NBS Note: Make It Happen Offline

(NBS = Nature Blogging Success!)

Quick question: Will you be joining me and a veritable army of other nature bloggers at the 14th Annual Space Coast Birding & Wildlife Festival in Titusville, Florida from January 26-31, 2011? Not only will the birding be spectacular, but I’ll be leading a special event called The Noon Blog just for people like us.

What: The Noon Blog. Nature blogger’s lunch, learning and networking.
When: Thursday, January 27, 2011.  Noon till 1:30 p.m.
Where: Brevard Community College, Titusville, Florida
Cost: Lunch and discussion are FREE, but you do have to register for the Festival ($10 fee).

If you are a nature or birding blogger we’d love to have you join us for lunch during the Space Coast Birding Festival. It will give us a chance to meet face-to-face and learn from each other. Mike Bergin of 10,000 Birds and the Nature Blog Network will be leading the discussion about creating relevant content, integrating social media, and reaching your target audience. Bring your biggest questions and your best ideas! Lunch will be served courtesy of the Festival.

What does this have to do with nature blogging success?

Your nature blog may live online, but your readers do not. The relationships you build offline drive your online success.

I’ve always been one to model the success of others. A quick look at the most successful nature blogs shows a list of exceptional networkers, individuals who leverage participation in conferences , organizations, and festivals within their spheres to attract readers to their blogs. The lineup at Space Coast, for example, is rich with well-known nature bloggers from the various guides and presenters to the entire collection of keynote speakers.

My own experience is that connection with other nature bloggers offline and out in nature enhances the act and expression of nature blogging more than anything else I can think of. Since I first started nature blogging in 2003, I’ve reached out to like-minded micropublishers everywhere I’ve traveled. Not only has that landed me a landslide of life birds, but I’ve built friendships that molded not only the future of my own blog, but the course of nature blogging itself. Does that sound hyperbolic? Consider this:

  • I created I and the Bird only after conferring with other nature bloggers offline, resulting in the feedback and support the nascent bird blogging carnival needed to survive.
  • The Nature Blog Network itself would never have reached critical mass were it not for a strong existing community of nature bloggers, connected in many ways by the relationships one only builds face to face.

I could add to this list my experiences meeting with nature bloggers to talk about blogging at ScienceOnline09, the Midwest Birding Symposium, and the Biggest Week in American Birding, not to mention a collection of national and international birding festivals that would make your eyes water. Online associations and social media status have their place of course. But true friendship feels unconsummated until friends meet offline.  In an ever-expanding universe of nature content, we often follow who we know. Who really knows you?

Test my theory by connecting with other nature bloggers offline. If you’ll be anywhere near Florida from January 26-31, 2011, meet me at Space Coast. Will you be there? Let me know in the comments below.

I also invite all of you to use this thread to share your most memorable meetings with other nature bloggers!

3 Comments

  1. Jason R
    January 13, 2011 at 6:08 PM | Permalink

    Won’t be at the Birding & Wildlife Festival. But I did sign up for this the weekend before:

    http://jaywatch.eventbrite.com/

  2. January 14, 2011 at 8:11 AM | Permalink

    Great post, Mike. I wish I could join you in Florida – Space Coast has long been on my go-to list and this would make it even better.

    My most memorable meeting with other bloggers was at the 2009 New River Birding and Nature Festival. The festival would have been great under any circumstances, but what made it truly special was sharing a house with seven other nature bloggers, most of whom had never met in person before. We’ve all blogged about the experience as well as the festival, and I remain in touch with this group, on- and offline two years later.

  3. January 15, 2011 at 2:28 PM | Permalink

    @Jason – too bad. I don’t think we’ve seen each other since ScienceOnline ’09.

    @Wren – you’ll be sorry you won’t be there! And the example of the Flock was prominent in my mind as I wrote this post!