Social Media Goes Farming

In October, 2008, Successful Farming, a Meredith publication, launched a social networking site called Farmers for the Future.

In just three months, the site has about 1,000 profiles. Now this is nothing to give Facebook pause, but it does further illustrate how the Web continues to evolve into a niche marketplace. Here’s what I mean.

AOL once ruled supreme. Now there are hundreds of internet service providers.

GoogleYahoo and MSN were kings for search. Now there are niche search engines appearing everywhere. A search engine for blogs, Technorati or a search engine for Ebay called Auction Mapper.

Social Media began with Fark.com of all places. Then social networks emerged on sites like Friendster, and Classmates.com.

Then MySpace created a place where teens wanted to be and Facebook created a place that everyone wanted to be. The success of Facebook isn’t only based on the idea that everyone wanted one place to meet, they capitalized on allowing companies to create fan pages and people to create groups. Essentially, we build our own niches within their platform.

So along comes Farmers for the Future who positions the site as a “…network (that) provides resources to help young and beginning farmers succeed.”  This is a place for for young farmers to interact with each other.

What’s smart about this move is that that Successful Farming realized that the 65 year old farmer wasn’t likely to join a social media site (yet) and so they target young people. They offer some of the features that people like best about other social media platforms; custom templates and background colors, photos, videos and a blog feature.

The only miss I see is in the application area. They have the typical music apps and super poke stuff. For this group, I would think weather reports and markets applications would make more sense and probably give the site a little more stickiness. All of these apps are created by third parties, so maybe Farmers of the Future should develop some of their own.

I joined Farmers for the Future this morning, but don’t plan on farming and don’t really know any young farmers. If you use the site, I’d love your comments or the friend request.

Author: Josh Fleming