Date: 1/12/18 9:13 pm
From: Wim van Dam <wim.van.dam...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
I share Chuq's worries about our community's reliance on Yahoo! Groups.
Frankly it is an antiquated system that does not seem very important to
Yahoo!/Verizon. Besides its uncertain future, it has a laughable search
function, limited support for rich content such as photos and recordings,
and user control is near zero. When I submit my observations to eBird I can
include all sorts of information, I can edit it in the future, and I know
it will be part of a scientific database. My postings to my local
newsgroup? I'd be happy if they are still accessible 5 years from now.

Of course eBird is not suitable for postings about locations, background
information, and local lore. For that purpose I would love to see us switch
to a proper forum (like for example Imagine having threaded
postings, working search functions, and the option to follow or block
specific topics or people. It would be so... 2000.

Wim van Dam
Solvang, CA

On Fri, Jan 12, 2018 at 2:48 PM, Chuq Von Rospach <chuqvr...>
[CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> wrote:

> 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…, fingertips….and moved over to other sites such as eBird.

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