I sat down at a long-since retired computer and began a journey. I didn’t know what I was doing. Heck, for that matter I still don’t know what I am doing. All I knew was I was having fun doing it.
That’s right. Today is an anniversary for my blog. Count them…Eight! Long! Years!
Oh, has my life changed and so has this blog. In the beginning I had no solidly established goals. Truth is, during those first years I’m not sure very many other eyes happened upon this writing other than my own. Blogging was in its infancy. It received little to no respect. Most people hardly understood what it was even about. For that matter, the majority of Internet browsers had no appreciation for reading the occasional ramblings of some writer transforming thoughts into computer pixels on a personal weblog.
Let’s be honest, I started this blog writing for myself. Those first months I used it as an escape to detail the type of topics that were on my mind at the moment. Yes, it was a soapbox at times. I certainly shared my opinions…got stuff off my chest, so to speak. It was a way to release energy while at the same time attempting to share a love of the outdoors.
Folks have asked me what blogging was like when I started. Oh, there were several blogs of national prominence sometimes making waves for breaking news…but the landscape was much different in the outdoors world. Particularly with hunting and fishing bloggers. As my memory recalls, there were no more than perhaps a dozen of us bloggers actively promoting the outdoors lifestyle via this up-and-coming form of communication.
Indeed, some of my early compatriots in outdoors blogging were, as memory serves me:
- Bass Pundit
- Black Bear Blog
- Bright Idea Outdoors Weblog
- Dave Richey’s Weblog
- Deer Camp Blog
- Fishing Jones
- Muskoka Outdoors Blog
- Outdoors With Othmar Vohringer
- PA: Hunt. Fish. Shoot
- Rich Lindgren’s Bassin’ Blog
- Trout Underground
Now, likely there were other prominent ones I have unintentionally missed, but these are some of the pioneers in outdoors blogging. I tip my hat to each of these guys as it appears they are all continuing to blog to this day, at least to some degree. (If I missed you and you were blogging back in 2004, leave a comment below and tell us)
Yeah, a lot has changed in eight years. Too much, in fact, to detail in this single blog post. But I am so proud of what blogging has become. It wasn’t long ago most of the professional writing associations were scoffing at bloggers–certainly not taking us serious as legitimate communicators. Fast forward to today, most of these same organizations AND the same people in charge have become enlightened to the potential of blogging. Now, these same professional organizations are looking for ways to embrace bloggers and bring them into their membership fold. And I might say it’s about damn time!
When people used to ask me what outdoor publications I wrote for I would list them off. They would subsequently nod their heads and say something like, “that’s cool.” But do you think they ever went back and dug through some back-issues to read something I wrote? Heck no! If I also told them I blog…they would respond with something like, “okay,” seemingly not very impressed.
Not so today. I no longer tell people that I once wrote for radio or provide a laundry list of what print publications I’ve been in. It just doesn’t matter to most folks these days. Instead, they want to know how they can read what you write from their computers, their portable tablets, heck…even their smart phones. WOW! Have things ever changed. If you told me back in 2004 that not only would I still be blogging eight years later, but that I would be doing it sometimes from my phone and my readers would also be reading it in a like manner…I would have said “NO WAY!”
But, here I am on my eighth anniversary of this blog doing some reflection and introspection. I’m excited! It’s hard to imagine where this is all going for the future. No longer do I write this blog merely for my own entertainment. Nope! Today, each post is constructed with an eye toward how can I teach or enlighten my readers with about 700 words or less. Sometimes I achieve that goal…and other times, well, you’ll have to keep reading to find out.
In closing, a final tip-of-the-hat to all my loyal readers who have stuck with me over the years. Here’s hoping we have several more good years to come. Thanks for reading SPORTSMAN’S BLOG!
©2012 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction without Prior Permission.