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N. Sivasothi,
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Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore. Since 1998 with origins from OneList.

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Tue 29 Nov 2005

The Singapore Naturalist - tracking nature blogs in Singapore

Category : internet

Habitatnews is happy to introduce The Singapore Naturalist, a webpage that tracks updates of dedicated nature blogs and mailing list newsletters in Singapore via RSS.

Hop over to the webpage to discover which nature blog is being updated in Singapore. You will only see a few lines of each entry, and if your interest is tickled, click the title or the "read more..." link to open the actual post.

Why blog?

Habitatnews adopted a blog mechanism in Feb 2004 because it allowed information to be published more quickly and personably compared to static webpages. Indeed I spent much less time and posted interesting news more frequently and featured wonderful photos from the community and even mp3 recordings from radio interviews, and video clips!

Today, at least a dozen other dedicated natural history blogs in Singapore have emerged, sharing field notebooks, personal observations of wildlife, photographic highlights from field trips, resource pages and amusing anecdotes. The diversity of writing makes it all the more interesting.

When are these blogs updated?

Keeping track of updates on some 16 blogs is difficult since each webpage is irregularly updated. Many blogs depend on the authors actually going on field trips, and finding the energy to write afterward! Some even go dormant when tides are unfavourable and when they start posting again, we may have stopped visiting the blog.

RSS feeds actually provide a means of immediate notification of new posts but few people use this. Meanwhile WildSingapore has been industriously highlighting new updates while Habitatnews features highlights.

An RSS feed aggregator

Lacking the technical expertise to build one from scratch, I have been searching the net every two months for a mechanism that would help me accomplish this. Every time I checked, new and better ideas were available that allowed the easy compilation and presentation of RSS feeds. So it was just a matter of time.

A few weeks ago, Raffles Museum Toddycat Kenneth Pinto suggested KICKRSS - its simple interface is appealing and it displays a primer of the post, not all of it, which is ideal. Although it is still in development, has adverts (you won't see them with an ad blocker) and loads very slowly, it works well otherwise and has been adopted for now.

Besides having a one stop webpage to visit, new RSS subscribers need only use the single feed provided by The Singapore Naturalist instead of subscribing to 21 feeds!

The majority of readers still prefer mailing list updates of course, but for the rest of us, this site is just the primer of things to come!

Feeds included in The Singapore Naturalist (21):
Blogs (16):

  • Bird Ecology Study Group Nature Society (Singapore)
  • Cycling in Singapore
  • Habitatnews
  • KLOG
  • Labrador Park
  • Meetings of the NUS Biodiversity and Ecology Journal Club
  • Pulau Hantu - A celebration of marine life
  • Pulau Ubin Stories
  • Raffles Museum News
  • Raffles Museum Toddycats!
  • The Big Trees
  • The Biology Refugia
  • The Blue Tempeh
  • The Exotic Species of Singapore
  • Ubin Volunteers
  • WildFilms.

Public newsletters using Yahoo! Groups (5):

  • ecotax
  • focusubin
  • habitatnews
  • wildsingapore
  • wildsingapore-weekly

Posted at 4:39AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | email | Raffles Museum news