Welcome to Sacramento Digs Gardening

We’ve made our proprietary content management platform available for fellow publishers.

PUBLISHED SEP 7, 2022 12:00 A.M.
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Dig into daily tips provided by two master gardeners.

Dig into daily tips provided by two master gardeners.   Photo by Vitalii M, Shutterstock

Part of our mission is to support the local journalism being produced in communities across the state.

As we’ve developed relationships with local “tiny” newsrooms consisting of 1-3 people, it’s become clear that one of the most common pain points boils down to publishing on the internet.

Using a “consumer-friendly” platform such as Wordpress presents a steep learning curve to acquire and register a domain name, install the template and style elements, and then all the various plugins. Keeping it maintained and secure can be time consuming and daunting.

Even as a software coder with decades of experience, I’ve found the last couple years of developing NewsOS, our proprietary content management system, to be an ongoing education in the ephemera of the internet. I’m learning a lot about things like search engine optimization, or how to control the ways NewsOS content “unfurls” when posted to Twitter and Facebook, or is displayed in Google search results. I’m learning how to format a newsletter that doesn’t get filtered into the spam box. The list is endless.

My partners started suggesting that I consider making NewsOS available as a platform to other newsrooms to publish content to the internet under their own branding. I resisted for a long time because it’s a big project, and none of our colleagues had expressed a desire.

Then one day, Mike, our publisher, introduced us to Debbie Arrington and Kathy Morrison, veteran Sacramento area journalists who had started a gardening blog with a devoted following called Sacramento Digs Gardening. Mike had shown them California Local and they decided they wanted to move off their old platform and onto NewsOS.

Sacramento Digs Gardening is a beautiful product, and over the last four years they have not failed once in their commitment to publish a new article every single day. On Saturday, they post a Check List of tasks in the garden for the week ahead, and on Sunday, a delicious recipe. Articles throughout the week educate about plant care, highlight upcoming events or otherwise inform local gardeners in their craft. A newsletter digest is emailed with the article of the day every afternoon.

After meeting with Kathy and Debbie, it became clear that NewsOS was well suited for both their current blog and their plans to expand their offerings. So we spent the month of August working on NewsOS and on September 1, Sacramento Digs Gardening became our first publishing partner.

You can find them at sacdigsgardening.californialocal.com; drop by and be sure to subscribe to their daily email newsletter.

We’re excited to have Debbie and Kathy on board and look forward to helping them grow. Members and visitors of California Local and Sacramento Digs Gardening might look forward to a future “Ask a Master Gardener” online discussion forum, an interactive map of local public gardens, or, given their vast collection of recipes, cookbooks!

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