June 24, 2016

Outdoor Blogging, Online to Offline, Part I

Eric Rathbun of Moldy Chum and the Outdooress

Eric Rathbun Of the blog Moldy Chum and I (notice the bunny ears? Ya, he matches his blog)

Back in January I received an invitation to join a group of Outdoor Bloggers for an annual event called the Deneki FIBFest. The ‘FIB’ part means Fishing Industry Bloggers. So here’s what I had to ask myself before I could respond.

1) Would I like to hang out with a group of Outdoor Bloggers and
2) Would I enjoy the fly fishing aspect of the Fest-ivities.

Umm, YES on both accounts. And that’s where I was at the end of March. The FIBFest.

So why bring this trip up here on the OBN? I have a couple of reasons so stay with me….Starting with, first and foremost, it was an Outdoor Blogger get-together. For the first time (for me) I had the chance to meet several Outdoor Bloggers at once, in a group setting and see how it went.

It could be me, but when I’m reading anyone’s blog, I often wonder if they, the writer,  are like ‘that’ in person. I believe when you read a persons blog long enough (in a sense) you become connected with their words and in turn you make personal impressions of the blogger. A perception if I may. So the question I’ve had was how much of a persons blog will translate offline and into face to face reality.

My FIBFest experience answered my questions. All of the guys ‘matched’ their blog persona to a T — and I considered that a great thing. I wasn’t thrown off by anyone or taken by surprise. They all seemed as genuine as their blog writings and in that regard, meeting them was like meeting up with an old friends I hadn’t seen in years. Instant ease and comfort.

Cameron Miller of Shadow River Media and I

Beyond the socializing and Fly Fishing (which there was a lot of both) I realized just by being there I was networking with a great group of people who all shared similar interests as myself.

Ideas, advice, perspectives, expertise, questions, curiosities (fly fishing lessons for me) and so on were shared on this trip and I came away power packed with a new network of fishing friends AND connections to the world around me I didn’t have before.

To be honest, I was nervous as I traveled alone toward the unknown factors of this trip. But once I was there, FIBFest showed me that moving beyond the online world into a face to face meeting was not only easy, it was enjoyable and enriching on a personal level. When it was time to leave, I was genuinely sad to say goodbye to everyone.

My experience has inspired me to tell every blogger I know, if you get a chance to meet up with someone you’ve connected with via the Blogging platform….I highly recommend making it happen. If you needed any additional inspiration to take that leap from online to offline, let me just say…..it also provides great blog material. Bonus!

The bloggers who attended the Deneki FIBFest:

On part II, I’ll be sharing some Industry insight from Andrew Bennett, of Deneki Outdoors who put this blogger event together…stay tuned.

About Rebecca

When Rebecca isn't running the Outdoor Blogger Network, she is off Fly Fishing her favorite rivers. Occasionally she writes about those adventures at The Outdooress.


  1. 1

    Sounds like a great time. There are several blogs I follow I would like to meet the writers. Hopefully I can make that happen. I guess the first thing I need to do is ask a few of them if theyd be game for it

  2. 3

    I recently met two outdoor bloggers and just like you said, they were exactly what they seemed to be online. I’m not sure I like what that says about me, however. ( And hey – how about editing that entry and including that cool pic of you with that monster bonefish. Whatcha tryin’ to do – make us beg? )

    • 4

      Well…based on your blog writings, my guess is you would be a “Hoot” to hang out with (grin)
      As for bonefish pictures, well, I’ve been showing and writing about that fun over on my Outdooress Blog. I posted this entry on the OBN because I’d love to see more Outdoor Bloggers get together and have fun face to face. Just like you did recently!

      • 5

        Hmmm……I don’t know about that…I had a pretty rough time with….ohhhhhh, hey there RD, didn’t see you down there. Yeah, yeah…everything was awesome…sure….yeah…really good. thanks. :)

    • 6

      Hmmm…the question is, what am I like online? haha

  3. 9

    I am having a blast meeting up with fellow bloggers…so far I have fished with 4 of them! I invite my readers to email me, but just beware that I love to travel and just might take you up on a river trip! Looking forward to my next journeys to Idaho in May and June (and adding a new blogger friend to the list that I have wanted to meet!)
    I’m sure you (Rebecca) have made friends now from this Bahama trip that you will probably meet up again with…

  4. 10

    I just have to ad my two sense…..but I’m a little short on coin so I can only offer 1 cent:
    I have had the pleasure of “hooking up” with Ben (AZwanderings.com) and fishing with him on his home turf back in November. My impression:
    1. Yup, just like I expected based on his blog…..totally easy going and fun to hang with.
    2. Yup, instant friendship.
    3. Yup, new fishing partner.
    4. Yup, new blog creative sounding board.
    I have been excited about the connections that can be developed between bloggers (and fisherpeople) ever since OBN started. Think of it this way. As we all become friends we have really cool people to go hang out with and on top of that we can guide each other around on our home waters. Sorry guide shops, but we might not need you much anymore ;)
    Home Skillet

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