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:
- Garden Blog Projects
- Memes and Contests for Garden Bloggers
- Getting Creative with Images
- Finding Ideas for Blog Posts
- Choosing a Blogging Platform
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.
Speaking 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.