by Susan Harris
I recently surveyed video how-to sites – About, Expert Village and View-Do – and concluded that at least their gardening content is pretty bad. (And how about the name View-Do itself? Ick!) The UK’s Videojug has more professionally made gardening videos but I found them so dang unfamiliar – dare I say foreign? – that I wondered whether gardening information is really exportable. The more local the better, I say.
So remember when I told the story of taping a gardening video and feeling so relieved when it was over? Well, the next thing I heard from the video company was: Can you do a few more? Just clear my schedule for the next couple of months? Not gonna happen. So I volunteered instead to be their gardening editor – choosing the topics and finding the experts. Doesn’t that sound like fun? After seeing the quality of the videos and meeting the gang at Knowlera Media I was psyched to use their production staff and marketing campaign to provide some much-needed high-quality, free instruction in ecogardening. Think composting, mulching, pruning, organic lawn care, the growing of food, and dozens of other worthy subjects. So gang, I need your help.
What information does the public need, anyway? So far, we have experts for tree care, pruning, orchids, planting a container garden, composting, and sustainable gardening, all for temperate climates. But all of North America is the target audience, so we need videos about growing tropicals in South Florida, xeriscaping in New Mexico, and cold climate gardening. Send me your ideas via email or in a comment.
ARE YOU AN EXPERT? KNOW OF AN EXPERT?
I’m convassing lots of experts in my area – at a nonprofit tree group, local nurseries, Master Gardener programs, public gardens, and a design/install guy I know is great at teaching design. We’re thrilled that Casey Trees is already on board, and hoping that Paul Tukey will do one as part of the Safe Lawns campaign. Kathy Jentz, how about it?
The Pitch: Using the free services of professional video-makers and distributors, nursery horticulturists garner publicity for their employer, gardening professionals attract new customers, garden writers get more speaking engagements, and people in the business of educating the public acquire a tool to do just that. Each video has a link to your Bio just above the viewing screen, which bio contains links to your services and products. Videos will be seen by the public on the heavily promoted site itself, called Monkeysee.com, and on the sites of their experts, putting them to a variety of purposes. For example, gardeners in my area will be able to watch all the videos on the DC Urban Gardener website. The business model here is all win-win.
And no, experts don’t have to look like Martha Stewart or even Martha Wannabees (as I’ve been called, depending on my hairstyle) or like Paul James, much less Matt James, the hot young City Gardener. They just need to have a bit of personality. Energy, humor and passion are big plusses, too.
Here’s the link to a demonstration video. They’re still a bit dark and will be lightened for easier viewing but I hope you can still see the quality that wowed me when I visited their production facility. Will the quality rival that of the domestic diva herself? We can aspire.
NOT IN THE DC AREA? EVEN BETTER
Completely missing from our current line-up are experts from unique growing regions like California, Texas, South Florida and the Frigid North – you know who you are and we need you. For an extra resume-booster, how about volunteering to be, say, the Texas gardening editor? No lie; we need regional editors to recommend topics and experts to meet the needs of gardeners in their area. Videographers near you will be hired.
TOO BUSY YOURSELF? SEND ME NAMES
In a comment or via email. Thanks!