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Colorado: Pre-registration starts for TBEX’12

River Run Village at Keystone Resort during the annual Beer and Bluegrass Festival.

Travel media conference at Keystone also taking proposals from prospective speakers

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Even though TBEX’12 is still 11 months away, pre-registration for the 2012 Travel Blog Exchange in Keystone, Colo. is now open.

The popular conference often fills early, and the advance rates are a good deal, at $59 for travel bloggers and $349 for PR reps through Aug. 31, when rates go up. As of July 10 there were still 148 tickets left at the $59 rate.

Regular registration starts Oct. 1 with rates going up to $85 for travel bloggers and other media types, and $549 for PR and industry people.

TBEX’12 organizers are also taking pitches for speaker slots, so anyone with a particular area of expertise who is interested should check out the proposal forms, online here. Continue reading

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Blog-o-rama: Dancing chimps, ninja wings and good tequila

Enceladus, one of Saturn's moons, is getting some attention because there may be some water beneath the surface. PHOTO COURTESY NASA.

This week we feature a new Breck eatery, a local photoblog, dancing chimps and news from deep space. We are in the blogosphere!

Wings with a ninja kick
Every week we take a gander around the blogosphere to see what folks in Colorado have on their minds. We start in Breckenridge, where Ashley Dickson, who blogs as the Gypsy Journalist, checked out a new eatery recently and reported that Northside Pizza dishes up some tasty pies at reasonable prices, along with wings that pack a ninja kick.

Here’s an excerpt from her post, describing her boyfriend’s first encounter with the wicked wings:

“Jake had talked a lot of game before the wings arrived, and after he shoved one in his mouth, he went completely silent.

“This is just wrong,” he pleaded. “My whole body is sweating. I feel messed up. Look, I’m shaking. Who would do this to themselves?”

No amount of water or bread could cool the fire, and I watched the boys writhe in agony as they waited for the heat to subside. I admit, I was laughing at their pain, and I couldn’t help but think of the guy from Man vs. Food on the Travel Channel. No wonder that show has garnered such a fan base. it’s kinda fun to see grown men cry over chicken wings.

The bartender wouldn’t reveal the secret mix of spices that gave the Double Black Diamond their ninja kick to the gut, but he admitted that the peppers registered into the hundred thousands on the Scoville heat scale. To put that in perspective, a jalapeno pepper comes out to 5,000 on the scale.” Read the rest of the blog about Northside Pizza here.

Continue reading

The mountain blogosphere

Colorado classic: Longs Peak in the winter. Photo by Dougald MacDonald.

A roundup of some notable posts on mountain blogs

SUMMIT COUNTY — We’ve added a couple of new Colorado voices to our blogroll, including an irreverent look at life from northwestern Colorado on Outta the Cornfield, and a relatively new and stylish web site and blog called Colorado Mountain Journal, or MoJo for short.

We’ll keep an eye on these and publish excerpts of their posts with links to the original location, like this post by Colorado MoJo editor Dougald MacDonald about a Fort Collins resident who is planning to climb every 14er in the lower 48 states, solo and self-supported, reaching the peaks on a bicycle he’s designing and building especially for the trip.

Here’s an excerpt from MacDonalds story on MoJo:

You know that sticker that says, “My best vacation is your worst nightmare”? Josh Holley  is planning a summer vacation that’s jaw-droppingly difficult. Time will tell if it turns out to be a dream or a nightmare.

Holley, 20, is going to attempt to climb every 14er in the Lower 48, solo and self-supported, without ever getting into a car or plane. Holley, who lives in Fort Collins and works at Noodles & Company (and also builds and sells single-speed and commuter bikes for extra cash), is building a custom bike on which he’ll carry all the gear for his three- or four-month odyssey. We asked him to describe his plan in more detail.

Holley, describes the plan in his own words after the break:

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Sunday travel: The great debate (or is it?)

A French youngster sorts through apples at a market in Brignoles. PHOTO BY BOB BERWYN.

Travel writers versus travel bloggers – does anyone really care?

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — For some time now, travel writers and bloggers have been debating about the relative merits of their chosen platforms. Bloggers claim that the immediacy of their posts, often written from the road, give readers a sense that they’re traveling along.

Some traditional travel scribes — and by that I mean writers who go on a trip, take notes and pictures, do research, then go home and write a story that appears in a magazine or newspaper a few months later — apparently feel that at least some travel blogs are under-reported, in the sense that they lack context. In some of these online debates, I’ve also seen some travel editors claim that some of the most popular travel bloggers don’t convey a sense of place, that they make they make the story all about themselves.

Although I’ve dabbled in travel blogging, I’d have to agree with at least part of that argument. At least a few of the bloggers who bill themselves as successfully making a career from their travel postings seem to think that the whole world revolves around them. The writing is pedestrian at best, sometimes includes egregious mistakes, and the photography often is somewhere around the level of what you might find in a family snapshot album, or worse.

In defense, bloggers have responded that personality is everything, and that their readers expect them to inject themselves and their subjective opinions into the story; whether they back up those opinions with any other views or facts seems irrelevant to them. And — who knows — judging by the number of people following their blogs and tweets they may be right.

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