I have just read an interesting story on New Media Age about the use of Facebook to launch an application for your company and surprisingly, not every well known brand is successful. I was also flabbergasted to read that "Applications rolled out by top brands such as MTV, Warner Bros and Woolworths were found to have as little as five daily active users." Five users! If I use that a rule then Landscape Juice has blasted off to the moon with my loyal readership. I have just launched this facebook style gardening network so that professional and amateur gardeners can interact, share and learn from each other. Using a platform such as Ning to promote your business in itself is not exactly launching an application but one thing that is very, very clear to me is the level of businesses who start a project and then expect the wave of web 2. to whisk them into the stratosphere without any further or at least very little input. Behind any successful business needs to remain a driven person or group of people who can return to the 'shop' day, after day, after day, with that same passion for their product. I think that this is why so many smaller gardening businesses are so successful because there is a passionate person who is at the helm. One of the reasons you may have joined the Landscape Juice Garden Network is because you are looking for that extra opening or opportunity to deliver something of value to your clients. Part of the secret, and it is often over looked, to making a network successful is self promotion and interactivity. I once made a friend on a financial bulletin board many moons ago and ended up designing their garden in Oxfordshire because of this successful online relationship. You can never be sure where a lead or introduction is coming from and for sure, if you are not active, success is going to be limited. And, that is the reason that I return day in day out to Landscape Juice and try and help. There are other successful sites on the web who are providing an excellent service for information, experience and interaction. Stuart does a great job at Gardening Tips 'n' Ideas and of course on his (fairly) new Blotanical site. What makes Stuart so successful is his ability to present what his readership wants and to a certain extent demands on a daily basis. The demise of so many gardening sites is due, mainly, to the fact that management has enjoyed (at the readers expense I suspect) too much of the good times as web 1. found it's feet but, arrogantly or naively, failed to respond to the demands of what came after. Only today, I have looked at the Gardening Answers site (readers of Landscape Juice will know how critical I have been) only to see that new editor, Geoff Stebbings, has not updated his garden diary since the beginning of January. I was wary at the time that by promoting from within was not the right move because it just means the same train of thought will lead a band of apathy. No disrespect to Geoff because I am sure he is a good guy, but to me, Garden Answers is dead on it's feet. Have you any previous experiences with the value of social media? - add a comment to this post.
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