Monday, January 09, 2012

Puma Loves Bloggers

Dear blogging friends, you have probably heard the news by now that Puma are sending ten bloggers on an expenses paid trip to Abu Dhabi to cover the Volvo Ocean Race. These lucky bloggers will "photograph and post updates as the competing sailors rest and recharge while participating in short sprints before departing on Jan. 15 for the race’s next stop in Sanya, China."

Woo hoo! Sailing bloggers finally get the recognition they deserve. What a sweet trip that would be!

But who are these top ten sailing bloggers chosen by Puma for the bloggy trip of a lifetime?

Are any of them winners of the prestigious Tilley Award as one of the Top 9 Sailing Blogs of 2011? Is O Docker going? Is Tweezerman? Surely they will be sending Buff Staysail?

Well, I don't know for sure, but I suspect not. Apparently the ten bloggers going to Abu Dhabi don't hang out in the stuffy old yacht clubs of Blogger and Wordpress and Typepad. They inhabit the lively waterfront bars of Tumblr and Instagram. They are the new generation of bloggers. They are the cool kids.

One of the lucky ten is Sean Sullivan who has a tumblr blog called The Impossible Cool. How cool is that possum?

And we have Ned Hepburn who writes real cool stuff on his blog like "fucking tweens. Hey, could you tween assholes NOT strip the attribution from my fucking posts and pass it off as your own? Don’t fucking steal my work." (Above work is attributed to Ned Hepburn.)

Then there is James Nord who writes a tumblr blog called HIGHLIGHTED LIFE on which he reported that he picked up two new bathing suits for his trip to Abu Dhabi. Here he is...

And Ashley Simko and Frommetoyou are going too. As far as I can gather, Ashley is a graphic and interactive designer who is occasionally asked to write about fashion, and Frommetoyou is Jamie who is a photographer in NYC who collects old typewriters.

I don't know who the other five lucky bloggers are, but I wish them all well on this fantastic assignment. I admit I am a little jealous that Puma didn't invite me but I couldn't possibly have gone to the Middle East for a week in the middle of the Newport Laser Fleet frostbiting season anyway. I shall be following the blogs of Sean, Ned, James, Ashley and Jamie over the next few days with great interest.

Update Mon 9 Jan 10:51am: Just tracked down two more of the Talented Ten. Also going to Abu Dhabi are Brian DiFeo the founder of Instagram NYC and Anthony D. of takingyerphoto.

Update Mon 9 Jan 1:09pm: Shortly after arriving in Abu Dhabi, one of the lucky bloggers tweeted, "My site is blocked in the UAE due to questionable / prohibited content." (You can probably guess which one from what I wrote above. Which probably means Proper Course is now blocked in the UAE too.) Oops! I wonder if Puma knew about Internet censorship in the UAE?

Update Mon 9 Jan 5:15pm: Just spotted another of the Puma bloggers in Abu Dhabi. It's Yimmyayo who apparently offers "visual crack for the ocular fiend." Some of the other bloggers on the Puma Ten are obviously talented photographers. Now the Yimmyayo blog is a striking series of photos, but the author says, "The images hosted on this blog have been hunted, culled and collected from the world wide web to be presented as visual stimulus for those viewing. This imagery is not being presented as my own, unless noted under the specific work." Hmmm. A bit like Proper Course without words!


Buff Staysail said...

Jeez, I'm lost for words.

Buff Staysail not cool? Just 'cos I'm not on Instagram.

The cheek of it!!!

O Docker said...

Looks like invites go only to fashion forward bloggers, Tillerman.

Have your sailing buddies been telling you those hiking pants make your butt look big?

When you leave for a regatta are you focused more on downwind technique than on accessorizing?

On the trendy international sailing scene, one week you're in, the next you're out.

Anonymous said...

One week you are out (Ben Ainslie in the Finn Worlds in Perth) and the next week you are in (America's Cup)


Tweezerman said...

Tweens? I think my head is tween my shoulder and there is that thing tween my legs and lower stomach that produced some Tweezerish-types that eventually became teens but not tweens.

Sam Chapin said...

Good report T-man and the blog looks a lot busier. If they ask or pay or anything I will not go. Like it where I am.

Emily Qualey said...

It'll be interesting - that's for damn sure. Although, I have to admit, I can't to see what Jamie & Kevin (typewriter girl) come up with for nautically themed cinemagraphs (ex:

Oh, and here, for your convenience:!/emilyqualey/vor-abu-dhabi-bloggers

Tillerman said...

Thanks Emily for the list of all the Twitter accounts of the Puma Ten. It will be interesting to see how this group reports from Abu Dhabi. Not at all your average sailing bloggers, in fact not sailing bloggers at all. So I think we must expect the unexpected!

JP said...

Agree, those cinemagraphs are pretty cool.

Noodle said...

I was convinced it was a joke, but then I checked your links. What a weird thing to do. Weird but interesting.

Tillerman said...

There are no jokes here Noodle. This is a deadly serious sailing blog for serious sailing blog readers seriously interested in reading about serious sailing.

And I think that irony is only something that pennies taste like. (Last sentence - with minor modification - is attributed to Ned Hepburn of

darcibastiaan said...

What's with the attitude? I know it was not your intention, but you sound like the person who can't handle the he and/or his friends were not chosen by Puma to cover this event. So what if Puma decided to pick people from Tumblr? Is it wrong for the company to go in another direction for once? Why did you not do some proper research instead of just looking at the last post Ned wrote, or simply looking at the description on Ashley's blog? It's comical that you want to portray these people as young amateurs when this post, apparently written by a 63 year old man, sounds like it was written by a bitter 16 year old.

Tillerman said...

Ouch. Sorry if it comes across that way darcibastiaan. I certainly didn't mean to imply that the Puma Ten are amateurs. They are clearly gifted bloggers in a field totally different from what I'm familiar with.

If I poke fun at one or two of them it's because that's what I do to pretty much everyone on this blog, including all my sailing blogging friends.

I'm sure Puma know exactly what they are doing and the Puma Ten will do them proud.

bonnie said...

Oh, Mr. Darci - I don't think any of us think we should have been chosen or were even remotely in the running. I think most of us just do this for fun - I know I do.

Seriously, though, it does seem like Puma could have put just a TINY bit more work into their choice. Right off the top of my head I can think of at least TWO incredibly hip young bloggers who would've been just incredible for this assignment.

seriously, doesn't anybody else think that it would have been awesome if Puma had sent Alex and Taru to Abu Dhabi?

bonnie said...

"I think most of us just do this for fun - I know I do."

Oops. Except for Buff Staysail, of course. Sorry Buff! Like the host of Buff's Sailing Slot on Queensland Community TV could ever be mistaken for a mere hobbyist.

word verification: spatomy. Surgical removal of spats?

O Docker said...

Tillerman, you should stop being such a fuddy duddy and give Ned Hepburn's blog (© Ned Hepburn, 2012) a chance. You might learn something.

Did you know, for example, that Puma's boat does "around 80 mph, if not more" (© Ned Hepburn, 2012).

With all the reporting the sailing slicks have done on this series, I haven't read one word anywhere else about that kind of boat speed.

Make fun of what you see as inexperience and shallow obsession with being cool, but there's some badassed journalism being done here.

Tillerman said...

I must admit I feel a bit guilty now about the cheap shots I took in this post at a couple of the Puma Ten. Regular readers of this blog know that I'm always taking cheap shots at my friends such as the time I appointed Tweezerman #1 Dork and the innumerable times I have mocked Joe Rouse for his obsession with ladies in bikinis holding big fish. Regular readers also know that I am just as likely to mock myself.

But the Puma Ten are not familiar with my sense of humor and I know that at least one of them was offended by my rudeness, for which I apologize. There has been an exchange of emails and I think we have cleared the air and made peace now.

As I said in an earlier comment, although some of us in the sailing world may have been surprised by whom Puma chose for this assignment, I'm sure the clever marketing guys at Puma know exactly what they are doing. I suspect that the readership of the Puma Ten matches very well the target demographic for Puma's fashion and footwear products and that's why they were chosen.

I must admit I have enjoyed checking out the blogs of the Puma Ten. It's certainly a very different world from the sailing blogosphere and we can always learn something from exposure to a different world. I know have.

O Docker said...

What, has this post-modern irony gotten a sailing blogger in trouble yet again?

Honestly, sometimes I don't know why we bother with it. Thankfully, you've never mocked me that way - or, at least, not that I am aware of.

And I disagree about Joe Rouse having an obsession with ladies in bikinis holding big fish.

Sometimes, they are little fish.

bonnie said...

oy...if feathers were ruffled by YOUR post, I'd hate to see what would happen if the gentle folks (ha ha) at Sailing Anarchy got hold of this one. Yikes.

JP said...

Surely Sailing Anarchy is banned in UAE ;)

Lets give those bloggers a break as they are clearly very good at what they do and have an impressive number of followers. In particular those cinemagraphs on From Me To You are simply beautiful.

My hmmm.... what's the word.... question would be what it says about the VOR? In particular is it indicative of an increasing gap between the sailing side of the competition and the commercial?

Buff's slot on Queensland Community TV did rather well recently with a 100% increase in viewers!! Yes that's right, Buff's mum has a new beau who watches TV with her!

O Docker said...

Dunno if there's any more or less of a gap than before, JP.

I think Puma, which obviously cares more about selling product than about sailing, saw an opportunity to reach an audience that sailing has traditionally missed.

Smart move on their part for a very small additional investment - the cost of sending a few bloggers to Abu Dhabi for a week.

Tillerman said...

The whole sailing sponsorship business is still much of a mystery to me. The benefits seem so intangible that I can never understand how a business makes decisions on what sports to sponsor and how they evaluate the return on their investment. I guess that's why I worked in information technology and not in marketing.

Sorry got to go. I suddenly have a terrible urge to go out and buy my wife a new Volvo. Where did that come from?

darcibastiaan said...

I apologize for my harsh comment, Mr. Tillerman. And to you as well, Ms. Bonnie, for seeming unkind. You both have a point, which I had failed to previously consider. Please, let us forget this matter and return to what we all care for: decency.

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