Friday, January 13, 2012

I hate it when family fights

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) is holding its annual SHOT Show next week.  Basically, it allows outdoor sports media and companies that deal in guns, gear, and all the rest of things that make life fun to get together for a few days, discuss new products and services, and hobknob.  It's invite only, as opposed to the NRA Annual Meeting, which allows the general public to come in and look at products and talk to industry representatives.

For the past few years, more and more people from new media, such as gunblogs, have been invited to attend SHOT.  Recently NSSF put out a very gracious welcome to non-traditional media on their blog.  They seem to be very open to including gunbloggers into the fold.

A growing contingent at the SHOT Show is our Internet media. In fact, more than 600 Internet media representatives — bloggers, forum leaders and website producers — will be at the show this year. When we first started registering Internet media four years ago, that number was under 100.

Apparently, some of the more established 'journalists' have an issue with that.  Here's the comment that started the kerfluffle:

Now the question is when you are going to start qualifying internet media?   We have to crawl over nobodies who can install wordpress and have nobody reading anything they write, It isn't so hard to qualify internet media using Alexa.com and Compete.com.  Why do you waste the manufacturers' time and make the real internet media have to deal with wish I were internet journalists who are just using your stamp of approve to solicit review guns and accessories?  You've created this giant gorilla in the room and we all have to deal with it, and you may think the industry takes your numbers seriously, but everyone sees things for what they are.  If you are serious about bringing value to your exhibitors, you need to vet the press list. -- Paul, Helinski, GunsAmerica
What are my qualifications?  Well, I'm a gunowner and shooter.  I'm not Tony Tactical or Allen Quatermain, but  I enjoy the technology of guns, the fun of shooting, hunting, and fishing.  I'm an everyman.  I'm a suburban father, gun enthusiast, and news junkie.  My perspectives on these subjects reflect that, and people like me are a rising voice that more and more people are listening to.

Look, I'm not a professional journalist, and I never claimed to be.   I don't do this to get free stuff or make money.  I don't consider myself a hardcore gunblogger.  I don't compare to Tam, Uncle, or Jay.  On a typical day, I get a few hundred unique visitors and pageviews.  Posts about guns and gun rights make up between 1/4 and 1/3 of what I do.  When I do reviews, it's almost always on stuff I bought with my own money.  I've gotten very few freebies.  Once I got some ammunition from Lucky Gunner, I went to their blogshoot, and I've recently gotten some clothing from an outfitter company, which I'm currently evaluating and will have a review for in the next few weeks.  If manufacturers or resellers want to send me stuff, I'll take it if it's something I'm interested in, do an honest review where I make sure I'm up front about someone providing the blogfodder, and then get on with goofy humor and ranting.

Are there gunbloggers who are in it for potential money and free stuff?  Yep, just like there are journalists in traditional media who are too.  We call those people "jerks", and they tend to be shunned pretty quickly.  I'm not attending SHOT, and honestly, I doubt I will.  I will probably go to the NRAAM this year, and if invited to attend as media, I will take the opportunity.  Will I be intruding on traditional media?  Maybe, but I do try to not step on toes.  If gunbloggers and other Internet media types are making it hard for others to do their job, then NRA and NSSF will deal with the problem.  All it takes is one year where issues with us unwashed heathens make NSSF or NRA look bad or not get the press they want, and we'll be shown the door.  If we're doing good work, even if we're getting in the way a bit, then that will be recognized.

We're all in this together.  Excluding people like me, the everyday guy who is interested in guns and telling people about it, is counterproductive.  If I'm acting like a jerk and making it hard for you to do your job, ask me to leave.  But don't exclude a new, dynamic part of the gun culture because they don't do it for a living or they don't act like you do.  We're closer to the consumers of the gun industries products and services than most journalists, because we are consumers.  Our perspectives on new guns, clothing, and gear will reflect that.

Don't exclude us because we're a bunch of dorks and amateurs.  That's what gives us a powerful voice, even if individually we don't speak to thousands of people at a time.

5 comments:

Old NFO said...

Good point, personally, I think it's the 'competition' they don't like... They want's their freebees without having to wait, and their interviews when 'they' deign to appear at a booth... sigh...

DaddyBear said...

Anonymous commenter - I got your comment in email from blogger, but it didn't show up here for some reason. I won't post it in case you erased it yourself somehow If you want it posted, drop me a word here and I will copy/paste it in for you.

Verify you are the commenter by telling me how you would qualify for SHOT.

DaddyBear said...

NFO, I'm not that worried about his motivations. Maybe he's resistant to change, maybe he doesn't approve of the relaxed attitude that we can sometimes have (I saw that in Pittsburgh). I just don't like seeing anyone's voice excluded, and it's the NSSF's shindig. They can invite whomever they like.

TinCan Assassin said...

But those peons don't have a permit to exercise thier Fist Amendment Rights... Sound familiar?

MrG's said...

Good Post DB. We as bloggers are closer to the American Public than some guy that spends all his time trolling for all the main gun rags. I am not knocking them, they provide useful information as we all do. I think they just want to keep their "exclusive access" and competition is a "bear" pardon the pun;)

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