|Authors: ||J.R. Clark, F. Miller, A. Jecmen|
|Keywords: ||Rubus subgenus Rubus, small fruit breeding, internet, primocane fruiting|
The dissemination of information on new blackberry cultivar developments has changed substantially in recent years.
Many years ago, the primary means of sharing information on new cultivars were limited to grower meetings, published factsheets, reports or proceedings, nursery catalogs, and other print sources of media.
As internet resources developed, the internet became a primary source of information about new cultivars and recommendations.
Most universities have used this method in some fashion.
The University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture first began using the internet to provide new cultivar information in the early 2000s, using mainly short written descriptions of cultivars and one or more pictures.
Likewise, nurseries developed similar web-based approaches for cultivar promotion.
In 2013, the first utilization of YouTube videos was undertaken to provide additional exposure for the University's blackberry cultivar releases.
The videos ranged from 1.5 to 3.0 min in length, and included views of the fruit and plants of each cultivar along with narration highlighting the major attributes of each.
Portions of the instrumental “Blackberry Freedom” were used to introduce and end the videos, an original music composition provided for these productions.
The videos were posted between July 3 and 24, 2013. The cultivar videos proved to be the most popular of the video series of the University's Agricultural Experiment Station, far out-numbering other crops and topics in number of views.
As of May 18, 2015, the most popular of the five was 'Prime-Ark® Freedom' with 6352 views.
Total views nearly doubled in early 2015 for all cultivars totaling just over 24,000 by May 18. This method of communication has increased exposure for the cultivars and added a new dimension to information sharing from the breeding program.
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