Commentary, philanthropy / 02.03.2010

For more than a year now it’s been my pleasure to bring you the stories behind the selfless causes of people trying to make the world a better place. The mission of the Joy Trip Project is to explore the lives of those who blend their passion for adventure with their desire to work for the benefit of others or toward the preservation of life on our planet. In my own way I hope that I have contributed to the success of their causes by bringing them to your attention and encouraging you to participate. So in the spirit of that mission I’m pleased to announce a new Joy Trip Project initiative. On August 29, 2010 I will join a small group of climbers to ascend the summit of Mount Fuji in Japan. Organized by the non-profit Love Hope Strength this event aims to raise money and awareness for the fight against cancer. Fuji Rocks! is the lasted in a series of climbs that feature a base-camp live music concert along with a drive to register new bone marrow donors to the national database of those willing to help a leukemia patient in need of a bone marrow transplant. It is my plan that with your help over the next five months The Joy Trip Project will raise $6,000 to $10,000 for this cause and register at least 1,000 new donors.
Commentary, Uncategorized / 24.02.2010

Jennifer Jones Austin is a complete stranger to me. But in the coming months you’re going to hear me talk a great deal about people just like her. At the age of 41 this mother of two is suffering from leukemia. Though with this serious form of cancer Jennifer’s prospects for survival will increase dramatically if she receives a bone marrow transplant. But first she needs a donor. A successful transplant requires a very specific tissue match. The most likely donor candidate will be a person who shares her genetic ancestry. Unfortunately, African-Americans represent only 2 percent of the pool of registered donors in the United States. The chances of Jennifer finding a match are quite low.
#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.