View Poll Results: What do you think of this post
- 9. You may not vote on this poll
Needs some work
Needs a LOT of work
Don't like it
May 15th, 2009, 04:06 AM
I was thinking that there is a lot to be offered here on this forum and website and that it needs a little help. You have a LOT to offer. I have enjoyed the forum here, but there are not enough entries about what I know about, American Birding and I know nothing about birding from the rest of the world. I would like to change that. I am posting the entry below on Birder's World to see if we can develop a relationship between these two forums to make them both stronger by increasing numbers and diversifying the knowledge base and available products for the different members of each website.
I am asking the members here to become members of Birders World and help us to learn about your birding world. In exchange I am trying to get those members to do the same here.
Here is the entry that I just posted on Birders World
Please consider this as a way to expand your experience here as well as helping others to see what you have to offer.
I was reading Nates blog entry on Nature Blog Network Blog (which is great BTW) and then I read the next entry Battle of the Blogs which is about how to compete for a limited number of readers among all of the blogs that are out there. And it got me thinking. Bird forums are similar in that regard. I am sure that there are more, but the three forums/ websites that I have experience with are this one, Bird Forum, and Surfbirds.
Bird Forum is the bigwig of the three, and has numbers and some topnotch birders that live on that site. They are also impersonal, and there are some thinly disguised anti american attitudes that I have experienced there as the majority of the active birders are from the British Isles and Europe. Reminds me of being in Colorado and letting them know that I am from Texas.
You know what you get here. An American website despite the name that it is about world birding. A small group that is like family, even some of those cousins you try not to invite to your wedding. (Just kidding about that part). Anyways, there are two things that are missing from this site that can be brought to the people by setting up an association with the third forum. First is an international influence so that we can learn about some of the birds from around the world, instead of just in the good old USA. Also, we have absolutely no information about blogging on this site. No place to tell about our blogs, discuss blogging, and no blogging websites based here.
Surfbirds is a European Website that has a Forum, a photo gallery, and hosts multiple blog websites. Right now things are really slow there. They have a lot to offer here if we develop a relationship with them. If they are willing to share their knowledge with us and we helped to populate their forum and more blogs it would be a win-win situation. The attitude there is more welcoming to americans, they are blog friendly, and we can help them to return to their previous activity levels on the forum.
The difference between the competition for bloggers and the competition here is that we are not going to lose members to Surfbirds, they are going to just give us a source of new information in a mutually beneficial way. I am planning to post similar info on their forum. This does not have to be an official relationship, but maybe that wouldn't be so bad. All you need to do is join their forum and start talking, hopefully they will do the same here.
I would like to ask for two new folders to be set up to potentiate the new info that would be brought in to this site that improve and grow Birder's World to be bigger and better: One for Blogging and One for International Birding
May 15th, 2009, 02:36 PM
I voted "good idea" but secretly hope it doesn't get as big as Birdforum. Quality over quantity is good. There are so many posts over there but very few are actually worthy of my time. The ID forum here is more informed and more insightful. I have found too much misinformation over there where so many people chime in and consider themselves an expert and a lot of their info is erroneous or misinformed. There's a handful of top notch birders and the rest just crowd around them trying to make a name for themselves. If anyone calls them on it, an argument breaks out. Take the recent Devon peep as an example. The Surfbirds thread was shorter and more concise but infinitely more helpful to me.
May 15th, 2009, 07:08 PM
This is a N American perception, and not one which I agree with. A great many international forums (photographic forums in particular) become swamped by American members and American attitudes and this is what contributes to what Dave sees as anti-American feelings.
Originally Posted by DDolan1075
We do things rather differently over here and, like Hirundo, I would not want to see this forum (or the Surfbirds Website) go the same way as Birdforum. Why Dave sees Birdforum as the "bigwig" of the main three birding forums I cannot possibly imagine - 99% (or more) of posts are total rubbish.
As Hirundo says: "Quality rather than quantity".
I would also add, although I myself have a blog, that I would ban "bloggers" (dreadful term) from forums such as this - there is plenty of space elsewhere for these self-indulgent forms of media. A link to one's blog is fine, but "in your face" is not.
Dave says he sees little here of interest to him, and that his interest is in N American birding. That is fine, but I have no interest whatsoever in N American birds either, and it is a continent which, for reasons I will not divulge here, I would never visit.
I must admit that having read Dave's missive a couple of times, I honestly do not understand what he is trying to achieve with this motion.
May 15th, 2009, 10:55 PM
Hey Colin, I was waiting for your reply and I was not disappointed. First of all this site is not anything like Bird Forum, nor will it ever be anything like Bird Forum. It is a small community of bird lovers who treat each other with respect and talk about their passion, birds. I can not see how Americans can be blamed for making Birdforum the way it is, nor how we could change Surfbirds into anything like Birdforum. I was trying to be polite in the way I described BirdForum. I don’t like it and only use it because it gets me a faster response on certain questions than I could get here or on Birders World. The way people bash each other there is not enjoyable and you are right, the quality of material can be horrendous. Even I can see that and I am a relatively new birder who is ignorant about a lot of things ( Probably why I asked for this meeting of minds in the first place.).
I have dealt with a number of international birders in the past month at High Island in Texas. They have been so knowledgeable and helpful to me. I have learned a tremendous amount from them and thought that I was missing something by being segregated to an american website. Even on Bird Forum it is segregated. The americans talk to the americans and everybody else talks to their group. I was hoping in a smaller group of people that that could be changed. It seems that others here feel the same way. They may be nervous about the possibilities but really, what can adding ten to fifteen active members do to this forum? Birders World is another small forum that needs to grow both in numbers and more importantly in global awareness of the birding from places other than North America. I am not trying to steal members from either site, nor do I think that that would happen. But I think that diversifying the people on Birder’s World and, yes having a few more people keeping a discussion going would be mutually beneficial. You are an amazing birder with a huge amount of knowledge and I would like to get to know you better. You have made me feel welcome here in the past and that is why I felt like this was a good idea.
Have you even visited Birder’s World to see how people treat each other? There are a few top notched birders, some average birders and a lot of new birders who all are helpful and respectful. Some are more passionate about birding than others. Some are real characters, who you may not like, but you can just ignore them. We try to make everybody feel welcome.
You mention that “Dave says he sees little here of interest to him, and that his interest is in N American birding.” What I said was “I have enjoyed the forum here, but there are not enough entries about what I know about, American Birding and I know nothing about birding from the rest of the world. I would like to change that.”
I never said that I wasn’t interested. I said I had no knowledge, and that is totally different. I was hoping to learn more about your birds, but am having a hard time getting involved on the boards. That is my fault.
You said “I must admit that having read Dave's missive a couple of times, I honestly do not understand what he is trying to achieve with this motion.” My goals are to find a way to open up more lines of communication between our groups so that we can learn more about each other and talk about our passion without bringing politics or any other labels into the mix. I am not trying to have a takeover by the Americans. I am trying to help both forums in a way that is mutually beneficial.
You quoted: Surfbirds is a European Website that has a Forum, a photo gallery, and hosts multiple blog websites. Right now things are really slow there.
Your reply was: This is a N American perception, and not one which I agree with.
What does “This” refer to? That you are not slow? Come on. The numbers of discussions are down. You can still talk to your friends. Do you think that everybody that is a member of this website takes such an isolationistic view? Five votes to one says maybe not. I just wanted to open the door to those who want to expand their vision. I am truly sorry that you feel like you are being invaded. I don’t think that it will happen. I imagine that you can also stop it from happening by acting like they do on BirdForum. I don’t believe that the members from Birders World will act like the ugly Americans that you are worried about. Just check the site out and see what I am talking about.
May 16th, 2009, 08:51 AM
I read and re-read my last post carefully because I did not want to include anything which might be offensive or rude towards your opinions - I hope it did not come over that way.
I must admit that I still do not see what your ultimate goal is here. You appear, because you think that Surfbirds Forum is "slow", to be wanting to quickly expand it and "jazz it up" (for want of a better expression). I do not think the forum is "slow" (at this time of year most people in Europe are out birding and not sitting in front of a computer - and which is why this is a brief reply only at the moment since that is what I am doing today!!); in any case, the volume traffic on a forum is self-leveling and any attempt to boost it artificially is, in my opinion, wrong. We both appear to agree that the last thing we want is another Birdforum. There really is a lot of ill-feeling on there and, speaking to people who do still contribute, there is a general desire to actually separate the American and European members. As an example, many have told me that the "Bird I.D." section would benefit from being split into "Americas", "Europe" and "Rest of World". If you drop in there now you tend to find that 90% or more of "What's This" threads are N American, and a great many still do not put location in the thread title as requested so you have to open the thread to discover it is something that does not interest you. There are also a large number of irritating people (mainly Brits) who post ....py shots of common birds asking for an I.D. simply because they are too lazy to attempt to delve into a field guide and improve their own I.D. skills. Within the photographic and optics sections there is hardly a question which has not been asked and answered before - again, people just too lazy to do a search.
I could go on, but my point is that "bigger, and more traffic", is not necessarily better but, in my opinion worse. If you are moving towards creating something huge which encompasses everyone and everything in the birding world then it just aint going to work.
What I said about blogs, bloggers and blogging I stand by. If there is a contained area where blogs are advertised then that is fine, but a blog and a discussion forum are two separate things and should be kept apart.
I realise that I haven't addressed every point you make but I haven't time right now, must get out into the fresh air. I will be interested to see what other comments are made.
All the best,
May 16th, 2009, 03:50 PM
Hey Colin, thanks for the reply. I just wanted you to know that I wasn't trying to change Surfbirds. I just wanted more of it. There are a few people here with a huge amount of talent and in my opinion not enough outsiders to give you more material to work with. I am entertained by reading the information on these forums and wanted to expand my horizons by tapping into something that I have not really been able to crack. I thought that I had a really good idea in finding a way that would allow people with a passion for birding to help each other learn about birds from other parts of the world. I guess that maybe there is not that much interest in that. I have to admit that my goals were a little selfish. I just thought that people would forget about their differences when they talked about something that has nothing to do with politics and socioeconomic lifestyles.
Again, I don't know where you get the idea of huge. A few people is all that are going to get off of their home forum and go back and forth to the other forum. Neither forum has that many people to make that much difference. I guess you could say that there is 100 percent growth if instead of 5 discussions there are 10, but come on, it wouldn't get to be anything like that monstrosity at Birdforum.
As far as Blogs, Blogging fulfills two functions. I write mine so that I can share what I have seen. It is kind of like posting in the Been Birding Today folder. I want to share what I have seen with more people than just the members of the forum. Secondly, I do it to remember what I have done. My memory sucks. That is one of the reasons that I got into birding in the first place. I could be playing Soduko or learning another language, but I chose birding. So I use my blog kind of like a journal to remember what I did and what I saw. I have over 10000 pictures that are filed away (for the most part) and may never see the light of day again. This way I have a story to go with the pictures and memories.
I don't want to invade your forum, or change it. The people on both forums are remarkably similar. The main difference being that on Birder's World, they just ignore a post or an idea that they don't like. I don't think that there is much chance of changing anything because in general, people do not like change. At first I hated the changes made when Birder's World rebuilt their website. I have found some good things and some bad things about it since. I just saw a lot of people coming from different parts of the world to see birds together and thought that I would extend a hand to see if there was a way to make that happen more online.
I want to thank Michael for making the effort to see what it's all about. I hope that you enjoyed looking around the site. Please continue to post there.
Last edited by DDolan1075; May 16th, 2009 at 03:54 PM.
May 17th, 2009, 03:33 AM
I just wanted to say that I am not trying to persuade all of you or even one particular person to come visit Birder's World, I am just offering an invitation to everybody here to come and help to enlighten us about your birds. You may learn something about our birds and more importantly you may learn something about us.
I probably did everything wrong but I had good intentions. There is no point in beating a dead horse. If you come to visit, we will try to make you feel welcome. There are a couple of posts on that discussion to indicate that. I hope that you continue to act similarly. That is why I thought we would be a good match.
May 17th, 2009, 06:27 PM
Originally Posted by DDolan1075
I have now taken a bit more time to read your posts on this thread.
First comment: your posts are way too long. You could precis this down to a fraction of what you have written, and it would get more "takers". Any subject in the world can be portrayed in, at most, four brief sentences.
Second comment: you are attempting an "arranged marriage" in your proposal. Since 66% of voluntary marriages end in separation or divorce, this is a dangerous process. All that is needed is to publicise "Birder's World" on Surfbirds Forum, and vice versa, and then leave people to decide - you cannot push them.
Third comment: you come over as a very nice guy and a very enthusiastic birder. Take what is available and contribute wherever you wish; you are certainly most welcome here and PLEASE continue to post.
My best wishes,
P.S. If you think that this forum is "slow" you should take a look at "Fórum Aves" on which I am a moderator. The ratings are low, the volume of traffic is low, but we are a fabulous community with so much going on behind the scenes - what you don't actually see from just looking at forum posts is the amount of information exchange between members (this is very time-consuming for me in acting as "go-between" for non-Portuguese speaking members), the fact that we have SPEA (Sociedade Portuguesa Para O Estudo Das Aves), Noticiário Ornitologica, and the Yahoo Newsgroup "Raridades Portuguese", and also a very nice and polite community of birders (even though they are a minority in Portugal).
May 17th, 2009, 06:53 PM
Hey Colin, I had to do it this way or else it would look like I was trying to raid the forum and steal it's members away. I wanted everything out in the open to show that there were no ulterior motives.
Thanks for the welcome, I will continue to post. I hope others will visit both ways.
Oops, I have gone over 4 sentences. Gotta go
May 19th, 2009, 06:53 PM