• Featured Video:Lydia walks us through some beginner steps for using New Holland's Precision Land Management.
  • ZimmNews – Mar 21, 2014

    ZimmNews – Mar 21, 2014

    Norman Borlaug Statue Unveiling - The unveiling ceremony of the Norman Borlaug statue in the Capitol.

    ZimmNews – Mar 14, 2014

    ZimmNews – Mar 14, 2014

    2014 National Ag Day - Chuck and Cindy were both taking part in Ag Day activities in our nations Capitol.

    ZimmNews – Mar 7, 2014

    ZimmNews – Mar 7, 2014

    2014 ACE Biofuels Beltway March - American Coalition for Ethanol Capitol Hill visits and updates,

    ZimmNews – Feb 28, 2014

    ZimmNews – Feb 28, 2014

    2014 Agri-Pulse Farm to Fork Politics - The Agri-Pulse team put together another great farm legislation session at the Senate Hart Bldg.

    ZimmNews – Feb 21, 2014

    ZimmNews – Feb 21, 2014

    New Holland Operation Blue Force 2014 - New Holland brought the ag media in to the same field training offered to dealers from around the country in Bakersfield, CA.

Farm Broadband Doubles

National Agricultural Statistics ServiceSo many of our clients are involved in agribusiness that this was very interesting news. This report from USDA should send a wake up call to any agricultural marketers who still hesitate to place their focus and invest dollars into internet delivered communication strategies targeting farmers.

The latest Farm Computer Usage and Ownership report from USDA’s NASS was posted with very little fanfare but we’re not ignoring it! Here’s a summary of the data from the report with my highlights.

High-speed Internet access methods, such as DSL, cable, satellite, and wireless, have become much more available to Internet users in the farm sector since 2005. The proportion of operators using DSL doubled in 2007, at 27 percent, compared with the 2005 level of 13 percent. Cable, satellite, and wireless were each reported as the primary access methods on 7 percent of those U.S. farms with Internet access; with satellite and wireless methods both at virtually double their 2005 levels. Dialup was again the most common method of accessing the Internet, with nearly half (47 percent) of U.S. farms still using it, down from 69 percent in 2005.

A total of 55 percent of U.S. farms now have Internet access, compared with 51 percent in 2005. Sixty-three percent of farms have access to a computer in 2007, compared with the 2005 level of 59 percent. The proportion of U.S. farms owning or leasing a computer in 2007, at 59 percent, is up slightly from 55 percent in 2005. Farms using computers for their farm business increased 3 percentage points from 2005 to 35 percent in 2007.

In 2007, 80 percent of U.S. farms with sales and government payments of $250,000 or more have access to a computer, 78 percent own or lease a computer, 66 percent are using a computer for their farm business, and 75 percent have Internet access. For farms with sales and government payments between $100,000 and $249,999, the figures are: 70 percent have access to a computer, 66 percent own or lease a computer, 51 percent are using a computer for their farm business, and 61 percent have Internet access. For farms with sales and government payments between $10,000 and $99,999, 62 percent reported having computer access, 57 percent own or lease a computer, 36 percent use a computer for their farm business, and 53 percent have Internet access.

For crop farms, 64 percent have computer access and 37 percent use a computer for their farm business in 2007, up 4 and 3 percentage points from 2005, respectively. Internet access for crop farms has increased to 56 percent in 2007, compared to 52 percent in 2005. For livestock farms, 62 percent have computer access and 55 percent have Internet access. The use of a computer for farm business has increased to 33 percent for livestock farms, up 3 points from 2005.

I’m a New Member of The ADM

Association for Downloadable MediaMembership is now open in the Association for Downloadable Media and I’m joined. I’ll also join the Association of Podcasters & Online Media Producers when it gets ready. I’m hoping to meet some of the people involved in these startup groups out at the Podcast and New Media Expo.

So why join and especially since they haven’t done anything yet? Because it’s a chance to get in at the beginning and have a voice and hopefully access to information that will help us and our clients. One of the things I can already sense is the need in this ADM to address niche topic/audience producers. When I joined they asked me to check a range of how many downloads my podcast gets in a month. The first choice was 1 – 50,000 and then they went higher! I don’t know about you but I don’t see this medium as a mass medium necessarily. In fact, if all they’re going to focus on is podcasting or other downloadable media content that’s just out to see how many downloads they can get then I think they’ll not only be making a mistake but missing out on what most of us are doing.

I produce podcasts for niche audiences. If my program is targeted to 40 people and I’ve got 40 downloads then I might be reaching my total audience. I don’t care about having thousands of downloads. It’s not just the total number of downloads but who those downloads represent.

So, it’s going to be interesting to see how this evolves. The traditional media buyers and agencies are so metric driven that they tend to overlook the quality of the audience. When you’re used to measuring CPM but now have a buy option that is only going to reach the target audience with no waste the numbers get a lot smaller but the message is making a much bigger impact and the cost is probably a lot lower. Of course then you have to ask, “How do I make a living on small buying fees/commissions?” Good question.

ZimmNews For July

The latest issue of ZimmNews is now out. Feel free to download the full Word doc. Here’s an excerpt:

Keep an eye on AgWired this coming week to see and hear all about what’s going on in Louisville at the annual gathering of the AAEA, LPC, ABM, NACT, IFAJ and ARC. It’s an alphabet soup of a gathering. Chuck will be enlightening people on the subjects of Blogging for Business and Podcasting for Publishers.

New Media Tip: One of the things we get asked about most is the comment feature on blogs. It can be very scary to some and disappointing to others. What if someone writes something negative? What if I don’t get many comments? The list goes on and on. If you’re not writing in a confrontational style or about a controversial subject then you may not receive many comments. Most people don’t take the time to write. It’s kind of like people calling a talk show on the radio. The percentage of those listening who do is miniscule. Keep in mind that one of the benefits of business blogging is that you’re putting a more personal face on your business and your customers or members will appreciate that. You also need to know that with a blog you have complete control over commenting. You can set your blog up so that the only comments that are made public are approved by you. You can even edit them before approving them! And of course you can delete them. By allowing people to post comments you’re inviting them into “the conversation.” That’s part of what this is all about. If you’d like to know more about this aspect of blogging just give Chuck a call. Here’s a real helpful link to Lifehacker with suggestions for posting blog comments.

And Another New Media Organization

After the Association for Downloadable Media was announced another group showed up and one I’m interested in. The working name for it for now is the Association of Podcasters & Online Media Producers. The man behind helping get this one going is Scott Bourne, president of Podango Productions.

If you’re interested in joining in then send an email to: info@podcastingtricks.com I’ve already done so and hope to meet Scott and others who are involved in the daily production of podcasts at the upcoming Podcast and New Media Expo.

I’ll be posting here from the show so if you’re not going never fear. I’ll keep you up to date.

Association for Downloadable Media Formed

Association for Downloadable MediaHere’s a new group that’s just being formed to address standards with downloadable media like podcasts. It’s the Association for Downloadable Media. The initial mission statement is:

To provide leadership in and organization of advertising and audience measurement standards, research, education and advocacy to all those involved in portable media (Podcasts/ATOM/RSS media enclosures) across the Internet, iPods, MP3 players, mobile devices, P2P and other upcoming platforms.

Here’s an excerpt from their news release earlier today:

Industry leaders from the podcasting community announced today the formation of the Association for Downloadable Media (ADM). The goal of the ADM is to develop standardization of audience measurement and advertising for downloadable media. The ADM will focus primarily on the world of podcasting, downloadable media and portable content monetized by advertising and sponsorship. The ADM will create a landscape that facilitates the commercialization of this growing audience.

The purview of the ADM includes revenue generation from advertising and sponsorships of podcasts, vodcasts (aka vidcasts, video podcasts, or vlogs), and other audio/video digital content distributed via RSS, ATOM, peer-to-peer, mobile devices, downloads from Web sites and other platforms to come.

The organization has been formed to focus specifically on any content downloaded by consumers, and will work in collaboration with related industry organizations, publishers and agencies such as the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and the American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA).

Great idea and I’ve already submitted my name to be one of the first to join as soon as membership is available.

Adding Up The Days

As we continue to develop and refine our event blogging services I just thought I’d look at how many days I’ve spent on the road doing this so far this year.

As of right now I’ve spent 67 days on the road doing event blogging and Cindy has spent about another dozen. That’s quite a few and I think shows how interested companies and organizations are to have the story of their event unfold as it happens on their website or on one of ours.

I can go into so many reasons why this makes sense but I think I’ve done that before (search engine optimization, multi-media content, direct customer/member communication).

You can see examples of my most recent trip on Appaloosa Blog Spot from their National Show that just concluded in Oklahoma City. In 3 days I post 22 times on their site. Those posts contained 18 audio interviews, 1 YouTube video and an online photo album containing 155 high quality digital photos.

A New Media Bibliography

Here’s a link to an interesting list of links on the subject of New Media. It’s on Poynter Online.

It’s done by Poynter Institute librarian Dave Shedden who’s also put together a timeline of New Media that goes back to 1969.

If you really want to learn more about this new media thing and get some different perspectives then take a little time to surf through some of his links.

iPhone Mania in Mid-Missouri

iPhone ManiaI have absolutely no idea what Steve Mays (left) did to this poor tv cameraman to elicit this expression and I don’t want to know.

I think it’s just part of the wackiness that’s become iPhone-Mania.

See a lot of coverage of this historic event in the news.

Here’s a video Steve did this morning which includes an interview with Mr. Number One In Line:

I’m sure Steve will have more posted on his site later.

This is outside the local AT&T store here in Jefferson City, MO. There were people lined up even here to get their iPhone before anyone else. I think the store kind of overdid it on the security thing. They were locked up tight with a police guard outside. At 6pm they let in the first nine people. You can iPhone Maniasee number one going in this photo. Then they locked it back up again.

One of the reporters outside said that a customer stopped by to pay her bill but they wouldn’t let her in. Now that’s crazy.

While I was standing there taking these pics a guy who looked like the store manage walked up in an AT&T logo shirt. Even he had trouble getting in. He wouldn’t do an interview either.

iPhone ManiaI stopped first at another local AT&T authorized dealer and they said Apple wouldn’t send them phones for today’s launch. Why?

I need to buy one for the winner of a drawing we held in our trade show booth at the National Agri-Marketing Association convention a few months ago. I’m not standing in any line to wait though.

So why should you care? Apple is going to revolutionize mobile content delivery. That means the information and way you communicate with your clients. Think about it.

I did go to the Apple Store just now and got this message saying I need to come back later. I guess that’s what I’ll do.


ZimmNews is the monthly electronic update of all things ZimmComm New Media. If you’d like to be added to the list to receive it please send me an email.

If there is one word to describe ZimmComm this year it would be BUSY! And we LOVE it! Our clients are just fabulous to work with and even though we are working hard we are really enjoying our safari in this new media frontier.

So, what have we been doing lately? For one, we have a few more contract part-timers helping us out. John Davis, a 20-year veteran broadcast news reporter, has been posting on Domestic Fuel since January. He has been a great help. Also, a new media world professional by the name of Laura McNamara is now trained to help us with on-site events with photography, interviews and posting. She helped out with the Indy 500 and quickly became an event blogging pro!

Where have we been lately? Since NAMA, we’ve been to Dallas, Memphis, Atlanta, Kansas City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Des Moines, Lexington, Indianapolis, Ontario, Nashville, Washington DC and a soybean field near Laddonia, MO. Some of the highlights include – interviewing Jay Leno, using a BIG boy lens to shoot some awesome photos at the Indy 500, covering the Country Music Association Music Festival, and watching soybeans grow.

Watching soybeans grow? Yeah – you’ll read more about that on AgWired in the weeks to come.

Where are we going? Upcoming trips include: the Iowa Corn Indy 250, the Fuel Ethanol Workshop in St. Louis, the National Appaloosa Horse Show in Oklahoma City, the Cattlemen’s Beef Board summer meeting in Denver, the Ag Media Summit in Louisville, American Coalition for Ethanol in Minneapolis, Farm Progress Show, and IFAJ in Japan.

Ag Media Summit will feature two ZimmComm workshops – Blogging for Business and Podcasting for Publishers.

Sponsor opportunities – currently available for Ag Media Summit, ACE, Farm Progress and IFAJ. Be our sponsor for online coverage of these events on our websites and receive the kind of coverage described below. You have access to all the content we create to use for your own post-event purposes which can include your newsletter, website, commemorative DVD’s, custom loaded iPods, etc.

Updated rate cards – now available for DomesticFuel, AgWired and World Dairy Diary. Please contact Chuck and he’ll send you one and a custom proposal if you’d like.

Some recent event coverage summaries:

Indy 500 – 52 posts (2 websites), over 1,000 pictures, 1 online photo album (222 photos), 25 audio interviews
CMA Music Festival – 34 posts, 635 pictures, 1 online photo album (236 photos), 1 online slide show w/music (79 photos), 11 YouTube videos, 19 audio interviews
Propane Days – 12 posts, 38 pictures, 1 YouTube video, 9 audio interviews

ZimmNews is being emailed to over 1,600 of Chuck’s agricultural marketing industry contacts. These are very influential people in the biz. Hey, you’re getting it aren’t you? If you’d like to sponsor ZimmNews let Chuck know and he’ll work out a sweet deal!

That’s all for this issue of ZimmNews.

Webware 100 Awards Shows WordPress on Top

Webware Top 100When it comes to Web 2.0 tools I know it’s easy to get confused with all the choices out there. Early on I picked WordPress as the online personal publishing platform of choice and apparently I made a decision a lot of people agree with. All our sites so far, either owned or for clients, have been built using this great tool. WordPress just came in first in the publishing category in Webware’s Top 100 Awards.

These are the best Web applications there are. We know because you told us. Over the course of 20 days in May and June, the community of Webware.com users voted for its favorite Web applications. These are the results: the top 100 Web apps, 10 in each of 10 categories, determined by Webware readers and the fans of the sites that made the final cut.There were more than 5,000 nominations for sites to be included in this awards program, which Webware’s editors pruned to a list of 250 finalists. Users then voted on those finalists–there were 489,467 votes cast.

In the media category two of my favorites came in at the top, YouTube and Flickr. Here’s where you can see all of the top 100.