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How I became a blogger

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BY TONY DOLLE
I didn’t intend for it to happen. It wasn’t planned. It just sort of happened. Honest.
You see, I’ve become a blogger.
It literally took place overnight. Well, sort of.
I was asked to write for a website. I kind of enjoyed it. So, I found a way to write another piece and another and then suddenly I became a blogger – and got paid for it. The pay isn’t much, but it isn’t bad for a freelance gig.
Now I blog on my own website. I get paid less but I enjoy it more.
There are thousands like me in the outdoor communications field. Men and women are regularly writing blogs in increasingly greater numbers and getting paid for it. And, quite honestly, the quality of the writing I’m reading from these blogs is pretty damn good by any standard.
So that brings me to my point. OWAA should capitalize on these bloggers by creating a membership category that allows them to join our ranks. Of course, they would have to qualify like anyone else and prove they get paid for their work; prove they are “professional” – whatever that means these days.
As of press time, I am forming an ad hoc committee group to create a potential membership category that will include bloggers and other types of Internet communicators. I’ll get the group’s work to the Board for approval and we’ll make an effort to bring in folks who do their outdoor communicating through the Internet into OWAA.

WINTER BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING

The OWAA Board met Jan. 10 in Memphis, Tenn., at Ducks Unlimited’s headquarters. It only snows once a year in Memphis, and you guessed it, snow started to fall the night before our meeting.
But all board members were able to get to Memphis and despite the fact Memphis was virtually standing still due to the snowfall (OK, it was only about three inches), we had one of the most productive OWAA meetings I’ve ever attended. In the South, the mere thought of snow in the forecast can empty the milk and bread shelves at most grocery stores and schools are often closed if officials even think it might snow.
Executive Director Robin Giner will have more about the meeting in her column.
EIC CONTESTS
Changes to the 2011 EIC contests were dramatic — maybe too dramatic — maybe.
To that end, I asked Bruce Cochran to chair an ad hoc committee to review the new rules and suggest changes to them. The Board went over those recommendations during the meeting in Memphis.
I then asked Third Vice President Bill Graham to form another working group to create a final, revised set of rules for the EIC contests, taking the best of the new and old rules, combining them into something we all can live with. This committee includes: Graham, Cochran, Lisa Densmore, Matt Miller, Mary Nickum, Ty Stockton, Ashley Schroeder, Bill Powell (ex officio), and Robin Giner (ex officio).
That group’s deadline is May 1. We will send the information via e-mail to all OWAA members for comment prior to the July conference.
Additional information about the EIC contests and the new rules will be available then. In the meantime, if you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact OWAA headquarters.♦
— Tony Dolle, OWAA President tdolle@ducks.org.
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