Social Media

Include all types of Social Media and Web 2.0 appliences.

Pingback, trackback and backlinks for naturebloggers

Luciana 2 years old - future nature blogger - studying the birds of Australia

Luciana 2 years old - future nature blogger - studying the birds of Australia

My blog the other day was about blogging and how important it is to be connected to other bloggers. I introduced Google Reader for your desktop and a mobile RSS reader such as FreeRange to your Blackberry or smartphone. I suggest you check this post if what I just said had no meaning to you.
Another great way to connect to other bloggers is simply writing about them. Instead of writing a comment in their comment box, you write on your own blog an answer or a comment and this is directed to the comment box of that blog. This is called trackback and pingback.  The difference between the two is subtle when it comes to the end result. Read more how it works on this WordPress link.

If you use wordpress, this is done automatically to other wordpress blogs (supposedly I should say, because there have been some problems reported lately related to WP 2.7. I will let you know how and if it works). To relate other blogs, you specify the blog address in the trackback box. For Blogger there is no trackback function, but you can activate linkback that simulates the service. For more advanced trackback, that you may also want to consider check Haloscan. A couple of years ago Haloscan was standard for trackback for Blogger blogs, but since there is little mention of Haloscan from recent years, my guess, without penetrating too much how this works on Blogger, is that the linkback service has improved and covers much what you need in this respect. Please comment, to let me know how it works. I did a small test in my post about Nature Blog Network blog the other day, and it seemed the pings worked fine with WordPress but only a link showed in those Blogger accounts that had activated linkback. I still have not found a blog that uses Haloscan, so I can’t give any opinion, but as far as I understand it should give a short quote.

Give a little Link-love to each other!

In a series of blogposts, I shall use this technique to comment other blogs and fish for readers to my own blog this way. I suggest you do the same. You probably heard of Blog Carnivals. Well, they work very much in this way. There is no reason why you can not, every once in a while host your own little carnival. While I am at it, I am adding every blog I write about to my Google Reader, and also put a link to my blog roll – and I hope you link back to me and add me to your readers as well.
I am not yet sure exactly what form this will take, but it is likely to be something like “news in my reader”. I am also considering setting up my own carnival for a young birders up to 22 years old that are blogging. More on that in another post. Let me know what you think about this idea?

Some new blogs in my blogroll.

I have read quite a few blogs the last weeks, some for the first time. I am surprise how many good blogs are out there that I had not heard of before. I know many of you would like to get more readers, so a mutual interchanging of mentioning other blogs and specific posts should work for everyone’s benefit.

I have choses to group my blog roll to different categories.

Social Media.

New aquintances of birding blogs

Hope you liked this little carnival. If all start facilitating the backlink option on Blogger and check out the Haloscan software, let me know how it works for you and if you start getting more readers and subscribers this way. Please send me suggestions of blogs of birders up to 22 years old.

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Hey, Ashton.

I wasn’t going to follow you. It just seemed so mainstream to do – and that is something I always felt I was not – mainstream, I mean! I am a birdwatcher and a conservationist. Sure I have seen some of your movies, but I am not one of your fans. But today, I decided to follow you on Twitter anyway. My follow is of no importance, since you already beat CNN to the first million followers. But, I’ll through in my 10 bucks to the anti-malaria fund, because it is a decent thing you are doing.
As I was looking at your stream and seeing that you actually interact with your followers on Twitter, I realized that: “Man, this guy really has the power to promote any good cause that can convince him to retweet that cause”. For instance, I know a small NGO Rain Forest Partnership that wants to help protecting forests in Peru (where I live) and help the local communities to find sustainable ways of living – through ecotourism and low impact ecological agriculture. Would that not be cool to have you, Ashton support such a cause and retweet it to your million plus followers?

I realize, just as I am suggesting you to do this – yes this a lobby intent for a good cause – I imagine that maybe one of every 10 or 20 of your followers is lobbying you for a retweet of a cause. You would have between 100.000 and 50.000 causes to choose from. Which to choose? You have to choose wisely!

There are evil voices stating that all this buzz with you and CNN is just a media stunt. Well, sure isn’t everything in show-biz? The point is that you are now in position to do good things. And you are doing it with the plead. You’ve got the power to do a lot of good, if you want. It is your choice! Use or miss-use! Either take this and do something serious good – or be shallow. There is much on stake for your credibility. So far so good and that is why I am following you on Twitter.

No-one can accuse Larry King of being shallow. In the below interview he says he never liked the tech for personal use, never uses text messages on the phone and not even computers. But now you got him twittering under @kingsthings. Well, done!

Live video chat by Ustream

Larry King confesses he misses in depth journalism in today’s shallow and fast news stream. Now Larry is position to retweet any indepth journalism articles he finds on the net. Let’s hope Larry King also gets a million followers!

Finally, in spite of all those that critisize and heckle you for the shallowness of having a million followers on twitter, you have my respect. Now, go and do some good. Support conservation and sustainable development for local communities. Don’t sell out! You have a great responsibilty to your followers.

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Natureblog Network

There is hardly a nature blogger who is not checking out their statistics on Nature Blog Network.
Yes, I adm¡t it! I am also following how my blog is doing compared to other birding blogs. This can be done selecting only birding blogs. I have reached 11 at the highest – and right now at a modest 21. Sometimes I am checking out the statistics so much that I forget to write blogposts!. Today is obviously not such a day.

The blog of the blogs!

What most bloggers perhaps don’t follow as closely is the excellent blog that Nature Blog Network provides. Their blog ought to be listed in the blogging statistics of the site,  so there is no chance of missing it.

In a recent posting they summerize some Nature Blogs in South America and I am happy to see that my blog is mentioned and recommended. (Less happy that my name is misspelt – but that is alright – you should just see what they have done to my last name Engblom in this country! Spanish speaking people have a hard time to tackle more than two consonants in a row – and when they do they need to put a wovel before everything i.e Speak eSPANISH. Engblom has four consonants in a row and that is asking for trouble,  Many times it comes out Em-blong! Poor Luciana Engblom 2 years old! Maybe I should change my name translating it to its Spanish meaning – Flor de la Pradera? Update: My name has been corrected now. Thanks Nate!).

More South America Nature Blogs

Ooops, I think I lost my thread there for a while and got distracted. Anyway, check out the above link for some suggestions. I should mention two other excellent birding blogs from Peru and a blog ifrom Brazil that I also follow closely that are not mentioned on the site.

Featured Bloggers

Nature Blog Network Blog also had the good taste to allow me as guest blogger recently in a post called “Facebook for birders“.

Nature blog Network Blog has done some excellent interviews of other bloggers in their Featured Blogs every Monday since November last year. This is a good source to learn about how more experienced bloggers go about their blogging. I just discovered this feature and have enjoyed the interviews with Julie Zickefoose and Beverly Robertson’s Behind the bins.

PS: I am experimenting with pings and trackbacks on this post, so a teaser-comment from this post shows in the comment sections to particular posts I am metioning above. Let me know if they don’t show.


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Elevator pitch

In my last blog post I resented somewhat that someone had classified my blog on Nature Blog Network as only blogging about Social Media and not enough about birds in Peru.  Today, I get a chance to explain what my blog is all about. As mentioned in my blogpost about blogging for birders, I mentioned that Darren Rowse from Problogger started a 31 day course to better blogging yesterday.

First asignment was to write an elevator pitch for the blog.

What is an Elevator Pitch?

“An elevator pitch is an overview of an idea for a product, service, or project. The name reflects the fact that an elevator pitch can be delivered in the time span of an elevator ride (for example, thirty seconds or 100-150 words).”Wikipedia

Thus, I had to come up with something short that explained what my blog is all about and why all this stuff about social media in a blog that supposedly is about birds could actually make some sense.

When I started blogging on this site, I did not know that social media was going to be part of my blog theme, since I knew very little about it. However, it soon became clear to me that I needed to learn about social media to reach out with my blog and that birders in general had scant knowledge about the possibilities.  A niche was born for me.

So here is my elaborated Elevator pitch for my blog. After 4 months of blogging I can finally tell you what my blog is all about.

More Birds for More Birders through the use of Social Media and Technology

More Birds – is the first business mantra of my bird tour company Kolibri Expeditions. (The other mantra is: Why see less? Why pay more? )
My blog is both to let the readers learn about More Birds as well as improving the birding experience and birding skills through technology and social media such as blogging, Facebook, Twitter, online-databases, forums and online picture sharing. Through social media and technology more birders can be reached, but it is also hoped that it will create more birders.

 It covers aspects of:

  • Networking for birders
  • Digital photography
  • Conservation of threatened birds
  • How to become a birdwatcher and natureblogger
  • Birding with Kids
  • Listing
  • Rare birds and conservation
  • Birding tours

Keywords: More bird & More birders

Let me expand a little on these keywords.

  • More birds: What it comes down to, is that all of us birders want to see more birds, be that in species or large congregations or extended time in the field. The social media and the technology allows us to be connected with nature in an unprecedented way that was not possible only a few years ago. The possiblities are limitless ranging from finding birding trip partners, getting way descriptions to rare birds, share birdphotos or recordings, promote a birding locality or birding event, etc, etc.
  • More birders: Birders are well aware that numbers count. More birders, mean more people caring for habitat conservation. More birders mean that globally threatened species in remote areas get a higher value as birders want to see them, leading both to revenues for conservation as well as economic incentives to local communities who will be caretakers of a valuable patrimony rather than a threat to the same. By using social media and technology that the younger generation already master the numbers of young and older birdwatchers shall increase.

So it all ties together very well in the end. It is my master plan for my blog, which I hope at the end of the day will make some difference. Anyway, without making myself come off like as a self-inflated prick (I just did, didn’t I?), I feel I have a mission with this blog and something to tell which should interest you.  And that was the purpose of today’s asignement.  Now, if you enter NatureblogNetwork and make some nice comments about this approach, you will really make my day. (I’ll explode!)

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Blogging for and about nature

blogger iconThis article aims to beginner bloggers, but there are also some tips to more experienced nature bloggers who are still struggling with less than 50 page views per day. Finally, this blogpost coincides well in time to take part in Problogger’s 31 day e-course on blogging (more on that at the bottom).

In my previous post about how to get kids and adults interested in birds, I recommended they get a 10-24x zoom point and shoot camera first instead of binoculars. Blogging is the next step.
In a blog you can publically document what you have seen on your nature walk. It is a difference compared to sharing your photos on Facebook and having your own blog. The latter is public and therefore it can attract a larger number of readers. Potentially, this also means that the citizens are participating as watchmen for the sake of nature. The more nature-bloggers there are and the better organized they are, the larger influence they will have as a community, against violations of nature’s space in the modern world. It may sound a bit Utopian, but considering the networks that are currently building on today’s online applications, it should not be frowned upon. For example Facebook has 200 million users! Nature bloggers, it is time to emancipate yourself for the sake of nature in the future!

To start blogging

There are two main free services for bloggers. WordPress and Blogger (provided by google). WordPress is preferred by businesses because it has large numbers of great plugins such as SEO optimization tools and both free and pay-for themes. I am using WordPress myself for my blog, which is housed on the same URL as my business web-page. It should help getting better page rank eventually, and it also helps people finding my page through searches (even if they don’t necessarily come to the page to buy a tour). If you are a birder you may even put your blog on one of the popular birding pages such as It guarantees a lot of visibility to other birders and you may find many readers this way, especially if you post a lot of quality bird pictures, which the readers of Surfbird love.

In spite that WordPress has more businesses using it, the majority of the naturebloggers are using Blogger. Therefore, as a community Blogger works very well and is very easy to use. You can upload your photos direct to your blog from the free Google Photo editing program Picasa.

There are a lot of resources out there you can use to learn about blogging. I am not going to enter in detail about these here, but you may check out a previous blog of mine how to read books on social media for free on Amazon. com. You will probably not be able to read all the stuff in every book in Amazon reader without purchasing the book, but since the there are so many books on these topics, you shall be able to pick up all you need to know by this method. I have listed two books on blogging and two books about WordPress in the Amazon carousel widget at the bottom of that blogpost.

WordPress has a built in statistics in the dashboard, that gives you the basic information how many visitors each blog post gets, what page visitors were visiting when clicking to the link to your page, and what the daily score of page views is. In either case, Google Analytics is a very good resource to install on either blog, as it gives a more detailed analysis of visitor data.

Fill you blog with content that the readers want to read.

I admit I also started as many other people seeing the blog as a mere diary. Sort of: Dear diary, today I did this, and then that, and finally I went to bed. So, while certainly the blog is a place where people talk about what they are doing, there are limits to what the readers will find interesting. One resource you should check out straight away if you are new to blogging is Nature Blog Network. Check what the top bloggers write about. What style do they use, how do they use captions and finally look at the titles. A catchy title is very important to get readers. More on that later. As a rule, every post becomes more interesting if you provide a picture with your blog post.

How to get readers to your blog.

You need to spread the word around that your blog exists.  This is where your social network comes in. If you are on for example Facebook or Twitter (again see my manuals for birders with the provided links), none of your friends will mind, if you tell them that you have posted a new blog. Now is time to use that catchy title of the blog. You will not get many friends clicking if you only say –New blog – and provide the link. If you find more than one catchy title, you may use the other ones to re-send a message on Facebook/Twitter about your blog. With the way the new Facebook works, it is probably best to first send a status update with your catchy title together with the link in the same field. Next time you update your status (several hours later) with something trivial, you may additionally send your link as an attachment in a wall posting. Use your secondary catchy title for this – as the primary title will already be as name of your blog-post attachment.

Befriend other bloggers

You need nevertheless to stretch out outside your own sphere in Facebook and Twitter to find more readers. The best way is to read what other bloggers on Nature Blog Network write about and chip in and comment on their blog post, and make sure your blog also get registered with Nature Blog Network. Also, refer to other blog posts that you have found interesting in your own posts. Most bloggers automatically monitor the net if their blogposts get mention elsewhere (monitor application available as plug-in to your blog).  If you are consistent you will see that you will get visits to your blog from the same people you admire.

A word of warning regarding comments: Be careful so that your comments on other blogs does not become spam. You must take your time to treat every comment as a real comment to the blog not something automatic like “Awesome post, man!”.  It is not very constructive – and it sounds like a typical spam phrase where your next word is Viagra!
Some self promotion you may get away sometimes, but not every time. Just the fact that your name is linked to your blog in the comment field invites the reader to check out your blog if you have something interesting to say. But if you say something stupid or just “read my blog” you will get many bad vibes and very few visitors. The owner of the blog, can erase any comment he/she does not like – and believe me they will.

Another way is to participate in blog carnivals. Blog carnivals are like a Blogger’s Digest recommending blogs under a specific subject. Nature Blog Network mentions several you can participate in.

Social media bookmarking, such as Digg, Delicious and Stumble Upon,  are other ways to get traffic to your site. Unfortunately, there are few birdwatchers that use these services. I am going to deal with these services in a future blog post. Meanwhile, play around with them and bookmark blog posts that you enjoy (including some of your best own posts – and naturally this article if you like it!)

On Facebook there is an application called NetworkedBlog, where you can register your blog, follow other blogs and ask others to read your blog among their friends. This application is great as long as you are logged on to Facebook, but it does not allow you to sort the blogs you follow in folders. For that you need a RSS feed-reader.

RSS reader such as Google Reader

The best RSS and most popular reader is Google Reader. As usual when it comes to Google the service is absolutely free. You need to sign up for a Google account, but chances are that you already have one if you use any of the other Google services such as Gmail, Picasa or Blogger. The reader makes it possible to handle a large number of blogs at the same time and sort them into folders. You add a page by clicking the RSS button found on the web-page you want to follow.   Try clicking on this button to add my blog to your Google Reader.

If you use Mozilla Firefox as I do, you also find the RSS button next to the Url web-address box. In Internet Explorer there is a button in the toolbar.
Again you should resort to Nature Blog Network to find the blogs you want to follow. With Google Reader it is possible to follow several hundred blogs if you like. You can always sort them into folders, of priority for your obligatory reading.
By monitoring a number of blogs this way, you can very smartly look where you want to make a comment on another blog and maybe even with a link directly to a specific topic you cover in one of your blogs – especially if it is relevant to the particular blog post. Just make a search for the key word(s) in your latest blog in all the blogs you follow and maybe you find something relevant to comment.

RSS reader for your mobile phone

Repeating what I stated above, you must read and comment other bloggers to get more readers. By all means tell your friends to subscribe to your feed, but unless they are bloggers themselves it is unlikely they will and less have an RSS reader they check regularly. The people just reading the RSS feed will not register in the page view count in the statistics from Google Analytics or the WP dashboard statistics.  With Feedburner Google app you can get an idea how many people read your RSS feed. Blogger has a specific widget that shows your friends that follow you automatically, which is very cool since it also includes the miniature photo or avatar of your friend.

The main problem remains: Who has time to read so many blogs? Getting a mobile reader for your phone will help you. There is a mobile version for Google Reader. This way I can read a blog when in the supermarket cue or waiting at my turn in the bank and even jam down a few blogs right before bed time in bed. Problem is that the text is so small on my Blackberry, so I need to always carry my reading glasses – and the lay-out is not very user-friendly.

In my blog Twitter for Birders, part 2, I talked about a great RSS reader for Blackberry and Smartphones – Free Range in the context that RSS feeds of Twitter hash-tags can be used as a rare bird alert system. (Really, read the article if interested in this).  Free Range has its own web-browser converting text and pictures in a very user friendly format and readable for Blackberry (which I use). You can download the feeds to read them later even without phone connection. You can also bookmark with or send the link to an email address with just a click. Check this FreeRange Feeder page for two tutorials that explain all possibilities of this mobile RSS reader. For Iphone there is a similar reader (that I have not tried) called Net Use Wire from Newsgator. Please, let me know if it works well in your comments below.

Become a better blogger in 31 days with Problogger

Darry RowseOne of the top Blog Gurus Darren Rowse of Problogger, that I hailed in my post on Google Books, is starting an email course of 31 days to become a better blogger. You can not get better advice than this. The email was to start on April 1, but has just been postponed to April 6 (as I write this), so there is still time to sign up.  You sign up to 31 days to build a better blog here.  Don’t miss it. Problogger’s web-site is full of useful tips for you, in spite of being for learning how to make money making blogs (which is higly unlikely for a nature blogger in the first place except for a handful dollars per month with Adsense of Google and Amazon Associate). Daren’s success probably stems from that he seems to be a completely altruistic person in all the tips he gives away. He will probably have something to sell at the end of the course, but of the over 5000 following his free e-course he will only need to monetize on a couple of corporate companies that need a lecture series and sell a couple of 100 books to make it worth while.

See you on the Problogger’s course then. I am sure I will learn a lot.

Blogger icon from Flickr by Emanuel Batalha under Creative Commons license.
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Twittero,  ergo sum

Had René Descartes been living today – I am sure he would have a philosophical view on Twitter. Maybe even doubting its existence or his own. How trivial can twitter really become?
I had a great laugh yesterday checking out this video.

The cartoon guy in the video says:
“Twittering is just randomly bragging about your unexceptional life.”

Although, I admit having tweeted about what I am eating or drinking at times, and made other trivial comments, I have to agree that too much of such stuff is a sure way to loose followers as explained in How to loose twitter followers in 1o steps. In spite of the time sink sometimes, one can find many useful ways to use Twitter. I have learnt much about Blogging and Social Media through Twitter. You can also get instant advice from your Twitter friends when needed.

Use Twitter wisely. How to avoid the Twitter Time-sink.

Here are some useful links.

Additionally, a few days ago web-designer depot wrote the ultimate Twitter guide.  in fact it is so popular that right now as I am writing this it can not be accessed. Must have blown the server! Bookmark this article and come back in a few days and I am sure it works again.

Twitter for birders

I am sure most of my birding friends have seen my two manuals on Twitter for birders. If not here they are again:

There is yet another Twitter-like application in Beta version called Chirp-tracker. It is more directed to birders. The big advatage for a birder is that there is less noice.  Only birders are participating and chirping about birds. It will most likely become a huge success among birders. I hope it will become more like a proper Twitter-client in the future, so I can use it instead of Tweetdeck also for my non-birding tweeting. To try out the beta version. Get on Twitter and follow @chirptracker and ask to try out the beta version.

Let me know your favorite articles about Twitter and tips about applications.

Cartoon from Geek and Poke under creative commons license
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Who the hell is Guy Kawasaki? Does he sell motorcycles?

I am totally new to everything regarding social media, but I am a quick learner. My readers should know by now that I almost come along as an expert after my blog posts about Facebook and Twitter for birders. But the reality is that this is as new to me as it is to many of you. I see many potentials in my field “birdwatching” and as I am learning as I go along. Social Media has become a theme in my blogging. I think I am starting to find my niche in the blogosphere. Birding and Social Media.

One month ago, I had never heard of Guy Kawasaki. But the buzz on Twitter, made me understand this is a guy (sic!) everyone follows. I follow him on Twitter @guykawasaki and so does 94, 544 other people. It is fascinating, because he sends quality links to good reading. I am going to leave you in ignorance about his background and just tell you two things he has achieved that I am checking out right now.

First of all his virtual magazine and blog rack on is an amazing resource. John Haydon wrote this blog how Alltop pretty much can replace google reader as RSS feeder to stay on top what others write. Sorry Google Reader, I have been sleeping with Alltop

Guy Kawasaki also wrote this book that I am reading online – but have no intention to buy. Reality Check. Check the link to the right to look inside. If you are interested in how to read books on line without paying for them, check out my two blog posts on the subject.

So do you think Guy Kawasaki minds that I am not paying for his book? Probably not, if you are to believe this interview he did with Chris Anderson of  Wired Magazine. This is when I understood that the book I am working on “1000 birds to see before you die” should be free of charge.

I am learning a few things from his unorthodox ways.  Today, I learnt that I need to secure clients in beforehand for the Amarakaeri lodges in the Manu area, in order to attract an investor to make a joint venture with.  I have an idea! Will let you know in due time.

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Two days ago, I posted a blog called “Facebook for birders“, which immediately became one of my best scoring blogs in just 24 hours. The last 9 months I have together with Facebook also used a Social Media thingee called Twitter. There are still relatively few birders on Twitter, but it has all the potential in the world to become huge among birders. This post is the first part of two, that explains why. Jump right in!

What the hell is Twitter, anyway?

Is it really useful? So you joined Facebook, but maybe you like to keep it more personal and only include the people you actually know quite well as your Facebook friends.  Why should anybody except your closest ones want to see photos of your kids grow, meet your parents and grandparents, your aunt and uncles? None of their friggin business, is it? You are OK, because this is exactly what Facebook had in mind originally. Facebook does not want you to make 100s of friend invitations per day to people you don’t know – and you will get a warning for misusing Facebook if you send out this many.
But let’s pretend you nevertheless would like to share with as many birders as possible your bird photos and tales of your latest observations. Are there other platforms? You have may have a blog or you may upload your bird-pictures on Flickr. Most of these observations you made during an out of state birding tour, so your local list server will not allow your postings, as the list is suppose to reflect birding within the state or the county.  There is BirdChat of course, but some people will object if you do too many blog post referrals to BirdChat. You would like to reach out to more birders, so you can tell anyone that wants to listen about your latest endeavors, wherever they are. Imagine you could tell hundreds of birders – “hey my blog packed with bird photos from my latest Peru trip is now online”. You would only need a short line like this. Actually, when you think about it, there are a lot of things you could express in just a short line.

The basics of Twitter.

This is where Twitter comes in. Send a message of max 140 characters. Sending short notes regarding your blog or uploaded photos is the first use of Twitter for birders. Before taking this any further, lets watch a video that explains how Twitter works.

This video made by Commoncraft is one of the most watched videos on the internet with over 2.6 million viewers. Note that you can change the settings for subtitles in any language. As you can see in the video, you can twitter about just anything. At first glance the whole thing looks very trivial.

The first reaction usually is:
“I don’t get it. What is all the fuss about?”

Is it really that interesting to learn that someone is having coffee? Can this kind of small talk really have any practical use what-so-ever? Apparantly so, because there are lots of professional that have seen a great potential with Twitter. Rather than providing just trivial messages, the pros look to provide stuff that can be useful to you. It may be news or tips of cool links that will make life easier for you or satisfy a need or demand. Some news can even be read on twitter before it gets out through regular media. The pros who tweet about how to best make use of social media or give tips about Facebook or blogging, have several thousands and even tens of thousands of followers. Twitter is growing very fast and it is clear that it can be very valuable for businesses and entrepreneurs.

If you are birder, many of these small messages will be about birds, and maybe now the whole thing makes a little more sense.

Let’s look at some examples!

Here are some tweets from the people I follow and some tweets that I have made today. I am kolibrix in case you did not know.

smido: One in ten birds could die out as Britain hots up
BirdGuides: @ratcliffe Welcome back Roger. Did you see anything good? Was it fun??
ratcliffe: @birdingbev Was on Lanzarote, the Canary Islands, writing a travel feature on its amazing volcanos and the artist Cesar Manrique.
Scobleizer: Liked “Facebook’s Thiel Explains Failed Twitter Takeover – BusinessWeek
Kolibrix: Inserted some screenshots kindly provided by “wren” in the “Facebook for birders” post. Looks much nicer now!
Kolibrix: Reading a great article: Social Media for Business: The Dos & Don’ts of Sharing
Kolibrix: RT @judykarwacki Guyana Launches World’s First Good Practices Checklist for Birding Tours

Some explanations.

Any post starting with @name is a reply to that person.
Any post starting with RT @name is a re-tweet – a forward message to the community of something you have picked up, but maybe some of your twitter friends may not have.
There is also the option to send direct messages to anyone that follows you. Such message is syntaxed D @name

How do I find other birders on twitter?

Though you can use also just the interface on to make searches, it is better to use a tool like Tweetdeck. Tweetdeck can be downloaded for free to your computer. With tweetdeck you can group the people you follow into for example, family and birders – and you can make a continous searches for keywords like birding or birdwatching.  Anytime anyone among the 4 million people that use Twitter, make a tweet containing the keyword it will show in the time line of Tweetdeck. Tweetdeck also gives the possibility to creat short url:s as you see in the examples above so it is easier to send links and still have room for a message in the 140 character limit. You find the most popular applications on and still more apps on some that can be used on your cell phone to check your tweets through either SMS, email or IM. This opens up for an extremely useful device for birders as you can tweet, the same second you are observing a bird, through your telephone.

Do enter and open an account today. State that you are a birder in your profile, that way you make sure that other birders find you. If you want to follow me you find me at

In part 2 of “Twitter for birders” I will tell you how something called hashtags will revolutionize birding and make all bird alert services obsolete in a near future.

Art by Creative Carrot under creative common license on Flickr
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Free reader also on Google Books

Birders, sorry to be remaining on the social media topic once again. I hope you shall find something useful here. I will later go through some of these apps and put them in a birders perspective in future blogs.

Yesterday’s blog post was about the amount of information one can find for free on in books on social media and web 2.0. I got a very useful comment from Charles Swift recommending the service from Google books. It is very similar – and it gives also buy options.  But has some advantages. You can keep a library of books.
I have set up a link to my Google Books Library with the books I mentioned in my blog.

So if you need social media books in one-stop – my library above is a good place to visit. You find a books on Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, Blogging and Search Engine Optimization that you can read in large parts for free. Many books are of the ….for Dummies series.
Actually Google is a more user friendly than with the ability to scroll and fast get larger size of font.

Again you will not be able to read the whole book. It is the publisher that limits how much you can actually view. The policy you can find here. In some cases there is a limited number of pages you will be able to read. When you reach the top, you can always switch back to Amazon to complete…or read the topics you are interested in, in another book treating the same topic.

I found a few differences. On Amazon you can usually read the latest edition. For instance Weller’s “Marketing to the Social web” shows with the 2009 edition on Amazon, while on Google Books shows 2007 edition. Considering, the fast changes on the net, it is needless to say – the later edition the better.

Other books you can’t find at all on Google Books. For instance “Problogger” by Darren Rowse and Chris Garrett of Problogger you can only find to read on Amazon.

I really like the ProBlogger guys…and follow Darren Rowse on Twitter – He gives away a lot of good tips and share links. The guy has 38810 followers. Here is the Problogger website. The underscore ttitle of their book is “The Secrets for Blogging your Way to a Six-figure income”. I wished!
But that utopia apart, the book is full of common sense and great tips to keep your focused on providing stuff that can be useful to your readers. I think there is a big void of information to birders about the potential of Social Media – and this is what I aiming to provide some tips about on coming blogs. Naturally, I will also be blogging about the birding. Please consider following this blog by clicking the RSS feeder in the side bar of the blog.

Icon: from Flickr – creative commons lisence.  Tobias Eigen
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Amazon reader makes it possible to read for free.

In my last post – my top10 list of birding web-sites, I started out mentioning that the Web-gurus frequently use top lists on different subject, such as social media and web 2.0 subjects such as Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, blogging, Search Engine optimization etc, in order to catch attention and to provide something immediately useful. I list these lists examples here again as one of the links was broken, just to make the point.

Ending that blogpost I put 5 books on these subjects from When checking out each book on Amazon, much to my surprise I could read substantial parts of the books.

This is how I was to read the most essential parts without paying a cent. Clicking any book you get a page that shows the book, price, reviews and naturally how to purchase it. On the left above the picture of the book it says “Look inside”.
Go ahead – click away, you have nothing to loose.

Open the table of contents and go through which part you would like to read. If you have a large screen it is a good idea to open yet another window, so you can have the index handy at all times. In your second window you enter the page number – just the number – in the search box. If the page is available for view it will be clickable. You can read a couple of pages of content by turning the pages on the left or right of the screen. Once you finished these pages, put in a new page number in search to continue reading.

I don’t know yet, if there is a limit of pages viewed per book per day, there may be, and Amazon would be able to track the users based on their IP. I suggest to go slow and only look at the pages you really want to read. Please comment, if you find any such time/page-limits.

It will not be possible to read the whole book, but after some initial testing it seems to me that between 60-80% of the book content is available in most cases, maybe more. In the end it is up to the publisher how much of the material he/she wants to be available this way. Why the hell would Amazon let the users be able to read such a major part of the book this way without paying? Behind this concept is much of the philosophy that you actually sell more books if the users are able to look inside them. That is why there still are bookstores around in spite of Amazon’s cheap prices. Looking inside the books this way, is Amazon’s way responding to the “real” bookstores advantage to let their clients see before they buy.
So what if the sections you really wanted to read are not available for view, does this mean you have to buy the book to find out? No, not at all, simply pick up another book on the same topic and search for the same stuff. In the search box you can also enter keywords to search for. Below follows some more books on Amazon in the carousel on the same or related subjects. Feel free to go click-crazy with no obligation of buying. Read, read, read! All for free.
Having said this, it would not surprise me if some of you guys end up buying anyway. If you do, please send me a pdf of the missing pages (hehehe!). Happy reading.

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