In 1956, the famed singer-songwriter Johnny Cash released the song “I walk the line” expressing the challenges and distractions associated with mass public attention and keeping true to oneself. The premise of the song is one that FISHBIO staff apply on a daily basis as our company continues to develop and expand. Our ‘line’ is based on scientific foundations and rigor. Recently, we’ve seen exciting growth with increased attention to our website, newsletters, sharable image libraries, and blog. While our public recognition pales to that of the great Johnny Cash, it similarly comes with great benefit and associated challenges.
Years ago, our team decided the best way to keep our own staff informed, maintain good writing skills, and connect people with their environment and current issues was through the web, newsletters, and our blog. We consistently write three blog posts a week, distribute multiple newsletters each month, and update our website and Flickr page regularly with topics and imagery that we find exciting, entertaining, and interesting. All of this effort is funded internally, with the hope that others may benefit. Our articles are drafted collaboratively by our staff and strive to achieve balance, represent multiple viewpoints, and stick to the science of issues—not politics.
Our steady growth in readership and wide distribution is exciting and encouraging, but also has recently met with some pushback. Individuals representing private or public groups have communicated their preference towards the tone or details of our blog posts, and suggested revisions. Our team is always welcoming of your thoughts and comments, and encourages you to send them to us. We don’t filter people, and generally retain all our posts (positive or otherwise) on our Facebook page. However, we stand by our articles and will only consider revisions based on scientific merit. We attempt to balance data with article length, as we can only include so much detail in blog posts that are intended to be concise by nature.
Maybe all of this attention is part of what comes with greater exposure. One website suggested prominence commonly results in excessive attention, rumors, people using you, and even stalkers! Sure we’ve had a few homemade salmon spawning videos leak to the public, but no stalkers—yet. Nonetheless, we hope that our efforts are appreciated and that while our readers may not always agree on every aspect of each article, we hope all can agree with our larger effort to inform, entertain, and create awareness.
We’ll continue to focus on science and do our best to walk the line.