Thursday, June 28, 2012

Outdoors and the 'New Media'

Social media, new media, what is it anyway?  Why is it even being discussed in an outdoors column?

The reality is our world has changed and continues to progress.  It is much smaller than it was just a decade ago.  At one time, places like Africa, Alaska, and Australia were distant lands that you could only find in either an encyclopedia or National Geographic magazine.  Now, we can call up a ‘friend’, watch them in real time and speak to them through the computer.  Now we have ‘wiki’ instead of actual volumes of books.  And National Geographic is much more than a magazine; it is a television network and website.  I’m sure the younger generation is oblivious to who is a ‘pen-pal’, my generation’s original ‘friend request.’

The new media consist of online television shows and episodes, e-magazines, and podcasts.  My podcasts consisted of taping a one way conversation on an old cassette recorder and mailing it to a friend who moved several states away one summer.  Can you imagine if this was our way of communicating now?  Fortunately the new media is easy and available.  As for the outdoors community, this opens the world to us all.

We are able to learn from others in ways as never before.  My grandfather was a hit with my friends with his stories of big game hunts from around the world.  There were not many people you could meet and talk to who had ever taken any game other than dove, ducks, deer, squirrels, or rabbits.  Everything else was exotic; things you only saw in the zoo or again, the encyclopedia and magazines.  Now we can not only reach out and hear the stories from all kinds of hunters, anglers, mountain climbers, hikers, kayakers, and bird watchers, we can interact and learn.

We can get answers to our questions, hear others questions that we would have never thought to have asked, and participate without having to be the 10th caller.  Online no-frills talk shows bring in educated and experienced guests to share knowledge to others and help the non-experienced prepare for their own outdoors adventures.

The new media has become such a hit and shows so much potential in growth, companies are investing largely into it to better their brands.  Podcasts like FMP Bowcast garner a large audience and multiple advertisers just so someone can download the audio to their media player.  The Outdoors Channel has acquired MyOutdoorTV.com that is set-up somewhat like Netflix while only showing outdoor shows.  Just a quick count on the hunting directory produces over 100 high definition shows both popular such as North American Hunter and Remington Country and regional like Southern Ohio Wild.

This Monday, July 2nd, I will be a guest on Coast to Coast Outdoors.  This is one of those new media talk shows that share what is going on with all things outdoors with everyone.  They have talked about things such as the Alabama Rig and its influence on both the professional anglers’ tours and the regular weekend fisherman searching for his own trophy bass.  They have discussed the problem with feral hogs, not just in a single state, but everywhere from North Carolina to California.  In fact, the two hosts are in each state.  R.B. Wright hosts the show from the ‘Ole North State while Kerry Mackey hosts from the left coast.  At the same time.  That is the beauty of the new media.

The show is hunting and fishing show that is not really hunting and fishing show.  You will likely not see the trigger pulled, the bass bend the rod, or the arrow flung, but you will see R.B. and Kerry talking to you, almost face to face like, discussing hunting and fishing.  It makes it personal and enjoyable.  So if you have a few moments this Monday at 9pm go to Livestream.com/Coast2CoastOutdoors and get a glimpse of what the new media has to offer the outdoorsman.  One other nice aspect about this new media is even if you cannot watch it live, most shows are available when you want it available without having to set the VCR, DVR, or whatever other ‘R’ there is.

But one last observation; Pen-pal does have a better ring to it than E-mail-pal.  We’ll have to work on that one.

You can follow Coast2Coast Outdoors on twitter @C2COutdoors or on facebook at Coast2Coast Outdoors.

1 comment:

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