Friday, December 28, 2007

ENV: I and the Bird #65

Every ardent adherent of the avian observation lifestyle learns at one point or another that you just can't go birding every day. Sometimes weather is an issue; extremes of heat or cold, wind or rain, fog or sun can put a damper on outdoor activity. Sometimes life gets in the way and demands of family, work, or ( gasp) other interests prohibit a nice walk in the woods or a trip to the local mudhole. Sometimes, particularly during the height of summer or the depth of winter, interesting birds just aren't there.

Fortunately, birders have developed tools and strategies to get through the tough birdless times. This is why we have blogs!

Once upon a time, though, there were no bird blogs, no I and the Bird . Back in those days, concerns that we now refer to as "Old Media" filled the public's clamoring hunger for birding articles, stories, and photographs with their own primitive works. These publications, called "magazines", were printed on paper (created from wood pulp!) and distributed via quadruped, steamboat, or motorcar to newsstands and homes. Anyone who's actually handled one of these "magazines" can attest to their quaint charm and impressive portability.

Joking! I kid because I love. Despite the prevalence of online media, birding magazines seem to be thriving and are probably more popular than ever. The list of birding and nature blogs I read seems to be growing on a weekly basis, but I still love to pick up a good magazine on the subject. Greater convergence of these different types of publications in the future is inevitable, though even the current level of overlap would probably surprise many people. After all, the similarities between these styles of media are pronounced. I and the Bird, with its biweekly collection of birding articles, stories, and photographs, could be described as an online magazine, which is why we're so fortunate to have a professional editor at the helm for this edition!

Amy Hooper is the editor of the wonderful WildBird magazine as well as the illustrious WildBird on the Fly. Plus, this isn't her first time around the IATB block, as those of you who read her splendid birding festival themed edition of I and the Bird #17 will recall. Nonetheless, I'm sure it took Amy every iota of her awesome managerial, organizational, and creative skills developed as a paid professional in the publishing industry (a skill-set every one of us has wished for the night before publishing a carnival) to push through the holiday hullabaloo to deliver this outstanding I and the Bird #65!

Do you wish that your blog enjoyed the circulation of a major niche magazine? Well, what are you doing about it? If you don't put your blog out there in front of new readers, how do you expect to grow your audience? Fortunately, if you write on topics pertaining to wild birds and birding, we can help. Submit a link to your best blog post on the subject along with a brief summary to me or our next superlative host, John Riutta (john AT bornagainbirdwatcher DOT com) of Born Again Bird Watcher no later than 11:59 PM Pacific Standard Time on Tuesday, January 8, 2008. If you meet our generous standards for inclusion, your work will be included in the January 10 edition of I and the Bird, to be enjoyed by millions, thousands, or at least hundreds of interested readers! John wants to make the first edition of the new year one by which all future editions will be judged. Resolve to be what will surely be a part of bird blogging history!



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