THIS IS SOFOR WEBSITE STRUCTURE - VIEW ‘SHARK WEBSITE STRUCTURE’
Awesome, sounds good.
I would put our priority list roughly in the following order - however this is not to say that this list is the areas of the site that need the most focus or development. Some will be intrinsically linked and so need less effort than other areas on the site:
Research - our goal is to always carry out research and get funding for research - everything else we do supports this.
Scientific funding - this is primarily down to our scientists and the research we are trying to carry out. However, this is intimately linked with our image and the exposure we can get.
Volunteers - generally in the age range of 18-30 - primarily people interested in marine biology. Volunteers pay (approx $700 per month - heavily subsidised) - we try and get around 9-10 vols at a time. We have very little trouble in filling spaces and so this is not of the utmost importance. For the most part these will be attracted by the research we carry out and so this area will primarily be just information and applications for them. However part of the lab ethos is education and giving opportunities to people interested in the field.
Production companies - we have had approx 3 per year for the last few years - I would like to attract more. These also provide a major source of funding. We charge $3000 per day which is fairly steep, but we are very unique - not necessarily in the sharks we can film - but the research that runs alongside this. We have never really searched or actively targeted production companies - they will, in general, find us due to the nature of our work. I think we have the ability to attract more companies. I am hoping, once the bulk of the site is complete, to produce a series of short films highlighting the research we carry out.
Donations - this is an area we are yet to develop fully. This could be a major addition to our income or contributions to our research equipment. We are hoping to start a 'sponsor a shark' program - whereby people can donate in levels relating to size/species of shark. The ultimate and highest level will be a satellite tag (roughly $3000) for a juvenile tiger shark (or similar) - and we are working in conjunction with colleague who already has produced an app whereby you can follow the shark live. Our shop will be another area in which we are just setting out on and need to develop.
Sponsorship - as a non-profit we get assistance from a wide variety of companies with a range of things - we want to attract more sponsors and help promote our current sponsors.
Press - I would like to increase our exposure to the science community, popular science community and general public. News & magazine articles are an area I would like to target further. I think in the past we have not done well in 'selling' our research - by this I mean we could do more to promote our findings. This will, in turn, promote all other aspects of our work and help us to get funding from all areas.
Public opportunities - this is an area which is under development. We currently run tours around the facility and show young sharks to the general public. These give a suggested donation of $10 - and I would say we get roughly 700 people come around per year. These generally are already on island and get recommended by resorts or the tourism office on the island. However - we are also starting to take on occasional 'research' ecotours - these are going to be fairly expensive and would range in price with activity. We will develop this further - I do not think we will heavily advertise these and will only want a few per year as they can impact on our research. In some areas they may be combined with our 'sponsor a shark' scheme whereby you can come and tag your own shark.
Visiting scientists - we like to collaborate with other scientists in the field and it is good for us to share information and assist others - needless to say it also helps maintain good relationships in the field and keep a good image. It will also increase the scientific output in terms of articles from the lab.
University courses - we have set universities (5-6 per year) that come for courses - we aren't really looking to heavily for more and don't need to much effort in searching or pushing this area. They are important to the lab still as they provide us with a large part of our income - I think we net roughly $15,000 per course. Once again ensuring we are educating and passing on knowledge is important.
Community outreach - once again education is key. We want to teach the local kids about marine life and help them make informed decisions about the future of their island.
Conservation - we support conservation and have been integral in protecting sharks in both the Bahamas and Florida - we are not, however, activists. Our goal has and will always be research - we are here to increase the knowledge of sharks and marine life. In many cases this goes hand in hand with conservation and what we discover will undoubtedly help increase awareness and educate others. We would like to remain a very professional organisation and do not want to jeopardise this image.
Media collaborators - we would like to showcase the work of the photographers and videographers who will have essentially donated work to the site. Galleries and links to their pages will be required - as well as acknowledgement in the the content.
I think this is the primary bulk of what we are trying to achieve. As I said may of these are intimately linked - excelling in one area will benefit others. They may not necessarily be in the exact order we would like to focus on
Let me know you if you need any more info,
Thanks for forwarding that all on, we're having a bit of a busy start to the New Year but will try to put some ideas together so we can have a useful discussion with you soon! Your initial email mentioned the groups you would like to appeal to but it would be useful to know what you want to get from them and exactly what your priorities are so we can decide how best to achieve them. For example you may be aiming to:
Attract scientists to carry out research
Promote your research
Encourage conservation/general interest in sharks
Get on TV & other media
Knowing which of these are most important will help us focus the site and any accompanying social media.
Sorry for my delayed email, the holidays were pretty hectic. I am back in the Bahamas now and so can get back to work and start moving forward with the site.
So far I have been working out what pages we will require and potential navigation around the site.
We are redoing nearly all of the content pages for the site - attached is a breakdown of pages (initialed for my benefit with who is redoing content) - this has a rough idea of navigation.
I will also attach a couple of PSDs with design ideas (they may span over a couple of emails) - I am trained in Zoology and do not have a design background and so would really love some input in this area in addition to the actual construction of the site.
I have not yet got much further than these - I have the start of some other pages - but these are mainly just photo headers.
I think the best thing would be to skype when you have a chance to go over things and discuss the best way to proceed. If we can set out a plan of action that would be really good and I can start making this a priority for me and everyone over here!
I am very excited about working with you and the Diligence Group and look forward to discussing things further,
CJ ME CONTENT
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