Wednesday, 17 December 2008

If you haven't yet received an activation email....

Hey all - we've just discovered that our email server is refusing to send out some of your activation emails. Just to make the problem worse, it's also been withholding emails sent using the "contact us" form as well. We're really sorry about this, we haven't been ignoring your emails - promise!

We're sorting out that issue now and should have them resent out soon, but for the meantime if you really want in - drop us a quick message directly and I'll give you your activation code pronto. Email address is hello (put a little at sign here instead of this bit)

Update: All activations should now be sent out - if you haven't yet received yours, send us an email and we'll sort it all out for you :)

Saturday, 13 December 2008

New look home pages & revamped dashboards

As a little early christmas pressie to you all, we thought we'd roll out a couple of the changes we've been busy working on lately. Hope you enjoy!

New Look Home Page, Gardens & Plants Pages

We've completely overhauled the home, gardens, plants and gardener pages to highlight more features from around the site. Whilst working on this feature we were continuously amazed at the number of absolutely beautiful photographs we have linked within the site, so we've tried to showcase them in a more of a browsable, magazine-like way. They are now displayed randomly too - so hopefully you'll stumble across some wonderful gardens that you haven't yet discovered. It all adds to the serendipitous nature of folia!

Revamped Dashboards

Login in and check out the changes to your gardener dashboards - you'll find it much more orderly and widgety (and ready for more changes in that direction!) You can hide and show panels as you need them, and you'll also find that your frost dates are now displayed prominently on your planting timeline.

We're still working on a heap of new exciting changes during the winter - we'll be releasing bits and pieces as we go, so keep your eyes peeled and keep your awesome suggestions coming!

Monday, 17 November 2008

HOWTO: Twitter your Gardening Journal Automatically

Here at Folia, we like to make sure that we aren’t developing things have already been developed nicely elsewhere already. It means that we can concentrate on developing more gardening specific goodness for you all.

One of the things that we’ve often put on our to-do list is automatic synchronisation of your gardener journal to blogs and twitter. We’ve never quite got there with this functionality, as it has required a whole lot of thinking around secure authentication of your details between folia and twitter (whilst trying to avoid naughty Password Anti-Patterns)

I’ve been trialling a service called TwitterFeed which has only just come out of beta – it handles all of the password stuff that we didn’t want to and works quite nicely. It’s really simple to set up and it’s free, so I thought it was worth a post to let you all know about it. Once it’s set up, you don’t have to even think about it again – it all happens in the background for you. I almost completely even forgot I was testing this out it’s so invisible ;)

To see it in action, you can check out my folia feed twitter account right here: (and if you want to follow me – or Folia, that would be cool too!)

p.s. Your Folia Gardener Journal RSS is in the format of[gardener_name].rss – so my RSS feed is (An easier way of finding it with less mucking about is to navigate to your journal page and click on the little orange icon in the top right corner of the page)

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

New Features: Planting Timelines, What's Planting Now? & Dashboard Redesign

We've got some huge changes to the site to announce this week - so much so that we needed to break it down in sub headers!

Planting Timelines
You can now mark your planting events on your very own gardening timeline, so you can see visually how long your plant took to sprout, harvest or bloom. The timeline is displayed on your newly redesigned Dashboard page.

What's Planting Now
Check out what's Sowing, Transplanting and Harvesting right now in your local area with your "What's Planting" box - this is calculated from all planting events from every gardener around you and should give you a good idea on things to plant and if your own plantings are on schedule.

Improved Dashboard Goodness
We've completely overhauled your gardener homepage to make it much easier to get up-and-running with, add new plants to your garden and change your profile and weather settings.

Going live with some huuuuge changes!

We're going to be rolling out some great changes to the site today - we've been working on this release for a while, and there are some really really great changes in this one. We'll be putting up the sudoku at 10:30 BST and expect about 30 minutes of downtime - we'll keep updating our twitter account ( as we go so you can play along at home :)

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Server Shenanigans This Morning

Our hosting provider has had some issues with our server this morning. They are currently in the process of moving us across to a new server. We'll keep you updated on our twitter as we go - but we shouldn't hopefully be too much longer.

All data is safe and accounted for.

UPDATE: we are now completely back up and running on a shiny new box - apparently the memory server was the issue and Slicehost had to move everyone from the effected servers. Many thanks to the Slicehost guys for keeping us updated and getting us back online so quickly :)

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

New Journal Layouts & Quick Add Events!

As part of our update this week we’ve released a couple of nice changes to your journals page:

Pick’n’Mix Journal Styles

We now have 3 journal styles to choose from: Blog (the original), Day and List style. So now you can set your journal view to fit best with the type of garden journaling you do – from our twitterers to our novelists :) You’ll find a couple of buttons to change your journal style on the right hand side of your main journal page (click the Journal tab on your home page to get to the right page)

We’ve also given you a little bit more flexibility on how you’d like your journal to appear to others. You can, for instance, now set your personal journal view to “list” for easy viewing and editing whilst setting the folian view to the blog one. So, go have a play around with all the options ‘til you’re happy :)

Quick Add Journal Events

Another new feature is our “quick add journal” box that will appear at the top of your journals page. This is great to use when you have a couple of quick event updates to add in - you’ll now be done in a jiffy (also click on the weather section to see some funky weather changing feature goodness – Nic’s quite proud of her effort on that one!)

Anyway – let us know what you think about the changes!

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Releasing new stuff - we'll be offline for 20 mins UPDATED

We're just in the process of releasing some brand new features to the site - this one is a bit of a biggie, so we'll be offline for approx. 20 mins. We'll update as we go on Twitter :)

Update: Back up-and-running with some new features - we'll announce all the new stuff very soon...alternatively you can as usual begin to guess what they are instead ;)

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Folia Street Team - A Grass Roots Campaign!

Last week we finally launched the new Street Team page . Woo hoo!

The page includes the fabulous PDF flyers designed by cmagnus and one that we whipped up a while back, along with some ideas on good places (to ask) to put these flyers up around your local area. Let us know if you do get some (or see some) out-and-about :)

If anyone else wants to create some localised / translated / just a bit different-ised versions, we’d be tickled pink! Send ‘em though to us! (preferably as PDF, but if you are having trouble converting we can help you out)

Go Team Go!

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Search Index Maintenance

We're currently offline doing some maintenance on our search index. There's quite a bit of data so is taking a little longer than expected.

Monday, 28 July 2008

Improved Journal Features - auto happiness updating & more events!

Okay – this is the last announcement from last week’s changes – it’s now taken over a week to announce everything! Phew!

The final one, which many of you have probably already noticed by now, is a couple of small enhancements to the Add a Journal Entry page :

  1. We’ve added a couple of new options to journal events – some of the new events are: Pruning, Branching, Treating, Fertilising and Moved (which will also let you select the new garden it’s been moved into at the same time!)
  2. Plant Happiness is now able to be updated from the journal page – if you select “Happy” then the plant will also be automatically updated to reflect the latest happiness (supporter only at this stage)

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Export your Planting Data to Excel

Another day, another feature (well okay, the feature was already there yesterday - but I thought I would split up the announcements this week since we have so many new features!)

On your plantings page, next to the "printable version" link there is also a link to download your planting list as an Excel file for your own backups. We'll be adding more data to this file over time - milestones is on the list, but if you can think of any other handy data to add let us know :)

This feature is only available to Supporters (it's actually a bit like Supporter Christmas this week). If you want to find out more about becoming a Supporter, go take a look at our Supporter page.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Printable Planting Lists

Our second big feature for this week is printable planting lists - your planting page is now printer friendly so you can quickly grab a printout of everything in your garden and not waste all the green and brown ink in your printer ;)

If you are a Folia Supporter, you'll find a link at the top of your plants page (e.g. My Plants page) called "Printable Version" that will automagically create a printable version of the page for you. (If you aren't a Supporter - this feature is still available, just select print from your browser menu) From there, all you'll have to do is send it to your printer and you're done!

(We'll be also working on making Wish List pages and Journal pages print-ified in the same way very soon.)

Calendar View now available for your Journals

Yay! We now have a calendar view on all Supporter's Journals! So, if you are a Supporter, you'll now find a calendar on the right hand panel that will transport you forward and backward in time (in the garden journaling dimension, that is)

You can take it for a spin here over in Nic's Journal and check out what she was doing on the 10th of June, 2008... or strap yourself in and go right back in time to 30th May, 2007 (remember to not step on any bugs or meet your grandmother on the way.)

This feature is only available for our lovely, fantastic Supporters. If you think you might be interested in becoming one, take a wander over to our Become a Supporter! page to peruse all of the lovely features we have built so far. Remember that the more supporters we have, the more features we can develop for everyone! (Did we also mention it's as cheap as chips?)

Friday, 11 July 2008

Folia T Shirts Are Go!

We now have both sides of the Atlantic covered for folia tees - Folia Store Europe & Folia Store North America are now open for business!

We've made sure that all of our tees are super customisable, so go crazy adding your own slogans to the back! We've got pretty much every colour covered too (we are a big fan of the hot pink number ourselves) and we've got the organic, free trade, free range options available too.

So, get 'em while they're hot!

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Brand New Home Page & More Groups Goodness!

Today we launched a brand spankin' new version of the home page - we've added more featured journals to the page, along with a new recently updated plantings panel and latest talk from the groups. We think it's a vast improvement on the old one, and we hope you like it!

On a similar note, we also revamped the groups pages this week - we've added some slidey magic to make browsing through your groups a breeze, and also improved the layout to highlight recent topics in each group.

So check out the changes and let us know what you think!

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

New Stuff This Week!

A little late in announcing the changes this week due to our little trip to the Birmingham NEC, but better late than never:

So what's new this week?

RSS Feeds for Personal Gardening Journals
We have (finally!) rolled out the first of our gardener RSS feeds - so you can now follow the adventures of your favourite folians in the comfort of your very own feed reader. To find the RSS feed, look out for the orange RSS button in the top right hand corner of the gardener pages.

Retailer Pages
You'll now notice that your retailers are now in fully hyperlinked glory - you can now find out who else is growing plants from the same little nursery, garden centre or market stall that you bought it from. Check out Johnny's Seeds for a great example.

Improved Plant Classifier
We've added some tweaks here and there to improve the plant classifier - it should be even easier to find your plant now.

Groups Recommender
We've also added a little bit of magic to the groups pages to highlight groups that we think you might be interested in - check out the right side panel on the Groups home page for your own personal recommendations.

My Profiles on Other Sites
Over on your profile edit page, you'll now find some extra options to let folians know who you are on other sites.

..and the usual little surprises around the site that we'll leave you all to find!

Monday, 9 June 2008

Road Trip 2008 - First Stop BBC Gardeners World!

We’re going on a mini road trip to spread the MyFolia word and our first stop is BBC Gardeners World Live! We’ll be up there on the Saturday (14th June) wandering around, showing off our spanky new MyFolia shirts, handing out a few bits and bobs and generally getting the word out about the site.So if you’re going, look out for us - you can’t miss us - and come say hello. We’d love to meet you!

Experiencing a little bit of downtime tonight...

Hey all,

Sorry about the downtime we've had tonight, we are currently sorting through some server space
issues with our hosting provider. We are completely on the case, and we'll keep you updated as we go.

p.s. All of your garden data is absolutely, completely safe and sound.

Update: We've almost sorted the issues out - we'll be up (and stable) quite soon. We might be a little up-and-down over the next couple of minutes. Hold tight!

Update 2: We are back up and running!

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Hello Kim Komando Show fans!

The site is currently running very hot today as we have been featured as Cool Site of the Day on the The Kim Komando Show!

We’d just like to let everyone know that we are working like busy bees to keep the site up and running with the increased traffic – I think we are doing quite well so far, but we will be keeping a very close eye on things today to keep everything running smoothly.

Anyway – we’d like to say a big welcome to all our brand new gardeners. Hope you like the site!

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Crowd source your green thumb with Folia - CNET Review

We've just got a fantastic review from Webware (CNET):

Crowd source your green thumb with Folia

New changes going up!

We're deploying some new stuff to the site right now, so you'll be seeing the sudoku around about now. We'll keep updating twitter as we go along...

Friday, 30 May 2008

Lifehackered and Uncluttered

Following the success of being Uncluttered last Friday it appears that we've just been Lifehackered (I guess that's a word). So welcome everyone!

Temporary Turbulence! Hold Tight!

Hi guys - we are currently experiencing a little turbulence due to quite a load on the server at the moment....we are working on getting MyFolia back to its usual self right now. Thanks for your patience!

Update: we are just rebooting and bringing the server back up....almost there!

Update 2: We are back! Yay! We'll be watching the situation tonight as we go....

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Getting an Oops page?

Hey all - just a quick update to let you know that the site is temporarily down (no, it's not just you!) and we are working on getting it back on line. Shouldn't be too long - we'll keep you updated.

...and we are up once again. Sorry about that!

Review of MyFolia on!

We got a great review of us on this week...a big welcome to all of our brand new members that found us from this site - we even (briefly) tipped into the popular list because of you guys! Woohoo!

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

New Feature: Is there a folia gardening group in your local area?

We now have a handy dandy map to see if there are any local groups in your area. If there isn't any groups near you yet, why not be a trailblazer and create one?

Monday, 19 May 2008

New Features: Invite-O-Matic & New Navigation

We've got some nice new features for you this week:

Invite-O-Matic: We've finally created an page that lets you send invites to friends and family. We've linked it all in with your own personal invite page - so if and when they join, you'll get a message letting you know they've arrived and a little "invited by" link to you will appear on their profile.

New Navigation: Again, a long overdue improvement to the site is brand new navigation that makes navigating through your gardens and plants a whole lot easier. We think it's super cool - Check it out!

Saturday, 17 May 2008

Updating the site!

We are just in the process of moving to nice new shiny servers - we'll be up again in the next couple of minutes. We'll keep you posted :)

Update: we are now waiting for the changes to propagate across the interweb - some people may be able to now see the site. If you can't see MyFolia yet, we should be visible very soon...

Update 2: We are fully moved and have just unpacked the boxes. Welcome to the new server!

Friday, 16 May 2008

MyFolia is Gardening Website of the Year!

Woohoo! MyFolia just won Gardening Website of the Year in the Mouse & Trowel Awards !

We’d like to thank everyone who took the time to both nominate us and to place their vote…you guys are awesome!

p.s. A special thanks to Spidra who kept the publicity machine in motion and made sure everyone got their votes in on time, and also to Colleen Vanderlinden for running the awards so fantastically well :)

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Helpful Features

We've just added heaps of nice little help features throughout the site to help our new members get up and running faster - included in this change is a little re jig of your home pages to include a "How To Get Started" panel. Go have a look and tell us what you think!

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

MyFolia reviewed on Killer Startups!

MyFolia just got a great review on Killer Startups - go check it out! - Social Network for Gardeners

MyFolia has been nominated for Best Garden Site in the Mouse and Trowel Awards!

I thought we'd announced this on the blog, but we have been quite busy bees over the last week or so and completely forgot about posting it here...We've been nominated for Best Garden Site in the Mouse and Trowel Awards! Thanks to all who nominated us!

To cast your vote, here is the voting form.

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Deploying some changes - hold tight!

For updates, see our twitter feed. We'll be back up very soon :)

Sunday, 20 April 2008

More Statistical Goodness for Plants!

Another new feature to look out for (told you all that this one was gonna be a big release!) is some more statistical niceness on the plant pages – you’ll find a super-cool graph on each plant page that gives you an overview of how many plantings were sown / planted each month. Take a look at the plant page for Tomato for a good example. Eventually, this should show us some trends as to when the most popular time for planting is (and we can also eventually show this for your area as well)

As a first little experiment into drilling into the planting data, we’ve added a new section to the “Days to Germination” section (under the “How long does it approximately take to grow?” header towards the bottom of the page). You’ll now see the average days to germination, the min and the max. We are basing these calculations on the date planted vs. the date you all journaled and marked as “Germinated”.

The data is looking quite accurate at the moment, well done guys for your observations so far :)

New Feature: Your Planting's Happiness Rating!

As part of this release, we also added the ability to set a “happiness rating” to your plant – either Very Happy, Happy, Neutral, Sad or Very Sad. This rating will appear as a little smiley / frowney / crying face next to your planting on your garden pages and also on your planting lists. You’ll find the option to select your happiness rating from the (new and improved) planting edit page.

We think it gives another way to log how your plants are doing in general, and will also let us do some more funky stuff around finding what conditions plants grow best in.

New Feature: Most "Popular" Journals

We have noticed over the last couple of weeks as we have moved towards more "event" based journals (like "Sown" / "Bloomed" etc) that it is becoming harder and harder to find journal entries. We've made a couple of changes to the journal page and the home page to address this issue.

You'll now find the most commented / thumbs up'd journals over on the home page, and the first tab on the Journals page will now present the most commented entries (which you can now filter by a timeframe, like day or month or year). This should make sure that interesting journals are not buried as much as they once were, and gives everyone a few more ways of discovering new journals.

Recent journals have now been moved to their own tab on the Journals page so you can still see the most recent entries. Furthermore, there are a couple of options that have been added to this page so that all events can be filtered out (or likewise, all normal journal entries can be filtered out)

Let us know what you think of the changes!

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

New features coming up!

Just giving everyone a heads-up that we will be releasing some changes in the next hour or so (20:00 BST) - this release is a fairly big one so we may have to take the site down for 5 - 10 minutes...

20:10BST: The database changes are all going through now - not long to go :)

20:12BST: Still updating the database (and suddenly realising that our database is quite massive indeed now!)

20:14BST: woo hoo - all back up and running with new and improved features!

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Nominate us for a Mouse & Trowel Award!

There are only a couple more days of nominations left, so if you feel like MyFolia deserves to be nominated for "Gardening Web Site of the Year" then go forth and vote!

Mouse & Trowel Nomination Form

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

More (Little) Goodies For You!

We've just added a couple of different mini badges for your blog or site over on our Goodies Page. Get 'em while they're hot!

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Thumbs Up!

Another feature that we have just rolled out tonight is the “Thumbs Up!” feature for journals – its a way of giving a little bit of support or encouragement to a gardener, without having to write a comment (although you are quite welcome to do both if the entry deserves it!)

It acts much the same as your faves for gardens and plantings – the recipient of the “thumbs up” will be notified in their activity stream of your kind and thoughtful action and they will feel all warm and fuzzy :)

Plant Wiki - New Fields, Measurement Config & General Tweak

We’ve just rolled out a change to the plant wiki to add in a couple of new fields and to make it more customisable – you can now set your preferred unit of measurement (imperial or metric) on your Configuration page and all wiki facts and figures will appear in your measurement of choice (If you aren't logged in, you'll still see both measurements together)

We’ve also done a minor bit of tweaking to the plant pages to make them a little easier to read and to make room for the new fields. The next version of the variety wiki is heading to the top of the to-do list, so if anyone has any thoughts (that they haven’t already posted in the Suggestions & Feedback) let us know!

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Swaps! and a Lick of Paint For Groups

We've just added some more functionality to the new Swap Page that shows you all gardeners in your area that have swaps available in a fabulous Google Map. We have also added a page that is a bit of a work in progress called Swap Spy - on this page you can take a look at some mad-scientist-style experiments we are working on with the Swap data.

Nath has done a bit of spring cleaning over on the groups page - you'll find them much nicer in layout now, and we've gardener-fied it all up with some profile info.

We've also added location to the gardener profile pages, so now we can get stuck into providing some interesting functionality at this level - stay tuned!

Changes goin' up

We are just in the middle of deploying some changes - this one might take a couple of minutes, but we should be back up soon...

..and we're back!

Friday, 14 March 2008

Updating the Site...

Shouldn't be too long.

01:22PM GMT: Looks like we are back up and running now. All good to go :)

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Planting Events now Sprouting in your Activity Feed!

Since we were working on the activity feed this week we thought we might as well include the first draft of Plant Events (you know, while we were at it)

Events are now linked in with your journal, so if you are journaling about a plant you will now find a new option called “Growing Event”. If you choose an event your journal will be marked (with a funky looking star) as a growing event in your friends activity streams.

Go check it out!

Updated Activity Feeds!

You may have noticed your personal homepage looking a little different when you just logged on.

Firstly we’ve brought latest activity to your personal homepage so that you can kept better track of latest happenings on the site. We’ve also kept the existing Activity pages so you can see the history if you wish.

We’ve also merged Friends Journals into your activity stream so now you can keep better track of what your gardening buddies are up to. This also coincides with another feature we have which I’ll leave for a separate post – which you may have seen appear in your activity stream :)

Anyway, hope you like the change and as always let us know what you think.

Site down for updates

Hey everyone!

Just a quick one to let you know that we’re going to take the site offline for a little while to roll out some new updates… which we’ll reveal after :)

I’m planning on doing this around 12:20pm GMT and it should take around 10mins – fingers crossed

Update @ 12:25pm - Almost there!

Update @ 12:27pm - Bouncing the server....

Update @ 12:28pm - And we are up again!

Friday, 29 February 2008

New Garden Location Maps

Every garden page now has a new location section which shows where your garden is on a google map – this hopefully should make it much easier to visualise where we all are across this planet – from Quezon City, Philippines to Groningen, Netherlands :)

This is only the very basic start to our google mapping features – you’ll be seeing some quite interesting maps popping up around the place fairly soon. Until then we’d love to hear your ideas – what maps would you particularly like to see?

Your blog screenshot is now on your profile page!

We’ve just released a nice little feature for all you bloggers out there – we’ve added a screenshot of your blog / website that will appear on your profile page.

For a great example of the screen grab goodness in action – take a look at YouGrowGirl’s profile.

Note: The screen grabber needs to go and “fetch” the screenshot if it hasn’t yet been requested, so for some you may see a little holding image that will display until the image is available – it takes about 5 seconds or so for the whole process, so refreshing the page a couple of times normally brings the screenshot through. Once it’s been fetched, it will be available for everyone to view from then on.

We’ve noticed that a couple of people have put in their flickr homepage into the website field if they haven’t got a blog – we think that’s a great idea (and it looks quite snazzy too!)

Sunday, 24 February 2008

Talking about the weather!

One of the cool things we released today is….

Weather! We’ve hooked you up with your local weather conditions so now you can see your current conditions and four day forecast right from the comfort of your own homepage!

We’ve also dropped this into your journals so it now automagically pre-fills the current conditions for you! If you’re retrospectively journaling you can still change it to whatever you wish but it’s handy if you’re journaling on-the-fly.

To get weather goodness goin’ on: Make sure that your location is set on your Profile page – on the very same page under the Settings tab you can select if you want to see all weather in C or F – it will automatically default to C if you haven’t yet set it.

Let us know what you think!

Update in progress!

We're just deploying a couple of changes to the site - some pages may be a bit broken for the next 5 mins or so...

Update: All done..and all without a hitch. Yay!

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Task / To-Do Lists Are Go!

After much work behind the scenes, last week we finally unleashed the first version of the gardening task / to-do lists – take a look under the Tasks tab on your homepage and you’ll find a link to start adding task reminders from there.

It’s pretty basic at the moment but we’ve already got a zillion ideas on how to make these lists really handy…we’d love to see what you guys think, so have a play around and go enter in some tasks!

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

New Planting Source Options & New Look Plant Lists

This week, we've just rolled out an improvement to planting sources - now you can document exactly where your planting came from. We've added some nice touches (that we'll let you all discover for yourselves) to this to make it much more fun and added some nice little icon magic as well.

While we were at it, we also have revamped the Seed Stash and Planting lists so they are much easier to read and added some long overdue sorting to the lists. Over on your garden pages we have also made your planting lists a whole lot prettier and included day counters - so you can now see at a glance how many days old your Zucchini is (makes planning birthdays so much easier)!

Saturday, 9 February 2008

Latest Activity Tweaks

We’ve just rolled out some tweaks to the latest activity pages.

We’ve integrated all activity relating to you into one tab (called Recent Activity) so now you can follow who has added comments to your plants, garden and journals, who as added you as a gardening buddy and who has favourited your stuff. Another tweak we’ve made is added a Comments I’ve Made tab. Now it’s easier to look up the comments you’ve made and following discussions in the comments. Also we’ve extended how far back you can go so you can go back and check on even the oldest of comments (in case you may have missed out on the discussion)

We’ve still got a few ideas up our sleeves for this page (like rss feeds and tidying up Group Activity and Friends Journals) but go have a look and tell us what you think!

Saturday, 2 February 2008

MyFolia now has Zones - come and see what's growing in your Zone!

MyFolia is now USDA hardiness zone aware - so you can now see the gardeners and gardens in each zone, and even see which plants are popular in each. We can now see that USDA Zone 10ers are big on growing Hibiscus whilst the Zone 5ers are into Coneflower and Daylily. Interesting stuff already, and it will be great to watch the trends develop and change as we have more gardeners adding their gardens into the MyFolia ecosystem.

Take a look for the coloured zones (ooo, aren't they pretty!) on either on the Plants home page, the People home page and the new Zones home page.

This is just the basic beginnings of showing gardeners by zone - we have used the USDA standard for now just due to it being the most widespread, but we will be adding ways to "translate" between other zone systems like Sunset and the Australian system in the near future. Lots of exciting zone stuff is still to come!

Tuesday, 29 January 2008 officially in Public Beta!

As of yesterday, MyFolia is now public and open (and free!) to all. We are now in "Public Beta", which means that although we are now live to all, we are still very much still hard at work building brand new features and improving bits we've already built. Keep sending in and discussing your suggestions - we love to hear what you think!

As a little present to our users we have added two brand new options for setting your avatar. If you have an avatar on your Picasa / Blogger account you would like to use, you can now set it from your Settings page. Furthermore, if you would like to set your avatar from Gravatar (a great service that lets you use your avatar on a range of sites and blogs) you can now do that too. We will continue to add photo and avatar options as fast as we can develop them - let us know what other options you'd like to see.

We know you'd love MyFolia to grow as much as we would like it to, so help us spread the word - take a look at our revamped Support Us page for ways you can help!

Friday, 25 January 2008

MyFolia is going into Public Beta from Monday!

We are currently working hard making the site ready for the public beta launch on Monday, 28th Jan (yay!). When we go into public beta, it will mean that the public at large will be now able to browse through the site, but they will not be able to contribute to anything on the site unless they join.

This doesn’t mean that we will stop developing the site – it will mean quite the opposite in fact. Keep posting your suggestions and feedback as usual :) For those of you that are logged in, you probably won’t notice any change to the site on the Monday – the only change will be that clicking the white “Home” link will take you to the MyFolia homepage, rather than your profile page.

We are really excited about getting to this stage with MyFolia – and we really want to see our little site grow into something unique and indispensable for gardeners everywhere. If you have a blog or know fellow gardeners that don’t yet know about MyFolia we would absolutely love it if you could spread the word. The more gardeners we have in our community, the better the site becomes for everyone!

On this topic, we would love to hear if you have any ideas for spreading the word – we have a couple of ideas up our sleeve, but we would love to get your thoughts (pity we are both computer geeks and not marketing gurus, hey?)

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Mid Week Update: Stash Linkage and Plant-O-Matic 1.0

A couple of little changes around folia land that we thought you might like to hear about:

Link Your Stash
Up until now, your Stash and your Plantings were two completely separate things - now, you can add plantings from your Stash and keep track of all plantings that you've ever grown from a single seed packet. We think this is going to be a great way of telling which seeds worked, and which ones didn't. (or provide you with a convenient excuse as to why your basil died again - "it was a bad batch of seeds, obviously! Nothing to do with me forgetting to water for a month!")

...and introducing : Plant-O-Matic v1.0
We've just added a nice little feature to the Add Planting page to automatically search for likely plant matches for you. Our hardworking Plant-O-Matic v1.0 will scour our plant database looking for what you meant by "Basil - The Green One" and try and help you out. Of course, being v1.0 means that he might not get it right all the time, but we will keep tweaking his logic until we get it right. He might not be able to help you out on your "Some Sort of Green Leafy Plant" however - but he'll give it a go :)

Friday, 18 January 2008

Journaling Goodies

Ah… Finally it’s ready! Took a little longer than I would have liked (and it’s still not quite finished) but it’s done! Journaling should now be a new experience on Folia with the new photo selector, tagging and weather!

We’ve done away with the carousel for the journals and gone with a simpler approach. Now you have more photos to choose from, better paging, new provider tabs, and you can now manage multiple photos all in the add/edit pages. Woohoo!

We also now have journal tags so feel free to tag up your articles with whatever you like! Be it recipes, projects and harvest! (Just to suggest a few) And since you can’t have tags without a tag cloud – expect one to start growing on the journal page so that you can find other journal articles tagged with the same stuff!

And finally – the weather! You can now add the weather to your journal articles. So you can let everyone get a feel for how cold it was when you were clearing out weeds or how hot it was when you were pruning back the hedge or that you even received snow!

So go on in and have a nosy around!

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Recap Flashback! Picasa / Blogger Photos...Going Live...Stash and Groups

In addition to our normal announcements in the Folia Announcements Group, we are going to start posting regularly about all the changes, new functionality and other things we deem newsworthy here. (It's a bit of a MyFolia new years resolution, really - we knew were getting a little behind on the blog updating, and we thought it was time to start being a little less top secret.)

So, we thought a good place to start would be by doing a bit of a flashback / recap on some of the more exciting things we've rolled out already:

Now Supporting...Picasa and Blogger Photos

You can now use all your picasa photos on MyFolia - and better yet, since blogger has recently linked with picasa, all your photos uploaded to your blogger accounts are now accessible too. To link your account up, just visit your MyFolia Settings Page, pop in your google account details in and you're off and racing!

Knocking Down the Garden Walls - Part I

We have decided that a staggered approach to going live is the best option for MyFolia - and as part 1 of this step to publicness we have opened up a couple of your pages on the site for everyone to take a peek at. So, you are now able to send your gardener and garden profile pages to your great auntie betty to look at if you like (and if she would like to join up and share her gardens, make sure you show her how!). We will be slowly opening up more pages as we go until we are completely live. Hurrah!

Stash Stash Stash

Got a shoebox full of seed packages? Now you can organise them within MyFolia so you know what you don't have to buy this year - you can also mark your stash as available for trade so that other Folians can contact you about a trade.

Groupy Goodness

Groups are here! You can join or create any group you please. We have a couple of groups with some interesting topics at the moment - Annet's Creative Solutions Group is currently discussing some creative uses for plastic bottles; whilst over in Murray's Worm Farming Group we have some thoughts on using bathtubs as worm farms!

We weren't telling a lie when we said we would listen to your suggestions - most of the new features above were requested by our dedicated beta testers. If you have a good idea (or even a crazy way-out-there idea) for the site then let us know in the suggestions and feedback forum - we love hearing them!

We are both now in the middle of cooking up our next bunch of features, which we should be rolling out really stay tuned, it's going to be a big year for MyFolia!

Saturday, 12 January 2008

Happy new (gardening) year!

So, it's now 2008 and don't we have a very big year ahead of us at Folia!

Fresh back from our little holiday break, we are now back in development mode and busy cooking up some fantastic new features that will be arriving quite soon.

To all our new members that joined us over the break – we’d like to take the opportunity to say hi and welcome – we really hope you are liking the site. To all our not-so-new members - again, thanks for sticking with us and giving us some great suggestions and feedback.

We are now up to over 500 members, which isn't too bad for a site only a couple of months old - it will be exciting to see where we end up at the end of this year!

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