Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Ten Reasons I Like Your Blogs

All About You, You, You -- not Me Me: 10 Reasons I Like Your Blogs

Janie tagged me for a 'things you don't know about me' meme. Ten things about me, besides that I am beautiful, wealthy and clever; mother of the Prettiest Baby in the World, live at the Center of the Universe, read music and play the piano, have grown tulips in the South, got our first computer in 1989, was quoted in a garden book, and once worked in a library?

Okay, so I feel beautiful on the inside and the Prettiest Baby in the World is now middle-aged and little children call him PawPaw. I'm wealthy in things that matter, like seeds, and I've come this far without serious mishap.

Enough about me, let's talk about You. Ten reasons I like Your Blog:

1. It's interesting without being cluttered. A new post is the first thing seen below the header photo. Everything is easy for us shortsighted folk to take in.

2. There is a lovely blogger who put her music widget at the top, turned OFF. She invites visitors to turn it ON if they like music while they look at her tablesettings and such. It makes her blog load much faster.
No scrambling here to find the music shutoff button when it's after midnight and a sudden blare of noise wakes the whole household.

3. Your pictures are crisp enough and you make new photos instead of apologizing for poor quality, else you just don't mention the slightly out of focus. You don't show ugly nor dead in the garden, unless you're showing a horticultural oddity.

4. Weather is the last thing you mention in your post instead of the first if it is unpleasant. If it is snowing, you post a pic so I can be glad it never snows here even though it does get cold. I do like to see the photos.

5. Sometimes you include pets or wildlife with your garden as background. It makes the garden come alive. It's hard to capture butterflies; some of you do it so well. Meems has some beautiful butterflies this week.

6. Leaving a comment on your blog is a joy. If you've had trouble with spam, you let an easy word widget do the screening, OR require approval, but not both. I'm happy when neither is necessary and I'm not sitting here clicking, typing a silly word that the letters aren't clear, clicking, typing, clicking, clicking again and then left with a feeling of inadequacy because I still have to be approved.

7. Every now and then you change the appearance of your blog and freshen the little quotes and things. You show the broad view of your garden as well as a close-up or three.

8. An occasional simple recipe using the veggies you've grown is fun to read. Midge and Moss mentioned artichokes in a recent post.

9. Your advice is from personal experience or documented sources. The Queen of Seaford mentions great references in an unobtrusive way.

10. There is information near the top of your sidebar that tells me where you are. Not the longitude and latitude, nor your street address, but a general sense of the part of the world, the area of the country where you are found. I'm forgetful; no matter how many times I visit, I may confuse you with someone else. There are just so many ways to say 'The Garden...

I click first to read the blog before I click for a pick. You get points for the first, I get points with the second click. I couldn't do it without You, You, You.

The Meme stops here. We need to talk Gardening. Love your blogs, All of You.


  1. Quite a handy post this - I've reorganised my sidebar in consequence.

    Good advice - putting where you are near top.

    Not sure about changes in header. Some people have seasonal ones and I like that. However, it's also nice to click into the atmosphere of a blog through it's familiarity. Being distinct (I think) helps.

    My blog conforms to your ideals in very few ways (no photos, no recipes (so far) always the same header, pets and wildlife - mostly barred, have word verification (so I don't have to keep checking there anything untoward has been left) advice - anyone would be daft to take it (!) Blotanical picks - hardly ever do 'em.)

    Hey ho.

    The wind and the rain.

    (Thought I'd better stick in some weather!)


  2. Thanks for this Nell Jean. I had to laugh at the baby being Paw Paw now. HA Your list should be a must read for us all. You have been honest and straightforward. Hope everyone will now show where they are located, I like to know that too.

  3. heheehe, I love that Esther.

    Very good post, Nell Jean. I will be scurrying back to my blog to be sure I have done most of it right. I never seem to get to all of it.

    Of course, I already knew you were beautiful, wealthy and had the prettiest baby in Texas. Wait! I thought I had the prettiest baby in Texas!

  4. Nell Jean, Great advice for all of us. Relieved to see that I (mostly) qualify for your seal of approval -- theoretically, at any rate.

    Some (like Esther's blog) are great to visit even if they break all the rules, though. I think the most important rule is: remember your reader. You're absolutely right, it is all about them.

  5. This was a totally fun post to read. I ALWAYS appreciate a person's good sense of humor and their honesty and you've delivered both. I agree with a lot (not all) of what you say and I still like Garden Bloggers' Death Day. ha-ha My blogging time is limited so I do what I can and that's it. I prefer reading the blogs of others over publishing my own blog posts.

  6. Nell Jean, your are a beautiful person. I like the first picture very much. In appearance you look like a Hollywood star. As a blogger, your writings always bring a smile to my face. Here I give you another star. Thank you for the practical and honest advice and wise words. I have recorded them down for self improvement.

  7. I enjoyed your post Nell Jean. Very informative, and I agree with it:-)

  8. You had me believing you until you threw in that bit about tulips in the South; I don't know anyone who's life is THAT charmed!
    I don't know how to turn my music off, sorry! I'm with you on the word verification, some are so complicated I just skip commenting, even though I shouldn't!

  9. Wow, great Meme. And thanks for the mention of my blog. I appreciate your comment. I concur with all your reasons, well done!

  10. Hello Nell,

    I really appreciated this post. I think I will use it for a guideline for my blog...

  11. I love your sense of humor Nell Jean. Very interesting post, with a lot of views I concur with. Thanks for sharing your perspective!

  12. Well, the weather is important to me. LOL!

  13. Thank you all for your candid comments.
    Esther, not every blog need contain every element. Yours is certainly unique.

    Frances, Janie and A.Belle, that baby and I were precious, 45+ years ago. You knew to look at the sidebar to see the present me peering in the mirror, right? Very few people remember when I had black hair, not even me. All babies born in Texas are the prettiest. My friend Charlotte went to high school with Phyllis George and the Goody Hair products model, near Dallas, Texas.

    Tom, the popularity of your blog hinges on the weather. Did you ever expect that your personal garden journal would be so popular?

    Thanks, all of you. You're excused from having to write a Meme, unless there's something you want to tell us.

  14. Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my posts. I am going to look for that tea next time I visit the store!
    What I call hummingbird vine is Ipomoea quamoclit, and is also commonly called red cypress vine and cardinal climber. It's very easy to grow and borders on being invasive once you get it started. I think it grows all along the south, from Texas to Florida. If you don't have any, I'll be glad to send you some seed after the first frost! It is like a magnet for hummingbirds.

  15. I deleted my comment accidentally. So much for all that wisdom. This post is great. Just what we all need to hear.

  16. I must say this was one of the most enjoyable posts I've read all day! Very witty opening...full of useful advice - well done!

  17. I change stuff all the time so I'm sure to please just about everyone at some time or another ;) Big hugs to ya and you are one of my favs!

  18. A very neat solution to this meme with excellent advice for us all :)

    I found myself nodding in agreement with most of it - music makes me go away pretty quickly because it brings load times down so much and I might not have the same tastes. Like Esther, I'm not too sure about frequent changes in header etc. either. Do it too often and you lose some of your blog's 'brand'. Not do it at all and your blog becomes stale. I did a major revamp once and I had loads of confused comments from people who weren't sure if they were reading the same blog as before or a completely new one! Goes to show you can't please everyone all of the time I suppose ;)

    I've bookmarked your post in readiness for a minor blog overhaul to celebrate my blog's anniversary next month :)

  19. PS I don't like Word Verification either, but had a very nasty experience with a spambot when I turned it off. I totally agree with you about not having both approval and typed in words settings. Unfortunately, we're in the hands of Blogger et al. regarding the clarity of the words to type - if they're unreadable, simply hit the Enter key and you'll be presented with a fresh set to try. I've chosen to have this over approval as I like other readers to see what's been said straight away and have the opportunity to add to it.

    Hope that helps :)

  20. That "approval" has been worth it for one long rant, which I deleted. And the occasional "comment" which asked to be published, when you and I both know it was meant to be just between the 2 of us. My computer time is limited so I check in about once a day - and don't want to find something unmentionable squatting in the comments, a day later. I think we should start a "How to Blotanise" meme here!

  21. I love this list. I think some bloggers get a little carried away with all the gadgets that they can have for their blog and don't pay attention to what it does to the usability of their blog. I personally have never turned on word verification because all comments are emailed to me, so it's easy enough for me to find the spam and delete it -- and word verification hates me!!
    Thanks for this post.

  22. What an excellent idea for a response. I have to admit that I do WV (just in case) and comment approval. But the comment approval is not really about screening people - I just like to make sure I've read the comments properly. When someone has taken the time and trouble to say something, I feel it's only polite to give it some attention and the approval mechanism helps me do that. Thank you for a very thought-provoking post.

  23. You have raised the bar for memes,my dear. THis is fantastic! Thanks for the tips. I have learned a lot from this post. I am off to change some stuff.

  24. Just to pick up on what Sylvana said, comments are emailed to you anyway, even when WV or Approval is switched on - I'm assuming we're talking Blogger users here BTW.

    When I took WV off, things were fine for 2 weeks. Then a spambot found me and proceeded to go through every single post automatically adding a comment. It also automatically emailed everyone who'd posted comments on those posts where they'd subscribed to follow-up comments.

    The comment was mainly gibberish but it was obvious from the links titles it contained that it was pointing to websites with adult content.

    Luckily I came home and went to look at my blog that Saturday morning - something I usually don't do as I like to have one day off the internet a week. I caught the spambot within 15 minutes of it starting to do its stuff. Even then, I still had 400 emails to clear out of my email inbox AND from 400 blog posts too. I then wrote a special post apologising to everyone who'd got spam emails, explaining what had happened and the steps I'd taken to remedy the situation.

    Not a very good situation all round. But I still consider myself lucky, because that spambot could have also contained a computer virus, which thankfully it didn't.

    That's why you'll find a link on my sidebar to that article I wrote which also explains why I've chosen WV over Approval.

    Apologies for the lengthy comment, but you're getting such a good response to your post, I think it's good to make people aware of what can happen.

  25. Nell Jean,as a new guy blogger I've read various blogs regarding how to create a blog, most of them telling me how adding a bunch of widgets will get me more readers...but never have I read a blog about what a READER likes in a blog. You have given me great food for thought...leave it to a garden blogger to tell it the way it is without sounding pretentious. Well done Nell Jean, well done.

  26. Great! Good job! I was reading and saying: Check, check, check... The only no-no thing that I posted was "Enough Cuties! How About This?", but I still like it.

  27. Your post was fun and entertaining and I smile and giggle. I dont let things bother me in that way so I guess I am lucky!Ok please don't hate me..are ya still smiling?.. My computer loads fast so I dont have any of those encounters..so I am super lucky! I always keep the volume down or off on my own computer(I come prepared), and I have every confidence that any blogger can simply turn off the volume if they prefer! poof..Voila! Again I am not helping you am I? ha ha..all in good fun! in all silliness..I dont mind what people do with their blogs, be true to what you like I feel! If someone really likes a blog they will stay no matter what noise or process occurs! It truly depends on your blog-tude..I am pretty easy going..i like your tough attitude though..it is Awesome! I can appreciate all your points. I love blogs with whatever character they have..and dont wan't them to change for moi! Just my own 2 pennies! Nell I totally adore ya..you are full of life, spirit and a bit of blog-tude..I don't mind at all! I will always enjoy your posts! You rock!!Hope we can still be friends ha ha!
    PS: I like silly verification words, they totally crack me up!

  28. I like your new look. First computer in 1989? Wow. Come to think of it, my husband [programmer] brought home a gigantic clunker when my son was little. This would have been probably 1985. I had exactly ZERO interest in it. So tell us which garden book you were quoted in and what you said. Please. This is major bragging rights critera.

  29. Wow, this has been so very informative, and given me much food for thought. I do not like the music, either, I am in a one bedroom condo during the week and it can be quite annoying. I find that some blogs have so many gadgets, they take forever to load, I end up going somewhere else instead. As a wordpress person, I find some Blogger blogs difficult to post comments in. I have to askl for approval twice, and then type in word verification, it takes a long time. Once again, sometimes I just give up!

  30. P.S. The picture is absolutely beautiful. Pure classic. And yes, what is that book?

  31. I just happen to own that book, and it wasn't just a quote or a mention.

    The book is "Bulbs for Garden Habitats" by Judy Glattstein. Nell is the subject of pages 183-189. The whole thing, not a word here or a word there. Those pages are about Nell, and how she grows bulbs.

    I know a celebrity! My friend is famous! Uh, oh, I hope my friend isn't mad at me. She would never brag on herself like I would brag on her. She deserves it.

  32. Dear Nell ~ I've read through your list twice, seeing where I've been naughty or nice. I've made a couple of changes, telling where I am and putting my music at the top, with a note saying it is relaxing, soothing music and they may turn it off if they wish. I've had a lot of people tell me they like the music and how it makes them feel and that they keep listening even after they have posted. I do know what you mean about blaring, music that comes on and is not your style. I can't find the volume control, or their playlist fast enough. :-)

    As for WV and approval, I will still do that for protection. I get a kick out of some of the WV words that come up. Sometimes they are right on with the post, other times they are just funny. Sometimes I can't make them out either, but neither thing keeps me from visiting or posting at a blog that I enjoy.

    I love to cook and I love doing different crafts, and weather plays a big part in my gardens as well, so they will be mentioned in my blog. As well as thoughts to ponder. It's who I am.

    Congrats on 6 pages of mention in a book, not just a quote. I will see if our library has this in it's collection.

    Your blog is always informative and inspiring.

    FlowerLady ~ who bumbles along in my cottage garden on a shoestring.

  33. I enjoyed the list, like a look behind the scenes. I try to remember to write about the climate but never the weather. When I started blogging I didn't realize quite how much garden blogging would depend on photos.

  34. Nola, thanks for the offer of Hummingbird Vine -- I have it as Cypress Vine, lots of it.

    VP, I appreciate what you said about WV vs. Approval. I understand the need to squelch spam but I had wondered if a spammer would go through all the WV process? I would look for an easier target.

    Frances, it IS funny about Daddy Jr. It is also a shock when our children get grey hair just like ourselves.

    You have all been so gracious and sweet. I wrote some private messages where indicated.

    And to Scott: Old ladies get to say what's on their mind. I try to be gracious about it. I used to put polls on my blog sometimes, to see what others thought about what I thought was swell. Sometimes it was a surprise.

    BTW, Everybody, my server problems are resolved for now and Big Blogs load in a reasonable time. Now I'm making a survey about how many megabytes different blogs take, downloading. You might be surprised how much a colorful graphic background of 190,000 kb slows loading. When our present contract expires, we'll not have unlimited usage and I'll need to know where the Big Bytes are, even in my own uploads.

  35. Wow Nell, Look at you getting 41 picks! I just came here to read a few posts before going to bed, and see you at the top of the list. Cool!

    I agree with much of what you said, but I do post about all aspects of gardening, including the not so pretty.

  36. Hi Nell Jean,
    It's always interesting to hear what other folks look for in a blog. I guess that's why we each have our favorites... all of us with different "ten reasons". Thanks so much for the mention... even though I don't comply with all of your 'ten'... I agree especially with #2 and #10. It is SO helpful to know right away where the blog is located.

    Always like your straightforward posts and this one was fun to read.


I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.

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