A day in the garden center involves a lot of socializing. By the end of the day you are often tired of socializing, and just want to rest. This is one reason I believe trade organizations have a hard time getting members to the meetings. It's not that we don't want to share information, it's just we are so tired. That's what I like about sharing on the Internet. We can do it in our own way, in the bedroom in our robe or sitting under a tree not having to physically interact. I think the possibilities for interaction amongst similar minded people is so important that it shouldn't be missed. How do we connect?
LinkedIn is a social utility that seems to rank high on search engines. As such it is a great place to start. Many of you already have LinkedIn accounts, and opening a account is easy. I started a group called â€œGarden centers, nurseries, and new media.â€ If you have a LinkedIn account you can simply request membership in the group through my LinkedIn page. It would be great for like minded people to be able to identify one another, and by being in the group makes it that much easier.
As a small agricultural business there are a lot of forces that can be allied against you. It's nice to know you can communicate with others that share your concerns, in a quick and timely manner. It connects you with people in your line of work, and others that have other lines of work that involve garden centers, nurseries, and gardening. Garden writers, trade publications, garden bloggers, nursery owners, managers, employees, wholesale operations, etc. The two binding features of the group are an interest in the business of gardening, and the use of new media. You know who you are, and if you feel it would help you, then join up. This should not be a trade group, but a group of like minded people from across the gardening spectrum. With so many trade organizations, you are surrounded by people who share the same profession, but not necessarily the same philosophy when it comes to social media.
If you don't have a LinkedIn account open one here. Once you have that account head to my home page here. To become a connection hit the yellow "Full Profile" for my page and then hit the "add Trey to your network" button on the top right. Once I have accepted your invitation to connect you will see the groups I belong to. Look for the Felco pruners and scabbard, that's the group's (really cool) logo. Hit that button and follow the instruction's. It's all so easy.
There is nothing for you to do after that. How much you interact with other people is completely under your control. I think you will find once the group gets going, the possibilities are endless. What a great opportunity to interact with others who share our same passions.