Blogging

Written by  on February 24, 2011 

Is it a blog

Web writing, Online journal, yes it would be difficult to find a name for what we do. However, who the heck came up with blog, blogger, blogging. Well maybe its me but I think it is a hellish title, even the word speller hasn’t come to terms with it after what is it, seven, eight years.  Sounds more like an activity that a group of ne’er- do- wells may get up to. However I have to say I am not half enjoying this blogging! thing.

It started off when I turned sixty. I decided that I would like to keep a record of every plant which we have in our garden and those which we have grown in the past. This was really for my own satisfaction and hopefully, to perhaps be of some benefit to other novice gardeners who were just starting off. Also we had been entering the Aberdeen in bloom gardening competition for a number of years and I took it into my head to show the garden on line where local people who were interested could have a look. So in a lot of respects it is more of an index, however in more recent times I have shared a bit of my gardening experiences on my posts which is enjoyable if not a little self indulgent.

 

I have generally always shown pictures of my garden at its best.  Well like most, our garden also gets messy in Winter. Edith, b-a-g, take a look at the state of our lawn, I can hardly bear to look myself.

(Link)    Snow mould a fungal disease  

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Blogging Style

Writing a post other than a plant profile, well lets say, it doesn’t exactly come naturally to me. For one thing it can take me a helluva time. The words are generally all there, finding them in my head when required is another thing. I usually have a number of drafts prepared, when I decide to use one I go over it and over it and often think,  that’s a right load of crap and start all over again.

Many of you guys out there write with such style that I would not even try to emulate. The word speller fairly helps me out at times except for the occasions when a word has two spellings and meanings. For instance when writing about the Yew hedge in our garden I referred to it as the Ewe—baaa. As you can see, I can be very self deprecating.

The pictures above are of two borders which are in the back garden looking like they desperately require a makeover. The chances of me showing anything quite as nasty again are highly unlikely.

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Comments and Visitors

After a week, month or year when you have fully accepted that your blog is for your own satisfaction, you get a comment. Well the euphoria, come on admit it,  the person who has bestowed you with such an honour has he,she also got a blog, yes!! Right its your turn, what’s the etiquette, yes I should return this compliment, did I do it right, did I make a twat of myself , well no worry there I am still doing that.  I have to say, I still thoroughly enjoy receiving comments and equally handing them out. I don’t expect every comment which I receive to be complimentary, the ones I hand out on occasions make me cringe after the event. Don’t get me wrong, I would not even dream of saying anything nasty or uncomplimentary, however at times I think I may be over the top a little. My average comment is appreciative and generally I would say pleasant in its manner, at other times when I am on a high I can get carried away and treat you as if I have known you all my life and possibly say some outrageously amusing things which some may see as, not quite appropriate. I can assure you it is all in complete innocence.

What about replying to comments, there seems to be some mixed feelings about this. Certainly at the moment I reply to every one of them, as I saw it suggested that it was rude not to. I cant really make up my mind where I stand on this one, for one thing the commenter does not receive notification that a reply has been left. This of course means that you have to make a point of going back to the site to check, do you really want to take up time by doing this, I mean its all-right for me ,I have all the time in the world now that I am retired.

Actually, I have just received this information from (Link)–Janet at Plantaliscious. A wordpress plugin (replyme) resolves this problem. I have now activated it on my site. Now, I think it is fantastic, the comment which you made, perhaps you really were hoping for a reply, well with replyme you will be sent an email with the reply attached. If you think that there is anything negative about this, I really would like to hear from you.

Some of the blogs which I read don’t let me know the name gender or even the general area of a country where the writer comes from. In my opinion it really does take away that personal touch when communicating. I do of course realise how concerned people are about security, however lets say at the top right hand of your page, you could have what may be your blogging name and not actually your real name.  At least it would feel like talking to a real person, and I really don’t see a problem in saying which country, city, state or region in which a person may live.

Sorry, couldn’t help it, a friends garden this time though.

© 2011 – 2013, Alistair. All rights reserved.

Comments

61 Responses

  1. Donna says:

    you are too funny..I enjoy your visits to my blog and I love your style with your blog…I will try the replyme…I started seeing Janets replied coming in my email and wondered…I also realized I did not have my name in my About page…shame on me…I also reply to all since I feel it proper to acknowledge that they visited and left a comment…I cannot always comment but try to comment to many blogs a week myself…and I’m not retired yet…wish I was…I m glad you are blogging (yes a strange word) and your plant profiles are invaluable…I would be sad if I did not have your blog to look forward to weekly!!
    Donna recently posted..Going Native

    • Alistair says:

      Donna, thanks for your kind comments, my wife also thinks I am a bit funny, mind you in spite of that she has stayed with me for a long time. I also enjoy my visits to your blog. I am going to comment only once per week from now as it can be a bit overwhelming.

  2. Donna says:

    Alistair, I so like your writing style and have enjoyed your posts and comments, even when a little tart. I think that is your fun, off the wall humor and it is refreshing in all the niceties of daily beautiful images. Keep up the good ‘blogging’ and I will keep reading. Donna at GWGT, (I am starting to note this since many do not know).
    Donna recently posted..Have a Heart Mother Nature

  3. First let me thank you for posting photos of your garden, warts and all. It is a pleasure to see a landscape view, instead of constant pretty macro shots. I love to snoop into other bloggers gardens.
    I looked at the replyme, but as I only have a wordpress.com site, it is not available, only to wordpress.org sites. WordPress does show replys, but only from other wordpress users, such a shame, it is nice to get a dialogue going.
    Deborah at Kilbourne Grove recently posted..Pride of Barbados

    • Alistair says:

      Hello Deborah, thanks for the visit, I will check out your site soon. I am using wordpress.com with a UK address. Just click on plugins on the left hand column and in the search box put in replyme and it should only take seconds. I also thoroughly enjoy looking at other folks gardens.

      • Alistair as I understand blogs that are wordpress.com have wordpress.com in the URL wordpress blogs without wordpress.com in the URL are wordpress.org blogs, there is no plugins in the lefthand column on a wordpress.com blog if you have plugins then your wordpress blog is wordpress.org, if you know differently and can tell me how I can have commentluv and replyme on my wordpress.com blog I would really like to know, Frances
        island threads recently posted..by the trees

        • Alistair says:

          Frances, I was under the impression that because I have a www. website that it must be wordpress.com. I will have to find out more. On your dashboard is there not a search box for plugins or widgets. I just entered replyme the information came up and it downloaded in seconds.

        • Alistair says:

          Frances,I was just prompted to update to wordpress 3.1. information was that it was updating from wordpress.org. There we go, more proof that I haven’t a clue what I am doing, never mind i get by.

  4. As I understand it blog is short for web log, which is what they are. It is a very strange word. Alistair, I am like you: I work for hours and hours on each post, re-reading it incessantly and making minor changes. That’s one reason I only post once a week. I am very lucky and get a lot of comments, and I reply to all of them. It takes a lot more effort to leave a comment than to pick a post on Blotanical, and I really appreciate that effort. I don’t know if I will be able to keep this up during the nursery season. I am always disappointed when I leave a question and the blogger doesn’t respond. I have already experienced your ReplyMe function and love it. I will look into it because I am on WordPress. I get very frustrated when I am reading a gardening blog and the blogger doesn’t list his/her location. The information in the blog is not useful unless I can place it in context. Very thoughtful post. Carolyn
    Carolyn @ Carolyn’s Shade Gardens recently posted..Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

    • Alistair says:

      Carolyn, I also think it is important that we reply to comments. Not everyone has the time to go back and check. The reply me is an excellent plugin. I wonder if the reply goes to others who do not use wordpress.

      • Sniff, sob – when I told you about Reply Me you said – I was taking the piss. Yes it works to blogspot, but so far, only Ari Herzog of my WordPress blogs, uses it. Just dropped in my email as I write.

        That you reply to every comment – I take my hat off to you. I admire that, but I truly can’t. Deb’s Garden wrote about blogging as an invasive alien that takes over your life. I have 58 blog posts waiting to be read, tomorrow.
        Elephant’s Eye recently posted..February’s wildflowers

        • Alistair says:

          Diana, with so many blogs to read I am not surprised that you would have difficulty in replying to them all. No I didn’t say that you were taking the piss when you told me about replyme, that was commentluv. Debs Garden I think would be correct in suggesting that blogging could become invasive, that surely would be the time to curtail ones activity.

        • :-) Are we talking about replying to comments or commenting on every blog we visit? I used to try and do that latter, but am currently half way through the links from Diana’s post on blogging so haven’t got to the one on commenting yet. I’ve given up now, like Diana over 50 blogs I want to follow but it can chew up whole days at a time. But it (following links in Diana’s post) is the reason I realised I no longer seem to be getting email notifications about your blog posts Alistair, the second time it has broken! I’ll comment properly further down, got caught up in the discussion, which is great.
          Janet/Plantaliscious recently posted..End of Month View- February 2011

          • Alistair says:

            Janet, your comment here is headed in reply to elephants eye. Diana gave me an explanation but I am still a bit puzzled. Was this a comment that you directed to Diana and does it have something to do with replyme that I have been sent a copy? It seems that people who subscribe to my posts don’t actually get notification, Larry from conrad art and glass informed me of this. I use the plugin (subscribe2) the problem may be that I use my blog as the homepage. Which plugin do you use for this, I could give it a try. I personally try to answer every comment which has been placed on my blog. I have about 40 which I read and comment on, I couldn’t possibly comment and read everyone of their posts. I just start at the first one and work my way to the last, I try to work it so I comment once per week on a particular posts, however as I dont spend many hours on the computer it can be a little longer than the week on some occasions.

  5. Alistair, dear, you said so many things in this post that have been spinning around in my head for a while … and you said them beautifully. My blog posts are driven by photos, and the words can be a bit of a struggle for me. I edit, and edit again, until I am as satisfied as possible with what I have written. I envy folks for whom the words come so easily. Regarding comments … most of the time, I reply to comments left on my blog via email. I think of it as a personal thank you note to the commenter for taking the time to read what I wrote, and thinking enough of it to leave a comment behind after the visit. Sometimes, I reply on the blog, but not very often.

    • Alistair says:

      Hello Connie, thank you for the visit and your kind comments, good to know that others have similar feelings. I will definitely book mark your site for a visit.

  6. Holley says:

    I am glad you showed pics of your garden in it’s not-as-its-best state. It shows the reality of gardens. I love that you can reply to each comment. Wish blogger had something like that. And I know how you feel about leaving comments. Sometimes I have left what I thought were funny comments, only later realizing they may have been offended. The written word is so much harder to convey little things like tone of voice and smiles. And your friend’s garden is beautiful.

  7. Christine says:

    Hi Alistair, we love your blog and love your humour!!
    xxx
    Christine recently posted..What was in the box

  8. b-a-g says:

    Bare patches noted Alistair, but I know that your lawn will be looking glorious by the summer, then you can post before & after photos showing the dramatic transformation.

    On the subject of identity, the other day I signed an e-mail at work with “b-a-g” and only realised what I’d done when I was checking it before sending it off. I know this sounds a bit strange, but I feel more and more that I’m turning into b-a-g and leaving my real self behind.
    …. yours sincerely, b-a-g
    b-a-g recently posted..Crocus 18 FEB 2011

  9. Edith Hope says:

    Dear Alistair, I looked the other way when you showed the photograph of your lawn!!!
    I do so agree that the weblog is a very strange medium and it is all rather odd to communicate with virtual friends the world over 24 hours a day. However,as long as it remains fun, then I think it is good to learn these new technological tricks and it is surprising how one finds like minded individuals in the labyrinth of the Blogosphere!
    Edith Hope recently posted..Lament for the Daisy

  10. too funny… i love it. great blog.

  11. Hanni says:

    I am so glad that you posted the photos of your “ugly” garden! I do enjoy the beautiful macro shots, but I *love* seeing the full view of a blogger’s garden, and that is not often shared. (I just poked around in your gallery and loved the feel of really touring your gardens). And seeing the parts that aren’t picture perfect are even better, because I think it’s fascinating to see how the garden changes over time.

    Good to note: I don’t think I have my name or location actually listed on my blog, so I must be off to go change that. :)

  12. p3chandan says:

    Hi Alistair, yes Ive received your replyme, so thoughtful of you. I might try it too in my blog. I love reading your blog and looking at your beautiful garden. Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving your comment.
    p3chandan recently posted..Pistia Stratiotes

    • Alistair says:

      Thank you very much, I also enjoy my visits to your site, every time you comment on my blog you will get an automatic reply. I think it is a good idea, however if I were to find a good number of people objecting I would remove iy.

  13. Mark says:

    I think it’s great fun and you get to ‘meet’ people of the same wavelength. And reading blogs, you get to have an insight of what other people think or get up to, without actually intruding or stepping into their private lives (you only read what they want you to read afterall).

    Most important thing is you learn from the blogs. And you get to share too :-)

    It’s a great outlet for one’s thoughts. Very helpful as gardening isn’t a ‘vocal’ hobby at all, and actually can be isolating at times. But having a blog and reading others fills in some of that need for interaction and sharing.

    Keep it fun, blog when you’re in the mood. And read and reply only if you’re in the mood. Otherwise it becomes a chore :-)
    Mark recently posted..Welcome to the Barbershop!

  14. Sue says:

    I always reply to comments and in this way it is amazing the dialogue that can be generated- also the commenters do get to know the author a bit better. I use Blogger and using this a commenter can ask for a follow-up email whenever another comment is sent to that post.

    I also comment on WordPress blogs and find that there is usually a tick box that says Notify me of follow-up comments via email.

    I had a problem with people not being sure of my gender although I have it explained in my profile. The problem is that my blog didn’t start as a personal blog so I have a stupid username and I thought chaning it would complicate things.

    By the wa our lawn looks like yours – I thought it was just muddy but now I know better – thanks
    Sue recently posted..Dreaming of strawberries by the bucket load!

    • Alistair says:

      Thanks for the visit Sue, I suspect that cutting the grass too short late in the season may contribute to this problem. If you tick the box that says notify me of follow up comments you will end up getting emails of every person that has made a comment on that persons blog, not good.

      • Sue says:

        Only the people who make a comment on that particular post Alistair and you can easily delete the ones that don’t have from the blogs author.
        One of the problems with our lawn is that it isn’t very well drained so I guess that could be an issue too as generally we don’t cut the grass short
        Sue recently posted..Dreaming of strawberries by the bucket load!

        • Alistair says:

          Yes Sue, poor drainage does indeed cause problems. Last June when we visited our daughter in Cheshire we were surprised at the poor quality of the Lawns in the whole of a housing estate. I suspect it was drainage problem, certainly no shortage of water in that area.

        • You’ll see … we speak from experience … your email will overflow. This ReplyMe is wonderful, because it is only Your Own comment.
          Elephant’s Eye recently posted..February’s wildflowers

          • Alistair says:

            Diana, looking for you to help me out here, was this a message that you sent to Sue, and you have also directed it to me. Anyway, I agree with you reply me is great.

          • Alistair – it was aimed at Sue. You only ‘subscribe to comments’ once! You and I know that!

            (also directed it to me, must be the way it is set up, that the blog host sees all of his comments?)
            Elephant’s Eye recently posted..February’s wildflowers

          • Alistair says:

            Thanks for clearing it up Diana, back to the boring plant profiles tomorrow. Anything else I may do is usually tongue in cheek, poking a bit of fun at my own expense. Back in the 80s my sister married an American I would often say some outrageous things to him which any other Scot would recognise as sh–, however he would say, REALLY! I soon realised that he believed every word which I said, I reckon I should take care.

      • Alistair it is as Sue says only on that post and you can just delete those you are not interested in, it does save going back to the blog to check, personally if I have enjoyed a post and commented I like to know what others think so like seeing what others have said, as I am here on your post, Frances

        • Alistair says:

          Frances I see the point, but rather than get, in some cases dozens of emails, I would and do go back to the site to see what others think. I do like replyme though.

  15. Garden Sense says:

    Enjoyable post with lots of food for thought! I don’t seem to have as much time as others for all the interaction. I enjoy it and feel that I have found new friends – but work and family call…. I’ve awarded you the Stylish Blogger Award – you can visit Garden Sense to learn more. If you’d rather not participate, no problem. But I hope more people will discover your great blog! Chris
    Garden Sense recently posted..Style!

  16. Masha says:

    It is a great post, and you write very well, however much time it takes you. I agree blogging is fun, and even when the blogger does his/her best to hide from the public eye, so much of the personality comes through in the writing and pictures. I appreciate your comments and am so grateful when you come to my blog. I value sincerity more than admiration (and I haven’t seen a comment from you that would be over the top). I enjoy your blog very much and hope you keep it going.
    Masha recently posted..Of Roses and Stripes

  17. Thanks for your recent comments on my blog. In response to your post: I enjoy comments, especially when they tell me something new. But I don’t make too much of them. I often don’t respond, unless I’m asked a direct question. Then I go to the blogger’s site to leave the answer. I don’t usually follow up to see whether I’ve received replies to my comments. I think many people don’t. I haven’t tried replyme, but other methods have failed to be satisfactory in the past. I think blog is a perfectly fine word, although the sounds are somewhat ugly. They remind me of clog, blob, mob & thug. But a wonderful thing about speakers of English is that they love to make up new words. The world’s a better place for that.
    Jordan Jackson recently posted..Why a Theme Garden

    • Alistair says:

      Thanks for the visit Jordan, It is nice that people take the time to comment on our posts. many do lead busy lives, it is quite acceptable if they don’t reply. I am sure that I am going to learn a lot from your garden blog.

  18. One says:

    Hi Alistair, I enjoy your blogging style. It gives me a smile each time I come by. I enjoy your photos too. That gives me another smile.

    Like you, I too take a lot of time to prepare a post even if there aren’t a lot of words in each post. I bet some people only take a fraction of the time.
    One recently posted..Genius Loci

  19. Alistair, what was said above was a little confusing so I thought I would try to offer an explanation directly from WordPress:

    “The distinction between WordPress.com and WordPress.org can cause some confusion for people. Let’s clear it up. WordPress.com is brought to you by some of the same folks who work on WordPress, the Open Source blogging software. WordPress.com utilizes the same WordPress software which you can download at WordPress.org. With WordPress.com the hosting and managing of the software is taken care of by the team here at Automattic. With WordPress.org you need to install the software on your own server or with a 3rd party provider… WordPress.com Cons…. * You can’t upload plugins.”

    ReplyMe and CommentLuv are both plugins.

    Hope that helps, Carolyn
    Carolyn @ Carolyn’s Shade Gardens recently posted..Evergreen Ferns for Shade &amp Stylish Blogger Award

    • Alistair says:

      Thanks Carolyn, it certainly can be complex. I should be happy that it was my son in law who set this up for me five years ago as I would more likely have gone for wordpress.com. It does seem unfair that these plugins are not available to the others.

  20. Alistair, I was 61 when I started blogging. For me, it was partly a preview of the kind of writing I’d like to do after I retire from teaching. I consider plant profiles among the most helpful of blog posts; and I’ve noticed that, while my more creative blog posts may get a more enthusiastic initial response, the plant profiles have much more staying power.
    Jean/Jean’s Garden recently posted..The Plan

    • Alistair says:

      Hi Jean, thanks for the visit and the encouragement. Funny how we may start something simply for our own pleasure only to find that it may be of some more advantage, its terrific even if it is all in a small way.

  21. noel says:

    great observations and comments well deserved like your current post – i do love reading comments that are great observations and thoughts from afar :)
    noel recently posted..The Hot- the Loud and the Proud 12

  22. catmint says:

    dear alastair, this is my first visit to your blog and i am delighted to ‘meet’ you (came through link on diana’s blog). to reply to comments or not? we always have to decide what our priorities are – keeping up with my and other’s blogs is a wonderful experience but not without its own anxieties, as you say. i just try to make sure it’s always fun / voluntary and mustn’t ever become routine or a chore. cheers, catmint

  23. Hi Alistair, did you ever imagine that your post would provoke such a great set of discussions?! Personally one of the things that attracts me to a blog is if the author has a distinctive voice – you have one, and a great sense of humour, so please don’t try and alter the way you write. I think very few of us would survive without spell checkers, one reason why I use Google Chrome as a web browser now, it does “live” spell checking! Your comment about the thrill of the first comments you get struck a deep chord. As did the “who are you, what gender, and where on earth do you garden?” comment. Its why I signs myself “Janet/Plantaliscious” rather than just one or the other. When I’ve finally finished the current round of blog reading and commenting I shall add a little piece to my blog sidebar saying where I garden, context really does matter in gardening after all! By the way, thank you for the link re CommentLuv – another you might like is Gurken subscribe to comments which makes it easy for someone to subscribe to just the comments from a single post rather than all comments always. I’m going to stop now, as otherwise this will turn into the beginnings of my own post on this topic!
    Janet/Plantaliscious recently posted..End of Month View- February 2011

    • Alistair says:

      Janet, thanks for all your encouraging comments, I must admit that I didn’t expect my post to attract so much interest. Of course, the count does include my reply s.

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