Following the track of this blog post, now that we have gauged community interest (and there is obviously some) now its time to begin talking about what our blog will look like? What topics should be covered and what kinds of contributions should we welcome?
Gardening is a great topic for a blog, and I feel like even though there are a great deal of gardening blogs available on the internet they don't always exist to be helpful input to other readers.
I think that we should consider the following guidelines:
- Posts be written to explain or inform, more to teach than to say. Is the blog post just covering stuff you did in the garden? Be honest, will anyone actually care about what it is you're writing? This shouldn't be a personal blog.
- Product reviews should absolutely be allowed, after all, we're here to improve our gardening and there are many products that can help us in this endeavor.
- We should probably have at least one post a week. Many gardening blogs I've tried to read wind up being a post every 3,4 weeks, which makes it hard for people to keep their attention on the blog.
I'm sure that others will have good ideas, but these are my thoughts off the top of my head.
I would like to see the following topics:
- How to make things yourself e.g. compost bins, strawberry towers, rainwater collection and distribution systems etc.
- Sustainability and reuse e.g. Make your own soil, how to store rainwater, how to correctly use your garbage so that most of it goes back into the garden
- Permaculture / aquaculture etc. Raising chickens, setting up a simple aquaponics system, integrating simple systems into your garden
- How to take a suburban yard and change the soil from poor to outstanding
- Collection seed / storing seed / getting seed to germinate
I always love to see photos of cool stuff that people have built themselves: handmade chicken coop, aquaponics system made out of recycled materials etc.
A very motivated blogger could certainly track the growth of their garden but only as it pertains to a specific goal like growing man-size cabbage, using hillbilly techniques or composting strange things.
I liked reading the DIY blog, especially the projects tag, however, I think there needs to be a maximum length to the blogs and better formatting on picture sizes. Some sort of lightbox deal would be nice.
I just got a new iPod with the cameras on it so if you want me to contribute, I'd be happy to. I'm probably going to work on some kid-oriented project out of Roots Shoots Buckets and Boots again come May/June so that might make a good run of posts.
I believe one of the goals of Gardening and Landscaping is to be a destination for people with garden questions. A good portion of the questions on this site relate to plants.
I know when I look for information about a plant I like web sites that have a picture, basic information about hardiness, propagation, height. If I had a choice of visiting a site that offered a picture and basic information or a question/answer site I might take the site with the picture.
If I did decide that this site could have more information on the plant I wanted I probably would have to do a site search to pick the most relevant question. That ends up as two searches for one answer and most people would not bother.
Is it desirable or possible for this site to be more visual to users and not break the storage limits for a Stack Exchange site?
What topics should be covered and what kinds of contributions should we welcome?
A blog could be a method to make the site more attractive if you agree that potential users like pictures and prefer to go to one link to get everything they need. In order to get some benefit you would have to guide blog topics to be specific about a plant species and include some guidelines to make each entry look visually attractive.