Joe Diffe sang a song called John Deere Green, serving as one among many examples of the prominent place of John Deere farm equipment in the farming sub-culture. We recently uncovered John Deere’s MachineFinder Blog and were pleasantly surprised.
MachineFinder itself is a database of used farm equipment for sale by various John Deere dealers across the United States. Though the blog is simply a branch of the site, it’s a community unto itself. One would expect to find this blog to be one of two things: a collection of long, text-based, keyword-rich pointless articles to gain SEO attention for the site, or a stream of the newest listings in the store. What you’ll find instead is an interesting approach to blogging within a niche.
The Machinery of MachineFinder
The blog is built on Wordpress, which immediately gets it three thumbs up, not so much because of Wordpress itself, but because using Wordpress for such a blog demonstrates an understanding of the friendly relationship between the open source blogging platform and the social web.
Surprisingly Good Content
Having perused so many hundreds of good design blogs, I was surprised to see the similarities in approach that the John Deere bloggers take. Criticize list posts and linkbait if you want, they’ve done a sweet job of emulating this approach on their blog. Just check out 7 Excellent Tractor Pull Images or 8 Incredible Farm Infographics for evidence.
This is the kind of content that can gather enthusiastic adherents around a brand. It demonstrates a connection with the… farm implement subculture, if there is such a thing.
Social Media Integration
MachineFinder is on Facebook and Twitter, but also boasts two other sweet profiles on YouTube and Flickr. Both of these sites allow the brand to use imagery to connect people emotionally with their brand, allow further interaction, and recruit people to spread their identity all over the web. And who doesn’t love watching videos of tractor pulls?
One Simple Suggestion
The blog is nicely designed, integrates well with other media channels, and boasts sweet content. If I could offer one critique from the perspective of a blogger, it would be that I’d love to know who “machinefinder” is. In other words, let us know about the person who is posting content. Let us interact with a face. If Ford Motor Company can have a Scott Monty, Deere and Company could certainly find a John Doe… or… Deere to be the face of the blog.
Awesome job. We’re all green with envy. Any comments from the audience?