ACDC News – Issue 15-03

Text mining and competitive analysis of social media in the food industry

A recent issue of the International Journal of Information Management featured use of text mining in competitive analysis of social media used by the three largest firms in the pizza industry.

Results led the researchers to observe, “As more and more businesses established a social media presence, it becomes necessary for companies to monitor their own social media presence as well as that of their competitors.”

They offered four recommendations for companies interested in monitoring social media and developing strategies for competitive analysis. You can view the article here .

 Sampling of new agricultural communications research in JAC

The Journal of Applied Communications serves as a major source you can use to keep up with current research in agricultural communications. Here are sample topics addressed in the final issue of 2014:

“Productive pinning: a quantitative content analysis determining the use of Pinterest by agricultural businesses and organizations” by Jessie Topp, Scott Stebner, Lana A. Barkman, and Lauri M. Baker.

“The critical target audience: communicating water conservation behaviors to critical thinking styles” by Laura M. Gorham, Alexa J. Lamm, and Joy N. Rumble.

“Exploring agriculturists’ use of social media for agricultural marketing” by Danielle White, Courtney Meyers, David Doerfert, and Erica Irlbeck.

“An examination of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists’ involvement in agriculture knowledge mobilization” by William Nelson, David Doerfert, Courtney Meyers, Matt Baker, Cindy Akers, Masaru Yamada, Teruaki Nanseki, and Owen Roberts.

“Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association members’ preferred sources of animal health information” by Patrick R. Allen, Traci L. Naile, Tom A Vestal, and Monty Dozier.

You can read these and other recent JAC articles on their website .

Ag comm students learning through field study

The Academic Interest Group of the Association for Communication Excellence (ACE) recently published a case report about a 2013 study-away experience for agricultural communications students.  Courtney Meyers, faculty member at Texas Tech University, reported how she and Shannon Arnold of Montana State University took 22 students to Washington, D.C. for a week.  They offered seven tips for organizing and carrying out a study away experience.

You can read the report on their WordPress site .

Who is tweeting what about nanotechnology?

A recent web metric analysis of more than 24,000 tweets on nanotechnology found individuals more active than the official channels/representatives of scientific institutions and organizations.  Researcher G. A. Veltri also found nanotechnology not so much an object of conversation on Twitter as a channel of diffusion for the new technology.

Most of the tweets involved news of nanotechnology events or applications for medical research and consumer goods. Veltri found little emphasis placed on resources to understand the science and technology involved and relatively little tweeting (15%) about concerns and opposition to nanotechnology.

You can read this article in the journal, Public Understanding of Science , here .

Saturday mail loss stings worst in small towns

Tonda Rush, CEO of the National Newspaper Association, makes a case for maintaining Saturday delivery of mail. In a recent commentary, Rush emphasizes the special importance of newspapers published and delivered on Saturday in small towns.

“The Postal Service says the public supports dropping Saturday delivery.  But whether the public is aware of the risks to the economy, particularly in small towns, is debatable.  For most, the mail is taken for granted, even in a world where texts and e-mails have long since overtaken mail’s immediacy.  Mail still supports more than $1 trillion in economic activity, according to a biennial study of the Envelope Manufacturers Association. And mailers pay for USPS, not the general public.”

You can read the commentary on the National Newspaper Association’s site .

Need a reference about food and drink?

If so, you may find just the information you need in The Diner’s Dictionary: Word Origins of Food and Drink . It was written by John Ayto and published by Oxford University Press (Second Edition, 2012).

From the term “Abernethy biscuit” to “zwieback,” the 405 pages feature a rich and global gastronomical stew of engaging descriptions and histories.

Helping you scout for information you can use

Your busy schedule may not permit you to review dozens of sources for information about the communications aspects of agriculture in all its dimensions.  You track sources in your special area of interest. Beyond that, you can rely on ACDC staff members to watch for other information that may serve you. For example, here are a few of the wide-ranging journals from which we have recently gathered information for the ACDC collection:

  • Media, Culture and Society
  • Public Understanding of Science
  • Biological Conservation
  • Beef Issues Quarterly
  • Development in Practice
  • Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics
  • Appetite
  • UN Chronicle
  • Journal of African Media Studies
  • Ryerson Review of Journalism
  • College English

Communicator activities approaching

April 14-17, 2015
“Growing Greatness,” Agri-Marketing Conference, National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA), in Kansas City, Missouri.

April 26-28, 2015
Annual meeting of North American Agricultural Journalists (NAAJ) in Washington, D.C.

April 27-May 1, 2015
Annual conference of the Association for International Agricultural and Extension Education (IAIEE) in Wageningen, The Netherlands.

April 27-29, 2015
“Washington Watch” of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB) in Washington, D. C.

 Pet detective at work

We close this issue of ACDC News with another award-winning entry in the 2014 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. The English Department of San Jose State University sponsors this online competition in bad opening sentences to imaginary novels.  This agriculture-oriented entry from Howie McLennon of Ontario, Canada was named winner in the “Vile Puns” category:

Pet detective Drake Leghorn ducked reporters at the entrance to the small hobby farm and headed down to the tiny pond where a lone goose was frantically calling for her mate and he wondered why – when so many come to look upon the graceful mating pair – why would someone want to take a gander?”

You can read other honored entries in the 2014 contest at

Best wishes and good searching

Please pass along your reactions, suggestions and ideas. Feel free to invite our help as you search for information. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @ACDCUIUC . And please suggest (or send) agricultural communications documents we might add to this unique collection. We welcome them in hard copy (sent to Ag Comm Documentation Center, Room 510, 1101 S. Goodwin Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801) or in electronic format sent to