Pages

Friday, 21 November 2014

TGO Awards & outdoor magazines’ circulation woes

In March of last year I wrote a piece on the circulation pressures on outdoor magazines. I illustrated the piece with a chart showing the relative decline of the three most popular UK outdoor titles: Country Walking, Trail and TGO. TGO has subsequently reverted back to its original title of The Great Outdoors.

Since I wrote that last piece TGO has revamped its online presence The Great Outdoors and I like it. It’s a much more readable online site these days. I often find myself reading and commenting on some fine articles. Recently they have had pieces on fracking and wind farms – subjects I’ve not seen covered in any other outdoor media. Daniel Nielson seems to have grabbed this by the scruff of its neck and is doing a fine job.

I’ve taken a look at the combined site for Country Walking and Trail – Live for the Outdoors – and I have to say that it’s unimpressive. See what you think yourself for both sites.

 

Here’s an updated circulation chart; it shows a further decline in print sales for all three magazines. The figures are for second half 2013. (New figures will be out in a couple of months) I don't know how to find out the popularity of the magazines’ online sites, but from the content and reader interaction I would imagine that TGO is doing better then LFTO.  

Magazine Circulation Pressure Figures 2013

You’ll see that Trail and TGO have both lost about 10% of their magazine readers in the last year and Country Walking about 12%

***

Over the last three years TGO has been very busy with a clever marketing ruse; the TGO Awards. I was nominated for an award in each of the years. I wrote about this HERE and again HERE. In the second of those pieces I was mildly critical of the emphasis put upon product. I wrote

  • My complaint, if you can call it that, is that the majority of the awards are going to businesses that make money out of our obsession with kit. Stuff. Just how important, in the overall scheme of things, is kit, when we are marvelling at the view of rolling hills and dramatic cloudscapes, with the wind battering us and taking our breath away?
  • So, eight out of the thirteen categories are all about KIT.
  • I am afraid that when I look at the long list of kit choices my soul slumps, just a little.

 

This year there was a new category: Outdoor Blogger, and I was included in that category but wasn’t asked or told that my name had gone forward for voting. If I had been asked I would have politely refused, as I found the voting in the previous two years to be totally bizarre. I didn’t mention it this year on the blog, instead favouring to support a blogger that I felt was a far worthier recipient – James Boulter of Backpackingbongos. I took to twitter and Facebook to support him there, hoping that he would break through the previous years’ bizarre choices. James has written and illustrated his blog wonderfully this year. He made a fabulous trip to Sweden’s Sarek National Park and countless adventures in the UK, in the wild places of England Wales and Scotland. Click on his name to have a look at his fabulous blog.

Here was the list of Outdoor Bloggers to choose from:

TGO AWARDS BLOGGERS

I would have been more than happy to see any of seven of those bloggers (the first seven) win this award. Some are friends of mine, but of the seven James has been head and shoulders the best this year. Tony Hobbs isn’t really an outdoor blogger, He’s more an outdoor film-maker. Two Blondes Walking are based in Dartmoor and are entertaining. I had never come across “The Girl Outdoors,” and I read a lot of outdoor blogs, as you will have noticed from my “blogroll” over on the right.

So Imagine my surprise when I learned last night that The Girl Outdoors had won this category.

Click on the link and take a look. I am absolutely stunned by this result. I have no idea how TGO could possibly think that this blog fits with the profile of their readership. The lady who writes the blog (which is really an advertorial business) is a professional journalist - the online editor of BBC Countryfile.

Another highly respected outdoor blogger put it far better than I ever could in his summing up of her blog: Here are two of his tweets on twitter:

‘I've only just looked at it - beyond belief! Trite and superficial rubbish.’ This was closely followed by:

‘@TGOMagazine: Have been increasingly unhappy about weak content and this outdoor blog nonsense is the last straw. Subscription cancelled.’

 

In these days of dwindling magazine readership, is it really sensible for a magazine to shoot itself in the foot like this? This result has a nasty knock on effect. It demeans all the other worthy winners of the awards. You can find out who won each category by clicking HERE. My congratulations go to all the other winners and TGO for hosting the event. But there needs to be a serious re-think on who goes forward to be nominated for voting next year.

 

 

Technorati Tags: ,

70 comments:

  1. The magazine has sold out, & not in a good way! This latest cock up had me cancel my subscription this afternoon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For clarity for other readers, it wasn't Paul who I quoted earlier.
      Thanks for commenting, Paul.

      Delete
  2. Brilliant, Alan. No need for me to add anything to that. (It's Chrissie, btw.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oooh! Hello Miss!
      Thank you, Chrissie - and Geoff as well for his comments today on twitter.

      Delete
  3. I like honest blogging. Admit if you did not pay for that test kit, or got it cheap. Don't mislead. If a business blog admit it is - I have a personal objection to those who don't disclose - as they show contempt for the readers integrity and intelligence. Compare that to James blog. Honest, shared with us out of a love of the hills. Now that is a value the TGO awards seemed to have missed (or just don't value ?) and sums up the dilemma they face. Out of touch, in with Jurno pals only patting each other on the back is not a way to build a loyal fan base and grown sales. Well said Alan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. it's not the lack of transparency that I object to. It's the lack of content in the "outdoor" posts (which are invariably tied to another outdoor brand or b]product or service) and the complete and utter shallowness of the "gear tests" - which seems to involve putting stuff on and having her picture taken wearing said piece of gear. The gear she tests is invariably more suited to a walk to a wine bar in Camden.

      I would estimate the average mental age she's writing for is early teens.

      Delete
    2. I would suggest lack of transparency is relevant. TGO awards should note that from blog nominations. After all picking a winner who cannot disclose is suggesting a poor show from them. Looking at one review - not a hint of paying for, or being given the kit to test mentioned from the top UK outdoor blog.

      Delete
    3. "or b]product or service"

      I say!

      I will take another look to see exactly what's on offer.

      Delete
    4. You bounder, Sir!
      Clearly a typo; I must stop using the phone to respond to comments. This was a fast moving thread and I was trying to moderate comments quickly at the time.
      :-)

      Delete
  4. Alan i,ve just had a look at the live for the outdoors web site ,nice to see that i can read it now as a few years ago it looked like they let loose a 13 year old on it and it was unreadable .

    ReplyDelete
  5. I agree with your sentiments, Alan. I have no fundamental problem with the the Girl Outdoors blog (although see below), but personally wouldn't read it as it is trite pap. However, I assumed the TGO Awards would relate to what its readership is likely to be passionate about - serious hillwalking and backpacking. This blog has no relationship to it.

    If any of your readers are interested go to the blog, click on the camping link and read about the wild camping trip in the Beacons. Apart from some obvious nonsense eg above the lake its all just scree and rock (the accompanying photo shows that is hyperbole) the author has a camp fire which one photo shows leaves a large burnt ring in the vegetation. Totally at odds with the TGO promoted philosophy of 'leave no trace'. Similarly, taking a guitar into the hills to make a noise/music. How many of us have had wild camps disturbed by this sort of thing? Many of us now avoid tarns for wild camps because of the risk of noise especially on summer weekends. TGO should discourage such behaviour. Allowing this site to be shortlisted for this award belittles what many TGO readers believe in.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely spot on fella.
      I have crushed my Harmonica and will never take it into the countryside again. ;-)

      Delete
    2. Thank you David (if only for eliciting Andrew's voluntary destruction of the blues harmonica) You are correct, Sir. Why TGO thought it was a good idea for this blog to be shortlisted baffles me.
      The link you speak of can be found HERE

      Delete
  6. You've hit the nail on the head, once again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Sir.
      :-)
      I just kept bashing away at the old Remington until the ribbon jammed.

      Delete
  7. As far as magazine websites are concerned I generally always compare them to http://www.outsideonline.com/ a US magazine. They of course have a advantage of scale due to a bigger readership/population/target. However, they update daily, put articles online quickly, use social media and dare to have articles that require research over a number of months.

    As far as blog winners, it's not my cup of tea but won an open vote...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Open vote? You could vote again and again. I checked if you could. I somewhat take the vote with a pinch of salt. But she won and well done to her. But not a blog I would follow for outdoor content.

      Delete
    2. Are you saying Martin you could press the button "vote" and do it 50 times? The event doesn't interest me which means I've never voted.

      Delete
    3. I voted For james to win the blog award and Keith Foskett the Outdoor personality award. I tried again later checking if I could vote again if I wanted too. I could - so raises question for me on validity of the vote!

      I did, and still do congratulate the winner. I'm biased in wanting James to win. The winning blog seems far from our idea of a TGO ethos, but hey they might want to move that way to boost sales for all we know - it might be a ethos they like.

      The wild camp post by the winner with advice on leave no trace, and then having a big fire has got a lot peoples backs up. Rightly so as ruins it for all of us and is wrong.

      Clearly the young lady has a lot to learn about backpacking before writing posts with educational advice in them. I dont care if she has ads and paid content James. My own personal grip on that sort of blogging is the lack of disclosing on paid for content. Annoys me.

      Delete
  8. Right, this is my third attempt to get blogger to accept my comment. Perhaps it’s been hacked by the NUJ!

    Like many, I was surprised that the blog that won the TGO blog of the year seemed to have so little content on either backpacking or on wild land and have only a modest amount of content that would interest your average TGO magazine reader. Firstly it seems odd that this blog was accepted as a candidate for this award. Secondly it seems unlikely that it would have been voted as best blog by your normal TGO reader. This leads me to the conclusion that it was probably voted for by a lot of non-TGO readers (quite legitimately, I might add). If this is true, then it isn’t really the TGO readers’ blog of the year. I’m not suggesting any foul play or manipulation. Online polls are notoriously difficult to control. However, that is the fault of the TGO mag, not the blog owner.

    However, the thing that really upset me was this post on wild camping in the Brecon Beacons http://thegirloutdoors.co.uk/2014/09/03/bestsummerever-part-3-wild-camping-in-the-mountains/
    Now we can all argue whether carrying a ton of gear a couple of miles from the car park to a convenient spot is really wild camping. It’s a free country. However, what is unforgiveable is to camp in an ecologically fragile place and have a camp fire. You can see in one of the pictures that it has left a substantial scar of burnt grass that will take a long time to recover.
    Bear in mind that the readership of this blog is likely to be unfamiliar with the etiquette of wild camping. The author appears oblivious to the fact that creating a fire ring is incompatible with her exhortation to “leave no trace” later in the article. This could mislead wild camping neophytes to believe that “leave no trace” excludes fires. This kind of behaviour is very damaging to the reputation of backpackers and wild camping and to the fragile environment of our upland areas.

    I question whether TGO staff had a good look at the content of the blog. By not doing so and awarding it blog of the year, they are tacitly condoning this behaviour. In my view they should strip the blog of this award for making such a crass blunder.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sorry you're having difficulty posting to Blogger Robin. I wish Blogger and Wordpress could settle their differences and cooperate with each other.

      I agree with you - I think you and David must have been bashing away at your keyboards at a similar time as you are both rightly incensed at the loon setting such a dreadful example to her obviously young readership. I'm not sure though that TGO should rescind the award - after all - it's not the Girl's fault that she was shortlisted. (Though I have my doubts as to whether she and her journalist friends had a rather large part to play in her initial nomination and subsequent win.)

      Speaking of readerships I often think a measure of a blog is the connection it makes with its readers. A healthy thriving blog invites discussion and has lots of comments. The girl outdoors barely makes a couple of comments per post.

      Says it all, really.

      Delete
    2. You mentioned a lack of comments on this lady's blog. I left one early yesterday, suggesting that the camp fire and resultant burnt vegetation was not 'leave no trace' camping'. Not rude or aggressive but to the point. It has not appeared. Perhaps it still awaits moderation. Or perhaps comments only appear if they are gushing sycophancy.

      Delete
    3. That's worth following, David.
      In the past I've found that bloggers who remove opposing views from their comment threads are oiks with an ego problem (the diminutive Hendrick springs immediately to mind).

      Delete
  9. I said far too much about it on Martins blog so I had better keep my opinion to myself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Alan.
      I've searched high and low for any comments you've made on Martin's (presumably Banfield) blog and can find none, I note that Martin had removed some comments.

      Perhaps you could leave a shortened version here?
      Thank you Sir.
      :-)

      Delete
    2. Yes Alan Martin B removed the comments. I don’t want to upset anyone but my thoughts were as yours. I don’t want to rake it up again so by saying i agree entirely with your sentiments you understand my objection.

      Delete
    3. Aha - so you must have spotted this blog well before anyone else then, Sir.
      :-)

      Delete
  10. I'd always considered TGO to be the serious face of hillwalking magazines, although I did stop buying it a while back because I felt, after never missing an issue for about 11 years, that I wasn't reading much I hadn't read before and often more than once.

    I'm surprised that something so vacuous even made the list of nominees; that it won is inexplicable. I knew most of the other nominated blogs, some better than others; having looked at the couple I was unfamiliar with, I'd have placed the winning blog last; with nil points.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My thoughts exactly, Dave.

      I wonder if TGO are prepared to leave a comment?

      Delete
  11. Alan, if you ask Daniel he might comment. I have commented but the comments haven't appeared yet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Chris - I'll do that.
      You say you've left a comment but nothing's come through to me to moderate. I hope it's not the Blogger/Wordpress clash tbing.
      Could you be a sweetie and have another bash?
      Thank you Sir.
      :-)

      Delete
    2. Sorry for late reply Alan. Been busy doing BMC stuff at the Kendal Mountain Festival (and general talking).

      My comment was just to say that readers nominate and vote on the readers awards. Sometimes the results do seem out of keeping with TGO but I don't see that TGO can do anything but accept them. I can imagine the uproar - which would be fully justified - if TGO was to veto some nominations or votes. One alternative would be for TGO to choose nominations and then ask readers to vote.

      As to the winning blog which I'd never heard of before and having looked at won't bother again I can only think that it won because of the Countryfile connection which meant far more people knew about it.

      Delete
    3. Thanks Chris.

      I understand your concern about possible uproar if the public nominations were culled - but the line needs to be drawn somewhere. to take this to a daft extremis: If a porn blog was to get its thousands of readers to enter the awards (for a joke) I'm sure TGO would step in and gently remove it from the nominations. The pubic would never be aware of this. So there must be a filtering system at some level.

      In this instance, it is fair to say that the outdoor blog winner certainly did not fit the profile of the magazine. In fact it's not a blog at all but a thinly veiled advertorial / gear review site (and the gear reviews are in fact so gushing that they are in fact adverts)

      To let this through to the voting stage is a very poor decision, and as you have said, perhaps it was voted to top spot by readers who are not in fact TGO readers. The blog is of such a poor standard that it is insulting to the other bloggers nominated to lose to it.

      However, I'm pretty certain that there was a concerted effort to get the blog listed (and looking at the individuals' concerned timelines on twitter (and elsewhere) there seems to be some very cosy relationships. And that being so, it was never going to be kicked off the list. This is more worrying to me.

      I'll write more on this shortly.

      Delete
  12. Taking a positive spin on this, TGO can see that there are some people out there who are passionate about the outdoors and care about their magazine. Personally I shall retain my subscription. Overall, I think TGO does a good job in a very challenging business environment. In general the editorial staff and writers (hat tip to Chris) produce the best best magazine in its category. Hopefully there will be a reappraisal over the whole TGO Awards thing.

    It will be very interesting to see whether David's comment on Outdoor Girl's blog is accepted.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with that, Robin.
      I'm really encouraged that they've stepped up a gear with the online side of the business. I think its front page could do with a bit of work, but the content is improving all the time.

      Delete
  13. Alan there is only one word for those ladies who had a fire by the lake and that is morons . did they not think about the implications of having a fire on grass instead of having on the shore of the lake and not forgetting that in future the landowners might not allow wild camping because of the actions of a couple of idiots like these .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Quite, Chris.
      It may not be moronic. Let's be kind and say ignorant? Ignorant of what she was doing and how it harms the place for others' future enjoyment.
      Then of course, there's always the risk of the fire spreading if conditions allow.

      Delete
  14. 'the girl Outdoors' is the biggest pile of 'tosh ever' blatant advertorial, 'cycling in winter ' article, clearly never been out on a 30 mile ride in winter ( or summer'
    The great Outdoors' got his one wrong, a touch of FIFAS going on here!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. I read that article too.
      You have to laugh, really. To start with I was sure it was a spoof blog - but no.Sadly it's for real.
      :-)

      Delete
  15. I thought the winter skincare post was particularly informative and insightful ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  16. I cancelled my subscription to TGO last week as I am becoming more and more annoyed about publicizing kit at ludicrous prices. There was a coat at £750, a shirt for £355 and a beanie for £50!
    Any newcomers to the great outdoors may well change their minds when they see such items. Clearly I am no longer on the TGO average reader list. In any event there are so many blogs out there now which satisfy my needs for the outdoors I can save my pension. Anyone wish to buy a soapbox?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd hang on to that soapbox if I were you.
      There's always a good view from there - things are far clearer when you take a closer look.
      Looking through the twitter time lines of the Girl and her associates throws up some fascinating connections.

      Delete
  17. In was interested in the TGO Awards and followed the twitter stream, but as soon as I read the Blogger winner I lost interest and thought of the ACDC song "Dirty Deeds done Dirt Cheap" see (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whQQpwwvSh4) after that that there were some other strange winners. I am not a TGO subscriber because of location, but now I have no interest in being an online subscriber or visiting the web page.


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well Roger
      :-)
      I did not know anything about this particular popular beat combo - but tey know how to string some good lyrics together with a powerful tune.
      Dirty deeds indeed.
      I'm currently uncovering a maze of contacts that is quite revealing.
      Screen grabbed, of course, for posterity.

      Delete
  18. It's not much of a case for the defence, but I now know what a lookbook is. Well, I think I do; I asked Mrs Oss and she explained it to me in that patient, dealing with an idiot, way that she reserves for me.

    To be honest, it sounded a bit like a catalogue or a promotional brochure, but I didn't say so out loud.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I fear that I too would have suffered the same withering star from Mrs Oss.
      But, I bow to her wisdom.
      For that it exactly what the winner's blog is.
      (Don't tell her that I also Googled it, please!)

      Delete
  19. As I said on Twitter it's a blog for glampers and weekend walkers and at odds with the gnarly ethos of TGO.
    Reading the various articles within have reinforced my views after initially congratulating the winner. Ugg boots anyone ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It may well be targeted at glamper and weekend walkers - but actually, its tailored for a couple of things:

      The first is to make money: Each post is either an advertorial or a "gear review" - one so cursory and uncritical that in fact it's actually an advert. Probably a paid one at that.

      The second reason is to raise her public profile. It helps having a healthy blog following in 'meeja' circles - it increases your currency / your marketable value / your Klout score.

      It's an unashamed attempt at self promotion and monetisation. I'm sure she wouldn't give a damn if it was about crochet or steel-working, as long as it raised her profile and made some cash it would be fine. I'm sure she enjoys the outdoors, so she plumped for that - the free 'marketing' trips and gear are a bonus that she'll enjoy.

      I'm not so sure she would enjoy free fire-proof mittens and safety boots.

      Delete
  20. Excellent post Alan and some great comments. I've remained rather silent on the hole subject as I didn't want to sound like a sore loser, personally I feel that James should have won as he continues to deliver great content on his blog. The revelations on Twitter and things that have arrived via email over the last few weeks have left me feeling massively disheartened with the outdoor industry. I've had an increase in offers from gear companies, no doubt because I was nominated for the award in question here. Some of the terms they wish to impose are devious and deceitful, I personally would rather buy my own gear than sell my soul for a free jacket. "Would you like to review product A?, would require us to send it to you or would you be able to write the review by looking at the online description?" WTF? Obviously I assuem this is not just limited to the outdoor industry but the more I find out about the inner workings the more I'm glad I have nothing to do with it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good points, well made, Dean.
      Be happy Sir and carry on with your excellent blog, in the knowledge that it gives you and a lot of others a great deal of pleasure.
      :-)

      Delete
    2. I'll certainly continue doing my own thing, in the knowledge I don't have to kiss arse due to accepting free gear on the Devils terms :-) besides... It's a diary of my life which I enjoy looking back at, I appreciate that people read/watch but I'd do it even if they didn't :-)

      Looking forward to your next blog post on this subject which you alluded to on Twitter. I too had a quick look through various Twitter streams and discovered some interesting things :-)

      Delete
  21. It seems that so many people have weighed in that I am late with any comments, but I find the whole premise a bit confusing. it seems that others (the public) are allowed to nominate bloggers for these awards there by making it a popularity contest. One would presume that TGO magazine (being the experts) would nominate worthy blogs based on relevance and content and then have the public vote on that list for the winners. This seems to be the revamp that they need to make sure this gets straightened out. In the end, however, just remember that with the exception of Alan's excellent campaign against wind farms and Chris T's constant reminder of the persecution of hawks, which are truly worthy uses of social media, all this blogging is just about discretionary income "stuff" that really only matters to a small minority of like minded people- It's not curing cancer after all! Let's not take the whole thing too seriously!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've had a while to think about this Craig, before getting back to you. It might well be said that this is a storm in a teacup ~ not important in the grand scheme of things ~ and you do have a point.

      However, for those who have been shortlisted for these awards it is important to see that fir play is observed. After all said and done, what's the point of having an award if it''s not worth winning, if it's sullied by obvious malpractice?

      Awards are obviously seen as very important to Ms Lewis, the "editor" of the winning outdoor blog, as she has gone to considerable lengths in order to win it; Lengths that other nominees in the category would see as sharp practice and downright underhand.

      If TGO cannot be trusted to run the awards professionally and ensure that the nominations and awards are fair and above board, then it devalues the entire award scheme and all the good it can do for TGO, to boost circulation and support its suppliers, content providers.

      It makes you wonder how all the other categories' voting was handled.

      Delete
  22. Martin Banfield here. I've been away. In Wales. On a walking trip. I've written about it, as usual in a rather basic way on a mobile phone whilst trying to be sociable at the same time. It's my on-line diary. Dean Read and many others will relate to this, but won't necessarily be inclined to read it. It's for friends and family and anyone else who may be interested. It's not controversial. My 89 year old mother is the target audience.

    I was shortlisted for the Outdoor Blogger Award. I felt surprised and honoured. Until I spotted that it was a website that my wife and I use to notify friends of planned trips that had been shortlisted, not our blog. I was able to get TGO magazine to change the web address to correct the error, but the name by which the blog is recognised - 'Postcard from Timperley' was never revealed to voters.

    I was curious about the other shortlisted blogs. I wrote a short piece, providing links:

    http://phreerunner.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/postcard-from-timperley-nominated-for.html

    I mentioned that for me, advertising detracted from the content of some of the blogs. James Boulter's 'Backpackingbongos' blog was perhaps unfairly mentioned as it was the first on the list of 'offenders'. (The advertising on his blog is minimal and shouldn't really have deterred anyone from voting.) The cause of using outdoors blogs for advertising purposes was then taken up by Sian Anna Lewis in an exchange of comments including some, supportive of my stance, by Alan R. After being accused of trying to 'bash' the other shortlisted bloggers, I (for the first time in seven years of blogging) removed some of the comments and concluded an acrimonious series of emails with Ms Lewis, who emphasised that she encouraged advertising on her blog - a bit of an anathema to me. I've now looked a bit more deeply into her blogging efforts. To me, a blogger with an interest in the outdoors (mine is an on-line diary not exclusive to 'the outdoors'), Ms Lewis's so called 'Outdoors' blog is a bit like turning on BBC Countryfile and getting a shopping channel.

    Anyway, the exchange with Ms Lewis led me to conclude that this was not for me, so whilst I had already put a voting button in my sidebar, I left it at that and didn't mention the shortlisting again, even to friends and family. I expected Alan, Alastair, James, or Terry to receive the award, all their efforts being, in my view, worthy of such. Imagine my amazement when I discovered the results of the voting. The winner of the 'Outdoors Blogger' award appears to me to be a different genre to most of the other shortlisted blogs.

    That's enough. I've just lost nearly half an hour of my life...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Martin, and thank you for your excellent summary of events over at your place.
      You should know that Ms Lewis also enlisted the support of her friends on social media (twitter, principally) to roundly thrash anyone who had the temerity to question the award.
      One, Lucy Thackray - the editor of British Airways' Highlife magazine - was particularly vitriolic in her thrashings!

      Of course, you can understand her wanting to support her friend (they were together at journalism school in Cardiff a few years back) but to be so unpleasant when she has such a high-profile public life is perhaps unwise?

      But that's her choice I suppose. We'll let her employers decide that.

      Thank you for that half hour of your life. It made me chuckle.

      Delete
    2. Hi Alan
      Could you please provide me with an email address (something all respectable bloggers should have publicly listed?) This campaign of yours is now bordering on obsession and harassment and has become particularly personal, when we both know all I am guilty of is defending a good friend and respected peer from mass, unfair bullying and harassment on Twitter. I have nothing to do with TGO or any conspiracy theories you may have dreamed up.
      Please provide me with an email address so I can clear up my part in this, as you are now crossing the line with your accusations and threats.
      Thanks
      Lucy

      Delete
    3. Hi lucy.
      I am pleased to oblige:
      alan (dot) sloman@gmail (dot) com
      Perhaps I am a little "obsessive". I like to see fair play observed and I do not take kindly to bullying from you on twitter (I have the screen grabs)
      Over to you, Lucy.
      :-)

      Delete
    4. Interesting: Lucy - I see you've deleted some of your nastier tweets!
      :-)
      Fortunately, they're safe.

      Delete
  23. I think sir you should invite the Lass on a proper hard core 5 day winter bog trot in the Monadhliath or maybe Sutherland. 5 nights out carrying all your own gear over some narly wet terrain in wet winter conditions.
    If she can do that, then she'd earn my respect.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure Sian is entirely capable of such a bog-trot, Andy

      Indeed, she seems a very determined individual.
      :-)

      Delete
  24. I am sure you are right sir.
    A bigger question is probably.
    Could I manage it now?

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hi,
    I'm not going to comment or get involved in any of this, except to say that I was nominated for this award (I was very pleased), but I didn't canvas for votes on my blog or social media. I'd like to 'win' an award for being good, not popular. I don't really value social media vote contests - I'd much prefer to be 'judged' by a selected panel of experts. (Worth mentioning, too, that none of us in this game should be doing it to be "the best" - we should do it because we enjoy it. (Things have blurred a little for me nowadays as it's also my 'job' now, but ultimately I blog because I like it.)).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for dropping in, Alastair.
      There's not much to say in response other than I agree with you 100%
      :-)

      Delete
    2. Hi Alan,
      On the one occasion I DID try to harvest votes for a contest, I learned some valuable lessons: http://www.alastairhumphreys.com/online-lessons/

      Delete
    3. Thanks Alastair
      I enjoyed that post, Sir.
      :-)
      It's one that TGO should read and think on. In effect, with their awards they are tempting people who may otherwise be reticent to do so, to go out and promote themselves, which of course promotes TGO. In fact the nominees are actively encouraged to go out and do this by TGO.

      Alistair's excellent article can be found by clicking HERE

      Delete

Hi.
Because of spammers, I moderate all comments, so don't worry if your comment seems to have disappeared; It has been sent to me for approval. As soon as I see it, I'll deal with it straight away.
Thank you!