RBFF adds to online accolades

RBFF map

Even after multiple Webby Awards, the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation has no plans to slow down its mission to grow fishing.

The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) has a knack for making websites that receive recognition. The latest, an honoree in the 16th annual Webby Awards’ Mobile Web Lifestyle category, was announced in earlier this month.

The mobile version of takemefishing.org, RBFF’s outreach website, has been a major contributor to its overall traffic, which has totaled more than 7 million visitors a year, according to Stephanie Vatalaro, director of communications for the RBFF.

Vatalaro said one of the mobile site’s most popular features is a portal that directs users to the appropriate state or local website in order to gain local or state fishing and boat registration information.

Mobile users can also access the “Fishopedia,” where beginners learn basics like how to tie a knot, as well as a boat ramp locator.

A social networking resource for anglers, Fishington launched in 2008 and is another branch of takemefishing.org. It is also a past honoree of the Webby Awards, which recognized the site in the Social Networking category last year.

The site extends the mobile site’s capabilities and plays a crucial role in RBFF’s outreach efforts. It offers hotspot maps and interaction between fellow anglers, as well as numerous resources for newcomers to fishing.

“We do our research to find out what people need, what they want to see,” Vatalaro said. “And by doing this, we have been able to grow the site astronomically.”

RBFF’s strategy to stay on the cutting edge of its community’s needs will include further customizing its takemefishing.org site. Vatalaro said the customizable features that members of Fishington enjoy will soon spread across the entire website.

In the near future, visitors to takemefishing.org will sign in and be served local content that is applicable to their own fishing endeavors, whether it is location-specific forums or hotspot maps, according to Vatalaro.

“We are trying to do everything we can to make the experience more relevant,” Vatalaro said.

The Webby Awards was established in 1996 and is presented by The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences. It honors excellence in more than 100 categories annually.

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