Farms.com Launches Powerful New Version of its Popular Website with New Web 2.0 Personalization Features
Thursday, March 20, 2008 -- Farms.com has become the most advanced software platform in the online agriculture world with the launch of the Web 2.0 version of its website. Farms.com now enables website users to fully customize and personalize its website. This means farm producers and agribusinesses will be able to see -- at one glance -- all of the information they need and want on one home webpage.
Web 2.0 refers to the second-generation of the Internet: The focus is on the creation of communities and social networking solutions that facilitate collaboration and sharing between users. In addition to collaboration, one of the true benefits of Web 2.0 is personalization. Website visitors can now create Farms.com web pages that feature only the information they want to see.
“Essentially, the new version of the website allows users to customize their own page, choosing and organizing the content that most interests them,” says Farms.com Vice President Joe Dales. “Not only does the Farms.com portal allow website visitors to display all of the farming information they need, it also enables visitors to display information they need or want for other aspects of their lives.
“It is very similar to iGoogle, with an emphasis on Agriculture,” explains Dales. “You can display everything from the latest price on crops or livestock, to current agri news, to other areas of personal or business interest – it can all be available at one glance on your own Farms.com home page.”
Farms.com launches its leading edge website portal after more than a year of research, planning and programming. In addition to the ability to customize the portal, Farms.com has also added new features in addition to enhancing popular areas of the website.
In 2007, during a number of Farm Shows, the Farms.com team conducted informal surveys to learn more about the leading internet users in the agriculture community. Of those information technology using farmers surveyed, all had a computer and over 95% used the Internet regularly. The majority of these producers, 60%, said they accessed the Internet several times a day. Between this survey and government statistics, we already knew farmers were accessing the Internet regularly to conduct their business,” continues Dales. “But, we were very interested to learn how farmers were using the Internet. A number of the new features and enhancements to our site were based on the farmer feedback during the survey.”
The producer input and the correlating changes to the Farms.com website portal are listed below:
¨ 84% of producers use the Internet to read about news and issues related to farming; Farms.com has always featured the latest headlines as well as expert commentaries, now visitors can select which news they would like to see. Visitors can also choose specific RSS feeds for information – everything from USDA media releases to university research to updates from not-for-profit groups. The website is also set up to accommodate more rich media – both video clips and audio news.
¨ 81% of producers said they use the Internet to check the weather; the updated version of Farms.com allows this to be easily customized.
¨ 71% of farmers said they search the Internet to research products and services; indeed, 43% of producers said they had purchased agriculture products or services online, mostly supplies, parts and equipment, or genetics. So the Farms.com portal now features a New Products section to help producers stay on top of the latest products and services in the industry.
¨ 67% of farmers use the Internet to check the markets. Farms.com has completely revamped the markets page to provide greatly improved access to information relating to crop and livestock prices, charts and options. Also, Farms.com market pages now deliver more information on specific commodities.
¨ A growing group of producers were also interested in developing social networks so the new Farms.com has improved the discussion forums and developed a more advanced Agri Classified ads feature.
“As an innovator in interactive technology, Farms.com is pleased to be the first online agriculture website to embrace Web 2.0 technology. Farms.com believes Web 2.0 will have a significant impact on web use now and in the future,” concludes Dales
Farms.com Ltd. is a leading provider of innovative information products and services for the global agriculture and food industries. Farms.com can be accessed through its internationally recognized agriculture information portal, which has business services and resources for more than 25,000 agribusiness professionals and livestock and crop producers who use it each day.
The Farms.com Website Portal was developed by the Farms.com Professional Services Team. The Farms.com family also includes AgCareers.com -- the leading human resources website for the agriculture and food industry; and PigCHAMP, Inc. (www.PigCHAMP.com) -- the leading swine industry software and knowledge management company, as well as a Farms.com Risk Management a crop and livestock marketing advisory service to producers across North America. Farms.com operates across North America with offices in Ames, Iowa; Clinton, North Carolina; Fresno, California; and Guelph and London, Ontario, Canada. For more information, visit: www.Farms.com.
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