It seems only yesterday—actually it was almost a year ago—that I was blithely enquiring “do you twitter?” in a post here. Back then, Twitter had recently started and the little micro-posts seemed fun and relatively easy to keep up with. Now that I’m (sort of) managing 3 Twitter feeds, it’s not quite so much fun, but it is an entrenched part of my digital life. Then there’s Facebook, where I’m gradually friending fellow garden bloggers; another chat site, Plurk; various garden-related listservs; and—surprisingly—a good number of active forum sites.
Thanks to Carol/May Dreams Gardens, I was surprised to learn how many forums there actually are, including Fine Gardening’s Over the Fence, Horticulture’s Co-Horts, Botanical Interest’s Gardening Network, and Better Homes and Garden’s gardening forum, as well as some forums we’ve discussed many times here: MyFolia, Dave’s Garden, Blotanical, the venerable Gardenweb, and, of course, Garden Rant’s Garden Writers Forum.
Quickly scanning the Botanical Interest forum, I was delighted to see this lovely quote on the sidebar: “A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.” It’s from one of their veggie blogs. Sigh. The veggie growers are so much hipper than us ornamentalists these days!
But seriously, folks, who could hope to keep up with all this, not even to mention all the blogs (I have well over a hundred on my reader)? Who would want to? And what about print—you know, that other stuff you can read. Recently on the Garden Writers’ Listserv, longtime garden writers were discussing the deterioration of language in the micro-blogging and chat world in the face of declining print writing opportunities. I know, you’re not supposed to discuss what you hear on GWL. (It’s like Fight Club that way.) But this is a universal topic.
I think most writers are aware by now that we’ve somehow got to carve out a niche that includes the online world—but will what we have to say become ever more restrained to short bursts? Is 140 characters really the limit of what the average person wants to hear from me? I tend to think not, but as we garden bloggers become more overloaded with the panoply of networking we maintain, we have to consider that any potential readers we have might feel the same way. Where do you draw the line?
I see that Blotanical is “suspended,” but I’ll leave the link; presumably it will be back up.Posted by Elizabeth Licata on March 4, 2009 at 5:09 am, in the category Ministry of Controversy.