Just five years ago garden writers, and the garden center business we're generally unaware of each others presence.Â That's changed, thanks to blogs and Facebook. Among my friends on Facebook many are garden authors, whom just five years ago I wouldn't have known about. This cross pollination is exactly what the garden center business and garden writing business need. The smaller garden centers never had the money to buy advertising or eyeballs in the old media. That was left for the Big Boys, who had the money to get the attention of garden magazines and television shows. That has now been completely turned on it's head. Many garden authors who once worked for major publications now find themselves self-employed. With the internet they have been free to publish what interests them, and not the advertisers. For most, publishing an article on the web does not bring in the money that once was there for those working the major publications. Never the less, the hunger to write continues, and many garden authors now write exclusively for their own web page.
Both the garden center and garden writing businesses are in a state of great change. I think the garden writing business is in even more flux. Just who is a garden author? Anyone writing a garden blog or publishing on the internet, that's who. Not that every one writing a garden blog knows what interesting writing is.Â The cream rises to the top, and as such the crowd soon steers it's eyeballs that direction. Once that happens a lot of the interaction that goes on is at social media sites, like Facebook. The blog becomes less important, and the daily interactions that take place are followed on Twitter and the like.Â It makes writing a blog more challenging, as so much of the information that was once reserved for the blog is now dispersed via social sites.
A well written blog is still a joy to read. It seems to be the place that receives the most thought, and therefore better writing. I still check the blog feeds first, but head over to Facebook and Twitter for the behind the scenes look. It's these places that have the most benefit for the garden center. It allows more interaction between the store and the"fans". It allows people to 'fan you' without having to comment at the blog. If the fans have something to say outside the subject at hand they can. This is a boon for the small garden center. Fans (customers) are the best way to spread the word. We always knew that good customers where our best form of advertising. Friends telling friends. It's just that now some of our customers have hundreds of friends!