The growing number of gardening blogs and social sites

Its hard to keep up anymore with the proliferation of gardening blogs and gardening social sites. Over at Garden Rant Susan introduces us to a new soicial site, at least to me. MyFolia comes to us from a couple of web developers/gardeners in England. Meanwhile Stuart has his excellent Blotanical from Australia, and of course Garden Web from the U.S. I know there must be more, and that's a problem. I can't keep up.

Of course the fact that I can't keep up with all the gardening blogs, plus social sites is my own problem. These sites are put together nicely and serve a purpose. I get loads of visitors from Blotanical, for which I am thankful. I try to check into my plot now and then, but there is just so much time in the day.

Whats a person going to do?

Thats a real problem for those of us that are trying to get people to take notice of our web site, blog, or e-news, etc. I am starting to see more and more “bounces” (un-opened) results from our e-newsletter when its sent out. What's interesting is these are people who signed up to receive it. Either they don”t recognize “Gecko Gab” when it arrives in their inbox, and delete it while deleting all the spam they get daily. Some have spam prevention in place that is preventing stuff they want to receive from getting to them. Most people don't know how to tweak their anti-spam measures and as such some e-mail they would like is blocked.

I love the web. It's my primary news gathering source as well as just being fun. Lately though I find myself not visiting as many sites as I would like. There is just so much news and so little time. This is a concern especially to those of us who use the web for our businesses. How do you get people to notice you when everyone is vying for the customers attention. One way I know not to try is what the local car dealers do when they try to be heard. They scream, jump up and down, entice with some “super sale”, wear funny costumes, and just generally annoy. Why do they think that works anymore?

Maybe if you are going to join a social network it should be just one. Sure you might miss someone if you don't join the “other” one, but you can't be everywhere at once. Once you start to spread yourself too thin, (I have tried) you don't put the effort into any of them that's necessary for positive results. Yes , Twitter is interesting, but thank goodness I have resisted so far.

What's this mean to the small garden center with a web presence? How do you stand out amongst all the noise out there? I don't know. I do know that after a quick once over of the web page I head right to the “About Us” section. After all a business is not just stuff to buy but people who hopefully care about my potential business. Who owns this business? Can I talk to them before I come to the store or do business with them? Will they answer my e-mail? The more the business owner or manager interacts with the customer, both in person and on the web the better. It's still unusual for this to occur, so it's a great chance for a small business “to stand out.”