Websites

Paul Nicklen, World Class Photographer
Saturday, 10 February 2007

As a fellow Canadian, I get excited when other Canadians are acknowledged on the world stage. For the 2nd time in 4 years, Paul Nicklen won first prize in the Nature Stories category of the prestigious World Press Photo contest. Nicklen, who grew up in a small Inuit community of 140 on Baffin Island, captured the 2007 prize for his vivid photo of a leopard seal hunt in Antarctica. It was his second time in four years that he won the prize to boot! You can view his award winning photos. When you are there also take a peek at their other categories. They are absolutely amazing. The sad thing is outside the nature and sports categories, they are all generally death and destruction. Personally, I put myself through looking at them to keep my priorities in check. Here I am worrying about that I am going to get attacked by an optician downstairs when in other parts of the world, people are losing their kids to wars and natural disasters...

Down boy, bad website
Wednesday, 31 January 2007

As the owner of a web design company, nothing drives me crazier then websites that are outdated or non-functional. Looking for a good example, go to Perciption Kayaks. Under "Resources" they still haven’t added the promised forums that were supposed to arrive in 2004. They also have two "Sponsorships" that I have been also waiting to learn about from that era as well. Now, I completely understand old content on sites, it happens. But if you are not going to offer something, just take it off the menu item. If it isn’t there, nobody will ever miss it. Want to see a great site? Go to Jackson Kayaks. Visually it is OK. Nothing to big or exciting but they have fully embraced all the technology that the web has to offer and they have kept the content updated regularly. You can find a regular podcast created by Erik Jackson and taped it into itunes so you don’t need to go to the site to get the update, you can get it automatically downloaded into you computer through itunes. The crowning section about this site isn’t even big or obvious. Look at the site and see how much acknowledgement there is to you the customer. They take the time to post user submitted photos and bring a family flair into the "Family Corner". By truly acknowledging the customer working to embrace them in their business model, they have created a very strong bond between company and customer.

Risk Taker
Wednesday, 31 January 2007

I always get excited when I hear about companies taking risk. Sadly I don’t get excited to often (epically in the outdoor industry). With profit margins generally speaking, razor thin, most companies don’t want to take real risks and step out and set themselves apart from other companies. Yes, you get a new design here or there but I find that it is the hurry up and wait to see what other people are doing game. There is some money spent in R&D but compared to other sports or leisure activities it is a drop in the bucket. What makes me even more excited is when companies put their money where their mouth in relation to the environment. Hands down, the king would be Patagonia’s effort to make their environmental footprint as small as possible. They do quite a few different programs but the one I really like is their clothing recycling program. What’s that you ask? Well, you can drop off or mail in your old worn out Capilene underwear and they will recycle it and turn it back into new garments. What a great idea. They recently expanded it so it now so that all Polertec fleeces made over the past 16 years is now completely recyclable. Take a peek at their website for more info about the program. They also developed an executive summery and a whitepaper about the program that breaks down the amount of energy saved through the recycling program.

Zap
Tuesday, 30 January 2007

Eagle on powerline. Click to zoom Gladly you don’t see this every day. It seems that the other day in Juneau a power outage for 10,000 residents was caused by an eagle that was trying to carry a deer head back home. It seems that it found it in the dump but proved to be to heavy and couldn't get enough height to get above the power lines. Read the story here. Source: boing boing  

SeaKayakRoutes.com New Poscast
Monday, 01 January 2007

Simon Willis, from SeaKayakRoutes.com has just released a new podcast that helps explain the significant upcoming changes to the British Canoe Union's 3 and 4 star awards. Willis interviews Doug Cooper, head of paddle-sports at Glenmore Lodge, Scotland's National Outdoor Training Centre. According to Doug Cooper, the adjustment to the levels is to make them more useable and accessible to students progressing through the awards.
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