Garden Blog Pioneers, Part 6

– Posted in: About this site, Blogging Art and Practice, Garden Blog Pioneers, Mailbag, Recommended Links, Series

This is the sixth part in a series about the early days of garden blogging, written to commemorate my four years as a garden blogger. For those just joining us, the the names of the respondents to my email questions, and links to their respective blogs, can be found at the end of this entry. Links to previous posts in this series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5.
6. Do you think gardeners comment less than other bloggers?

  • [TG:] “No comment…just kidding! I’m really not sure why that would be, though. Are we just a bunch of silent voyeurs checking out each other’s landscapes? I get a fair number of comments on my blog. Unfortunately, Blogger doesn’t have a good method for responding to comments.”
  • [MSS:] “No. Of my blogs, the garden blog has the most comments and the least number of entries. I do think gardeners write more interesting comments. They tend to expand on the topic and relate their own experiences. I would rather have one articulate comment than ten useless “Lol!” comments.”
  • [PO:] “Seems so to me. My blog garners very, very few comments, yet the statistics that my host provides me show that the site gets a respectable number of hits. Then again, the blogs we garden-types write aren’t about the issues that move folks to heated debate. They tend to be gentle, easy reading things with pretty pictures of blooms that lull consciousness, not engender controversy. “
  • [PS:] “Yes. They answer questions, but do not feel obliged to remark on everything everybody says. I attribute that in part to the more specialized knowledge in the field. Compare Waiter Rant.”
  • [EBD:] “I, personally, am not a frequent commenter–not on the blogs of people I really know, nor on the blogs of others. For that matter, I seldom even respond to the comments I receive; mostly because it’s too darn hard to type with a squirmy baby in my lap. But I don’t think garden bloggers as a group are necessarily less likely to comment than anyone else. “
  • [IL:] “I think so. Not sure why. Perhaps it is because a garden is so personal. I have seen some forums that have alot of participation… maybe all that will move toward the blogs once gardeners online discover more of the blogs.”
  • [DW:] “No, I would say that garden bloggers actually comment more than others…at least in my experience.”
  • [JZ:] “Quite the contrary, I think we are a talkative bunch.”
  • [KP:] “I have to confess, I’m a comment junkie. After each new blog entry I write, I eagerly check my email hoping for comment notifications. And when visiting other garden blogs, I get sometimes get “comment envy” when I see an entry with more than, say, half a dozen comments. But I probably wouldn’t have included this question if I hadn’t seen Yes, You Are Allowed to Leave a Comment on A Gardening Blog. Thank you, Hanna, for helping me realize I’m not the only one! So, while I agree in part with MSS and PO, my honest answer is, no matter how much my readers comment, I’ll always hope for one more.”

Click here for Part 7.

The Respondents

About the Author

Kathy Purdy is a colchicum evangelist, converting unsuspecting gardeners into colchicophiles. She would be delighted to speak to your group about colchicums or other gardening topics. Kathy’s been writing since 4th grade, gardening since high school, and blogging since 2002.

In the end, this may be the most important thing about frost: Frost slows us down. In spring, it tempers our eagerness. In fall, it brings closure and rest. In our gotta-go world–where every nanosecond seems to count–slowness can be a great gift. So rather than see Jack Frost as an adversary, you could choose to greet him as a friend.

~Philip Harnden in A Gardener’s Guide to Frost: Outwit the Weather and Extend the Spring and Fall Seasons

Comments on this entry are closed.

Kathy Purdy September 3, 2006, 9:19 am

I confess to being lax about responding to comments at times. Hypocritical of me. I always like to have my comments responded to, and yet I don’t always respond to those on my site. Lack of time is my excuse. And then, once the email notification has dropped off the viewing panel, I forget.

mss September 3, 2006, 8:53 am

On the surface I agree with Bill–at times I suffer comment envy, especially when viewing relatively new blogs which have risen to the top of the charts.

Beneath the surface I agree with Craig. I try to leave comments that expand the dialog. I too am an introvert and I prefer intense conversations with a few than a chat with many. I never played a part to be popular in high school and so I must remain true to myself on my blog–even if it means few comments.

I write to learn. So I appreciate people who write back with tidbits of information from their own gardens and their own experiences. Blogging makes it possible for us to compare notes and that’s what I love most about it.

Craig September 3, 2006, 2:31 am

There are several reasons I do or do not give a comment:

I need to have an interest in the post. Too many garden blogs and postings are simplistic or passing on misinformation. I’m looking for something more than a daily diary, dissing people and organizations, or hawking a product. I’m not going to leave a “lol”, “way to go”, or “me too”. I prefer substance or an interesting point-of-view and I won’t comment if I don’t have it.

I’m a fairly introverted person and the public nature of blogs is intimidating. Many of the commentators are too aggressive for me.

Non-response from the bloggers. The comments I make are usually to offer a thought or give an alternative perspective and hopefully start a conversation with the blogger and the other commentators. The conversation doesn’t happen very often so it makes me wonder why do I bother, is the blogger paying attention, have I upset the blogger, and why am I being ignored. The silence bothers me.

Kathy and Melissa are the only bloggers to have contacted me and they are at the top of my reading list. I no longer read many of the gardening blogs, including some very popular ones, because I realize I am not their audience. They have their fans and groupies but I’m not one of them.

Don September 2, 2006, 9:52 pm

When I get REALLY hard up for something to post, I get my camera and go looking for our little black & white cat, though I’ve said I’ll roll up my blog if I ever start posting pictures of the cats wearing little costumes, or post about what I just ate for lunch.

ilona September 1, 2006, 6:17 pm

Bill- cat-blogging is whole ‘nother blog sector 🙂

“I envy those blogs that have regulars who comment on every post.” I’ll ditto you there… although getting more now, I had fallen out of th ehabit of checking my garden blog for comments ( before the hiatus). I think comments encourgae the blogger to keep posting regularly, to know someone cares.

Maybe garden bloggers in becoming more numerous are also noticably more gregarious now???

bill September 1, 2006, 1:14 pm

I find that I get more comments on posts with pictures.

Unlike most of the participants here I write about other topics besides gardening. I get the most comments when I post pictures of cats, especially my tortoise-shell. Gardening topics elicit more comments than my ramblings about environmental matters or historical topics, however.

I envy those blogs that have regulars who comment on every post.

Carol September 1, 2006, 11:35 am

How can one not leave a comment on an entry asking about comments? I think the majority of garden bloggers love comments. It’s an affirmation, a way of connecting with other gardeners. Many garden posts are like visits to someone’s gardens. Lots of “ah’s”, and “lovely” and “pretty” and sometimes it feels redundant or unnecessary to comment if someone has already done so to express appreciation for the subject matter. But, since we all love comments, we should all commit to being more liberal with comments on others blogs.