The Year in (Web) Review

By Jaime Wilson, Web Development Coordinator

If you have read the Sac Zoo blog before, you probably know me at least a little. I head up our website and social media stuff which means, I blog a lot. As we start the new year, I am finally working through some numbers for 2008 and I was so excited, that I wanted to share them with you.

2008 was a leap-forward year for us in the web & tech areas. Our new website launched in May with so much more capability and integration, that it was (and still is) a whole new world for us. It changed the way we do business and how we can interact with our supporters, members, donors and daily visitors. Our daily average of website visitors jumped from around 2,000 on our old site to 6,000 in December 2008, and we surpassed last years totals in just 7 months since the launch (1.3 million visitors to the new site) .

We continued updating our blog a few times a week and have slowly grown our readership. It's always fun when you are talking to a visitor and they site the blog right back to you or when your mom calls, because like any proud parent, she always reads it.

My favorite new thing is all the video we have started creating and the homepage component that let our visitors tell their own story. Video is so much more compelling, and the baby lemurs grew up in front of our web visitors eyes. With over 23, 000 video views all over the world, our YouTube channel is doing well.

We just embarked on the social media journey and are still working on our presence on Facebook and Twitter. It has been a lot of fun finding Summer Camp Counselors on Facebook, following other zoo's on Twitter, and starting up a personal dialog with our supporters. We plan to be as active as we can on both!

We like to think of ourselves as one of the best small zoos around, but want our web presence to surpass the 14 acres that we live in. As we start 2009 some of the goals are to increase the video work and try to make it more professional. We are going to make the Kid's World area more kid-friendly with great graphics and photos. We are working on creating more fact sheets for the animals on the website. I want to do some giveaways for our Twitter followers and get our Facebook friends and fans more involved. And of course, keep our blog fresh, relevant and fun.

I am so excited by how far we have come in just one year! Thanks to all of you who read the blog, and don't be afraid of posting a comment ;) Once you start, it won't be so intimidating.

Please feel free to let me know what you would like to see in 2009 and ask me any questions you might have. Happy New Year!

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