The social media explosion forever changed electronic communication. The advent of web blogs brought a new, dynamic opportunity for gardeners to communicate with other gardeners. Suddenly, as more and more gardeners entered the blogging realm, they could read blogs to get real-life information about what works and doesn't work in their gardens. They were able to share the highs, lows, quirky stories, and unique experiences and Gardeners embraced this new realm.
Even at the very first Garden Bloggers Fling held here in Austin a decade ago, we had breakout sessions to discuss the future of blogging. Carol Michel of May Dreams Gardens spoke about the evolving social aspects of blogging, while Kathy Purdy of Cold ClimateGardening discussed the emerging technical issues of maintaining a blog.
Bloggers shared their experiences with Blogger and Word Press programs, monetizing blogs, and the future of blogging. A decade ago, this issue was a burning question.
As the next waves of social media washed over the internet, bloggers expanded their reach, adding Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest to expand their outreach repertoire. Families, jobs, and even gardening, got in the way of publishing detailed and let’s face it, time-consuming posts.
It’s so simple now – throw up140 characters, a great photo, and a snippet of information, and voila, you’re done. More people see these condensed, tiny bytes of information. It only takes a few minutes out of your day.
Does this mean that the world of blogging is quietly slipping into the dark of night, a light soon to be extinguished by the new rush to post as fast as you can in real time?
I’d argue no. While some bloggers find other social media channels more to their liking, others prefer to continue blogging, using those tools to promote their longer, detailed posts.
I’m in the latter camp, and I’m not alone. Blogging gives me something that none of the other outlets do.
It allows me to express my passion for gardening and to share it with others. My posts provide information, tips, lots of photos and the story that is continually evolving in my garden. In return, I’m grateful to have the perspective of others from around the world to expand my horizons with the same cornucopia of detailed information.
The blogging world may have lost a few gardeners to a faster medium that better suits their needs, but I would argue that there will always be a yearning for all that nitty gritty information we dive into on our respective blogs. We trial plants for each other, we share tips, we experiment, and we celebrate our successes and commiserate over our losses.
There will always be a thirst for knowledge and a demand for detail. Nothing will replace a blogs ongoing personal perspective that readers can’t always find on a newsstand or in a book. This fulfilling electronic connection cultivates a loyal readership and friendships that span the globe. It’s why we blog and it’s why we Fling.
And, I feel privileged to be among this special group of garden bloggers. See you all in Austin in 97 days!