Dec 8, 2011

Garden Bloggers For Sale


A few months ago Pam Penick Emailed the past organizers of the garden bloggers flings asking for our opinions of where we thought garden blogging was heading as she prepared to give a TED SXSWi talk in Austin. At the time I gave her my thoughts, which were that the garden blogging niche was heading towards mommy blogging territory, was going to become increasingly competitive as people used their blogs to launch careers in horticulture, get book deals, become consultants, get tapped for junkets, get speaking gigs and fight to be America’s Next Top Garden Blogger. At the time Pam didn’t really react to what I said because she probably thought to herself, “Oh that MrBrownThumb, always the snaky pessimist that guy.”* But I’m nothing if not a trend spotter.

This week Proven Winners announced a new project where they hired a few garden bloggers to write for a new blog of theirs. Almost immediately I started to hear grumbles about it and who was chosen. Then I jumped on Facebook and saw a conversation there by independent garden center owners. Now, you should know a bit of back story here. Proven Winners used to be the brand of the IGCs, but has now expanded and can be found at big box retailers and this doesn’t sit well with some IGC owners who feel that PWs isn’t dancing with the ones who brought them. So whenever PW comes up in situations like the Garden2Blog event some of the IGC guys are never happy. The conversation was playing out like it did last time, IGC thought that garden bloggers shouldn’t be aligning themselves with a big box brand and it was all kind of boring. Then Anna “Flower Garden Girl” Looper joined the group and dropped a bomb that was sending shockwaves out for a couple of days.

According to Anna, a year ago she wrote a negative review of a PW plant. This summer the post with her review started getting a lot of contrarian comments by “prominent” garden bloggers. Anna says she was surprised that so many prominent bloggers, who never comment on her blog, were showing up on a year-old post so she did some investigating. Again, according to Anna, the comments that showed up were orchestrated by Danielle, whom you may recognize if you’re on Twitter, Facebook or get plant samples from PW like I did last year, at Proven Winners after she Email some garden bloggers asking them to go comment on Anna’s post and apparently some did. Furthermore, she feels like she was asked to remove the post and that she was threatened with being removed from the free plant samples because of her negative review. As proof of her claims she provided the group with a screen grab of an Email between her and Danielle and of a garden blogger who lends credit to her claim that they were sent there to comment by Danielle. Because the conversation is so long on Facebook I’ll give you screen grabs of her initial comment that started it all and the two Emails she provided, but you can read her original negative plant review here and the follow-up both of which tell the story she's been sharing on Facebook. She has redacted the name of the blogger who Emailed her and says she unpublished the astroturfing comments to "protect" the bloggers. Proven Winners or Danielle haven’t replied directly to Anna on the Facebook group, but in a message exchange on Twitter Danielle told me that it is all a big misunderstanding. I’ll provide what I’ve seen and let you all be the judge.
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That a company was using garden bloggers to troll another blogger is a very disturbing allegation, but not really all that surprising. This latest example of garden blogger “drama” just lends credence to my beliefs that garden blogging is circling the drain of mommy blogs and the thoughts I shared earlier with Pam. I’m not surprised, not even disappointed in PWs. What is surprising about all of this is that garden bloggers, out of some sense of misplaced loyalty went and commented on the negative review after being asked. It’s one thing to counter a negative comment on a blog if you are an employee of a company, but garden bloggers aren’t employees of companies just because they get free stuff from them.

Several people online have asked Anna to republish the comments by the astroturfers, but she has refused. I don’t agree with her decision to protect garden bloggers from their own stupidity and hope she reconsiders in a sign of transparency since she’s so willing to talk about her interaction with PWs and even provide Emails. Fair is fair. Lots of people online are trying to figure out who these hacks are and many of us have our theories considering that the issue of Garden2Blog was brought up and there are questions of whether or not Anna is acting out because of hurt feelings of not being invited on the all-expense-paid junket. Out of curiosity I asked Anna on Twitter if any of the recently hired garden bloggers who are now working for Proven Winners were among the astroturfers on her blog. She tweeted back: “there is at least one maybe two. i probably will not rat them out as that would cause war on the garden scene front.



She’s basically responded the same way on Facebook to similar requests. Anna seems to be afraid of retaliation which I think is silly. If people who never commented on your blog went there to discredit you because they were asked by a company what are you really losing? What can they do, take you off of a free plant sample list? Not read your blog? Not invite you on junkets and dinners? This is a mentality of garden bloggers that needs to end. Keeping quiet about what happens to you because you’re “afraid” or don’t want to rock the boat, lose what social standing you think you have does nobody in this niche (profession?) any good. Tell the truth and let the chips fall where they may.

Silence is complacency and by remaining quiet you give people like this power over you and power to behave in the same manner in the future because they know the next person will stay quiet too.

Garden blogging has been inundated these past few years by attention hoes, social media "gurus" and "savants", sycophants, and greed. It has taken a turn for the worst-at least on social media. What used to be about gardening and connecting with fellow gardeners is now about who is the most popular and who is getting paid to pretend like they’re popular. Companies are desperate to connect with influencers in gardening and it seems like some are failing. I have thoughts on this too which I may blog about later or just use to develop a presentation on the subject.

I’ve been struggling with the idea of shutting down my own garden blog because of a lot of this. While my blog isn’t written for other garden bloggers, I need to spend time on social media sites to reach the non-gardeners that I want to reach and connect with. The more time I spend on social media sites watching the parade of the ridiculousness that garden blogging is morphing into, the less time I want to spend actually writing about my gardening endeavors. I think I’ve decided that the biggest problem for me is trying to keep tabs on what’s going on in the garden blogging world in an effort to add content to this blog. So, I’m officially announcing that this domain, www.GardenBloggers.com, is up for sale. Unlike so many garden bloggers, social media gurus, and professional writers in this niche the domain won’t come cheap. Being the trend spotter that I am I registered this domain back in ‘07 before there was a garden blogger bandwagon to jump on. At the time I had a grand vision for its use that I’ve not been able to fulfill because I lack the time and resources. A large company could certainly pull it off as part of their swallowing up garden bloggers as “brand ambassadors.” Buy the domain and I’ll give you the idea at no extra cost. So, how about it Proven Winners? P. Allen Smith? Fiskars? Maybe Martha Stewart? A site devoted to garden bloggers would compliment many of your existing outreach campaigns. I’ll even sell out to Scott’s or Kraft. Leave me a message on my about page over at my garden blog.

Edit:
1)In case you missed my disclosure above this year I got a box of plant samples from Proven Winners. If they officially in the thread on Facebook where this is all happening I'll add their reply here too.
2)Colleen has written a wonderful post about garden bloggers and freebies that garden bloggers and companies would benefit from reading.
3)It was SXSWi not TED.
4)*Not words that can actually be found in Pam's mouth. 
5)LOL. I just saw this article come across my Twitter feed. "Why ratting out may be a good thing." See, even rats know to help each other out.
6) For those who can understand the point of the post: It's sad that the issues I've raised here, about the where garden blogging is headed, leads to people quitting their blog. But it is happening. Don't believe me? See Jenn's reaction to the post.
7) ZanthanGardens thinks the root of competitive garden blogging go back to Blotanical. I don't use the site so I'm not sure what about it engenders competition, but I trust the instinct of this garden blogger.
8)See the comment by Colleen in response to the Tweet by ZanthanGardens where she talks about The Mouse and Trowel Awards.

21 comments:

  1. I have to say that the header is golden. Love it.

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  2. I've googled Pam Penick and TED but nothing comes up. Was there ever a TED? What DID she say about garden bloggers?

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  3. @Susan, Thanks! I thought about just posting that as a commentary on the whole thing, but then I couldn't stop myself from typing. FYI: You can use the Name/URL option to comment under on this blog to link to your Tumblr if you comment again.

    @Elephant's Eye, I don't. She never followed-up about the TED talk in Austin so I don't know what, if anything, ever came of it.

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  4. Love this post. Funny and insightful.

    I lean more to train spotting then trend spotting, but this really resonated with me:
    "The more time I spend on social media sites watching the parade of the ridiculousness that garden blogging is morphing into, the less time I want to spend actually writing about my gardening endeavors."

    When I starting blogging 5 years ago, it was exciting to connect with other crazyass gardeners whose eyes would light up, not glaze over, talking in depth about seeds or tomatoes or how the hell cute coral bells are. (This new garden geek outlet was surely also a relief to my local friends!)

    I loved the social aspect of gardening because I felt connected to others and that connection made me want to post more. I still value the friends I've made through blogging and I've really gotten to know some people well, as people, not just gardeners.

    But recently the focus seems to have shifted off gardening and personal connections to jockeying, positioning, cliques, power struggles, marketing, self promotion, and junior high school drama. That drains my energy and creativity, and makes me alternately want to throw rocks or crawl under one.

    I'm personally thinking of new directions with my blog, writing exactly what the hell I want to say and what I care about, which isn't just gardening. I'm still growing the balls.

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  5. Kudos to you and Colleen for writing your posts and to Anna for sharing at least some of her situation, which I wasn't aware of when I commented over at Colleen's. I'm shocked and appalled at the situation.

    The same is happening here in the UK (though as ever with these things we're slightly behind you guys) - many are probably thinking I'm heading off down a similar sell out route. However, I do strive to act ethically in the way Colleen has outlined via the Blog With Integrity code.

    Personally, I'd be very sad to see the demise of GardenBloggers - there are very few blogs which give a perspective on both gardening AND blogging, as well as daring to call things to account from time to time. So you've become one of my must-reads over the past couple of years. It's ironic that I'm constructing a new page on my blog at the moment highlighting good info about blogging and guess which blog's at the top of the list?

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  6. Ramon, I would prefer that you don't put words in my mouth, as you've done here. In fact, I did not have your imagined reaction about your thoughtful answer to my query about the future of garden blogging. (BTW, I was gathering opinions from former Fling planners for a SXSWi panel about competition vs. cooperation in blogging, not for a TED talk.) Like you, I believe -- and spoke on the panel about this -- that bloggers will increasingly use their blogs as platforms for getting speaking engagements, book deals, and other garden communicator gigs. I see this as a positive development for people who'd like to do those things.

    That seems to me a different issue than the one you're discussing here, about people selling out good reviews to the highest bidder. I'd like to remind you that I wrote a post about selling out one's blog back in January 2009, and your lead image is very similar to mine in that post - http://www.penick.net/digging/?p=1843 - which you commented on. My main point then is still relevant: giving positive reviews without disclosing sponsorship or payment is misleading and even dishonest. However, sponsorships and paid gigs are valid so long as full and honest disclosure is made. I think that is your main point too, but it's hard to sort it out from under all the name-calling ("attention hoes") and finger-pointing.

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  7. Elephant's Eye, I blogged briefly about the SXSWi panel I was on: http://www.penick.net/digging/?p=11103 Please read the comments on that post for follow-up info. The panel was put together by a well-known food blogger in Austin who wanted a discussion about competition vs. cooperation among niche bloggers, and how they are building community within their field and reaching out to the larger community. She asked me to be on it mainly because I'd helped start the first national garden-blogger meet up here in Austin. For the record, all four of us on the panel saw much more cooperation going on than competition in our respective fields.

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  8. Here I am--Anna Flowergardengirl Looper--loud and proud.

    I'm confident and then I'm very confident. So this does not affect me one way or the other about who believes or doesn't cause it's mainly the garden bloggers and plant propagators who are all in a huff over my outing of PW.

    Most of my audience comes from a whole hodge podge of stuff which comes from my diversity of writing style--and my intermittent rants about life. My audience loves how real I am.

    When I outed PW back on July 6th--I was disowned by all the plant companies. No one returns my emails or corresponds with me on Facebook. I'm a big girl and expected as much. But I don't need them. I can continue to blog about plants and leave their name out of it. Makes no difference to me.

    I have a book deal for a fiction novel and that is consuming my time at the moment. My point is---I don't need the plant industry as much as the plant industry needs me. Gardening is surviving cause there are garden bloggers.

    I will not out the garden bloggers who responded to my negative post on PMP cause they have apologized and did so whole heartedly. I think they were innocent in knowing the full depth of what they were doing. They are excellent bloggers who contribute on a very professional scale. I actually admire many of them.

    As for the Garden 2 Blog event. Well I made it known I was jealous I didn't get to go and I told that to PW point blank. I didn't hide it. I was angry and told them so--but I have more integrity than to use this whole ordeal as a get back.

    If I was so bitter--I'd have taken down all the links to the bloggers involved...shut down best garden blogs website--and removed all positive PW reviews. I did none of that.

    So you all be the judge of what I've done. Makes no difference to me. Just let me know if you want me to search my blog and remove my association with you if one exist. Unless I hear from any of you---you'll remain there. I'm even fixing to add a bunch more under the states section for Best Garden Blogs. I'm getting a lot of searches for those.

    Thanks for listening....Merry Christmas.. Anna

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  9. @VP, Just to be clear: I'm not anti-selling out. I'm, in fact, very much for selling out. I think "selling out" is a value judgement afforded only by the priviledged. The blog probably won't go anywhere soon. Large companies are just now discovering the basic benefits of blogging and garden bloggers, it will take time for any of them to understand what they could do at this domain. Until then it will continue to be what it is. :0) I appreciate you reading and the support you give the tutorial posts here.

    @Pam, I'm not putting words in your mouth. The qualifier "probably" pretty clearly indicates that the following text isn't what you said. Plus, I'm make a self-depricating joke and commentary on some. I don't know what your reaction was since I don't recall a response beyond a "thanks" to my reply to your request that I give my thoughts on where all of *this* is going. I know you were gathering the opinions of the former fling organizers, I said as much above and have corrected the TED to SXSW text.

    I remember your post. I believe I linked to it at the time and I'm comment #76 on the post. I'm sorry I used an image that is evocative to yours, but there's only so many styles of "For Sale" signs. But no, this post isn't about selling out to the highest bidder, sponsorships, payments or disclosures. I'm also sorry that you can't see the point of the post through all the "name-calling" and "'finger-pointing."

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  10. Garden blogging has been inundated these past few years by attention hoes, social media "gurus" and "savants", sycophants and greed it has taken a turn for the worst-at least on social media. What used to be about gardening and connecting with fellow gardeners is now about who is the most popular and who is getting paid to pretend like they’re popular. Companies are desperate to connect with influencers in gardening and it seems like some are failing.

    Awesome. Mommy blogging indeed.

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  11. This is all way too complicated for me.I blog because I use it as diary,of sorts,for my garden.I don't do it for freebies,which I have been offered and have declined.I just don't understand this competitiveness between bloggers.Isn't blogging s'posed to be a semi-diary of sorts? Personally,I don't give a rat's @$$ about of any of this.I garden and blog about it,because I want to.

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  12. @Monica, Just stop! You've got the balls, now go ahead and use them.

    @Anna, Hmmm, you certainly do sound a lot more confident than you did the past few days in the Facebook group for IGCs and bloggers. Glad you've found this new courage. It's your prerogative whether you want to disclose who the bloggers were you say Proven Winners sent to discredit your negative plant review. As has been pointed out by others, and myself, across Twitter and Facebook, it's a little unfair to air it all out like this and hold back on key information. The same standard that you're holding Proven Winners too applies to the bloggers. They're not babes in the woods. We're talking about grown people here. On Facebook you're saying that a lot of other people know who the bloggers are and that they should come forward to back up your claims but that none of them do because "they are a weak bunch and that PW is a strong manipulator." I agree with you in that people who saw or know what happened to you should come forward. Good people should always do that. But the onus isn't on anyone to prove the claims you're making when you're the one that brought them up and you're the one with the "proof."

    Just sayin'

    Anyway, I took the original screen grab you posted in the Facebook group and ran it through Photoshop to remove the white bar you used to block the senders name and blog title. I won't disclose who it is, but I am not the least bit surprised.

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  13. This is where PW had a learning opportunity to understand what went wrong for the customer. Because who are all these plugs/plants for? Yes, the end consumer who pays the bills. It is not the IGC or Lowe's or Walmart but our customer.

    What is very important to understand that not all of the plant offerings from PW or any other grower is going to be universal for all customers. Obviously by the original referenced post, one from Canada understands that petunias don't like cooler foggy weather and Lobelias aren't fond of hot humid weather.

    This should have been a learning lesson and an opportunity to help a customer be successful instead it turned into a she said, she said, and that she said some more. Whereas it should have went like this from PW: "Anna, I am sorry you are not 100% successful with PMP. We have made great strides in making PMP a great new introduction. I would like to figure out how we can make PMP more successful for you in the future."

    PW salespeople will admit they have dogs in their stables not everything will be 100% happy and successful for our customers. My ULTIMATE goal is to grow a great healthy plant that will perform as specified for our customers in their conditions.

    As a grower/retailer, I wasn't all that crazy about PMP but the customers that did buy it liked it and those are just the ones that commented. I don't know if there was an unhappy one in the bunch because I was not told otherwise. But I am sure I will hear about it in the spring.

    One more thing, I had the worse luck with some PW plugs this spring and it was because of too much PGRs and a fungal disease. I was not one bit happy and I let my salesperson know. I am hoping that in the future our communication will not break down like this episode has.

    ~Lynne

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  14. I'm used to your way of communicating or I wouldn't have been brave enough to comment. You are so accusatory and that's your style. So up front I want you to know that you don't intimidate me and I am appreciative you brought due attention to the situation so I can have another chance to post my side.

    I had no idea you could strip out white marks but I don't think she'd mind being outed. She's the hero in the bunch. She did the stand up thing. I had other letters just like it and that shows you the character of the bloggers......they didn't know they were being used like that. It just didn't occur to them. I don't think they are evil. I do think it was evil of Danielle to use them that way.

    When I say that those who were involved should come forward. I'm referring to those who commented after being contacted by Danielle to comment on my blog--not those who I sent emails. My opinion is that if Danielle did it to me then she's probably done it to other bloggers who posted negatively about PW plants. Perhaps she has a group she emails on a regular basis. That's just my opinion based on my experience with her.

    As for my confidence---well...I've been this confident since July or I wouldn't have published my counter post. The interest in this topic is due to the recent announcement by PW to start a blog with select bloggers. I responded to that conversation with my experience and then my integrity came to question by those who debated it on the internet. Causing me to have to defend myself. Maybe you saw my defending myself as being weak. I see it as being confident.

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  15. Anna, I'm sorry, but what am I accusing you of? I'm not trying to intimidate you in any way. As I explained to you (repeatedly) on the Facebook group where you got this ball rolling: I'm retaining a healthy dose of skepticism because we only have your side of the story. And your side of the story has been coming out piece by piece and you've admitted to editing out key portions of the story by unpublishing the comments of the people, who you alledge, were sent there by Danielle (Proven Winners employee).

    Again, we disagree as to the level of naivety of the bloggers in question. I understood who you meant when you said they should come forward. I agree that they should. If anything they should come forward to clear the air- but they won't because it will make them look bad. By unpublishing their comments you've guaranteed them protection by keeping them anonymous. They'd be fools to come forward now and show themselves as shills. It will be easier for them to leave you dangling in the wind.

    Finally, I can't say I would characterize your exchanges on the Facebook group as confident. You came across as someone who wanted their story told. You were obviously upset when a couple of us expressed skepticism and you labeled us as defending PW. You got better once people said they believed you. Then when you felt not enough people were commenting on the issue you took down the screen grabs and you didn't put them back up until people assured you they had been listening, but just waiting to comment. Those are not the actions of someone who is confident. They're the actions of someone who is hurt and looking for validation, friendship and understanding. Like I said above, I'm glad you've found this confidence you've exhibited in these two comments here. I hope you carry it forward and remember it the next time you're involved in an issue like this. When something like this happens to you in the future put it all on the table and let the chips fall where they may. The way you release things piece by piece doesn't lend itself to conversation or understanding.

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  16. Being a mostly amicable person who likes it best when people get along, I was dismayed and puzzled when Anna disclosed the situation last summer. I too was critical of PMP, but gave my reasons and stress that it might be a climate thing. But this years crop of new annuals from PW arrived in terrible shape from the Canadian grower, and other than one impatiens, never really rallied. I never reported on them, and now I probably won't bother further with the annuals, just the shrubs. No one attacked me for being negative or critical, but them I'm up here in the hinterlands of Canada and the big shots aren't interested in me. My reading audience is, however, both in my paid markets and my blog, and I intend to tell them the truth about plants as I know it.

    I was never one of the popular kids in school etc because I danced to my own music. Still do. I blithely ignore or just chuckle mildly at some of the preening and posturing, and carry on learning from people I respect, and from my experience. Maybe I don't get the glam trips etc but I have the respect of my clients, my readers and my friends. That means more to me free swag or trips

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  17. @ChrisC, Good on you. I mean that with all sincerity and not even the slightest hint of snark. Once you start caring about all this stuff it takes the fun away of garden blogging. Continue NOT TO CARE is the best advice I can give. I'm trying to get to the point where I don't care anymore and I'm hoping unloading the domain will help with that. Stay golden Ponyboy!

    Jodi, I consider you to be one of the best garden bloggers out there. I told you on Twitter, but I'll say it again: when I'm looking for info on perennials, trees and shrubs I hit up your blog and read. You're also pretty popular and I appreciate how you don't let your popularity go to your head and how you don't lord your expertise over people.

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  18. First off -- I just want to say that I agree with MBT that if Anna really wanted the story to get out and get attention, she should have published everything, comments, names, EVERYTHING. This leaves much of the situation up in the air, and people don't want to take a stance based on a guess, or on one person's word and a few redacted emails. I think that what PW did was wrong, and they haven't denied, at least in conversations to me, that there isn't some truth to Anna's story.

    Regarding Zanthan Garden's comment that Blotanical may be the root of the ugly state of the garden blogosphere -- it's entirely possible. The focus of the site is to "vote up" blog posts and blogs, so it is very much a popularity contest, at least from my point of view. I don't use it much, so I may be wrong. If we're going to blame blotanical, I probably deserve some of the blame as well. The Mouse and Trowel Awards came before Blotanical, and it was the first competition between garden bloggers. After three years, it was clear that bloggers were spending time lobbying a lot of people who have never read a garden blog in their life to go and vote for them. Another popularity contest, based on who had the most people they could beg for votes. This, and the general rudeness of a few of the people involved, convinced me that the Mousies were a bad idea, and that's why they ended. For my part, I am really sorry I started them in the first place, if they had any part of the current state of affairs. I started them to celebrate blogging, and get attention for our (back then) weird little niche. I didn't foresee things being the way they are now.

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  19. @Colleen, I had forgotten about The Mouse and Trowel Awards. It hasn't even been that long since you ended them either. In the beginning they were fun because there weren't that many people involved and like you said it was for this "weird little niche" and so it was all cool. But I think they really changed once garden bloggers started paying attention to things social media as we know it today. To be clear: I mean things like Twitter and Facebook where we raced to have the most friends, fans and "likes." And over on Twitter we we race to accruing followers and RTs.

    IMO, about two-three years ago a lot of the people who were jumping on the garden blogging bandwagon upped the ante in the competition department. You had people bragging about being listed in the "Top Whatevers Garden Bloggers to Follow on Twitter" lists that were made by websites and companies who were just link-baiting. I can point to one person in particular, you know who I'm talking about, that became known for bragging about these pseudo rankings.

    Around the same time you brought "The Mousies" out of retirement and what was fun and silly was now serious business with people campaigning like they hadn't before.

    So, yes. The Mouse and Trowel Awards helped foster a sense of competition, but it was the kind of competition you find at family reunions. After Twitter & Facebook exploded among garden bloggers the competition was more like the Daytime Emmy Awards and Showgirls where Elizabeth Berkley pushes Gina Gershon down the stairs.

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  20. I popped in again having had some further thoughts to find the conversation has already developed along the lines I'd been thinking of.

    Firstly, apologies for not getting my point across effectively in my previous comment. I believe it's possible to have adverts etc without 'selling out' in the way that's getting lots of people hot under the collar at the moment and Colleen has indeed outlined how this can be done with integrity in her excellent post.

    I do believe the awards, liking, fandom etc culture has had a role to play in the more competitive atmosphere these days. The problem with these is there's always more people disappointed than there are 'winners'.

    As for the social ranking side of things whenever I've looked into the ways these are calculated (if this information is publicly available) they all seem to be deeply flawed. The recent debacle over changes to the way Klout is calculated shows how taking notice of these metrics places us at the whims of the rankers rather than ourselves and our readers.

    Since all of this blew up I've decided I'd rather deal with what I can actually control i.e. my writing and my blog. Anything else which comes my way is a bonus.

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  21. I liked the sign at the top of the post.... Where do I sign for the free plants and new camera?

    "flowergardengirl" seems to have taken down the post about being fired. This is unfortunate, I'm with you in the belief that more light is needed... the roaches scurry away from the light.

    But... I can't judge the peeps too harshly that believed some slick talking company rep and felt like they needed to protect their source of freebies... Who knows what any of us might do in the spur of the minute, before thinking things through.

    Could be that "flowergardengirl" is doing that rare thing in internet relationships, and avoiding that entire litany of charges, counter-charges that the internet is prone to, which never does anyone any good, and seems to cause a lot of needless pain.

    Good-luck with the domain name sale, I congratulate you on your foresight... I'm sure that you will get your selling price...

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