Feb 24

Ellie Dart, ARKive’s Online Outreach ManagerI’ve been working for Wildscreen for 5 months now. As ARKive’s Online Outreach Manager, I spend my days managing ARKive’s Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) programme, search marketing programme, and social media activity (with a lot of help from my friend Carolyn, ARKive’s Online Marketing Officer). In English, that means I try to get the ARKive website found by search engines, play with advertisements on Google Adwords and hang out on the likes of Facebook and Twitter.

In my spare time I’m slightly less geeky. I tend to get out into the great outdoors most weekends either running, mountain biking or surfing.

What are you currently working on?

Today we’ve been doing some usability testing with CX partners. This involves looking at how we can improve the ARKive website and make it easier to use. This morning I’ve been observing various people using ARKive, taking note of any issues they have and asking for their feedback. We’ll use our observations to identify the parts of the site that need improving and where necessary we’ll make changes to the site so that people can find what they’re looking for quickly and easily.

I’m also looking at a variety of ways to make it easier for Google to find ARKive when returning search results. For example, when somebody types ‘tiger videos’ into Google, a number of websites are listed in the search results, including ARKive. The work I’m doing aims to push the ARKive website higher up this list. If you have your own website or blog, you could help us by creating links from your website to your favourite ARKive pages.

In terms of social media, I’m starting to pull together the results of our Facebook campaign, Speak Up For Species. The aim of the campaign was to get more people to join in with ARKive’s Facebook pages to help us to raise awareness of the world’s most threatened animals and plants. You can join in by finding out the answer to this week’s campaign clue and sharing it with your friends on Facebook:

“Males of my species use part of their anatomy to make bubbles during courtship displays. Know who I am?”  Find out on Facebook

What animal skill would you most like to have?

Jet propulsion propels cephalopods such as octopuses through the water at a rate of up to 25 miles per hour. Sometimes my paddling skills aren’t strong enough in the surf – I’m thinking jet propulsion could help me to catch that all important wave!

I’d also like to be able to jump like a puma! I reckon I’d be off to the London Olympics with a skill like that. I could enter the high jump and jump around 15 foot into the air or I could enter the long jump and easily clear 40 feet. That will be two gold medals and two world records – bring it on!

Which three people would you invite to the ultimate dinner party?

Aside from the wine (which, it goes without saying, must flow!), a decent dinner party needs good stories, good music and a good laugh. I’d love to invite Sir David Attenborough but he’s had so many invites from my colleagues, I suspect he’s all dinner-partied out.

Did you watch Man to Manta with Martin Clunes the other week? Amazing. He seemed like a nice chap, so I’d invite him for the manta ray stories. Then I’d invite Jack Johnson to play his guitar in my dining room (and potentially share a few surfing tales). And probably Alan Carr – I think he’d be a right giggle!

Where in the world would you most like to go?

I’ve just returned from a holiday in Lapland which I’d highly recommend, particularly if you’d like to see reindeer! But one day, a visit to the Galapagos Islands would be a dream come true.

Which celebrity do you most look like?

I’ll have to throw that question straight back at ya! Nobody springs to mind – but you can see the photo and decide for yourselves.

What’s the best wildlife encounter you’ve ever had?

Without a shadow of a doubt, it was swimming with a large pod of wild dusky dolphins off the coast of New Zealand! Admittedly my acrobatic skills weren’t up to their standards – they’re so fast! And so playful! So much fun! Diving and twirling underwater with them completely took my breath away. It was snowing that day and I’ve never been so cold in all my life – but it was well worth it. The experience will stay with me forever.

What’s your favourite thing on ARKive?

There are just too many to choose from. I never tire of the cute sand cat videos. I think this is the strangest creature I’ve ever seen. But my favourite animal in all the world is the African elephant.

Tell us an animal related joke.

There are two ants running along the top of a cereal box. One turns to the other and says “why are we running?” The other one says “it says tear along here”.

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