Monday, January 31, 2011

In the Net 1 - BCO Dec 2010

In the Net
Trevor Shpeley
October 1, 2010

They don't generally go by their real names. They give themselves peculiar nick-names like “Swamp Donkey”, “Fishhead” and “Woody”. They come into your living room late at night, haunt your den, your bedroom, sometimes even invade your workplace. They are not a gang of crazed hillbillies up to no good, in fact they are doctors, police officers, lawyers, plumbers and millworkers. They are your friends, they are people you have never met, they are the members of an online discussion forum.

When I joined my first fishing forum about 10 years ago, I started out with a few tentative posts and before I knew it, it was as if I had known those people for years and everybody I was fishing with was someone I met on the net. I remember the conversation I had with my then 14 year old daughter when after delivering many fire and brimstone lectures on the importance of internet safety I told her I was going into the woods to meet a guy I met online to go fishing. *Awkward*

This the first of what will become a regular column reporting on the antics, exploits and accomplishments of the members of the new and improved BC Outdoors discussion forums. Great fish stories will be re-told and some of them might actually be true! We will print any pictures we find particularly interesting, touch on the highlights of popular threads and use this space to announce contest winners. In other words, “In The Net” will be the newsletter of the BC Outdoors online community.

To sign up go to, click on the forums button up near the top and then click on “register”. Answer a few questions, pick a catchy screen name and password and you're ready to go. Don't worry if you know less about computers than a teenager knows about hygiene, the BCO forum is easy to use and it's denizens are friendly and eager to help new people get their feet on the ground.

So what is an internet forum and why would you bother?

The BCO forum is your chance to have your voice heard directly by the editors and writers of BC Outdoors Magazine as well as an opportunity to interact with other people who share similar interests. You can be a passive observer if you wish or you can join in at whatever level you feel comfortable. The forum is well moderated and is considered a family environment.

The forums are also a place for contests. Photo and essay contests will be frequent and in addition to great prizes, you may find your prose or pictures published in the magazine. All members receive an online photo album and are encouraged to use it.

Are you buying a waterproof camera but don't know which one to buy? How about new wading boots? You might not have tried them all but somebody on the board probably has. Going to an unfamiliar area in May and you want to know what lakes will be ice free? No problem, somebody on the forum will know. Ask and you shall receive.

The BCO forums are also a place to discuss articles that have appeared in the magazine. You may have further insight into the subject of a recent piece or perhaps you would like to discuss the points and opinions the writer has presented. BC Outdoors contributors are encouraged to take part in these discussions but remember that not every writer has the time or opportunity to participate.

Feel free to discuss the content and theme of an article but please treat our writers kindly, they work hard at what they do and would you really want strangers coming into your workplace and telling you how they think you could do your job better? Personal attacks have no place on the BC Outdoors Forum, it's a pleasant place to spend time and we'd like to keep it that way thanks.

So there you go. Contests with great prizes, a chance to have a voice in your favourite magazine, lively discussion with like-minded people, photo hosting, outdoor news as it happens, potential fishing buddies and a way to keep a part of your mind out in the woods while you are stuck in the office. Short of winning the “buy whatever you want and fish all day” lottery, what more could an outdoors person want?

Sign up today at and join the fun!

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