The Founder of Agwired.com

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Chuck Zimmerman, founder of http://www.agwired.com, speaks to AGR 399 via Skype last Wednesday.

Chuck Zimmerman and his wife Cindy have been pioneers in the agricultural communications world for years, and their innovation of Agwired.com is one of those pioneering accomplishments that have sent them to expert status. They have revolutionized not only agricultural communications, but also the agriculture industry as a whole with perseverance and haven’t looked back since the creation of their style. Chuck and Cindy are the founders and employees of Zimmcomm Communications, an agricultural communications company that has spread nationally and is a well-known leader in news and event coverage. Chuck and Cindy began their communications journey with degrees in journalism, which quickly developed and helped them form into the social media moguls they are today. They self-taught themselves the vast world of social media and founded one of the first blogs specific to agriculture. For the first couple years they had to educate their potential employers and future clients about what they were doing, and how this would benefit their businesses. For the first two years there were no advertisements or sponsors to be found. The duo now hosts 17 other websites for company blogs and has four online publications that generate income for their household every month. Also, they have turned to social networks that they share blog updates as well as pictures and podcasts about events. One of the main ideas that Chuck shared during his presentation to our class that stuck with me was the fact that his blogs are updated on an average of six times per day. He pointed out that if the blog isn’t up to date and doesn’t have new content, traffic will not come through the server.  Chuck and Cindy have been an inspiration for an aspiring communications students like myself. I am encouraged by their success and hope to have the chance to work with them in the future.

Check out Chuck’s posts and event coverage at http://www.agwired.com!

 

Photo courtesy of: Jamie Bellis Johansen

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The New Generation of Agriculture Media

The first speaker from last week was the managing editor of Ozarks Farm & Neighbor, Lynzee Glass, who is a Missouri State University graduate with a major in agricultural communications. Lynzee spoke about the trials that she has faced with expanding her subscriber base with a Facebook page for her business. Her main issue was the demographic for her newspaper: middle aged farmers who more than likely don’t have a Facebook page. She has overcome this by posting not only funny pictures and random facts, but news storieofns that are unable to make to publish on time. She also talked a lot about freelance writing for Ozarks Farm & Neighbor, which as a communications major, would be beneficial. Lynzee also gave us a really good example of networking in a real-life application. She told us the story of how she ended up at Ozarks Farm & Neighbor which summarized briefly consists of her previous editor living next door to her current employer and them talking about her skills and work. The last two things that I really enjoyed about Lynzee’s talk is about how she used social media to reach a lot of different ages: funny pictures and the highlights on area farms.

Here is a link to Ozark Farm & Neighbor’s Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ozarks-Farm-Neighbor/74488561543?ref=ts&fref=ts

The second speaker was Christy Diebold, who handles marketing for Springfield Leather Company. She is the teacher’s assistant for our class, and she gave a presentation on social media and how she built her page. I took a lot from this presentation because I am just beginning to build a Facebook page for my place of business (which doesn’t have many followers yet). I thought that Christy gave good advice about Hoot Suite, a software program that can be used to schedule posts and gives insight to how your page is being used. Another thing Christy touched on is the fact that she has no budget to build the page or advertise for Springfield Leather Company. She has built her page to over 1,000 likes through pictures and posts. Something I especially took away is the weekly saga with the chihuahuas and the video series. I think that that was a very innovative idea that keeps people coming back to the page looking for new posts. Lastly, she has a lot of good ideasslc for the website and incorporating what is on the website with what is on Facebook was a good idea as well.

Here is a link to Springfield Leather Company’s Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/SpringfieldLeatherCompany?fref=ts