more gardening friends….wow she received over 205 comments on that contest and just well wishers…okay jen can you tell me if i won yet???
There are a few contests also at Gardening Gone Wild, but if anyone knows any more links that would be great to add in the comments section.

Content is King Post
Well as you know in the blogging world, content is king and this artist doesn’t even take pictures from her blog, but just reading Edith Hope’s Gardening Journal  makes you want to read more and more. If words can tell a thousand pictures, then Edith has mastered the art of the word.
Another beautiful writer I admire is Merideth at Victory Garden Redux, her writing is pure music to my ears and she connects with me through her writing about her corner of the world. I’m amazed that both these bloggers are relatively new to the Blogosphere and have much to contribute.
These gardeners really share a passion and I thank them for really building a community and creating a real shared experience. If I missed any other interesting tools or ideas that generate community activity and brings blogging to a new level, please share any information you would like.


Jean Campbell said...

Thank you for including my polls and me in this great post about blog features that draw you in to a blog. Some call for participation, some just hook you with their cleverness.

Didn't you just love the Rainbow Challenge? I try never to miss Bloom Day -- there's always a blossoms somewhere. If you know Bloom Day is coming, it's an excuse for a new plant.

The best blogs are about real life. Everybody has a story to tell. The better ones call us in and include us in their joyfulness.

Floridagirl said...

Noel, I really love bloggers that grab you with their enthusiasm and passion. You can just feel their love of the plant world, their own little piece of dirt, and the glories of nature in their posts. And your own photoblog is a favorite of mine. What a locale you have! You, too, are very poetic, like Carol of Flower Hill Farm. Pictures and poems! Who needs books anymore? (Sacrilegious, I know.) Many of my favorite blogs are listed above, and I will have to check out the few you mentioned that I don't know yet. I am still so new to this blog world. Thanks for the info!

Tammy said...

What a wonderful article. Lots of ideas here. I especially like the idea of a pole. Might borrow that one myself.

Barry said...

Methinks more people need to read this [and not because of the plug for my blog.] as there are so many new and innovative ways in which we blog - many that we ourselves wouldn't consider revolutionary, when cleary, blogging is indeed being taken to the next level.
Have you cme across where you can turn your blog into..... a book! I really like the idea, not to mention the calendar craze that swept the blogosphere..... nothing beats seeing your own lovingly tended garden 12 months of the year, rain or snow! Great post.

Carol said...

Noel, I am floored and if you could see me blushing you would laugh! I am so touched that you see my blog this way. This is a wonderful post and perhaps a new meme!!?? ;>)) 'Name Your Favorite Blogs and Why' (someone could come up with a more clever, catchy name... most likely Teza). You do more than that with this interesting post of course, in how you cleverly collate by shared characteristics. You have featured some of my favorite blogs as well ... but since you are writing this ... you did not include your own... which I would add under most spectacular exotic settings and plants. Beautifully photographed with narratives of wit and exuberance. As to other blogs that put a great effort into their posts ... my list is so long it will not fit in this space ... perhaps I shall have to do a post about it! ;>) Thank you so for including me in this thoughtful and generous post. Carol

Kimberly said...

Noel, what a truly wonderful post! First, you share fantastic info for fellow bloggers (especially us new to the blogging world). Secondly, you highlight your favorite blogs as only a good friend would do. Thirdly, you've turned so many of us on to new blogs to check out. So many blogs, so little time! I love the different ideas and can't wait to check out the various blogs you've discussed.

I must brag on my friend, Florida Girl, who also follows your blog. She has amazing talent with her camera and never bores! She has, on occasion, included a poll as well. Please be sure to check her out (paradise in the valley).

Andrea said...

Thank you very much for a little summary of some great blogs. Am honored to have been reading most of them already and included them in my followed blogs. Those few i have not been to, i will get to them too. Most of you are inspiring me when you drop a line or two, or even appreciate a photo, and i truly learn a lot from all of these exchanges. My horticulture background is being ressurected by these garden bloggings! Thank you everyone.

Meredith said...

Oh, my goodness, I am so touched by your kind description and recommendation. There I was reading along, taking mental notes for improving my blog, when you gave me a shout-out in the last paragraph. That was unexpected and so wonderful, Noel. Thank you. :)

As you know, since I faved your blog a while back, I definitely feel similarly about your posts and your fabulous, exotic photographs. Many times now, you have single-handedly lifted me out of the winter doldrums with views of scented, colorful blooms or of dawn over the Pacific.

Noel Morata said...

Wow! thanks everyone for some great comments, how exciting....i did forget to mention another idea on being a guest writer on someone else's blog....hmmm i'll think i might have to ask someone to do something on my blog very soon!

Unknown said...

Thank you for taking the time to do this heartfelt post, Noel, and not because you included me--but because you included some other newer, fabulous, supportive and awesome bloggers who so deserve to be encouraged and celebrated. As do you. You've just taken to this medium so splendidly, and your photos and stories about the plants you see at home and elsewhere are a delight. Now I must sneak upstairs and go to bed even though I said I was going an hour ago...ttys.

Noelle Johnson said...

Hello Noel,

I think you have picked out excellent blogs and each shows the uniqueness of the individual who writes them. I love that Blotanical is a wonderful gardening world made up of so many individuals. I enjoy your blog very much because you take us with you on your adventures. It is almost as good as being there in person :^)

Anonymous said...

I love this post inspiring to point where I am going to borrow the poll and will deffinetly be looking into how to make it all more interactive.

Anonymous said...

Dear Noel, I am greatly affected by your kindness and exceeding generosity in mentioning my weblog. Your comments are of immense importance and value to me and are very much appreciated. Thank you so much.

You make mention here of a number of other sites by name. I completely endorse what you have to say about them and would add that without the unstinting support and encouragement given by more established bloggers, Blotanical would be a poorer place.

What should not be overlooked here is your own site. More exotic, fabulously photographed and atmospheric postings, coupled with interesting commentary, would be hard to find elsewhere.

Liza said...

You are adorable, thank you so much sweet man! I'm really honored to be included in such great company. I enjoy your site as well. Thank you again!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I like Carol's idea of name your favorite blogs and why you like them. It's difficult to visit all the wonderful blogs out there, but I'm trying to pop in here there from time to time. Participating in memes is one of the best ways to get a new blog noticed. That is how I found some of my favorites. I found your through your comment on Jodi's blog.
Your photos are beautiful and you garden in such a gorgeous place. I have only 1 tiny bit of advice that I hope you won't take the wrong way: this isn't a problem for me, but others have commented that white type on a dark background can be difficult to read. Gray on black is easier on the eyes.

Anonymous said...

Hi Noel~~ It becomes almost gluttonous,the desire to read and correspond with so many fabulous cyber-friends. You mentioned a few blogs that I've yet to visit. Your enthusiasm is delightful.

The Running Garlic said...

Wow! What a great person you are for mentioning me in this post - how kind of you! The contest comments are overwhelming and they definitely encourage interaction. I just initiated another and this one is GARDEN related so should be very exciting! Just leaving a comment when you visit a blog is a wonderful way to connect with other bloggers and if we are talking gardening ... how much the better! Thank you!

The Idiot said...

A good summary of some different ways of getting the message across; well done. I always think it's great when you come across someone who is doing something different, and doing it well. It makes the pleasure of reading so much more, well, pleasurable!

Kelly@LifeOutOfDoors said...

Thanks for the ideas - it's encouraging for me that each blog has it's own strength. For some it's photos, for others it's stories, for others it's expertise and tips. I have to remind myself that I can't do it all (goodness gracious, I don't even have the right camera), but can still enjoy the amazing talents out there.

Annie said...

Great post....and you've given me some new links to check out.

One thing I amazed with regarding the Blotanical gardens is the incredible photography!

There are so many beautiful pictures that the writers put up!

Stone Art's Blog said...

Hi Noel, I was just mentioning to Jodi from Bloomingwriter, that i read on a blog that most of the garden blogs are owned by OAP's. However I see quite a few younger blogers (like myself) around as well. Would be interesting to see a pole on this. Maybe someone has a pole like this already?

Stone Art's Blog said...

Of course what I meant to say there was polls, not poles. Not that I have anything against poles or anything ;)

Elena sem H said...

Thanks for recommending great blogs so we can widen our bnlog roll.

Elena sem H

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