To: birding-aus <>
From: Russell Woodford <>
Date: Mon, 26 Jul 2010 23:32:51 +1000
Despite all my negative comments in my last email, I have to agree with Chris - improving the lines of communication, using whatever technologies are available, is certainly a good thing.

In the past we've had to be very careful about fragmentation - e.g. having 10 different reporting systems so that any one birder only hears about 10% of what's going on! However, thanks to Web 2.0 technologies, this is rapidly becoming irrelevant. As long as the systems "talk" to each other and share data, it won't matter how you choose to access the info. Birders who want to hear news immediately will probably sign up to an SMS service - these are replacing most of the pager services in Europe and the USA. Those with less urgency will read it online through Eremaea, Birding-Aus or a host of other services. Some will get the news eventually on Twtitter or Facebook - and some will find out when their birding mate rings them about it.

One application for the alert system that hasn't been mentioned yet (I think) is for the traveller who subscribes to an SMS system for the few weeks they are on the road. Not many of us can justify paying for news of a rarity during the normal working week. If an Australian first turns up in Adelaide tomorrow, there is no chance of me getting to see it for about three weeks! A few of the 700+ guys will have ticked it and be on the way home again before most of us get our afternoon coffee break.

But I can see enormous value in getting instant notifications when I'm travelling. I recently drove from Brisbane to Geelong via the Warrumbungles. I had limited internet access in a couple of motel rooms, but not every night. How much better it would have been to be able to pay $12 for an SMS rare bird alert for the week instead of $12 for a couple of hours' Internet access just in West Wyalong!

Even better would have been someone texting me the directions to a Spotted Bowerbird ... :-(

Russell Woodford
Birding-Aus List Owner

Geelong   Victoria   Australia
On 26/07/2010, at 10:36 PM, Chris Sanderson wrote:


Is the Australian birding community ready for something like this? Perhaps, perhaps not. The next year or so will answer that for us. But I think we have an opportunity here to improve the way birding information is collected and distributed to birders in this country, and I for one think that can
only be a good thing.


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