Social Media

Include all types of Social Media and Web 2.0 appliences.

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
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Yesterday, I posted the news about the forthcoming (Start Jan 10) Social Media workshop for birders.  It wasn’t the immediate success I had anticipated, because birders at large still don’t understand why social media will be so important. I re-wrote several paragraphs and added some more justification. Check it out!

Well, we still need more people to sign up!

Spread the word

Social Media is all about sharing. If you share on your Twitter and Facebook and write a Blog post about the workshop I”ll give you a FREE trip to Peru!

Errrr, what was that? I have already given away 21 trips? There is not business if I give away all the time? Right, but it just feels so right to give when it has just been Christmas and all.

But I tell you what: If you share on your Twitter and Facebook and write a Blog post about the workshop I”ll give you a FREE slot to participate in the workshop! How’s that?

Errrr! It is already free for anyone to participate? So what it the business in that then?

How can it be free?

The equation does not seem to work, but the way I see it,  if we get 1000 participants we will all gain:

  • traffic to our blogs
  • more connections when we want to go birding near and far
  • tips on new birding gadgets
  • recommended great birding articles by other birders
  • Identification help at hand for photos of mystery birds. There will always be someone that knows someone that knows!

Traffic to my blog is my principal motive for doing this for free.

I should do a disclaimer so here it is.


You got be sincere about what you try to do. So I spit it out right here.

  • I will not use the workshop to sell birding trips to you. There shall be NO links to my tours in the Social Media posts.  The emails that are sent out will NOT contain any links to pages that are not relevant to the workshop
  • The emails of the people participating will never be revealed to a third party, nor will there be any tour offers generated by the same email list. The emails will NOT be added to my unsolicited email list of birders. This list is being faced out as the spam filters are too effective and the mailing list provider don’t allow for  unsolicited email.
  • When referring to books and other 3rd party services, I WILL use affilate systems if they exist. In the case of books the affiliate system of will be used. This will not get me rich! I have made $US 15 on Amazon since March 2009. I figure, if I mention a book link in one of my blogs I may as well earn something (beer money), but no-one in the birding blog sphere is making any substantial money on affiliate sales to other birders. Birders don’t get rich on blogging!
  • I WILL  invite everyone to opt-in for my regular newsletter  or my blog by email or RSS.
  • I MAY offer an e-book in the end.

But with that disclaimer, the workshop is still FREE and there is no other hidden agenda

Now spread the word, please!

If you share on your Twitter and Facebook and write a Blog post about the workshop I will be forever grateful, and I’ll buy you a beer for all that affiliate money I shall be making:-)

Seriously, I would appreciate all the help I can get. I have prepered a few banners you can use in your blog post and side column.

Social Media for birders

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Social Media for birders

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Social Media for birders

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If you share on your Twitter and Facebook and write a Blog post about the workshop I will also post a link on my Facebook  and make a Tweet referring to your blog.

Here is the link again.

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Not a waste of time!

Social Media for birdersI think I know what many birders who are still not on Facebook or blogging think. Social Media is a waste of time and it will only result in less time for birding. Can’t be bothered with that!

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.

  • Listservers
  • Facebook for birders
  • Twitter for birders – including rare bird alerts.
  • Forums.
  • 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.

My background

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.

  • Listen
  • Engage
  • Share

Remember this as your Mantra. You shall hear those words again and again.

Sign up

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!

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The BIG Kolibri Expeditions Give-Away has some winners

Eye-ringed Thistletail - Special endemic bird of Satipo road

To stimulate eco-tourism in new areas still at large undiscovered by birders and to support the local communities in these areas, I made this first social media PR experiment for birders giving away 15 birding trips in Peru to the same areas. Read about the back-ground here…….

The  birders mentioned at the bottom of this post  have spread the word on various social media platforms, some of them general such as Twitter and Facebook, while others more specific for birders such as listservers and forums.

The above post has got 3000 hits since Dec 12 and is the most popular of all my blog posts since my blog started (seriously) a year ago.  A big hugg to all of you for making this such a fantastic event.

40 participants!

In the end I had 40 names in consideration, so in reality the chance of winning a tour was extremely high. Those that did not make it all the way in large did not have large enough networks on the internet, or simply in several cases gave up too early and did not send in a final activity report. Others that I certainly considered when they first contacted me and by professional merits seemed to qualify immediately, just disappeared and in some cases did not even bother to subscribe to the newsletter.  Connectivity and emails lost in Cyberspace  may have played trickes in some cases. I have checked my spam boxes just in case, but there may still be lost emails out there.

Many young birders

I noticed quite early that I got many requests from quite young birders. Many had excellent social media skills, but admitted not the economic means to take a organized trip to Peru. It made me very happy to see that there is a new generation of young birders out there – and I decided to ear-mark several slots for young birders. However, in the end I am unsure of the actual age of several of the winners, but I still hope I could pin down a few of the young birders.

Lack of Social Media skills

So while I ceertainly am very happy with the final results in this excersise, I wonder if we should not have had more than just 40 contestants, considering there were 3000 page views. I am looking forward to see your comments below why there were not more people wanting to part?  Was it because birders in general don’t have enough Social Media skills? I believe this could be the case, so I am pondering on the idea of maybe offering a social media workshop for birders.  Would you be interested?

I made the same question on my Facebook and immediately got the question: What is Social Media? So just in case – here is my answer: Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Listservers, Forums, Flickr, StumbleUpon, DIGG, YouTube, etc.

The offical launch for the social media workshop for birders will be presented tomorrow with start around Jan 10, 2010 (to be confirmed)

Too good to be true!

I had some reactions that obviously is not favoring the cause. These words have been mentioned: Scam, Spam, Ponzi Scheme, fraud, too good to be true…etc.

How do you think this campaign has affected the company? Good or bad?  It can’t be good for us if people think we are scamming birders!

It is not very easy to give away something without some sort of catch. But there is really not much of a catch. Just let others know about. The alturistic message is to promote community based eco-tourism in new areas. This will be good for conservation.  My company and I, get some exposure, which could/should lead to more sales. I also get 21 ambassadors (15 free trips and 6 bloggers already confirmed). That is very valuable to us!

How does it work financially for Kolibri Expeditions?

You will see from the price structure, that both trips are cheaper priced than our ordinary trips – and on top of that we are giving away a free space.  It is true that the costs of operation is somewhat smaller, but there is also an operational risk involved. Since there is lack of infra-structure and communication problems with the areas, no client shall expect things to be top-notched.  Both areas are difficult to sell among our regular programs as they are neither established and lack comfort.  By offering free trips of only 8 days, it is hoped that many of the winners as well as participants in these trips will take other programs with us. We shall not lose any money by operating these trips, but the revenue lies with selling some of our extensions.

From the communities standpoint they get the chance of doing things right from the beginning, because there will be a stream of birders coming every month. This continuity is vital to the success of this idea.

The winners are……..

No more beating around the bush….here they are. The winners:

Joel Brady-Power
Alan McBride
Kimberly Sucy
Jan Axel Cubilla
Bill Lynch
Greg Grant McCreary
Brian Allen
Radd Icenogle
Rob Ripma
Vernon Laux
Isaac Grant
Chris West
John Riutta
Chris Drysdale
Scott Artis

Congratulations all of you!!! Please resend me your preferred dates ( so I can put each in the calendar. In the next post I shall make the justification of my choices as well as designate each winner with a slot.  Now, please all winners, tell the world that this was not a scam – and invite your friends to join you paying their fare (which is quite reasonable compared to many other trips we and others offer.)

Everyone’s a winner!

Getting this sort of engagement, is extremely valuable. So I would like to offer those that have taken part a special offer, which was delivered in the  newsletter today. The offer is only available to those that were subscribed before the end of Dec 25.


There were a few people that were in consideration until very late, but I just ran out of slots. Many of them were highly qualified. With small adjustments they could have won a trip.  I will contact each personally with comments. It will take a few days, so please bare with me.

Thanks again all of you for taking part in this somewhat historic PR event in birding circles. Future will tell if we do it again!

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Customize your own News feed.

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When you have as many Facebook  friends as I do, neither the default News Feed or Live Feed is good for me. I custom-made a feed to be my default feed containing the people that recently have interacted with me. This post teaches you how.

News Feed and Live Feed.

Open Home in upper left corner of Facebook. In the left column you shall see News Feed on top. When clicking that you will see the feed that FB think you are interested in. This feed pretty much replaces the “Highlights” that used to appear on the right column in the Home area on Facebook. It is thought that News Feed will be a more static feed of things you are interested in, based on your past activity. It is a place to check on the important stuff posted the last 24 hours and gives you a chance to catch up.
It is possible to wobble to see Live Feed – the feed in real time from everyone. This is a bit too overwhelming, though and often contain stuff from Facebook friends that you may not be connecting that much with.

I am interested in interacting with people that have interacted with me. Therefore, I have custom-made a feed and created a new list of selected friends and put this feed on top. When I open Facebook, I will immediately see the feed from friends that have taken their time to comment on my links and status updates on Facebook.

Step by step instructions to create a customized feed.

1. At the bottom of the left column you shall see the button “more”. Click it!
2. At the bottom of the expanded column is “create list”. Click it.
3. If you have a second window with your Facebook Profile open you will see all the people that have commented and “liked” your posts. I selected all these and made a new list.
4. Once the list is created you can drag it to the top of the side column.
5. Add new people as they comment on your profile wall, by clicking the little edit pen on the feed. It helps having two windows open when you do this step as well. There is a little search window that is very convenient to use. Just tape in the first few letters of your friend name and his/her icon will show immediately.

Other nuisances in the feeds.

Apps and games of course. Most apps and games on Facebook are a waste of my time in my opinion. And getting notes in the feeds whenever Facebook friends use an app or some achievement in Mafia Wars becomes quite overwhelming. However, they are easy to get rid of. Just click “Hide” in the upper right corner of the the note in the feed and that shall be the last time you see that app or game. It has to be done quite frequently to start with, but soon your feed will be almost clean.

One app I do like though and is very useful to me is Networked Blogs. It is an excellent app that both drives traffic to your blog and makes you discover other blogs without being intrusive.
If you have this app I suggest you also drag the Networked Blogs feed high up in the column so you check the blogs you follow once in a while. And leave a comment! Everyone likes to receive comments to their blogs.

Related topics from my blog.

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This video is on my wall. I lost a Facebook Friend.

If you are still not on Facebook read this Facebook Tutorial first.

Last Sunday after burning midnight oil and already Monday 1 AM, and all prude should have been in bed a long time, I posted this link to a funny commercial on my Facebook profile. Result: I lost a follower, who wrote me and said it was disgusting, and consequently de-friended me. Not only that, she will use the competition when eventually coming to Peru birding. Facebook message Did I do wrong? Did she over-react? I think it comes down to how we use Facebook differently. I should not be surprised, because I have invited birders from all over to become Facebook friends with me. If you are a birder and we share some Facebook friends you may already have received a Facebook friend request from me. I believe that building a birder’s network on Facebook is generally a good thing. It could become like a giant Birdingpal network. A tremendous resource if you plan a birding trip somewhere. You get an insight what birders are up to, even if it is not exactly birding all the time, but I like that as well, because it makes each and everyone even more interesting. I have an open mind and I am not easily offended. I will speak my own mind on my Facebook profile, but I am usually careful to disclose if a link contains explicit language. The few self-inflicted rules I play try to play by are the following:

  • No explicit language from myself. I may link to explicit language (remember I like Punk and Hip-Hop) with a disclaimer.
  • No negative thoughts. Why bother friends with my sorrows?
  • No Facebook or Twitter when drunk! (Rarely nowadays, but it is a good rule I hope I remember if I get really pissed)
  • No compromising pictures of myself or others. (That is actually a general Facebook rule. You may get sued if you post something compromising.)

But still, there may be things that don’t match with all birders, so I am really not surprised to lose a Facebook friend by posting a sexist commercial on my wall. As I indicated in my Facebook mail to “Sawwhets’s New”, it may be better for some users, only to let your closest become Friends and connect with other birders through groups and fan-pages. This post is meant to guide you through the differences between Profile, Page and Group on Facebook.

Facebook Profile

This is the first step. You automatically get a profile when you open your Facebook account. This account SHOULD be in your own name. Profile is for individuals. Real people and with their real names. You are not allowed to use pseudonyms or your company names. (Watch out, Sawwhet! You may lose your account!!). Originally, Facebook meant this space to be completely private. That is, something you only share with those that you are close friends with. But with the expansion of Twitter, more and more people are quite lenient in whom they share “friendship” with. And Facebook does not seem to mind too much. You get suggestions by Facebook whom to connect with often indicated by how many friends you have in common. As mentioned above, many birders like myself have found it an extremely useful network builder connecting with other birders through Facebook. It is more engaging than groups and most pages (more on these topics below). Let’s take a look on some features in Profile.


Facebook Although, most Facebook users are navel gazers, looking only at their own wall, the most interesting feature of Facebook is the more Twitterlike Home News Feed where the stream of updates from your friends is showing. It is here you make discoveries – like a great link you may want to share with your other friends. It is here you interact with your friends – Make a comment! It is here you lay the foundation to become a great person on Facebook.  You don’t want to become one of the 12 most annoying types of facebookers, do you? (I am sure at times I have been perceived as all 12 of these at the same time…but one learns, right?…Still a “friend padder”, though. I admit!!)Facebook2

In my News Feed there are hardly any apps for quizzes, games, mafia wars, etc, because the moment I see them I hide the application (pass the cursor over the upper right corner of the annoying app feed to hide it). I simply don’t have time for those games. Feeds

But there is more cool stuff on Home. You can for instance group your Friends in lists and only get the feed from a particular list to show. See how I have made my lists here to the left. You may have a list for birders, one for family, one for close friends, one for past friends, one for people who share things you enjoy, etc. Click Friends in the bar to make your lists. When you have created all the lists you want, come back to the Home page and click More in the side column to visualize all lists. When all lists are visualized you can sort them as you wish (in the More mode) and put you favorite list on top. That way, next time you open your Facebook you shall find updates only of your favorite friends to start with. (Hint, hint Sawwhet!).

Also on Home in the right column, you find the suggestions of people to befriend. Make sure people you ask to become your friends really share your hobby. If you have many friends in common who happen to all be birders  it should be safe to ask to become firends. Also, always send an introductory message with the friend request. The maximum number of friends any one person is allowed to have is 5000, although you can only send a message to 20 friends per delivery.
Additionally on the Home page are highlight of links and photos shared by your friends, an events calendar and a list of upcoming birthdays.

Profile – it is all about me!

All your activity will show here. Anyone looking at your page will expect to see lots of stuff about you on the Profile Wall. But still, be somewhat careful. Be sure you share stuff that is not always about yourself. Share some videos, or music that you like, bird photographs, and links. The links can and should be your blogposts, but you will become a hero if you also share blog posts of blogging friends and other cool stuff that you find on the net that your friends will enjoy. If you are using the many apps of games and quizzes on Facebook they will also show here, and your friends that do not participate in the games can not opt out not seeing these when they come by for a visit. If these friends reacts as I do, when I see a page full of apps, they will leave quickly!


Anyone can start a group. I am sure you already belong to some groups. I have started three groups. Groups are communities centered around a subject that you have in common with many others

On these spaces members can upload pictures and links. In fact the photo galleries is the strongest feature. In spite of relatively high member numbers in these groups they lead a quite quiet existance. Very few comments, few discussions. I think one problem is that group activity does not show in the News Feed. If it did there would be more activity. There may be a way to activate this, but I still have not found it. Please advise if you know how.

UPDATE: Recently Facebook gave groups a new layout. The first group page is now more wall like and very inviting for leaving comments. Both discussion topics and Photos are posted on the wall as well as comments in general or links. This is great news and have kicked life into many dormant groups.

As a group owner I can send out direct facebook notifications to the group members. One of the most common reasons why people leave groups is abusive use of administrator mailings. As admin/group owner, don’t use this feature more than once or twice per month. People will be less annoyed. There is no limit in how many members a group can have. I am sure some people have thought that you could create a group called something like ” I bet I can find 1 000 000 people who want to save the rain forest”…and then send them all invitations to “help” an NGO that the same administrator runs. Well, you can’t, 5000 people is the maximum you can direct updates to. (Sorry spammers!!). Large organizations that aspire more than 5000 members should looks at Pages rather than groups (see below).

The strongest feature apart from photos (and the new wall) is the events calendar, which gives incentive to interaction. As group owner you can create an event that mobilize people to become more active in the group. Every member will receive the event invitation. More tips on how to reviving a dormant Facebook group can be found in the excellent summery 5 ways of reviving a fading Facebook group by Rebecca Leaman on John Haydon’s blog.

Facebook Pages.

Also known as Fan Pages. This is the place for your company, your pseudonym or personal name if you are a famous birder, singer, actress, hip-hop artist or just a big Social Media guru. You can only make a page with a brand you own or have the rights to use. The Page function is very much like the profile. You can make status updates and send links on the Page Wall, just as on your profile with these showing in the Newsfeed to your fans. This makes it easier for your fans to detect your activity and they will interact. Facebook pages can be a bit difficult to find, because they don’t show on your profile very prominently. There are advertsing options for companies and such efforts can be very powerful as the advertising on Facebook is very targeted. The cheapest way to get fans to your Page is to first get Facebook Friends to your profile and then invite them to the Fan Page of your brand, band or whatever. If your profile or group really is your brand, there are also possibilities to change them into a Page and take your friends with you. Contact Facebook from the help page. I post news about our trips on the Kolibri Expeditions – Birding Peru Page. Blogposts about Social Media and most family stuff go to my Facebook profile only and birding posts go to both the Fanpage and my profile. A good link about Profile, Pages and Groups on Facebook is provided by John Haydon. He also gives many other good links on the subject.

The most important one single feature of Facebook Pages is that they are open to view by all public (No need to be Facebook member to see it) and thus indexed by search engines.  Anyone caring about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your main webpage and your brand, knows that this is extremely important.

End note.

Facebook, thus gives 3 different ways to interact. There should not be any problems to connect with people you don’t want to share your details with. You may get repetitive friend requests from people you share the same interest with whom you may want to be connected with regarding birds, but not share other stuff. From the above you have learnt that you can either accept and just adjust your privacy and list settings or delete the friend request and connect in groups or on pages.

Want to learn more? Sign up for the RSS stream of this blog, our biweekly newsletter (see sign-up box in the side column) and/or the groups and pages linked to above. And if you haven’t yet joined Facebook: What are you waiting for?

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Your favorite Tweet Club is back.

Twitter club for birders. We need a better logo! Could anyone please come up with something?

Twitter club for birders. We need a better logo! Could anyone please come up with something?

Not as long delay this time, but still delayed. I hope to be able to get the tweetclub #006 out by next Thursday Oct 1, so please submit your contributions in the comment section below before Tuesday Sep 29 . See earlier tweet-club postings to understand the rules and how this works.

I am having somewhat difficult time to get enough participants in the tweet-club in spite of the overwhelming results. Some of you may think it comes off as a bit spammy, but in reality for those of us on Twitter who follow more than 100 people have a hard time to actually see all things that are relevant. Therefore, highlighting blogposts about birds that have been selected by the individual birdblogger and additionally have past my “filter” (strictly commercial posts or non-bird related posts will not pass) guarantees excellent reading and posts you don’t want to miss. You also have a chance to spread your blog to people who don’t regularly would read your blog. I have around 4600 followers on Twitter.  Quite obviously not all are birders, but if we could provide interesting blogposts about birds that have lots of wow-factor in them (I repeat great photos, something very funny, a great story, something useful, a top 1o list, a tutorial etc have the chance to reach far more people that you usually reach) then we can also engage more people to maybe become birders and ultimately active guardians of nature.

Facebook-club for Bird Bloggers.

I have talked about this idea in previous posts. Now it is time to introduce it here as a fixed strategy. Some explaining: From the past tweet-club results I have picked those that got over 100 clicks and presented these on my Facebook (some 1800 Facebook Friends – mostly birders). Unfortunately, it I can’t measure my out-going links from Facebook (if it is possible – let me know!), but it ought to be significant. If you have a great story or photo it may even be re-Facebooked by some of friends. For a specialized hobby like ours and with the relatively few birders on Twitter, Facebook reaches more birders. Twitter can reach more people and especially people that may have a beginning interest in nature watching. Facebook reaches the already converted souls and the friends of friends. The two compliment each other. It is therefore logical to take the Tweet-club also to Facebook.

A few things to think about.
1. By publishing links to other bloggers, you will appear less navel-gazing and self promoting. Sure, Facebook in itself is a self-promoting media, but your Facebook friends will love you even more if you not only promote yourself.
2. But, don’t overdo it. Only share things you truly like.
3. Share the link only once or at the most twice if you posted at an odd hour and get very few responses.  Since Facebook is an mutual opt-in social media system it means that most those who are following you as Facebook Friends are truly interested in you and contrary to Twitter will read almost every update.

Newbies on the Tweetclub

We have some new participants for this weeks tweet-club. I have chosen posts from their blogs since they either did not supply a specific blogpost, it was not about birds or it contained a stream that can’t be seen in some countries. Sorry to these bloggers for that inconvenience.

Here are the tweets you should retweet (and of course read and comment).

  • RT @Journowl The cheaper sex ……for Imperial Eagle
  • RT @JKissnHug Very confident Sandhill Cranes were raising young in popular Michigan park
  • RT @SoaringFalcon1 The burrowing owl is threatened in California. Larry Jordan gives all the background. (had 104 hits prior to tweetclub launch)
  • RT @irenapuella Great shots of Asian Owls (had 16 tweets for this link before launch.
  • RT @ falconmountain Pallid Harrier in Finland. Good flight photos.
  • RT @NC_N8 Everyone has heard about the Christmas Bird Count! What a bout the Fall Bird Count?
  • RT @2birderstogo Nothing like a jay to lift your spirits and cure your ills.
  • RT @kolibrix Do you want to birdwatch in Manu, Peru and support the indigenous communities get into eco-tourism?
  • RT @LadyWoodpecker Last day of summer. What to do? Go birding on the shore of course

I also had contributions from BirdExplorers and Dani in Catalunya, but since I got no twitter account from neither, I can not include them. Please submit again next week.

Last tweet club results.

The results from tweet club 4 were a bit more modest than usual, but both long delivery time of the blogpost as well as rather few participants gave lower numbers.

@SoaringFalcon1 36 clicks
@kolibrix 59 clicks
@DawnFine 64 clicks
@birdfreak 66 clicks
@journowl htp:// 73 clicks
@gwendolen 85 clicks

Gwendolen’s Vulture call got most clicks.

Leave contributions for next weeks tweet-club. Contributions by Tuesday, por favor.

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How to credit when credit is due on Twitter?

Say you see a funny phrase on Twitter as I did yester day and you want to retweet it. This phrase was so cute but it had no RT prefix crediting someone in specific.

I tried to search for the term on, but although I got  page after page with hits there is no immediate way to find the first mention.  The tweets containing this phrase is ordered with the latest mention first, but it would take me endless clicking page per page to get to the first, if ever.

Desired search fucntions on Twitter.

Two things really. As indicated above getting a search of say the 100 first mentions for a phrase would be great.

Another variant on the same theme would be to search for tweets on a specific date and time of day.

Why? If not for anything else, to be able to give credit to the right person. If you come up with something really catchy, someone else would not take the credit as easily.

Here is a twitterism that I thought I came up with first. But after doing some searches on on the internet I found several that predates mine.

I twitter, therefore I am.

However, my friend Kathy Licari countered on Facebook, which must be a first:

“I don’t Twitter, therefore I am…..not?”

Ha, ha!!!

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Three weeks and still kicking

Twitter club for birders. We need a logo! Anyone can come up with something?

Twitter club for birders. We need a logo! Anyone can come up with something?

Seems to be a day or two delay every week in presenting this tweet-club. Sorry for that. It has been a busy week and it took a long time to get the contributions and even longer to actually sit down and write this. So rather than being sleepless a couple of hours before our new baby daughter Anahi will be born, I thought I just speedily wrap this up.
The results so far for the tweet-club have been overwhelming, and I am noticing that the participants are getting the idea of what kind of blogpost are more retweet-worthy than others. The idea is really that our blogs shall be found outside our normal spheres. We need cute, we need funny, we need good pictures and we need great headlines. I could say that we need good writing skills….but no, no, no, NO!…..
That is probably the least important talent you need to get retweeted. OK, some people will get great readership because of fluent language and glittering writing skills, but most of us, especially if struggling in a language that is not even our native tounge, will have to focus on the small things that catch the eye. The content is the most important thing and we can well get our love of nature come across with less wordy pieces if we focus on the essentials. Why do we need more readers? Maybe, together we can incentivate someone to take up birding and whom will become yet another foot soldier in the war against the narrow minds that treat the planet like it was just a never ending resourse. The bird and habitat conservation need more foot soldiers.

.………..errrr..hallo!….Gunnar!!…..get to the point for Pete’s sake….. what was that you said about wordy?…

The results:

From14 particpants the first week, this week there were only 6. Last week we had 8 particpants recieving more than 100 clicks. This week 4 participants received over 100 clicks.  Did everyone retweet the way they were supposed to. I am not going to tell you, but you can check for yourself, just copy the url below to your browser and add a +sign immediatly after to and you will come to the info page of that particular post. Scroll down to see who has retweeted! Quite revealing isn’t it. If you need to redeem yourself you can! If you were not able to do the retweeting for any reason there is no timelimit. You can catch up, no problem. If you find it diffucult to find the time to retweet download tweetlater to program your tweets.

@journowl 85 clicks
@phillipdews 86 clicks
@birdingdude 100 clicks
@patbumstead 103 clicks
@kolibrix 111 clicks
@soaringfalcon1 188 clicks

The winner is @soaringfalcon. Congratulations Larry Jordan of a Birders Report. His video of the cute Wood Ducklings first plunge into the water from a nesthole in a tree was just too cute. All that got over 100 clicks I will feature on Facebook the coming week.

Tweet club last week of July.

This weeks tweet club, again a small dedicated group consists of:

  • @birdingdude Tern Fest with 8 species of Terns on a Long Beach, NY outing. Wow!
  • @soaringfalcon1 Crows are among the most intelligent birds. (had 67 clicks prior to Tweetclub launch)
  • RT @journowl Up close video shows owlets run for cover as predator soars above (had 33 clicks prior to Tweetclub launch)
  • RT @DawnFine How to make a digiscope attachment
  • RT @jeffgyr Some days, “bird tour leader” really IS the best job in the world: (had 1 hit prior Tweetclub launch)
  • RT@kolibrix Ted Parker finds Golden-backed Mountain-Tanager and Pardusco at Unchog, Peru.

Those that supplied links have in some cases already some clicks. I mention how many so that it can be subtracted in the final score.

Submit your posting for birdbloggers tweetclub #004 in comments below by Wednesday Aug 5, 2009.  The results from Tweetclub #003 will be published with Tweetclub #004

Keep tweetin’ ….

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Whither StumbleUpon

Stumble UponTwo weeks ago Mike Bergin of NatureBlogNetwork (also of 10000birds) put out a question to the naturebloggers whether Stumble Upon and other Social Media bookmarking services actually bring any traffic to their sites. Check the post and the discussion here! The consensus was that while Stumble Upon can have immense effect on giving traffic, most naturebloggers don’t use it or the results are not giving permanent readers, only sudden peaks. Naturally, it is hard to measure who will become a new regular reader of the blog and from where he/she is recruited. Therefore, I think there is a value also in such a sudden peak of readers that have reached your blog from the less regular outlets,  than those you have among your friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter and your regular RSS feed reader. You may convert one or two to a regular reader. Furthermore, Stumble upon has a Birding index, why birding articles can be labeled (tagged) correctly (contrary to for example Digg!).

Yet another Social Media experiement for birdbloggers.

The tweetclub for birdbloggers I started two weeks ago has had some interesting effects on visits to the participating blogs. I want to do a new experiment. I have dusted off an old post about NatureBlogging previously submitted to SU, that probably most of you have read already.  I am reposting it again on Twitter and my Facebook and ask my followers/friends to hit “thumbs up”, if they like.  Instead of giving the direct link to my post, I give the Stumble Upon link in fashion. This is the link you shall click to get to the submitted test post:   This way it is really easy to show your SU feeling about the particular post. It seems OK to do it this way on Twitter, but it looks very ugly on Facebook. But remember that this is a test. Please try it and if you are already a member of Facebook, consider writing a short review.

The StumbleUpon club for birdbloggers.

If this works the way I think it may work, the idea would be to have around 30 birdbloggers submitting one of their best all time (timeless) birding posts and submit it to the Birdbloggers Stumble Upon club. I imagine a blog with a great jawdropping picture prominent in the blog will get more stumbles. One selected post will be stumbled once per day by all members. There should be one post stumbled per day for a month  We shall also try to twitter and facebook those posts that are in our liking.  That is the outline to the idea. Let’s see how the experiment goes first.

If you liked this post, check out these related posts regarding the Birdbloggers TweetClub. / CC BY 2.0
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