Social Media

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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How to read a blog carnival!

iandthebirdlogoolive-largeSo you participated in a blog carnival! Do you read the other posts in the blog carnival you participated in. What? You rarely have time?  In this carnival there are 23 blogs represented.  How long time does it take to read one? Usually not that long. Maybe two minutes each. Do you have 46 minutes to spare – and maybe half a minute to comment each blog? This is how to read and comment the entire I and the bird in 59 min. Obviously, you may use this same strategy if you are not participating in IATB  to read and comment – or you can use the same strategy to other blog carnivals or my birdbloggers Tweet-club (new edition coming shortly..sorry for the delay).

23 blogs read and commented in 59 minutes.

Materials needed:

  • A large Screen so you can have two windows opened at once.
  • A mouse or scroll pad
  • a timer
  • open a note pad on the screen and fill in four rows
    your name
    blog address of your blog
    I really liked the picture of ….

This is to copy and paste fast to the fields in the blog comment form.

Step by step instructions.

  1. Open I and the bird #114 by Susan Myers in a new window – not a just a tab.
  2. Press ctrl with one finger as you scroll the cursor (with the mouse or scroll pad) over each link and click left for each. One by one the blogs will open in new tabs. Start from the bottom, so my blogpost comes first! (Just kidding!!)
  3. set the timer on 2 minutes 30 seconds – and start with the first tab.
  4. Check the title and the photos first. Here you get an idea what the blog is about. If the topic is not very interesting to you…give it a very brief treatment …but still leave a comment of something likable you have detected. Use your notepad to copy and past to the comment section and say something nice regarding one of the photos.
  5. Now repeat 3 and 4 with the next tab.’

Let me know if this strategy worked in the comment section below.

The future of “I and the bird” blog carnival

Still, even with this sound approach it is a bit overwhelming with so many blogposts in one place. Also, it is not an easy task to host a blog carnival. There are so many good birding blogs now on Natureblog Network, so in reality there should not be too difficult to find a host for IATB. Still, there are often a bit desperate call for more hosts – and this probably has to do with that many old-timers simply feel it takes too much time and effort to host.

Recent IATB I have participated in have had many weaknesses. First of all, they don’t produce that many visits to my web-page. Usually only around 5 hits.  Secondly, some of the material is really dull. The idea is that the bloggers should give examples of their best blogging posts. Hand on the heart, was that your best post you just submitted? Thirdly, there are too many posts included that lose focus of the hosting blog and scare off the regular visitors rather than the other way around.  In the end it is only the same bloggers that will check out if their post made it. Some may read a few blogs – or at least comment that they intend to and never to open the carnival post again.  It is the same circus and participants over and over again and the same people that comment.

Questions to ask yourself

Who are you blogging for and why are you participating in blog carnivals? Was it not because y0u wanted to reach new audiences?

I think, if I may give my opinion, that IATB is in need of some new guidelines. It is not for me to impose of course, but a discussion on the topic may be fruitful. Here are my suggestions. Please give your thoughts in the comment section.

  • Let the host select his favorites and maybe even rank them. If the blog host does not include all posts, there will be more interest from the participant to provide a post that is in the liking of the host and suits his blog well. After all, the whole idea is to get the usual reader of the blog to discover new blogs and this will not happen if there is no connection to the hosts interest and style.
    If the host is Singapore Nature Club, what point is there to have 6 posts about birds at feeders in the US on this blog carnival? Most US bloggers would have a hard time getting selected by the Singapore host.  A blogger from the US would have much better chance of acceptance if he/she rather included a blog post with great photos of colorful or impressive birds such as Cardinal, BlueJay, Bald Eagle and Gold-Finch and a title like “The five most mind-blowing beautiful birds of North Americans”.
  • Give a tweetable headline and a short url so that the individual reader can re-tweet a post that he/she has liked
  • include a picture from each selected blog with the link.
  • Maybe, in fairness to the poor bloggers that did not make it to the top 10, 15 or 20 or whatever, one could make a second post containing a list of the blogposts that did not make it, with title and short url, so at least there is a back-link provided. Saying something like: Here is a follow-up to yesterday’s IATB with a list of the posts that did not make it to be included in my selection. This does not mean they are not of interest, only that they did fit this time.

Now shoot me!

Related posts regarding Blog Carnivals and the Tweet-club.

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Twitter club for birders.

Twitter club for birders.

Tweet Club 7

We are back and this time the wait was not that long. only 11 days, which is not too bad. I will present a very consise Tweet Club this time….and then hopefully fill it with some more details during the week. This way it shall not be delayed and posted in time.

Results of last issue

  • @soaringfalcon1 180 clicks
  • @journowl 159 clicks
  • @PatBumstead 132 clicks
  • @LadyWoodpecker 126 clicks
  • @HooootOwl 118 clicks
  • @irenapuella 98 clicks
  • @Kolibrix 88 clicks

Larry Jordan did it again. Once again number one! Want more clicks to your post? Study Larry Jordan. He is one of the most diligent blog readers and blog commenter I know …. and a frequent re-tweeter.

Participants this week.

That is it! Please submit for next week in the comment section,.

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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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The tweetclub is better than blog carnivals.

Tweet club logo.The birdwatchers tweetclub is much better to get visits to your blog post than the traditional blog carnivals. Have a look at this weeks tweet club results. WOW!!! It is the most overwhelming result since its start. Many blogposts have gotten over 200 clicks! Check this!!

In most these results were added to posts already having been posted a while and already been published on Twitter and to your blog readers.

Some participants don’t stick to the rules.

You must understand that this is a collective effort. You need to retweet all the other posts if you want the benefit to be in receiving end of traffic. There is no need to single out anyone. I was quite lenient in accepting people this week to participate, as I was keen to get the tweet club started again. The tweet club is new, so it may not be all that clear to everyone how it works.

I ask you to check the earlier posts from the tweet club to grasp the ideas behind it. In any case here is a short summery of 3 main rules.

  1. You must have a Twitter acount with people interested in birds as followers. I have not set a minimum number of followers, but lets say for the sake of argument that at least 10 of those people following you are interested in birds.
  2. During the week you commit to do minimum 10 retweets of  individual posts. Best of course if you tweet each posts twice. But you commit only to 10 tweets in total.  I personally tweet each post 3 times.
  3. Use the link that I provide. This is needed to be able to measure the number of clicks each post receives.

Share on Facebook

Birdbloggers should share more on Facebook. In spite of mentioning the effectiveness of Facebook sharing and a requirement for anyone who had not yet large Twitter numbers, noone even shared one post. Believe me it is amazing the results you can get this way. Let’s do a test. I will post once a day from tomorrow the four best results from the past tweet club (Larry, Kim, Susan and Janet). When you see the post on my wall, share it on your wall. By the publication of the next tweet club, if  Larrry, Kim, Susan and Janet could check how many extra clicks they get (install google analytics or just the wordpress stats for those on WordPress).

This weeks participants.

  • RT@LadyWoodpecker Birding on Westham Island (Spot the Decoy) (Had 122 hits prior to tweetclub launch)
  • RT @HooootOwl Check out the Broken wing act by this Killdeer. (Had 25 hits prior to tweetclub launch)
  • RT @irenapuella If you are stuck in Sumba and already seen the bird endemics, waddayado? Go to the races.!!
  • RT @journowl Brandt’s  Cormorant – A rock of guttural croaks.  A photo session. (Had 58 hits prior to tweetclub launch)
  • RT@soaringfalcon1 Meet the Birds of the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge
  • RT @PatBumstead Pellet Puzzle: What’s On Owl’s Menu?
  • RT @Kolibrix Updated Interview w the most popular bird blogger  @grrlscientists (Devorah Bennu). Join her in Manu Dec 6.

That is folks. Please leave your next contribution for Tweet Club in the comment section below. Now when my newsletter is out, it hope we shall be back next week as usual. Deadline on Tuesday Oct 20. Share on Twitter and on Facebook.  Let’s see if anyone can get 300 clicks this week.

Twitter image by creative Commons lisence on Flickr.  Photo credit: Adam Gutierrez
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NewsLetter – Kolibri Expeditions

Yes, we all hate spam. And most unsolicited mail would qualify as spam. However, once in blue moon I do get some unsolicited stuff, that catches my attention and that I don’t dislike. Those occasions always have to do with targeted messages. If as a birder I get an unsolicited message about birds, that should not ruin my day. And especially if there is a lot of value in the message such as a trip report or some great photos there is good chance I don’t send it straight to the trash bin. I have tried to use such strategy in my business, admittedly with mixed success, as I on rare occasions get very strong negative reaction. Some would argue that anything unsolicited is spam. However, with the commercial bombardment of ads for totally un-relevant stuff and spam such as Nigeria scams, Viagra sales and explicit porn, a very rare newsletter about birds would be quite harmless for most of us as long as there is no problem unsubscribing.
I have until now included some ads for my tours in these newsletters, but from this day on I am changing strategy. Why? Because, I would like to inform those interested in new tours and offers on a more regular basis, which would be too frequent for an unsolicited newsletter. So I am splitting my previous efforts into two different strategies – a massive non-commercial informative targeted twice yearly newsletter and a more direct opt-in bi-weekly newsletter which also features some tours.
I chose not to push any tours in the first newsletter, to strengthen the message that I am sharing my knowledge with you, without expecting anything in return. This past 9 months as a blogger has taught me that in order to be successful with a business using social media, one has to share much more than one tries to push sales. When someone wants to buy, they will hopefully look me up. This non-commercial approach should be great for branding.
Although I would be nice to take some credits for these thoughts myself, I humbly credit 100% to my house-hold social media heroes for the inspiration. They are probably familiar to you and if not check out the links to their blogs. Darren Rowse of Problogger, John Haydon and Chris Brogan.
It would be interesting to read your comments. Will I get away with my massive unsolicited but targeted newsletter? And will I get anyone signing up for the opt-in newsletter, I wonder? Comment below.
Below, follows the sales-free Newsletter that is currently being distributed to a lot of birders. The content should be interesting if you are a birder and if not serve as an example of my points in this introduction to unsolicited newsletters.

Newsletter Nº 008
Date: October 9 – 2009
Dear birdwatcher,

This birding news bulletin from Peru is the 8th since its start in 2004. If you receive this newsletter we probably have birds and birdwatching in common, but you are right, it is unsolicited. You did not ask for it. On the other hand, this is an informative newslettter about birds and their conservation and links to articles which you hopefully find useful if you are a birder. There is no sales pitch in this newsletter and the links presented here are not directed to pages where you are asked to buy something from us.

This newsletter is different compared to previous newsletters. It contains some posts from my blog A birding blog from Peru by Gunnar Engblom, that I think many of you will find useful. The blogposts can be commented, so you can give feedback directly. I answer all questions best I can.

This newsletter covers bird conservation projects, social media for birders, some selected blogposts from the last year – both on broad topics as well as more specific birding in Peru and finally a few updates on the Kolibri staff who are re-producing and producing future birdguides.

Here is the table of content:

1. Facebook for birders
2. Blogging for birders
3. Twitter for birders
4. 11 best birds in Peru as tourism attractions
5. 1000 birds to see before you die.
6. How to become a birdwatcher in the 21st century.
7. 10 best ways to avoid chiggers.
8. A marathon for Satipo road
9. Amarakaeri Communal Reserve next to Manu.
10. Life List – a new book on Phoebe Snetsinger by Olivia Gentile
11. Kolibri staff news: We are producing new birders!

1. Facebook for birders.

With 300 million users, Facebook should not need a specific presentation to you. However, I have seen that many of my birding friends still have not jumped on the band wagon or have not realized the potential it has for birders to connect with each other as a community. It is the perfect place to search for advice when planning for a birding trip. And you don’t have to be real friends to be friends on Facebook. Having birdwatching in common is at least for me enough to connect with you through Facebook. Read the full article: Facebook for birders. A Beginner’s Guide.

For those already on Facebook and would like to become Facebook friends with me here is my Facebook profile.

Also note that I have started three Facebook groups open for anyone to join.

These groups are NOT commercial vehicles for Kolibri Expeditions, but rather open for all that share the same interest.

Finally, there is a Kolibri Expeditions Fan page. In a previous newsletter I introduced Kolibri Ambassadors – a community for our past and future clients. However, with the growth of Facebook, this initiative has become obsolete. I regret that I did not know about Facebook back then. This “Fan Page” shall be a great place to discuss Kolibri Expedition trips with others. I am planning to post a lot of photos and videos here for your enjoyment.

2. Blogging for birders

To maintain an on-line web-log (blog) has become extremely popular in recent years. Digital photography and free resources such as Blogger (by Google) and My Space has made it easy for birders to also publish their own tales and photos of birds on their own site at no cost. In contrast to Facebook you may share with everyone on a blog, not only with your near friends. I too have had a few blogs that I have nourished all to rarely, until I recently understood that a regular blogging section on our company page could actually bring traffic to the main web-page, as well as improve ranking on search the engines. I down-loaded the WordPress blogging platform to my web-page. This platform is also free and popular among businesses because it can be uploaded on your own domain and it has various plugins that makes it easier for search engines to find your posts. You find more info about blogging and how to connect with other bird bloggers and get traffic to your blog in my Blogging for birders blogpost.

3. Twitter for birders.

I am sure I am loosing some people now. Twitter seems to most birders like a complete waste of time. I could not have agreed more, when I first looked at this Social Media fad. I have changed my mind since. If you want to learn more how Twitter can be useful for birders check out Twitter for birders. The biggest value of Twitter for us, apart from the obvious link-sharing, is that we can recruit more new birders from the huge Twitter pool and pass on birding news very fast.
If you would like to connect with me on Twitter, here is my twitter handle @kolibrix. Click on the link and you shall see my latest tweets.I have covered Twitter quite a bit on my blog. You might find the following blogposts interesting.

4. Birds as tourism attractions

This is an interesting exercise. Say you were to name the birds in your country or your state that are or could be tourism attractions for non-birders. These are the kind of birds that everyone likes with a lot of Wow-factor. The kind of attraction one would make a detour to see. They could be arena birds displaying in leks, big colonies, penguins, hummingbirds, places of concentrated migration or just very special birds.

Here is my list of the top 11 bird tourism attractions for Peru. Make a list of your best tourism attractions for your area and upload it in a blog and I’ l write a follow-up post linking to you.

5. 1000 birds to see before you die.

Do you feel that there is no way you can keep up with the world birding. There are just too many birds to see. Instead of trying to see them all, why not just concentrate on the top 1000 birds. The most magnificent and special birds that you would like to see during your lifetime. Not only does this make your targets more manageable, but it all also invites you to be less fanatic during your holidays with your non-birding spouse and just concentrate on those special birds that maybe he/she would also enjoy. This idea will summit with a book, and you can help decide which species to include. Click this link: 1000 birds to see before you die.

6. How to become a birdwatcher in the 21st century.

I predict that birding and nature watching will grow very fast in the coming years. Why? Because, the birders are very good at promoting and recruiting, by putting a pair binoculars and field guide in the hands of a teenager? Hardly! That is so 20th century!

I have two blogposts that develop the new way to recruit new birders.

7. How to avoid chiggers in the Tropics.

Chiggers can be a nuisance and difficult to protect oneself from. Often one takes measures after the damage is already done. Here is a fool proof 10 step approaches to avoid chiggers on your visit to the Peruvian rain-forest.

8. A Marathon for Satipo road.

I have the ambition but not always the time to train to become a half decent Marathon runner for my age. My dream is to be able to qualify for the oldest marathon in the world – the classic Boston Marathon. The problem is that there was no Marathon in Peru that was internationally recognized, so I had my mind to train for a Marathon in the US late in the year. But in April I still had not even gotten started to train and I hear that all of a sudden there would be a Marathon in Lima May 31 and the first one to be a qualifying race for Boston and only 5 and half weeks away. I should give it a try although time was short. I needed yet another stimulus and challenge and making my race a fund-raiser for the conservation of Satipo road and for eco-tourism infrastructure was a perfect match. Below follows a series of blogposts on the marathon and the Satipo road project. We are happy to been able to work on this together with Rainforest Partnership.

9. Amarakaeri Communal reserve next to Manu.

Last year I got the privilege to visit four new lodges on the Manu circuit owned by Wanamei – a tour company formed by the 8 communities of three native ethnic groups Yine, Matsiguenka and Harakmbut. I immediately saw a potential for a niche marketing these lodges for birders and we set up some programs. Here is the first report about the potential for birders of this area. The birding is quite spectacular and many of the special birds of the Manu region are easier to see here than at many of the better known lodges in the area.

However, this year two of the lodges never got restored to functionality after the rains. It is quite a shame, so I thought Kolibri Expeditions best make something about it. We are very excited to be committed to make sure that the lodges are re-opened again. Read about the strategy in this update to the community lodges next to Manu.

The first support and promotion trip is scheduled on Oct 29, 2009 and hosted by the well known blogger GrrlScientist (Devorah Bennu). The trip she hosts would be particularly interesting for anyone that loves parrots. Devorah Bennu is a parrot expert. Read my interview with GrrlScientist here.

Also check this blog post by Seabrooke Leckie who host the blogger promotion trip in Nov 2010.

10. Book review: Life List by Olivia Gentile.

One of the nice things about writing a somewhat popular blog is that sometimes one gets a free book. The new biography Life List: A Woman’s Quest for the World’s Most Amazing Birds I probably would have bought anyway. It is a wonderfully told story of the world’s greatest birder Pheobe Snetsinger. Read my review of Life List here.

11. Meet the crew. We are producing more birders.

It is time to present to you our staff for the season 2009-2010. Here is Kolibri Expeditions staff and the latest additions to the pool of new Peruvian birders. We are very pleased being sponsored with great optics from Vortex Optics during 2009. Reviews of our equipment will follow in future blogs.


That is it folks. There is no commercial interest in this newsletter, but I admit that the link to Life List on would give me coffee money if anyone would buy it after clicking the link. Do sign up for the twice-monthly opt-in newsletter below if you got interested in our tours or just want to stay uptodate with my blog posts without having to check the actual blog to see what is new.
Good birding to you all

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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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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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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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