Waaay back in June of 2007 I started the first Gardening Coach Directory on my website, with just the four coaches featured in the New York Times story that, I believe, started the whole media rush to cover this new service. But with the media attention came more coaches til there were 130+ and I discovered that managing the directory – especially updating everyone's listing every time they changed their rates or their email address or some such – had become a pain.
I was just about to chuck the whole thing when super-savvy garden coach/online marketing consultant Jean Ann Van Krevelen came to the rescue, offering to create for us a directory using the Wiki-type service WetPaint. Now people can create and update their own (damn) listings, of any length or format they may choose. But WetPaint is waaay more than just a Wiki. It's got:
- A forum, natch. But unlike every other forum I've ever seen and then never checked back with, WetPaint sends us all a very cool email newsletter every week that tells us what's being talked about on the forum. Finally, I've found a forum I might actually keep up with.
- Ways to chat directly with each other which, okay, I really don't get. (Doesn't email still work?) Maybe Jean Ann can explain.
- Back to that really cool weekly newsletter, it also tells us who's joined the group in the last week, and who's changed which pages. That seems to be how groups can use these Wiki-type programs that allow members to change the content, because WetPaint helps you keep tabs on who's doing what. So a rival coach in your area can't anonymously wipe out your listing. Not that a garden coach would ever do that, but people DO ask the question.
So new coaches, this is a great time for you to join us, by visiting our new home page and then the New Member Page for lots of help. Plus, Jean Ann and our two volunteer moderators are standing by to help you get listed. Come on in, the paint may be wet but it's just fine.
UPDATE: Typepad won't let anyone SEE those 8 comments – sorry! We've been having these technical difficulties ever since they "upgraded" us to the latest version. We keep sending them help tickets and hoping the problems are fixed soon.