Australian Birding

To: "Birding-Aus" <>
Subject: Australian Birding
From: "Paul Taylor" <>
Date: Fri, 20 Oct 2000 20:57:41 +1100
> I think failure for Austalain Birding to remain viable vindicates the
> decision of Birds Australia to position itself more broadly as a
> "conservative" conservation based organisation.

Certainly, Birds Australia's "Wingspan" has improved greatly since
it moved to the full colour, content rich format (possibly in response
to BOCA's move to colour, but more likely due to the reduced cost of
colour publishing.)  However, I don't think it or any other magazine
is "responsible" for Australian Birding's demise.

The popularity of the Internet (in all its guises) has exploded in the
past few years:  on a recent trip to SW QLD, I saw an Internet Cafe
in a small town (Quilpie, from memory) - and *wasn't* surprised. 

With the Internet, you can "call in" a rare bird sighting to a mailing
list like Birding-Aus, and it's available to interstate and international
birdos in a matter of seconds.  For much the same effort required to 
publish an article in one of the birding magazines, you can publish a
web page with the same information and get world-wide coverage with no
editorial intervention.  (Whether this is a good thing is left as an
exercise for the reader...)  Where else can you find out the birding
hotspots, book your accommodation/flights/car hire, get a weather
forecast, and check out the best restaurants all in one place and at
3am (if you are so inclined)?

These days I would be surprised if any magazine as a sole concern
survives, regardless of quality: if "Wingspan" or "The Bird Observer"
were published as a subscription rather than as a benefit of membership
to Birds Australia and BOCA respectively, would they be any more 
successful?  I doubt it.

"The King is dead!  Long live the King!"

   Paul Taylor                                  Veni, vidi, tici -
                           I came, I saw, I ticked.

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