Date: 12/30/20 12:40 am
From: Jim Dehnert <dehnert...>
Subject: [southbaybirds] [ADMIN] SBB content
Hi Folks,

I'd like to thank Chuq, a little belatedly, for his introduction of me as
the new list administrator before Christmas. He's correct that we view the
list similarly, and I won't say more about myself. I'm always open to
questions at southbaybirds+<owner...>, along with the rest of the
admin team, and there's a link to it at the bottom of every post.

I thought that the discussion yesterday and today about the Palo Alto duck
pond was a good opportunity for a reminder about the list's acceptable
content: reports of interesting bird sightings in Santa Clara County. That
can also be found on the website (follow the Your Subscription
link at the bottom of every post and click Guidelines
<>), but I'll elaborate my
interpretation for anyone who's curious. You can stop reading if you're
not. Note that there's a facebook group
<> for more general birding
discussions, which is where the duck pond discussion should go at this

Like Chuq, I'll interpret the list content guidelines broadly, since
"interesting" is in the eye of the beholder, and I think it's important for
the list to be inclusive of birders at all levels. In fact, I added the
word "interesting" so I could say something about it. :-) I think about it
in these terms: if you think that your sighting is something that might
make your birding peers want to go out looking in the same place, it's
interesting. And it's not just individual birds that are interesting --
you'll see "trip reports" about visits to a site where the whole experience
is interesting. And occasionally it's a negative report -- the interesting
aspect is that typical birds or numbers weren't seen (like the recent
absence of gulls and ducks at the duck pond).

That description should give you a good idea of what is useful in your post
-- you're helping other birders decide whether to refind your bird or
repeat your experience, and figure out how to do it. The location (e.g.,
eBird hotspot) is almost always critical, and the interesting bird (if
specific) is too -- those two items make a good subject line, and
everything else is discretionary. The body can explain things in more
detail -- specific location of the bird(s) (but be circumspect about nest
disclosures), interesting observations of the bird(s), photos of the
bird(s) to confirm identification, or an eBird checklist pointer if you
submitted one (which is the ideal place to put your photos).

Follow-on posts in response are fine in the spirit above -- confirming
continued presence of the bird or failure to find it, discussing an
identification, answering a relevant question, etc. If a post raises
interesting general discussion points (like wild bird feeding policies),
consider using the Facebook group to discuss it.

As for any email list, if you have personal comments or questions, please
direct them to the poster instead of the whole list. That includes pretty
much any responses to admin posts like this one. :-)

And now I'll go back into my nest hole and lurk.

Have a healthy and very Happy New Year, all of you, and may it be much less
interesting than the old one (except for the birds)!

Jim Dehnert

Jim Dehnert

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