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Travellingbirder down again :( (1 Viewer)

madpitta

Well-known member
Travellingbirder seems to be down again - the dreaded UNOEURO page is back. Hopefully not the same situation as last summer. Does anyone have any inside information? The admins seem to have stopped responding to emails since last year's outage.
 

kstrating

Well-known member
There was a lot of talk last year on BF about developing an alternative site using Travellingbirder's database. Did that happen?

Anyone have a suggested site for recent SE Asian bird trip reports?

I miss Travellingbirder and sincerely hope that all is well with them.
 

DMW

Well-known member
There are alternative sources for trip reports - Surfbirds for example. A bit of googling for your chosen destination usually pays dividends.

I really hope Travellingbirder is resuscitated - it's a great resource, although of late it seems increasingly an outlet for tour companies to post their (often intentionally useless) tour reports.
 

madpitta

Well-known member
There are alternative sources for trip reports - Surfbirds for example. A bit of googling for your chosen destination usually pays dividends.

I really hope Travellingbirder is resuscitated - it's a great resource, although of late it seems increasingly an outlet for tour companies to post their (often intentionally useless) tour reports.

Yes there are other resources like surfbirds but the surfbirds web interface is outdated, has poor readability and formatting. The best quality reports are inevitably and increasingly found only in Travellingbirder (ones that have comprehensive information about space & time aspects of a tour including maps, figures, logistics, timelines, detailed area information, annoted bird lists etc). Might need to pull up a handful of reports but finding a few well formatted & detailed standalone reports is almost guaranteed in Travellingbirder. Not to mention that its organization & indexing is very nice. For example, since the site went down I have been struggling to find good reports for my attempt at understanding Northern Amazonian birding.

I agree that certain tour companies (quite obvious which ones) have been flooding the internet with intentionally useless trip reports. These reports are nothing but souvenirs (for the participants) that double up as free advertisements. A quick glance is usually enough to catch the deception - long essays/diaries with no structure, very few headers, vague itinerary (sometimes no itinerary at all) and a marked unwillingness to connect space & time 3:). Whats worse is that these reports are increasingly showing up on google search results.

~Pritam.
 
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birdboybowley

Well-known member.....apparently so ;)
Supporter
England
Yes there are other resources like surfbirds but the surfbirds web interface is outdated, has poor readability and formatting. The best quality reports are inevitably and increasingly found only in Travellingbirder (ones that have comprehensive information about space & time aspects of a tour including maps, figures, logistics, timelines, detailed area information, annoted bird lists etc). Might need to pull up a handful of reports but finding a few well formatted & detailed standalone reports is almost guaranteed in Travellingbirder. Not to mention that its organization & indexing is very nice. For example, since the site went down I have been struggling to find good reports for my attempt at understanding Northern Amazonian birding.

I agree that certain tour companies (quite obvious which ones) have been flooding the internet with intentionally useless trip reports. These reports are nothing but souvenirs (for the participants) that double up as free advertisements. A quick glance is usually enough to catch the deception - long essays/diaries with no structure, very few headers, vague itinerary (sometimes no itinerary at all) and a marked unwillingness to connect space & time 3:). Whats worse is that these reports are increasingly showing up on google search results.

~Pritam.

Agree!! Most SB reports are indeed useless for the independent traveller I'm afraid
 

RobGordijn

Dutch Birder
So who is making a new reliable website with only independent reports ;)

Travellingbirder was a great website, but gotten quite unreliable with the offline periods, and lots of tourreports there as well. The charts with months/reports was quite usefull though!
 

madpitta

Well-known member
So who is making a new reliable website with only independent reports ;)

Would be really nice to know what is going on at Travellingbirder before someone attempts to recreate TB's 9 year effort :eek!:. Note that simply linking to scattered web content can be achieved by crawling (manual & automated) but that is unreliable because of link breakages. Also, copying content from a relevant link to a new server faces copyright issues in addition to being technically difficult. A lot of TB's contents were hosted in its own server and over the last few years I found myself only clicking on reports that were hosted in TB itself (mostly to avoid broken links & commercial reports).

My 2 cents about 'independent reports' - A lot of them are afflicted with the following problems:

- Not all independent trips are well researched and sometimes that gets exposed in an inevitably poor trip report.
- Time wastage can be frequent in an independent trip (lost, unreliable public transport, inability or delay in finding target site etc). While the causes themselves can be 'nice-to-know' (if mentioned), the resulting impact on the bird list can hide the true potential of the trip.
- Specialized itineraries (limits its applicability) or bad itineraries.

So I prefer using a healthy mix of trip reports. Certain tour companies do produce good reports - especially the ones with knowledgeable guides who provide nice scientific insights about specific birds and areas. Even 'diary-only' trip reports can have good information hidden in them. The key differentiation in reports from 'independent' trips is logistical detail :t:. But then again, that may not be very useful for people who want to go on an organized tour but want to research the area before going or people who are simply deciding where to go.

One feature that I appreciate in trip reports is an annoted list of targets recorded and missed for every area visited (relative to current knowledge about the area). That tells me what to look for when I am there. Personally I've decided to include such a list whenever I get around to writing a trip report. Such a list is usually found in 'independent' or 'participant' reports only.
 
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Steve Babbs

Well-known member
It's all my fault. I just started planning a new trip, and it went down! I'm sure last time it went down I was planning my trip to Brazil. Sorry folks!

It is the best site by miles.
 

madpitta

Well-known member
I always thought Birdtours was a useful resource and it still appears to be being updated with some independent trip reports.

Stephen

Yes Birdtours is useful too. Its been useless for what I trying to research currently (northern amazonian birding) but it has been useful in general. There are some good independent reports in Birdtours but many of them seem to be old (although a lot of info is still valid). Its rigid web interface & resistence to publishing individually formatted PDFs is not helping.
 

gerrywestdean

Well-known member
I think Christian is just far too busy nowadays to devote as much time as is necessary. When he was a single fellow he had a lot of free time. Now with a wife and child the site is not his first priority. I sure he will get back to do what is necessary, but these breakdowns may become more frequent. I don't know if he would like assisstance or wants to do it all himself. Perhaps someone could offer to help him with the uploading of pdf files (which is currently all done by hand) or write a programme so they will upload themselves. He is quite simply a busy fellow.
 

hampers

Hampers
I think Christian is just far too busy nowadays to devote as much time as is necessary. When he was a single fellow he had a lot of free time. Now with a wife and child the site is not his first priority. I sure he will get back to do what is necessary, but these breakdowns may become more frequent. I don't know if he would like assisstance or wants to do it all himself. Perhaps someone could offer to help him with the uploading of pdf files (which is currently all done by hand) or write a programme so they will upload themselves. He is quite simply a busy fellow.

I, as I'm sure are many others, am immensely grateful for all his efforts. The site has been a tremendous resource and is a great help in planning trips. Hope he reads this.

Phil
 

madpitta

Well-known member
I think Christian is just far too busy nowadays to devote as much time as is necessary. When he was a single fellow he had a lot of free time. Now with a wife and child the site is not his first priority. I sure he will get back to do what is necessary, but these breakdowns may become more frequent. I don't know if he would like assisstance or wants to do it all himself. Perhaps someone could offer to help him with the uploading of pdf files (which is currently all done by hand) or write a programme so they will upload themselves. He is quite simply a busy fellow.

If the outage is because Christian and Ulrik are both busy then I am sure it wouldnt be too hard to find volunteer help (posting to the Denmark lists/forums or even here could land several volunteers). If money is a problem then maybe a donation program or a better ad program might help. It also wouldnt be hard to lower bandwidth expenses by reducing file sizes. But there is absolutely no information forthcoming on when it might come back up or what the problem is (so we can help). They seem to have stopped responding to emails regardless of its contents.
 
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