Friends and bird-bloggers, we’ve come to an inflection point in the history of the longest-running natural history blog carnival on the web. I and the Bird has had a good run, but enthusiasm seems to be at an all-time low. Like most blog carnivals, we’re getting fewer links and visits for most editions. Even more troubling, we have no scheduled hosts!
We’re lucky to have a couple of participants who volunteer regularly to host IATB. However, a carnival hosted regularly by a small circle has much less value than one that rotates throughout its community. Active participation in a blog carnival still makes sense:
- Search engines factor deep links (a link in one blog’s post to another blog’s post) into their credibility algorithms. In fact, deep links carry much more weight than blogroll links, particularly ones from sites already carrying substantial SEO weight.
- Niche carnivals like I and the Bird help bloggers reach new readers outside their immediate circles.
- Outstanding hosts earn massive respect for their effort and creativity (right?!?)
- Readers appreciate these aggregated anthologies of avian observations.
More than that, IATB has served for years as a way to bring the international bird blogging community — readers and writers alike — together. But perhaps we’ve run our course. I’ve already addressed the IATB mailing list, but feel a decision this important deserves broader input. Consider these three options:
- People volunteer to host and we schedule at least a few months out
- We take a break for a month so everyone can focus on migration then get back to blogging
- We end I and the Bird and memorialize it unto eternity, etc. etc.
A decision must be made before Thursday, so share your thoughts in the comments section if you have an opinion. Even better, volunteer to host!
While you’re considering this weighty matter, be sure to send your link and summary for the next (possibly last) IATB to Kirk Mona (kirkmona AT yahoo DOT com) of Twin Cities Naturalist by the end of the day.