May 3, 2010
A Look at the Mouse & Trowel Awards Finalists- #mousie
The finalist for the Mouse & Trowel Awards were posted today. First thing that jumped out at me was that vegetable gardening didn't dominate all the categories. I would've bet good money on veggie and edible gardening to sweep the nominations. It seems that garden bloggers, in recognizing their peers, are for the most part bucking the trend here. Out of 14 categories Plants are the Strangest People was nominated in four indicating that houseplant blogging still has a lot of life left in her. I'm having a tough time with the indoor gardening category. It is truly an embarrassment of riches.
Speaking of vegetable gardening... I noticed that the grocery gardening bloggers/authors were shut out of the Best Blog About Growing Food category. Not a single nod to any of their blogs in this category. Although, Kiss My Aster did get a nomination in the Best Company Blog category. Perhaps, book sales aren't an indicator of popularity among the rank and file garden bloggers who are doing the nominating.* When I submitted my nominations I meant to nominate Robin's rant that set off the "ugly gardens" controversy. While I didn't agree with much of it there was no denying that it should've been nominated for Post of the Year. When was the last time a garden blogger set off a firestorm that ranged from feminism in the garden to discussions of the role of class in gardening? You don't get to create an internet wildfire, offend dozens of bloggers, spawn countless retweets and spin-offs of your post and at least walk away with a Post of the Year nom for your troubles.
Then there was that creepy off blog drama that emerged from it, perhaps you read it on Twitter? LOL. While I will probably vote for Garden Punk's Welcome to Crazy for Post of the Year because I'm a sentimental sap (really, I am) Robin's rant about ugly vegetable gardens will be Post of the Year in my heart.
The final nominations are more diverse this year. Social networking sites like Twitter & Facebook appear to have leveled the playing field. There is less clustering and we have a broader selection of garden bloggers to choose from. The memas of garden blogging at Garden Rant were nominated for Best Writing. Not a surprise, on account of it being a popular blog. Since Garden Rant morphed into a depository for guest posts will each guest blogger get a pixel of the winning badge to display on their blog if it wins for Best Writing? A while back Garden Rant turned into the Huffington Post of garden blogging; it doesn't really produce any original gardening content and what little discussion about gardening there is comes from the guest bloggers. Whenever I visit it feels like a garden media blog and a place marketers go to giveaway things to get exposure. Maybe next year Colleen, who created the Mouse & Trowel Awards, can add a Blog Covering Gardening of the Year category and free up the Garden Blog of the Year category for blogs that are, you know, garden blogs.
The Yarden, BG_Garden and Get in the Garden are three garden blogging ladies who have taken social media by storm and their social media prowess is evident by the number of nominations in the categories. I only became familiar with these three social media mavens this past winter and I'm not going to lie; I was surprised by the number of Mouse & Trowel Awards nods they racked up. Garden Bloggers have been put on notice. It will take more than a blue-haired-Mean Girls-clique on Plurk and handful of blogs in your blogroll to get you recognition for your gardening blogging efforts when there's a whole world of social media savvy gardeners who have never heard of you.
Update: Winners have been announced. Our Little Acre dominated the categories. Check out the results.
Winners will be announced on Monday, May 18th. Voting is open until 11:59 PM on May 17th. Head over to Mouse & Trowel.org to vote for your favorite blog.
* You Grow Girl got a few nomination and her vegetable gardening book, Grow Great Grub, is very popular but I think the fact that she's so accessible and friendly on Twitter combined with her book helped.