potential is enormous. I love the idea of going to one groovy,
tricked-out, wikified, user-generated, digged and dug site that will
tell me what garden center to visit next time I’m in Portland and
whether kelp meal really is the cure-all I’ve been led to believe it
is. I don’t make a motel reservation without reading twenty reviews by
people who have slept there, sampled the free coffee, and shaken hands
with the cockroaches, so why should I buy a plant without doing the
It’s happened with travel, it’s happened with music, it’s happened with food and restaurants. Chowhound
lets me know where to get a yummy breakfast in Sacramento or a fabulous
cheap meal within a block of the New York apartment I rented on Craigslist. And as much as I refuse to buy from Amazon,
favoring my local independent bookstore instead, the "Customers Who
Bought This Item Also Bought" section leads me in exactly the direction
I want to go. Here’s a quirky book about an obscure subject written in
the first person–what would be another quirky book about an obscure
subject written in the first person? Those anonymous customers,
leaving behind their contrails of individual tastes, point me to the
very book I had been dreaming about.
So why aren’t we rating
and ranking botanical gardens, magazines, plants, seeds, fertilizers,
and HGTV celebs on one massive, socially networked mash-up?
I kind of wish we were, but I’m kind of glad we’re not. You?