Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Included in the "Travel 10" of the inaugural "SAY 100" voices that shape opinion

There's a new badge off to the right in the sidebar of my blog, marking my inclusion as one of 10 inaugural "online voices that shape opinion" in the travel category of the worldwide SAY 100 launched today:

Author, journalist, blogger, travel expert... there's seemingly nothing Edward Hasbrouck doesn't do. Looking somewhat eccentric with a wiry beard and hippy attire, he's the man behind The Practical Nomad -- blog and now book series -- which promotes independent, responsible travel. Having been around the world not once but three times, the man knows a thing about globetrotting and his posts keep us both informed and inspired.

I'm honored to be in such company. Along with me, the 10 travel voices selected by SAY Media's curator include Sir Richard Branson, the wonderful Wendy Perrin of Conde Nast Traveler and the Perrin Post blog, and Simon Calder, travel editor and columnist for the U.K. newspaper The Independent, whose consumer advocacy and advice lives up to that name: independent.

I won't be able to be there (still hard at work on deadline for my next book), but there will be what sounds like a fun soiree in New York City on March 2nd to highlight the launch of the SAY 100....

Yes, this is a marketing company trying to promote its own brand and view of the media by linking itself to people who already have influence. But there's also a point made by SAY Media's Michael Sippey in announcing the SAY 100 with which I agree:

Quick: how many different LCD screens did you glance at yesterday? I bet you couldn't even begin to count.

They're in our walls, on our desks, in our pockets, in our elevators, in our cars, in our building lobbies and at the checkout line at the grocery store. These screens are delivering messages through streaming newsfeeds, real-time alerts and even life-sized advertising experiences (been in a mall lately?). Like Madge used to say in the old Palmolive ads, we're soaking in it, where the "it" is media. And if we're constantly soaking in it, how can we separate signal from noise?

Here's the secret: we do it with people. As the quantity of messages we receive goes up, we're turning to voices we trust to find the signal in all the noise. This can mean friends, of course, of both the Facebook and non-Facebook variety. But thanks to the explosion of blogs and passionate creators, we're also turning to authentic, knowlegeable voices online that create engaging content, drive conversation and shape opinion.

The SAY 100 is a collection of those voices. We want to highlight the fact that media is changing, and the power to shape opinion is shifting from the faceless editorial voice of "The Magazine" or "The Newspaper" to individuals, many of whom are taking advantage of simple technology to create their own properties and build their own media brands. And the best way to highlight that change is to show who we're talking about.

Thanks to Michael Siffey, SAY Media, and travel category curator Nick Clarke.

And most importantly, thanks to YOU, my readers. If I have a voice that shapes opinion, that's because YOU choose to listen.

I thank you for that, and I acknowledge the responsibility that gives me to work for you -- not for advertisers, not for the companies that call themselves the travel industry (as though travel were a product rather than something we do or an aspect of our lives), not for anybody else.

Link | Posted by Edward on Wednesday, 23 February 2011, 07:45 ( 7:45 AM) | TrackBack (0)
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