Seen at The Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden ~ Chinese proverb

Thursday, 8 December 2011

The Story Behind the Name

I'm often asked how Veg Plotting and VP came about and Garden Faerie's recent meme, the Story Behind the Name is the perfect excuse to blog about it :)

We need to go back to just over four years ago... to a dark, rainy early November day with the wind wailing around the house like a banshee...

NAH was away and I was bored. Crucially I'd decided my then career break from work was going to have to be a permanent move (it was the deadline day for letting them know if I was going to return) and had just written my formal resignation letter.

I'd also decided I wanted to do something new to celebrate my now unemployed status, and so I was trawling the internet to find a nice weekend away. Instead I found The Bath Crafting Cranny. I liked her style and humour, the fact she was local to me and I loved the blogs she linked to, especially My Tiny Plot.

I wonder what it takes to start a blog? I pondered. A quick Google and 5 minutes later Veg Plotting was born. Bits and Bobs and Veg Plot were already taken as blog names, and thinking I'd be solely writing about my allotment, I plumped for Veg Plotting instead.

However, within days of starting it quickly became clear I couldn't stay on topic for toffee. Seeing most of my ideas for posts are born whilst I'm up at the plot, luckily the play on the word Plotting means the blog's title still fits. And judging by the number of keyword searches I see for it in my stats, it's a memorable title too :)

So why VP? Well, when I was faced with the fill-in box for who I was going to be on the interweb, I panicked about internet security and identity theft and so decided an alter ego would be the best way forward. I also thought people would get fed up of typing Veg Plotting the whole time and so wanted something a bit snappier. I remembered a wonderful cartoon Bill Tidy used to do for CAMRA called Keg Buster. The Keg Buster character was always called KB in the pictures, so VP is an affectionate homage to one of our finest cartoonists.

Since then it's all gone rather muddy and complicated. It started with a change to Blotanical a few years ago where I wasn't allowed to be VP any more. EmmaT sometimes calls me Veep, so that's who I became on there.

Then I started getting some guest blog posts and the possibility of freelance work beckoned, so I 'came out' as the real me at the Garden Media Guild Awards 2 years ago. I had an awful lot of explaining to do that day!

My presence on Twitter has complicated things further: @Malvernmeet was created specifically for publicising our bloggers' get together at Malvern last year, but has stuck around as my personal tweet handle even though I vowed my Twitter presence would be temporary!

@VegPlotting is on there too, but I hardly ever use that at all. At the moment I'm toying with the idea of letting @Malvernmeet go and using @VegPlotting more because I know people who've got to know me over the past year or so are most confused by @Malvernmeet. However, I'm rather daunted by more or less having to start to build up a Twitter following all over again.

If I'd known how things were going to turn out I'd be here as the real me and with a really clever blog title which reflects what it's all about instead of feeling sometimes like I'm suffering from a multiple personality disorder :o

But then I wouldn't have written this blog post as there wouldn't be a Story Behind the Name ;)

Thanks to Garden Faerie's friend Bren for providing the logo at the top of this post.

15 comments:

  1. I've come across some wonderful blog names, and it's always fascinating to read how they came about.
    I started out as Flightbuff which fellow bloggers soon abbreviated to Flighty. Where the latter is already in use, such as Twitter, I use Sofaflyer. I've always kept the same gravatar which identifies me regardless of name. Flighty xx

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  2. It's only been 4 years? You've certainly done a lot in a few.

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  3. I'm glad I'm not the only one with multiple online identification/ personality issues. Interesting to hear about your title and how long you've been blogging. Good to look back sometimes.

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  4. Mmmmmm - you are a definite candidate for an identity crisis VP. Visiting 'Bits and Bobs' would not be quite the same. Thanks for your brilliant suggestion of using my former header as a background - now that had simply not occured to me. Will have to have a dabble in the new year.

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  5. You could, change your blog title. People do. But Veg Plotting means something to your readers. VP has a well-earned reputation to uphold. Easy to remember counts for a lot!

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  6. That's a great story. When I first started out, I had a few identities too. I changed them all to one early on, and I'm very glad I did. Good luck deciding on your name change. It's a hard decision for sure!

    Amy

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  7. This was a fun read, VP--I'm always intrigued how people came up with their blog names. Like you, I was worried about internet security and all that when I started, so I tried not to use my real name anywhere. I can see where it's caused you to have multiple personalities, though!

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  8. Interesting! I do know what you mean aobut the confusion of identities. I am gwenoldy on twitter and might have blogged under that name too but now I have been going so long it seems like a daft idea to change from Welsh hills. And that is where I am I suppose! Enjoyed reading more about the history of yours!

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  9. You have also, I recall, been cited as the Blog Fairy by another Chippenham blogger, whoever that might be.

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  10. This is the flash mob you sang in?

    https://plus.google.com/u/1/103257835426970935841/posts/L9PNvJE2wZZ

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  11. Now I know who @malvernmeet is! Like me you have many personna, well done for keeping track of them.

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  12. Flighty - like you I decided to keep my Avatar the same so I'm consistent across the interweb. I decided I'd keep my blog header the same too because when I made my first major change to my blog's design, it confused some readers.

    Petoskystone - yes it's 4 years!

    Projectforty - it's very good to look back :)

    Anna - I think Bits and Bobs would have been quite boring, I'm happy with the way things have turned out

    EE - I considered changing the title a while ago, but decided that would be even more confusing for both me and readers! It's also good practice to keep blog title and web address as close together as possible, so people can find you. No that wasn't the flash mob I sang in - ours was Hey Big Spender, though I was also involved in a scratch choir singing the Halleluja chorus on our local TV.

    Amy - welcome! The only name change will be if I drop @malvernmeet and pick up @vegplotting instead. Blog name etc is staying as it is

    Rose - it's reassuring that I'm not the only one with those concerns

    Elizabeth - it took me a while to twig that @gwenoldy was you! Luckily you had the answer on your blog ;)

    Mark - tee hee it was you! I'd forgotten that one :)

    Hi Ronnie - hope you don't mind me replying to one of your other personas, it's a lot simpler than the blog name you've used for your comment ;) That @malvernmeet's very confusing isn't she?

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  13. When I first came across VP on UK Veg Gardeners I thought they were your initials and always imagined you as Violet or Veronica or even Verushka - Veg Plotting doesn't have quite the same ring - but you could hardly call your blog Verushka's Plot - oh I don't know though!

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  14. Hi again! Thank you for your comments, both on The Story behind the Name and my Tyntesfield piece. My grandson was disappointed the house was closed when we got there because I think he wanted to give us a guided tour!

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  15. Elaine - *chuckle* I think Verushka's been suggested before, perhaps I need to adopt that name ;)

    Ronnie - you're welcome :) Re Tyntesfield - that's a shame. It's well worth going round the next time you're there.

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