Thursday, September 30, 2010

Three Years and 251 Installments of River Mud

A fall, 2008 picture - hanging out on the Maryland - Delaware border,
waiting for sunset / judging the fall drought / scouting for wood ducks
Bear with me - we'll soon be back in the thick of real outdoor adventures and real conservation issues. In the meantime, humor me for one more trip down memory lane. Three years ago today, I published my first post on this blog. Interestingly, it was a pro-habitat restoration rant, and when I set up the blog just weeks before, it really wasn't my intent for the blog to serve that purpose.
You see, I have a notoriously shabby memory when it comes to my outdoor adventures. I'm very sad to say that when it comes to the details of some of my best periods of outdoor adventures, the experiences just run together. First, let me say that I recognize that this is a blessing. It is a gift of Providence to have a life where the daily routine is mundane instead of hungry, chaotic insanity, and on top of that, a life wherein the mundacity is bookended by some of the most amazing sights, experiences, and adventures that humans can have on earth. That is just good stuff.
And in not taking this all for granted, I've always thought that it was worth chronicling, one way or the other. In 2000, I started keeping detailed excel spreadsheets of surfing and fishing adventures so I could remember what gear worked where, when, and what I'd do differently. It was no less primitive than a field journal with a few digital pictures sprinkled in to spark some memories. Once I started traveling extensively for work and for hunting and surfing in 2002, this system totally fell apart. For the next 5 years, I depended only on my windows folders of digital pictures to remind me of the great times I'd had. But so much information was missing.
So has the River Mud Blog solved that problem? Well, it has and it hasn't. The blog format allows me to keep a depth of information, observations, and casual details that I would never remember otherwise. On the other hand, in the interest of (blogging) time, I have been known to combine experiences (say, on consecutive days), omit experiences that were exceptionally boring, and other typical field writing tactics. What didn't make it into blog posts or digital photos, in many cases, has also escaped my memory. That's incredibly depressing.
That being said, I have learned a few things from blogging. One relates to my last point - not everything is worth sharing. I continue to believe this, and it's the thing that makes me want to hang myself when I read some other outdoor blogs. There are other things that are simply too personal to share in this semi-anonymous environment. I try to walk the line occasionally, but I find it pretty stressful and only slightly therapeutic. Another lesson I'm still learning is how to properly balance photography and storytelling, while trying to constantly improve my quality of both. I continue to see it done wrong, and I can't figure out the formula myself. I'll keep trying.
A few goals for the future:
  • Keep improving my writing skills, syntax, and attention to detail
  • Post often for my frequent visitors
  • Explore possibilities of writing (and going afield) with other bloggers in my region
I've read several times that less than 1% of internet users generate new content (URLs or site depth). I continue to enjoy being in that group, although I couldn't have predicted that this is what it would look like. I hope you all stay tuned and let me know what I could be doing to better entertain or inform you.
Thanks for coming around and sticking around!


Leigh, Andrea Leigh Gil said...

I think you are doing a wonderful job and as always look forward to your future post. Keep up the great work!

Anonymous said...

Congrats to you on your blog milestones and keep up the good work!

Michael Agneta said...

Only picked up your blog somewhat recently, but I think you're doing a great job to date. Three years is a big deal, I know a few folks who never made it past their first posts. Congrats!

Unknown said...

Congrats on your third year. I think the hardest thing about blogging is keeping your readers interested but also posting interesting stuff. Anyone can post everyday, but is it really worth reading?? I have enjoyed following your blog! Keep up the good work!

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Over 12 years ago, I started this blog. There were very few conservation or outdoor blogs at the time, few websites with fast-breaking con...