A Change Will Do You Good

May 16th, 2012

I’m bored. With this blog I mean. It was fun when I started it in 2003 (over nine years ago!), and even more fun when I found out that people were actually reading it. But now, and forgive me if I’m repeating myself, but I find that I’m struggling to come up with something original to say about gardening. Especially in this year of the downsized vegetable garden. I looked over my last year’s posts for the Garden-to-Table-Challenge at GreenishThumb.net and see that I made exactly the same food this year in exactly the same week last year. Should I write about it again? Nah…

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day? Wildflower Wednesday? Foliage Follow-up? Harvest Monday? These are all great community-building projects, but……I’m tired.

Oh and what about Facebook and Twitter?  I’m there, but not very enthusiastically. Twitter was fun when I was following a small number of people, but now I just browse the stream for a short time every few days.

Facebook, well, you all know the issues with Facebook.

And I’m also on Ravelry and Flickr and probably lots of other places that I don’t even remember…

All this is by way of introducing my newest internet gardening project. I noticed that people and organizations are using MediaWiki – the software that powers Wikipedia – for all kinds of interesting things. Tatiana’s TOMATObase is a wonderful reference. I signed up a few months ago with WeRelate – a non-commercial genealogical wiki. And I starting thinking. I really intended this blog to be a gardening journal. Then when blogs got popular, I started writing posts that I thought would please other people. Far from what I intended when I started. But what if I had a personal gardening wiki? It could be an even better version of what I thought I’d have when I started this blog. Introducing CultivatedWiki.

Now, this is very much a work in progress, so don’t go there looking for a complete garden encyclopedia. I’m adding to it a little at a time. Eventually, if I stick with it, it should be a good record of my gardening activities. Right now I have no plans to make it collaborative. It’s just a personal record which may or may not be interesting to others.

I don’t know what to do about this blog. For the time being, I’ll keep it around. Maybe I’ll do a weekly summary or something. Or just post when I have something new and different to say.

11 Responses to “A Change Will Do You Good”

  1. I feel your pain about your blog… OH do I feel your pain! I can’t even seem to manage to regularly make Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day and Foliage Follow-up Posts anymore. *sigh* And those are built-in excuses to post! (And sometimes, I even take the pictures… but never get around to posting them. Pathetic.)

    • entangled says:

      Hey, I just checked your GBBD post and I see lots of pictures ;-) But I know what you mean. If it seems like work then we should be getting paid, right?

      • That’s a good way to think about it, Ray. I like the idea that my blog might be a resource to new gardeners.

        I guess I mostly kind of miss the back and forth in the early days of blogging. The discovery of new plants, of new ideas… it just seems like there aren’t as many comments, or question, or… interaction in general. I’m not sure how to get back to fostering that on my blog.

        • entangled says:

          I miss that kind of interaction too, and I’m guilty myself of not commenting on blogs I like (like yours!).

          I was recently talking with someone about information overload, and he mentioned that he finds various forums to be a richer online experience than blogs. I have accounts on gardenweb.com and tomatoville.com, and have hardly ever posted anything there, but I do go there occasionally looking for information. I was on myfolia.com too, but found the data entry process to be too tedious.

          I wonder if people will get back to socializing on blogs when they get tired of Facebook and Twitter?

  2. Ray says:

    I have been getting a bit of tired of writing my 5 year garden blog. I have been laying off the posts a bit this year, unless I have something I think others might like to read. In my mind, there’s never a requirement to post.

    Although I don’t have a boatload of readers, there are a lot of hits from people doing searches that Google sends my way. That gives me satisfaction that my old posts are still valid and informative.

    I look forward to trying new plants each each and can’t wait for their results so I can tell everyone about them – via my blog. I read other blogs to discover new things or to be botanically entertained.

  3. Ray says:

    I have been getting a bit tired of writing my 5 year garden blog. I have been laying off the posts a bit this year, unless I have something I think others might like to read. In my mind, there’s never a requirement to post.

    Although I don’t have a boatload of readers, there are a lot of hits from people doing searches that Google sends my way. That gives me satisfaction that my old posts are still valid and informative.

    I look forward to trying new plants each year and can’t wait for their results so I can tell everyone about them – via my blog. I read other blogs to discover new things or to be botanically entertained.

    • entangled says:

      I’m with you on new plants. That’s a big part of the fun of gardening for me. It’s humbling to see how many I’ve lost over the years though. :-(

      I admire the way you’ve summed up the salient points at the end of your posts. One of the things I hope to accomplish by moving to a wiki format is easier access to information. I’m slowly adding and indexing the old blog posts into the new wiki. I was never happy with my transition from Blogger to WordPress. I mean I like WordPress, but all my old Blogger posts are now hard to find and many have broken links, missing photos and so on. The thought of converting 7 years worth of Blogger posts into WordPress posts filled me with dread and so I didn’t do it.

      A while ago, I read an article in the NY Times about slow blogging. It resonated with me then, but I sort of filed it away in my mind. I just now looked it up and was surprised to see that it was published in 2008. Here’s a quote from it which I think applies to garden blogs in general these days.

      “In between the slow bloggers and the rapid-fire ones, there is a vast middle, hundreds of thousands of writers who are not trying to attract advertising or buzz but do want to reach like-minded colleagues and friends. These people have been the bedrock of the genre since its start, yet recently there has been a sea change in their output: They are increasingly turning to slow blogging, in practice if not in name.”
      (Blogging at a Snail’s Pace, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/23/fashion/23slowblog.html)

      • Ray says:

        I guess I am an inbetween blogger. If there were more readers breathlessly waiting to read my posts, I might be more consistent with a schedule.

        I originally started my blog as a private journal to help me keep track of when I started seeds, what bloomed when, what I harvested when. After half a year I converted it into a public blog.

        I have noticed that my later posts are much more personal than when I started (they started very dry – probably because the ‘personal journal’ thing was not intended as public reading.)

  4. Ray says:

    (oops – posted before I was finished editing)

  5. Wendy says:

    oh my gosh – I cannot even keep up with what’s going on. I hear what you’re saying about the blog. I’m definitely posting less frequently, but there are still topics here and there that I feel compelled to write about – and the blog seems to best place. I’ll have to check out your new wikithing. hope it will get the creative juices flowing for you again!!

    • entangled says:

      So far I’m having fun with the wiki. I had some other ideas for reinvigorating the blog, and WordPress makes it fairly easy to add static pages (more like a wiki), but the wiki format forces me to be more organized (a really good thing). It would be nice if somebody would integrate WordPress and MediaWiki.

      I hope to be back to the Garden to Table Challenge once I have something edible from the garden besides radishes and herbs. Actually, now that I think of it, I have a new herb that I don’t really understand how to use so that might be good for a post. Score for creative juices!

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