Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Online Gardening Communities

One of the fun things about blogging is not the blogging, but reading other people's blogs. Right now I'm fairly focused on gardening blogs. I will read other articles, but I come back to the gardening ones. I found my first few by searching the web. Then to find other blogs I've played a game called "Follow the Commenter". It is a simple game to play. Take one of your favorite blogs and see who has commented on a post. Follow the link to their blog. Their blog may or may not be a gardening blog, but it is fun to read it anyway to see who reads the same blogs you do. If it is a gardening blog, pick another commenter from the new blog. Follow it. And so on, until you've lost the gardening theme. Sometimes the chains can last a long time, or they can loop. Either way you can waste hours of your life playing the game.

I've tried other ways of finding blogs. There are blog lists all over the web. Some are little communities of like minded bloggers. Blotanical and MyFolia seem to be the two specifically garden related communities. I tried MyFolia, but it seemed like so much work. Writing my blog is enough work. If I have to keep adding plants to my garden (they want you to add all your plants to your plot on MyFolia - dang do you know how many plants I have?) and journal on their pages, it just isn't worth it to me. It seems like it would be better for someone that doesn't already have a blog.

Blotanical is much more to my taste. It takes the blog you already write and links to your posts. No extra work required. My kind of place.

One flaw is that it is set up a bit competitively with its point system. I understand why they do it that way, but I'm not a fan of fostering competition in a community. It also has a hard to use user interface. I really wanted to fav someone (pick them as one of your favorites) and I had to look up in the faq how to do it. It should be much easier. I also wanted to get to someone's plot. I had to look that up too. A few extra buttons/links are really needed. I could go on about some of the other flaws, but I used to be a programmer and always see the flaws in the software.

That being said Blotanical is a fun place to hang out. The people there are nice and usually a handful of people welcome you to the site, so you can start a conversation right away if you like. My most used part of the site is the Picks tab. It lets you see all the most recent posts. So anytime I need my gardening blog fix, there it is.


  1. Hi Daphne,

    It's Nic from here - thanks for reviewing our site!

    Just to let you know, there is no obligation to list your entire garden if you don't want to - you are welcome to list only the plants you wish to track in detail, or to only add plants that you want to find out who else is growing (or that have a specific question about). We are definitely an easy going bunch at MyFolia and we don't like imposing too many rules on our members :)

    We are continuously developing the journalling to make it faster and easier, as we know gardeners are busy people! It's improving every week - but to give you a heads up, we have big plans for integrating with your blogs in a much closer way in the near future.

    For now, we have some pretty cool widgets to show "days in the ground" counters and "recently planted lists" that you should definitely check out.

    Thanks again for the mention on your site :)

  2. I learned more about Blotannical from this post than I've been able to figure out in my few visits to the site. And I'm with you about the ratings, thing. Thanks!

  3. Daphne, (is that your name?) have you checked out "Garden Voices" on the huge Garden Web site? That's another place with a big compilation of garden blogs.

  4. I've been on the forum section, but never noticed the blog section. I'll have to check it out.