A lot has been done on the site, but it’s a never ending task. The latest thing we’ve tried to do is some further integration with social media. With over 2 billion users on them they are hard to ignore. The Facebook page has been present for quite a long time and when appropriate some news items are posted there. That should make it easy for occasional visitors to this site to follow what’s going on. They can simply click ‘follow’ and any updates will appear in their daily stream.
Lately it appears that Facebook has been losing users to its daughter social media app Instagram. Most will know it, but for those who don’t: it’s foremost a mobile app to share images. You can also visit it on the web, but with less functionality. As an image sharing tool it’s much nicer compared to Facebook imho. If you’re using it, you can now also share your peony images with this site simply by using the hashtag #thepeonysociety and the images will appear (with a short delay) here. It also works on Twitter, although there you are without the possibility of adding a longer description to it. If enough images are posted with that hashtag, we may give them their own section on this site, but I guess that’s something for May/June/July when they are in bloom. However, you’re free to try it out with some images you may already have from previous seasons.
On most pages it’s now possible to translate the content to the language you speak yourself. If that’s English, it might still come in handy as many of the news posts are in other languages (Russian, French, German, Japanese, Chinese…) and if you set it to English, those will be translated as well. Apparently it makes it possible to write in other languages as well now, as we have our first Russian post about favorite white peonies. Try it out 😉
The road map for this site: we’d like to include a kind of directory with peony nurseries, gardens, societies and websites. With locations, reviews and the possibility for members to comment on them or add their own. That would replace the few lists of peony nurseries in the menu, they are incomplete and b(i)ased on the ones I know (and I don’t know too much). It may take quite a while. The last somewhat larger work on the site was the ‘Paeonia newsletter’ and that took about four times longer than expected, thus I don’t like to give a date for it, but I do hope to add it before the next peony flowering season.
As a aside, the site has been offered to The American Peony Society to take over completely. It is being discussed, I don’t know what the outcome will be. They intend do update their own website and I thought it might be a good idea if they simply took over this one. They are the largest peony society as far as I’m aware and it would ensure the survival of this site in the long term, I wouldn’t want this to end up as so many other great peony sites. They already have much content from the Bulletins that could easily be published online and of course they are the international registrar for new peony varieties. If you feel this is a good idea (or a bad one), please be vocal about it (here or with the APS themselves) 🙂