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More Blog Happenings: Technorati and Reblogs

And thinking like the fake investigative journalists we are here at the Rant, I wondered who’s behind this Garden of Eden, supposedly "dedicated to
gardening".  So I naturally looked for their About page and guess what –
it’s not there!  I then asked the sender of the solicitation "Who are you?" and
was told "We’ll eventually add an About page."  Not one to wait for
promised eventualities, I did some online snooping and learned that gardening is one of 40+
blog topics reblogged by a company called Nimble Ferret, and most of their
sites are sports- or wine-related.  And they’re all owned by something called
Anumati, described on its website as offering "tools for investors".  Not exactly a player in the gardening world.

So now you know everything I know about this Voices-wannabe, and here’s my question. They’re making advertising income from our writing and we’re getting what, exactly?  Individually, the weak promise of greater exposure and collectively, anything at all?  At least Voices is part of GardenWeb, which really is about
gardening and has FAQs, forums, Hortiplex and the good sense to hire Old Roses – one of us – to create Voices.  And she’s doing a heckuva job sorting through our posts, highlighting new entrants, and generally spreading the word.

And speaking of spreading the word, how did we all find each other in the first place?  For me it was a Google search that found the gardening blog list maintained by the Providence Journal.  And now there’s the Voices list (222 and counting) and ColdClimateGardening’s up-to-date and descriptive Garden Blog Directory.  Do we really need any more lists or reblogs for new readers to find us?  I think not.  So to Garden of Eden and any other parasites that come sniffing around:  Go away; we don’t need you.

Link?  I don’t want to encourage them but if you search Nimble Ferret and gardening you’ll probably find it.

About the photo.  Sure, it has nothing to do with the text but I thought it would look cool next to the tomatoes.  They were both taken at my local Sunday morning farmer’s market, and off I go now!

Posted by on August 6, 2006 at 3:10 am, in the category Uncategorized.
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9 responses to “More Blog Happenings: Technorati and Reblogs”

  1. Carol says:

    I don’t really have anything new to add to the conversation through these last three posts, but just wanted to comment to say thanks for helping me gain a better understanding of what is going on in this blogging world. As with all things, there is the good, the bad, and the ugly. There will be people who will catch on – have caught on – and will try to figure out, as you’ve noted, how to exploit bloggers. It’s always good to be a bit wary on the web!

  2. Lovely onion photo, Susan! Makes me want a big bowl of sliced and buttered beets ‘n’ onions.

    My technical skills are pretty laughable, but I do love to google plant names. That’s how I found my original ‘core group’ of garden blogs over the years, and found others , including yours, Susan, through links from those pages, and so on through layers of wonderful garden websites. It’s been working pretty well so far.

    Certain garden blogs have been on my favorites list for a long time, with authors who know all about setting up websites, blogging, reblogging and photo usage. When they refused to sign up for Gardenvoices or other aggregates, I also decided not to join. Since there’s no counter on my site, the numbers don’t matter to me anyway – I’m just enjoying the conversations!

  3. susan says:

    Annie, how intriguing! How about forwarding this post to one of the other Voice-refusers so they can tell us why. Inquiring minds want to know, ya know.

  4. Unfortunately maybe, for someone who is incredibly new to the phenomena of computers and the internet period, I don’t hesitate too much to comment on matters like blogging, marketing and re-blogging.

    To your first question, “Is the MSM giving in to the blogosphere or just coopting us?”

    I think the MSM sees the handwriting on the wall. This is a technological transformation that they either embrace or lose out on. The printed page on paper and television are being replaced to a large degree much like cars replaced horse drawn carriages.

    Everyone has their own printing press and air waves now. The MSM no longer have dominant control of the technology needed to get the advertisers to pay the bills. Advertisers want market share. Bloggers have market share. The MSM is going to follow that market share to get back some of the ad revenue they have lost. They want to regain some of the control they have lost. Like M Sinclair Stevens has pointed out about Net Neutrality they are in Washington lobbying the Senate to regain that control.

    To your second question, “They’re making advertising income from our writing and we’re getting what, exactly?”

    For many of us ad less bloggers, we are getting our egos stroked and enjoying good conversation with others. Those with ads on their sites might be making some spare change too. They will have to let us know how much. There is certainly a great inducement to place ads on your site. What could be better than free money?

    GardenWeb started out as a community of gardeners and that database was sold and then resold and is now owned by NBC and run as a platform for advertisement. Gardening is just the lure, hardly NBC’s area of expertise.

    I found GardenRant via GardenVoices after doing a blogger search on “Who’s blogging on” the term “GardenWeb” and found some people who were not in the least bit pleased by GardenVoices re-blogging their posts. I went to see if these blogs were linked at GardenVoices over the objections of the site owners. They were, but it looks to have been removed recently.

    Inquiring minds can go here: http://tamingoftheband-aid.blogspot.com/2006/05/no-im-not-done-yet.html

    Shortly after I started my own blog, Technorati showed me I had been re-blogged by a water garden advertising site in Maryland. I was never contacted and never asked permission. My content was used to give content to an advertisement. That is just plain rude.

    I will repeat, at the very least there needs to be some sort of Code of Ethics that most companies and marketers would be willing to follow.

    The pursuit of money is not a moral value that should be seen as a good unto itself.

    Like Carol said above there is the good, the bad and the ugly and it is best to just be aware and wary. Maybe I am ranting into the wind over forces far larger than me and just need to get over it. Submission is not one of my better skills.

  5. Pam says:

    I just came across your site – great information and links – thanks. Your manifesto is just a perfect description of how I feel about gardening!

  6. Heather says:

    Wow, people sure do get their knickers in a twist. I’m feeling incredibly low maintenance after reading all that! All I want is blog traffic and a few comments, hopefully positive or useful in some way. I don’t care who picks it up, what companies profit from it, who owns the rights, or anything else. Just don’t show up at my house and ask me to buy encyclopedias or switch phone companies. And I’d be a much poorer gardener without the resources of GardenWeb (heck I even paid my $15 to join, I used it so much). Maybe I’m a stooge, but I’m a happy, gruntled (as opposed to disgruntled) stooge.

  7. A low maintenance gardener is almost as rare as the mythological low maintenance garden.

  8. firefly says:

    “So I naturally looked for their About page and guess what – it’s not there! I then asked the sender of the solicitation “Who are you?” and was told “We’ll eventually add an About page.” ”

    Good catch — no About page would automatically make me suspicious. I work for an academic journal on the topic of healthcare informatics, and one area it covers is health information on the Internet. There’s been a big debate for years over ethics in information in that area, because “On the Internet, no one knows you’re a dog” — so one of the priorities in health information is knowing who is behind the site and what their possible agenda is.

    I don’t think it’s a bad thing for that set of ethics to be spread to all areas. If no one thinks to look behind the curtain, a lot of slanted (and potentially harmful) information can be spread.

    I’m not big on restrictive copyrights — I tend to think they harm the flow of ideas rather than protect creative souls, especially as now implemented — but you can certainly contact people who have reblogged your material and remind them that it is, by default, copyrighted to you and may not be used without your permission.

    I can see how a blogger would be horrified to be reblogged so “investors” can see where the next big trend in gardening might happen.

  9. barrie says:

    The original post and following comments show the diverse nature of the web, of gardening, and of blogging. Writers and readers have their own specific reasons for being here, the connection is gardening.

    The web is not printed media. It is community-based by it’s nature and depends on readers to decide where quality is. (Some) old rules do not apply. This is the ideal Google and other search engines follow and the exact place where spammers attempt to circumvent.

    Time has shown that proprietary approaches to the web normally fail, whereas openness tends to succeed. Garden Web has its own problems but the original brilliance of community won out.

    What do bloggers that are reposted get? Links and potential for more audience. The commerce of the web is based upon visitors – eyes reading your material. Especially considering that Google’s algorithms are based upon links as votes for quality, I will happily trade content for links from high pagerank sites, of which Garden Voices qualifies.

    A few readers from one site magnified many times moves you slowly towards critical mass. I’m thankful for every single link that comes my way and if it means a repost of an article or two, the price is fair.

    Barrie

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