Tuesday, October 18, 2011
This is Just the Start
This last winter I was sitting at home between jobs (I'm self-employed, also known as permanently unemployed), when I saw a post on Facebook by Rebecca Garlock about the 100th post on the Outdoor Blogger Network. This begs the question- How did I get to be Facebook friends with Rebecca in the first place? I don't know, and since the rules on that change all the time at Facebook, I'll just say it's lost in the mists of time (or is it sands?).
I've always had this itch to be a writer, but work in construction by trade. I've written a couple of pieces over the years that I've shared with my friends, or for my own private enjoyment. I even wrote a feature piece for Petersen's Bowhunting at their request, only to have them reject it ("we've run too many articles on that in the last two years"). I've always had this fear, a fear of actually taking the plunge, baring my soul and sharing my writing with others. What if people hate it? The barrier was very real.
For whatever reason, Rebecca's post set off a gong in my head, one that still rings clearly and shrilly. I had waited long enough; it was time to get started, and thus Fontinalis Rising was born. What I didn't expect, was the effect that OBN would have. Sure, there's lots of contests, giveaways and other cool stuff. Much more than that, it is a means of connecting with other outdoor bloggers, to find people of like mind and interest. It has been a tremendous way for a non tech-savvy person like myself to find other very cool blogs, and I've found some of my favorites here.
In the brief period I've been doing this, OBN has offered some great opportunities, such as the Trout Unlimited writing contest that brought four bloggers to Montana, or the opportunity to blog for Take Me Fishing. OBN provides a forum for it's members to showcase their work, and the ability to discover that of others. The gear review opportunities are fantastic, both for members, and the companies that provide them. The photo and writing prompts offer ideas and a chance for members to compare notes and ideas. OBN regularly offers members sound and savvy technical and blogging advice. They regularly alert us to important issues that could use our collective help, such as the danger that the Pebble Mine poses to the Bristol Bay salmon fishery. It has become an outdoor media clearing-house, and I predict will increasingly be seen by the outdoor industry and media as a force to be reckoned with. Hear OBN roar.
So, to the founders of the Outdoor Blogger Network, Joe Wolf, and Rebecca Garlock, I want to say thank you. With a simple idea, you've created a monster, you command an army. Congratulations on a wildly successful first year. I quail to think of how you'll wield this awesome power over the next year.