The decline of BA

To: Bill Stent <>
Subject: The decline of BA
From: Peter Shute <>
Date: Mon, 4 Jan 2016 04:15:41 +0000
I assume you mean birding-aus, not Birds Australia or Birdlife Australia.

I've found that it is possible to search the Facebook Groups from within 
Facebook itself, but I don't think Google will return any results - can anyone 
confirm that? The problem is that you first need to know which Facebook group 
to search, and there are dozens of them now dedicated to Australian birding, 
and probably many I don't know about.

So fragmentation is one problem too. As to whether the postings will even be 
there when you look, people can delete their own postings, along with all the 
replies, as can group owners, so maybe or maybe not.

There's no doubt there are less messages here now since a year or two ago, but 
it appears to have stabilised at this lower level of usage, rather than be in 
terminal decline. Time will tell. One benefit of the drift to Facebook has been 
that many of the discussions that were considered off-topic or controversial 
have drifted there too. Discussions here have degenerated into arguments a lot 
less recently as a result, which may result in people remaining subscribers.

It's probably possible to set up archives of the Facebook group discussions. 
You could direct Facebook's emailed notifications to an archive similar to 
birding-aus's, but when I suggested this a while ago, other Facebook users 
reacted in horror at the possibility of their conversations being archived. It 
seems the ability to delete postings is a major attraction there.

Peter Shute

Sent from my iPad

> On 4 Jan 2016, at 12:20 PM, Bill Stent <> wrote:
> I agree, Steve.
> The various Facebook pages are great for showing off photos (I'm a
> show-off, I admit) but searching on them for past information is just
> impossible.
> Bill
>> On Mon, Jan 4, 2016 at 11:39 AM, Steve Clark <> wrote:
>> G'day all
>> I mourn the decline of BA - having been a member since 1995 or so.
>> Yesterday I was asked for information from a chap writing an article for
>> Australian Field Ornithology.  He did an online search and found an item on
>> BA of mine from 2001 that supported his article.
>> Today I would be more likely to report an observation of interest on one of
>> the Facebook birding groups.  Will a Facebook post from 2016 be able to be
>> found in 2030?
>> I would urge birders to continue to post actively on BA (as well as on the
>> Facebook groups).
>> Cheers
>> Steve Clark
>> Hamilton, Vic
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