In 2012 – 2103, a dedicated and passionate group of people from different states came together to become our National Extension Master Gardener Social Media Team.
We meet monthly via Google+ Hangout’s technology, where we are able to discuss ideas and learn together quite fluidly as we generate ideas, respond to current issues, and discuss our statistics (e.g. Will avid or Extension Master Gardeners find it useful? Should we make it shorter? Add more pictures? Get feedback from Facebook, then write the article? Post it on a certain day of the week?)
Meet the National Extension Master Gardener Social Media Team via Google+ Hangout
This year, we are eager to add more personal experiences to the blog, and to kick off this plan, we’d like to introduce you to a group of people I look forward to hanging out with every month! Below, and in alphabetical order, are the members of our team (click photo to enlarge):
Linda Brandon (not pictured above), a talented writer and EMG volunteer coordinator at North Carolina’s Guilford County Cooperative Extension office, edits blog posts and the monthly update at the drop of hat, which helps the collaborative blogging logistics fall into place.
Emily Eubanks, communications coordinator at UF Center for Landscape Ecology, recently joined our team and provides ideas and ways to support Extension Master Gardeners and programs to use social media to empower learning and communication with the general public.
Mary-Jean Grimes, a WSU Master Gardener volunteer coordinator in Pacific and Grays Harbor counties (Washington) , MJ came to the team not having blogged before. Mary-Jean first jumped in by helping to make new connections to new blog contributors, ideas, and stories. But she now appears to have the ‘blogging bug,’ as she is now capturing and sharing amazing views of Washington and doing some reporting!
Terri James, an Extension Assistant from University of Nebraska and a big supporter of Extension Master Gardeners, is a social media team adviser and rep for the EMG Program National Committee. Terri helps move this social media effort forward with whatever the task may be (posts, leadership, measurement, promotion), but we admire most her ability to find that “just right” Facebook photo or post that ignites and unites discussions among Extension Master Gardeners from across the country.
Karen Jeannette – that is me, a horticulturist/virtual community and content development facilitator of sorts. I help facilitate meetings, consult with bloggers, and help us summarize what we are learning in monthly updates by blogging together as a national Extension gardening network. I also support Extension professionals, like the EMG Program National Committee, and help them work within eXtension to meet their objectives with new connection technologies.
Eileen Kane (not pictured above), a Maricopa County Arizona Extension Master Gardener, was the first to engage our Facebook fans to fuel a blog post on native plants, and she continues to come to meetings full of ideas, like how to make infographics to promote a workshop (see image to the right) or how Extension Master Gardeners can make use of social media to promote face-to-face events like science cafes or plant nerd night!
Maggie Lawrence (not pictured above), an Extension Master Gardener and communications specialist at Auburn University. Maggie knows how to “Go Where the People Are” as she puts science-based gardening information into the hands of the public as Backyard Wisdom, and then shares what she learns with all of us, both during team meetings and through many of the blog posts she’s shared this year (like her recent post on gardening books)!
John Porter, an extension agent for West Virgina University cooperative extension, is a fount of botanical and horticulture information (as we saw in his holiday myth busters edition). He’s captured our attention by sharing blog posts about experiences responding to gardening questions in WV, building community gardens, or participating in events hosted at places like Thomas Jefferson’s residence at Monticello!
Connie Schulz, a Johnson County, North Carolina Extension Master Gardener. Connie thought she signed up to blog, but really jumped in with both feet. First we benefited from her curiosity as she started to report on the world of citizen science, then composting, then local foods. You can tell that through her experience being a gardener and an Extension Master Gardener in different states, Connie “thinks big” about the small details.
Foy Spicer, a horticulturist, and now a Purdue (Indiana) Wabash County Master Gardener. Foy has been marrying the “low tech” (gardens, preserving food,) with the “high tech” (blogging, social media), and she helps us to do the same. She blogs on ‘hot plants” (like skunk cabbage) but also moves us forward to bring gardeners together through ideas and tools like blog hops, and “Linky” tools (as in her dwarf conifers post). Stay tuned for some of these ideas coming to life in 2013.
What’s next for Extension Master Gardener Social Media Team in 2013?
Our Extension Master Gardener team is really just winding up. This year, expect to see more interviews with our team, other contributors, extension master gardeners, and partners of the extension master gardener program.
We also plan to engage in more discussions about gardening, the resources we are using, new fascinating biochar research from a bioenergy project, and available online learning experiences (e.g. webinars, courses, etc).
Thank you to all who tune in on a monthly basis. We hope to connect with you in one of several places:
eXtension Consumer Horticulture Community Development