The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently passed rules requiring bloggers, Facebookers and Twitterers to disclose when they are getting paid by companies to endorse their products. As a pretty committed blogger, I can really see the importance of such regulations, since it would be pretty easy to ‘sell-out’ to nearly every outdoor company out there, take their money and start endorsing their products on these pages. In fact, there are even websites out there where you can sign up to receive products to review, although they are mostly for things like detergent, nail polish and handy-wipes…and who really cares about that stuff anyway.
Now, I’m pretty sure everyone who visits TetonAT.com knows who supports this website and who I represent, but this new FTC regulation is an important aspect of blogging as more and more people turn to social media for tips and suggestions about, well…nearly everything. However, please know that here at TetonAT.com, we only associate ourselves with companies who make the best products for what we do, as well as products that we actually use. Not because it’s free, or because we got paid, but because we like them.
Oh yeah, and I didn’t receive a dime from anyone for posting this. Your thoughts?
Come now – are you saying that those piles of free skis, free boots, all expense paid junkets and annual advertising dollars from major gear companies have NO influence on your glowing gear reviews?
good advice brad…but today is a work day for me.
fwiw…yesterday was the best day of the season so far and got two, great, untracked runs at targhee. the day before, i used my bd justice setup, to make sure it worked before antarctica. back to rock skis yesterday.
Andrew, don’t you think it would be relatively easy for me to receive and review skis from other major ski, boot and binding companies out there as well? I choose to use the companies gear I do because it performs to my liking…not because of ad dollars. Though I sure could use some right now.
Yeah, as I read your post I assumed you were going to disclose that you receive compensation for your blogging. One cannot deny the heaps of gear you are getting. Not to mention the banner ads that your site displays. This blog is definitely not a non-profit venture. Any more ski pictures? Wish I was skiing.
Dude, no offense, but don’t even try to tell us you’re unbiased. It’s insulting. I enjoy your site for the TRs; all the gear spewing is generally annoying and a necessary evil (I understand you have to pay for this site and to continue branding yourself). But it’s more than apparent that you are bending over backwards for the companies who advertise. For that reason, I odn’t put a whole lot of stock in your “reviews.” Your transparency on the advertising matter is to be commended, but don’t then try to put yourself above all of the other bloggers who are doing the exact same thing. You’re no better. Stick to skiing and leave this bullshit out of it.
I knew I’d open up a can of worms with this one…but it’s good discussion.
I can’t deny I want to support the companies that help and support me and TetonAT.com. Who wouldn’t be biased towards the products they like? Thankfully, I am a gear junky at heart, proven by the fact that I have worked in outdoor retail for the past 12 years. And honestly, when I do a gear review, I think most of the prose is mainly factual…as opposed to subjective hype. Do know that TetonAT is honestly a labor of love in the end, and any ad dollars I may receive barely cover the fee for the server…nevermind the time and effort it takes to maintain it.
Ask…and you shall receive Kevin! Well…only one actual ski photo…from the past two days at Targhee.
I don’t know about that Steve. A while ago I had an offer of $200 for a banner ad and free merchandise in return for “some good words” about what was ultimately one of the worst, overpriced, faulty, pieces-of-shit gear to ever hit the market. Both you and HRB gave it rave reviews even though I know both of you never actually used it for more than a few test outings before it broke. It seems like a massive disservice to your skiing bros and hos to recommend crap, or to say that a $700 jacket, $25 tip loop or $900 pair of skis are totally worth the price, when you paid nothing for them.
I think the point of the FTC ruling is to try to bring some truth-in-advertising to the blogosphere. The original point of blogs was that you could get unbiased opinions from experts whether it was on knitting yarn, fishing,ski mountaineering or anything else. In your case, if you were reading a blog about dual sport motorcycles and wondering about getting a new muffler, wouldn’t you want to know what Dustin Dirteater really recommended and used, instead of what his sponsors were trying to dump?
The real question is “Does hiding my industry and financial arrangements damage my gear review credibility?” If you don’t think it does, you probably also believe SKIING Magazine when they vote Vail/Aspen/Whistler/Deer Valley as the best resorts in the world year after year (right next to an ad for said resorts).
But all that said, I do enjoy your reviews, although more in a watching Steve get it over a barrel and squeal like a pig kind of way. Keep up the good work. 😉
I think that a price can’t be put on fun Andrew…and if you think $25…$700…or even $900 is too much to pay to enjoy the outdoors how you wish…then fine…so be it. But don’t judge others that might be willing to pay it. Remember, many people still pay for their gear…me included…though not all the time (like yourself). And come to think of it, that $700, Gore-tex shelled insulated jacket sure is sounding nice as I pack for the wet and cold environs of Antarctica.
Interestingly enough and honestly, while you were ranting away, I was changing the brake pads on my dual-sport motorcycle. And yes, I did research how to do it on the web…on a website that probably wouldn’t even be around if it wasn’t for it’s supporters. And yes…I am a greenhorn at such jobs, so I found the info very valuable. Just like the people who email me directly thanking me for what I provide.
I think it’s hard for someone with years and years (…and years and years and years…) of experience, to look at some things objectively, since they are often set in their own ways and nurtured into liking what they like, it might be hard for you to have an open mind to new products. I assume you’ve heard the phrase…”You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”…right? I mean come on bro…you still ski (for fun) on 165cm, 78mm waisted skis! 😉
There’s a distinct pleasure in paying for your own gear, skiing the snot out of it, trash talking it when it sucks, and praising it when it doesn’t. Free gear is nice, but the responsibility and the required knee pads that come with it isn’t worth it, in my opinion of course.
This is funny. Interesting though as it has been speculated within our own industry for a few years of the guerilla tactics used by some vendors to get good mojo/vibes/”press”/demand groundswelling for their products.
I don’t spite anyone trying to “make it work” in this industry or for giving their opinion…in fact, that’s exactly why I read yours and Andrews sites pretty regularly. I like to hear what you guys have to say, to see where you ski, how you ski and what you ski on. I think some of the best posts are the janky mods you guys will do to get something to work as it should…or something like Andrews post today on Fred Beckey. Solid.
In my opinion, it comes down to semantics. What is it to be compensated? You and Andrew are both given and pay for stuff, sure…you guys should be given stuff as you are strong athletes in your field who are ambassadors for our sport. But do you get a paycheck from BD/Dynafit/Suunto/etc…what does it mean to be “sponsored” these days? What are these, NCAA Basketball recruiting rules? I mean, in this industry, the list could get pretty long of “compensated-endorsers” if we open up the concept of compensation to free gear, swag, etc.
I’ll definately give you props for honesty Steve, as I remember a couple posts on modifying the Factor boots for better cuff rotation and on the Voodoos for a flat tail…
It could be kind of hard to “police” this one maybe, eh? What do you all think?
I think a pretty good indication (disclosure) of any website’s supporters are banners (or logos). However, that doesn’t mean he/she is blogging for them.
You write about what you like and you give a lot of free advice/info in the process, and people sure don’t complain about that.
If you write twice a month cause you have a full time job, you not gonna give as much free advice/info as people would like. Thus of course, if you want to step it up, you need money (or gear, food…) from somewhere else.
I believe majority of readers understand that, and for those that don’t understand but still read your blog every day there is no help 😉 and you have to live with that.
However, I still believe reviews should be as unbiased as possible. If you cannot be unbiased than don’t write it as a review, just introduce the product and its features and that’s it. That is value to your readers to.
I think you nailed it there Stano saying that I write about what I like. Why would I want to write about something that is crap and make the supporters look bad? Yeah, sometimes I might get stoked on something before I use it…because I think it’s a cool idea or new technology. For that…I guess I’m sorry.
There’s obviously a difference between bloggers such as myself (alpineambitionblog.blogspot.com) and the likes of Steve, Lou, and Andrew. I believe this regulation applies more to the blogger.com type like me. Steve is a professional (to some level at least) ski-mountaineer and his website format makes it quite obvious who his benefactors are… and they really are some of the best companies out there, no doubt. Not to mention all the great beta on ski routes in the tetons he’s made available to the public. Blogging started out as live journaling but has definately evolved over the years.
The point: Tetonat.com kicks ass. The stoke is great, and the gear reviews are great as Steve does not over do them.
I don’t mind that you guys get paid by certain companies. I’m aware of it, I take it into consideration, but most of the stuff Andrew and Steve use is pretty good. It’s almost impossible to get an unbiased opinion. On backcountry.com, their top “gear experts” are all rewarded and compensated in some way. But it’s part of the process. In a market economy, people are paid for their service. Go to any retail store, and the owner/workers will promote the products they sell vs the ones they don’t. You can’t expect someone to host a site, give completely unbiased advice when just running the site costs money and time. It sucks, but it’s the world we live in. I’d love to be a beacon of righteousness in this corporate world if delusion and BS, I’d love for Andrew and Steve (and Lou) to be the same. But this is the real world, stuff costs money, including advice.
I’ll put up with it in return for the footage these guys post. I’m sure these Antarctica pics are going to be well worth an Arc’teryx review here and there.
I don’t get it.
1. we all know that you’re taking some amount of income from advertisers for updating your shradical (although somewhat plain for 2010’s standards) blog of skiing in teton’s.
(Note: former jhole locals tell me you make a lot more than "some")
2. Clearly you write about the gear you use and get paid to advertise for those companies.
I’m failing to see the issue?
reality is that you are a blog, and in this day in age blogs are just like regular content web-sites or print publications. Every major ski publication takes ad revenue and gives crappy awards to the people who pay for said ads.
That’s just the way it is. I don’t think it takes away from your content, although you could prove us wrong and do this:
ski one or two pairs of your BD’s for the first three months of the year. Don’t fix any base issues that come up. document with pictures of your ski bases after every day of use.
I think that way we’ll all have sound evidence of the "black diamond’s are more like a subscription that you have to renew every year" theory.
Kevin, Stan and Collin all make great points.
I have always enjoyed TetonAT as more of an information and stoke “site”. I think Steve does a great job of sprinkling in his gear preferences, tips/tricks (I liked the how-to-fold-your-jacket-into-your-hood tip) likes/dislikes and “reviews” along with good doses of current and future product stoke from his supporters/sponsors…with the occasional off topic post and comic relief! Same with Lou and Andrew.
I do think that blogs/sites have a bit more clout than forums though when it comes to reviews/feedback on product due to the relevance or clarity of the poster or source. Forums are an area where you just can’t be 100% sure of the source of feedback…those things scare me sometimes with some of the “advice” passed on! Forums are an area where there have been rumblings in the industry of shifty product posts going on to create stoke or bad mojo towards a brand…
Regardless of all the BS, keep up the solid work Steve…great site.
I guess you can never be young enough, ski on fat enough skis or wear expensive enough jackets.
But what does all that have to do with disclosing paid-for-content?
Bruce…there is no issue…I think. And I’m not sure how many rocks my skis hit last year has to do with this whole thing. If possible…I try not to ski on rocks.
Though I do remember when I used to ski at the area a lot. My skis would get a lot more thrashed…and I wouldn’t give a rats-ass. Now, if I even get the slightest nick or loss of glide…I’m often in the shop waxing and repairing. More waxing than repairing though…since I try to stay away from rocks most of the time in the BC.
Thanks for the good discussion guys…and thanks for visiting.
I enjoy Teton AT, and understand the reviews to be what they are. Fact is, most of look at teton at to see the stoke, and in my case, to be reminded of my own days in the tetons, which I don’t get many of any more. With all that said, the sleeping tiger is not these type of rules, but the more significant one that will arise when “the man” lets Steve know he can’t post pictures, TRs or videos from the Tetons on a for profit site. reality is, all you have to do is look at the code of federal regulations, and you will find that almost everything we do is prohibited, even blogging about trips in a national park. Steve, feel free to delete this thread immediately if you think it creates a concern.
It has nothing to do with it Andrew, but you seemed to say that because some products were expensive…that they aren’t nice…or worth the money. Which just doesn’t seem right. Maybe I didn’t pay for them or maybe I did at a discounted rate. The fact is…is that they are products that I have chosen to use by companies that I like, not things that have been shoved down my throat by some marketing guru.
I’m not that concerned Gmon…but thanks. I know many park employees that visit these pages…and if they thought I was doing something wrong or illegal…I’m sure they would bust me. (Let me guess…are you a lawyer?)
And I’d say the jury is out whether or not this sight is “profitable”. I feel a lot of you think companies are just handing out advertising checks left and right. Sorry…but that just isn’t the case…and it shouldn’t be that surprising that backcountry skiing companies don’t really have a bunch of $$$ for advertising budgets.
These are the commercial photography and videography permit regulations for Grand Teton National Park:
The National Park Service encourages filming and photography when it will promote the protection and public enjoyment of park resources, provided that the activity does not violate the criteria listed below:
*Is appropriate to the purpose of which the park was established.
*Is inspirational, educational, or healthful or otherwise appropriate to the park environment.
*Will foster an understanding of, and appreciation for, park resources and values, or will promote enjoyment through a direct association with, interaction with, or relation to park resources.
*Can be sustained without causing unacceptable impacts to park resources or values.
*Resource protection (natural and cultural) will prevail over any permitted activity, and non-mitigatable degradation of the park’s resources will not be allowed to occur.
PERMITS will be required if the project involves any of the following:
*Involves the use of a model (or any on-camera talent), set, or prop, or when the filming, video taping, sound recording or still photography could result in damage to park resources or significant disruption of normal visitor use.
*Involves access into areas not normally open to the public.
*Coverage of breaking news never requires a permit but is subject to restrictions and conditions necessary to protect the park resources, public health and safety and to prevent impairment or derogation of park resources, values or purposes.
Amen to the advertising comment Steve. AMA is opting to go “sans advertising” for that very reason. Our developers told us that the cost of advertising has plummeted. He has created sites where the ad costs barely cover the server costs. Even the wildly successful social networks can’t figure out how to make money. Ad revenue doesn’t cover squat.
I don’t think there is a problem for Steve for “disclosing paid-for-content” partners, Andrew. Because as I said higher up, all anyone needs to do is to look at the logos in the left column of this site and there is the disclosure. Do you/we want to know “how much?”, “from whom?”, “when?”, “for what?”, etc.
And that’s what makes me to worry about this new FTC rule. I ask “what exactly and to whom you will have to disclose this and in what manner?”
Nothing wrong with the disclosure itself, we file taxes too. However, I fear this is only one of many steps US government is taking to policing its people more and more.
My common sense is:
If I start a blog about whatever company and boast the shit out of it but have no banners, who is the judge to say that I am doing something illegal since I didn’t disclose who is the supporter?
If I do this out of my own loyalty then there is nothing to disclose, but I am sure I would be told otherwise.
If I do this for money, then it’s pretty obvious who the supporter is.
Hence, Michael Jordan doesn’t disclose how much each company paid him and when, or at least I believe so.
How about gear comparisons contrasting the different companies gear that you have ridden over the past seasons? You are in a pretty unique situation in that you have access and extended usage of the boots and skis we labor to decide from. Love to see side by side comparisons of factors vs. titans vs. spirit 4’s and similar comparisons of the different skis (from different companies, sponsors or not) that you have ridden? Yes, the gear your sponsors create is top quality, but getting more real world beta on the difference in between companies products (in one review) would be much appreciated and seem to be an unbiased approach.
I think you should do more gear give aways then…a perfect way companys to get stoke for relatively cheap.
What does it matter if/when/how much Steve might get from Dynafit, BD, ArcTeryx?
Don’t want to put words in Steve’s mouth, but I think he’s a skier first, blogger second.I’m not a blogger but I understand and live the skiing passion.
I would not waste or risk a single day of skiing on crap gear. If the BD or the Dynafit that I might have been given as schwag didn’t perform, I wouldn’t use it. So the fact that a committed skier like Steve continues to use the gear for what is likely one of the most important activities in his life speaks more than any review he writes.
Couldn’t imagine skinning with a duke or a fat frischi, even if I was given it for free. Would not continue to use a skin if it failed to get me to the goods efficiently. I pay full retail for a skin/ski/binding that works, even if other options might be available cheaper (or in Steve’s case, free). I have a feeling Steve values his ski time similarly.
Your feelings are correct Tony. Thanks for saying what I fail to be able to say most of the time…or maybe just don;t think about coming from a different perspective.
Sure hope it snows some more!!!
Tony – perhaps the reason we haven’t seen a glowing Marker Duke review here is that they don’t advertise and haven’t sent any freebies?
Or maybe because they have no place in the type of ski touring that both you and I do? Andrew, why would I want to advertise or review a product that I have no need or use for? Or that sucks? But I guess you think Megawatts suck too…so….
Dude…what’s with all the hate man? You’re going skiing in Antarctica…you should be happy!
Ha, I’m about to mount my megawatts with Dukes! (and way more forward than the factory mounting point)
I think you should review some other gear out there if you want people to see you as less biased.
Of course, I’m just some newschooler, so what does my opinion matter?
We love all types of sliders ’round these parts Eric…but the free-heelers and snowboarders just get a little extra razzing now and again.
And a Duke/Megawatt set-up sounds great for side-country endeavors. It’s just something I don’t do very often these days.
I purchased a pair of Dukes and think they are great bindings for their intended purpose. As far as the Megawatts, I’m bothered more by the eternal spewing than the actual product. It’s like a bunch of High School jocks and cheerleaders going on and on about their pukka shell necklaces and how you HAVE to have one.
Why no more TNF reviews?
Wrong job dude…that was when I was with Alpinist. Never did any TNF reviews here on TetonAT.
You done yet?
Since not much is being disclosed about full disclosure in a post about new rules regarding disclosure, I will cut to the figurative chase — full disclosure: my friends call me Watson, an endearing nod to the sleuth-a-neering mind of Sherlock Holmes’ right hand, thank you very much — and say this: Ski blogs that rely on gear reviews, personal TRs and link-farm pontifications epitomize the notion of free press. While it’s true nothing could be cheesier than a Suunto-sponsored "Guess My Time" dispatch and/or fan-boi ravings about free gear, you can take solace in this albeit scary concept: Content does exist outside Telluride’s free box.
I’m digging this discussion. The question, at its core, isn’t about whether product “reviews” on industry-supported blogs (any industry) are biased. They are. It’s not negotiable. Payment=bias, period. The question becomes whether it has ethical implications for this particular form of media, and I believe it surely does. As I posted earlier, I’ve been a fan of TetonAT for a long time because Steve gets after it and shares his experiences. That’s it. I liked it better before the gear-whoring began to take over, because it was purer and appealed to my idealist, soul-skier pipe dream. Well, that model doesn’t seem to exist anymore, and it’s a shame. I can’t help but wonder if this site was always a ploy to self-promote to the point at which sponsorship became reality. I don’t begrudge Steve for trying to get paid to ski (isn’t that the ultimate dream?), but I DO have a problem with people trying to tell me an ace is a spade. This site is advertising, and Steve is a living, breathing billboard, just like any other sponsored athlete. It has nothing to do with intentions, or history, or soul. It is what it is. I guess as consumers we either accept it, or walk away, eh?
I think the true answer to all this stuff is one that actually is a good lesson on life in general. And that is…that you can’t please everyone.
Some people want me to write more gear reviews…while others will call me a gear-whore because of it. Some people want me to write more trip reports…while others will say I’m spraying at the same time.
I try to maintain a well rounded website here at TetonAT.com…with a little bit of everything. Yeah…I could constantly write trip reports everyday about what I skied…but I think that would get old after a while, because it’s not like your skiing ‘the sick’ everyday.
Gear reviews are not why I visit your site, but I do not begrudge you for them or the ads. Seems pretty simple to me – it is your site and you can do what you want with it. I as a visitor get to view what I find interesting, ignore the rest, move on my way and possibly return if I feel the need.
Please keep up the great endeavor you have undertaken. Your blog-site is awesome! WOW! To those getting worked up over your reviews. Please keep the reviews like they have been! Your equipment input is essential for people like me who ski around the Tetons. Everything you do here is essential or inspiring. I have been reading your words and checking your videos for quite some time (3rd season?) and I believe this is my first ever post. I will bet there are many like yours truly who place tons of value on everything you do to contribute to our experience in the mountains. Huge thank you and appreciation to you!!!
A long turn ago in a gala-ski far, far away….
Poop-shooter vs. Tootin’Eighties vs. Mildsnow. I love it all!! Ha, ha. I gotta start my own and call it ptortiflette.com so I can share my cheesy perspective. Big up to all youse guys for quality entertainment and stoke AND for being biased. Fence sitters only end up getting a sore ass.
Hey Andrew, I always though that the cheerleaders were some of the best parts of high school.
Generally, without reviewing ALL the gear out there, no blog can be truly objective, can it??
Kum Bay Yaaaa My Lorrrrd…Kum Bay Yaaaa…Kum Bay Yaaaa My Lorrrrd…Kum Bay Yaaaa.
Biv, thank you for your feedback. Sometimes it get’s a little annoying when someone has an axe to grind and goes on (…and on…and on…) with their tirade, and it’s nice to here from someone who actually seems to enjoy what are found on these pages.
I’ve always assumed that thru your experience in the mtns and the ski shop that you have pretty well picked your own sponsors/products you endorse. Things that work well in actual use rate high but in my (limited)experience in outdoor retail I learned some companies are great to deal with and some not so much. Given the overall high quality of most of the gear out there this becomes a factor in what I reccomend to a customer. Is there really that much difference in a Marmot and a Cloudveil jacket of the same catagory? I would imagine friendship plays a part as well, Billy from Brand X is a great guy and you guys go drink after a trade show while Igor from Brand Y is an arrogant bastard who hits on your wife. I’ve noticed you never mention K2 skis, is it because that’s what Teton Mtneering sells and Skinny Skis doesn’t or is it because you’ve simply not had the exposure to K2 because of that reason? Or is because you like BD skis? As is obvious from your site. Your gear reviews i see as being more “Hey look what i saw at the show, isn’t this cool, hopefully it’ll work” or “Hey, this is what I use and I love it” more so than “I think you should go buy this”. I thought about asking you about some older Fritchis that were cheap on Jhole Radio a couple months ago. I know you endorse Dynafit with a passion, a passion Dynafit earned thru your experiences with them but felt like you would say the fritchis are def worth the $50 to throw on rock skis or those bindings were junk you’ll hate them. If you were in the business of reviewing gear I think that would be one thing but I think you’re in the business of having a huge time in the mtns and you are an excellent photographer and you choose to share your experiences and photos and if along the way you help people thru exposure of their product and show people what’s out there and you can get a little booty or even cash then good for you. And hey when Nuun sends you that HummerH2 they promised for endorsing their product will you give me a ride across jackson lake once it freezes up hard enough? We can drink some Gatoraid on the way Eh?
I guess this kind of discussion comes with the territory.There is little bit of the whore in all of us. Men of integrity mostly know whats right. When they dont, faking it usually picks up the slack. Keep up the good work which I find informative and entertaining and when the occassional whiff of smokes gets blown up my ass I’ll takes it as a test of my own wisdom not to float to high off the ground.
I was done… but now I’m not. You can always censor me if I’m so tiresome. 😉
It is not a matter of hate or an axe to grind as much as love for my fellow BC skiers. I just got into Packrafting last summer and I really want to know what the experts use and recommend. If some Zen Packrafter recommends an $800 paddle because he got one free one and PaddleTec paid for a $1,000 banner ad on his site, but in reality he uses something else and there are far better paddles out there for the money, I want to know about it. Same thing with Mountain Unicylcing – I want the real scoop not some bullshit marketing plug. In some sports you may be a novice and others an expert, and if you are an expert, there is an obligation to be truthful. What goes around, comes around.
Enjoy your site and appreciate all the information,tr’s,reviews, and STOKE!
Who cares what your skiing on? JUST GO SKI IT!
Thanks Olaf and Nathan!
Andrew, the thing is…is that you are insinuating that I am…a) recommending crappy gear…and b) not using the gear I am recommending…which just isn’t true. Nearly every piece of gear I review or talk about on TetonAT…is something that I have requested from the supporters of TetonAT…because I like it…not because I’m told to like it.
Yeah…back in 2006, I said some good words about the ‘Click-Clack’….thinking that it was a cool accessory for Dynafit bindings…which is was…sorta. And yes…I broke it twice without too much effort. I hope that some day you can find it in your heart to forgive me.
And now that I look back on this post…I said I broke them in the review.
Steve has never been particularly secretive about who sponsors him… because he’s sponsored! That’s sort of what sponsored athletes do. Granted most don’t have a website quite like Steves but you don’t make it a secret that Hardwear sponsors you. Why should we be surprised when Steve gives favorable reviews to gear he gets from his sponsors? Sure I’d love to see Steve say he wished BD did this or that Arc’Teryx did that but I’m not surprised when he doesn’t.
Your axe to grind is either with Steve personally or with sponsored bloggers in general. Either way, this isn’t the place for it. You’re coming off as an ass which is really, really disappointing to see. You guys are all sort of in this together and it’s sad to see you slinging arrows over what is sort of a non-issue. You’re not providing a community service here by bringing the criminal Steve to Justice (note the capiltalization of Justice). You’re just making an ass of yourself.
Or maybe you’re just pissed that he gets free Arc’ Teryx goodies and all you get is a nut…
You guys should get together for few beers, soon. Otherwise the TRs from Antarctica will be very interesting for other reasons than skiing. (I understand you are going together on that trip, among others.)
Holy cow…should someone check on the moderator? Is he/she dead?
What I think is an interesting and useful discussion seems to have gotten a little snippy and personal (going out on a limb here). Some thoughts in the interest of a productive discourse (and at the risk of sounding like a pompous douche. Apologies in advance):
If I may, Steve, I think you made a small mistake when you suggested that TetonAT “only associates with companies that make the best gear for what we do.” I read this (and I think others do, too) as you saying that you use certain companies’ gear because it is better than everyone else’s, which both sounds pompous and implies that you are continually looking at all of the available options for a given gear need, and then you emerge with the perfect selection (which is always made by Arc’Teryx). In reality, I think you do what we more or less all do when we look at gear (I know I do, and I consider myself a total overanalyzing gear nerd, and I have been shoved in enough lockers to back that up): we develop biases towards certain companies, and we bring those biases to the table when it’s time to make a purchase. Thus, when you go to get new skis this year, you look at the BD catalog and choose your favorites; you don’t compare them head to head with, say, K2, as evidenced by your comments from the last OR show regarding their skis. I think there is a reasonable debate to be had around whether or not that behavior (or it’s extent) is because you are sponsored, or because of other aspects of behavior we all engage in, or both, but it’s hard to have that debate if people think you are presenting yourself as having made The Optimal Rational Choice in regards to your gear. Basically, I think we are beginning to combine biases from sponsorship with other biases, and it might be worth teasing those apart.
I don’t know that it is super helpful to think of this as some sort of previous posting witchhunt where we pull out all of the prior posts where Steve F’ed up. Perhaps it would be more constructive to focus on what sort of disclosures, tone, or acknowledgements Steve can make in future so that he can run a profitable site that informs but doesn’t mislead. Then we can all hold hands and maybe work in a drum circle or something.
Also, Andrew, I don’t know if you mean for your tone to be as strident as it comes across to me, but it makes it hard for your argument to come through and, as Ryan so eloquently puts it, makes you seem…not so nice. If you meant this all as playful banter and that was lost in the aether, disregard the rest of this, but I’m surprised given your site (which I totally enjoy) that you aren’t a little more sympathetic to Steve’s plight, and aren’t bringing a little more insight to the table other than “OOOH OOOH, there’s the bad man, mommy!” Frankly, I have often felt that you were not as upfront on these issues as I would have liked on your (again, awesome) blog. Do with that what you will.
Also, might want to make sure Stan’s beers are in cans, so we don’t have some sort of Happy Gilmore situation.
So, longest ever TetonAT comment? What do I win!!!??? A few of your 30 pieces of silver (kidding!)?
Per olddude, how much will you charge for “Teton AT: There’s a little bit of the whore in all of us” T shirts. ‘Cause I want 12!
Freedom of speech Matt. Like life…things aren’t always so rosy.
And Matt, the companies I deal with ARE the best in the business…but that doesn’t mean there aren’t others that are good as well. And I pass my card out at nearly all the booths when I’m at the trade shows, or at least chat with the reps, some choose to get in touch…some don’t. And I’d rather spend my time out doing things in the mountains that just hammering every PR agency and marketing director out there to get a ski to test…or a pack to try. I’m very happy with the companies I associate with and don’t need to look elsewhere for more product.
And I take Andrew’s comments in stride…just like everyone else’s. You have to if you’re every going to survive in this business.
I’m not sure what we should charge for the t-shirts.I say that in the spirit of things we get arcteryx to make them so they will cost abit more and then we will have to pay steve and andrew to wear them so they could get pricey but worth every penny.