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Bay Area Bird Blog » Administration

Archive for the 'Administration' Category

October
17th 2008
This blog is probably going away

Posted under Administration

If you’re one of my few regular readers, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve gone from posting something every day, to posting three times per week, and have now drifted down to once a week. I’m thinking of going down all the way to zero new posts per week. Fact is, this blog never developed the way I hoped it would. I had hoped that readers would occasionally contribute stories; that stories would prompt discussions; that I would be able to use those discussions to compile useful information (such as a list of good birding areas); and that readership would be much higher than it is. Instead, the level of effort I am willing to put into the blog is not enough to attract a big enough audience to make it worthwhile. So I’ll probably stop posting new stories. I’m thinking about it, anyway.

5 Comments »

August
18th 2008
Comments now allowed with no waiting!

Posted under Administration

OK, this is a big change.  I finally got a spam filter working, and I’ve turned off “moderation.”  No, this doesn’t mean I’ve become an extremist, it means I no longer have to “moderate” the discussion: your comment will be posted immediately.  Of course I can still kill it if I have to, but I hope this will keep the spam away so I won’t have to deal with my daily average of 20 spam comments.  I guess this is a bigger deal to me than it is to you, but hey, _I_ am celebrating. 

No Comments »

May
16th 2008
“DC” Birding Blog has great Friday wrap-ups

Posted under Administration & birds (general)

“A DC Birding Blog” (which needs a new name since its writer moved to New Jersey) has really great Friday wrap-ups about bird news. It’s remarkable to me that one person puts this together! This once again makes me realize that I don’t really want a blog, I want a wiki: a collaborative website where lots of people write birds-and-nature articles and news. Just a handful of people willing to put in the work that the DC Birding Blog guy does, and we could conquer the world! The world, I tell you!

1 Comment »

May
1st 2008
It’s all about style, baby

Posted under Administration

As regular readers will have noticed, I’m trying a different look for this blog.  The blog software I’m using, Wordpress, makes it pretty easy to customize the look and functionality of the blog, and there are lots of pre-packaged “themes” that describe the colors, images, menus, and so on.  I took one of these themes and have modified the font colors, added my own photo at the top of each page, and so on.  It still needs some work; for example, the light blue side areas don’t mesh well with the top of the page, so I need to make new ones.  But I think it’s getting there.  What do you think?  Is this good, bad, or indifferent?  Is it better than it used to be?  Does it even matter?

2 Comments »

April
21st 2008
First thing we do, we kill all the spammers

Posted under Administration

You would not believe how much spam this blog gets. There’s never a day with fewer than 3 spam messages, and some days have as many as 8. That means that I get about 20 spam comments for each real one. The spam comments are mostly similar: a bunch of random words (to supposedly throw off spam filters); a fake email address; and a fake link title with a link that actually points to a website selling something, like fake Viagra or fake Rolexes. The idea is that when these messages get posted to blogs, they’re seen by search engines like Google and Yahoo, which then assume that the sites that they point to are really good, so they get moved up in the search rankings.
Continue Reading »

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April
11th 2008
Yay, comments!

Posted under Administration

I know that 2 or 3 dozen people per day visit my blog — that’s in addition to the spambots and such — and that’s fine, I take some solace in the visitor counts. But I’ve always dreamt of PARTICIPATION! Thanks to the people who have left comments recently, I really appreciate it. Comment some more! (By the way, under the rules of this blog, once you’ve had a comment accepted your subsequent comments appear immediately, they’re not held for moderation.)

No Comments »

April
8th 2008
What this blog’s visitors want, versus what I have

Posted under Administration & local birds

When visitors find this blog through certain search engines, my blog software records what search terms they used.  Unfortunately I’ve never provided any answers to some of the most popular queries, and I’ve only provide lame answers to others.  If any of you readers have information you can add, please leave a comment.  At some point I hope to make a FAQ page that answers a bunch of these.  Here are some of the things my readers are looking for:

  1.  ”what birds migrate through the Bay Area”, and similar searches. (Yes, some people really do do natural language searches). A short answer is, I don’t know.  I have mentioned robins and cedar waxwings, both of which migrate through (and some robins stay year-round), but of course many many species migrate along the “Pacific Flyway.”  I’ve never seen a list; if someone knows of one, pass it along (or a link to it) and I’ll blog about it. 
  2. “best birding sites Bay Area”.  I’ve done a few posts about this (click “day trips” in the Categories menu, or do a search for “birding”).   Near Berkeley: Aquatic Park, and the outfall of Codornices Creek at the northeastern end of the Albany Bulb, are both good for water birds.  So is Lake Merritt, and the channel between Lake Merritt and the Oakland marina. The northern part of the Nimitz Trail in Tilden Park, north of the paved portion that connects to Inspiration Point, is good for several kinds of hawks and kestrels…and quail and non-native wild turkey, too. Elsewhere, Point Reyes’ Bolinas Lagoon is good.   Palo Alto Baylands and the adjoining parks (Shoreline, etc.) along the waterfront are great - lots of trails to walk, great diversity of waterbirds.  Heron’s Head Park, Alameda Wildlife Refuge…I think that’s all I’ve specifically mentioned.  See http://www.creekcats.com/birdblog/?p=111 for one of the posts on the subject. 
  3. “bird list Bay Area”, and similar searches.  I think these people are looking for, well, lists of birds they might find here.  The only thing I’ve seen like that is a bird list for Berkeley’s Eastshore State Park, which can basically serve as a near-the-Bay list for anywhere; see the blog entry at http://www.creekcats.com/birdblog/?p=114
  4. “endangered birds Bay Area”.  Click on “endangered species” in the Categories list to see some relevant posts (and some irrelevant ones).   People searching on this might be interested in a webpage that (supposedly) lists endangered, threatened, and “special concern” species: http://www.sfpsociety.org/SFendangered.html 

2 Comments »

February
14th 2008
How’s this blog doing?

Posted under Administration

I’m not sure I’ve mentioned, but I don’t really want a blog: I want a wiki.  (A wiki is an easy-to-edit collaborative website, with many contributors.  Wikipedia is the best-known wiki).  My dream is to have a Bay-Area Nature wiki that has a page about every good place to see birds in the area, every good nature hike, every relevant museum and exhibit, etc., and includes up-to-date information about how to get to those places, volunteer opportunities, etc., etc.  But for a wiki to be successful, you need a lot of contributors…probably dozens, for what I have in mind.  The first step is to get a critical mass of people, maybe 5 to 10, each willing to spend an hour or two per month for a while, to get it up and running. After that it should grow itself. Continue Reading »

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