On Fri, Aug 13, 2010 at 2:25 PM, Ernie Buford <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> As we've established, this is a gray area.  If self-promotion were banned
> then artists would get others to do the promoting for them.  A couple of
> comments that came back already today indicate that some subscribers would
> like to see information about products, tours, workshops, etc. even if they
> are commercial.  Others on the list only want rare bird reports and get
> annoyed at the volume of mundane trip reports (of which, I must admit, there
> are many).  I'd like to strike a balance that works for the majority, but I
> get very little input and do not have a lot of time and energy to devote to
> policing the list.  Perhaps it's time for a poll.  Then again, it's pretty
> nice out right now....

I wish to thank Ernie again for continuing to maintain this list. I
run a couple mailing lists and message boards and know how much of a
time suck, headache, and thankless of a job it can sometimes be.

I personally follow this list to find out about the rarer bird
sightings that I might want to go see, to post my more interesting
sightings and to get help identifying a species I'm not that familiar
with. I don't even mind the more mundane reports. Sometimes there's
one bird in them that I've been wanting to photograph but have had
difficulty finding lately.

As a photographer (who also happens to run workshops and tours) I
understand how important it is to share photographic work and how good
it feels to have people tell me they enjoy mine. I frequently say, "if
you make a photograph and you don't share it with anyone did you
really make one?" So I get it and really enjoy seeing Julie's,
Carol's, and Bryan's (I enjoy seeing everyone's so don't take it
personally if I left you out!!) photographs. So I vote to keep them

But I don't care for posts which seem more like self promotion.
Especially promotion from or for out-of-staters! Thankfully, it
doesn't happen too frequently on this list and I'm sure no one wants
to see it become a persistent and frequent issue. Too many good
mailing lists and forums have been over-run by promoters and

We're all busy and probably wish we could spend more of our time
outside and not having to wade through email. So I think everyone
should simply exercise some self restraint and self police themselves.
Just don't post anything if it's going to serve you more than it'll
serve the VT Birding community as a whole.

All the best,
Steve Mermelstein

VTPHOTOTOURS | +1 (802) 735-2005 | 150 Dorset St #305, South
Burlington, VT 05403 | |