Coming Soon: The Mammalwatching Oscars and a “Resource Directory”
Next Sunday the biggest names in show business will gather in a Hollywood theatre to make emotional speeches and congratulate each other. Meanwhile a far more select and – let’s be honest – more important set of awards will also be announced. Introducing the Mammalwatching Oscars. Also known as “The Fluffies” … Also, hopefully, known as something else before next Sunday. What should I call these awards? Suggestions please.
But – whatever I call them – an award here is going to be more glamorous than an Oscar, more demanding than an Olympic Gold and more prestigious than a Nobel Prize. Maybe.
I know right – it’s pretty damn exciting.
Meanwhile, fired up with creativity, I am creating a mammalwatching “Resource Directory” (again I need a better name for this and would love suggestions). This catalogue of mammal tour guides, tour operators and lodges from around the world, is an idea that has been suggested a few times by people on this forum. So the creativity is your’s not mine.
A directory ought to be useful to anyone who wants to browse a global list of mammal destinations to look for inspiration for their next trip. It will also be useful if you know roughly where want to go but are unsure how to make it happen. The directory will have the current contact details for operators, guides and lodges, and links to key trip reports that feature them as well as a brief summary of their focus and mammals. It will be more convenient than having to trawl through old trip reports to find guides and (worse) then writing to email addresses that no longer work and having to wait for 2 weeks for a reply that never comes.
I’m going to charge businesses an annual fee to appear on the list, a process which will help ensure the information stays up to date. If you would like to be listed then please email me for details at email@example.com .
I’m still thinking about how a directory will be structured and what information to include so if you have any ideas for features that would be useful, or examples of good directories from the birding world, please let me know.
How about a name that invokes a place that mammals gather? The den or the lair come to mind first, but I bet there are some more interesting alternatives, perhaps with adjectives. “The cache” would imply a place where resources are stored. And with any of these you may need an explicit subtitle, especially for folks with limited English.
Great idea and as one new to this game it would be very welcome. Only one comment – re charging. I can see your logic and certainly tour companies in western countries will not have any problems in paying. However I wonder about individual guides in third world countries for whom any fee we might consider reasonable may seem exorbitant. Sometimes they may not even have access to banking facilities to make a payment. Just a thought.
Hmm, I see something of a flaw in your Oscars plan Jon. I suspect that every year you will win the equivalents of the Best Film, Producer, Male actor, Female actor, Red carpet layer etc, and the rest of us will be left to squabble over the ‘Best horror film shot in Ukraine with Cantonese subtitles’ category. We could get around this by sending someone over to nobble you, which would no doubt please some of your competitors, but that seems a bit churlish, plus we still need you around to provide directions when we can’t be bothered to read the instructions on how to post things on the site.
As for names, I mentioned this in passing to a friend of mine who, shall we say, doesn’t quite understand the subtleties of our hobby, and her immediate suggestion was ‘The Nutters’. I don’t know – lacks a bit of cache perhaps? Anyway, I look forward to receiving my solid gold Nutter prize for the mammal watching equivalent of ‘Best extra kept well behind the scenes so he doesn’t pollute the film’ category.
Does that help?
Charles: The Nutters. Fabulous. And there are many less kind versions of that title in a similar vein I imagine – just ask the many ex-spouses of mammalwatchers out there…
I think I may have ever so slightly exaggerated these awards. So…. I was intending to publish a list of my Top 20 people and places on the planet. I will still do that. But – after taking to Ben (Andean Cat Ben) – I think it would be great to do something more democratic for The Nutters. So I will put out a call for nominations for the real awards on Sunday. These will based on various “Best of ” categories and will be awarded to 2018 trip reports. Then we can have a vote. So if anyone has a winning trip from 2018 that they have not yet reported on then now is your chance!
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When you get this up and running, you need to market it some. Press release, YouTube video. It is too much fun for media outlets to not cover.