No room on this forum for taking such suggestions badly...this is a very
fruitful and informative discussion. Birding-aus has, in the last few months,
reached a point of maturity and is providing some very important dialogue on
peak birding matters.
The only things I would say are:
1. There is no excuse these days for data being lost. Feeding data to a
conservation group is a synch. However, backing up isn't always something that
is done properly.
2. It isn't always that east to give away data freely. In fact, trying to sell
something 'free' is more difficult than you may imagine. I know it was many
years before Eremaea's data started to be seen as something useful.
3. Conservation groups are also ephemeral, but mostly in terms of funding.
Occasional funding, however large, will always result in something that is
great to start with but can easily flop later. In fact, the impetus to keep it
up depends on the individuals who run it, so it's not that different to the
'hobby' sites you refer to.
For my part, a solid business plan, good understanding of social networking,
and highly diverse potential is the key to success. I am quite excited about
where all this might head in the next couple of years.
Date: Sat, 7 Nov 2009 16:39:38 +1100
Subject: Wildiaries versus Flickr
A couple of further comments of a general nature which I hope Simon and others
who run useful sites here will not take badly :-) I must confess that whilst I
have looked at (but not contributed to) Wildiaries and Flickr I have never
looked at Twitter or Facebook so that makes me extremely well qualified to
To a certain extent this is a classic case of the small company versus the
large one. The small sites tend to be very responsive to requests for changes.
I know that the owners of both Eremaea and Birdpedia (which has not really been
included in the posts I have looked at but is another very useful site) have
been very helpful when I have wanted to interface with them both for my own
now-defunct site and for the BOCA site. I suspect that such a level of
co-operation and willingness to modify their sites would not be forthcoming
from the "big boys". This of course is primarily because all these small sites
are being run (I suspect) mainly as a hobby and a service to the birding
community - whereas the "big boys" run their sites to make money.
This raises the second point - successful big sites are likely to continue for
as long as they make money - and when they stop making money (or fail to start
making money) are likely to disappear - there have been many examples of this
over the brief life of the Internet and there will be many more in future.
"Hobby" sites (and please do not take this as derogatory term) are likely to be
run for as long as the owner has an interest and/or is capable of supporting
the site. Hopefully the owners of such sites have some plans as to what will
happen when this is no longer the case - I know that at least one of them has -
otherwise we stand to lose as a birding community an awful lot of data when the
inevitable happens. (Remember birders that whilst it is great to share your
sightings, trip reports, photos etc. with others online, do not rely on such
systems to hold your only copy of such information!)
I guess the "best" option is the sites that are run by organisations such as BA
and BOCA (vested interest in the latter one I must confess!) - these
organisations have so far lasted a very long time and thus are less likely to
disappear than either the "hobby" sites or the big commercial sites. But
equally - with the exception of the Atlas/Birdata - they are probably not so
innovative as the others!
2009/11/7 Simon Mustoe <>
Wildiaries does all this. It is not as refined as Flickr, yet, but we're
working on refining the image management and location user interface at the
moment. The benefit over Flickr is that the site is devoted to wildlife and
conservation and that we are tailoring it to your needs. In response to your
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