Not a waste of time!
I was thinking the same thing a year and a half ago. Therefor, I challenge you to read through this article and follow this course-workshop. Give it a chance! It is winter in the northern hemisphere so you may just have a little bit more time now to actually find out WHAT IT IS ALL ABOUT!
31 day Social Media workshop for birders
The workshop (I prefer to name it workshop instead of course as I also will be learning) will run for 31 days on my blog. There will not be a daily post. More likely 3-4 post per week, so you will have time to contemplate what you have learned. You will learn how to use social media more effectively and specifically for birders and for birding related companies. Here are a few topics.
- Facebook for birders
- Twitter for birders – including rare bird alerts.
- YouTube – sharing bird videos.
- Flickr and photo-sharing. Building a photo guide of the birds of the world.
- Stumble Upon, Digg, Reddit, Delcious and other social bookmarking services.
- Blogging. Would you like to have 100s of visitors daily to your blog?
This birding network that you will create using these tools will give you an enormous advantages anytime you look for an answer on a birding question, and ID problem, advice to buy a birding gadget or if you look how to bird a new destination more effectively and less expensively. Birding news will reach you fast and there may even be applications for Rare Bird Alerts.
Part of the resistance to Social Media among birders is that they feel they are doing quite well with the existing channels. It is hard to see the benefit of something new if you haven’t tried it…and if you try it and your mates are not on and it take ages until you actually find a lot of other birders to engage with, it becomes a bit boring and you will leave your Facebook and Twitter without activity, convinced it is not for you.
I understand you perfectly. Social Media will appear as a waste of time. But say we get 1000 participants to this course/workshop and we all started to connect between us, start to share what we have learned about social media with our existing network who are not following the workshop. If each of us have some 50 connections in average, it means the network can reach 50 000 birders. That is for starters. With the expansion of Facebook this is already happening and with 10 years millions of birders will effectively be connected this way. If we look at the same equations regarding how birders can become more effective in conservation issues and how we can recruit a new generation of birders, Social Media become the means to achieve this.
I have been on Facebook for some 21 months and on Twitter for 18 months. Both have served to connect with other birders.
I have been blogging for about a year regularly on this site. I had blogged before, but a year ago, I moved my Blogger blog to be housed on my company site and I became part of the community of bloggers at NatureBlog Network. I realized then that frequent blogging could be a way to get more birders also find my commercial site.
Soon I also realized that both Twitter and Facebook were excellent tools to tell others about my blog – and thus indirectly my business.
In spite of these early notions, I worry much less about driving traffic to my commercial site today, but rather just blog on topics that I believe will be interesting to other birders. In the end, anyone interested in the commercial part of my web-site will find it looking in the about pages. I have no need to glue it to your face. In the end, you may – or may not – chose to purchase what I offer, but it will often be after we already have gotten to know each other.
One thing that has become very clear to me as I have been on this journey, is that birders in general know very little about why social media can be just mind-blowing for birders. This, I think, is the main objective with this workshop. To show you why Social Media for birders rocks!!
Three Social Media Mantras
When social media is best, there are three pillars – three main rules to live by.
Remember this as your Mantra. You shall hear those words again and again.
The workshop will be published on my blog, but in order to know immediately when a post have been posted you should sign up for the Social Media for birders challenge filling in the form below. In these messages there will also be specific tasks for you to complete so you can put your achieved new knowledge into practice. It is through the mailing list that we shall be building a community. By signing up and saving all the messages in a specific folder you shall have all the items ready at hand when you need them for reference.
Finally, please share the link to this page with as many birders you know. We will come out stronger after this, building connections for conservation, for recruiting new members to the birding community, for finding info on birding in foreign countries including local guides and operators, for getting the ID:s on your photographed mystery birds, for helping newcomers to get into the hobby without get turned off before even gotten started because now they have access to more experienced birders.
Now sign-up, please!
Here is an updated post with some more justification to share the news about this workshop and also contains a disclaimer which reveals my motives to organize this event for FREE!