Our campaign is about raising awareness for the need to protect biodiversity and prevent human-caused extinction. Our audience for this topic could potentially be large, but due to the nature of the social media sites used for the campaign, our audience is mainly teenagers and young adults. Our purpose is to educate people about various species that are endangered or extinct, and about human-caused extinction. There are many other organizations that cover this topic, including World Wildlife Fund, Defenders of Wildlife, National Geographic, and more. We have provided links to these organizations’ campaigns, as well as shared some of their information and photographs. Several of the topics we cover in detail are extinction (specifically human-caused extinction), urbanization, and poaching.
We decided to utilize social media sites Tumblr and Twitter for our social media campaign. Both sites are consistent in their content and theme. We have it set so that posts on the Tumblr blog are automatically sent to the Twitter page (in text form), and the backgrounds and icon are identical for each page. This makes it more consistent and easy to tell that they are both part of the same campaign. I chose to limit our blog posts by using a single-column theme, in order to allow the viewer to better focus on the content without being overwhelmed. The photos are the main focal points of the blog, with the text posts being secondary and informative. The formatting is consistent and logical throughout the sites, so they are unified. In this way, I have used logos effectively. We appeal to the reader’s sense of ethos by using credible sources for our information (such as World Wildlife Fund). We appeal to the reader’s pathos by using images and photos that are meant to invoke some kind of emotion in our readers. The bright background pattern is positive and uplifting. It may promote a sense of optimism in our readers.
We used random user testing (“hallway testing”) for both of our campaign sites. I received some helpful feedback, although I chose to use only some of the feedback to make alterations to the blog. I attempted to change the Tumblr site drastically, but was never satisfied with the customizability of the new themes I tried. I attempted to alter some of the HTML on certain parts of the blog, such as in a new “links” page where I put several images that link to other species-related campaign sites. I also tried to make the links to each page of the site easier to tell apart by spacing them out and including dash marks between them (as suggested by my beta testing users). The positive responses about the amount of information we included and the navigability of the sites were heartening. Thanks to all of our feedback, I know that our campaign sites are fairly user-friendly and appealing to readers.
So far, our campaign sites don’t have a huge amount of followers – only about ten total. With any social media network, it can take quite a while to gain a large amount of followers and people who interact with you and your posts. It also takes a while to become an influential presence on these sites. Due to their nature, I was not under the impression that our campaign would be largely successful within such a short amount of time. However, I think that our sites themselves are working well together and have the potential to be vehicles for change. Our campaign topic is one that nearly everyone can relate to in some way, and there is no shortage of information on the species affected. Once our posts on each site are “retweeted” and “reblogged” by others that aren’t so specialized in what they post, the information can spread to a much larger group of users.
I hope that through our campaign sites we can educate others about the problems of human-caused extinction and species that are already extinct or are in danger of becoming extinct. It is our wish that readers that come across one or both of our campaign sites are inspired to go out and make a difference – to practice sustainability and environmental consciousness, and have a sense of global efficacy. Our campaign should act as a spring-board that inspires our readers to learn more on their own, and to go and contribute to organizations with more concrete campaigns, such as those we have linked to (like World Wildlife Fund and Defenders of Wildlife). Together, people have the power to make a difference, and the Internet is an incredible platform on which to begin doing just that.