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B is for Business, Blogs and Birds

April 4, 2011

A few weeks ago, I stumbled on a long list of bird bloggers.  In the back of my mind, I was thinking “This is probably not a good list to harvest as there is little business value.” –Boy, I was dead wrong.

Did you know that bird watching is a whopping 25 billion dollar industry in North America and that there are 50 million bird watchers (As heard on NPR)?

Bird watchers buy books, gear, go on trips, and book hotels close to bird watching hot spots.

Translated to social media, bird bloggers form a tribe that’s highly connected, with a fairly large audience in aggregate and a (virtual) place where very interesting bird watching conversations take place. Interestingly, they don’t seem to tweet much as compared to other tribes (20% of the bird bloggers in our list have a twitter account). It looks like a paradox for bird bloggers!

The net-net is that if you’re a Business targeting Bird watchers (market=$50bn), this is a very important tribe to have on your radar screen and nurture.

Here’re a few stats about the tribe:

Top 20 Influencers in the Bird Watching Community (ranking methodology here):

Rank Title Blog
1 10,000 Birds
2 Bird Freak
3 A DC Birding
4 Dawns Bloggy
5 Birdchick
6 Red and the Peanut
7 Birding with Kenn and Kimberly
8 Bill of the Birds on Blogspot
9 The Early Birder
10 Hasty Brook
11 Dusty Bins
12 Mon@rch’s Nature Blog
13 The Birdchaser
14 JRandSue
15 The Brownstone Birding Blog
17 BirdSource
18 Birding In Maine–Photography
19 Pewit
20 WildBird on the Fly

After aggregating a few thousand bird blogs from Conversation™, we extracted the top expressions from their recent conversations:

*Without surprise, bird names come first: The top birds that were talked about were the Sand Martin, House Sparrow, Red Winged Blackbirds, Reed Bunting, and Ringed Plover.
*And so is Photo (A huge part of bird watching goes into the topic of which cameras to use as well).  If you’re in the camera industry and think social media is affecting your marketing, it would probably be wise to look into this tribe.

The tribe is divided into two clusters:

Who are the green? Who are the red?

The answer is obvious if you consider that: 1) our list contains only english speaking bloggers 2) in general,  more than half of bloggers have met in person (they go to conference, they are part of the same association, they meet if they can).

So the answer is: In Red, we find mostly North American bird bloggers, and UK/Ireland ones in Green.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. April 5, 2011 7:18 pm

    Hey Folks:

    Nice piece about birders. There were several observations made many years ago about the use of the internet that are worthy to remember:
    -There are a lot of long tail niches in the world.
    -Folks love animals; in particularly pets. If you think the birder community is large, check out the dog and cat community.
    -There may be an interesting generational dynamic in play: Young folks are into friends and games; The older generation is into animals and family.

    Keep up the great work!

  2. April 8, 2011 3:35 pm

    I completely agree with your points about the size and connectivity of the birding community. I think the main reason that these media are not more prevalent is that active amateur birders tend to be older. I attended a recent meeting of a local birding group and, in my mid-30’s, I seemed to be the youngest person there. Clearly >80% of the attendees were over 60. Perhaps this explains why there are relatively few active Facebook and Twitter feeds compared with the number of birders out there. I think this is a shame because birding really lends itself to collaboration and the immediacy of information. Or maybe I just hang out with the wrong birders?

  3. June 11, 2011 10:02 am

    This is true that Birding community are few in numbers with the passage of time but it is also shame for us that we could not deal with it as well as it should be done or could do.


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