January 2010

Sharing stuff on Facebook.


In the last post we talked about Facebook pages and how it is useful to have a Facebook page if you have birdwatching business, run a birdclub or have a birding blog you want to promote. Today, it is all about sharing on Facebook. How do you share your own stuff in the best way? And should you not also be sharing stuff of your Facebook Friends? Social media works with altruistic magic. The more you give (share) the more you receive! And I am not talking about virtual flowers and virtual wine, but sharing useful stuff and things you think others will enjoy, and you shall see that your Facebook friends willingly share also your own stuff. Interestingly, and something to think about in your own facebooking, the number one strategy that social media gurus such as Chris Brogan talk about for businesses to be successful using social media as a marketing tool, is providing value for others. That value should be beyond the product/service the company sells. Rather than tooting your own horn the whole time trying to sell, sell, sell, sell – you share for free. The same model that got Facebook and Twitter started. It is free. It is still free, but now they have gained our trust and they can start monetize. This strategy comes in handy even if you are not planning to sell anything. If you provide value for others, you will see that you practically can count on receiving assistance when you need it. Should your birding eventually become a business rather than just hobby, the social network of birders you have built up may actually be the key to your success.

(This is an interesting topic. How many of my readers have a birding related business? How many plan to eventually make birding also your job? Click here to take survey)

Today we look at a few tools, such as Status updates, Notes and Networked blogs we have for sharing on Facebook. Finally, a call for a birders link-sharing club.

Status updates sharing options.

Status updates comes with the option to also link to a webpage, a photo or a video. This is your main way of sharing your own stuff and a simple way to share stuff of others. It is straightforward when it comes to sharing external links. In a way it is similar to sharing links on Twitter. Sharing on Facebook is very effective because it comes with a photo and a short text sample, plus often a personal comment from the linker that is not restricted to 140 characters (although Power Twitter plugin for Firefox does a similar job). Strangely, enough birders are not linking as much as they could on Facebook, which brings us to the question:

What to share?

  • Birding news from near and a far.
  • Birding events – both as the facebook events function or a link to the event itself
  • Your Facebook friends shared items, be that regular links or one of their photos that you admire.
  • Birding blog posts you enjoy.
  • Photo albums with birds on Flickr and pBase you liked.
  • Good trip reports

Also share non birding stuff that reflects your personal taste in moderate portions, such as:

  • Music videos from You Tube. I have somewhat strange taste of music since I like both punk, hip-hop, Frank Zappa and Elvis Presley. I often share my music at 2 AM, with a warning that it may contain foul language. Remember small portions of shared music. Your Facebook wall should not become a jukebox
  • Funny videos from You Tube. Most people like a good laugh. Again small portions is best.
  • Good social media links. OK. That is me because I enjoy social media posts. Some are more useful than others for my birding friends and can thus be shared.
  • Causes. There are causes that can need some more mouth to mouth activity. Challange your friends to match a donation for a good cause.

A blog on Facebook = Facebook Notes

Contrary to what you may think, there are other uses of Facebook notes, than annoying your friends with 20 things about me, your bucket lists, and tagging photos. The main feature of Facebook Notes is to use it as a blog, which was the original purpose. It is very easy to use. If you are not a blogger yet Facebook notes is a way to get started. Here is a short test post about Lomas de Lachay I did to try it out. The drawback is that it cannot be seen unless one logs in on FB, even if you leave all permissions free.

RSS feed to Facebook Notes.

Another interesting function of Notes is that you can import an RSS feed to Notes. The idea is that you could feed your existing blog into Notes, so that it becomes published on your wall. However, as many other bloggers, I use the application Networked Blogs, which does the same thing and has better sharing options. This leaves the feed open for other uses. I tried to make a custom feed containing the blogs of some of my favorites but it did not work that well, as it did not mention the name of each blog, making it appear as if I was the author. I consequently erased my test posts. My apologies if I offended anyone. Currently, there seems to be no way to automatically feed blogs of others to your own wall. If I am mistaken let me know.

For the Birding Peru page I recently created an import a feed from the Birding Peru Yahoo listserver, which immediately creates relevant content to the page and invites non-listmembers, to take part in the discussions. For my company Facebook page I import a feed containing news and new trips published on our main webpage.

Networked Blogs

Lots of bird bloggers use Networked Blogs to share their blog on Facebook. I have the application feed my blog automatically to Kolibri Expeditions’s Facebook Page and I can manually broadcast via Networked Blogs to my Profile wall.


  • Community of blogging birders. OK, the community is not very active, as it is not as effective as it could be. It is easy forget to look at and interact with the blogs that you have chosen to follow.
  • You can find blogs to follow by doing a search and other birders may find yours.
  • Networked Blogs creates a feed containing the blogs you follow which is displayed in the left sidebar of your Facebook home. Be sure to move the Networked Blog feed higher so you don’t forget to look at often.
  • Good sharing options with also Twitter included.
  • Invite your Facebook friends to become readers of your blog. You can invite 20 friends per day. I use a standard invitation such as this:

There’s absolutely no commitment involved by following my blog. I follow 110 blogs on NetworkedBLogs and never get any direct mail notes. Receiving this, you’ll hopefully check my blog and find it interesting, and show your support if you follow! Thx

  • You can pay for the service to be able to broadcast your blog directly to your Facebook friends, a function to be handled with care, but may be useful for the future. As for now, I only use the basic function, which leaves my whole Page function free for other use.

Sharing your blog – How often can I share?

I think one may get away with linking three times on Facebook to the same blogpost, as long as you also share other stuff, and add something every time you link again. This works for me.

  1. Status update. When I have finished the blogpost I post immediately with a short URL from https://bit.ly. I always try to think of an eye-catching title and comment. The link will open up anyway, but to get the text in the status update feed, you need to close the link.
  2. Link. After I posted I go back to see if there are any updates that need to be done. There may be comments, that should warrant some changes or there could be an interest discussion going on that can be referred to. I also check to see that the excerpt for the blog that will be pulled by Facebook is concise and on topic. My blog posts are often published in the middle of the night at first, so I try to repost the link in the morning the following day, when hopefully more people are on line. Between the Status update and the link, I should have linked to other interesting stuff, so it does not appear that I am only blowing my own horn. I also change my status update. The nice thing about Link, is that one gets to chose which photo to illustrate the excerpt with. I find a bit annoying that the full URL does not show or at least the title of the blogpost in the link. I most often only sea my company root URL, where my blog is housed. If anyone know how this can be tweaked let us know.
  3. Networked Blogs. About an hour or so, Networked Blogs automatically send my blog to the Facebook page of Kolibri Expeditions (check Page settings how to do this –let me know if you need help). Therefore, 32 hours later (24h +8h), it makes sense to post once again, if there are comments here. Also, there is a prompt when you open networked blogs that suggests you to publish. Here you can’t make an additional intro comment and the photo is already fixed. However, the app shows the name of the post and the ongoing discussion. Again between the link and networked blogs there should be various other links and updates.

Birders link sharing club.

A couple of weeks ago I explained in a blog post how to make a customized Feed to replace the default  NewsFeed (selected content by FB) and the Live feed (the wall feed from all your friends combined). Check this post because it tells you how to make lists. UPDATE: Unfortunately, with the new Facebook lay-out it is not possible to customize the feed at home more than selecting which friends should show in the live feed. This is done at the bottom of the page at your Home. You may wobble between Top News and Most Recent. Make sure you select More Recent and scroll down to the end of the page. The default is showing only 500 of your friends. You may set this to show all friends (up to 5000) or select only the ones you want to show.
I recommend the former and instead create a special group of friends you want to follow closer. Why not make a club – a feed of people following this Social Media Workshop. State your Facebook URL below. Each of us invite each person and create a new feed containing Social Media birders. Click on Friends on the left column in Home and Create a list (on to). Make to monitor list frequently. You may also subscribe to the links of each through RSS (with for example Google Reader), but then you will need not to forget to check the RSS feed.

When you see an interesting link use the share button to share with all your Facebook friends. Be sure to share blogposts of the Social Media Workshop participants that you like. Both your friends and the blogger will be grateful.

Facebook sharing birders Friend List.

I am adding the Facebook profile links to the birders that comment to this article as well as the previous deliveries. I suggest you befriend each one – send an invitation, and don’t forget to mention that you saw their name here, so they know what it is about.,

  1. https://www.facebook.com/gunnar.engblom
  2. https://www.facebook.com/DawnFine
  3. https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1068613170 Brian Allen
  4. https://www.facebook.com/amv2010 Alyssa Strouse
  5. https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000356912263 Andrew Thelander
  6. https://www.facebook.com/fabian.ducry
  7. https://www.facebook.com/wlynch83 Bill Lynch
  8. https://www.facebook.com/jbcbirder J.B. Churchill
  9. https://www.facebook.com/shilfiell Kimberly Sucy
  10. https://www.facebook.com/steve.happ
  11. https://facebook.com/sbcjr Steve Corbett
  12. https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000624055424 Catherine Lewis
  13. https://www.facebook.com/jbwaugaman John Waugaman
  14. https://www.facebook.com//profile.php?id=100000703937608 Peggy Henderson Williams
  15. https://www.facebook.com/mwridgway Matthew Wridgway
  16. https://www.facebook.com/rripma Rob Ripma
  17. https://www.facebook.com/susan.hedman
  18. Your Facebook profile HERE.

Homework mentioned in the text.

  • Click here to take survey Is your birding your job or your business?
  • Use the Note-function of Facebook either as a blog or to import some stuff.
  • Enter your blog to Networked Blogs
  • Subscribe to a number of birding blogs
  • Place your Facebook url in the comment section.
  • Send friend request to all the birders that put their info there.

Last, but not least, here are the results of the previous survey. All 28 that answered the survey are on Facebook. On the other hand, those that are not on Facebook, possibly did not read the post anyway. I am surprised to see relatively large percentage do have both Twitter account and blog, but as I expected many are a bit inactive. It is revealing to see that there are many people who have Flickr accounts, but few people who actually use it much. Very few use social bookmarking. Is this because we can’t understand the benefits of it or because it is somewhat complicated? Nobody uses Reddit, why I didn’t bother to display the result. Click on the image below to see a larger picture.

If you still have not signed up for this workshop you may do so here:

Google Buzz

Share with SociBook.com

Powered by Twitter Tools

Google Buzz

Share with SociBook.com

If you have a blog pseudonym or a birding related business or non-profit you need a Facebook Page!


Before jumping into today’s post and before we get more advanced, it would be great to learn something about your experience with social media. I put together this little survey. Click here to take survey. It couldn’t be easier. A couple yes or no questions. (Update Feb 25, 2010: Survey closed. Thanks for participating. The results are presented in in Day 4. )  But it will show me where you are on the Social Media ladder. Also, I would like to know what issues you want raised on the workshop. Nothing is written in stone. I have set 31 titles of the workshop, but the content can still be adjusted the way we want it. In fact I can even change the titles if necessary…so apart from today’s task, also fill in the survey and leave comments in the DisQus section below what you think should be treated in the workshop. Now over to today’s topic: Facebook Pages.

In the previous post I discussed the  Facebook profile and made quite a case that you should not use an acronym or company name  for your profile name.  Erik Hirschfeld made an interesting comment on that post that it may be a bit uncomfortable actually to have a birding company as a friend rather than a person, as every time that person posts on your wall, it looks like advertising for a business you in real life know little of. If you screwed up when signing up for Facebook, there is still hope. See below how to do it.

I made very recently a post about Profile, Pages and groups on Facebook on my blog. You should have a look at this before you proceed here, especially the part on pages. We shall treat groups in a later post, as well as how to manage lists. In spite of that post there are still more things to say about Pages.

You get your page on https://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php. Pages are reserved for organizations, companies or people, such as musicians and artists, that need a public profile on Facebook. Contrary to your  Facebook profile and groups, you don’t have to be logged in to see the content on a Facebook page. In this sense a Facebook page could work as well as, if not better than, a blog or a web-page.   If you have a blog pseudonym, a birding related company or if you work as a bird guide, or if you are just incredibly vain you should get a fan page.


  • Searchable on search engines such as Google
  • 350 million users of Facebook.
  • It is easy to invite Facebook friends to your Fanpage on Facebook.
  • You can make a great Facebook widget to show on your blog and your web-site
  • With only 25 Fans you can get a vanity URL with your company name, slogan or keywords.
  • Viral marketing. Every time you can get someone to interact with you on your page it is reflected on their wall with a note that they have commented on your page. That doesn’t happen when someone visit your blog or web-page. Or even better they have the opportunity to share your content. Any business that does not have a Facebook page is loosing out.
  • Can be managed by more than one person


  • You can’t invite you fans to an event. When trying to send invitation only your profile friends show up.
  • When you message all your fans about an event or something else it does not come to their inbox, but rather in the updates, which is less intrusive…but then again maybe a bit too obscure.
  • If you don’t have a brand or a smart blog name, it shall look a bit odd to have a proper fan page for John Smith who maybe only has 39 friends on Facebook. Best to build up friends on Facebook first (remember to set your privacy levels a way that is comfortable for you).

It shows that it actually relatively difficult to communicate with your fans directly. These disadvantages are bound to change….and it is likely that there may be some pay for such a service.  I won’t go in deeper into what you can do with your page, as we are getting outside the realm for the regular birder and more towards needs for businesses. John Haydon is currently running a series on his blog called 31 Day Challenge To Optimize Your Blog With Social Media. In this series there are some great tips for your Facebook Page.

I screwed up when I signed up for Facebook. I didn’t know this!

The basics says, you shall use your real name for profile, and your blog pseudonym or company name in a Facebook page. If you screwed up, you may want to consider to put it right, now.

This is what I would do!

  1. Create a Facebook (Fan) page from “fake” profile
  2. Post the new fanpage URL to  your wall so everyone knows what you are doing.
  3. Change you fake profile to your real name.
  4. Upload a picture of yourself to your real profile
  5. Send invitations to your current friends of  the now real profile to join your new page and explain why you do so.  Ask them to share relevant (non spam) stuff on your page wall. Ask them to interact. Ask them to invite their friends.
  6. Nourish your friends and your fans. Post, share and interact on both accounts.

If you already have a private profile in your own name, you can either kill the fake profile after you have invited all your friends from the fake profile to your private profile and the new page  or you can give the fake profile to a co-worker who still doesn’t have a Facebook account.

Congratulations. You now have a fan-page. If your business involve a few people, you can make some of your co-workers administrators as well. That way you share the burden of uploading new stuff.

By the way, I just did a little excersize and started a New Facebook Fanpage.


for www.birdingperu.com which is a portal and database for birds in Peru.

And that is your excersize as well for today: Create a Facebook Page —-and invite all your friends.

UPDATE: Click the link for a more recent post about fake Facebook  profiles and Pages.

If you still have not signed up for the workshop, which will give you an email notice when there is a new post, please do so below. Set up a folder in your mail program to which you import each delivery to have it handy for future reference.

Google Buzz

Share with SociBook.com

Powered by Twitter Tools

Google Buzz

Share with SociBook.com

John E. Riutta. Natural Born Blogger

John Riutta - Born Again BirdwatcherThere is something about John Riutta’s blogging style that  makes his writing very pleasant. It is easy flowing and somewhat liquid. What is more, his topics are always well researched and interesting. It is an honor to have John as host for the July 9 departure of the Manu community lodges program this summer

As preperations for his Peru adventure he is sharing his reading and discoveries in a new weekly blogging series on his blog Born Again Birdwatcher.  Every Friday is Peruvian Friday. What a great idea! Two posts have been presented so far.

This shall be great to follow!

Google Buzz

Share with SociBook.com

A bird without a name

Spectacled Flower Pecker from Borneo. Photograph: Richard Webster of <a href=This is quite remarkable! A seemingly totally new species discovered at the well birding Borneo RainForest Lodge. Richard Webster spotted a unknown bird feeding in a mistle-toe in the canopy while walking the 250m canopy walk some 35 m above the ground. He took some pictures, which later were sent to Dr. David Edwards – a specialist at Leeds University, who realized that there are no birds in the bird collections that fits to the photos. Furthermore Edwards had studied the birds of the undergrowth in the same area extensively, why the new bird is possibly a canopy specialist.

I’ll let you enjoy the full article in David P. Edwards, Richard E. Webster, Rose Ann Rowlett. ‘Spectacled Flowerpecker’: a species new to science discovered in Borneo?. BirdingASIA 12 (2009): 38–41

Birding Asia is a great magazine for anyone interested in the birds of the region. Not only great. It is essential. And Oriental Bird Club supports a number of conservation projects. If you your not a member of Oriental Bird Club, please consider becoming one now!

I found several things remarkable with this discovery.

  • A new species found in a well birded area!
  • The description is made and letting the world know, before  the species has been scientifically described. There is no specimen – only photographs – and the discoverers have chosen to share their finding, both to alert that there may be specimens mislabeled in collections and that proper scientific collected specimen could/should be secured after proper permits have been attained.
  • If you follow standard listing rules – you can’t count it, because it still lacks a formal name. Isn’t it time birders set their own rules as a community. (Will be treating this issue in one of the last posts of the Social Media For birders Workshop.
  • With shouting out this discovery, it also shows that there is so much to discover and that the destruction of rain forest may be faster than new species can be described. Maybe this fast treatment will set a standard for other discoveries in the future. I am not saying they should not be properly collected. Only that the birders can help collect important information if the secrecy of new discoveries are avoided. I don’t think anyone would try to scoop the authors and describe the species on their own when a specimen is obtained.  That someone would look awfully silly and get the disrespect from the whole scientific community and the birders combined.
  • It’s seems to be a canopy specialist. Maybe dependant on the fruit of mistletoe.

Excellent done! And congratulations Richard Webster, David Edwards and Rose Anne Rowlett

Google Buzz

Share with SociBook.com

Get control of your Facebook and engage

In the last post we talked about how essentially birders are very social and have been using pre-social media for quite some time.  Today I want to help you get control over your Facebook. You are not on Facebook yet? No problem, how to sign up and get started in the small updated Facebook introduction that can be found here.
I have already justified why I think Facebook is essential in these previous posts. I want to explore how the Facebook experience can be more effective. Today, we shall treat the basics (long) and over serious of shorter post other Facebook functions, such as groups, pages, notes and how to get more friends. I mention some of my tricks here, but I am interested in hearing about yours. Please comment freely. Remember this is a workshop – not a course.

Facebook profile and setting of privacy

Can’t stress enough that this is the most important part of your Facebook. It determines if birders want to become friends with you or not. Facebook, has recently changed the policy, so that it is possible to keep various parts open for full view for everyone on the web, not only those on Facebook.  For example, now it is possible to show your wall openly.  Technically it also means that what is written on the wall can be indexed by search engines if you keep no walls to your walls. This is good if you have any business aspect of your Facebook, but maybe less good if you and your friends write all sort of private stuff on your walls, rather than sending closed messages. Also make sure that birders can contact you. Showing the email is no danger of getting more automated spam as it is an image your email shown. It can not be read by robots.

There are two major areas you should work in detail. First is the Info section in the Profile. Secondly, in Settings there is the Privacy Settings. In the latter you can for instance decide whom you want to share your photo albums with. I share for instance all my Bird photos with everyone, but keep my family photos private.  How do you keep your privacy settings? It is not sure what works for me works for you.

Checklist (update):

  • Photo. We really want to see what you look like. You may play around with your profile picture and change it as often as possible – and maybe once in a while put a bird there for a couple of days. But a picture of you on your page is really what works best in the long run. I also recommend you NOT to put your kids or your high-school photo here – if you are to connect with basically unknown birders around the world. Again, we like to know what you look like and it will help you be recognised by your Facebook birding friend if you run in to each other in live at a birding site.
  • Your real name. You should not have your company name as your Profile. For your company you should start a page. More on this in a later post. In fact,  not using you real name in your profile is against Facebook rules. Your competition may just report you and you’d lose your account.
  • Personalize your Facebook page with a Vanity URL. Would you not rather be www.facebook.com/Your.Name than a www.facebook.com/id?=234567812. Well, now you can and contrary to belief it is free. Check out https://www.facebook.com/username/
  • Check your privacy settings. Share your birdphoto folders with everyone and I recommend also sharing your profile pictures with everyone, but set the Thanksgivings dinner available only to your close friends and your family.

The Facebook time-sink

Facebook can evolve to totally dominate your daily activity if you don’t watch out. You need to take it in, in slices and control your time.

Here are some time saving tips.

  • Use a Timer to control how much time you spend on Facebook Set 30 minutes and don’t surpass that
  • Avoid re-checking Facebook every time you get a notification (serious distraction and time spender), by turning all notifications off (in Settings in the top bar) and subscribe to the Excellent free N utshellMail service.  You get one email delivered per day with the birthdays, comments, feed, etc and you may comment directly from the mail. The service also works for Twitter and MySpace.
  • If you are short of time, disconnect the chat function temporarily.  Good strategy to employ for several other chat options such as Skype and Messenger as well, if you are working with deadlines.
  • Get Facebook on your phone, so you can work away some stuff while on the bus, in the line, waiting at a red-light and yes, I admit it – in the bathroom!!!  iPhone seems to  have the most seamless function. I use Blackberry and it is not as useful since I turned off the mail notifications, but I often use the browser on Blackberry to do some Facebooking, which works reasonable well. What phones do you use? Discuss below to the benifit of those wanting a to buy a phone to use Facebook.
  • UPDATE: Throw out the television. I did this 20 years ago.

Facebook apps

I don’t know about you but I find virtual gifts and games showing in my feed or on my profile wall are extremely annoying. Fortunately, you can opt out.  Previously (and I don’t know if this is the case still with Farmville and Mafia Wars), one used to be able to opt from all by just drag the cursor over the right corner and you get the option to hide the person who sent the annoying stuff or hide/block the app itself Update: Now, only Delete is there – see below how to block apps now. I usually just blocked the app. If you hide your friends you may as well de-friend them. I used to send some messages to the people sending me the apps, but there was always a risk they thought I was being rude and not grateful of receiving their spam virtual gifts.  So just block, delete, and occasionally post some wall post such as:  For the record, I don’t play Mafia Wars, I don’t collect flowers or sea urchins, and I don’t accept virtual flowers nor virtual beers. But I tell you this,  next time we meet in real life, I’ll buy you a real beer!

I would have included a screen shot what to do, but I have been too effective getting rid of apps, I guess, so I could not find an example. For the matter of completeness, maybe one of the readers would be willing to help – for a link!

Recently just before Christmas new greetings with Blingee. It looked pretty innocent at first and they looked like OK greetings to receive as it was Christmas. But when the same people were sending the Blingees almost every day to my profile wall, it became too much. What was worse. They did not have the block option in the right corner. I got a bit desperate, but soon figured out that I could just enter the app page by clicking  the name of the app below and then block the app from the app page. This is a strategy that always will work. I am not sure if this is the case for all apps you want to get rid of, but it will remain the best way to deal individually with apps. Update: This is the way it done now for Mafia Wars and other notes in your Live Feed.

Anyway, Grandma Mary explains it well and she is kind of funny too (in small portions!!)

Facebook purityFinally, the most effective way to get rid of apps is using a greasemonkey script for Mozilla Firefox called Facebook Purity. This works well if you always work from the same machine and in Firefox, but if you often change computers, the above method of individually blocking apps as you see them works best.

Facebook engagement with birders

There is no point of having a bunch of Facebook friends if you don’t engage with them. Although, it is said Facebook is all about you, it is and should be more about your engagement with others. Having mentioned all the time saving tips, you should still spend considerable time engaging with birders on Facebook. Some ways to engage are faster than others.

  • Live and News Feed. Check what your friends are up to and comment. The fast way of commenting although, it is a bit impersonal is marking with “Like”,  but it is better than nothing at all. If you can, try to leave a short comment
  • Events invitations. Always reply with yes, no or maybe. And leave a comment. You comment is potentially seen by everyone that has been invited to the event, so make sure you are not commenting with nonsense. As there may be a lot of people invited, there is a good chance to engage with other birders. Even if you don’t plan to take part in the event, you may want to respond maybe, so the you can still monitor for replies on your comment. If you answer no, the event disappears from your event calendar. If you like the event, make sure you share it on your wall.
  • Birthdays show in the sidebar of  Home. Always wish a your Facebook friends happy birthday, even if you don’t know them well.  Open several tabs in your browser by holding Ctrl while clicking each you still have not greeted. Then write on the wall of that person. The simplest is just: Happy Birthday, Thomas!! or whatever name.. If you can add something more personal, but it is not really necessary. It is a manual birthday wish, and a good level of engagement.  If you have more friends than you actually know on FB this strategy makes sure that at least once a year you will engage with each. If you are away for a day or two, go back and check past days in the by clicking “See All”, select Birthdays here and you will see all the past birthdays you missed.
  • Answer those who write you and reply to all comments on your post.

What should I post on Facebook?

Status updates can be personal or funny. And you can send links. Of course you should share your blogpost and your photos on your wall. It is after all your wall! Most Facebook users (including myself at times) are far to occupied sharing their own stuff only.  But also try to share more of the cool birding stuff  you come across. Not only are you giving content to those who are your friends on FB, but you can also promote some your FB friends. This will make you look like a much nicer person.  Make sure always to give credit to the person who shared with you in the first place.  And don’t forget to share your friends events. They will be very grateful!

Facebook and birders

Facebook is perhaps the most important  of the non-birding specific social media platforms.  Here is a question for the discussion below: Is it or will it be the MOST IMPORTANT social media platform period? That is; More important than Surfbirds, Birdguides, Birdchat, Avibase, Birdforum and other birder specific web-pages? Or is there something else around the corner that will take its place?


  • Look over privacy settings
  • Check that your info on your profile is accurate. Remember you don’t have to fill in all fields.
  • Post some birding links you picked up today….such as this one…on your wall.

If you still have not signed up for the workshop, which will give you an email notice when there is a new post, please do so below. Set up a folder in your mail program to which you import each delivery to have it handy for future reference.

Google Buzz

Share with SociBook.com

It’s not a holiday, it’s birding

Young birders - Chris West.

Young birders - Photo: Chris West of https://swallowtailedkite.blogspot.com/.

Here is a  spinn-off from our recent Peru-trip give away, in which many young birders participated, although most did not make it all the way to win a free trip.  I did reserve several slots for young birders, but I had also to see what possibility the participants would have to be able to raise  interest among fully paying  participants. Although the social media skills were great, I felt many would  have difficulty in getting friends to pay full price. I felt very sorry, considering all the hard work they put in.

Since, then I have been balling a few ideas with  Young birders  Chris West and Kai Reed. Maybe it would be possible to cater a trip for young birders during our low season at a special discounted price, where some of the costly private transport or expensive hotels are scaled off.
From them I understood that during spring term there would be little chance of going away if the trips were not centered around some holiday. I also understood that price was more important than comfort.  This is what I have come up with. The first reactions are very positive among the young birders I have been in contact with, so it is likely that the trips will take off, in spite of the short notice.

We shall offer a birding Carpish/Satipo road program for Young birders SUB25 Feb 14-21 $699 (President’s birthday holiday) and birdwatching in Manu National Park and Amarakaeri communal reserve Feb 25-March 4 May 17-24 $699, with possibility to do Manu road or Abra Malaga/Machu Picchu self-guided prior to start of that section. The idea is to provide affordable trips for young birders – and also prepare the communities for when more comfort demanding clients will arrive.

UPDATE: We shall not fill either trip, why we offer both trips also for those birders young at heart, but older than 25 years old. Price is $120/day.  An 8 day trip would therefore be only $960. Unbeatable! Satipo road trip set off slightly modified with 3 people on Feb 15. The Manu trip is postponed to May 17. There are still a few vacancies.

Carpish/Satipo would be much less expensive in total than the Manu trip because no internal flight are involved.

What is the catch?

  • It is rainy season, which traditionally has kept birders away from Peru. However, that should not keep a birder away. The birding is still fantastic – and it beats shoveling snow any day, right!
  • Some of the Manu lodges are at  this point abandoned, but bringing in a large group will allow for the communities to send people there to clear the clearings, which will be a bit overgrown, and making maintenance. It is likely, that not all maintenance shall be ready, but we shall also bring camping equipment to be able to stay wherever we want en route.
  • No extras are included. That means the flight to Cuzco is not included (we can help with purchase for best price available). Alternatively, a bus can be take to Cuzco (21 hours) from Lima, with the possibility to stop and bird in Abancay. Bus cost is about 50$. The transport to Atalaya from where the Manu trip begins is also not included. This allows for participants to either go down the Manu road with the local bus (Mo, We, Fri) and make stops or travel straight there. The bus is around 20-30 dollars.
  • One may travel overland back to Cuzco from Maldonado (cost 20-30 dollars) or fly to Lima or Cuzco (we can help for best price). The overland option gives some opportunity to bird around Quincemil and Marcapata.
  • There are no extras on the Central Peru option.

And what do you get?

Apart from the limitations above, everything else is included. You get an expert English speaking bird guide that knows all calls of the birds to separate antbirds and flycatchers. You have a cook that makes sure you get great food and drinks through-out the trip. A private boat in Manu and private car in Carpish with professional boatmen and driver.

And you should get minimum 300 species of birds with up to over 400 possible.Carpish/Satipo road is potentially more species rich as you pass through many different habitats.

Here are the links again, if you want to read more about the trips.

There will be limited space on the tours. So don’t wait too long to book. Please spread the word through your network of young birders.

Great thanks to Chris West for getting me  the excellent picture for this blogpost. Check out Chris West’s blog here.

Google Buzz

Share with SociBook.com

Powered by Twitter Tools

Google Buzz

Share with SociBook.com

Social Media for Birders. Some background.

BirdersThanks for joining me in the Social Media event of the year (at least for birders). I start off with some history and definitions as background to build the rest on.  You may also want to check out these two posts introducing the event as they give you some additional background.

Since I noticed that there are relatively few birders that use all the Social Media platforms that we are going to deal with, it makes sense to start off at a beginners level. On the other hand, many bloggers participating in the workshop have excellent knowledge. I ask you to be understanding when I deal with things that are obvious to you. I  appreciate your expertise and hope that you will contribute with your wise comments, to further improve the experience of the participants. Later in the workshop we shall deal with more specific tweaking of the Social Media set-up.  Let the fun begin!

Birders are social. Social Media is natural for birders

Birders have always been using different types of media to connect with each other before the rise of Social Media. Birdclubs announced excursions in their bulletins and newsletters. Friends of birders had a telephone list to announce appearance of rare birds. Answering machines turned into birdlines and pager systems. Cellphones and SMS made it easier to call in and receive birding news. On the internet listservers and later yahoo groups mailing list for local birding popped up everywhere. Special pages and forums for birders where everyone could participate have become among the most popular web-pages the last couple of years.
So with all these specialized social media for birders, why should birders even bother about generic Social Media such as Facebook and Twitter? What we got seems enough! Social Media surely is just a waste of time!
During the 31 days of the course of this workshop I intend to show how generic Social Media is the next big thing for birders and how it can be molded to fit our needs, without taking too much of our time.

Look at Social Media as marketing of a business even if it is not!

Sure, everyone can understand that smart businesses want to make use of Social Media to market their product.  But why should the same rules that applies for business Social Media marketing be of any interest for regular birders? Why should a birder try to get more connections with other birders that he/she does not know personally? What is the point? The birder in general does not have a product to sell! The birder in general is quite content with the small network of birders he/she already knows.

That is true, but have a look at these statements:

  • Every birder wants to become a better birder. We are passionate about learning more.
  • Every birder wants to recruit new birders. We are mostly passionate about trying to spread the “gospel”. We know that birding is about fulfillment -that also is mostly a very healthy hobby – and few things would please us more than to be an inspiration of another human being to become passionate about our passion. One of the most attractive features with the general Social Media platforms is that it can be seen as recruitment grounds for converting non-birders into birders.
  • Every birder wants more effective bird conservation. Bird conservation campaigns should certainly use Social Media as if they were  a business. The same campaigns would gain if the birders were better connected
  • Every birder wants handy advice about identification and travel to see birds. More birding Facebook friends will not hurt you.

Let me ask you again. Don’t you think it would be fantastic to be’ better connected with other birders than you are today? We would become more and better birders.

More birders – More business!

DISCLAIMER: Birding is my business and “more birders” mean more business. (So much for my “altruistic involvement”  in Social Media, huh?)

But “more birders” also means more business for other birding businesses. In Peru for example, more birders (both native and visiting foreign birders)  would lead to more eco-friendly involvement, because conservation and eco-tourism runs very well together. It creates more sustainable resource management and an alternative economy for the local communities.  The threats are deforestation, mining and oil exploits. If every birder took on a mission to try to make more birders, the world would be a better place. Hallelujah!

The three pillars  of Social Media – Facebook, Blog and Twitter – and an outsider for birders: Flickr.

For a business it is essential to have a blog on the home web-page, as this creates content and helps SEO. Facebook and Twitter can be used to bring traffic to you blog. These three pillars are also valid for a birder Social Media novice and we shall treat the three platforms in depth during the workshop. There is one extra leg for any birder that also photograph. Flickr has become the best sharing site of bird photos.

Facebook is the most popular Social Media platform with some 350 million users. Much of this workshop will circle around Facebook as it has most potential to create a large community of birders fast and many birders already have an account. And if you don’t have an account in which you keep in contact with your non-birding friends and family, you should start an account specifically to communicate with other birders.  Facebook has made many changes since I wrote a blog post called  “Facebook for birders“. I plan to update this post tomorrow, but nevertheless you can probably still use the instructions to sign up for an account if you don´t have one yet.

In the next post we shall start tweaking your Facebook account to make it as optimal as possible for connecting with other birders.


  • Get a Facebook account if you don’t have one.
  • Make a presentation of yourself in the comment section with your Facebook link, Twitter, Flickr and Blog URL.

Extra credits: Post a link to this post on your Facebook wall and ask more people to sign-up – and use the Retweet button above if you are on Twitter. I still think we should become 1000 people on this workshop! And yes, I will reciproke with links or tweets to your blogs.

If you still have not signed up for the workshop, which will give you an email notice when there is a new post, please do so below. Set up a folder in your mail program to which you import each delivery to have it handy for future reference.

Photo (birdwatching)  by Albuquerque BioPark on Flickr. License: Creative Commons
Google Buzz

Share with SociBook.com