New Garden Blog Directories: Meet My Competition

– Posted in: Blogging Art and Practice, Recommended Links
9 comments

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!

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.

If winter is slumber and spring is birth, and summer is life, then autumn rounds out to be reflection. It’s a time of year when the leaves are down and the harvest is in and the perennials are gone. Mother Earth just closed up the drapes on another year and it’s time to reflect on what’s come before.

~Mitchell Burgess in Northern Exposure

Comments on this entry are closed.

M Sinclair Stevens (Texas) February 3, 2007, 9:15 pm

I’m glad that Stuart has taken a map approach. I try to identify the bloggers on my blogroll by location. And I always try to identify myself in my comments by location. I wish everyone would do it. You know the old saying, “I know where you’re coming from…” Well it makes all the difference in gardening and garden writing.

Sal February 1, 2007, 11:51 am

fab list, I have a blog rambling about gardening, knitting, the cat, Scotland… and regularly read crafting blogs but set out to find more garden blogs to read – once I found your list I was sorted!

Mary Ann January 31, 2007, 11:25 pm

of course I signed up for the map! Thanks for the heads up.

Carol January 30, 2007, 11:15 pm

I am trying to recall how I found your blog, but can’t. Probably via a comment you left somewhere. I’m glad I did find it and it is one I check frequently because of your excellent writing and fresh content and perspective.

I’m on Stuart’s map, all alone in central Indiana right now, but I’ll keep checking back!

Doug Green January 30, 2007, 6:45 pm

Kathy – great resource as usual. You really are a treasure when it comes to sharing great resources. Thanks! And yes, I did register as well.

Doug

bill January 30, 2007, 2:55 pm

I couldn’t resist adding my site to Stuart’s map too.

I think you have the definitive list though.

Kathy Purdy January 30, 2007, 1:42 pm

Annie – What I meant was, some people found my blog directory first (via a search engine) and only then discovered the blog attached to it.

I bet it won’t take long before Stuart has to make a map only of Texas, to accomodate all the garden blogs clustered there.

Pam/Digging January 30, 2007, 1:41 pm

It’s good to have all these different resources for finding like-minded (or completely different) garden bloggers. I’ve used your directory many times. Stuart’s new map-based directory is a great addition.

Annie in Austin January 30, 2007, 1:35 pm

Kathy – the way I found you originally was not through any sort of directory, but through your comments at Zanthan Gardens. [Just in case you keep a spreadsheet on this subject!]

Stuart’s map was irresistible fun – so I also submitted my garden blog. Wouldn’t if be wonderful to see a map of the Earth dotted with people who care about both gardens and writing?

Annie at the Transplantable Rose