First off, let me state emphatically that I am not trying to generate any sort of negativity with this post, and that it is in no way a poke at our host, Stuart, who knows I love him to bits. :) I do hope that it creates some thoughtful discussion, or that you will at least weigh in with your opinions. There is no need for defensiveness–or offensiveness–as you read this. It is just a collection of meandering thoughts.
With that little disclaimer out of the way, I wanted to ask those of you who care to answer what you personally believe constitutes a “legitimately good” post.
This question was borne of a comment that Stuart left in the most recent News discussion, “Picks Tumbler”, where he suggested (as part of an explanation) that: “…If a post is gaining a lot of popularity yet doesn’t deserve it a few 1 hearts from members will certainly knock it off it’s perch (this will be monitored for who’s flagging 1’s instead of 5’s if the post is legitimately good). …”
This begs a two-part question: (a) what makes a post “legitimately good” and (b) who determines it to be so…or not?
I’ve been forthcoming in the past with my opinion about the competitive nature of Blotanical’s Picks system. I’ve never written a post in the hope that it will garner a huge number of Picks; rather, the personal barometer that I use to gauge the popularity of a post is by the number of comments it generates, or more specifically, that it has been READ.
I’d prefer we didn’t rate posts at all. Sharing our knowledge, ideas, and the beauty of our gardens is enough for me. Having said that, at the same time, I have always been happy to go along with what the majority wants, or what Stuart deems is necessary. It’s never been a big deal, and won’t be in the future.
If we have to have a Picks system, I’d much prefer a two-button setup: perhaps a single flower button that could be used as a “calling card” to say, ‘I stopped by’, and maybe a bouquet button that would indicate, ‘I really liked this post!’ In my opinion, using a 5-star, or 5-heart rating system could create hard feelings as Blotanists, doubtlessly incorrectly, interpret 1 heart as, ‘I read it but it sucked’. And if the Picker didn’t receive any points at all, perhaps that would deter those who simply pick to up their status. Shouldn’t all points be assigned to the creator of the post? Again, let me stress that this is just my opinion.
Of all my Blotanical posts, the one that generated the most Picks from my archives was a long, emotional post titled My Garden: As It Was, Is, And May Be. It received 45 Picks. However, close behind in Picks popularity was a post titled Pewter and Silver which consisted of a single photo with a one-line quote beneath it. It received 31 Picks. So, obviously, the type of post that is deemed to be “legitimately good” is a very subjective thing.
In my part of the world, for half of the year, there is little in the garden that provokes an informative type post, especially for those of us who garden on a balcony or deck. While we cherish our crocuses, tulips, and daffodils and even anticipate the first appearance of the lowly dandelion, we garden vicariously through the posts of those Blotanists who are already harvesting the first greens from their gardens, or have fruit trees in bloom, already heavy with the buzz of bees. Here in Eastern Canada, it takes us a while to build up steam.
So I relish your rain chains, your rhodies, and your rustic sheds. I hang off your hellebores and heucheras. I love your liatris, your lilacs, and your layouts for new beds. Posts long or short, with or without photos, opinionated or informative…I find them all to be “legitimately good”.
I imagine I’ve opened myself up for a public flogging with this post, but that’s okay, too. I don’t seek popularity; I seek readership. I’d love to hear your opinions.