Dogs have dog-years, and the internet has internet-years. Four years on the internet is a long time, and as of August 27, 2006, that’s how long I’ve been blogging. I thought I would ask those gardeners who’ve been blogging longer than I have how they got started, and where they think this whole garden blogging business is going. The questions are all ones I’ve wondered about, and I sent the same list to each of the bloggers listed below. I hope you find the answers as fascinating as I did.
First, let me introduce my respondents. In no particular order:
- Tamara Galbraith [TG], formerly of Talking Dirty, now publishing Can You Dig It?
- M. Sinclair Stevens [MSS], longtime publisher of Zanthan Gardens.
- Paul Owoc [PO], observant chronicler of a greenZoo.
- Pam Shorey [PS], originally blogging at Outside in the Garden, and now at Rivermantic.
- Erica Bess Duncan [EBD], writing at GardenSpot.
- Ilona [IL] of Ilona’s Garden Journal.
- Doug Welch [DW], keeping A Gardener’s Notebook.
- Jennifer Zynischer [JZ], aka the Garden Djinn.
- Kathy Purdy [KP], that’s me, the principal contributor to this blog you’re reading.
1. According to their respective websites, Blogger was founded in 1999 and Movable Type in 2001. But as I remember, even when I started my garden blog in 2002, most people didnâ€™t know what a blog was, or see the point of it, really. So what in your background or relationships made you aware of and comfortable with the technology? What led you to become an â€œearly adopterâ€?
2. Of all the things you could use this technology for, why gardening? How did you see a blog working for you better than more traditional means of garden communication, such as a chat over the fence, a garden club membership, a plant society membership, or a magazine subscription? What problem were you hoping to solve, or what need did you want to fill?
3. Did your garden blog accomplish what you were hoping for? Any unexpected benefits? Any disappointments?
4. What do you think has caused the proliferation of garden blogs in the last year?
5. Thinking over all of the garden blogging youâ€™ve done and the garden blogs youâ€™ve read since you first started, what has changed for the better? What negatives, if any, have arisen? Do you miss anything from the â€œgood olâ€™ daysâ€ of blogging?
6. Do you think gardeners comment less than other bloggers?
7. Does it seem to you that gardeners, as a whole, are late adopters of technology? I mean, look at the categories for the Weblog Awards. Thereâ€™s a category for best craft blog, best food blog, best entertainment blog, best politics blog, best web development blog, etc. The closest gardeners get is best topical blog, which is basically an â€œeverything elseâ€ category. Why do you think this is so? (Or make a case for the oppositeâ€“that theyâ€™re not late adopters.)
8. What advice would you give a gardener starting a blog today?
9. What question(s) did I neglect to ask, that you would like someone to answer?
10. Whatâ€™s next for gardeners interested in internet communication? Today, blogging. Tomorrow?