Many of you know I keep a listing of garden blogs on this site. For some of you, it was how you found me. It’s an indication of how our little corner of the blogging world has grown that two more blog directories specifically devoted to gardening blogs have shown up.
I found Dig in Dirt in my stats. Someone came to my blog from there, though I had never listed my blog with them. It is not clear to me how blogs are getting listed on this site. It looks like one can submit a blog, but they are being added so fast I wonder if the owners of the site are doing it themselves. There is no About page, no contact information, and no apparent way to correct the information about your blog if it is wrong. However, I did get my information corrected. There is an ad on the site. I went to that ad’s website, contacted someone there, and asked for my information to be corrected. And it was. Bottom line: This directory is structured better than mine, but they don’t have all their cards on the table.
Over the weekend I was catching up on my blog reading and learned on A Study in Contrasts that Stuart of Gardening Tips ‘n’ Ideas had created a map-based garden blog directory. Oh, no! I thought. Competition!
So of course I had to check it out. It works really well. Considering there were only 27 blogs listed when I took a peek, I still managed to find a gardening blog that I didn’t know about that was in my area–about an hour from here. That impressed me. And it is fun to see where the bloggers are gardening by hovering your cursor over those dots. I’m no dummy. I submitted my blog right away. And then I went and had a good cry . . . kidding! Actually, I emailed Stuart and asked him how and why he did it. And he said
The idea came when I tried organising my blogroll in the hope that it could help my readers find other gardeners close to them. It didn’t take long before I realised that scrolling through 1-dimensional text was going to be arduous at best and then thought how great it would be to visually see how close gardeners were to each other.
The beauty of reading gardening blogs is that many of them have specific information relating to their gardening zone. If I were having trouble trying to find a solution to a problem I would much rather converse with someone who was just down the road than someone who was half a world away.
Predominantly the site is just hard-coded html with a little php to create the dynamism required. As the site grows and it becomes too hard to see individual towns I will break them down into more specific regions – eg. take a look at Maryland.
This is just the start as a useful resource for bloggers and gardeners alike as it also offers a search facility querying only garden blogs that want to participate. This means that you don’t have to wade through every Tom, Dick and Harry who mentions that they thought about gardening on the weekend.
There are a few more features on the cards so stay tuned.
I had noticed that my own directory was getting difficult to navigate, and even though I provided the location of the gardener, it’s not easy to find bloggers by location. With Stuart’s map-based directory, it is. And having a search engine focused on the blogs in the directory only increases the site’s utility.
Bottom line: I predict this garden blog directory will become an important part of every gardener’s online toolkit. Check it out today!