With the creation and expansion of the Internet, fishing communities have spilled into the web. Some form of Social Media can answer any questions on the topic of fishing. Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and various forums are among the most popular. This expansion into the Internet has created a niche for anglers to interact online. Instead of watching TV shows about fishing or reading magazines to search for the data they need, anglers can just go online to find it much faster. The increasing use of Social Media by anglers helps to create a sense of community.
“The term Social Media refers to the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into an interactive dialogue, by allowing for the creation and exchange of user-generated content.” This is the definition of Social Media given by the Deep Sea Angling Association. (Deep Sea Angling reacts to the Social Media explosion) Statistics from this site show that the use of social networks is through the roof. This rise in social media use has lead to the creation of forums, blogs, Twitter accounts and Facebook pages dedicated to inform and connect anglers. These various types of Social Media, where people can interact, help to build community among anglers online.
Because social media growing at an astounding rate, anglers are being classified into three main groups. There is the “New” category. This includes people who are beginners and ask questions about basic aspects of fishing. The “Casual” category likes to post about personal stories, less information based. The most intense category is the “Avid” category. These people are serious about what they do and post about very specific content. Being classified into one of these categories would help to build community among people with the same skill level.
According to (Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, Boating and Fishing Social Media Audit, July 2010) The “New” category has the smallest representation in each of the Social Media types. The “Casual” group of anglers mainly dominates twitter and Facebook. This is due to their friendly type of community. These sites promote stories and pictures. The “Avid” category generally sticks to the Forums and Blogs. They prefer these types of Social Media because they can post about specifics and have in depth discussions with each other. Each angler finds his or her group and associates with them. This helps to form community.
Not all communities are formed through sorting into groups. Many fishing communities have moved online to help lure new users and expand their community. David Cosner from Texas State University created a fishing website called CollegeFishingForum.com to help college age anglers connect. (Brandon Dickenson, Cosner Brings The College Fishing Community Together With The CFF) This article goes on to say that in the first week alone they logged 10,000 page views and 1,500 log-ins visits from members. This is a tremendous amount of traffic for the first week of operation on a website. The article also goes into details about how the website integrated Facebook, Twitter and even Google Maps so that they can inform anglers of events and happenings near them. This genius idea helps anglers not only connect online but also in person. This growth of Social Media is helping to create a community of anglers.
As anglers go to the web for interaction involving fishing, the Social Media associated with fishing grows and expands. Because of the sheer volume and variety of topics on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Forums, increased use of Social Media has lead to the formation of online communities among people with shared interests.