Over 12 years ago, I started this blog. There were very few conservation or outdoor blogs at the time, few websites with fast-breaking content. The newspaper and magazine industries had solid writers and when I encountered those folks, most of them made a point to show me that I couldn't be them, or tell stories in their magical way. A few of them were right. My main goal, dating back to 2005 or so, was to tell my outdoor stories and share my voice, as much for my own use as for anyone else’s education or entertainment. At 33 (2007) I was blessed, some would say privileged, to have so many amazing outdoor memories that my brain was dumping them. I had too many great days afield to remember. What a reality!
|The Dude is 100% Committed to Adventure|
My life, and the outdoor writing world, changed fast and hard. I became a father in 2009 and I decided that I was going to be the kind of highly engaged parent that a kick ass son would want. I don’t know if I have achieved that expectation but with a kid active in the outdoors, scouting, sports, and music, it eats a lot of time that I am, honestly, eager to give. I write technical papers and grant proposals all the time. Writing for fun became Something I Used to Do. Worse, as I increased my work in conservation lobbying and vied for an executive level position in conservation (since achieved!), I felt like I had to lock down this site for its past honest writing.
In late 2012, Google changed their SEO scoring for the first time, dropping this site’s traffic (and resulting corporate sponsor interest) by about 90%, then an additional 7% in less than a month total. It was a total shock. At the same time, newspapers and magazines started dumping their masthead outdoor and conservation writers (mostly a bad thing), in favor of using freelancers like myself. I might argue for that approach if the going rate wasn't $200 per article. The simultaneous jump in public appetite for well produced YouTube video content (now IGLive and FB Live) truly left me in the dust. I love taking pictures but I have no interest in editing video content.
At any rate, twelve years and 800+ posts after starting this site, the world is a more dynamic if not chaotic place than it was. Solid commentary – the kind that can still stand when “new facts” arise - is a bit of an endangered species. Also, I am sensitive to the fact that my voice is a very white and male and American one and my voice does not speak for everyone. Yet, I am still here, and I do have what I think is a unique and valuable perspective, and I think it can be used to lend a voice to others who have yet to be heard. At 45, after decades in the outdoors personally and professionally, I have some thoughts. And to my detractors (the few who dare to remain in The Arena), I quote Ice-T in saying You Should Have Killed Me Last Year. And if you look up the lyrics to that song, all I can promise you is that you will be offended. It is 2019, after all.
Thanks for stopping by!