Understanding New Media in the Outdoor World

blog·o·sphere Pronunciation: \ˈblä-gə-ˌsfir\ Function: noun Date: 2002 : all of the blogs on the Internet as a collective whole

e–mail Pronunciation: \ˈē-ˌmāl\ Function: noun Etymology: electronic Date: 1982 1: a means or system for transmitting messages electronically (as between computers on a network) 2 a: messages sent and received electronically through an e-mail system b: an e-mail message

Sometimes we need to go back to the basics like Merriam-Webster. Why would I turn to them for the definition of blogosphere and e-mail, definitions I clearly understand? Sometimes other people forget, and the blogosphere is unfairly blamed for falsehoods. Unfortunately, there was an implication of that in this morning’s edition of The Outdoor Wire. (Link is only good for today since they aren’t archiving on the website.)

In talking about an email rumor which has been going around for months (some sources say years, though Snopes just says months), Jim switches gears and gives us other news from the blogosphere. Wait, what?

If you get one of those semi-breathless notices, please send your well-meaning friends a note telling them they’re perpetuating yet another internet rumor.

And speaking of the “blogosphere” and rumors, the FBI took a fairly unusual step yesterday regarding soon to be ex-Alaska governor Sarah Palin.

Huh? How is an email rumor “speaking of the ‘blogosphere'” in this case? Are there blogs reporting that SB 2099 is real? In the main gun blogosphere, I haven’t seen anything of the sort. On the various right leaning blogger email lists, I haven’t seen anything come across, nor have I seen it rearing its ugly head on the general right-of-center blogs. In fact, in a quick survey of Google’s Blog Search, all of the actual blog results I see say upfront that it is a hoax email. In fact, the posts are dated long before NSSF’s statement & Shepherd’s announcement.

This post isn’t meant to imply that Jim doesn’t understand new media. In fact, he’s one of the few in the industry who does understand new media since he’s created his own version of it with his wire service for various outdoor industries. However, when one of the people who “gets it” makes a comment like this, it’s no wonder that so many in the industry are hesitant to approach new media or attempt any new projects on their own. The implied connection between email rumors and bloggers in the outdoor industry wire service could easily leave a staffer who isn’t familiar with the various technologies confused about the value of bloggers at all. If the Google results are any indication, bloggers have actually been instrumental in getting word out to defeat the rumor of SB 2099.

Of course, it’s also important to note that the story in today’s edition of TOW that does actually have to do with the blogosphere – the Palin rumors that sparked the FBI’s statement – isn’t talking about the gun side of the blogosphere. While news does comes from all sides of the blogosphere, I’m not sure that many in the industry understand the breadth of the blogosphere – mommy blogs, left wing blogs, right wing blogs, gun blogs, personal journals, tech blogs, opinion/commentary blogs, link love blogs, business blogs, and everything in between all of those categories and more. Then there are forums which are another beast altogether, email lists, social networking groups, and so many other technologies with their related communities. There’s so much out there, and since all of the previous TOW coverage I’ve ever seen on blogs has focused on the pro-gun blogs, I hope that Jim’s readers understand that the outdoor blogosphere is by no means spreading the vicious rumors about Palin, nor are they involved in perpetuating rumors about non-existent legislation.

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