• Featured Video:At the 2015 Fuel Ethanol Workshop, Rachel Burton with Novozymes demonstrates a video game learning tool that helps educate ethanol plant workers.
  • ZimmNews – June 5, 2015

    ZimmNews – June 5, 2015

    New Holland Expo Milano 2015 - New Holland hosted agricultural journalists from around the world to CNH Industrial Village in Turin and Expo Milano 2015 in Milan.

    ZimmNews – May 29, 2015

    ZimmNews – May 29, 2015

    2015 World Pork Expo - The 27th World Pork Expo takes place in Des Moines, Iowa. Nearly 20,000 attendees crowd the Iowa State Fairgrounds where over 400 exhibitors are here to share their expertise about the pork industry. Thanks to Boehringer Ingelheim for making our coverage possible.

    ZimmNews – May 22, 2015

    ZimmNews – May 22, 2015

    2015 West Central Coop Press Conference - West Central Coop announced $27 million expansion to their SoyPlus plant in Ralston, Iowa.

    ZimmNews – May 15, 2015

    ZimmNews – May 15, 2015

    2015 Fuel Ethanol Workshop - The 31st Fuel Ethanol Workshop too place June 1-4, 2015 in Minneapolis, Minn.

    ZimmNews – May 8, 2015

    ZimmNews – May 8, 2015

    2015 Alltech REBELation - Over 3,000 rebels gathered for REBELation in Lexington, Kentucky.

Is Your Feed Valid?

Feed ValidatorIf you’re managing any kind of an RSS feed then I hope you know about Feed Validator.

I’ve been using this little web application since I started blogging and podcasting and it has been the biggest help of almost anything I use. All you have to to is enter the url for the feed you want to check and click on the word “Validate.” That’s it.

Either your feed is valid or it’s not. If not then it will tell you exactly where you have a problem and suggest how to fix it. I love simple things that just plain work.

Get The Download From The ADM at ad:tech

Association for Downloadable MediaZimmComm New Media is a charter member of the Association for Downloadable Media and glad to see that progress is being made. I sure wish I could be at ad:tech but I know we’ll be represented by some great people. Check ADM out though:

The Association for Downloadable Media (ADM), formed to focus on best
practices for monetizing consumer-downloaded content, hosts the new Get the Download initiative to be held at the upcoming ad:tech San Francisco show April 16 and 17, 2008. ADM puts the call out to all downloadable media creators, media companies, agencies, publishers and distributors to Get the Download from the ADM.

Get the Download focus areas will appear in several formats at ad:tech including 1) four ADM Forum sessions designed to provide the downloadable media audience with ad standards & guidelines and market insight; 2) an ADM Get The Download booth for added accessibility to the association and its members; and 3) a slick urban roof-top party set to bring out some of the industry’s best creative talents.

Leveraging the association’s charter, the ADM has devised four motivating forum sessions taking place in rooms 130/131 of the Moscone Convention Center. These forum sessions are comprised of information created to better educate on the industry role the association is taking to help advertisers realize more impact for their advertising dollar. Continue Reading…

March ZimmNews

March ZimmNewsThe latest edition of our monthly newsletter, ZimmNews, is now available.

If for any reason you didn’t receive it and would like to then you’ve got choices. You can subscribe to our ZimmNews using this link or you can view an archived version of the newsletter with this one.

This edition of the ZimmNews contains the following sections:

New Media Tip
Where Have We Been
Where Are We Going
What Others Are Saying
Best of the ZimmCast
The AgWired We
Submit Your Questions

Feedback is already rolling in. For example, I’ve already had a new “What Others Are Saying” emailed in as follows:

“Gee, I can even keep up-to-date on my family vacation during Spring Break…if I can avoid my wife and kids killing me for using my Blackberry.”

Loving it in Paradise

Also in this month’s ZimmNews is a coupon for first time users of our AgNewsWire service. I hope you like it and thanks for reading!

Form Your Own Group Via New Media

Here Comes EverybodyI now have a copy of Clay Shirky’s book, “Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations,” in my hot little hands. This book can help you better understand how and why new media communication tools are working. I’ll try to add some thoughts from the book as I read through it.

For starters, let’s look at a statement in chapter one, “. . . forming groups has gotten a lot easier. To put it in economic terms, the costs incurred by creating a new group or joining an existing one have fallen in recent years, and not just by a little bit. They have collapsed.”

Clay’s talking about groups. Any kind of group. Could be farmers. Could be farmers who love green tractors. Could be any group of people you can imagine. Until recently it wasn’t easy or inexpensive to belong to groups much less create and manage them. I suppose you could think of the listeners to a local radio station as a group. But how much does it cost to buy an FCC license and transmit your signal? More than you and I have. Been there, done that.

Today though, using new media tools like blogging or podcasting, which includes social networks like Facebook, I dare say most people can afford to create their own group and have global reach. This is allowing many more groups to exist. It also means companies are having to re-think how they get their message out since there are many new and different channels to do so. It also means they can’t apply the same measurement standards to the tactics they’re using. If they do then they’ll find themselves stuck in the same old, same old and wonder why others are getting ahead of them.

There was a great AP story out last week that focused on how food companies are targeting the writers of niche blogs. It helps illustrate how important this new proliferation of “groups” is becoming. Here’s an excerpt with my own highlighting added:

One blog with a couple of thousand daily readers may not have a huge impact, but marketers can easily reach several such blogs with little effort, said Debbie Weil, a corporate blogging consultant based in Washington. “Companies are paying attention to the concept of lots and lots of tiny little markets. Added up, it’s significant,” Weil said.

The single-minded focus of blogs may be in some ways more valuable than traditional marketing since it’s easier to target an audience, said Daniel Taylor, a senior analyst of digital advertising and marketing for the Yankee Group.

These blogs usually spring from personal obsessions. Abi Jones, for example, started Heat-EatReview.com after nuking countless frozen meals for lunch at the office. Comparing notes with co-workers, she realized there were no resources for people interested in learning about the newest products in the freezer aisle.

Food blogs “may not have the mass reach, but it’s a more engaged, specific audience,” said Greg Zimprich, a spokesman for General Mills Inc. “Their readers are going to care a lot more about a product of ours.”

I know it’s not easy shifting the paradigm of the mass audience to one of multiple niche audiences but think about the value of your investment. I suggest that investing fewer dollars to reach the most motivated or engaged customers may have a greater return that spending huge amounts of money, most of which is reaching people who aren’t interested in your product or message.

Twitter And Tweet Yourself

TwitterI’ve had a Twitter account for almost exactly a year now but just started using it. At first I just didn’t see the point but that’s changed.

You can read a little bit about Twitter in an article on Fox Business.com.

Is Twitter the next big thing or a twempest in a tweepot? Twitter is a free “micro-blogging” service that allows users to send updates, or “tweets” — messages of up to 140 characters that answer the question “what are you doing now?” The updates are kept on the user’s profile page and distributed to friends via text messages, instant messaging, RSS feeds, and other applications.

I see applications for this that probably aren’t exactly what Twitter co-founder Evan Williams had in mind. Consider how you can quickly and easily distribute information from a meeting or an event without having to have your computer or even an internet connection. You can update your Twitter feed via your mobile phone for example. Get started and let your friends and customers know what you’re up to (that you want them to know of course).

Give an iPod With Your Logo

Give an iPodiPods make great gifts both personally and professionally these days. Apple has a program that lets you order iPods with your logo on them in case you didn’t know.

They can be used for any variety of purposes and they’ll even pre-load content onto them for you in the right quantity.

Visit Apple online to learn more or call 1-866-364-2167.

Whether they’re gifts, promotional incentives, training tools, or rewards for a job well done, nothing can create excitement like an iPod, iTunes Gift Card, or iPod accessory. Call today and ask about our special pricing on volume orders.

There’s a 50 unit minimum for iPods. You can also order other products as well.

New Media Training in California

New Media Presentation at Cal-PolyI’m going to be visiting San Luis Obispo and the California Polytechnic State University to do a little new media training this week. Scott Vernon has set up a double session for faculty and students titled, “Exploring the New Media: Using Podcasts to Drive Your Message and Expand Your Reach.”

This is going to be fun. The idea is to “Create Innovative New Ways to Communicate to the Industry, the Public, Prospective Students, Current Students and others!” I’ll be showing how to create podcasts and how we’re seeing podcasts being used in agriculture. This is on behalf of the Agricultural Education and Communication Department.

I know that more and more companies and even those in traditional media are looking for new employees with the skills to create multimedia content for websites and podcasts. These skills were once taught piecemeal but the computer tools of today are changing everything. If your school or staff would benefit from a session on the use of new communications platforms then you know who to call (the Agriblogger and Farm Podcaster).

iTunes Podcast Instructional Video

Podcasts in iTunesIf you’re an iPod newbie and wondering how to subscribe to podcasts so you can carry them around in your iPod then Apple has a great new video for you.

You can find it here.

Keep in mind that there are so many podcasts and new ones being added constantly that you’ll want to search the iTunes podcast directory periodically to see what’s available. You will be amazed at what’s there on just about any subject you can imagine.

Growing Willingness to Try New Media Advertising

Association of National AdvertisersAccording to an Association of National Advertisers survey it looks like advertisers are much more willing to try new ways to advertise and reach their audience or members and that includes new media.

A majority of marketers believe that television advertising has become less effective in the past two years, but marketers are interested in exploring new ad formats and new forms of video commercials, according to the fourth biennial TV & Technology survey conducted by the ANA (Association of National Advertisers) and Forrester Research, Inc. The full survey findings will be revealed at the ANA’s TV & Everything Video Forum on February 28 at the New York Marriott Marquis, Times Square.

Major findings of the study include the following:

* Sixty-two percent of marketers believe television advertising has become less effective in the past two years, but close to half of the advertisers surveyed have already started to experiment with new ad types to work with DVRs and VOD programs. Eighty-seven percent of advertisers believe branded entertainment will play a stronger role in TV advertising in the coming year.
* Advertisers are eager to try new ad formats, including ads in online TV shows (65 percent), ads embedded in VOD (55 percent), interactive television ads (43 percent), and ads within the set top box menu (32 percent)
* Over 50 percent of marketers reported that when half of all TV households use DVRs, they will cut spending on TV advertising by 12 percent.
* Eighty-seven percent of respondents said they intend to spend more on Web advertising this year.
* Seventy-two percent of marketers are very interested in having individual commercial ratings rather than average commercial ratings.

New Media Tidbits

Here’s some interesting items you might want to check on:

1. From the folks at eMarketer: Heard the Latest About Podcasting? Engagement via headphones. Ever since podcasting was introduced, the question has been the same: Will anyone listen? The answer is definitely “Yes.”

2. A new media event listing.