"Exploration" in the age of social media

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Bosterson
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"Exploration" in the age of social media

Post by Bosterson » July 19th, 2016, 2:49 pm

Food for thought courtesy of Outside Mag:
Mountain Hardwear also dropped a total of 13 of its 20 sponsored athletes, including renowned Swiss alpinist Ueli Steck.

[...]

Mountain Hardwear brand manager Kari Rice says the reason the company cut its athlete team so drastically was to focus on those who tell stories “that resonate with an average outdoor user.”

[...]

[Former photo/video editor at the North Face, Scott] Willson understands why the priorities have shifted in recent years, but he wonders if social media mandates—say, requiring three publishable images per week via satellite transmission—dilute the material’s impact as a whole. “It’s like you’ve taken all this emotion away from this beautiful stuff,” he says. “Now it’s just content to fill buckets.”

http://www.outsideonline.com/2070866/so ... t-crossing


I'm pretty shocked that MH dropped Ueli Steck, who is basically in a league of his own. And I don't look forward to the coming (slash current) onslaught of endless "blog" posts superficially expounding on the meaning of "exploration" and "adventure," as conceived by sponsored trustafarians with film crews. (See: the current state of the Banff Mountain Festival.) Maybe the content promoters should take note of the general intellectual banality of great athletes, per David Foster Wallace:
The real, many-veiled answer to the question of just what goes through a great player’s mind as he stands at the center of hostile crowd-noise and lines up the free throw that will decide the game might well be: nothing at all.

[…]

It may well be that we spectators, who are not divinely gifted as athletes, are the only ones able truly to see, articulate, and animate the experience of the gift we are denied. And that those who receive and act out the gift of athletic genius must, perforce, be blind and dumb about it – and not because blindness and dumbness are the price of the gift, but because they are its essence.
:idea:
Will hike off trail for fun.

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Chip Down
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Re: "Exploration" in the age of social media

Post by Chip Down » July 19th, 2016, 7:52 pm

My initial reaction was hostility towards Mt Hdwr...but ya know, "we" kinda deserve it. People love the banal. What do people get all excited about on blogs and social media and boards like this? A hike up Eagle Creek or Angels Rest or whatever. There is a certain logic to that; people are sometimes more interested in what seems accessible, possible goals and places they could go, or sharing tales of places they've been themselves. I get that. But it's sad that so many people shun the tales of real adventure.

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retired jerry
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Re: "Exploration" in the age of social media

Post by retired jerry » July 20th, 2016, 6:25 am

It's that none of use will be trekking across Iceland so a report about it will have no practical value. His equipment may be more robust than we need, or whatever. Makes an interesting story though.

A report about hiking around Mt Hood, Rainier, or in the Sierras would be more useful

I'm not saying they shouldn't sponsor Ueli, but I can see their logic, especially if they're trying to get the most bang for their dollars.

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CampinCarl
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Re: "Exploration" in the age of social media

Post by CampinCarl » July 20th, 2016, 6:52 am

rabbit trail/

Different topic, but why I enjoy Art Wolfe's show on OPB is that I never expect to visit all of the places featured but sure enjoy the outstanding photography and videography he is able to capture.

http://www.opb.org/television/programs/ ... -the-edge/

The same is true for reading / watching the exploits of very-skilled explorers.

Working on this reading list now:

The 100 Greatest Adventure Books of All Time
http://adventure.nationalgeographic.com ... ndt-text/2

/end rabbit trail

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Charley
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Re: "Exploration" in the age of social media

Post by Charley » July 20th, 2016, 9:23 am

Bosterson wrote:Food for thought courtesy of Outside Mag:
Mountain Hardwear also dropped a total of 13 of its 20 sponsored athletes, including renowned Swiss alpinist Ueli Steck.

[...]

Mountain Hardwear brand manager Kari Rice says the reason the company cut its athlete team so drastically was to focus on those who tell stories “that resonate with an average outdoor user.”

[...]

[Former photo/video editor at the North Face, Scott] Willson understands why the priorities have shifted in recent years, but he wonders if social media mandates—say, requiring three publishable images per week via satellite transmission—dilute the material’s impact as a whole. “It’s like you’ve taken all this emotion away from this beautiful stuff,” he says. “Now it’s just content to fill buckets.”

http://www.outsideonline.com/2070866/so ... t-crossing


I'm pretty shocked that MH dropped Ueli Steck, who is basically in a league of his own. And I don't look forward to the coming (slash current) onslaught of endless "blog" posts superficially expounding on the meaning of "exploration" and "adventure," as conceived by sponsored trustafarians with film crews. (See: the current state of the Banff Mountain Festival.) Maybe the content promoters should take note of the general intellectual banality of great athletes, per David Foster Wallace:
The real, many-veiled answer to the question of just what goes through a great player’s mind as he stands at the center of hostile crowd-noise and lines up the free throw that will decide the game might well be: nothing at all.

[…]

It may well be that we spectators, who are not divinely gifted as athletes, are the only ones able truly to see, articulate, and animate the experience of the gift we are denied. And that those who receive and act out the gift of athletic genius must, perforce, be blind and dumb about it – and not because blindness and dumbness are the price of the gift, but because they are its essence.
:idea:
I'm surprised they're dropping Steck, too. I think he has some Swiss bankers as his main sponsor, so he'll probably be okay. Maybe it's just me, but I bought a couple pieces in their Steck line of gear and have been enjoying that (very light!) equipment for years. His endorsement did mean something to me.

On the one hand, the trustafarians with film crews critique is right on point: a lot of "living the dream" seems to be about having had lots of money since childhood, and the disconnection from everyday life can be off-putting. I mean, I'm a married 35 year old with a career, a wife, two kitties, an organic garden at home, and occasional hip-flexor strain. On the other hand, I've seen a few videos (and read a bunch of books) by and/or about people who lead relatively normal lives, yet enjoy the "dream" on their off days. That kind of content can be really satisfying:

http://www.tetongravity.com/video/ski/e ... nd-returns

And I do agree with Chip Down that, based on response on this website, we seem to be more interested in the local and the usual. I see more replies to the latest variation on a well-worn western Gorge trail than anything else. I find the out-of-the way reports more useful and interesting. I don't intend this as criticism, at all: people just like what they like and it's not like there's some kind of moral or intellectual basis for disagreement. There's no accounting for taste!

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Koda
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Re: "Exploration" in the age of social media

Post by Koda » July 20th, 2016, 3:08 pm

Mountain Hardwear brand manager Kari Rice says the reason the company cut its athlete team so drastically was to focus on those who tell stories “that resonate with an average outdoor user.”
I always get dissapointed when I read about a really cool and difficult adventure on someones blog or trip report only to find out later on they were sponsored. Maybe if Mt Hdwr wants to reimburse me for all the gear I bought from them I'd be happy to be certain to include their logo in any trip reports, then I might feel different about 'resonating with the average outdoor user'
lightweight, cheap, strong... pick 2

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retired jerry
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Re: "Exploration" in the age of social media

Post by retired jerry » July 21st, 2016, 5:22 am

you could have "product placements" of products by your sponsor, prominently part of the pictures you post

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Koda
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Re: "Exploration" in the age of social media

Post by Koda » July 21st, 2016, 7:35 am

retired jerry wrote:you could have "product placements" of products by your sponsor, prominently part of the pictures you post
exactly, sure why not.

Say... dont you make your own gear? Maybe you could sponsor me? :)
lightweight, cheap, strong... pick 2

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CampinCarl
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Re: "Exploration" in the age of social media

Post by CampinCarl » July 21st, 2016, 7:49 am

Kick it old school and ask wealthy people and the government to support your expedition :D ;)


From Wikipedia: Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imperial_ ... on#Finance
Shackleton estimated that he would need £50,000 (current value £4,327,000) to carry out the simplest version of his plan.[13] He did not believe in appeals to the public: "(they) cause endless book-keeping worries".[8] His chosen method of fund-raising was to solicit contributions from wealthy backers, and he had begun this process early in 1913, with little initial success.[8] The first significant encouragement came in December 1913, when the Government offered him £10,000, provided he could raise an equivalent amount from private sources.[13] The Royal Geographical Society, from which he had expected nothing, gave him £1,000—according to Huntford, Shackleton, in a grand gesture, advised them that he would only need to take up half of this sum.[14] Lord Rosebery, who had previously expressed his lack of interest in polar expeditions, gave £50.[13] In February 1914 The New York Times reported that playwright J. M. Barrie – a close friend of Captain Scott – had confidentially donated $50,000 (about £10,000).[15] With time running out, contributions were eventually secured during the spring and early summer of 1914. Dudley Docker of the Birmingham Small Arms Company (BSA) gave £10,000, wealthy tobacco heiress Janet Stancomb-Wills gave a "generous" sum (the amount was not revealed),[16] and, in June, Scottish industrialist Sir James Caird donated £24,000 (current value £2,080,000). Shackleton informed the Morning Post that "this magnificent gift relieves me of all anxiety".[16]

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Chip Down
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Re: "Exploration" in the age of social media

Post by Chip Down » July 22nd, 2016, 5:45 am

retired jerry wrote:you could have "product placements" of products by your sponsor, prominently part of the pictures you post
Maybe free beer if I promise to post pics in my TRs? :D

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