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Friday, December 08, 2006



Hmm, wouldn't "shameless self promotion" be something more like poppin' around to various Web sites to troll for more viewers?

I would argue that I have not just a non-shameless right, but a virtual obligation to our viewers to let them know we have a very big news item coming up, during what are normally the off-hours for many. As for the buildup, it's good for our viewers to get a sense of whether or not they should bother checking in tonight. I don't think many will be disappointed when they do.

Now, back to the truly important stuff (Don Pardo voice): "Midnight* tonight on Telemarktips, the biggest news since plastic tele boots, be there!"

*Mountain Time

Didn't you get your start trolling usenet to get attention for telemarktips Mitch?



Yes indeedy, you have an "obligation" to tell them that in a year or two they will be able to buy something. This was hype, pure and simple.

If you had pictures = maybe not hype.
If the release date was sooner than anticipated = maybe not hype.
If we didn't already know that BD was working on their own new boot-binding interface = maybe not hype.

But no. You had information, mostly from a firms PR department, that was intended to offset the recent release of photos of their competitor's product. A product that, by the way, seems to be closer to completion based on the fact that folks have actually, you know, seen and skied the device.

BD needed water carried. They called you. You agreed.

Would it have made the slightest difference if you hadn't spent 36 hours advertising your super-duper special secret news?
You could have just dropped the information on your news page and your readers would have checked Ttips on saturday morning, or maybe monday morning, and said: "Hmmmmm.... BD's firmly committed to their new boot and binding system. There's no pictures, or a detailed design description, or reviews, or anything. Just an expected release date sometime in the future."

There's nothing wrong with hype. It's a central part of your website. You're not an objective journalist. You're a booster and promoter for niche sport. You NEED to be energetic and psyched about the sport, its equipment developments, and any major events or accomplishments.

But let's be honest here. Everyone was getting all excited about the NTN, there were sexy pictures and a very positive user review on your forum. BD needed to temper that excitement and didn't want to be seen as the johnny-come-lately to the new binding party when they unveiled their new design in a few months time. So they slapped together some marketing copy and called you up. You even called their binding "the holy grail," hell - they couldn't have asked for more.

From your article we now know what BD hopes the binding will do. But the nearest thing we have to an actual product review in your article is a quote from a (undoubtedly unbiased) source in marketing that the *touring* function is dialed in. As for the downhill performance... well, you'll have to ask the crickets about that one.

The Piton

I think the real story here that that major telemark product announcements are now being done with the telemark community. The Piton received over 300 unique users that clicked over from this BD discussion thread at Telemarktips. What other method exists to communicate this intimately with such a niche group of users? This should be celebrated, not denigrated like in the previous comment . Just remember, push hard enough and these gear companies many go back to the old ways of launching new products. Ways that don't include you.

Great job Mitch


Tyrone's comments are right on. Always count on Ttips to gush for an advertiser, be it a glowing "review" or hyping a press release...no wonder telemark skiers wear kneepads.

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