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Scott Robinson | Leading stories

Scott Robinson |  Leading stories

Zoologist, goalkeeper and father Scott Robinson is an educator, zoologist and author of the newly release

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Zoologist, goalkeeper and father

Scott Robinson is an educator, zoologist and author of the newly released books Rainforest Critters and Predators. He created the website critter.science as a free educational resource for animal enthusiasts of all ages. Scott is also a member of GoDaddy’s Technical Services team and regularly writes posts for the GoDaddy Garage, the Tech Writer team and also for other departments.

Read the interview with Scott Robinson

We caught up with Scott for a discussion covering writing, building stuff online and, of course, cattle.

You’re been in the zoology game for over 45 years. How did you get started?
I’ve always had a connection with animals. Stray dogs followed me home from school, I found lost turtles, etc. Once, while I was at a park with my parents, my dad told me to watch out for the geese because they can be dangerous.

He turned around and I had one in my arms, with his head on my shoulder so I could pet it.

During a mass stranding of Humbolt Squid in California, I took the opportunity to teach some people about these fascinating creatures. In a matter of minutes, I had a crowd of over 20 people – all learning about squid. Every day I try to learn about a new species. I’ve been doing this for years.

Congratulations on the new books Rainforest Critters and Predators. How is your process for research and writing?

Thank you. Self-publishing can be a bear. But it is still rewarding. I actually take a little bit of my first-hand experiences with cattle, a little bit of information from articles I previously wrote on my website, and then add a little more to create the books.

Most of the information I write is stored in my brain from experience and practical research. I will also occasionally hit good old Wikipedia in a pinch. I pick a different animal every day and then write an article about it, Monday through Friday, and then post the articles on my website. I share them on various social media platforms. I have written nearly 1,000 articles on my site to date.

What other works have you written?

Besides the Rainforest Critters book, I just finished my second book, Predators. That book is all about various animal predators from around the world. It is also available on Amazon.com. I am a writer for several different departments with GoDaddy: the Tech Writer section where I write Vault articles; GoDaddy Garage, where I write several instructional articles and so on, the fully managed server section, where I wrote nearly 70 articles, and I wrote scripts for the host section – and I also wrote a series of short stories.

The Critter Science website is pretty cool (and built on GoDaddy Web Host). What were some of the key considerations that went into choosing a platform and expanding the functionality?

With Web Hosting you can install WordPress as a CMS, or you can choose something like cPanel. I wanted to use WordPress to build my website as I have a lot of experience with that platform. Cost was also a consideration, but the presentation had to be reliable enough to handle high-traffic opportunities.

It was amazing and did not let me down. I also went with cPanel hosting because I needed to have an interface that helped me customize critter.science and internal features of the website – for optimization purposes as well as SEO. Eventually I will find myself on a server. But for now, Business Hosting is working pretty well.

So, you have the website and writing, plus a full time job at GoDaddy. And then there is the upbringing of five children, four of whom have been adopted, with three of those from foster care. How do you get time for it all?

It actually all comes down to time management. Plus, I end up sleeping just plus or minus five hours a night. I start my day at 01:00 and continue until about 20:00 every night. My family is especially important to me, which is why I also spend as much time with them as possible.

My children are 23, 18, 14, 12 and 11. One girl and four boys. We hike, take excursions, go to sporting events, and more. We also have a myriad of animals to take care of: three dogs, one cat, one hamster, one hedgehog, several fish and two axolotls.

You have a formal training in graphic and web design. But I’ve noticed before that you have a degree in Theology. How would you describe your professional journey?

As for my journey, I was a semi-pro-level hockey goalie for 16 years and played through the university. On top of that, I have always loved animals, so I started a business where I traveled around and taught zoology, ecology and environmental sustainability to people from all over the world.

I did this for several years, after retiring from hockey. I was also featured on local news several times. It was fun.

“I was on NBC, on the morning show, and did a pink tone tarantula. They happen to be tree-like (spend their lives in trees) and she decided to jump on the lap of the meteorologist. He did not skip a beat. But the news anchor standing right next to us jumped back and shouted, “Oh hell no!” We were live on the air, mind you. The meteorologist and I both had a good laugh about it. “

Finally, after a few years, I closed the doors to my animal business and then created my website to continue teaching zoology.

I also happened to know a bit about WordPress. So, when I stopped teaching to live audiences, I had to get to a place where I could also express my inner nerd for websites. Hence my eventual landing here at GoDaddy. My theology degree was obtained only out of curiosity. I always learn everything I can about all sorts of things. There are so many cool things in this world. Learn all you can.

Many people aspire to become writers, but give up quickly after staring at a blank screen or discovering that no one is reading their work. What is your advice to start writing and marketing yourself once you have produced something?

It’s my practice that if I can not start writing something, I will go online and look at related topics I am going to write about. It usually inspires me. I’m competitive and the challenge of writing something different, new or better gets me started.

Marketing for me was mainly word of mouth. Writing books and selling them online was great to get the word out about who I am, also as a writer and a teacher.

My best advice would be to choose a topic that interests you and that you are passionate about. Do not force yourself to write about just about anything, just because you want to make a name for yourself as a writer. It will definitely show in your words that you do not really care what you write about if you are not completely in love with what you write.

If you had to pick a favorite animal, what would it be and why?

I am often asked this question. This is definitely the dwarf marmoset. They are one of the world’s smallest primates. With the smallest is the Madame Berthe’s Mouse Lemur. I just love how cute they are, and it’s fascinating that they’re such small but still intelligent creatures. However, they do not make good pets as they refuse potty training. But they must in any case be left in the wild, where they belong.

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