Blog:Gardenology.org grows new features
Gardenology.org has been a really huge project... a much greater undertaking than I had ever anticipated. It's still growing every day, and is about to reach 20,000 articles. It's been quite a learning process, but there have been a lot of great additions to the site that I'm very happy about. I haven't blogged in a while, because I really wanted to focus on the content. I'm now happy to say it's really getting where I want it to be, and I'm looking forward to sharing gardening thoughts and tidbits with you now as they come up.
As you can see at the bottom of this page, you can add comments to the blogs, or virtually any page on the site. You can log in using an existing account, create a new one, or just type in your name if you prefer. I think that will create a natural place to discuss the subject articles, whether they are plants, or gardening techniques.
Another big change is the use of something called Semantic Mediawiki. Simply stated, it allowed the use of forms with drop down options and check boxes when you add a plant, making it very easy to share how much sun or water a plant needs. What it also does, that isn't immediately apparent, is automatically create lists and searches based on what is checked off. So you need to know what trees grow in what zones? Which ones are deciduous, attract birds or give fruit? Visit the List of trees, and you'll see how all of the plant lists will be instantly updated with new information as it's added. If you are a technical person you can try and figure out how to do your own custom and more detailed searches. If not, we'll be adding more list custom in the future (like a specific list for evergreen flowering trees of zone 5 for example).
The forum has been a nice addition as well, with the most recent forum posts appearing on the main page of Gardenology.org.
A 3,500 page gardening encyclopedia has been added to the site. It's been a huge endeavor, but has really helped fill out information on plants that doesn't really exist online in many cases.
And finally, the most recent project - one that is currently underway is the addition of the plantbox info for thousands and thousands of plants. What does that mean? It means that we're going through yet another plant encyclopedia, and this time adding the critical details of the plants which appear in the top plantbox of each article. So if you check out the Acacia glaucoptera page added this past week, you'll see that the plantbox gives you details like the plant habit, zones, height/width, sun requirements, flower colors, etc. When there's a pic available, it's been added too. When there's text, that is added as well. As I mentioned above, all of the plantbox info becomes instantly available to the automatically generated plant lists. This is going to be an important way to find the plants you need in the future, as we flesh out all of this information.
So hopefully you'll enjoy some or all of the new features, and I can now start blogging about plants and gardens again!
--Raffi 15:19, 8 July 2010 (UTC)