Monday, 24 November 2014

Blog to go public?

In order to allow bryologists outside South Wales to view the contents of the blog, it would be nice to make the blog public. Posts and comments will still only be from authors for now, so if anyone has opinion on this please let your thoughts be known before I make the change. Remember posts and comments can be edited/deleted if you're not comfortable with anything that has been posted previously or in the future. Some acknowledgement to show you've read this would be helpful.

Note, I'll delete this post and thread before we go public.


  1. I think this Blog is inspiring for S Wales bryologists and has the potential to be inspiring for bryologists elsewhere too. As far as I know, this is the first bryophyte recording blog in Britain, and I hope that BBS members across the country will see it and be inspired to set up their own. Blogging is not for everyone, as Martin Anthoney said about the Gwent Moths Blog, but it allows beginners to be helped whilst also giving encouragement to "improvers" and "experts" to keep recording.

    I was in a real bryo slump since spending hours on the British & Irish Atlas [to be published this week...!] and the S Wales Blog has got me back out and recording again. The Carms Moth Blog has significantly contributed to 2014 getting more records from the county than any other (we're over 9500 so far and some major contributors haven't submitted yet; 8500 was the previous highpoint).

    I hope that other people will find the Bryo Blog and will start recording. Maybe we'll find a rising star in Caerphilly, Bridgend, RCT or Blaenau Gwent to fill in the biggest gaps in Glamorgan recording!

  2. My initial thought when Barry set up the blog was that it was a masterstroke to keep it private, as it allowed a beginner like me to post in complete freedom without worrying about looking like a dullard to anyone outside our small group. But, having thought about it a bit more, I don't think it would have made a difference to what I have posted, and as Sam says it should help inspire others to do the same. So I have no objections.

    BTW Barry - did you invite Pete Sturgess? I was in ST17Z yesterday and managed to take it past 60 species, but only because Pete had already done a lot of recording there in 2012.

  3. I must confess it was set up to tidy up our email correspondence as much as anything, but clearly it provide's a lot more benefit than that. Personally I don't see it being viewable to the public will make any difference to what and how I post.

    George, no I've invited Peter yet, but it was something I intended. If you can you send me his current email address I'll do it straight away.

  4. I agree in principle and I certainly wouldn't argue for an elitist group per se. However, when there is a more open blogging format (e.g. Gower Wildlife), I have generally avoided giving exact locations for uncommon or sensitive species. I haven't done that with this blog because I know (and trust) all the contributors.
    The original remit and focus for this blog, as I understand it, was to bring together a 'bryological team' of known South Wales recorders in the hope that we could communicate our records and queries in an organised way. This has worked really well. If we open up the format then I think we need to have a reason for doing this, and realise that it will at least expand the remit and focus and, possibly, change it. I would be happy to be part of a process that aims to educate and inspire others particularly, as Sam says, if it enlarges the recording effort in South Wales. Is that the reason for doing it?

  5. That's a good point about record confidentiality; I guess Sam is best placed to answer that.

    On that subject Sam - would there be any harm in me putting a post on the East Glam Wildlife blog re the thatch moss discovery? I don't suppose there are too many unscrupulous moss collectors these days, but thought it best to check with you first.


  6. For me the blog does the following, loosely in order of importance: Allows us to share sightings and photographs, stimulates recording effort, provides a medium to discuss id's, mapping progress, etc., it also quickly provides a resource of local photos and site details that could never be included in a traditional publication and can be archived by the national library as is the case with Gower Wildlife [the tags I keep adding to posts are there to make relocating posts much easier]. In some ways blogging is a form of informal publication and it follows you want as wide an audience to read it, hence the reason for opening the discussion to go public or not? I can't see any real negatives opening up the blog to the public (which realistically will be other bryologists), but will go with the flow.

  7. Since it was formed with a limited membership, I must admit, I didn't see it as a vehicle for publishing our records. I'm content with that if it's what everyone wants, but, as I said, this changes the original focus.

  8. Yes I agree, it has quickly become more multi-functional than intended. I guess the use of the term publication is loosely applied and is really just a snap shot of progress, but nevertheless it is there as a 'permanent if editable' record. More importantly the banking of images of sites, locations, specimens and notes will provide a great resource for those who want to access more details about local recording efforts.

  9. A quick reply to George - I can't see any problem with publicising Leptodontium. Nobody could cause any damage to the population without a ladder anyway, and there's a lot on several roofs! If a Panspecies twitcher pays their respects and thinks about a moss then that's brilliant.

    I'll have a ponder on Charles' point about openness with locations etc. I am a little wary from a trespass standpoint.

  10. Best we continue in private for now then...a useful discussion, thanks for the contributions.