We interrupt this week’s Birder Jargon Project for a very special message.
So, four years ago today I started writing on the internets. Four years, 863 posts, and 3256 comments later I get to celebrate what is traditionally the linen anniversary, so , you know, plan your gifts accordingly. I suppose this is as good a time for a little naval-gazing, some consideration of why I write and what I feel like I’m accomplishing here. I hope you, dear reader, will not begrudge me this introspection which, as in all things, is mixed.
Why do I write? I don’t know that it’s based in any particular love of the written word though I admit I feel driven to do it in a way that seems compulsive at times. I know that, in my regular life as a work-a-day wage slave I feel as though it’s the only thing I do that has any real professional “value” though, take it from me bloggers, writing about birds on the internet is not the path to fame and fortune. Perhaps if I’d turned that compulsion to produce content towards entertainment writing things would be different, but alas, who the Lady Google is dating doesn’t interest me as much as Gull molt. My loss, I guess.
But there have been successes this year, not least of which is the fact that I am now managing and producing content for the ABA Blog, a move that I’d like to think has been enormously successful on all fronts. I’m also contributing at 10,000 Birds too, so you could say I’m writing at the two biggest bird blogs in the world. Not too shabby, eh? You might think all that would lead to gangbusters traffic on The Drinking Bird but you’d be wrong. That’s lower than it has been since I started, though subscribers are up. I blame Google, who must have it in for me for moving over from Blogger a couple years back and took away all my Asian search engine traffic (and every blogger knows that Asian Search engine traffic is the key to big traffic). I also wrote a good deal about political candidates and Ivory-billed Woodpeckers at a time when people were doing a lot of searching for those. Perhaps I’ll do that again (the politics, not the Ivory-bills).
I realize, in reading this again, that it sounds too much like I’m complaining. This isn’t meant to be sour grapes . Blogging is often thankless. You know that going in and if you’re writing just for the traffic then you’re doing it wrong. I get a great deal out of this site, not least of which a means by which I can filter my birding experiences. Writing about birding is as much a part of the experience as the time I spend in the field. I enjoy finding narratives, thinking about how I can make even a relatively non-eventful trip in the field a story worth telling. That’s fun for me, and I hope enjoyable for you. Keeping this blog makes me a better birder and a better writer, both things I strive to be for reasons no more ambitious than personal satisfaction. Though the handful of opportunities that come of them are no less appreciated.
So I guess I’ll keep going. Onward to five. Have your wooden gifts ready in 12 months, if you would.