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Wednesday, 17 December 2014

I feel dirty, used and abused. Retailers, eh?

Trespass Picture 2

It appears blog awards are like buses; None for ages and then they all come along at once. Yes, after the TGO Awards debacle had finally died down, up pops another “Blogger Award.” This time it’s from an outdoor chain call “Trespass.” No, I hadn’t heard of them either, and I don’t feel great about giving them all this free advertising on my blog.

I found out on Monday afternoon that my blog had been included in their list of Hiking/Walking blogs, along with about twenty others. As I wrote in another post, these days I am not keen to be part of this “how big is your willy” contest, as generally the winners are not those who write the best blog, but those who can drum up the largest number of supporters to vote for them. You need only to look at the winner of the TGO Outdoor Blogger of the Year award to see how that works. However, even though TGO had not asked me if I wanted my blog to be considered for the award I let it go, as I have a soft spot for the magazine.

So what is it that makes me feel like I have been used by this current award scam?

Put simply this retailer is using all the bloggers and the good will of the blogs’ readers to promote their business. They have selected (it was the company’s marketing department that made the selection) NINETY blogs – twenty in each of Running and Hiking/Walking, and ten in each of Climbing, Camping, Cycling, Snowsports and Travel. Those ninety blogs will have a colossal readership ~ probably far more than, say, the readership of TGO. Let’s say that each blog has 300 loyal readers (these are popular blogs, remember) and 10% of these are persuaded to vote. That’s 2,700 voters. Okay, there will be some overlap, but these are illustrative figures, so bear with me. I don’t believe the overlap will be that large, as the company has gone out to find a diverse as possible range of blogs

Most of the bloggers will use social media to spread the word. However, if you try and vote, you find that you need to authorise your selection using your Facebook account, explicitly giving permission for Trespass to have access to all your FB friends as well. Let’s suppose that most FBers have a hundred and fifty FB friends. (That seems to be about average). This means that Trespass now has the contact list for 2,700 x 150 people. That’s 405,000 people added to their mailing lists.

Whatever the overlap, you can see that this is one hell of an easy way to increase your mailing list for very little cost at all. Just the price of a bright young marketing chap, William Wallace. (Yes, honestly.) Apparently all the blog writers were contacted for permission to be included in this marketing exercise, and not contacting me was an oversight.

After a bit of chat with other bloggers on twitter, I decided on the Monday evening that I didn’t want to be part of this. I used the company’s web site contact form to try and talk to their marketing department to have my blog removed from the list. I did not hear anything for two days, so this afternoon I contacted them by twitter and before too long William & I had a discussion and he agreed to remove my blog from their scheme. 

In his last email to me he included the following paragraph:

“I understand your train of thought, but I'd like to assure you that our main intention was to highlight outdoor blogs and give a little back to the community. This is a strategy that we hope to follow going forward with more community based activities which hopefully highlight the benefits of getting outdoors and leading a more active life.”

 

Well. I’ll let you be the judge of that.

I have since discovered that David Williams, writer of the excellent Fellbound blog has also had his blog removed.

78 comments:

  1. If I thought anyone would vote for mine I would pull it too. But I know if at least 2 that will get lots of votes so that will keep me out of it. What I cannot understand though is why mine appears to be in camping, when 90% of my posts are about hiking, walking, cycling and running with a lot of photo's. Oh and music.

    But camping?

    Having said that I haven't really looked.
    In fact I thought at first it was a spam email.

    So did David ask for his to be withdrawn?

    I want to know who wins now.
    Just for the shear "Oh Really... Who would have thought!" of it 😀

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    1. Hi Andy,
      There were 20 blogs in the Hiking/Walking category and so I can only assume that yours was put into camping because there was more space there. You'll see from the comment I left in reply to Robin that they saw you had a few pictures of tents so slotted you into the Camping section.

      Delete
  2. Hi Alan,
    As this seems to be driven by Farcebook i can only assume that all the contenders have accounts with FB. So that means it is not as diverse as is being suggested. If you don’t have a FB account you don’t get considered. Just a thought.
    It is extremely rude not to have been asked if you want your blog to be considered. They should send you their most expensive piece of kit as compensation for all the stress.
    You have never heard of Trespass? Honestly?

    ps Andrew i always thought you were camp. Just a thought. lol.

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    1. No. I had never heard of them until now. I've just taken a squint at the map on their website to see where their shops are. For thirty five years my local shopping town was Cambridge, and I see there is a shop there, in the Grafton Centre - a God-awful claustrophobic cheap end of town removed from the city centre - which I very rarely visited.

      In my present town there's no representation either. "Trespass" isn't a name that is likely to draw you into thinking it's an outdoor gear shop, is it?

      I'm not that sure all the bloggers have accounts with FB - and I'm not sure how Trespass would have known that, either. What's more important to them is the fact the most of the blogs' readers will have FB accounts, and that way the company will have access to all their FB friends' details.

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    2. I'll also add that there are no Trespass shops in central London - the place where you would expect to see representation - I mean, even Paramo have a shop there!
      :-)

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    3. There are plenty of Trespass shops up here where the contours live Alan. And as Dave (Fellbound) has already said. The gear has a place in the market and i don’t mind calling in for a look round to see what’s what. Accessory wise they are as good as any other retailer on the high street The general apparel is lower end outdoors rather than mountaineering but there is nothing wrong with that. I for one will give them the benefit of the doubt although i stand by that they should have asked you and others first.

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    4. Al, you seem to be implying that I have a problem with the sector of the market these guys operate in.
      I don't and I have not written anything of the sort in my piece or subsequent comments.

      I do however, have a massive problem with a commercial business aking my blog readers to divulge all their FB friends' contact details to them and dressing it up as an awards scheme.

      Delete
    5. Ha Ha. No way. I was just giving you a short brief seeing that you didn’t know the company, i never said you have a problem with it or that you had written such either. If my “There is nothing wrong with that” gave you the view i was implying as such then i put it on record that i wasn’t. I’m on your side.

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    6. It’s not the case that only Facebook users were included in the shortlist. I have never had a Facebook account and have no intention to ever open one, yet my blog is on the list. I was never informed about it or asked for permission to be included either, and was (pleasantly) surprised to find it there amidst such illustrious company...

      I had only stumbled upon it by accident when I clicked on the link in Keith Foskett’s blog and tried to take part in the vote. Only then I realised that I’d have to be on Facebook to be able do so.

      I contacted Trespass via the contact form on their website on Tuesday to ask for an explanation as to why they limit the voting to FB users, stating that I find this unfair and discriminatory (totally unaware of the sharing of FB contacts etc. as I’m not familiar with it).

      The reply was that my email was “forwarded to the Trespass Head Office” for comment, but so far I haven’t heard anything back (I’m not on Twitter either, so can’t even give them a “nudge”)…

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    7. I love your blog Nicole.
      I tend to drop by and catch up a few posts at a time. I find your adventures inspirational, the quality of writing superb (which is quite shaming to me, a natural English speaker) and your photographs magnificent.
      When Trespass do finally get back to you it will be interesting to hear what they say.

      Delete
  3. I agree. This is a marketing scam masquerade. Looking through the nominees, it looks like a five minute, chuck a load of names into a hat job. One nominee only has two posts for the whole of 2024. Then some blogs are in the wrong category. However, I think Andy's is in the correct category, having seen photos of him dressed as a pantomime dame. He's so camp!

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    1. William from trespass wrote:
      "Our team collated the shortlists, we attempted to provide a broad range of blogs from personal blogs to magazine styled blogs. Myself and others within the team consider ourselves outdoor enthusiasts who take part in a range of activities including climbing, snowsports, cycling and running. As for the categories they were chosen based upon the main topic of the site, but for some of the categories we have included sites in which the category wasn’t a main topic but featured often."

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    2. To misquote Mandy Rice-Davies "they would say that, wouldn't they?"

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  4. The practice of companies cynically using the hard work of enthusiastic hobbyists for their own publicity ends has been going on for years, although the award accolade ruse is relatively recent and probably inspired by social media (a good observation about demanding access to FB contacts).
    Cyberspace generally is becoming infested with parasites that leech off the people who produce real content. I get one or two emails a week from companies, sometimes with at best a tenuous link to outdoor stuff, requesting links. Nothing about blog awards for a while though, probably because I removed mine and later recreated it, it seems to have fallen off the radar and gets very few visitors.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I used to find some of my posts lifted bodily and placed on other peoples' sites - but that was a few years ago now.
      I get loads and loads of SEOs asking me for space so that they can write a post on my blog (sometimes offering money for this space, but more usually not). They get a firm rebuttal.
      I adored your blog, Geoff - I'm really glad you're back again - I'll pop your site on my blog list straight away, Sir.

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  5. Firstly, thank you for the kind word about my blog, Alan. Quite independently, we asked for our blogs to be removed from the shortlist. In my case this was done with great courtesy by Trespass. They, should, of course, have asked permission in the first place before putting us there. I was horrified when I realised that some fellow bloggers thought I had put myself forward for this award. My blog has a tiny readership (which I would be happy to see increase). I produce posts when I have a bit of time on my hands simply because I like the art of writing - without any claims to have any talent in this area. The reward for me is feedback on my blog through comments. As I have said to you privately I do not have any problem with Trespass as a retailer. It sells good value stuff which is ideal for growing children and people who only venture on the hills occasionally. There, that little advert shows I hold no grudges! I have never had free stuff from them by the way. A final aside. I have also seen a comment recently that suggested that lack of blog posts means lack of activity on the hill, which suggests a remarkable inability to think laterally on the part of the person who suggested it!

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    1. My email correspondence with Trespass has also been courteous and they offered straight away to remove my blog from the scheme, once they finally got back to me - which took a bit of prodding on twitter. They say that not contacting me was an oversight.
      I would have preferred them to have asked all the bloggers before drawing up their lists, which does not appear to have been the case.

      I've taken a look at their website and the products they sell do appear to be good value budget products - a market that TGO, Trail and the like don't spend too much time on.

      Delete
  6. Disregarding the original blogger-gate for now (which I still think was a storm in a teacup), this raises some very interesting points but I'm not sure I agree 100% with what you say.

    The outdoors and capitalism have always been uneasy bedfellows. Outdoor enthusiasts like to think they're above commercial concerns, and to an extent this is true. I've written elsewhere that "amateur blogs encapsulate the best of the Web" and I stand by that. Blogs are not *primarily* commercial platforms — they're labours of love, which is how it should be, just like our activities in the outdoors.

    But the outdoors is being more and more commercialised. I only have to say the word "gear" and you know exactly what I mean. Blogs, too, are (I suspect) more often monetised than not. Plenty of bloggers have books to sell or use affiliate marketing or ads. Clearly not every blog is like this, but the percentage is growing.

    My point is that commercialism and the amateur spirit of the outdoors are interwoven, and the two ideals can't be separated into completely distinct camps. Outdoor magazines are completely commercial, and so are gear manufacturers. They have to find some way of promoting their wares, and while I agree that a little more transparency might have been nice in this case, if they don't find new customers they will cease to exist.

    I'm enough of a pragmatist to realise that the outdoors would be pretty shitty without magazines or gear. Blogs can only go so far towards replacing real publications, good as many amateur blogs are. And home-made gear is often downright dangerous.

    Just my two pennies. I'm sure I'll be disagreed with, but I don't see this as a black-and-white issue. If we stay on our ivory towers and contemptuously deny the filthy capitalists every chance to market their wares, we might find ourselves worse off in the long run.

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    1. Just to clarify — I'm not saying you did the wrong thing to withdraw yourself from this specific "award" in the circumstances. I might have done the same. But my more general point stands.

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    2. I agree with all that you have written, Alex.

      As a wholehearted supporter of 'filthy capitalism' I applaud any business that finds innovative ways to succeed; As you rightly point out, it's to the benefit of the consumer and the business.

      Where I draw the line is when the business portrays their marketing as "awards" and "giving a little back to the community" when in fact it is merely a dirty little data-trawling exercise.

      That, to my mind, is corrosive. It damages their brand. Most bloggers are reasonably bright and if Trespass think they can pass this scam off as a "community based activity" they need their heads read.

      Still - "no publicity is bad publicity", eh?
      :-)

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    3. Alex - I find your proposition "that the outdoors would be pretty shitty without magazines or gear" very strange.

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    4. "Alex - I find your proposition "that the outdoors would be pretty shitty without magazines or gear" very strange."

      Going into the outdoors without gear is an exercise in stupidity. Do we really want to go back to the days before commercial outdoor gear — ice climbing in nailed fell boots and camping in tents made from blankets? Like it or not, all the gear that we rely on to get us up hills is made by a company somewhere whose sole purpose is to make money. That's what I mean.

      And as far as magazines go, I think the outdoor community would be considerably poorer without quality publications.

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    5. I don’t really want to use Alan’s excellent blog to have a long discussion on this but on the other hand I feel I have to respond. Of course he may not publish it being the vile character that he is -:)

      “Going into the outdoors without gear is an exercise in stupidity”. Well, that depends on what you mean by ‘the outdoors’, ‘gear’ and much, much else. What can be said is that your statement is absurdly dogmatic since safety in the hills, which is what I assume you are getting at, depends on many variables; gear is only one of them. Also, I never said or implied that we should go back to nailed boots etc although those who used such gear revelled in their hill days as much as we do now. The list is endless but here is one.

      In 1991 my wife and I corresponded by letter with W H Murray and in his reply to us he finishes : “.. I hope that you’ll enjoy your hills of the future as much as I’ve enjoyed mine in the past”. Shitty? I don’t think so. I never wore nailed boots but starting as I did in 1966 I used woollen shirts, jumpers and cagoul and that was about it for every season, including some serious winter conditions. Those days were so shitty I was desperate for the weekend to come so that I could get back to Glen Coe or the Cairngorms to repeat the awful experience.

      Magazines. Nothing wrong with enjoying outdoor magazines – I’ve taken them all from the earliest Climber and Rambler, Climber, Mountain, High, Rocksport etc. I don’t read any now and my days in the hills are none the worse for that.

      Finally, it is no great insight to make the point that companies who make gear and the retailers who sell it are in it for money. Of course they are. I wish them well and hope they make a decent return on their investment. I even help them occasionally! It is however completely irrelevant with regard to my initial point. I could say much more but it's not really very important and hey, it's Christmas Eve!

      Happy Christmas and enjoy your hills of 2015

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  7. Interesting stuff as usual, Alan!

    I must confess to being a bit put off by the whole “blogger awards” thing. Not just because I think has created an air of disharmony where none should exist, but because it seems that an activity that should be a fun thing – a diary, a few scribblings and photos, some subjective comment and so forth – has become enmeshed in the whole “commercial” publishing and advertising world – and that to its detriment.

    Without raking up the past, the TGO awards obviously considered it OK to nominate blogs only marginally in line with the magazine’s content, and to include those produced by professional journalists. There’s nothing especially wrong with that, but it does seem at odds with the magazine’s ethos and the “home-made” nature one might expect nominated blogs to espouse. I’m neither a subscriber to TGO, nor a regular reader, and not a backpacker, either, if it comes to that, so I’m not really that fussed about the whole thing although I can see why others might be.

    So, to be fair to the Trespass awards, they don’t have that same demographic as a core customer, and broad outdoor appeal is probably fine. Obviously, it’s a crude marketing exercise, but other than that no harm should come, and in this instance inclusion of blogs by full-time outdoor personalities (such as gold-medal-winning, winter olympic snowboarder Jenny Jones) can add to the strength of their brand by appealing to the aspirational outdoor occasionalist.

    From my own point of view, I’d neither expect to be nominated for such a thing, nor want to be. My blog is something for me – a journal of my thoughts and trips, a few words and some photos that I can look back on once the little grey cells start to function a bit less reliably, and a chance to be a bit creative in my spare time now I don’t play music. If it happens that others see it and are inspired, then great! And I’m vain enough to admit that I get a warm feeling if someone feels my scribblings are worthy of comment – after all, who doesn’t! – and that I wouldn’t be averse to a few more visitors if they happened by. But it’s not the be-all and end-all of the blog’s purpose: it’s just a pleasant bonus of something I like doing.

    But I’m skeptical about monetising the blog, and feel that’s not what it’s for. I have been approached by retailers and manufacturers on a number of occasions, and pretty much all have been a let-down, especially in one instance where I carefully discussed with the agent what I would and would not be prepared to do for them, kept my end of the bargain absolutely then had pressure applied to add more links in the post to the manufacturers website and be more positive about them and their products. This was through a third party, though, and not via the manufacturer direct, and for obvious reasons I will name neither.

    So I’ve nothing against Trespass (or TGO, come to that) but I’ll steer well clear of votes and nominations – at least for the timebeing!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for that, Jules.

      I think you speak for the majority of bloggers - it's a labour of love, a 'private secret diary' that you don't mind sharing, that you can look back on in later years to bring back fond memories. Indeed, I do that already, reading chunks from years back of my own blog.

      I *do* get irritated by large banner adverts strung across blogs, but that's because I feel uneasy that what I'm about to read won't be the writer's personal thoughts but a screed designed to make money, with me being the targeted punter.

      I've spent a lifetime in business and if I had ever tried to deceive my customers by offering a service that was other than straightforward I would not have had many customers left.

      I also value each and every one of the folk who take time to comment on my blog (even those who take opposing views to mine) - it shows they care. Because I value my readers I don't want them to be abused by a data-gathering exercise on Facebook.

      For those wo haven't read Jules' blog, click HERE and spend a while with a cup of tea. You won't be disappointed.
      :-)

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    2. I forgot to address the banner point - a point with which I whole-heartedly agree. It does distract - visually and psychologically - although it is written content, at the end of the day, by which a blog should stand or fall.

      I also have spent my adult life in sales, and would hope I treat my clients in the same way I would wish to be treated myself (NB. my comments elsewhere in this thread regarding being "dirty, used and abused" notwithstanding!) and there is a huge difference between being guided through a process or bludgeoned over the head with it. So for that reason alone, I find banner ads annoying and don't want them intruding on the reading experience.

      I, too, really appreciate any readers' comments - whether in agreement or not with my perspective: after all, if we never listen, we're never going to learn anything new! - so will always take the time to reply to questions asked. Common curtesy should be maintained, even if it's not always that common!

      And on that note, ta for the mention - you're such a sweetie!

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  8. Oh, and I forgot to mention: if I did end up feeling "dirty, used and abused" I'd like to think it was caused by something a bit more beguiling than a retailer.

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    1. "Comment of the Month Award" to Jules!
      :-)

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    2. I've been waiting a lot longer than that to be used and abused ;-)

      Delete
  9. I'd be downright shocked if someone put my blog into the hat!

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  10. Dirty, used, and abused?

    I say!

    You normally have to pay for that sort of thing. Even if you wear zebra skin under pants such as you find displayed here so wonderfully.

    ReplyDelete
  11. "going forward"

    This "going forward" appears to be widespread management speak. I've seen it numerous times and every time it has a propagandist effect. It implies yes, yes, yes, we all know that (A, B or C) exists and now we go somewhere better.

    We are recruited into "going forward" without any examination of what exactly it means. Forward for one is backward for another. Forward for another is exploitative nonsense for someone else.

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    1. As an integrated supplier to some pretty major businesses in the past I had to attend their management meetings. I frequently used to stop the meetings to ask if the person could explain that to me in plain English as at times I had no idea at all what they were on about. And when they tried to explain in language I could understand it was usually pretty plain that they had no idea either.

      This "business-speak" is simply a cover as it usually means they have not got a clue either, but it sounds good. Their bosses were usually over-promoted and they seemed happy.

      The best people to do business with are those you understand and make it clear from the outset what they want of you and what they will deliver themselves. "This is a strategy that we hope to follow going forward with more community based activities...". I mean. Dear God above...

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    2. Alan, I work in the voluntary sector (I'm still not into using the more trendy 'Third sector' as yet). I once heard somebody come out with "Safe and settled is an outcomes driven derivative of keeping it real". I burst out laughing, everybody stared, and then I wrote it down for posterity.

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    3. I'm still chuckling as I type this. And I still don't understand it.
      :-)

      Delete
    4. "This is a strategy that we hope to follow going forward with more community based activities...". I mean. Dear God above...

      Actually, this would be no means be the worst example of such "speak". My line of work involves design, and it is quite interesting reading or listening to peoples' descriptions of things or concepts they have no experience of or don't quite understand. It's not as bad as all that, because the clients I deal with should be, by definition, literate, but you can often see in the project brief some form of management speak seeping in.

      Experience guides us when interpreting these briefs, but it does leave you wondering when someone is asking for "improved outcomes" and "enhanced educational experiences" to be achieved by what is essentially bits of wood cut into shapes (furniture, that is!).

      We do our best ......

      I remember a situation from years ago: a group of fairly senior people from an organisation sitting round, with me, discussing the umpteen drawings and 150+ pages of a tender document written in management gobbledygook. After half an hour or so of discussing how wonderful this new muilding was and how it would represent a new vision going forward, I was getting a bit exasperated. So I asked the question that was praying on my mind. "Excuse me, but where's the door?" Turns out, the architects had forgotten to put one in!

      Sometimes it pays to cut to the chase! :-)

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  12. It's often used deceptively to close down examination of what stuff actually means. "Going forward" sounds jolly and fun and inclusive. We all want to "go forward". I see it used very frequently with the above effect. Words used to obfuscate, not communicate. What you then have is a kind of semantic battle to establish some reality.

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    1. And that's exactly how the phrase was used by Trespass, James.
      :-)

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  13. I've been using this in meetings for 8 years. No-one has noticed...

    http://www.stickings90.supanet.com/pages/buzzword.htm

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    1. When I was at school we used a "Random Buzzword Generator" - nothing so high tech as your resource, OB - it was three columns of words and you picked one from each column randomly and used to try and fit it into your homework without the teachers noticing.
      It never worked. They did see the funny side though and marked it with comments from their own generator: "Very funny. See me after class."
      :-(

      Delete
  14. Whereas the simple phrase "forward planning" was one of the greatest oxymorons I used to hear. What other sort of planning is there, I used to ask?

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  15. I'm surprised that you continue writing a blog - are you as nasty in person as you come across in your blog? "Vilest blogger of the year award"? - Alan Sloman wins by a mile!!!

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    Replies
    1. An Award!
      I've won an award!!!
      Thank you, thank you, Anonymous!
      And a Happy Christmas to you too!
      :-)
      Mwah! Mwah!

      Delete
    2. At least we know who he is Anon.
      At least have the cojones to put your name at the end sir.

      Just my opinion.
      If you are going to make a comment like that on someone else's blog.

      Like or Hate what Alan writes, and I don't always agree with him, at least he does it under his own name.

      Delete
    3. Wot Andy said.

      Congratulations on your award, though, sir! Bet you didn't even know you'd been nominated ;-)

      Delete
    4. Well Andy, Well Phil.

      I would like to thank my ghost writer, hairdresser, manicurist, dress designer, oh, and my agent, Blogger for allowing me to publish on their magnificent platform, all my critics, and of course Iggy, my pet iguana.

      I am rather hoping that this award is unique, but somehow I doubt it. Anonymouses the world over doubtless dish out these awards willy-nilly.

      I'm thinking of installing a banner across the top of the blog:

      "VILEST BLOGGER OF THE YEAR AWARD! as voted by Anonymous"

      Delete
  16. Interesting that you make such a comment anonymously but nevertheless Alan publishes it. To me that shows Alan in a positive light and you in a rather different one.

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    1. The rough and tumble of the blogosphere. Who'd have thought it?
      :-)

      Delete
  17. Its not fair - I never get sad acts making comments on the Pieblog. I do get Chinese shoe or t-shirt manufacturers sometimes. I clearly need to improve inclusivity interactive interface to include poisoned dwarfs going forward. Or even backwards.

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    1. Let me at it!
      Let me at your blog, Sir!
      I'll decimate your readership in one fell swoop.
      You'll have thousands of Anonymouses queuing up to have a go.
      :-)

      Delete
  18. On the odd occasion I happen across a blog that I don't enjoy, or perhaps one that I read regularly that changes in tone or takes an unpleasent turn, I simply don't go back. But then, I was brought up to be well mannered. If you don't understand or appretiate a blog, you should be polite and take leave, not rude and insulting to a person you have (presumably) never met. I cannot believe you would behave so in public, so why think it acceptable in the online world? Alan hardly needs his friends and followers to defend him, but I find your behaviour objectionable.
    Grow up or go away.

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  19. Alan at least you get a better class of insults on your blog than other bloggers do .it could be worse at least anon is n,t stalking you yet !! :-)

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    1. Oh, I don't know, Chris - I have had some belters on here over the years.
      This one barely makes it onto the Richter scale of insults.
      :-)
      I have a "Stalk me" button on the right of the blog (very near the bottom)

      Delete
  20. Sloman you are an Evil and Vindictive Bastard.

    Oh Crap .. I meant to Post that Anonymously! :-O

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  21. Excellent post Alan as usual. And I agree wholeheartedly. I received an email after a polite request while out in the Lakes. Lacking comms for much of the time, it wasn't until I was home and seeing your chats on Twitter I looked into 'Trespass' idea.

    I took a look and admit I laughed real hard at the cynical way they've gone about this marketing exercise for their brand.

    I'd happily share my firm, fair and polite email with them demanding they remove my blog from their listings. Politely pointing out the cynical way they've gone about it all, but also I didn't wish to be associated or seen alongside another particular blog in the category I was short-listed against - this sounds terribly aloof of me, but one need only seek and they shall find who I may refer to. An individual who is the very antithesis of what ' wild camping' is all about! How on earth they were short-listed I'll never know. The consequences of which, reveals what an absolute mockery Trespass' idea for the awards are.

    I have to add, that much of what I do with my 'outdoors career' has been born out of the power of social media. Support from people like your kind self and many others who comment here and elsewhere. I'd be no where without such good kind folks.

    But even so, there is a balance to be struck when enabling tools of social media to promote one's wares or ideas. Alex Roddie touches upon this in his comment (though I don't necessarily agree with all of it).

    Personally, I'm just being me. I share (socialise perhaps) more pics and videos with regards to what I do in an honest way than ever talking about kit or sponsors affiliated with my work. My angle is, by being myself such companies will be thrilled to be involved or work with me by association alone. If they so wish of course. And folks who choose to 'follow me' will be entertained, inspired et al with my travels out in the hills. That is what "social" media is all about no?

    People aint stupid after all.

    This Trespass project falls into the category of HOW NOT to use the power of social media for business or what have you. It's cynical and most of all patronising!

    First rule any savvy business will tell you. "Build a great product", "maintain that great product", etc etc followed by "build your customer base". The latter with regards to social media equally applies - "build your community". This is very important. And Trespass have clearly f****** up on that front in my opinion.

    Anyway, I shall not rant much more....;)

    Congratulations on your vile blogger award Alan. Well deserved in my humble opinion. Keep up the good work! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  22. I see in the shortlists for Trespass' blog awards there is the world's self proclaimed "number one wild camper". Along with that veritable spokesman for the outdoors industry who was voted as best independent walking blog from Go Outdoors. Two narcissistic folks I've no doubt who will be milking for votes as we all debate the morals of it all here.

    "Those who can, do. Those who can't **insert word or phrase here**"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We'll see you there......cockend!

      Delete
    2. My IP checker says that this comment came from either:
      "IP Address: 217.34.230.25 mail.trespass.co.uk"
      or
      "86.147.195.157 - a BT account notionally from Garforth"

      Interesting.

      Delete
    3. I could be wrong (I'm a woman and a mother...I'm never wrong) but I suspect that would not be the kind of advertisement and promotion they were after. How unfortunate...

      Delete
    4. I meant the guy who uses that tagline is a cockend!!!!!!!

      Delete
  23. Cockend.

    Eloquent and couched in a fine Falstaffian manner.

    And 2 whole syllables as well.

    One must congratulate the fine penmanship. From such beginnings and with the help of about 1000 chimpanzees who knows what literary heights Anonymous may aspire.

    5 stars.
    A Tour de Force.

    Might even win an award one day.

    Who knows.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Oh dear. How charming and revealing. Nice to see how some like to hide behind the anonymity of the internet - or not as the case maybe. I was only being sarcastic anyway *winking and nodding*

    I've no doubt that Trespass as a business would find it highly amusing and professional that one of their employees (in all likelihood - given the IP address and matching location of Trespass HQ) has been commenting on here anonymously.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I may be wrong but I read it as anonymous is calling that so called top wild camper, Mr " we'll see you there" a cockend??

      Delete
    2. Well, if I have maligned anyone incorrectly (anonymous or otherwise) then they have my unreserved and sincere apology.

      And I would suggest to them that clarification of comment is always best to avoid accidental misinterpretation.

      Always best to declare who you are, even if you are going to get shot down for it.
      Stops anyone confusing you with other anonymous people.

      Delete
    3. Perhaps Matt. Who knows? I didn't think it was obvious really. Either way, IP addy revealing Trespass HQ doesn't exactly make it OK eh?

      If they're genuine of course, much like Andrew, I do apologise to them - whoever they are.

      Delete
    4. Who knows Terry, but I have to agree with anonymous sentiments! ;-)

      Delete
  25. Hi Alan, I am catching up on all this stuff which just passes me by these days. Working all the hours under the sun makes sure I have no time to read blogs let alone blog much these days, so not much chance of anyone picking my blog for any award! Perhaps you should come out of retirement and work again and then you wouldn't have to be bothered by all this :-) . Still I have been reading when I have had a spare moment. I now have 12 days off before going back to work, so please post up some more, your visitors always post up some interesting and thought provocating comments.
    Cheers and happy Christmas Alan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Time, time?
      I have no time, Mark!
      What with Tescos, Waitrose, beds to change, cooking...
      Life's a whirl, Sir!
      I enjoy interaction with folk who take the time to comment on here - it's what makes blogging interesting.
      Let's hope we hear more from you soon, Mark -
      Cheers!

      Delete
  26. I've another award for you - "Best Comments". I can add nothing as erudite or educational as my predecessors, so will just thank all for an excellent read :}

    We have got a branch of Trespass in Keswick though, I don't know when/if I was ever in there. Do I get an award for that ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jayne.
      You can have as many awards as you please, Ma'am!
      The standard of the comments at this place far exceeds the tosh they are replying to - I am indebted to all who take the time to make this a lively place!
      Thank you for taking the time again to brighten up my day!
      :-)
      x

      Delete
  27. Tescos, Waitrose i hope you,re not advertising good sir unless they are paying you a bucket full of cash in which case adverts away me hearties.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think Tescos could do with all the help they can get at the moment, Chris. If I was one of their employees I would be feeling slightly nervous at the moment.

      Years and years ago I had a summer job at Waitrose. I managed to run over my own foot with the forklift truck that I was driving. It was a 'first' in their accident book. I owe them everything - probably the start of my gouty toe, come to think of it...

      Delete

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