I still fucking love biodiversity

2 06 2014
ifuckinglovebiodiversity © Bastien Laurent

© Bastien Laurent

One year ago, I launched the Facebook page “I fucking love biodiversity” (IFLB) with a post here on ConservationBytes. My goal was to get people talking about biodiversity in a positive and light-hearted way (absolutely no ‘doom and gloom’). Today, IFLB now has about 17500 fans/followers across three social media platforms. It has been an amazing experience.

I will start by admitting that I created IFLB under the assumption that “if you build it, they will come”. I thought a catchy name, goodwill and a few bells and whistles would land me a huge audience. I was wrong. It took some very serious work. And IFLB is still pretty small in the global social-media landscape.

Gladly, I don’t have to manage IFLB by myself. I have a crack team of admins that share the load. Kudos go to Laure Cugnière, Phoebe Maund, Lydia Tiller and Romina Henriques and our own in-house designer, Hannah Conduit, all of whom work on a totally volunteer basis. Thanks everyone – IFLB wouldn’t be possible without you.

During this last year, I estimate we have invested in IFLB the equivalent of nine working weeks to put out 2-3 posts every single day (yes, xmas and New Years included). That was the first lesson I learned: being part of an effort like this requires serious dedication. Not only because you need to find the most interesting content and the best photos to go with it, but because you also need to ensure all photos have copyright information, that what you are posting is not the result of Photoshop wizardry and of course, that your fans’ comments and messages don’t go unanswered.

Piping plover is keeping its chicks warm © Michael Milicia

Piping plover keeping its chicks warm © Michael Milicia

It’s not all blood, sweat and tears, however. Overall, this year with IFLB has been an incredible experience. First, there is no better way to understand what issues, types of information and media formats get people’s attention. For someone like me who works around biodiversity conservation and marketing, that is just a joy. Then you have the endless entertainment generated by, amongst others, the Tea Party members who object to the name of the page and threaten the admin team with eternal hellfire, the animal welfarists that claim that every animal photo depicts some form of unspeakable animal atrocity and the hopeful scammers trying to convince us that we too could be rich if only they could get access to the page’s admin panel. Thankfully, we also have our fans. A bunch of very engaged individuals who not only provide great feedback on our content but also actively take part in the discussions than invariably ensue. Interacting with them makes the whole IFLB admin experience very rewarding and we wholeheartedly thank them for their support.

Australia stained-glass mirror spider  © Nicky Bay

Australia’s stained-glass mirror spider © Nicky Bay

Lastly, it’s always reassuring to look at our stats. Only on Facebook we reach about 80000 people a week, 8000 of which interact (click, share or like) with our content. It’s difficult to know if that in itself means anything in the real world, but for a platform run by a few volunteers in their spare time, I would say it’s a pretty interesting number, especially considering that many other efforts to mainstream biodiversity are evaluated using even more basic exposure indicators.

So if you fucking love biodiversity, even just a little bit, do check us out on Facebook, Twitter or Google+.

Diogo Veríssimo


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3 responses

9 06 2014
Nicole Godfrey

Have loved seeing your posts on my feed – both for educational value and just sheer grooviness (particularly some of the spider species that have been featured, as I’m battling a collection of friends who deny their right to exist and anything that helps to change the image is welcome :)
Keep it up guys!

2 06 2014
loutosetto

It will never cease to amaze me the effort that individuals and groups will go to in order to state their dislike of something. So glad that you and your admin team have persisted with this site, getting people talking about the awesomeness of science is so essential – nice work!!

3 06 2014
Diogo Veríssimo

Thanks for your message loutosetto :)

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