Looking for the Under Solen blog? We’ve moved!

That’s right! You can now find the Under Solen blog on our new and improved website! Just click here. Lots of fresh original content on new media, the outdoor world and beyond… all with the taste of Under Solen sass that you’ve come to love.

cheers

The Under Solen Team

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Friday Faves: Social Media, Casino Parties and a Taste of Team Ridiculous

It’s Friday! We’re hoping you get to explore someplace amazing this weekend… something along the lines of the photo above.

We’ve seen some big social media initiatives this week, being used to do everything from raising awareness to helping out a friend. Pepsi went all out and launched the Refresh Project, the National Park Conservation Association turned to its social networks to talk about the latest budget shortfall and eco bloggers and green-minded folk across the internet reached out to help pay writer Derek Markham’s hospital bills.

Meanwhile, our friends over at The Kamchatka Project are planning a one-of-a-kind event to raise money for their conservation awareness trip to the Kamchatka Peninsula. If you live in the Portland area, put March 13, 2010 on your calendar. It’s going to be a night of gambling, salmon and espionage… that’s right, it’s the To Russia With Love Casino Night. Door prizes, raffle items, drinks and more! More info and tickets can be found here. Speaking of salmon, read this article and five easy tips on how to take action to save them!

We’ve also been filling our week with amazing photo essays. Thanks to Matador Network for always finding up and coming travel photographer that take amazing photos like these.

And how could we forget? The Joy Trip Project published a wrap-up piece about social media use at the recent Outdoor Retailer and our very own Emily Nuchols was quoted.

Emily adding her photo to the Keen wall at Outdoor Retailer to raise money for Haiti relief efforts

Two of the most talked about exhibitors weren’t brands but non-profit organizations, 1% For The Planet and The Conservation Alliance. With the help of key influencers who support these groups the issues of wildlife conservation and environmental conservation became top-of-mind.
“Social media makes the connection between brands, causes and adventurers clearer than ever before,” said Emily Nuchols, an industry influencer and a principle at Under Solen Media. “It’s not about who gets the most action on Twitter, it’s about who uses their social media to take action on things that matter. We believe in the power of social media to make positive change, and we believe in people who are passionate about their causes — be they businesses, advocates or adventurers.”

And what’s the best part about this Friday? We’re looking forward to some exciting things that are going to happen next week. We can’t tell you just yet, but stay tuned! In the meantime though, be sure to check out the slightly absurd site started by our good friend Dave. Team Ridiculous: We are going to awesome your socks off.

Now we’re off to do a snow dance in the hopes of inviting better skiing weather!

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US National Parks Affected by Obama Administration’s Budget Cuts; Social Media Supporting Cause

According to the National Parks Conservation Association, every $1 invested in National Parks means $4 for the US economy. But the nonpartisan group said that the Obama Administration’s 2011 budget request for national parks will “barely cover costs to pay the bills, let alone restore the operational needs to serve park visitors and protect America’s wildlife and heritage for their second century.” That means not only are parks at risk, but economies that depend on them as well.

Here at Under Solen, we’re avid media consumers, and that includes newspapers, but often, some of news topics we find most interesting come to us via social networks, which is exactly how we were alerted to this budget shortfall.

Here were some of NPCA’s top retweeted posts.

Americans are visiting #nationalparks at rate not seen in years, stimulating local economies http://bit.ly/dzoXF1

Every $1 invested in #nationalparks means $4 for the US economy. Ask Congress to fund them http://bit.ly/dzoXF1

current budget reduces or eliminates nearly $100 million in #nationalparks programs http://bit.ly/am1T0C

The NPCA is calling on President Obama to to keep his campaign commitment to restoring national parks, and to raise awareness about the budget shortfall, capitalizing on its social networks and spreading the word via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and beyond.

“We’re using social media to spread the word as quickly as possible with our community that the President’s budget request does not reflect his campaign promise to address the national parks’ funding shortfall. National parks mean green jobs and bring real revenue to local economies. We believe there has never been a better opportunity for Congress to invest in our parks and our people than now. Our goal is to create a groundswell of support to convince our leaders to invest in the national parks. Using the internet as part of a comprehensive strategy, we can reach more people faster than ever before,” said NPCA Media Relations Manager Lindsay Bartsh.

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If Our Grandfathers Had Talked About Social Media…

A little Wednesday social media humor for you!

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A Big Company Doing Something GOOD: Pepsi Refresh Project

Big corporations have the power to do big things, and Pepsi is the latest company to create an initiative that appears to be focused less on advertising and more on positive change. Teaming up with GOOD Magazine, on Monday, Pepsi launched the Pepsi Refresh Project, a grant program that will allot at least $20 million through the end of the year for donations to individuals, businesses and nonprofits working with everything from health to arts and culture to the environment.

Pepsi accepts 1000 new ideas for grants every month. Visitors to the refresheverything.com site can vote daily on which ideas they think are best. There’s a lot up for grabs; grants will be made in $5,000 to $250,000 bundles. Anyone that has an idea that just might change the world, it looks like this project just might be what you were looking for.

In the past branding might have been about getting people to put a Pepsi in their hand and recommend it to their friends, but now it’s about engaging communities to raise awareness about great causes. Pepsi will be using the power of social media to spread the word. In fact, Pepsi has partnered with some of the biggest names in the online industry to promote the project including Hulu, AOL and MTV.

Some may question the intentions of a major brand like Pepsi, but the people at GOOD are convinced that the initiative a positive thing. “That a major brand like Pepsi is taking a stand and saying that purpose and progress are core to its identity is critical,” said GOOD Founder and CEO, Ben Goldhirsh in a recent blog post. The New York Times calls that cause-related marketing or pro-social marketing, “by which corporations seek to back up their talk about benefiting society.”

As for the social media side of things, this initiative emphasizes the increased role that consumers are having in today’s branding and advertising campaigns. In fact, they’re no longer just consumers, but an active and engaged audience that can turn a simple campaign into a movement.

Go take a look at some of the many projects that have been submitted for grants… there’s some REALLY good stuff in there — a multimedia Afghan photo exhibit, an interactive website to learn about human trafficking, a cross country bike trip to build affordable housing, and beyond! — which gives us great hope that although this is certainly getting Pepsi a lot of good PR, it’s about something bigger and better.

What do you think? Is the Pepsi Refresh Project a vehicle for positive change or just another advertising campaign?

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Friday Faves: Salmon + Decadent Yoga + Facebook Humor

Winter in the Snake River Basin in Central Idaho. Photo courtesy Save Our Wild Salmon

The week after Outdoor Retailer is always blurry, including lots of follow-up, sleep and getting back into the groove of life. Our treatment for post-OR is to hit the mat, take some deep breaths, a sip of wine on focus on causes that move us and inspire us to do the work that we do… And a little laughter always helps too!

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Mountainfilm in Portland!

For our Portland friends, here’s an event you’ll definitely want to check out. We’ve mentioned Mountainfilm before, but what’s really cool about the film festival is that they take the whole thing on tour, giving people that can’t make it to Telluride to experience some of the amazing films and inspiring messages. Mountainfilm on Tour will be in Portland this Thursday, January 28, 2010, hosted at Portland State University. Check it out!

What: Portland State’s Outdoor Program and Portland Mountain Rescue are hosting the Mountainfilm on Tour festival on campus. It will include four hours of films that celebrate the great outdoors—especially mountains and mountaineering culture. In addition to the festival screenings, the Outdoor Program will hold a raffle and silent auction. Both Portland State students and the public are welcome to attend.

Where: Portland State University, Smith Memorial Student Union Ballroom, SMSU 355

When: Thursday, January 28, 2010, 6-10pm.

Cost: Students $7 advance, $10 door
Faculty and public $10 advance, $12 door

More info here.

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