Growing Blueberry Knowledge via Social Networks


Attaway, A. D., B. Clark, and N. A. Hummel. 2012. Growing Blueberry Knowledge via Social Networks. International Journal of Fruit Science. Special Issue: Proceedings of the 11th North American Blueberry Workers Conference. 12: 342-349. DOI: 10.1080/15538362.2011.619453

ABSTRACT:

The All About Blueberries Community of Practice (CoP) is being built to guide blueberry producers in the southeastern region of the United States in methods to maximize productivity, decrease production costs, and increase the marketability of their crops. A CoP is defined as blueberry producers—both backyard and commercial—distributors and consumers, both adult and youth. The CoP is incorporating the best existing extension publications and developing new research-based extension recommendations related to blueberry production and consumption. The primary goal is to increase blueberry production and consumption of blueberries. The general public is inundated with information via the World-Wide Web. According to a survey by http://www.netcraft.com, 132,469 websites were added each day in 2009. The number of active websites increased by more than 300% between 2005 and 2009. For this project, Google alerts are being used to notify the CoP of blueberry information as it is posted online. The information is then summarized and posted to a WordPress blog. Postings on the blog are automatically posted to the Facebook fan page and then to a Twitter feed. All of these resources are free to use and free to access. The consumer audience prefers to receive information via a variety of channels, and this allows for optimizing the reach of the project. After the launch of the All About Blueberries site on the http://www.extension.org website, the CoP will transition to sharing the websites posted online as the primary resource of information. The CoP’s goal is to build credibility as expert sources of information via these social networking tools and increase traffic to the extension.org website when it is published.

Full text available at: http://bit.ly/H1eKs9

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