Reply from Knud Rasmussen re Birdingpal fee

To: "'Birding Aus'" <>
Subject: Reply from Knud Rasmussen re Birdingpal fee
From: "Richard Nowotny" <>
Date: Sun, 1 Sep 2013 00:08:37 +1000
For information to the list, as promised.

I think this means that Birdingpals are not charged if they contact other 
Birdingpals, but that non-Birdingpals (ie regular birders looking for a 
Birdingpal) are now being asked to pay $10 (Canadian/US/Australian??) annually 
to use the service.

Knud doesn’t seem to have responded to my enquiry re whether there was any 
announcement or advice regarding this change in policy, nor has he made comment 
about the apparent absence of any reference to the new arrangement on the 
Birdingpal website.

It will be interesting to see how this new “commercial” arrangement (with its 
attendant administrative requirements) affects the popularity of Birdingpal. It 
would be unfortunate if it significantly altered the appeal of what is really a 
wonderful resource for birders worldwide.

Regards. Richard

PS I wasn’t aware of the existence of the ContactPal software until I read 
Knud’s letter.

PPS I’ve copied this letter to Knud for his information.



From: Knud Rasmussen  
Sent: Saturday, 31 August 2013 12:16 AM
To: Richard Nowotny
Subject: Re: Birdingpal news
Importance: Low


Hi Richard

Thanks for letting me know

As you properly know my web guru developed the Spam free software ContactPal a 
couple of years ago to protect Birdingpal’s privacy, and he is now on Version 
2, which is much more user friendly than the first one.

Vince never charged me for this, and I know it saved Pals for thousands of 
unwanted emails and stolen addresses.

As a Birdingpal you are automatically signed up as a ContactPal, and you 
control your privacy as you see fit without any fee, and you do not need a 
passphrase. Mind you a number of Pals has since volunteered to pay the fee 
since then.

A couple of month ago I told Vince, he could ask a non Pal contacting a local 
birder using our software to sign up for a yearly $10 fee to help with further 

This was an experiment to see if birders would accept it, and I think most 
people did so far. We had a few complaints, but since Vince control this, he 
has been very flexible to people in some countries with no credit cards, 
students using Birdingpal and so on.

Next month we will review all the details, decide if we continue and if so my 
next newsletter to Pals will spell this out in details.

As you know I started Birdingpal more than 12 years ago and Vince helped me 
with the technical end from the beginning. 

Personally I spend many thousands of hours designing, maintaining, updating, 
redesigning etc. and I know Birdingpal is a great recourse for travelling 
birders, and I have used it many times myself.

For someone traveling to Australia from North America or Europe, one would 
think $10 is a small price to pay for finding a local birder to go birding with.

Anyway I hope this clears things out a bit and you are not giving up on 

Have a nice day





From: Richard Nowotny <>  

Sent: Friday, August 30, 2013 4:09 AM

To: 'Knud Rasmussen' <>  

Subject: Birdingpal news


Hi Knud. There seems to have been a surprising development here in Australia re 
Birdingpal. A soon-to-visit overseas birding couple have reported the following:


We had tried to contact some birdingpals but found that it is now a business 
charging fees to make connections.


Is this correct? Was there any announcement or advice to Birdingpals that this 
was to occur? If so, where? There does not seem to be any reference to a new 
fee on your website.


There is a bit of negative chat about it starting on BirdingAus. I would like 
to be able to provide our chatline with accurate information.


All the best. Richard


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