Date: 1/12/18 4:51 pm
From: 'Denise Hamilton' <napabirders...> [northbaybirds] <northbaybirds-noreply...>
Subject: [NBB] Re: Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]

Hi all,

I received this email from Calbirds and I think it is relevant to North Bay Birds and to Central Valley Birds, too. I’ve had the same thoughts for some time now since eBird is gotten to be so popular.

I will have to say that I still really appreciate the reports I receive from the County Listservs – so much easier to see a report of a rare or unusual bird in the vicinity coming in an email. I realize you can set eBird up to receive ‘alerts’, which I haven’t done yet, but I still like getting the more personal reports that generally give our more information about where to find the bird.

For folks that really seem to have switched over to eBird, it would be as simple as write a quick note to the listserv with what you saw, along with your eBird list that we could go look at AND in the note to the listserv (OR in you eBird report, give a few quick directions on where to find the bird.....some of us are still lacking smartphones!

I realize that eBird is for tracking and recording species, but I (like probably many of you) use it to figure out where you’ll go birding when you have some time, so spending a bit more time with giving directions is valuable!

Denise Hamilton,

And to make this a legit email with a bird sighting- while writing this I just saw a Great Blue Heron cruising up my street, way lower than roof level.. Yard bird # 47 for January.

Happy birding!

From: Chuq Von Rospach <chuqvr...> [CALBIRDS]
Sent: Friday, January 12, 2018 2:48 PM
To: Paul Lehman
Subject: Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]

The local list I run (SBB) is as busy as it was five years ago, or busier, and it’s membership is growing. It’s 4x when I took it on about ten years ago, and about 1/3 larger than it was 18 months ago.

It uses eBird heavily as a resource and a reference. But they don’t see it as a replacement.

So I guess the question is whether on other lists anyone’s been working to make them interesting and relevant or just letting them idle away on their own? Are new members welcomed, ignored or is the first email they get something telling them they did it wrong? (And we’re far from perfect here but I think we try)

What resources exist to make it useful? Maps? References?

Lists don’t exist without some work; they atrophy or die. With a bit of nurturing they can do quite well. One of the things I’ve been talking about on the back burner is formally setting up SBB to be affiliated with SCVAS rather than independent, in part because I think it makes a lot of sense in terms of marketing and outreach in both directions, and to help give it a reason for existence to avoid that slow death by being ignored.. (And on my 2018 list is to completely rewrite the list intro docs to make them accurate and useful again).

A couple of years ago I tried to float an idea out to various people about a complete re-org and rethink of the state lists, in part because I was worried (frankly I still am) the Yahoo might well not want to keep Yahoogroups.. Now under Verizon I don’t think that worry has changed much, and there are still noticeable system issues that you can see if you know what to look for (most telling: periods where all messages don’t get delivered for hours at a time then all show up in one huge batch). What I heard pretty clearly was that nobody really wanted to think about it because it wasn’t a crisis, so I dropped it.

I still think we could move beyond what we have and make it a lot better (perhaps through use of something like Slack, perhaps with email) but I’m not planning on trying to start that discussion again, but I’d be happy to join one if it happens.

I still think they’re very much relevant, but that we kind of ignore them and take them for granted and don’t really work to make them better or keep them healthy. I do think they could be a lot better than they could be. I’d love to see some coordinated thing organized through Audubon CA so they’re consistent and easily findable and they both outreach birders to the lists and list members to Audubon.

And since I’m a community manager by trade and an email list nerd by my past, I’d be happy to help people who want to work on their lists or on making all of this better.

On Jan 12, 2018, at 2:18 PM, Paul Lehman <lehman.paul...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> wrote:

It is pretty obvious that over the past few years that many of the local/county/regional/state listservs have become less and less relevant to a large number of birders, as many of these people have voted with their feet….er, fingertips….and moved over to other sites such as eBird.

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