It has been a productive and exciting year for SAPAA’s digital presence. SAPAA moved to a new platform last Fall, and we have converted nearly a third of the 12-year-old PDF files to individual web pages.
Digital Nature – Introduction
In a previous report, So – Why Do We Need a Website?, I listed three roles for this tool: Educate and Communicate, Describe The legal framework for Protected Areas, and help to Report and Monitor sites.
Each view and visit to the website tells a Protected Area’s story. These areas provide steppingstones for plant and animals between larger preserved areas. For humans, a local Natural Area is easier to visit than travelling to a provincial or national park.
The website is more than technology; it is a solid foundation for future initiatives by SAPAA to support Stewards and protect these sites. The 114+ pages I have built to date have been unique and fascinating. Each of area represents a unique corner of Alberta from a bio-geo-social-historical perspective. They are worth protecting and the Stewards of these areas are worth supporting.
SAPAA members (and the public) can help SAPAA by simply ‘clicking’ a button. Please share our pages through your social media, like it, leave a comment and send us stories and pictures of your visits!
Frank Potter, Webmaster, webmaster@SAPAAStewards.com.
Past Work, Next Pages, and Next Year
Of the 272 potential web pages, a third (88) have been created and published. The remainder are in various states of conversion. For example, a ‘Built-Page’ is undergoing final editing but is otherwise completed. Next-Page and In-Progress are at different points of development.
The priority for converting pages is:
- Areas of interest to the web team or a SAPAA Member.
- Sites for which there is a planned visit, blog, or Newsletter article.
- Less visited sites or site reports and photos are available.
- Southern Alberta, latitude <51֯ N.
- Remainder of the OCs and then other areas.
2023 Website priorities will be
- Complete all pages.
- Promote cross-links with sister organizations.
- Pilot online government reporting for visits.
- Improve data analytics and reporting of sites.
From inception to date, the site has had 4,055 views and 1,753 visitors (as of Nov. 19).
Select 2022 statistics and notes:
- ‘Your Big Say on Big Island’ was a cross promotion about the consultation process for this area. SAPAA has had an impact on influencing government policy via the website.
- Garner Orchid Fen and Clyde Fen Natural areas are examples of how the public is interested in Natural Areas – particularly when there is a compelling story.
- From September 2021 to date, there has been a steady increase in traffic to the site.
- Facebook is the primary referral method to the website; sharing via social media drives traffic to the site improving SAPAA’s web ‘credibility’ and increasing our voice in the community.
- Our Facebook presence started in March, 2022.
- Country of origin analysis of views is less relevant to SAPAA; a visit from outside of Canada may be legitimate (e.g. Austria), but others will be for less benign purposes.
Creating the online presence for SAPAA is something best done as a group activity. The small but mighty web team is happy to take new members who want to build, edit, or improve the individual pages. Consider sending us your site reports so we can cross-reference them on the pages. At a minimum – hit that LIKE button!