Wednesday, January 7, 2009

New Year Rant

I just listened to one of Joe Lamp'l's podcasts and in it he "shares his insights into the many virtues of seed catalogs," plus there's an interview with Susan Harris from the Garden Rant blog.

I thought Joe brought up some good points regarding seed catalogs, and if you've been getting your share of them in the mail, you should click on the podcast link in the first sentence and listen to what Joe has to say.

After Joe's nice little spiel, he interviews Ms. Susan about her "successful" blog which prompted me to post the following comment:

What constitutes a “successful” blog? Success at what in particular? Having lots of comments? I see a type of clique among bloggers, not sure if it’s good or bad. I’ve commented on GR numerous times, not because I expect anyone from GR to visit my blog and leave a comment, but just because I felt prompted to comment about what was posted. I’ve yet to have any of the four “ranters” comment on one of my posts, again, not that I expect it, but it’d be right courteous of one of them to do so. I’ve scolded Felder Rushing numerous times for just this reason. He says he’s just too busy and doesn’t have time, or that there’s just too many others he’d have to comment on if he were to comment on mine. C’mon Felder! and others who say they don’t have time; how long does it take to type “thanks for the good words,” or “interesting post,” or some other short greeting?

Now, I’ll get down off this soap box and open up my latest catalog!

I can hardly wait for spring! I'm gettin mouthy from bein cooped up too long already!


Can you name this flower?
(It's 28" tall!)

19 comments:

walk2write said...

Amaryllis? I found Joe's podcast to be rather a yawn and didn't bother to listen to the wildly successful whoever-she-is. Who cares about being successful? I'd rather be having fun, making new friends, and learning a few things. And I stress "making new friends." Obviously, the wildly successful bloggers have no interest in something as mundane as that. They would rather be making some green, and friends take up valuable green-making time. Good for you, TC. I'm glad you ranted. How did your transcription job go? Was it music or words? You will never believe it, but the WV word is "ingang."

Kylee said...

Seeing as I have numerous amaryllis in various stages of growth and bloom, I'm going to say that's an amaryllis. Since they change a lot as they open up, I'm not going to guess which one, but I'll take a wild guess and say 'Papilio'?

I've met Felder Rushing and talked with him about blogging and I'm pretty sure he reads quite a few blogs when he has the time. Somehow though, I can't see him leaving a comment. I don't begrudge him that, though.

It's an interesting thing to think about, this success thing, when it comes to blogs. Mine has already fulfilled its original intent, which was to be a gardening journal of sorts, not only for myself but for my family, so they would know that I truly don't sit around and watch soap operas and eat bon bons.

Some great opportunities have come my way as a result of blogging, so I feel that my blog has been a successful thing in my life. I've also met some fabulously nice people who have taught me a great lot.

tina said...

TC, If you comment on a blog and they don't respond back to you, here is a suggestion-don't visit the blog anymore. Not only NOT comment, but don't visit and for heaven's sake, don't post about them! There are so many blogs where you can find exactly what you want, no matter what it is you are looking for and you have something in common with them.

I understand Felder not wanting to comment. He'd get sucked in pretty quick. Plus there is a perception among some professionals that blogs-um how to put it-don't put out good information. And they may be right, I mean geez most of us are NOT PAID to blog and we merely write about what we learn in the dirt by doing, but it is true some information might not be straight from a textbook and may even be incorrect. Gasp! But you see, many gardeners want experiences and NOT the paid textbook answer, that is why garden blogs are so popular. I am sure you can find anything you want to hear elsewhere on another blog. Not sure about the clique thing you say, I find that bloggers that stick together have something in common and perhaps you don't have anything in common with these folks-their loss!

The bloggers that don't comment on others blogs or respond, well that is perhaps their style of blogging. Move on to another blog. There are TONS of good blogs out there that you can find something in common with. You might even get to meet one or two once in a while and really get to know them and relate!

Walk2write-Hello there my friend!!

tina said...

And TC, yes-you need to go do some pickin for a bit:) Work off some of that cooped up energy.

Fern @ Life on the Balcony said...

I would define a blog's success by its authoritativeness. How many incoming links does it have, what are the average daily pageviews and average number of comments per post, and its ranking in search engines for relevant keywords. Not to mention subjective measures like the general opinion of other bloggers in the same niche.

Out of curiosity, why do you think it's your place to scold other bloggers for not commenting on your blog? I'm not trying to be critical, it just seems that doing so won't cause the subject of your scorn to comment and it might turn off other potential commenters. None of us has a right to receive a comment on our blogs. All we can do is write the most compelling posts that we can and hope that other people notice and engage us in conversation.

flydragon said...

I'm quite happy and willing to keep commenting on your post. Not quite sure if you're always happy about it though:)

TC said...

W2W: Yes, it's an amaryllis; but I don't know the name of it. My wife had the bulb layin around and I decided to pot it up in late December. I don't like to sound whiny on my blog, or be insulting. Perhaps I was a bit too offensive for some. And I've never been "ingang."

Ms. Kylee: They sure do change a lot, I've documented some of that drastic change with photos of the bud at various opening up stages. I've known Felder for years, and will probably see him if he's at this year's Philly Flower Show. We've talked about blogging before; he'll say what's on his mind and if you don't like it, well, tough. We're both like that. But as he says, "it ain't no thang" because we'll always love each other as brothers-in-dirt!
And I think your last sentence says it all: "I've also met some fabulously nice people who have taught me a great lot." And as long as that happens, I consider any blog a success.

Ms. Tina: I include the address of my blog at the end of each of my weekly columns and I'm pretty sure none of my readers have posted a comment on my blog. I'm curious to know why or why not. This summer I think I'll do a little leg work and see if I can talk to a few of them.

Ms. Fern: Your definition of a successful blog makes sense, and I guess there's a lot of blogs that are run pretty much like a business. I'm beginning to wonder if I could somehow merge my rather puny Web site (www.thewritegardener.com) into my garden blog or vice versa, but it would cost more to have both as one "thewritegardener.com." I say cost more because Register.com, who I pay for my domain space, charges more if you want your Web page to also include blogging with comments. So, in that respect, I guess I would like to be more successful. As for it being my "place to scold other bloggers for not commenting" I must take offense. No, it's not "my place," it's just a rant. I'm no better, or worse, than other bloggers who stop by a particular blog, read a few lines, and move on without commenting. The "subject of my scorn" isn't necessarily the fact that they didn't comment, it's more about a "needed" response to individual comments. I realize a lot of comments might not require a response. But when I ask a particular question, or bring up a particular point that requires, and deserves, a response, I think it's only common courtesy that a response be forthcoming. You're absolutely correct in saying "none of us have a right to receive a comment," I don't expect them. I just think it's a nice gesture.

Flydragon: Keep commenting; and if you step on my toes a time or two, that's fine with me. (So far, that hasn't happened.)

Dave said...

It's doesn't take much time to comment but I do have to slightly disagree with Tina. Sometimes life outside of blogging takes away time to comment. I have about 30 minutes to read and comment on blogs in the morning. Once the girls are up I tend to them until they nap. "If" they nap I get post writing time. If not I write after their bed time. Life doesn't always lend itself to commenting.

I do always try to either (not always both) respond to people on my blog or by visiting theirs and commenting on a post. Sometimes I'll visit and read the blog but not leave a comment. That's usually when I'm pushed for time but still want to follow the blogger.

As for success, if you're enjoying it, you're a success! I've met a lot of people since starting my blog and it's definitely opened some windows I haven't looked out of before.

TC said...

Dave: Indeed, personal things often interfere with the time I have for blogging; which includes both posting and commenting on my own blog, and visiting and commenting on other's blogs.

I want everyone to be sure and understand that I don't think leaving comments is necessary. Nor is it my aim to be scornful of others. However, don't be offended if I tell you exactly how I feel every now and then, and I do appreciate any and all comments, be they critical or not.

Susie said...

T.C.-Glad to hear from you again! I must say you had some "interesting" comments for this post.

I must say I definitely enjoy getting each and every comment. Not because this makes my blog successful but because hopefully it is a new friendship that is budding! I've never really thought about my blog being "successful" but just fun to do.

TC said...

Ms. Susie: I too have never considered my blog a success, or a failure, based on comments. I consider it a media outlet for not only my garden writing, but also as a way to communicate life out of the garden as well. (And I can't figure out why I've been away from your blog for so long!)

Joe Lamp'l said...

Well, success can be measured in a number of ways. When I referred to Rant as 'wildly successful' I was referring to their relatively quick rise to 40,000 views a month, the number of faithful readers (over 1,000/day), the steady stream of comments they get (although some seem to be groupies in my opinion), the offers they get from companies that want to advertise on their site, the diverse readers they attract (both professional and amateur gardeners, the assertiveness of their posts and their willingness to take on issues that other bloggers and writers won't or can't afford to say.

Yet, it's not the only blog I read. I wish my blog was as popular but it's no where close. We all have a voice and a great platform to share it through blogging. Although I enjoy that blog, I have this blog on my RSS feed as well as others. Although I don't read every post that streams in, I do read TC's and enjoy them all. With so many things we can do with our time, choosing to read a particular blog says a lot, both for you and the blog creator.

Regarding post by the Rant ladies to other blogs, I can't speak for them but personally, I appreciate everyone that leaves a comment on my blog and do my best to return the favor as often as I can.

Regarding my podcast, walk2write found it rather a yawner. Sorry about but I'm always open for comments and I invite them openly on every show. Not every segment of every show is going to keep you on the edge of your seat but I'll keep trying!

This was a great topic TC and I'm glad I could play a part in it.

By the way, you look great with that green wrist band on your arm!

Cheers,
JL

TC said...

Joe: Thanks for your input. I value everyone's opinion on this matter and it seems like there's many important aspects of what constitutes a successful blog; some that I didn't consider. (While at a local watering hole this evening, I informed two gardening friends about "Growing a Greener World" and Joe Gardener.)

Frances said...

Hi TC, this is a real brain exercise, thinking about success in terms of one's blog. I liked what Tina said, she knows how to put her feelings into words well. I remember when Garden Rant first came into being, the creation of two bloggers whose posts I eagerly awaited for new material. It was exciting that they became so successful so quickly, I know they are busy with their paying jobs as well. After visiting blogs where they *know you* and always respond to your comments and visit you too, Garden Rant seems to be different from those. Still a fun read, kind of low on photos, but I think it is about the writing for them. Several times I have left a comment there and don't think there was ever a reply. Oh well, like you, if you've got something to say, say it and don't worry if they answer, although it would be nice if they did.
Frances

TC said...

Ms. Frances: It is amazing that that blog rose to such popularity in such a short time. I find their posts amusing at times, and not so much at other times. And I'd be the first to say that my own blog isn't very amusing at times either. But I do respond to each and every comment. But it's much easier to respond to each comment when you don't have more than ten or twelve.

Ilona said...

You had me at "Ohio". Not that I love what happened @ Kent State, but the combination of CS&N the time frame of my youth and my homestate..well, I'm yours good or bad and whatever all that means...

non sequiturs like that are why, tho' one of the early garden bloggers, I never made the a-list, but maybe something else? Maybe I'm just a bad blogger.

Anyway, this was an interesting post. Partly because it exposes expectations. Blogging has changed, and it is harder to have good conversation than it used to be just because there are now so many blogs. It has bent to business and that also plays a part in who gets top tier billing, I think. For many reasons: some are professional writers, some have connections with media, some know marketing better, some just have je ne sais quoi in grabbing the zeitgeist (how's that for mixing it all up?)

That said, you have numerous comments and that makes you a pretty popular blogger.But for those who are into building friendship, conversation and interaction...I'm telling you that twitter is the way to go. Add it to your blogging!

I believe that is the trend... and you might even get some of that desired connection with a-listers. for now, that is ;)

maybe you already twitter... and then I would have to go all red-faced into the nebulousness that cyberspace offers me.... only to turn up as one of your followers :)

Frances said...

Hi TC, I want to add that at the time Garden Rant came into being, there were not nearly the number of garden blogs as there are now. Even when I started in December of 2007 there were not nearly as many, or what was lacking was the big directory of garden blogs, Blotanical. Blotanical had just started out when I began, with just listings of garden blogs, but still a way to find new ones, and a map to find ones near you too. That site has taken off and evolved a lot since the beginning. Some don't use it at all, but I do and get more than half of my readers from there, so am quite a supporter of it.
Frances

TC said...

Ms. IIona: Some folks think the music is somewhat abrupt when they visit, so I'm thinkin about discontinuing the player. I might post a survey and use that to make my decision.

I neglected to mention that I signed up on blogger years ago, but didn't "go with it" like a lot of users have since the early days.

And I'm still considering Twittering. ;~)

Ms. Frances: I agree; there's a phenomenal number of them out there, and I know a lot of those, if not most of them, are way better than mine. I have the link to Blotanical on my side bar, but don't go there myself, perhaps I should visit at least once in a while.

Wayne Stratz said...

communicating with others is one of the main reasons I blog, hopefully I won't get too many readers ;')

as for the music... sometimes it drives me away instantly, but other times I linger. How is that for an uncertain answer?

love the photo you featured recently that appeared to have a hummingbird in the background.