Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Why I blog, why I bird, and why I blog about birds

For the upcoming one year anniversary of the "I and the Bird" blog carnival, the founder has given an assignment to the active community of bloggers who make this carnival successful to answer the following question: "Why do you blog, why do you bird, and why do you blog about birds?" I have a simple answer and a more complex answer.

Simple Answer: I am a computer geek, I enjoy most things in the natural world, and I like sharing my experiences with others. Blogging about birds enables me to bring these worlds together.

Complex Answers:
Why I blog: I first started blogging about 6 months ago. I was essentially writing blog entries prior to that, but was simply emailing my content out to my friends. In doing so I was faced with a few issues and limitations. First, my friends were becoming annoyed with the content (sometimes political) that was showing up in their inbox. Most didn't point this out, but some did. By posting the content on a blog, I probably get fewer of them to read the content, but those that do are truly interested in what I have to say. The second issue dealt with the fact that I always seemed to leave some people who were interested off the list of a particular message. They can now go read it anytime they want! Since I began blogging, I have realized a number of additional advantages. As I meet new people, or have discussions with people I wouldn't have sent a story to, I can refer them to the blog that automatically keeps the archive of my past posts. I have been surprised by the number of times a day that I give out my blog address to individuals who are interested in a particular topic that I have blogged about. Additionally, new people I meet can get a much broader view into my interests by looking through my archives.

Why I bird: I don't normally consider myself to be a "serious birder", although most of the population would. Anyone who keeps a life list, owns software to track it, owns multiple books on birds (identification, biology, etc), has all of the bird sounds on their ipod, etc is probably considered quite serious by the average person on the street. The reality is that I am fascinated by all wildlife and the environment in general. Wolves are my highest interest in wildlife watching, their complex social behavior is very fascinating. Scuba diving is high on the list, I enjoy all sea creatures large and small (see Saving the Leatherback Turtle and St Croix Snorkeling). Birding stands out as a deep interest area primarily because it brings in the behavioral observations of wildlife and can be done anywhere, including my backyard and on business trips (I've never seen a wolf in my backyard or on a business trip).

Why I blog about birds: This is primarily a direct convergence of the two previous questions. I blog about my interest areas and birding is one of my top interest areas. Thus, I blog about birds.

This article is featured in I and the Bird #27 blog carnival, the first anniversary edition.

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