ABA to Release New Version of Birding News
Listservs are dead. Long Live the listservs!!
ABA’s Birding News is the most popular listserv syndication service in the western hemisphere.
For over 20 years, beginning as Birdingonthe.net, this service has been the place where tens of thousands of birders go to read birding listserv messages every day.
And now, we are happy to announce a re-envisioned, complete make-over of this tried-and-true staple: ABA Birding News 2021.
In the video below, ABA Webmaster Greg Neise gives a quick history of how we got to today’s version, and then runs through the features of the new app.
The new version of ABA Birding News is available NOW at this link:
Addition to the features outlined in the video: we added a “Show All” button which displays all of the messages in-full, digest or “Siler-style”.
I like the ‘classic’ setup, which I hope continues as an option. I like seeing all the lists on a single front page, and clicking through as I desire, on my desktop.
For a while, we will be keeping both active. But by mid-spring we will be retiring the current version of Birding News.
I’m in Rob Hiltons camp right now for the same reason. New is not always better
Hey Rob! You know that there are few people more committed to listservs than me so I can appreciate what you’re saying. But as I watched Greg explain this in the video I can see where it has some really attractive features that many birders will appreciate. I’ll take some time to play around with it before I totally pass judgement. I don’t agree with the comment that listservs are dead. You’ve got to generate the information to populate this new interface from somewhere. Now if it cold just import all the information in Facebook birding pages……, no, that’s probably… Read more »
I think (and hope) that once people use the “save favorites” feature, it will be a big hit.
As for listservs being dead, yeah … they ain’t goin’ anywhere soon. Our internal numbers show listserv use declining at a steady rate 2017–2019 … but in late 2019, and through 2020 we see a resurgence in use.
Hi Chuck! I can see that the new setup has attractive features. I’ll certainly miss the classic set-up though
I love it! Great work.
This is tremendous– great work
I like it a lot, but missed how to set a date range. All I noticed was you selecting a single date.
You can’t set a date range, just choose a single date.
Looking forward to trying this out. It seems to have a lot of great features. Thanks, ABA for making things easy (I think).
I really like the new set-up! I honestly think this will help a lot of new birders just getting started with listservs, too.
Many of the new features are great. Many thanks for working on them.
However, Greg, you noted that with the new features, “… you don’t have to go clicking around.” I’m sorry, but I like reading the messages in a “threaded format” such that I don’t have to “go clicking” on each and every entry to read it in its entirety. Without that option, this is not an improvement on the “classic” mode.
We have added a “show all” button which expands all the messages being viewed, so you can read them digest style. Just for you. ;-)
Greg, I’ve reached the age that the least change to “my” websites makes me crotchety and I start rocking faster in my rocking chair. But this looks great! I can’t wait to get to know it thoroughly and start using it. Thanks for your (usual) hard and imaginative work.
Helpful, instructive video. Planning on an extended road trip soon Chicago to Texas, and this should be a great tool for planning my day to day itinerary. Thanks. BTW, I do think a date range feature would be a useful addition in your next iteration.
I just went to the new site and noticed something missing – Favorites. Did you decide to drop that feature, or will it be added back in the next few days. Living near the border of three states, that feature was one I was really looking forward to using.
Nope! It’s right there where it belongs.
Hmm. Here is a link to a screen shot:
I still don’t see the Favorites. Am I doing something wrong? Wrong page?
Thanks for the screenshot. There does seem to be an issue with Safari. We’re tracking it down and should have it fixed soon.
I also tried it on my iPad with multiple browsers (Firefox, Opera, Chrome) and on my Windows 10 PC with Firefox. They all showed the same issue – no Favorites options after selecting a specific list.
And I just now tried Microsoft Edge and Chrome on my Windows 10 PC. Same issue.
The Save To Favorites button should be working now. Please try and confirm.
Yes, it is working now, Thanks.
There is no Save The Favorites button for me. Without that it is pointless. Pretty, but pointless.
There is a known issue with the save favorite button not showing in some browsers. We are aware and working on it. Thanks for the report.
The Save To Favorites button should be working now. Please try and confirm.
It works now, thank you!
(1) The decision to style the text of messages in a thin italic font is dreadful. It is much more difficult to read than the old version, especially on a small screen. (2) The mobile layout works well enough on phones and small tablets, but the site is a disaster on my 10-inch tablet. It serves up the desktop version only, with the side column of ABA ads on the right, and as a result the text of messages in the default view is confined to a narrow column in the middle of the screen. That combined with the thin… Read more »
Thanks for the feedback. Agree about the text, that has been changed.
iPad Pro (and similar) are a bit tricky in that they are “medium screens” that run on phone operating systems, like IOS.
I’ve reset the breakpoint to move the sidebar content to the bottom for these devices. Please take a look and confirm that it works as intended on your device.
Thanks, Greg. I assumed I was just grumbling into the void, so I am pleased and surprised that someone is actually reading and responding to these comments. I think the new style for the message text is a big improvement on screens of all sizes. Thank you very much for that. As for the “medium screen” problem with my 10-inch tablet, moving the sidebar to the bottom helps, but the experience is still frustrating. The main problem (and this is a problem I have with the default layout even on a desktop computer) is that there is soooooooo much white… Read more »
hmmmmm … iPad Pro continues to be a bit of a problem. I’m working on it.
Thanks. For the record, I’ve never owned an iPad of any stripe. My current tablet is a Samsung. But since the site is viewed in a web browser rather than a dedicated app, the hardware shouldn’t matter much.
Actually it is an app running inside your browser window. It switches modes based on the screen size detected. If you view it on a phone, you will see the UI is what you are asking for.
The problem we are working on involves hi resolution tablets (like iPad pro … the term I use here like one might use “coke” to mean soft drinks) … so, for instance even though the Samsung Galaxy tablets are only 10″–11″, they have resolutions up to 2560 X 1600 pixels, the same as a standard 27″ monitor.
We have redesigned the interface so that it is the same (mobile style) across all screen sizes.
That’s wonderful that images in the emails will be viewable, but sadly I can’t even get to the emails in the first place. It takes about 20-30 seconds for the new link to come up and then when it finally does, it acts like it’s jammed and all I see is the little spinner trying futility to dial up info. In the tutorial video, when you click on the reset button etc., a brown bar with the ABA logo displays below the little spinner icon, but on my page it’s all white and blank below the little spinner icon as… Read more »
I like the original version but I’m sure I’ll quickly adapt!
Is there a way to save one state’s list so that it always comes up when I click on the ABA listserv logo? Right now, I set the list for my state, but when I click on it later, it’s clear and I have to re-select my state. A minor, but annoying, problem.
Oops, never mind! I just noticed the rather obvious “Add to Favorites” button!!
Fantastic stuff, Greg! A couple questions/comments I have after playing around with the new site: Is there any way to have favorites from all 4 of the list type categories on one page? For example, I’d like to see the Massachusetts bird and butterfly posts in a single feed. The other drop-down menus have the option of not filtering by anything, so I was hoping the list type menu would allow the same thing. I love the show excerpts format! But I keep clicking on the excerpt to try to open the full message, instead of the subject line. Any… Read more »
2: interesting idea … we’ll add it to the possibilities in the next update.
3: we only hold messages for 35 days … but another interesting idea
Looks like very full-featured interface. Excellent work! Will it be implememented as an “app” that resides on ios and android devices, , or will it be a web-based service?
It is difficult to select the International lists – there does not seem to be a pull-down to choose which country – for example South Africa.
One has to show all posts and scroll down and hope there is a recent post from the country you want so you can click the country hyperlink.
Also – only being able to display a day at a time and have to click to choose the previous day is tiresome.
I hope the old interface stays live because I am not a fan of the new one.