DEPARTMENTS


Dancing to technology's tune

Even if you're not on Facebook, surely you're aware of its reach. But what you might not know about is its "groups" feature.
By Maria Zampini


I am not ashamed to admit that I am a fan of "Dancing with the Stars." I look forward to watching it every week: It's full of people out of their element, not afraid to take on a challenge and try something new. Oh, and I suppose the male dancers aren't too hard to look at, either!

Author Don Miguel Ruiz has said, "Life is like dancing. If we have a big floor, many people will dance. Some will get angry when the rhythm changes. But life is changing all the time."

It reminds me that we all need to step out of our own comfort zones and start dancing to the tune of today's technology.

Y'all know I'm a Facebook user, as I've talked about it several times in this column. Even if you're not on Facebook, surely you're aware of its reach. But what you might not know about is its "groups" feature. I belong to about 10 groups; some are for home gardeners and others are industry-based. Regardless of the type, there are groups of people who have a common concern or passion. It provides an audience of like-minded individuals you can reach out to regarding your shared focus.

I'm always looking for story ideas, so I went to the "Nursery and Greenhouse Production" group, which is described as "A place for growers, propagators, IPM managers, research, academics and allied vendors to discuss production related issues important to them." I posted my April Nursery Insight column and asked what topics they might suggest for future issues.

I received multiple story suggestions, and one in particular caught my eye. Gary Whitehurst of Worthington Farms in North Carolina asked, "How about one on how technology has affected the way nurseries operate." So here are a few thoughts from my FB friends, along with my two cents worth tossed in regarding technology and how the times they are a changin'.

Yes, all this technology in some ways points to instant gratification. But that's the norm for the current - and likely for the future - demographic we're selling to. But there is a generation gap to contend with. The real work is in convincing the boss you need the technology and the company should pay for it. (Maybe you should let your supervisor read this column.)

When people ask me how I'm doing, I'll often reply, "I'm dancing as fast as I can!" I hope you, too, have your dancing shoes on, because keeping up with the evolution of innovation and utilizing it to become more efficient and effective in production, marketing and customer service is one way you can score perfect 10s from your clients.

Maria Zampini is the president of UpShoot LLC. Her company's focus is "living, sharing and supporting horticulture" through new plant introduction representation including LCN Selections. She can be reached at maria@upshoothort.com, and her website is www.upshoothort.com.