In particular this part:
- A social phenomenon embracing an approach to generating and distributing Web content itself, characterized by open communication, decentralization of authority, freedom to share and re-use, and "the market as a conversation"
Unless you're a advertising/marketing nerd like me these phrases mean nothing to you and perhaps they do mean something to you but you don't agree with the ideology. Either way they're going to play a part in how I how blog. I love information and I'm fascinated by the way it is shared and used by communities, how it is collected and ultimately what is done with it. The entries to this gardening blog will be about plants, nature my experiences and general news I come across that would be interesting to gardeners. But what do people want to read about? What are they searching for? What brings them to our gardening blogs?
Audience engagement is what I'm trying to achieve along with being part of the machine that funnels information that will be beneficial to our collective society. It amazes me to hear garden bloggers say they don't have anything to blog about. At this very moment there are thousands of people searching for information that you or I as gardeners may already hold. So you definitely have something to blog about and as a gardener you carry the gene that makes you want to share information about gardening. You just need to be able to have people gather around your gardening blog to read your gardening tips, see photos of what your seedlings or plants look like.
But how do you let people know about your blog?
A good way to do it is to submit your gardening blog to blog directories they're like the yellow pages for blogs. Do a Google search for "blog directories" or "gardening blog directories" and submit your blog to all the free ones you can find. I don't believe in paying for information on the internet especially gardening information so I've steered clear of all the ones that charge you to submit your blog.
Learn what is bringing people to your blog. FeedBurner gives free site stats along with free feed packaging-really I won't stop harping on the importance of a feed until every gardening blog I come across is publishing one in a neat little chicklet. I look at my site stats constantly and often times I'll blog about something here or on my other blog based upon what people want to know about in the gardening world. See what you know that you can expand upon in future entries based on what people are searching for.
Because in the UK people, like retirees, who we could count on to keep gardening traditions alive are choosing to surf the internet instead. That's pretty scary if you think about it because it will become more and more commonplace in various countries around the world as they catch up with technology. How did I learn about this trend? Well I subscribe to a lot of news feeds and read them in Google Reader. If you see the left side of my bar you can see where I share links to various news stories that are gardening or nature related that I come across. It's another example of my attempts at audience engagement and funneling information that people who are searching for gardening related items would be interested in. It only takes one click of a button and these news stories are instantly on my blog. Did you know that they've found the deadly Cactus Moth in Mexico recently? It's one of the news items on the side of my blog and as a gardener you should be interested and if you live in North America you could feel the ramifications of this even if you're not interested in cacti.
If you're reading this well thank you for indulging me and getting this far and I apologize for all the typos and grammatical errors-you're saint to have put up with it thus far, but you're also a garden blogger and as a blogger you're already Web 2.0. Static websites that are there for the sole purpose of holding information are the past. The future is in publishing that is dynamic and interactive. So provide a feed, buttons for social bookmarking, see what is driving people to your blog and if you don't have that information in an entry make it your next entry so the next person who comes across your blog will find it.
Provide a feed in your sidebar that is relevant to your gardening blog. For example; if you're blog is about Hoyas sign up for news alerts with "Hoyas" as a keyword and when you read it share it on your blog if you think visitors would be interested in the news item. Perhaps you have more than one blog like I do. On each blog provide a feed to the other blog like I've done in my sidebars. It's all about engagement and funneling that information that we as gardeners have that could benefit others.
Happy Garden Blogging.