Garden Bloggers’ Idea Gallery – Updates

– Posted in: Miscellaneous

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Thanks to all of you who have visited the Garden Bloggers’ Idea Gallery over the past few weeks. From the public and private comments, it sounds like many of you are finding it as useful as I’d hoped. I intended to activate one new page every few weeks, but several came together sooner than I expected, so I’ve been gradually adding them to the lineup. You can now visit all of the following pages:

At one point, I mentioned the issue of using tags, categories, and search boxes to help visitors to your blog find past subjects. How grateful I am to Town Mouse for pointing out the search box at the top left of the page on Blogger blogs! The few times I’d noticed it before, I assumed it was for searching all of Blogger, not that one blog. It’s been a big help.

A couple of you have asked me to explain the difference between tags and categories. It seems to me that categories are best for broad topics, such as favorite plants, birds, garden projects, and travels, and for repeating features you participate in, such as Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day and Wordless Wednesday. Tags, then, are better for specific topics mentioned within a post, such as the names of particular plants, birds, places, and people. But really, it’s up to you how you use them.

Some other topic requests include making pages on Blogger blogs (is it possible, and if so, does anyone have instructions?), and reviews of cameras and related equipment. Several folks are interested in learning more about setting up and interpreting blog stats services; others are looking for ways to increase readership by gardeners who aren’t already involved in the blogging world. If any of you have already written about these topics, please leave a link below.

011Speaking of cameras, I’m pretty excited to have purchased a PlantCam for taking time-lapse photography in the garden. I’m hoping to do a full review at some point, but so far, I haven’t had much opportunity to use it outdoors. What little I’ve done has turned out ok, once I gave up trying to use the included clamp and dug out a proper tripod to support it. The overall quality of the images isn’t outstanding (as shown in the image at the top of this entry), though to be fair, the intense brightness from snow and full sun makes for tough shooting conditions. On the plus side, it’s been remarkably easy to use, it’s very sturdy and well designed, and it seems a very fair value for the price (around $79.95). I’m looking forward to trying it out on some indoor seed-starting projects in a few weeks, and I’ll report back with the results. I imagine at least a few of you will be getting one of these soon, and I look forward to hearing about your impressions too.

Nancy J. Ondra
Nan gardens on 4 acres in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. In the firm belief that every garden ought to have a pretentious-sounding (or at least pretentious-looking) name, she refers to her home grounds as "Hayefield." There, she experiments with a wide variety of plants and planting styles, from cottage gardens and color-based borders to managed meadows, naturalistic plantings, and veggies--all under the watchful eyes of her two pet alpacas, Daniel and Duncan.
Nancy J. Ondra

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Janet December 24, 2009, 9:02 am

Great posting, think I explored most every link. The “how to’s” are especially good to review…some I had read when I first started and it is good to have a refresher!

Thanks, Janet. I wish I’d known even a quarter of this when I began blogging.
-Nan

jodi (bloomingwriter) December 24, 2009, 9:51 am

Nancy, I’m still on my massive catchup of recent weeks and haven’t worked my way through all the ideas, but thank you for all the work you put in on this for all of us to benefit. Here’s wishing you and the rest of the team at GGW the very most joyous of holidays, whatever you celebrate.

A wonderful holiday season to you too, Jodi, and to all of our readers at GGW!
-Nan

VP December 24, 2009, 12:49 pm

I’m in catch-up mode too and I see I can now take a big task off my winter to-do list and just link to you instead :)

Thanks for pulling all of this together – it’s a fantastic resource.

I’m not sure if it’s been mentioned already but MrBrownThumb has some fantastic articles on blogging technicalities and how they relate to garden bloggers.

I’ll check out my bookmarks to see if I can plug any gaps or add something new to what’s already there.

There’s a few posts on my To Do list which may come in handy too.

And many thanks for the links over to Veg Plotting too :)

Have a fantastic Christmas and New Year.

Allan Becker December 24, 2009, 9:27 pm

Nancy, thank you for dealing with this subject matter.
Is anyone out there using Squarespace as a blogging platform, other than me?
I want to post readers’ comments after each journal page but don’t understand the Users’ Manual. The technical support staff is unable to assist me effectively because they communicate in a language that I can’t understand.
allanbecker-gardenguru.squarespace.com

I hadn’t even heard of Squarespace before, Allan; sorry I can’t help.

Anyone have any tips for Allan?
-Nan

Chookie December 26, 2009, 6:41 am

Just wanted to wish everyone at GGW a happy Christmas!

Thanks Chookie. A wonderful holiday to you and your family as well! Fran

Commonweeder December 28, 2009, 12:46 pm

This is not the kind of info to be taken in all at once. I’ve visited a couple of times, taken notes, made changes in my own blog – and I’m be back to do it all again. Thank you so much. This is a perfect time of the year to do some thinking, researching and improving the blog.

Thanks for your comments, Pat. It’s been a very absorbing project.
-Nan

Elephant's Eye January 2, 2010, 3:29 pm

I have written a post about blog tags. 20 years of working in university libraries are in my bones. I have linked my post to you here http://elephantseyegarden.blogspot.com/2010/01/blotanising-with-blog-tags.html

Thanks, Diana! I’ve added your link to the Garden Blog Projects page.
-Nan