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Narratives Worth Exploring

#ORWinter, Influencers / 25.01.2010

I’ve been known to wear a lot of hats. This tweed number in particular was a gift from my friend the artist and climber Jeremy Collins. He gave it to me as we walked over to the Prana booth during the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market in Salt Lake City, Utah. [caption id="attachment_2459" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Jeremy Collins"][/caption] Jeremy put together two beautiful collage installations facing the aisles. Showing images of climbers, yogis and environmental activists the works of art gave passersby a glimpse into the company’s corporate culture. Depicting its social values, a blend of conservation, fashion sense and athleticism Prana is sending a message. By supporting Jeremy’s work in the media of painting, photo illustration and sculpting, the lifestyle clothing company is reaching out and connecting with its customers. With the help of an influential professional artist who graciously and generously shares his talent with the world, Prana is engaging in social media.
#ORWinter, Commentary / 21.01.2010

These are the CRAZIEST days of the year. I'm up at the Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake City Utah. Check out the first round of photographs on the Joy Trip Project Facebook page. Through weekend I'm connecting with old friends and building new relationships with some of the incredible people in business of outdoor recreation. I'll continue to post pictures and stories as time and energy allow. But you can follow the goings on at the live Twitter feed sponsored by Channel Signal. Search for #ORWinter on Twitter pull...

#ORWinter, Commentary, Influencers / 18.01.2010

When it comes to social media we all have to make ourselves heard above the noise of the roaring crowd. As we head to Salt Lake City this week for the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market the social networks are all-a-Twitter (pun intended). Manufacturers and PR agents have been flooding the Internet with bits of information about their new brand offerings for weeks now. But unless we each step it up bit and start pushing up more substantive content the messages we send are just going to be drowned out in the clammer.
Commentary, Influencers / 14.01.2010

Everyone has a unique perspective. From the vantage point of one’s life experience most anyone can lend his or her view to create a complete picture of the world. If 20 years in the Outdoor Industry has taught me anything it’s that no one person has a lock on the news and information of the day. It helps to track multiple sources to have a clear idea of what’s going on. There are literally thousands of new products coming out on the market for 2010. And everyday there are subtle shifts in the attitudes of people who live work and play in the outdoors. And with the advent of social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and You Tube we now have the ability to take many points of view and share them simultaneously. Using sophisticated monitoring tools, at Channel Signal we can effectively track the course, speed and heading of emerging trends in the world of outdoor recreation and report on what we find. Despite the technology though, at the heart of our analyses are the thoughts and opinions of very smart and knowledgeable people we follow online. Most are reporters. Many are sponsored athletes. Some are just ordinary people with a passion for technical gear and life in the wild world. Each writes about his or her experiences on a blog, web site, podcast or twitter feed. All have the ability to influence others and help them come to a better understanding of the rapidly changing landscape of outdoor recreation Over the next several weeks during and after the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market there are several individuals I plan to follow. Each is skilled at sharing their ideas on the things they discover.  The 20 outdoor influencers below are currently at the top of my list. What do you think? Anyone I missed. Feel free to add a few of your own in the comments section. If there’s someone you think that should be on this list that’s not be sure to let me know. Anyone you think shouldn’t be on this list? Tell me why, but make it good. These 20 men and women (listed alphabetically by Twitter name) are standout influencers and all have done a great deal already to move the conversation forward.
Commentary, Influencers / 12.01.2010

The Joy Trip Project and Channel Signal want to connect with the connectors

The social media mainstream is a force to recon with. In a crashing wave of millions individuals are making their opinions known around the world.  Using Internet-ready smartphones, laptops and other web surfing devices Bloggers, Tweeters, Facebookers, Flickrphiles, Podcasters and YouTubers set the course of the info-stream even while they’re navigating it. With clever ideas expressed in less than140 characters or lengthy web log commentaries these jacked-in data hawks are moving the flow of conversation to new and exciting places. The best and brightest among them are the influencers, those individuals whose content is thoughtful, compelling and worth passing along to others.

It’s these influencers that I follow to keep up to speed on what’s going on in the world outdoors. Even though they’re fully wired, outdoor influencers can put their gizmos down long enough to get outside for a long trail run, a mountain bike ride, a few telemark turns or even just a dogwalk to the local farmer’s market. When they come back they post their experiences to share with others and fuel the conversation. And now as a new media analyst for Channel Signal I’m looking to connect with as many outdoor influencers as I can. I know quite a few, but I aim to find more, many, many more.