People familiar with the “Farmville” game that’s played on Facebook will feel right at home at a new web page created by the Propane Education and Research Council (PERC), dubbed “PropaneVille Farms.” The page is part of the PERC website agpropane.com, which offers comprehensive information on many agricultural uses of propane
The page is billed as a “virtual tour of a propane farm.” It presents a colorful, well-designed and fully interactive farm where users can click to learn how propane can be used on different parts of the farm, such as the field, the orchard, and the barn. The implicit purpose of the “virtual farm” is to demonstrate that modern American farms can be powered entirely by propane.
It is clear after making a few clicks around PropaneVille Farm that it is more dedicated to style than substance — the information offered on the page is general, and often encourages users to visit other PERC sites for details. The style, however, is quite impressive. The virtual farm is made up of high-quality images and appears to be (at least to this city dweller) an accurate representation of a modern working farm.
As users click on different areas of the PropaneVille farm, they are given a brief explanation of why propane is a good fuel option for a number of applications in each area. For example, a click on the “Barn” prompts a zooming in on the classic red-and-white barn in the farm’s foreground where two pop-up circles appear, each of which represent the main uses of propane in the barn: space heating and water heating.
The PropaneVille Farm is an adept marketing initiative by PERC. It provides an overview of the many agricultural applications of propane by fully utilizing the interactive nature of the Web. It doesn’t hurt that PropaneVille Farm’s name is similar to the “Farmville” game enjoyed obsessively by millions of Facebook users.
If you’re looking to give your friends a virtual cow or pig as a gift, the page won’t be much help. However, if you’re looking for a resource on how farmers can use propane to help them grow crops and raise livestock in a sleek, Web 2.0 package, head on down to PropaneVille Farms!