Thank you for the information

A big thank you to all of the 29 people that took the survey I mentioned both in the last post and also on Facebook a few times, if you would like to do the survey and haven’t yet, here is the link to it.

While asking your customers what they want, like and don’t like is standard practice for large businesses out there, for someone running a website in his spare time on a hobby it can be quite a nerve wracking thing.

But this survey helped cement some ideas I had, gave me valuable feedback, and gave me new ideas of other things to possibly do.

I kept it anonymous as I didn’t need to know who answered what, and I wanted people to be open to say what they wanted, but what I will do in this post is pick some of the more interesting comments that came up in the survey and give my response to them, keeping things open for everyone to see.

Please comment

What I would like is if there is something you agree/disagree with or want to add your own 2 cents, then please leave a comment at the bottom of the post, with the shiny new comment interface it is now easier to have a discussion within the comments section.

And with that, in no particular order here are some of the comments I received:

We need some one in NZ to hold an official record of all the giant records not just pumpkins eg sunflowers giant beet root giant marrow giant carrots and more

This is a great idea, especially as a lot of the well established A & P shows around the country do have categories for these sorts of things, plus it could branch out into existing competitions held around the country.

I feel a big seed company or something along those lines would be the best fit with resources and money to achieve this, and also have some clout behind them to get everyone on board.

I have entertained the idea of having information up about other giant vegetables you can grow though.

The thing I value about websites is privacy – I don’t like being tracked online.

I hear you on that one, there is a lot of data collected about everyone online these days at a sometimes scary level. The most data I collect on people is from The Pumpkin Post Newsletter signup form, I look after that information seriously and never have and never will share that with any third party.

Grower reports. I think you should contact every one who grows over 600 kg and get a full report like the ones they do in the northern hemisphere. We should be willing to share our info like they do.

Contacting growers and getting the information are almost two different things it seems, but yes if people are willing to share their information to help out other growers I am all for it, even if you only have bits and pieces written down on a piece of paper or it’s in your head, I can help get it into a PDF etc and produce a report for you. Just get in touch if this is something you would like to discuss.

Growers who go over 1500 lb reports soil tests plant size distance on main spray program fertilizer program. I’d be happy to share this if my pumpkins don’t split.

This ties in with the comment above it, if you would like to share your information and what you have done, lets talk and put something together.

Recommendations for new and old timer growers. After I had signed up for your e-mails, this is the first time that I ever heard from you. I would like to have more contacts than I have had. I am a member of the Utah Giant Pumpkin Growers and they keep in contact with their members.

This is an interesting comment which has made me think and implement something new.

First off the emails people sign up for currently are for The Pumpkin Post Newsletter, something that comes out roughly every 3 months, depending on when people sign up there could be a wait before they see an email.

I am also very mindful of not clogging up people’s emails with non important stuff, I’m sure people are used to dealing with a lot of email on a daily basis just like I do, adding to the influx of inbox clutter isn’t something I am happy with.

You would also be surprised with the amount of emails that automatically get marked as spam, and a lot of people never check their spam folder, where a lot of emails are probably sitting.

Change the system

So all of this got me thinking, and I had a look at the system I was using to send out emails and have decided it wasn’t the best option for the future. What I have done and am in the process of setting up is using a service that is dedicated to the sending out of emails.

This will allow me to more easily send emails, have more appear in people’s inbox’s, all in all a better experience for everybody.

So what will happen shortly

Well I will get everyone’s details I currently have in the old system and move them over to the new one, when that happens the new system will email you and ask if you want to be subscribed to The Pumpkin Post Newsletter, you then have two options:

  1. You either click the link in that email, and you are still subscribed.
  2. You don’t click the link and you are no longer subscribed and you won’t receive emails from me any more.

The choice is completely up to you, and it is fine either way. It needs to be done that way to get approval from you for me to be able to email you.

Once that is all done

I am thinking of setting up a new email type newsletter that will come out every two weeks, it will be a summary of pumpkin related things happening here and abroad, tips and advice for people to think about, it will vary in length and content depending on what has been happening at that point in time.

So there will still be updates in the blog section on the website, continual updates on pages on the website, The Pumpkin Post will still come out 3 – 4 times a year, and there will be a lighter fortnightly email available as well.

Of course you are free to get both emails, one or none at all, the choice is totally up to you.

I’ll let you know when the new newsletter is available to be signed up to, if you have any ideas for what you would like to get in an email like that or anything else about these plans please let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you.