Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Dilemmas of Local Groundwater Information?

Most of what I do in the arena of information dissemination is geared first and foremost to the folks of NW Kansas.  They simply need all kinds of information to make informed decisions about the groundwater resource we have been given the right to manage.  And I see the internet as an extremely effective way to provide that information - it's available all the time, can be (and in the case of our webpage, is) updated regularly and has links to virtually any water information or data anyone in NW Kansas could possibly need.  Our newsletter goes out 6 times a year to these same folks and often mentions our use of a dedicated website, a weblog and twitter for these primo informational opportunities.

Yet, I marvel at the lack of use our folks make of these sources.  Seems the older generation has the stronger desire to understand groundwater and participate in its management, but are not embracing the electronic venues provided.  The younger folks of course jump all over anything e, but don't yet have the interest in groundwater.  Heck, for all our offerings, I've picked up 2 local twitter followers (neither one of which is active today), no local blog followers and a consistently non-local visitation list to our webpage.  We're getting a fair number of hits to all these items - just not who they were created for.

I guess it's going to take a full generation for this to work any better than it is now - waiting until the current youngsters develop the level of interest in groundwater management that motivates them sufficiently.  And of course anyone is welcome to read for enjoyment or use the information we put up, but since this material is not particularly written for non-local and international folks, I often wonder if they get anything out of any of it. 

Maybe I need to get more sophisticated in the preparation and presentation of the material.  If it was absolutely relevant and snappy enough wouldn't the target readers find it?  Yes, it could all be my fault.  Comments or suggestions will be welcomed.

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