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The Joy Trip Project

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.

Commentary / 08.01.2010

You should never trust a reporter who claims to be an expert. As a professional journalist I’m constantly amazed by what I don’t know. Much of the work you’ll find here at The Joy Trip Project is the result of painstaking research. I seek out multiple sources, read up on the latest literature and get the perspective of knowledgeable people who can speak intelligently on the topic at hand. Add a little analysis and insight from my personal experience and the result is a balanced story that is thought provoking and compelling. Hopefully what you learn will allow you to draw your own well-informed conclusions. With these same laudable reporting skills I plan to bring a little clarity to the world of social media through a dynamic new communications platform called Channel Signal. As part of a small team of market analysts I’m going to begin a series of reports and commentaries on various aspects of the Outdoor Industry. Future posts to The Joy Trip Project web site will include stories whose details derive from the thoughts and opinions of the key outdoor product design and development influencers as well as those working on behalf of environmental protection.
Commentary / 06.01.2010

My buddy Jimmy Chin is heading to the summit of Kilimanjaro this week. As one of the most sought-after high altitude photographers in the world I can’t say I’m surprised. When we first met he was complaining about having to go back to climb Everest  - again. “I’ve already been there twice this year,” he said when we first met in 2006. “But this one’s important. So I’ve got to go.” Can’t say that I felt too sorry for him. But on that particular occasion he was heading back to Nepal to shoot pictures of fellow North Face athlete Kit DesLauriers’ ski decent of the highest mountain in the world. That winter she became the first person to ski the Seven Summits and Jimmy was there to film it.
Commentary / 04.01.2010

The collected works of modern artists will change the world. I’m convinced that those who combine creative expression with a love of the natural world will bring to light the critical issues that must be addressed in order to protect and preserve the ecology of our planet at risk. Singer/Songwriter Jon T. Howard is one of those artists plying message to mission. Later this week he’s heading out on a voyage across the North Atlantic Gyre. The goal is to raise awareness for the world’s ocean becoming thoroughly polluted with disposable plastic water bottles.
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