Over at Fine Gardening there was a post comparing blood meal and Ironite. At first glance the reader might be appreciative of someone going through the trouble to do this comparison. It is Fine Gardening after all and they wouldn't steer me wrong now, would they? The problem is you cannot compare blood meal with Ironite. While it is true they are both fertilizers, they do different things. Blood Meal is an organic source of nitrogen, while Ironite is a micro-nutrient source. The author declares blood meal the winner in his “test”. I don't think the author intentionally lead us astray. He is enthusiastic and wants to learn more himself. He just didn't have all the fact's.
Read today’s post by Doug Green, author and former nurseryman. His bio says, “Doug Green is one of Canada’s most-published garden writers with 8 books (paper) printed and over 12 e-books (and growing) in circulation.” Doug is someone who I have conversed with on and off since the beginning of this blog. He is one of the few people who have always told me in no uncertain terms how he felt. Sometimes it wasn't something I wanted to hear, but as time marches onward the value of his thoughts become clear. Doug say’s, “I admit to being guilty in the past of avoiding controversy in the gardening world by either not reviewing some less-than-stellar book or crappy tool. There’s a part of me that just doesn't want the hassle of explaining to an acquaintance that their book didn't appeal to me or a manufacturer that this tool is a total waste of money. Avoiding controversy was far easier than taking on the increasing number of shoddy books or tools on the market.” It seems Doug has had a change of heart. He says, "I've thought long and hard about this entire 'tentative' review thing; and I have to say I’m tired of avoiding the hard truths out there that tools are poor and so are many books (yes, there are some great examples of each.)" He continues, "the systems are set up, I’m in a new frame of mind and there are a ton of readers who want my opinion. You want my 'truth'? You’re about to get it." We cant wait!
We are being inundated with poor information. It’s not about helping you make informed choices, or becoming a better gardener. It’s about mentioning the brand name as much as possible in your media. It’s about appealing to the brand kings in hopes that they will send you freebies, and put an ad on your web page. Yes, there are truthful reviewers out there, but they are being drowned out by content mills and brands set on dominating the conversation. Not dominating the conversation because their products are remarkable, but dominating because of constant PR on various social media outlets. It's as if they say, “If we shout loud enough in the village square people will look at our stuff.” Not because it remarkable, but because it’s promoted over and over again.
As we brace ourselves for a ramping up of these strategies it will become more and more important to find your trusted resource. The place you can go where even if it's not what you wanted to hear, it's the truth. Truth is the "gold" of the web.
P.S. I received a e-mail after this post went out from Steve Aitken, editor for Fine Gardening. He said the post about blood meal and Ironite will be removed. So the link above may not lead anywhere.