Wednesday, October 12, 2005

ENV: A great I and the Bird #8 is up

I and the Bird #8 is up at Science and Sarcasm and what a great slathering of posts TroutGrrrl puts on the old slice of bread. First it's uniquely organized by the way in which the writer comes to the information presented -- by earnest attempt to find birds, to casual observations, to professional research, to lifetime summarization, to those things that don't quite fit a category. Great work!

One of the great pleasures of a well-attended carnival is that there are always new faces aboard -- this time there are several, and i was particularly intrigued by a couple from the last few issues, not only because of the excellent insights delivered there but because they are Texas-connected (other Texcentrics will understand this), form a birding cabal of four of some kind, and because they all appear to be young -- getting young folks involved is always an issue of conversation among us who have been around a while. So i'm blogrolling these folks, and everyone else that's new, but i'm also linking right here to these four (a couple of whom were not IATB contributors, but ought to be, and i'm trying to extend the community). They are: Search and Serendipity, The Blurry-eyed Birder, For Elect Eyes Only (The Puritan Birder), and The (Birding) Chronicles. Welcome.

Moving tangentially, one of the things several of us have noted about I and the Bird is that it has become something of an incestuous group -- there's a certain core of about a dozen naturalists' blogs that make regular appearances here. Some of us were regular or semi-regular at The Tangled Bank (itself on my"pretty dang wonderful" list), but i for one feel like much of my material was too light for that carnival (though i'll continue to submit some heavier things there). So, I and the Bird came along at a perfect time (thanks Mike!) and Circus of the Spineless has taken care of my other passion (thanks Bootstrap!). Nevertheless the idea that either or both of these is incestuous carries a negative connotation and i want to speak to that.

First, i think the label needs to go -- it's not like we conspire amongst ourselves in any way although there is quite a bit of exchange about how to present and in getting the word out. This week's carnival is a perfect example -- we gladly welcome newcomers into the fold, TroutGrrrl's arrangement is a perfect indication that there is room for a wide range of viewpoints, and i'm certain we'll all encourage the newcomers (many of whom are newcomers only in the sense of being newcomers to I and the Bird, but not to blogging or birds, or observation). So i, personally, would like to make it quite clear that i think these carnivals should have no boundaries except, ostensibly, for subject matter -- such that we all benefit by the community (pardon me for being all new-agey, not my style, but the word has some value here) we are building. Which brings me to some commentary by Charlie at Charlie's Bird Blog that i hope to address soon -- community is what we make of it. (P.s. Charlie, what a great bird and a great story . . . i wish you had comments enabled on your blog though . . .)

Please continue to enjoy I and the Bird, help spread the word that it is an anthology worth promoting and reading, and maybe jump in and offer to host (see Mike's wonderful post this week about the responsibility of hosting).

One last note: I have been compiling a master list of URLs and contact info for those blogs which have a natural history bent or interest. The list is intended for use in soliciting submissions and for getting the word out when carnivals are published. Anyone who is hosting I and the Bird, The Tangled Bank, or Circus of the Spineless (or any other new natural history oriented carnival) should be sure to contact me for a current edition of the list. As i am constantly updating this list you should probably wait until you are in the beginning stages of hosting before requesting it. If you haven't gotten recent notices from me or another recent host of I and the Bird or Circus of the Spineless and would like to be notified, please contact me to make sure i have you on this master list.


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