Twitter Problems

To: <>
Subject: Twitter Problems
From: Simon Mustoe <>
Date: Fri, 6 Nov 2009 22:13:58 +0000

Understanding which social networking tools to use, is a big hurdle for most 
people. Let's take Twitter as an example. Rampant use of TwitterFeed is 
starting to dilute the value of what could be a very useful tool for birding. 
TwitterFeed takes the posts from a website and then automatically feeds them 
out via Twitter. Then just imagine, another person can take a feed this 
TwitterFeed and feed it out again, and so on.

With respect to Russell (sorry Russell, I hope you don't mind this public 
opinion, but it's important), I noticed that this is how the birdline twitter 
sites are done...the problem is, that it doesn't actually work...I get the 
message 'too many tweets' and I can't access content. You can imagine that the 
ultimate benefit will be lost. The basic fact is that you can see this content 
just by visiting the Eremaea site, so why bother? Secondly, twitter is 
ephemeral. There will be no permanent record of the information gathered. If I 
recall, something like 2 months until messages drop off into the ether.

Twitter is about immediate promotion to the world. It is not the right tool for 
automatically syndicating content and it is not the right tool if we have any 
interest in using posts to generate sightings information.

For many of the social networking tools (Twitter, Facebook etc) there are too 
many negatives that, in my view, outweigh the benefits that would be needed for 
a sustainable system FOR CONSERVATION and BIRDING (let's face it, there is no 
point in doing this if this isn't the main objective).

Here is a bit of information that may help people understand more about where 
to put their information. Note, all the tools for birding are there already. 
Use them wisely and draw on their strengths.

A few rules of engagement:

Your personal website is more important than any other. However, be realistic, 
your website will never reach its full potential unless you SHARE. Make sure 
you track your website using Google Analytics (easy to set up).
Place all your information on your own website, (or the free one that best 
suits your needs), but promote yourself widely using the range of available 
networking tools (see below). Don't be shy...the true value of your content is 
when it is seen by lots of others, not just by you.
Understand the strengths and purpose of the different networking tools (see 
below). ONLY use them for the purpose that they were designed.Do not be tempted 
to do too much. Sending every message to all the twitter feeds, every 
discussion forum etc will be a waste of your time and may annoy others. Post 
content that is relevant and interesting.Make sure you link to content that is 
'rich'. There should ideally be some depth and supporting information to your 
content.For more information, see


BIRDLINE AUSTRALIA / EREMAEA (Web) - run by Richard and Margaret Alcorn. Use 
this to submit information about rarities. Access their pages here:

FORUMS (DISCUSSION) - BirdingOz - Craig Miller's site, aimed at raising the 
profile of Australia's birding photographers. Very useful thread-based 
discussion forum, distinctly different from Birding-Aus. It caters for lots of 
select groups, wanting to discuss particular issues in small sub-forums.

FORUMS (LISTSERVER) - Birding-Aus - A one-stop-shop place for reaching the 
majority of mainstream birders in Australia, in one hit. Copy information of 
great relevance to the ENTIRE birding community here. Anything that you post to 
BirdingOz or Eremaea could end up here. Make use of links, so you can send 
people, if necessary, back to your rich content.

TRIP REPORTS (BIRDING DIARY) - Wildiaries - Designed so you can keep a diary of 
your activities over time and provide rich content. Post your best images along 
with text from your trips. Because images and sightings are associated with 
locations, it provides a lasting record of birding activity and contributes to 
a growing database of information about Australian species. Links directly back 
to your own website. You can even embed your trips in your blog / website using 
iframe (like embedding a YouTube video).



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