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Monday, October 26, 2009

This and that

As I expected, today was dry and windless. I took the opportunity to inspect the amazing exploding umbrella and managed to put it back in to some sort of working order. Two of the plastic fitments that attach the ribs to the central boss have snapped. Other than that it's perfect. For the time being the rib ends can press against the cover - but they'll wear through it eventually if I leave it that way. Coincidentally I got a call this evening from a friend in the manufacturing side of the tackle trade and he reckons there's a new, over-engineered, brolly about to hit the shops. So I'll be putting my blagging hat on soon!

I've added a link to Bob's Blog today. It's updated a few times a month and if you ignore the never ending bitching carried over from a couple of forums it's a good mix of fishing topics and other stuff. His latest post looks at blogging, which (along with a comment on another forum about magazines) set me thinking. Will weekly angling papers survive once everyone is on-line and understands how to use news feeds?

Given the number of angling forums around news travels pretty quick these days, often appearing on the web before it does in print, and frauds get exposed quickly too. There is also a growing angling blogosphere, and I know for certain that print journalists check blogs out - including this one.

Most blogs and forums now supply a feed. So as soon as more anglers realise that the don't have to check out all the angling blogs and forums manually for updates, but can put them into a newsreader where updates appear by magic, with a link to click to go to the complete post, then things will change.

As I use Blogger to compose my blog I subscribe to blog feeds there. I enter my 'dashboard' (as the control area is called) and see the latest updates to all my favourite feeds. If you visit lots of blogs, or other sites with feeds, then get yourself set up to subscribe or follow.

Modern browsers allow you to subscribe to feeds directly. If you use Firefox and see this logo next to the web page's address (as you will for this page) you can click it and see the feed - then set up a subscription in a reader of your choice, including the Firefox browser. Do this for all the blogs you visit and you can check them all out for updates at one time. Updates are automatically loaded but in Firefox all you'll get is the title of the latest post. If you set up an on-line newsreader, like Google Reader, you'll get more than the title, you'll get the first few lines and maybe a photo. The latest post being at the top. And you can set it to show all feeds at once so even less work is involved!

I also reckon that the big firms that sponsor anglers are missing a trick with blogs. A lot have 'blogs' on their websites, but in essence they are just occasional articles that their sponsored anglers send in. Few of them have feeds, so you have to check manually, and they are not updated too frequently - so you don't bother.

As far as I can tell most big firms really haven't grasped what the web is about yet. It's about changing content. The biggest trick that's being missed is to allow the sponsored anglers to blog directly and to do away with the monthly print articles. It'll happen - eventually - and then the print media will struggle.

Where they need to move is into on-line publishing. Their material can be blogged, and they can use forums to attract more visitors. So how will they make their money given that nobody wants to pay for on-line advertising? Simple. They do what Predator Publications/Carp Talk has done and get into selling DVDs and books. In fact get into producing them to sell via the on-line presence. Even put them on-line on a pay per view basis. onlinefishing.tv is having a stab at the latter after starting out as a subscription channel, and I see it's now looking to sell DVDs. So maybe the future has already arrived?

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