Thursday, 15 February 2007

My kinda website

An interesting article in yesterday's Guardian about the online growth of the Brit publication Farmers Weekly.

Farmers take online bull by the horns - The Guardian
Farmers Weekly interactive (worth checking out for the banner and pop-up ads alone)

The article looks at the site's traffic spike recently in the wake of an outbreak of bird flu in Suffolk, but also at the bigger picture; how farmers' access to the internet, and broadband uptake in particular, is increasing, and how the Farmers Weekly publishers have been looking to get site visitors to exchange information.

The site has 11 forums (including 'Chicken Chat and Talking Tackle*), in addition to blogs, podcasts and a specialised farming search engine. A sample from the forums:

Is this pheasant male or female help needed again
hi i wonder if someone could help me as i brought a pheasant last year in september and was told it was a female as it was dark brown all over but in the beggining of december last year it started loosing its baby feathers and they grew back brown green blue and also developed the red patch around its eyes and grew very long tail feathers,can the female phesants be this colour or is this male as i have asked around and no one seems to know,i would be very gratefull if you could click on the link and veiw the picture of the pheasant in question and advise me on what it is also what type please,many thanks lisa

Re: is this pheasant male or female
Hi Lisab

No eggs from that one either. You have a pair of cocks.

(cockpheasants as opposed to henpheasants)

regards Jim
BUT, getting back to the point, one of the things I found interesting about the Guardian article was that it also looked at how the Farmers Weekly editorial department got its print journalists online. They sought out 'web evangelists' in each team, and hoped that their enthusiasm would inspire other staff; encouraged staff to blog; and run competitions with cash prizes to get staff to learn new skills - like making clips and posting them to YouTube.

* which is about machinery, not artificial insemination, which was my first thought.
Image: the bird in question.

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