Tuesday, October 18, 2011

OBN's big day...

Congratulations to the Outdoor Blogger Network on its first birthday. Many of us in the outdoor blogosphere were rudderless, without direction and guidance and possessing very little expertise a short 12 months ago. Today, a year after climbing on board with OBN, adopting some best practices and learning from one another, we can say, if nothing else, our voices are legitimate.

For that reason, I feel compelled to single out two people who have assisted the outdoor blogging community in finding its voice and giving each of us an opportunity share our stories, chime in on issues, review the latest in outdoor gear and, of course, come together as a community. Joe Wolf and Rebecca Garlock deserve our collective thanks.

Most of us will never expand beyond the level of hobbyist blogger–most of us have jobs and lives and other obstacles that get in the way of really devoting the time necessary to take our blogs to an increased level of relevance. But some who found OBN and have the time to invest in their writing, editing, photography, videography and web skills are becoming important voices in this arena. I hope they take the time to thank Joe and Rebecca, the co-creators of this venture, for helping them find their voices and then amplify it to the world.

On a personal note, my little blog was (and, some would argue, is) a little vanity project, something to sate the creative urges deep within. Since joining OBN last October (I'm not sure what number I was, but I think I was among the first 10 blogs or so to be categorized), I've learned things about traffic and content that have actually helped the blog pay for itself. I bought my own URL, and paid for it with web traffic from the blog. My statistics have multiplied exponentially. When I first joined OBN, I was happy with a dozen pageviews a day. These days, I'm seeing hundreds, and the writing and photography I create with the most basic of digital equipment has clout.

And, if you blog through the OBN, so does yours. We have Rebecca and Joe to thank for that.

Congratulations, you two. We're in your debt, and we can't thank you enough for bringing us all together.