MEDIA: The State of Things and Stuff

Since between now and November you’re bound to hear countless opinion polls, straw polls, and reporters’ questions to the man on the street, I thought I’d add to it by asking a bunch of people what they thought of online media options as they pertain to fishing.

I asked people about online fishing media in three different settings:

1.) At press events, where I’ve been exposed to many informal beer-fueled conversations with “bidness types”–editors, publishers, photographers, PR reps, marketers, manufacturers, business owners, fishing guides,  etc.

2.) Because air travel today generally sucks, I’ve also spent time in airport bars talking to random delayed people who happen to love fishing or fly fishing or whatever. (There are more fishermen in airport bars than you would think. When they notice your carry-on rod tube they come out of the woodwork.)

3.) I asked anglers I met while actually fishing.

I started writing down what they had to say in a notebook. So, based on that, here’s a completely informal and unscientific look at how people view what’s currently out there:

Blogs–Since I have this here blog, I really wanted to hear peoples’ thoughts.

Bidness types said a few things. Collectively, it seems, blogs can wield influence, but individually they’re “too uneven and unpredictable.”  Another said, “Blogs give street cred.”

I asked random fishing people if they could name a single fishing blog. Overwhelmingly, most couldn’t. When people could, the blog most often mentioned first was Buster Wants to Fish.

Those who actually read or have heard of blogs said of them (as individual entities): “Bloggers come in hot and run out of things to say.” Another, “Look Mom, I have a blog!” Not all were bad: “They say things nobody else does.”

Forums–A lot of guys had bad opinions of them, specifically how people behave on them. “People lose their fucking minds on forums,” one guy said. “The problem,” said another, “is one group forms a dominant clique, and they bully everyone else out of there.” Other problems included issues with axe grinders, people who use them to find hot spots, and general bad information. But most random people I spoke to either anonymously browse forums, or are signed up to one or more.

Official Media Sites–That is, sites attached to traditional print magazines. “Boring.” “Tired.” “Repackaged.”  “Static.” “Neglected.” Not too much enthusiasm.

This Is Fly–Fly fishermen I met under 30 brought it up unsolicited. The kids love it. When I asked about it, most couldn’t recall any specific articles or reasons why, but just liked the whole vibe. One astute person likened it to catching on to a funky new band at the ground level before anyone else really knows about it.

Some bidness types weren’t sold, calling it “a gimmick.” But more paperless click-through mags–specifically Fly Fishing Life and Catch Magazine–are on the scene, so we’ll see how it all plays out.

Midcurrent–Probably the most recognized media site not affiliated with a print magazine or forum. Many people had heard of it and a lot check in to get the daily news links.

Youtube–“Can you believe all the stupid shit?” “Another: “Great for unintentional comedy.” Another: “I can only watch someone reeling in a fish so many times.” That said, many people admitted they searched Youtube for something fishing related.

So, there you have it, an unofficial man on the street poll. What’s the point here? You’re all worthless and week. Now drop down and give me twenty. There is no point. Just a bunch of notes about what some people think. Take it or leave it.

11 thoughts on “MEDIA: The State of Things and Stuff”

  1. Excellent idea for a post Pete. I like the process. It kind of mirrors what my thoughts about this have been for a while.

    It really kind of begs the question, “what do people really want from the fly fishing media in the future? (either new or old)”

    Not exactly related to this but I thought it was cool none-the-less.

    I heard and interview recently with Humpy Wheeler who used to run Lowe’s Motor Speedway here in Charlotte. He was being asked about the future of NASCAR. He said that today’s 12 year old boy is the most entertained person in the history of the world. They spend their days watching 200 channels and playing 20 million dollar video games while texting their 50 or so closest myspace friends. His point being that if you want to get their attention now or in the future you have to do things in a big and polished way.

    I think I’d rather go just fishing myself.

  2. Damn, ” the blog most often mentioned first was Buster Wants to Fish.”

    I would have guessed “Trout Underground” or “Moldy Chum”. Call me surprised on a Saturday morning

  3. Well, people said Moldy Chum first the second most times to you all. Or people said BWTF and Moldy Chum.

    In fairness to Trout Underground, I don’t trout fish that much so I didn’t talk to too many trout anglers. If I had talked to more the answers might have been different. And in fairness to everyone else, there’s a major east coast bias here since I spend 99 percent of my time fishing in New York or Florida and 90 percent of my travel is between NY and FL.

    I guess also if there was a point to anything, it’s that the people who did read blogs seemed to read them for entertainment, but the majority of the people spent most of their time online in forums, even though nobody held them in too high opinion.

  4. “Let those of us who are fishing for sport and fun keep fishing, and those of us who fish for a living and good food for the users keep doing so with the best of catches.”

  5. I like it when a blogger says folks or begins sentences with Hell. It makes me feel like he understands the common man. That’s why I voted for Bush. He wears jeans.

  6. I think Catch magazine is the best online pub out there. If they can keep it up, it’ll dominate. Why? Everybody loves fish porn, handpicked by a badass photographer. The usefulness or entertainment value of online fishing sites is questionable — the survey has spoken! But you can’t argue with great photography.

  7. Matt,

    I agree with you in that Catch Magazine brought some serious wow factor right off the bat with that eye-popping permit cover. Especially when I opened it up on my HD screen on the home Mac.

    I’m real curious to see how the click-throughs play out as more surely pop on the scene. They have an avantage over print, for sure, in that they don’t have to deal with enormous production and distribution costs.

    With something like Catch, even in a normal resolution laptop screen, you can’t get stuff to pop like that in print unless you’re paying for some high quality paper–something a lot of small magazines can’t afford.

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