President’s Message

I’m excited about the upcoming years as President of M-DOWA. The double whammy of the great recession and the onset of the internet have dramatically reduced the markets that sustained outdoor writing through the last century.  Additionally, emerging social media increases our ability to communicate with vast audiences, yet requires a specific skill set to make that work profitable.

In many ways, I am the “typical” outdoor writer who remembers the onset of autofocus and digital photography and learned to use a laptop like the reporter’s notebook of old. I have much to learn about social media and I hope to make my quest toward contemporary professionalism a template for the growth of our organization.

For 2019, I have three goals:

Membership: Our organization needs an infusion of new outdoor communicators and I ask each member to invite a friend, colleague, or acquaintance into the fold.  I plan to bring 15 or more new members on board through an Outdoor Blog Blast to be held in Clear Spring Maryland July 14-15 and hope to have the program finalized by May 1st.

Social Media: One of our newest members, Kat Haas, shared her experience with social media growth in a single year at the recent conference.  Our experience and outdoor skills have value and the challenge is to share that cognitive treasure in a way that generates income.  By networking and taking small steps, I believe we can grow tremendously in this area.

Camaraderie- As outdoor communicators, we are each unique, contributing to different markets in a variety of ways.  We can learn much from our differences if fun is the common denominator.  I want our group to excel, to motivate, to achieve, and I know that great things will happen if we work, laugh, and learn together through shared experiences.

Finally, I am honored to represent such a talented group of skilled communicators and pledge to do my best to further the M-DOWA reputation of excellence.

Joe Byers