The first Twitter-friendly I and the bird! IATB#104 – part 1.

by Gunnar Engblom on July 9, 2009

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Message to the bloggers taking part in this issue of IATB.

OMG!* I am the host. Everyone says this is a great way to get one’s blog discovered by fellow bloggers. Cool! But when it comes down to numbers, is it really productive for anyone to participate in a blog carnival? Do you get any extra clicks to your blog, because you participate in I and the bird – or other blog carnivals. UPDATE: Obviously, not complaining as a host.  I am know this will bring some traffic to the blog. I am concerned for the participants.

Here are the brutal facts. My participation in 10 different issues of IATB have provided  less than 50 clicks in total. Fellow bloggers, you are usually fast to comment in the comment section, but do you click through? I know most of you have read many of the blogs before they are published, so OK, you are excused.  Fact remains, blog carnivals do not generate a lot of visits to your blog. Mike Bergin argued that it does give back links which is true, but backlinks are usually most important if you are trying to get good google rating for specific keywords and you actually sell something. If you just want readers to your nature blog you shall find that backlinks in blog carnivals have hardly any value what so ever.
During my short period as a blogger I have also been privileged to be guest blogger both on NatureBlogNetwork and Birdchick. One would have thought that these popular blogs would have brought excellent traffic. But only a handful hits from each. I am not trying to be an ungrateful smart-ass, I am just calling fellow nature bloggers to some reflection. How can we really help each other to better traffic? It is clear that both blog carnivals and guest blogging fail the original purpose.

We need to help each other to get readers. This is not a narcissistic cry for help screaming “look at me”! (I know I come across this way sometimes!!).  I want more readers to find the great variety of nature related stories that are being told. Why? This is part of a religion if you like. It is ultimately about saving souls. We need more souls caring for nature. We need to inspire more people to discover the wonders of nature. We need an army of nature lovers. Only then can we build a better and greener future. We are living on the edge of ecological catastrophe. That is the reason why your blog needs more readers. Even if you are only writing and posting pictures for your own enjoyment and those closest to you, you are still part of this movement. And if you decided to participate in this issue of “I and the bird”, was it not because you were thinking some more people should read what I have written?

Message to all other people who find their way here.

This is a collection of articles by naturebloggers about birds. I and the bird is given every 2 weeks and presents some of the finest bird blogging there is. It is  like a “Bird Bloggers digest” and something of an institution. But as an old institution, this is issue #104,  it is also perhaps getting a bit dusty. I decided to put some live into this issue and to modernize it somewhat. I am  interested this time to find a new way for the participants to get visitors to their blogs.

Here is the strategy.

1.  Use social media to let people know about your blog. Each participant will be tweeted, facebooked, stumbled and dugg.

2.  A great title for each blog. When tweeting not many people will check out if one only writes: “New Blog post…check it out here!”. Try some superlatives. Such as “The world’s most beautiful colorless Warbler”

3. I am not going to try to outsmart all the previous “I and the Bird” deliveries. I am not writing this in my native language and therefor I don’t have vocabulary to impress you with a very literate piece. And I don’t have a smart thread or story to tie around the contributions. This is going to be remembered being the most boring “I and the Bird” in history. But if I can help it, you shall get some visitors to your site.

4.  A great clickable photo from each article will hopefully invite to click through. Click on the photo and you will arrive at the blog. This is getting a bit long (so the photo section will be presented in the part 2 of  I and the bird #104.

Here are the participants presented one-by-one in a twitter-friendly format. Your job is to:

1. Read every blogpost. When you have read it – please Digg it and/or Stumble-Upon (preparing another blogpost on the social bookmarking services)
2. Retweet the headline of each blogpost together with the short link. You could just copy and paste of course…or try to come up with a catchier title than mine. Remember you have 140 characters to use.

  • Exquisite photos of the world’s most beautiful colorless warbler. 7 sec with a B&W Warbler. http://bit.ly/imnvC
  • Forget about monopoly. Here is the ultimate board game for birders. http://bit.ly/mzQbt
  • Good Mourning Dove and other stunning bird photos at first light a summer morning. http://bit.ly/qCY0L
  • Flying Jewels from Texas Golf Coast. Hummingbirds at Quintana Neotropical Bird Sanctuary brings memories from childhood. http://bit.ly/F7cz1
  • How to paint the Bobolink and a video of its aerial display http://bit.ly/14feaC
  • Did you know that pigeons give milk to their offspring? http://bit.ly/6ZIL2
  • Baby Grebes ride in the back… err.. ON the back! http://bit.ly/18Q37S
  • Mama, Feed me now. I can Swallow anything. Wonderful Haiku! http://bit.ly/o3Z9k
  • Have you ever seen 50000 Purple Martins falll from the sky? Check out the video on this site. http://bit.ly/GdMEN
  • Fantastic flight shots of New Zealand Falcon by National Geography photographer Rob Suisted http://bit.ly/tfdh4
  • The puffin is the Toucan of the Northern seas with that colorful beak. Check these smashing photos. http://bit.ly/wYwbq
  • Here is the punkiest of all chicks. I don’t know if this is cute or ugly. What do you think? http://bit.ly/U7QGJ
  • A crow is never just a crow. Hand on heart – do you recognise the Fish Crow? http://bit.ly/ee88I
  • Absolutely one of the prettiest North American Warblers. Hooded Warbler. Good photos. http://bit.ly/XpBGv
  • Birding in Britsh Columbia – vast views of fjords and forest. http://bit.ly/mLjns
  • Reading Larry Jordan’s report with lovely photos from Audubon Outing To Lassen Volcanic National Park http://bit.ly/lEGzy
  • Birds out my office window may not sound very exciting, but believe me it is! David Ringer’s office is in Nairobi http://bit.ly/YEpEa
  • I want to band birds, be a waitress, and teach says Reina 5y after a visit to a banding station http://bit.ly/ykVWe
  • Who done it? Want to play detective? Who killed the White-winged Dove? http://bit.ly/EOrqB
  • It may be common in North America, but nevertheless the vibrant red Northern Cardinal is eyegasm http://bit.ly/t37Rl
  • I am Cerulean with envy in spite that Mike keeps on posting BAD PHOTOS OF GOOD BIRDS – I still need it. http://bit.ly/aUwiy
  • Red-winged Blackbird courting and posing. http://bit.ly/X8k4o
  • White-headed woodpecker swoops Clings to corneous bark of stump Disappears before my eyes – Excellent photoblog http://bit.ly/f4bka
  • Barred Eagle-owl takes a monkey in Singapore. Impressive! http://bit.ly/hTzF4
  • Delaware’s first record Roseate Spoonbill was Tweeted! What a great bird. http://bit.ly/3nf6f
  • Great shot of Brown Thornbill – a tit-like bird with a pointed fine bill from Australia. http://bit.ly/12PlXD
  • Birding Gamboa and Pipeline road in Panama. http://bit.ly/IIh1K
  • I bet you never seen a Yellow-breasted Grosbeak. It’s not in the book, yet here is a photo. http://bit.ly/3MbcA4

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Dean Eades July 13, 2009 at 4:09 pm

Cool

tony gallucci July 23, 2009 at 8:54 am

superbly done Gunnar . . .

early in the history of blog carnivals, i kept close tabs on what they did to traffic . . . i would say things have changed . . . i routinely got several hundreds clicks when i posted a carnival, which at the time meant my traffic jumped a few hundred per cent at times . . . part of what has happened i think is that in just these short few years the net itself, web 2.0 in particular, has exploded such that we all have less time for leisurely reading . . . and carnivals, despite having the great advantage of putting links all in one place, have fallen to the bottom of the list of things that can be accomplished . . . i started a carnival myself (thankfully still going strong, but under new management) and routinely contributed to several others, this one included . . . now it is a struggle to read the ones that are out there . . . even my own blog has turned from mostly original content to passing on things sent to me . . . sad but true . . .

i would point out one more thing that is difficult to track . . . and that is, of the click-throughs you get how many of them are new to your site, and thus make it a regular stop on their blog-reading tours, or subscribe to a feed so that they know when you post? besides the one time clicks, what you really want to do is build a reader base, and that takes some time . . . i watched my base creep up consistently when i was doing lots of carnivals . . . i’ve lost some of that recently, but i still have a significantly enlarged group of readers that i attribute to that time period . . . .

just my two cents . . .

tony g

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