I and the Bird

To: Peter Shute <>, Birding-Aus <>
Subject: I and the Bird
From: Trevor Hampel <>
Date: Sat, 15 Dec 2007 21:38:30 +1030

Peter Shute wrote:

I have to admit that I usually don't "get" blogs of any kind (the occasional 
one is great).  What's wrong with just posting the stuff to lists like this?

Hi there Peter,

I would like to address your final question as above.

A birding blog and a newsgroup like Birding-Aus are two quite different concepts and function in quite distinct ways.

I assume you understand how B-A works. Once approved by the list owner anyone can post news about bird sightings, ask questions, seek help, give trip reports, debate issues relating to birds and a whole range of other ways.

I've been a member almost since its beginning. I have made friends (and probably one or two who are not going to be on my Christmas card list). It is a very useful format for disseminating news and getting opinions in a very quick way. I wouldn't be without it.

A blog is quite different. I've been writing for three blogs for nearly two years now. I've published over 1600 articles on many topics, not just birds. Think of a blog - a well written blog - as being a self published magazine that can be updated as many times as you want with minimal costs.

It is far more than that of course. A good blog engages the readers and they can leave comments, ask questions and debate issues. Often a sense of community can develop - I have many regular faithful readers who comment often. One special feature that sets a blog apart from a newsgroup like Birding-Aus is the ability to post photos of birds (or anything really) as a part of the web site itself. This can only be done on Birding-Aus if there is a link to another site.

Birding-Aus is only sent to subscribers. This currently must be about 500-600 (not sure of actual number) mostly in Australia. A blog reaches a world-wide audience. This year I had over 100,000 visitors from many countries (over 80 countries in December already). As a retired teacher I see the educational value of this as enormous - all those people learning about birds - and Australian birds at that.

I also allow advertising on my blogs. This is to cover the small costs involved in running the sites and using broadband. I'm certainly not getting rich. The income is less than a few dollars a day.

I hope this has all been useful in helping you understand what blogs are all about.

Happy birding.


Trevor Hampel
Murray Bridge
South Australia

Check out my BLOGS (web logs):

Trevor's Birding - observations and photos of birds at

Trevor's Travels - travels in Australia, Thailand and Nepal at

Trevor's Writing - read some of my writing at

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