The researchers and educators working on manure issues for eXtension don’t stop with webcasts and a Web site. They use Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia and other venues to get information out to the public.
Jill Heemstra, Livestock Poultry Education Learning Center (LPELC) coordinator, says the eXtension group put the word ‘manure’ into Google search to see what came up. Wikipedia was high on the list so she put a link to the animal manure management eXtension home page, http://www.extension.org/animal_manure_management, in the Wikipedia article. Shortly after that, Wikipedia became the number six “referrer” to their information.
The eXtension group went back to searching and found more Wikipedia topics they could add credible information, edit information and add links.
You won’t find a page on the LPLEC on Wikipedia but you’ll find the LPLEC and state resources linked from these Wikipedia topic pages:
• Anaerobic digestion
• Animal feeding operation
• Environmental impact of agriculture
• Livestock’s long shadow
• Nutrient pollution
• Poultry litter
• Vegetative treatment system
Within six weeks after the expanded effort, Wikipedia became the top Web site sending referral traffic to the LPELC. According to Heemstra, “The amount of time expended was very low compared to the amount of impact this has had. The first link I placed probably took 15 minutes. The collective effort of those that placed additional links was probably in the range of 5-10 hours. The advertising value alone should encourage others to consider placing links to relevant eXtension Web pages they author in appropriate places on Wikipedia.”