Blogging, Inc.

With the eagerly awaited debut of Nau's blog, The Thought Kitchen and the upcoming debut of Patagonia's new blog "The Cleanest Line" (rumored launch of December 4), it's clear that two of the most inflluential eco-lifestyle brands of the last gazillion years see blogs as hugely important to their future marketing strategy.

Consider also that Backcountry.com -- arguably the most influential outdoor retailer in Internetland -- has devoted a full-time staffer to their own blog at The Goat, (the clearly underpaid and soon-to-be-famous Rocky Thompson); that the Huffington Post has announced that they will do their own reporting on the 2008 presidential campaign; and that even my father-in-law, a man who i personally introduced to an ATM machine, now knows what blogs are, and you start to realize that blogging isn't just the domain of cranky curmudgeons and long-tentacled PR firms.

How to pitch Doug Schnitzspahn

'Tis the season to crank out some serious word count. And the man of the hour is our dear friend Doug Whatshisname. No member of the outdoor community has ever had a name so hard to spell, and so easily massacred. In hopes of helping us all through this very challenging time, we've compiled a brief selection of options for the pre-show pitch fest.

a. Dear Mr. Schnitzbaum ...

b. Hello Mr. Shnitzpawn ...

c. Dearest Schnizzlesticks ...

d. Guten Tag Hein Schnitzwhatever ..

e. Schnizzle me timbers! ...

f. Word up, Shi-nizzle ...

g. One schnitz, two schnitz fish, red schnitz, blue schnitz ...

h. Hey Doug ...


And the winner is ...

Last year, Outdoor Industry Association rolled out a very cool concept ... the Innovator Award. It's sort of an "MVP of Merino" thing, where they're putting some effort into thanking one of the crowd for helping freshen up the place.

Think through the last year, and I guarantee you that we all agree on who that award recipient should be. Without a doubt, this brand has changed the way the OI population thinks, acts and markets. And the winner is

LINK: Nomination Forms


eXercising with Xbox

That giant hissing sound you hear is the air coming out the outdoor industry's anti-obesity strategy.

As painful as watching a teenager mix Red Bull with perfectly good vodka, the ironic growth of virtual athletics almost directly parallels the OI's soft targeting of the “obesity epidemic.” In so many words, the harder the OI attempts to rally around making fat people thinner through nordic walking, the easier it seems to be for e-companies to capture the hearts and souls of the inactive generation.

One reason might be the sensation of pandering that targeting fat folks feels like. It's so clearly a sales strategy, rather than an advocacy strategy, you know? The conversation has yet to touch on the challenge of how to really move the needle and increase the average American’s fitness level. Instead, it hovers around the base goals of selling more product. And for a niche driven sports market like ours, that’s simply not good enough.

NPR : California Gym for Teens Mixes Exercise with Xbox


How we roll in VT ...

Eat your heart out Chopper.

LPGA to start drug testing in 2008

Good news for fair play in the women's golf world, bad news for Barry Bonds.

I'll bet you a dozen donuts their PR guy gets paid by the hour.



Have the anti-dopers been smoking?

Either that, or Floyd Landis is innocent.

Report: Lab in Landis case made 'administrative error' on 'B' sample

When the pros go to YouTube ...

So the NHL is partnering with YouTube for the coming season, placing highlights of "last night's game" on the site within 24 hours.

Who will be the first ski area to launch a similar partnership with the online video kings? Seems like a natural, don't it?

LINK: SportsOneSource.com


Happy 40th Pedro !

The wizened ski rag man turns the big 40 today. There's no official word as to the carbon dating of his lungs, however.

Toasting Doug

Jackson Hole will name a premium line off the Headwall after Doug Coombs, honoring his memory in a way that just seems fitting.

What's interesting is that the chosen run ... and please correct me if i'm wrong ... is near the area (if not the exact area) where Doug had his legendary showdown with one of the Jackson Hole Ski Patrol back in the early 1990s. As I recall, Doug ducked the rope on the skier's left edge of the Cirque to access the area, and the infamous "Dr. No" was waiting there for him and revoked his season pass privileges.

It was an unfortunate moment for JHMR, as they found themselves obligated to stand by one of their employees who was just doing his job, against a skier who was almost singlehandedly elevating the status of Jackson Hole skiing to world-class calibre. However, the incident also elevated the conversation about the legitimacy of lift-access backcountry. It caught the attention of newspapers and magazines. It dominated the conversation in the Jackson Hole community. And it proved, once again, that Doug Coombs was a trailblazer.


Trunk Monkeys

A Marketing Maven in the Making?

Has Charlie Lozner scored his first HR coup?

LINK: Karhu

ELECTION DAY SPECIAL: Like skiers in the East, the GOP adjusts their expectations

Turns out the GOP doesn't want to win every election today, they just want to beat the historical average of a 6th year president ... an average loss of 67 seats in the House and 11 in the Senate.

Thanks to Ann Coulter for reminding us that anything less for the Dems would be a HUGE victory for the GOP.

LINK: Welcome to AnnCoulter.com

ELECTION DAY SPECIAL: Kerry Says He Deserves 2nd Chance in '08

Others with a better chance of a 2nd shot in 2008 include:

* Mike Tyson
* Saddam Hussein
* Nordic Walkers

ABC News

ELECTION DAY SPECIAL: IRS Raises Mileage Rate to 48.5 Cents

yes, i know it has nothing to do with politics, but it will help you with your next expense report.

ABC News

ELECTION DAY SPECIAL: Cheney Going Hunting on Election Day ... No, really

My Way News - Cheney Going Hunting on Election Day

ELECTION DAY SPECIAL: Vote rigging in Utah? Who'll notice?

CNN.com - CNN Political Ticker

ELECTION DAY SPECIAL: Colbert defends Haggard as "educated consumer"

Colbert: I Buy Meth "All The Time"... | The Huffington Post


And I was thinking about building a backyard ice rink ...

Bob Burnquist has built the world's largest backyard toy ... a giganto skateboarding ramp that is "approximately 360 feet long."

Here's more .. "the ramp is 75 feet high at its apex. That is where riders begin their run, speeding down a 180-foot-long roll-in to a ramp that launches them across a 70-foot gap with trapeze netting below. Landing on a 27-foot sloped section, they then boost up to 50 feet above the ground from a 30-foot quarterpipe. A shorter route begins with a 55-foot-tall platform leading to a 50-foot gap, and the 30-foot quarterpipe."

Check the video here.