An expert is defined as someone who knows a great deal about a particular field of study and although we have amassed considerable knowledge about the migration of Whooping cranes, it would be a stretch to apply that term to us. We have taught twelve generations of these birds to migrate, but we are barely scratching the surface of what could be learned.
We have also delved into social media to promote the conservation of Whooping cranes but that too is a subject we know comparatively little about. We have a website that is updated daily and a live streaming camera that can give viewers an inside look at the process, and while it is growing, our audience is still small by comparison.
The one thing we know is that social media is changing the way people use the internet. There are thousands of books and articles on how to use social media but no one can determine what will catch the interest of the world of internet users who can flood an online video clip with millions of hits in a single week. For some nonprofits, going viral can make all the difference but it is like picking the right lottery numbers.
We do know that the devices people use to access social media has changed. Known as Mobile 2.0 people are using smart phones and that sector of the market is growing faster than any other sector of technology. On Christmas day alone 6.8 million smart phones were activated (Wall Street Journal 2012) Our website has not kept pace and visitors must wait for a large amount of data to download in order to connect.
In order to capitalize, we are converting our Field Journal to a blog platform that will automatically organize and archive past entries and allow current news to be shared among social networks more easily. We’ve also added a photo gallery so you can see all of the images for each season in one easy to view location.
Our hope is that we can increase our audience and utilize that faster accessibility to help spread the message of conservation to more people. So in the next few days you will see a change in our Field Journal. Change is always difficult for some, including me, but we hope you will tolerate this modification and find it faster to download, easier to navigate and simpler to share with people you think might enjoy it. The more it is shared, the more interest we can generate and the better we can teach people about the plight of Whooping cranes and other wildlife.