Wildlife Direct is an Internet, Kenya-based US registered conservation charity, founded in 2005 by African conservationist, Dr. Richard Leakey.
It was founded with the goal to connect directly those who care about wildlife with those who work in the frontlines through ‘blogging’ portal, where conservationists can use their blogging platform (hosted on their site) to blog stories on wildlife conditions in remote areas of Asia, Africa, and South America.
Using blogs enable individual donors, supporters from around the world to participate and communicate directly with the bloggers working on conservation projects they are funding and build trust.
Wildlife Direct has grown from hosting a modest twenty blogs in 2006 – to becoming the largest online community of African wildlife conservationists. I started doing research for the original piece of this post in early 2012, then it hosted approximately 80 blogs on its platform. Today, WD hosts over 100 blogs (although some are currently non-active) written by conservationists working remotely from Africa – East, Central and West Africa – and as far away as Asia and South America. Furthermore, on site blogs are interlinked to a point where readers can click to search other blogs of interest based on region or species.
Even though, Wildlife Direct has integrated the use of blogging with social media tools – Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube – blogging is still the area where they shine. It is still the preferred story-telling tool use by the majority of conservationists working from the frontlines.
The blogging platform allows bloggers to customize content that tell stories about endangered species projects they are preserving using a combination of text, video clips and pictures. Their stories give donors the assurance for transparency, accountability, and work progress – so that they can continue funding those conservation missions, programs, etc.