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Me and the ABA

January 14, 2011

So, hey. Remember way back in July when I made a case for myself to be the ABA’s official bird blogger?  It wasn’t long after that post, and the most excellent discussion that followed it, that the ABA went ahead and started their own blog, one that featured a pretty heavy line-up of some very well-known birders.  Not that that was any surprise.  One of the built-in advantages of an ABA blog, beyond the weight of a well established organization with a respected print line-up and an e-mail list full of potential readers, was the fact that every field birder of note in the North American community has generally had something to do with the American Birding Association and at least some of them could be counted on to throw a little content over that way now and then.  I don’t think it’s too much of an exaggeration to say that the writing on the ABA blog thus far has been precisely what we knew it was capable of, and the traffic has rightly followed.  The ABA blog is legitimately one of the heavy hitters in our little corner of the blogosphere.

So that’s why I’m excited to announce that yours truly will be taking a coordinating role over there as the blog manager, or managing editor, or whatever the official title is.  In any case it means I’ll be writing a little more on the ABA blog than I have been, and trying to whip that group of bloggers into lean, mean bird bloggers on machines.  Not that they really need it, but still, the idea that I’m coordinating something of that magnitude, with the ABA’s name attached, is humbling, and the opportunity is one I simply could not refuse.

What does that mean for The Drinking Bird? Or for you, should you be a bird blogger (and lots of you are)? A couple things.

1) My responsibilities at the ABA do not necessarily involve opining at great length about any birdy topic that comes to mind, nor does it include devolving into mind-numbing minutia about my Triangle Big Year and the birds I have or haven’t seen and how exciting and/or frustrating that is.  No, that sort of scintillating content will continue to be published exclusively at The Drinking Bird.  Fear not, loyal reader.

What I do at the ABA blog will consist mostly of  coordinating the efforts of the featured writers and publishing interesting bits here and there.  I’ll be trying some different things, but all of them will be based primarily on North American birds and birders.  Everything else will continue to come through here, and you can count on the same rants, beer reviews and essays as you’ve always enjoyed.  Don’t worry, I’ve got plenty to write about.

2) One of my goals with the ABA blog is to properly introduce the ABA community to the blog blogger community.  It seems that, for some time, there have been these two parallel communities that have a lot to offer to each other.  So in my capacity as blog manager I’ll be soliciting participation from other bloggers who want to guest post on the ABA blog. You can write about anything interesting, the goal is to build a community of birders through and beyond our blogs.  There’s really no better organization to help us do that, and I’m not just saying that because they’re giving me the reigns of a part of their social media initiative.

So, big doings and such.  I hope you’ll help me make the ABA blog a success.  I think it could portend great things for both the ABA and the bird blogosphere.

  1. January 14, 2011 7:09 am


  2. January 14, 2011 7:51 am

    Sweet. Congrats!

  3. January 14, 2011 9:01 am

    That’s great news! Congratulations!

  4. January 14, 2011 10:10 am

    Welcome aboard Nate! As an ABA board member I can say that we are pleased you will be managing the blogs. The organization is doing fine new initiatives, and with Jeff Gordon’s leadership, a terrific staff, an involved board and a committed membership ABA’s future is bright.

  5. January 14, 2011 10:13 am

    Oh wow.
    Can I still come over one fine day for a beer and a nuthatch or will you forget your old companions now you’re rising to fame and slam the door in my face?


  6. Nate permalink*
    January 14, 2011 11:50 am

    @Corey, Patrick, Nick- Thanks!

    @Jane- That’s too kind. I agree, there are some exciting things going on, Jeff is definitely a big part of it but I think people are pleased that 1) a birder who understands birders is in charge and 2) there’s a lot of momentum for the changes that are being implemented. In just my interactions with the people who are involved in this blog project, there’s a lot of excitment there. It’s really contagious.

    @Jochen- Of course you can. No promises on the Nuthatches though. They’ve really let this fame go to their heads.

  7. January 14, 2011 3:53 pm

    Contrats, Nate!

    It was a rather interesting few weeks last year when the birding blog community went crazy. I had launched the NA Birding Forum earlier in the year, and had the North American Birding (multi-author blog) under construction. I was in the process of quietly soliciting writers when BAM! ABA launches, then WHAP! 10,000 Birds adds a bunch of bloggers and ZAPPO! Gunnar starts up BirdingBlogs. All of which forced me to launch NAB about 2 weeks before I was ready. It felt like the 90s all over again.

    I look forward to your influence at the ABA Blog…and again, congratulations!


  8. January 14, 2011 4:07 pm

    Congratulations! Well deserved!

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