Interesting post at Garden Rant from Amy Stewart, titled, "Dear eHow: Please Go Away". The post is how site's like "ehow,Â Suite 101, Ask, LoveToKNow, HowStuffWorks, InfoPlease, About, Examiner, GardenGuides, AllExperts, Mahalo, Answers, Life123, ezinearticles, essortment", etc., areÂ "increasingly crowding out real, useful information written by people who actually know how to do something.Â The developers--and the algorhythms--behind these sites are so good at making them climb to the top of search results that, for many topics, especially in a how-to, service-y area like gardening, they're practically all you get." Apparently "a computer determines what search terms people are searching for, and how much advertisers will pay for particular keywords, and then it proposes a list of topics for which it needs articles written." The Internet has become very crowded with information on just about every subject. Â It'sÂ becomingÂ harder for people toÂ separateÂ the really useful information from information just designed to sell you something. It's like finding that needle in the haystack. You know it's there somewhere, but do you have the time or energy to find it? As this trend continues people will have to find their own "trusted" sources ofÂ information. With gardening, that trusted source of information may become the garden center down the road. They have their own blog, Facebook page, and maybe even a Twittter account. You know the folks writing the blog at that garden center, and have learned to trust them over the years. Now when it's time to find information on gardening, where better to turn? Of course this only works if the garden center or nursery has a social media presence. This has huge potential for the forward thinkingÂ gardenÂ center, as well as garden writers and others interested in making a living in gardening.Trust is the new currency on The Internet. Who are you getting that information from? Do they know what they are talking about? Are they there for you if have follow up question?
It's like finding an honest mechanic. Once you do, you hold on for dear life. Once you find that trusted source of garden wisdom, you'll hold on and tell your friends about that amazing place. I would think that it now becomes imperative to have someone on staff that is in charge of your social media efforts. That person will become the face of the garden center and it's chief information officer. That person will become one of the mostÂ importantÂ people on staff. Think about it. You use to have to react to the information that was being presented through various media channels. Now you present the information through your own media channel. You become the trusted source of garden information. You have your own "gardenÂ writer" on staff, your own garden magazine, and maybe even your own garden TV channel.Â The garden center now becomes more than just a place to buy plants. It becomes it's own gardening network. It's going to happen, it's just a matter of who's first in your neck of the woods.