Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Agvocate or Farm Broadcaster?

When I first started this blog, it was because of a conversation with a young lady named Megan. We talked about what happens on the farm, and did it in a fashion that hopefully was interesting to Megan. I tried to follow Megan's lead, and address what she thought was important. To Megan's credit, she was a very intelligent young lady with good questions and comprehension. It made for a really cool conversation. Since that time, I've watched as this part of agvocacy has exploded. That's what I'm using social media for, not exclusively mind you, but for the outreach part of the message. So are others. Folks are trying to reach out. It's a really good thing.
But what is the message?
A recent blog I wrote reminded the ag community that some of the audience is in the lurkers. But are we putting a message out there that they would appreciate?  Several of the folks a follow on twitter are notorious for the amount of tweets that they turn out about all things ag. Huge amounts of tweets. Many of the tweets, only understandable to someone steeped in ag. 
But what if 90% of them mean nothing to someone outside of ag? Is that a problem? We can step into our "farm speak" so easily that it makes it impossible for a non-ag person to follow. Think of some of the terms that we use regularly. Triple stack, ADG, genomics, and multiple links make the messages hard to follow for the non-ag folks in the audience. Not that we shouldn't use those terms, but be aware.
Think about the lurkers when you have an interaction. Are they going to get engaged with you in what you are discussing. Not every conversation needs to be for them, but neither can we afford to forget them.

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