It seems it started out as an academic exercise, which then turned into a more widely played game. Nearly eight million blogs are being tracked and registered players get a 'fund' of $5 million to invest. Blogs are categorised into Industries: thus gardening blogs can be found under Hobbies/Gardening & Horticulture - there's just 247 listed thus far, so they've got a lot of catching up to do. It looks like the only way a blog can be added is for someone playing the blogshares game to submit them - who did mine I wonder? There are rules for acceptance (e.g. it must be a real live blog - not an aggregator or one without a fresh post in the last 6 months) and once accepted the game's spider assesses the blog for its initial worth. These are based on incoming and outgoing links in some way and it looks like links to/from blogs already in the game are the only ones which count.
A blog has 5,000 shares, 1,000 of which are reserved for the blog's owner. This is where I get a bit annoyed. My blog's not up for sale and is totally owned by me. Yet in the game a certain Corporal Kickyourass holds an 80% stake in my blog. His strapline's Your ass is grass and I am the lawnmower! My annoyance turned to giggling at this point (especially when I found his profile photo) and of course I couldn't resist looking at my 'valuation'.
From what I can tell the game's got a lot more to it than just the trading of shares. They're even trying to simulate elements of the real world such as introducing a 'fiscal stimulation package'. However, I'm not going to take part - I may even request my blog to be withdrawn if I can - so there's no point in studying it that closely. I may look at it from time to time, because of course it's another great way of finding other blogs - gardening or otherwise.
Are you intrigued enough to have a look? Is your blog listed? Are you happy with your 'valuation' and blog 'owners'? ;) Be warned if you do take a look: a lot of the pages (particularly share profiles etc.) look like they're blank with just adverts down the side. There's quite a bit of scrolling down needed before you hit the information. The site's design isn't that pretty...
Update: You can remove your blog from the list - Compostwoman left the following comment which I'd like to share with you:
To have your blog removed from BlogShares, you must send the request to firstname.lastname@example.org. You will need to prove that you are the author/owner of the blog before we remove it. This may include temporarily adding a small text to a specific part of the blog, profile page, or other area worked out between you and the administrators of BlogShares.
Retrieved from "http://blogshares.com/wikihelp/Claim_Blog
Thanks for the information Compostwoman :)
* = how about this search: I want to go to the Isle of Wight on the Monday afternoon ferry what time does it leave and how do I get there? Sadly I was no help at all as they landed on my Sandbanks ferry collage.