Social Media

Include all types of Social Media and Web 2.0 appliences.

A non-birding post!

Social Media Bandwagon Matt HammBirders you can stop reading NOW! This will be boring for you. I am just trying to sort out what has happened to my business since I started using Social media actively some 7 months ago when starting blogging on the company web-page for Kolibri Expeditions.  If you are interested in what Social Media can do for your business keep on reading.

Google Page-rank 5 thanks to blogging.

Yesterday, I read a cool article about Google Page rank on Social Media Today. It explains a little bit about the google page rank logarithm and how to link within the webpage and about backlinks. When checking our own PR for it had risen to 5 after being 4 for many years. I don’t know when this happened, but it is mainly due to my blogging since December last year. We have done some tweaking improving titles, description and keywords for the pages on the commercial site, but it was most likely the blog that achieved this sudden jump, since also the blog also has PR 5.  Seven months ago the blog had only PR3. Albeit being critical for lousy click-through numbers when participating in Blog Carnivals, blog carnivals are often hosted on high page rank blogs which helps. Increased traffic in general comments and blogrolls added on other web-pages may also have help.

What does a high page rank mean?

A higher pagerank will help to achieve better positioning in searches on google for all individual pages on our homepage. This should give more business as more people will be able to find you through searches. Furthermore, your friends and followers  in your social network not only become important in mouth to mouth reference, but also provide direct reference to you as a person. Social Media humanize the business and should be the perfect way for small business to grow. The increase in page rank is a measure that the Social Media effort has paid off.
In fact, it complicates a decision I need to take. Our company wants to start offering regular non-birding trips to Peru. The idea is that, if we are capable of something as complicated as arranging birding trips, regular tourism trips should be quite easy, as the traditional circuit Lima-Paracas-Nazca-Arequipa-Colca-Titicaca-Cusco-Machu Picchu is very straight forward to organize with all the necessary infrastructure already in place. Dealing with social media for only a year, but already having somewhat of a good position compared to other tour operators in Peru, social media could become our platform to get better known for also arranging regular tours to Peru.

I could use some advice!

The question is, should we get a new web-page with a smart search engine optimized title such as (taken, but there are similar available) or rely on the PR5 on out main-page which would almost immediately give PR4 to a Peru tour page on the second level?  I am tempted to do the second. If I could get  PR5 for my blog in 7 months, it may be possible to get high page rank for a tour page in relatively short time. What do you think?

How to sell something without trying to sell.

Social Media would not work if you constantly only send people offers to buy your stuff. You would soon see your followers and friends numbers drop. But if you think more of your friends and followers than the stuff you want to sell and try to provide value to them, you will soon find that you get kudos in many places for the cool things you do and for being a nice guy. The idea is that when someone is looking for a product you can provide, you may well get that business because you have been a nice.  Sounds simple doesn’t it? But hey, hold on…You cannot fake it. Either you like to provide value to others or you don’t. To do Social Media well, you have to be a social person.

Social media changed my business signature!

I’m not new to being social on the internet, even though I was slow to hook on Facebook and blogging . I have participated in list servers in my field birdwatching since beginning of their existence in the early 90s. I even created new lists on Yahoo for birding in Peru in English and in Spanish which are still running. I have been very active on many such birding lists and to a lesser extent on forums. On the birding lists it has usually been OK to use a business signature which includes a line with the name of the company and the web-page. In the forums such use of “commercial” signature is somewhat frowned upon.
Having done a lot of social media lately such as Facebook, Twitter and blogging in an environment in which most people would not dream of signing off with a commercial signature, I recently made some humble intents also to become more active in some forums. I soon realized that the commercial stuff should be in the user profile rather than in the signature. On the other hand the blog and twitter url could favorably appear under my name. About a month ago, I changed my signature on all my emails. How could I send a message referring to my blog if it was followed with a blunt commercial signature.

Which do you like best? Before or after?

Here is my signature half a year ago:

Gunnar Engblom-Lima, Peru.
Kolibri Expeditions – checklist and data-base. Record your sightings on-line, forum, pictures, identification, Expedition Birding, etc.
Tel: +51 1 273 72 46 (office). 273 71 98 (home) cel: 51-1-988 555 938 or 999007886
Follow me on

My signature today:

Gunnar Engblom-Lima, Peru.
Gunnar’s Blog – updated frequently.
Follow me on

Seriously, which one do you like best? Is it a good idea not to flag the business details here? Do business details in a signature bother you?

Illustration credit: Matt Hamm per Creative Commons license,
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Round 2 of the Tweetclub is here.

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?

The first birdbloggers Tweet Club was received well. In spite that, we got few people joining the second round, but many have promised to be back week 3. Surprise! Here is something that will bring more commitment and traffic to your blogs. I did tell you this last week, remember

Facebook Blog-sharing club.

If I share the most popular post (those that have gotten more than 100 clicks with the provided link) on my Facebook wall, I hope that those of you belonging to the tweetclub and also are my facebook friends will click on the share button and also display the same link on your wall. We should not do all the Twitter club posts this way, but only those that have become most popular through Twitter. This could be a good reward for those participating in the Tweetclub, and carrot for all to try to submit posts that will become popular. (I repeat: the mixture of a smart title in the tweet and great pictures will lead to retweets – or something that is extremely useful to many people). If you are not Facebook friend with me already, please consider becoming one. Here is my Facebook link I welcome all birders, naturebloggers, marathon runners, post-punkrockers and Eminem-fans to become Facebook friends with me. …..errr…OK, Mom – who just got internet connection, family and other “real-life” friends are also welcome of course.

And the winners are….

Numbers of tweets to the supplied link since publication on July 13.

@jeffgyr 147 tweets
@patbumstead 135 tweets
@soaringfalcon1 132 tweets
@kolibrix 132 tweets
@journowl  115 tweets
@wrenaissance 113 tweets
@VickieHart 111 tweets
@DawnFine 106 tweets

That is 8 out of 14 that managed to get over 100 hits for a single post.  And those that did not reach 100 had in any case at least 80 hits. Congratulations to all participants.

These winners will be “Facebooked” this week by myself. Everyone who reads this, please click on the “share” link for each blog I present to put it on your Facebook as well. I will let you know how many additional hits this experiment produced by next week. OK?

Birdbloggers Tweet Club #002.

That was a lot beating about the bush. At last, here are this weeks participants. It is easy because there are only five participants. Nobody should have any problems in retweeting all. Remember to use tweetlater to schedule your tweets for #birdsaturday and #ecomonday.  Only my late tweeting (around 11 PM) of five selected posts for the last #ecomonday gave between 10 and 20 additional hits for each.

  • RT @journowl The extremely cute Burrowing Owl stands small in Californian urban expansion. @journowl is fighting though
  • RT @birdingdude Cool video: tiny Piping Plovers are pugnaciously chasing off the giant Oystercatcher.
  • RT @patbumstead The most expensive lifer. One Life Bird: Cost $11,000 (7 clicks prior to publication)
  • RT @soaringfalcon1 Did you ever see a Wood Duck duckling make its first flight? More like a PLUNGE! (94clicks prior to publication)
  • RT @phillipdews Sky lark numbers in the UK not sky high anymore. Replaced by crickets? Personal retro by @phillipdews (36 clicks prior publication)
  • RT @kolibrix How to remember South American bird songs with Monty Python.

My humble contribution was first published on March 8. With this I want to highlight that if you have posts that you feel are worth a second look, there is absolutely nothing wrong with dusting some old treasures. Remember to post your contributions to Tweet club 3 at the comment section of this post. Other comments and thoughts are also well received.

Everybody tweet now!

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I repeat. Will the real bird blogger please stand up.

First! Have a look at the first two notes about the Birdbloggers tweetclub, so you know what this is all about.

The first post presented the idea and how it works. Read this one first.

The second post also provided the results from my retweeting campaign of I and the bird #104 and discussed the rules for the tweetclub. Also a very important post to read.

Both posts should be your first reference to learn more about the tweet club.

Results Birdbloggers tweetcub #001.

A very interesting experience this. Of the 14 participants in this weeks tweetclub 6 had more than 100 visitors, 1 had 99 visitors and 4 had over 80. The best result had Jeff Gordon with 123 hits to his post about flipping Horseshoe Crabs over to ensure more food for the Red Knots.
Not too bad considering this was the first trial tweet club.

A few things to clarify.

  1. All participants should commit to tweet at least 10 posts once over the week.
  2. Since it spans over several days it should not be difficult for most users to tweet each blogposts on more than one occasion.
  3. I have re-tweeted each post three times at different times on different days. Did this disturb any of you? I think 3 times should be the upper limit, but let me know your thoughts on this.
  4. By using Tweetlater you can schedule the tweets at what ever time you like. It makes it easy to post all the posts on several occasions.
  5. You may chose to just retweet the stuff I or someone else send out. That is fine. The effect is the same.
  6. Please, use the link I provide when retweeting. Otherwise it is difficult to get the right statistics.
  7. You can check how many clicks any participating  blogpost gets by adding a + sign just after the URL.

You will not be allowed to only be a passive user of the tweetclub. I have some tolerance this first week, but don’t count on it later. If you submit a post to the tweet club, you must reciprocate and tweet other people’s stuff to. Fair enough?

Submit to Birdbloggers tweet club #002

So if you want 100 visitors to your blog post next week, please submit it in the comment section below. State your Twitter ID, the title and the link.
I need your entry by  Sunday July 19 Monday July 20 night.  The tweet-club #002 will be published on Monday Wednesday night.  This way we shall also be able to use both the hashtags #birdsaturday and #ecomonday on each day.  Furthermore it may be an idea to also include the hashtag #birding once in a while.

Again I remind you.  Try to be catchy and smart, and use great photos that catch the eye.

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First Birdbloggers Tweet Club

Tweetclub-AdamHey, we’ve done it. This is a follow-up on my post on July 8 announcing the tweet club.

There are 14 birdbloggers tweetclub posts this 1st week. Starting with a late start. I won’t go into why this was not published Monday, as promised as that would fill on other blog post. Let me just summarize that we are dealing with high season birding tours in Peru and that my wife is almost due to have a baby any day now. My obligations are elsewhere, as you probably can appreciate. I did however, send off the first batch of tweets last night as some of you may have seen. So the ball is rolling. Be sure to read this long post to the end, because we shall take this idea to Facebook as well.

Birdbloggers Tweet Club rules

  1. Commit to retweet at least 10 of the tweets below.
  2. If you can, pls retweet up to 3 times over the week on different days and times.
  3. Read the blogs you retweet. Remember, that the blogs you retweet are your personal recommendations.
  4. Consider re-writing the tweets in a personal way, if my interpretation is not in your liking or if you want a personal touch in your re-tweet.
  5. You may just retweet a seed tweeted by someone else if you prefer.
  6. You may or may not include the @reply of the web-owner in the tweet. It is not technically a retweet of course just copying the below and you are not re-tweeting an original message to Twitter, so you may well take credit for your first seed yourself. This also gives more space for your followers to retweet and maintain your credit.
  7. I have decided not to include a hashtag for the tweetclub. You can use hashtags such as #ecomonday, #birdsaturday, #birding etc in the tweet to give it more exposure.

Concerns and tips

Dawn Fine raised an interesting point. How can we do this without becoming spammers on Twitter?  I think it is only an issue for those followers you may have that  follow less than 50 people and 14 of those followers are the same birdbloggers here.  In most cases many tweets will be lost in the Twitter stream. You reader may not see the tweet the first time it is sent. Many “retweets” make sure everyone that could be interested in reading the post will get exposed to it. What is more, your post will be seen by a lot of people that are not following you presently, and this is the main benefit when birding blogs go viral.  In any case, we should be aware of the potential risk of coming off as spammers and raise a flag if you notice it becoming a problem.

The main recommendation though is that you are honest to yourself. You shouldn’t retweet something that you have not read. Retweeting is like recommending, so therefore the posts you are re-tweeting are seen as your personal recommendations.

Don’t retweet the exact message here below if you are not in agreement with the article or if you don’t like it.

This could also teach us to write more interesting blogposts. If you want readers to your blog, you have to understand that you are not writing for your personal joy only, but for your reader. This will make a shift in what you write about. Soon you find yourself writing posts of stuff that you think will interest a lot of people. Those posts will have a natural place here on the tweet club. If you find after this exercise that your post gets less click than the others, this may well be a hint to you. Don’t take it personal, but let it be an inspiration to write more interesting posts to your readers.

Twitter is also about reciprocals. Retweeting somebody’s blogpost is a much better way of saying thank you for a Retweet, than just publicly say thanks.

How to read 14 blogposts in 15 minutes.

Another point Dawn raises is how on earth shall anyone have time to read all these posts. We are all very busy. Most browsers today allow you to open multiple tabs. Click on your browser program to get a totally new window and open this blog post there. Then click on one link one after the other while holding the ctrl key pressed. It should be no problem open 10 to 15 tabs at one go. Then spend up to 1 minute on each post. This should be enough to see if you like the post or not.
What bloggers should try to remember to get retweeted is:

  • a good photo to start with that catches the eye. The old saying “a photo is worth a 1000 words” applies in blogging.
  • a very catchy title
  • good headlines for the sub-sections in the blog.

Does retweeting work?

These were the posts that had most clicks of those that I retweeted in the last I and the Bird #104, which appeared in two parts. The first part described the idea of using twitter as a means to spread the word about the blog carnival and the individual posts that were presented in a tweetable fashion similar to what we are doing here.  The second part also included a photo from each blog and some statistics from the first twitter session. I retweeted all posts twice.  The most popular posts got these many hits because they were retweeted by many others.  This is what we want to achieve also with the tweet club. Here are the results as of today from the I and the bird post.

  1. Have you ever seen 50000 Purple Martins falll from the sky? Check out the video on this site.
    Tweeted first at 06.00 July 8: 102 clicks.
  2. I bet you never seen a Yellow-breasted Grosbeak. It’s not in the book, yet here is a photo.
    Tweeted first at 21.20 July 8: 94 clicks.
  3. Here is the punkiest of all chicks. I don’t know if this is cute or ugly. What do you think?
    Tweeted first at 09.00 July 8: 91 clicks.
  4. Barred Eagle-owl takes a monkey in Singapore. Impressive!
    Tweeted first at 18.50 July 7: 82 clicks.
  5. The puffin is the Toucan of the Northern seas with that colorful beak. Check these smashing photos.
    Tweeted first at 08.00 July 8: 70 clicks.

Two things to think about when studying the content of the above links. You may notice that I seldom use the titles of the original blog post. When tweeting it is useful to use tricks to catch the attention in the tweetstream. Use big words and superlatives when appropriate. I have no idea if they were 50000 Purple Martins but they were a hell of a lot, and the number sounds appropriate to what I could see, even though they may have been 20000 or perhaps 70000.  But it is obvious that the tweet title worked. Think about this when posting your next blogpost to twitter.
Secondly, what role do you think the photos played  to get visitors to the post?  Certainly post 3-5 ranked this high due to the photos provided.

Tweetclub tweets #001

Here are the 14 participants of this week.

  • RT @docforestal Many bird photos and a checklist of the birds seen at Moosehead Lake, Maine
  • RT @gonolek This is  great literate memoir blogpost from Birdman partly about birding on Scilly  in late 70s.
  • RT @birdingdude Sheer madness or daring run? A twitch, as the Brits would say.  Mississippi Kite in NY
  • @DawnFine I can’t sleep at night. Flying squirrel and Whip-Poor-Will making too much noise.
  • @journowl Endangered world’s heaviest parrot goes home (@journowl provided the link and it had 18 clicks prior to me posting the first tweet)
  • @soaringfalcon1: Great pics of Red-shouldered Hawk  and a video to learn its call.
  • @wrenaissance Slide show of  the cutest Barn Swallow chicks begging for food.
  • @patbumstead It’s a new blog but will be a big one when it grows up! Canada’s National Bird.
  • @HastyBrook Bloggers and Tweeters meets Birds and Beers in Minnesota!!
  • @babw Impressive digiscoping results from from Oregon
  • @jeffgyr: Want some good Karma? Join Jeff saving Red Knot by flipping Horseshoe Crabs.
  • @VickieHart Great photoblog about Hummingbird banding.
  • @Birdfreak Recommended books for birders – Birdfreak does a lot of birdbook reviews. Here is a summery. Check it out
  • @kolibrix The mightiest of all Eagles. The  Harpy Eagle. This link had 88 hits prior to participating here.

I have added the Twitter handle here. I suggest you follow each, but please note that you don’t have to include the handle in the tweet you do, as I explained above.  By following you can also check whether each fulfill the commitment! (Devilish, isn’t it?).

UPDATE: One great service to use for the re-tweets so it becomes less spammy. Spread them out in time with programmed tweets with Tweet Later. This is a great little app that is free of charge. You can schedule your tweets with this app. It is a great way to collect things you want to share for #ecomonday and #birdsaturday – and naturally a way to retweet birdbloggers tweet-club posts.

Why are all the links

Yes, I changed your links! gives a great tool to see how many clicks this exercise actually gives each and every blog. Just copy the link and put it in your browser followed by a plus like this:  Cool, huh? This way we shall see which participants are getting most traffic.

Where to go from here? What about a Facebook blog-sharing club?

The other day, I came across Jeff Gordon’s blog about flipping horse shoe crabs, that he shared on his facebook wall. I had 12 people interacting directly on my wall, so that is immediately 12 people sent to Jeff’s blog  and there were probably more as not all those that clicked on the link may have put a comment or “like this” for the link.
Facebook is more effective in getting regular readers to your blog, because they are your friends, but they would be constantly the same people visiting. If you want to reach beyond that maybe we can use the same Twitter club strategy on Facebook. Well almost the same…

…Facebook is more closed than Twitter, so it is necessary to be more restricted in what you post. There are many of your best Facebook friends that will be reading every line you send so you don’t want to spam them with send every blog their way. Best to pick your favorites. On Sunday, I am going to pick the five most popular of the above posts and put them on my Facebook wall during the following week. You may do the same or you could just pick a few of those that you like.

There is an app on Facebook called NetworkedBlogs that many nature bloggers are signed up to, but very few actually use to share blogs of each other. The app is good for publishing your own blog to your wall so your friends see it and it does give a very easy share option. Be sure to use this share mechanism if anything interesting comes your way.  The app is a little bit flawed I think, because when you look at your own page in the app, it would be good to actually right here get the latest feed  from the blogs you follow, not only a list of the same blogs.

On Facebook are also the group of Birders who blog, tweet and chirp and the page Natureblognetwork. It is well worth to belong to both, but actual link sharing as of fetching links to put on your own wall is not part of the strategy.

In summery, it should work well to bring this experiment also to Facebook and it does not really compete with current blog promotion on Facebook, but rather would compliment well – as long as it is made in a moderate fashion.

Hosting the Tweet club in the future.

I like to host yet one or two more weeks to get the idea into form, but then turn over the hosting on a rotational manner such as I and the bird. Volunteers speak up! For

Twitter image by creative Commons lisence on Flickr.  Photo credit: Adam Gutierrez
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Twitter club for birders and nature lovers.

Twitter club for birders

Twitter club for birders

Who has by now not heard of Twitter? I have written several posts on Twitter previously and here I shall not dwell to much how it works. Below this post I am listing all my posts on Twitter so you get an idea.   I will be using Twitter also in the strategy for tomorrow’s release of the bird blog carnival “I and the bird”. If you are not on Twitter yet, and you are a birder, and especially if you are a birder that blogs, get on Twitter now.

Twitter can be an extremely good way to let the world know about your blog. But not only that, you can also help promoting other people’s blogs and web-pages. And here is where it gets interesting. Either you find an interesting tweet on Twitter that you re-tweet or you found an interesting blogpost in one of the blogs you generally read. Maybe you have an RSS reader such as google reader from which you constantly find interesting stuff that can be tweeted.
Every time someone else re-tweets a link, the same link is sent to the followers of that someone. The best Tweets that move a lot of people can almost become viral.

My test a few weeks ago with my 1500 facebook friends showed that relatively few of them are on Twitter and the few birders, with some noticeable exceptions, on Twitter are not very good in retweeting. My hope is that this blogpost will make the birders somewhat more active on Twitter.

Good birders to follow on Twitter

A few birders on Twitter are very good in retweeting other people’s blogs. It is a good idea for you to follow them if you want your blog post to be re-tweeted on Twitter.  Here is my list of the best birding re-tweeters the last week or two.


Let me humbly add myself @kolibrix among the same group. I tweet a lot of stuff from other bloggers.

All these people are very generous in retweeting. They read something they like and share that with their followers.  This is where the idea of a tweet club comes in. What if this was to be done a bit more systematic? What if all the above people plus all active nature bloggers that read this post, come to an agreement that one selected post of each  blogger per week would be retweeted by everyone that have signed up for the tweetclub? Say we get 50 people signed up on the tweetclub. That would mean 49 retweets for every post.  As a result as some followers of all 49  would be reading the post, you would each have  a few hundred people reading your selected piece for  the week every week. Nice!

How to organize the first bird bloggers tweet club:

1. post a comment below with your  Twitter handle and tweet  in an easy re-tweetable fashion, like this.

@kolibrix: Birds from Northern Peru

2.  Submit your contribution before Sunday to the comment section of  this blog post.

3.  I publish the tweet list on Monday in a new blogpost, which coincides with #Ecomonday

4.  You commit to read all blogs and retweet all or at least your favorites through-out the week culminating on Saturday, which coincides with #birdsaturday.

5.  We may have a rotational schedule similar to “I and the bird” so that we rotate the hosting of the tweet club on each Sunday.

6. This is a very simple hosting compared to “I and the bird”. You will not have to think-up creative witty stories to inbed the tweets.

Some additional Twitter tools and Twitter tips I like.

As you may have seen, my posts now have a little cute retweet button. I got this from Tweetmeme. @problogger Darren Rowse explains how to get  this button to your own blog. Get a ReTweet Button for Your Blog

Another good post by Darren Rowse is this one:  A Secret to Writing Posts that Go Viral on Twitter

Finally, this viral on Twitter classic is aptly named:  How I got my blog post retweeted by @problogger, @GuyKawasaki and 250 more

If you liked this article, check out these Twitter and blog related articles:

and feel free to re-tweet them if you find them useful.


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Everyone knows that direct messages is completely useless in Twitter once you reach a few kilo of followers or more. There are bound to be a lot of those who you follow that will miss-use this feature and send spam-like messages to your DM box.

The pros, those with 10000 or more followers, no longer monitor their Direct messages. The @reply is a more direct and more efficient way to communicate. Unfortunately, it seems the spammers also discovered this.

Look at these three tweets that I recieved in my reply folder:

  • ohncurrie: tinnitus success stories: @EKGmethod @tomsskyline @coffeefundraise @Kolibrix
  • STARFAX: Free Twitter Marketing Software:  @deineexistenz @christiswhite @Kolibrix
  • ShelliCindberg: Twitter AutoFollow Software Out: Http://Tweep.Net @thewhitespy @JennDizmang @Kolibrix @rickster_CA

I have specifically noticed more spamming in the @reply box on Friday coinciding with #followfriday campaign. While most of those that recommend my @kolibrix are legit followers, there are often many that are quite obviously spammy. Some include the #followfriday tag, while others just coincide in sending the tweet on a Friday. Here are some examples from last Friday.

  • toddjonesy: Wow, this is an amazing twitter software @Kolibrix @vitailluminata @eCoverage @PMesterheide
  • WhiteSammy: 100% hands off FOREX trading robot @inspiredachieve @Kolibrix @PatyAmorim @seinflinks

It appears that you can now get a software that will send out a tweet with random @replies and your link you want to promote.  If this increases in frequency it will become a threat to twitter’s usefullness. Be sure you immediately block the spammer. I wanted to use the spam funtion on Seesmic  to send Twitter admin a message recommending to ban the spamming accounts. But apparantly I can not send this message as it is sent as a direct message. Guess what! The spammers don’t even follow me, so my messages can’t be sent back to them.  If anyone know how I can report these mothers… let me know.

Don’t let the spammers take over your @reply box.

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Twitter does not have to be complicated.

Twitter does not have to be complicated.

I just checked with my 1500 facebook friends if they are on Twitter or not. I got very few replies. Some that answered said: I hardly have time with Facebook, why should I emerge myself in Twitter. I will go crazy and get nothing done.

Good point. But considering all the good use Twitter can bring, you need to be convinced by testing it. How can you know if you don’t try? And what should you do not to drown in information overload? You need a short-cut not to waste your time!

I am specifically writing this to my birding friends, who seem to have a particularly big aversion towards Twitter. But anyone can make use of the recommendations I give below to testdrive Twitter to see if it is for you.

Twitter is a great tool for birders that most birders have not yet discovered. You can follow (befriend) anyone that shares the same interest as you. Facebook requires acceptance, so in this respect Facebook is more limited. The fact that anyone can see your posts, should in reality allow easier communication among birders. Here is an introduction to Twitter I wrote a couple a months back: Twitter for birders. Part 1. An introduction. Read this before you do anything else.

The one thing to remember is that you don’t have to read everything on twitter. It does not have to be  a 24/7 activity. With for instance the free apps Tweetdeck or Seesmic Desktop – you can sort the people you follow into groups, and you may monitor streams of keywords – and lots of people you don’t follow. You will find both interesting stuff and interesting people to follow.
Next level for birders is to use Twitter as rare bird alert services – for free.

2 week test run. 10 steps to make Twitter useful

1. open an account.
2. Download
Seesmic Desktop (I use Seesmic now myself, but used to use Tweetdeck)
3. Make searches in top right corner of Seesmic. I suggest you use birdwatching, birding and a non-birding related outgroup you are interested in – mine is marathon.

Seesmic desktop with search columns. Click on the image to see a larger format.

Seesmic desktop with search columns. Click on the image to see a larger format.

4. Spend a few days listening to what is going on.
5. Follow the people whose tweets interest you. Just put the cursor over the photo and click bottom right corner of the photo.
6. Eventually, you will want to respond to some tweets. Cursor over the photo and click upper right @sign.
7. Do some tweets of your own. By now you should have realized that the most interesting stuff that others tweeted was not what they had for breakfast or that they were walking the dog. As a birder a rare sighting or an interesting link probably had more value to you.
8. Get a mobile application for you iPhone, Blackberry or smartphone. This way you can read the people you follow on the go and interact with them.

9.  Keep on doing this for two weeks. By using Seesmic and a phone twitter client – you shall not find Twitter wasting your time. You shall be the pilot in full control at all times.
10. Add me @kolibrix to follow me. I promise I shall be your “support” during the test-drive if you need any questions to be answered.

Please let me know any link all of a sudden does not work.  Twitter on Time Magazine photo Steve Garfield under Creative Commons license. All photos made by Gunnar Engblom on this blog may be used under Creative Commons license as long as they are attributed to the original article with a link.

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I am really getting into this Twitter-thingee. It is a great way to spread the word of the things that really matter to you. So what matters to birders? Birds of course.

Yesterday, I posted a post called What is #ecomonday?.  Now it is time for the birders to step forwards and promote both our hobby and share it with other birders on #birdsaturday.

This is how it works.

On Saturdays, the day of the week when many birders get out in the field and see good birds and with time to tell others where to see specific birds or where to go birding on Sunday. Thus, post bird sightings and localities to visit on Sunday.  Also, promote your local birding walks and bird talks on #birdsaturday.

Furthermore, let’s start a Retweet Club on Saturdays. This is the day of the week when we make a cooperative effort to promote each others blogs or specific bird related web-pages. Only one rule. Choose blog posts and links that have a broad topic as possible as your contributions to be re-tweeted .  Particularly  links  that have the possibility to transcend also to non-birders or give useful tips for birders to connect with each other.

Thirdly, yes why not use it as a followbirder day on twitter as well.  Therefore, if you are not recommending birders to follow on Fridays, do it on Saturdays.

Last but not least. Retweet, retweet, retweet. Both for the retweet club as well as sightings, birding activities and locality tips

If you send your post at 9 AM someone logging on at noon will probably not see it. Use the retweet function for the stuff you like most and always promise yourself and your fellow birders that on Saturdays you shall commit to retweet at least 10 posts throughout the day.

Let’s try to make some more birders out of the no-birders out there. The more we are the stronger we become for habitat and species conservation.

Here are the latest Tweets on #birdsaturday

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It is in the Buzz

Since last Monday, if you have the slightest interest in nature and green living, you can not have missed the #ecomonday hashtag on Twitter.
What is it? It originates from a tweet made by @MaxGladwell. The first tweet looks like this.

We suggested starting #ecomonday last week as the #followfriday for green. @sheagunther gives it a boost:

In the quoted link to Shea Gunther’s blogpost “The great green Twitter follow parade”, Shea points out that just 10 green people on the last #followfriday on Twitter was just not enough. There was a call for all Green tweople to list their Twitter accounts in the comment section. This was a week ago. Soon it was re-tweeted all over Twitter and today it could hardly be missed. It is incredible how viral Twitter can become. Since last Monday a couple of thousand tweets have been sent containing the “#ecomonday” tag. Shea also gives credit to Jeremya Owyang @jowyang, who is a Twitter guru. Credit where credit is due.

Ecomonday has evolved not only to recommend people to follow, but also recommending specific web-pages and blogs, as well as recommending eco-businesses.

I suggest you check Max Gladwell’s site to check for the Tweets containing the #ecomonday hashtag.  If you use Tweetdeck or a similar application, you may want to open a search column for the hashtag.

Finally quoting Shea:

If we can get this out wide enough to all the eco-minded Tweople, we can firm up our connections to one another and come out a stronger, more followed mass of greenies. Knowledge and connections are power and the more networked we are the better able to blast out the message that the environment needs to be a consideration in our headlong rush towards the future.

If you haven’t got a clue what Twitter is yet, check out these posts.

They are mostly directed towards birders, but anyone can grasp the essence in these posts. (You are on a birdwatching site in case you did not notice – but the owner is very interested in Social Media and Green.)

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