Greenroofs.com Updates & Happy Holidays!

December 27, 2012 at 8:34 pm

Hello readers and fellow colleagues,

I hope you have all been enjoying your holidays with family and friends with an eye towards the New Year – especially  after our collective escape from the dire but thankfully misled (or misinterpreted) Mayan  predictions on the winter solstice of 12.21.12!

Kidding aside, we here at Greenroofs.com  have simply been swamped since late summer with various milestones including our trips to Chicago followed immediately by 2 weeks in China, not to mention orchestrating our 2nd annual  Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2013.

And, by the way, I couldn’t make it to The International Green Conference in Bangalore, India last month – a recent bout with upper respiratory problems were aggravated with all the traveling and I developed ear issues and was told not to fly for a few months.  I was extremely upset but everyone told me that the Conference was wonderful.

And so I’ve been very behind in my various blog posts ~ so one of my New Year’s  resolutions  is to catch up here at Sky Gardens with the following blog posts:

– On a personal note, most of you who have been following us for years know that I have been an international flight attendant with Delta Air Lines for a long time (hey, I didn’t want to give up my “day” job until I knew this greenroof gig would work out!)…well, as of  September  1, I  officially  retired after 33 years of loving (almost) every bit of it!  I had the  privilege  of working with the best people ever – the end of an era…

– The 10th Annual CitiesAlive Green Roof & Wall Conference in Chicago – what a great town!  For now I will say it was great, one of the very best get-togethers we as an industry have enjoyed so far.  If you  have  photos to share, please send them to linda@greenroofs.com – there was a lot I missed and then Aramis and I had to leave Saturday morning following the conference since we left for Shanghai the next day and we missed out on all the tours (I also took a class on Wednesday, so I couldn’t go then, either).

– The World Green Infrastructure Network (WGIN) World Green Roof Congress in Hangzhou, China which was simply awesome!  The resort was beautiful and the organization was amazing as there were at least 1,400 – 1,500 attendees – the largest crowd I’ve ever presented to before (I presented Haven Kiers’ and my “2012 Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall Design“).

We had a day of touring  followed  by 2 days of the  wonderful  speakers, excellent food and hospitality, ending with another day of touring.  Each  evening  there was a celebratory feast – Professor Xianmin Wang and his awesome International Rooftop Landscaping Association (IRLA) team of William Wei, Lisa and many others are to be highly commended.  We then followed this  sumptuous  experience with an additiional 8 or 9 more days of once in a  lifetime  touring around  China!

– All about our  Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2013  on February 12 through March 13, 2013 –  it’s going to be very different from last year. First of all, this time we’ve  partnered  with the  World Green Infrastructure Network  and we’re thrilled to have them on board to provide an ever greater world stage.

You’ll enjoy  a full 30 days of scheduled and on demand video Keynotes, panel sessions, individual and combo presentations with a lot more interactive fun with scheduled live Q & A chat  sessions  with  speakers and other greenroof & greenwall enthusiasts from around the globe, plus visiting the  Sponsor Spaces and Social Media Areas.  Here are our 5 distinguished Keynotes:

New this year is the Prize Center where you’ll accumulate points for cool prizes; the Joblinks Lounge where you can post jobs wanted and view job openings; and the Inspiration Nook where you can post under 3-minute videos about your research idea, project, or poster boards (no commercial ventures!) and participate in scheduled chat discussions which will be included on the Agenda.

In order to feature our Sponsors and exhibitors, we will also offer 4 dedicated days – one per week – to our Expo Trade Show, each anchored by a Keynote Presentation and a Panel Discussion from leading authorities.  By the way, we’d like to thank Tremco for once again committing their greenroof industry leadership through our highest level of  Sponsorship  – the Rare Earth Sponsor!

Other Greenroofs.com News:

– Starting in the New Year, our “This Week in Review” news roundup video, hosted by our daughter Anjuli Velazquez, will come back as “This Month in Review.”

– We’re currently  scheduling our “Greenroof or Greenwall Project of the Week” series – if you’d like to see your project highlighted, first of all we need to have a profile for it in the Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database!  (We are still backlogged with entries but hope to be up to date within a month).

We only spotlight profiles that have 10 or 11 photos and lots of descriptive content.  People ask us if they have to be listed in the Greenroof Directory to be selected, and the answer is no – although we do highlight our advertisers about 4:1 as compared to non-advertisers for their loyalty.

Advertising with Us  is extremely affordable, and we certainly appreciate the support!  Plus there’s no better place in our industry to have your company listed than with us, the #1 website in the world for greenroofs.

– And ordering our  2013 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Wall Calendar is still an inexpensive (only $9.95 including shipping & handling within the U.S.and Canada) and perfect last minute gift to ring in the New Year.

That’s it for now – we’d like to wish you and yours Seasons Greetings & a Happy New Year 2013!

~ Linda V. & all of us here at Greenroofs.com

Greenroofs.com Homepage Redesign: A Feature Breakdown

March 9, 2010 at 7:06 pm

We’ve begun the Greenroofs.com website redesign starting with the Homepage. Our new design is about improving page navigation and making it easier for our visitors to find the content they want.   More white space has been created and we changed the font type and size for better reading.  We also kept in mind that search engines like to have a sense of what role a page plays in the bigger picture of our site, and we think that this has been accomplished.

New Homepage for www.greenroofs.com

HERE’S WHAT’S NEW:

Project of the Week
The Project of the Week section has been moved to the top of the left side in order to attract the first look of our visitors.   Well-documented eyetool analysis has revealed “hotspots” where visitors looked the most on a webpageand people look most at the left top side. This visual image of the featured greenroof project should instigate additional interest and thus a click-through that brings the latest project profile to the forefront in a separate window.   As you probably know, the project profile contains various photos and detailed content describing many important and relevant aspects of the case study.   The data associated with these profiles is administered on our MySQL Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database via PHP scripts.   Our database currently has 1,022 project profiles with many more being added every day. By the way, the content of this database is currently indexed by Google and Google News – which means when visitors search online, the results page will contain links to the data from our database.

The Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database has been open to the world since 2004, evolving from the “International and North American Case Studies” portion of Linda Velazquez’ initial 1999 independent research study.    Read more about how Linda selects the Project of the Week.

The Greenroof Directory
Visitors looking for companies to work with on their projects now have a quick search capability from the homepage, direct to the Greenroof Directory.

The Greenroof Directory is also a MySQL database which contains essential information (contact, products, services, photos, etc.) about Manufacturers, Suppliers, Professional Services, and Organizations in the greenroof industry.

All this information is searchable from the main Directory page and now, for the first time, from our homepage with our new quick search feature.   The most popular main categories are highlighted in this new search box, and you can also access more categories from here, too.

By the way, the content in this directory is also indexed by Google and Google News.

In a guest feature article submitted by Adam Henige, a Web consultant, he states “An analysis of search engine data for 2009 clearly demonstrates a rising trend in the general public’s awareness of and interest in green roofs. Looking at these estimates for a cross section of the most popular general roofing terms and green roofing terms performed on search engines, there was growth in both areas, but by November the monthly search volume had grown only 51 percent for general roofing terms while green roofing terms had grown 155 percent.”

No one knows the secret formula that search engines use in order to optimize  a particular  site and improve rankings, but fortunately for us, we have enjoyed the number one spot in all the top search engines for the most significant keywords in our industry for over 10 years.   In addition to creating lots of organic content on a consistent basis, we also have a high number of sites that consider us a great resource and thus add links back to us, which also improves search results positioning and site PageRank.   So, if you want your company to be found online, make sure you get listed with us (shameless plug!).

Video player
An embedded video player showing the latest videos from our greenroofsTV channel on YouTube has been moved to the top right side for better viewing.   YouTube is the most popular video hosting and sharing service and is owned by Google.   Their service lets users view and upload video files, and in addition to hosting videos, the service lets users rate videos, add comments, and subscribe to their favorite producers.

Public videos uploaded by YouTube online users are selected by us based on their relevance to the greenroof and greenwall industry, and then added to the respective playlist that feed the various video players throughout our entire website.   We encourage all of you to upload your videos to showcase and increase your exposure by sharing experiences, projects, interviews, tours, product demonstrations – with our  marketplace and the rest of the world.

Industry News, ResearchLinks & Industry Support
The extremely long Industry News content that used to be displayed in the  center column has been consolidated to a short list of the latest news with links to a new separate page fully dedicated to all the industry news associated with the greenroof and greenwall community.

The ResearchLinks section on the Navigation Bar has now been replaced simply with Industry, which now houses Industry News, Industry Support  and ResearchLinks.   Industry Support used to be under Greenroofs 101, which was the basis for Linda’s 1999 paper and Greenroofs.com.

Guest Features
You’ll find them now in a highlighted box displaying the latest two features with links to the full articles. If you are an expert on a particular greenroof or greenwall design topic, you may submit your content to our Editor and it will be reviewed for publishing on our site – just email your information to: submissions@greenroofs.com.

NewsLinks
The long list of NewsLinks has also been reduced to a shorter one of the latest few, with links for more news on our page dedicated to all our NewsLinks.   We have also added a section that will highlight a particular event during the month – like the 2010 Olympics, Earth Hour, etc.   Make sure you visit often for all your industry news!

Contributing Editor Columns
Similar to Guest Features, another highlighted section now houses the latest from our contributing editors, prominently displayed within the body of the homepage with links to the respective columns.

Other changes
·
The Google Search Box that allows for searching our entire website is now more visible.

·   The banners on the top and bottom of the page rotate randomly with a fade transition instead of the old slide in a sequential order.   This will allow for all of our advertisers’ banner ads to have equal exposure to our visitors.

·   Social Media icons are now top and center for easy clicks.   Make sure you stay connected with us by following us on Twitter, becoming a fan of our Facebook wall, joining our Greenroofs.com Network group in LinkedIn, subscribing to the greenroofsTV channel on YouTube and our monthly eNewsletter.

·   Finally, the bottom of the page is now filled with small logos from all our sponsors linkable to their respective color brochures in The Greenroof Directory filled with lots of pertinent information about their products and services.

·   The Sky Gardens blog box, Upcoming Events, JobLinks, and our Advertiser Press Releases and are still pretty much in their respective spots, just cleaned up a bit.

We’re still in our tweaking stages, and have a lot more work to do to the rest of our site, but we welcome your feedback for what we have done so far.   Keep us informed of all your greenroof and greenwall happenings, and stay on top of the greenroof world with Greenroofs.com!   We look forward to hearing back from you.