Archive for 17/12/2013


Chinese Carvery

It all started out with a simple tree trunk...

‘One tree, four years of work and an indescribable amount of talent: that’s what it took to create this incredible masterpiece. A famous Chinese wood carver chopped down a single tree and tirelessly worked on it for over four years to make this piece. Your jaw will hit the floor when you see what he created.’

Click on the picture for the full story…

Old School Gardener

Shine A Light

chairs pic 1

Chairs are something that we have a lot of at the superstore, as you can see from the above photo (although there are actually much more than that!). You may not think they are a very exciting topic, but if you sit (preferably on a chair) and have a read of this blog hopefully I can change your mind (or at least show you some nice pictures).

Chairs have many different shapes, sizes and functions. While their form follows a fairly simple template of a seat, back, arms and legs, the particular design of a chair is what really makes them unique.

The specific design of a chair could simply be due to creative thought, or influenced by the materials that are available or the space in which it has to fit. It may also be dependent on the type of sitter it was designed for, or the location…

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IMG_4966A year ago today I posted my first article on Old School Garden. Thank you to all those people who have taken the trouble to read that and the more than 1000 articles or other posts I’ve made since then. And a special thanks to those who are regular followers of Old School Garden.

So what have I achieved and what has been the experience?

First the ‘metrics’ for the last year:

  • 1018 posts or articles published (including re-blogs)

  • Over 40,000 ‘hits’ or ‘views’ from visitors in 129 countries with the highest dally total views being 429. The average daily views is now standing at well over 100.

  • Over 5,000 posts were shared by visitors via Facebook, Twitter and a wide range of other platforms

  • 1,653 ‘followers’ alerted to new posts via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and directly via email (the latter has grown in the year to 285 followers)

  • Over 900 comments, including 300 of my own in reply to others, with recycling projects and ‘Picposts’ generating most comments

  • Not surprisingly the United Kingdom, USA, Canada and Australia account for over 80% of the hits (the U.K. alone 46%)

  • Overall, the most viewed posts seem to be about recycling projects (interest in projects in the garden using pallets and other recycled materials seem to be really popular, as have posts dealing with design, gardening techniques and play)

  • 21% of the views have been generated by internet searches using a wide range of search terms, and a further 10% via Twitter and 6% each via Facebook and Pinterest

I’m not sure if these figures are impressive or not – my guess is that they’re probably ‘middling’ when compared to the full range of numbers achieved by different blogs.

Pallet furniture and other garden recycling projects seem to have been especially popular this last year
Pallet furniture and other garden recycling projects seem to have been especially popular this last year

What has been my blogging experience?

I’m pleased at the overall numbers of people who have viewed the blog and that many have ‘liked’ or commented on the articles and other material I’ve shared.

I’ve been surprised at how some posts have generated enormous interest, with views ‘spiking’ on recycling posts in particular.

I’m pleased that my efforts to inform about gardening using a range of post types seem to have been well received; examples include ‘GQT’; ‘A-Z of Perennials; ‘Plantax’; monthly ‘top tips’ and various series on design topics, climate change, school gardening etc.

I guess I’m feeling that I haven’t yet ‘found my audience’ with the blog and that I seem to have generated only a small (but nonetheless very valued) community of followers who are stimulated enough to contribute to developing ideas and knowledge via comments.This may be in part due to my eagerness to produce a relatively large number of posts only a few of which have been structured and styled to generate debate.

So, I think I need to revise my blogging strategy. Perhaps I need a combination of meatier items, more of which are focused on developing ideas and seeking opinions, but retaining a mix of other types of post (but maybe reducing the frequency of these?). To ‘educate, inform and entertain’ (a la BBC) but with ‘stimulate’ perhaps added?!

What do you think? I’d love to hear from you!

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