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Apr 16, 2010

Steve Davisdson - Guest Blogger

The Who, What, When, Where, How and Why of 68Caliber

Hi! My name is Steve Davidson and I own and edit the paintball news and information website - 68Caliber.

Mick asked for some guest bloggers for the T-Square blog and, being the community-oriented fellow that I am - the kind of guy who is always more than willing to help out a fellow paintballer or paintball website - entirely out of the goodness of my heart and in recognition of the fact that those who give also receive (and not entirely unmindful of the fact that not all of the T-Square audience is 68Caliber's audience and just might be enticed to pay a visit to my site after reading about it here) - I volunteered to put pen to paper. Or keys to keyboard. Or something.

I'll dispense with the horn-tooting for now and get right down to some facts:

I've been involved with paintball since 1983 (yep, 27 years) and have had a long and varied career in the industry since I left my real job at AT&T back in the early 90s.

At the time, I was writing for most of the print publications and I worked with Gino Postorivo and NPS to produce the first-ever industry publication - Paintball Retailer.

Sadly, PR was ahead of its time and only lasted three issues (two of which were published).

I've also been heavily involved in the tournament scene over the years - founding the NPPL in 1992, creating the format that would become X-Ball (premiered at a tournament in 2000 called PaintFest - the first and only paintball event to offer a Million dollar prize), writing a lot of the rule books for various leagues, developing the team seating and ranking systems, and, of course, playing, both on field and coaching. I'm also proud to say that the readers of PGI Magazine voted me in as a Top 100 Player of All Time at the turn of the millennium (which basically means I'm a master of old school, lol).

And I've written or co-written three books about paintball - MAXING: A Guide To Winning Tournament Play (the first book devoted to competition paintball), The Complete Guide To Paintball from Hatherleigh Press (now in its fourth or fifth printing) and most recently A Parent's Guide To Paintball (now distributed by Kee Action Sports and soon to be an E-book), which, despite the title, is essentially an introductory book for anyone looking to get the basic low-down on the game.

I've owned and managed playing fields, worked in retail and product development, distribution, events promotion, played big games, scenario games, and tournaments of every type and variety.

And now I edit 68Caliber.

There are a lot of paintball publications on the web, ranging from personal sites, to team sites, to mega forums, portals, E-zines and blogs (like this one). Each and every one provides insight about the game and its participants, generates discussion, opinion, helps companies advertise and market their product and, as a whole, have become an important, necessary and vital component of our industry.

Among the many reasons that so many different websites (of all ilk’s) survive and thrive on the internet are two key aspects: the sheer volume of information and our differing communities. No single publication in this industry could possibly cover every single team, company, product, event, meeting, rumor, review or circumstantial bit of information related to the game to the depth and degree they deserve. And no single publication could provide the exact environment or sense of community that every individual player is looking for.

It is therefore very important for any publication to focus in on what it perceives its role to be and what market it intends to try and appeal to.

...more Monday - 68Caliber


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