There has been a fair amount of press over the last few weeks about the State of the Birds report that came out a few weeks ago. But have you seen the video report? Incredibly well done, albeit sobering:
Exciting news - the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center recently announced the North American Bird Phenology Program publicly releasing as many as 6 million bird observations preserved on notecards over the past century. In order to unlock the power of this wealth of information, however, each record must first be transcribed from its current handwritten form into digital files, all by volunteers. As you can imagine, the observations on these cards are tremendously valuable and offer "more than a century of information about bird migration, a veritable treasure trove for climate-change researchers because they will help them unravel the effects of climate change on bird behavior" said Jessica Zelt, coordinator of the North American Bird Phenology Program at the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center.
We would love for the Birdpost community to lend a hand in this collective effort to better understand bird life in this country.
Last week, we (Birdpost founders) were invited to address the annual Fish & Wildlife Developers Forum in Phoenix, Arizona where we addressed the wonderful people behind the various web portals at FWS. The interactive presentation was a lively one and we appreciate the feedback and enthusiasm of the crowd. Given that FWS's mandate is one of conservation and community participation, Birdpost's technology was particularly compelling to them. We are big supporters of the FWS in this country!
Birdpost users - we will be updating the blog much more frequently now. So sorry about the length of time it's been since the last posting! One question we've been debating internally is, should we use Twitter for the blog? People seem to really love Twitter and perhaps we would want to update the blog much more often if we knew we could do "micro" posts rather than feeling we need to do something substantial every time. What say you?
We have been busy working on a new spate of features that has taken much longer than we anticipated but they should be released soon. Thank you all so much for the great feedback in the forum section and via email. It has provided great ideas that will definitely make Birdpost more useful. Stay in touch, and we promise to do a better job of it ourselves!
We continue to get good reviews on the iPhone App (even though Apple says the average rating is 3 stars. Go figure - 6 reviews are 5 stars, 1 review is 1 star. 3 stars?!?). Anyway, for those of you who have used it we would love to get your feedback on itunes, especially if it's positive! At any rate, thank you again for all of you who continue to spread the word about Birdpost. We still are not promoting it yet users keep signing up, so thank you for spreading it for us! Stay tuned for several upgrades, new features, coming out soon...
OK, exciting night for the Birdpost team. The iPhone App just went live on iTunes. If you go to iTunes, just type "Birdpost" and you can download the App for free. Your sightings will go right on to the Birdpost maps and on to your Lifelists. Very cool!! Positive reviews are appreciated, and please send us your feedback so we can continue to improve it. The iPhone is very restrictive with what they allow you to do design-wise, but we think this is a good start.
We've been working on this for the last few weeks and it's finally here. Our tagging feature gives you the ability to 'Tag' or 'Label' your sightings with as many tags as you want to give you infinite ways to slice and dice your lifelists.
Do go to your Tags menu, go to your My Birds page and look at the Sorting Links. Notice on the right it says, "Sort by: Tags | Bird Name | Date Sighted | Family." That "Tags" link is where you will be able to view and sort your pictures in any way that you want to label them.
Think of putting your sightings in Folders as something from the 1950's. The Tagging feature is pure Web 3.0! For example, if you saw a black phoebe out in back from your house on a Saturday morning with your son Bradley, you could 'Tag' that sighting with the words, "backyard, Scotty, Saturday."
There are several ways to do it:
1.) You just click the "Add a Bird" button from your "My Birds" page and type in the following tags, separated by commas, in the appropriate space: "Backyard, Scotty, Saturday."
2.) "What about adding tags after the fact? I've already uploaded so many birds!" Not a problem. On your Lifelist (My Birds page), if you want to add tags to any bird you've already added, just click on the bird and look to the left viewer. If I also saw an Acorn Woodpecker in my backyard with Scotty, I would click on Acorn Woodpecker, look to the left viewer, and click the "Edit" link (see below)
After clicking the "Edit" link, I would get this dialog box:
I've typed in "Backyard, Scotty" in the tagging field.
3.) This allows you to then sort your lifelist by any of those tags. When you click on "Tags" on your "My Birds" page, there will be a list of Tags that you've already used to label other bird sightings. If I now click my "Scotty" tag, I can see all of the Birds I've seen with Scotty.
4.) To add tags to a sighting that you're mapping, just double-click on the map like you normally do, and add the tags in the appropriate field.
The possibilities are endless, so go have some fun!!