Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Walk Before You Run

(1:08) I'm happy to see many marinas jumping in and trying eBoatCards (eBC). The enthusiasm we're seeing from both boaters and businesses exploring this new medium has led to many spirited discussions here on aCappella about the capabilities and how to best use them. And like any new technology or medium, the users push and pull it in ways the creators may not have envisioned.

(0:59) It's great if you have jumped in early to eBC. The site is not 3 weeks old and as the users and groups grow, I would urge you to take this growth period to explore the possibilities and form a plan for how you can offer the most value to the eBC community. Remember, adding value will make you part of the content and not simply a distraction.

(0:51) Start by thinking about the areas of expertise you or your employees possess. Then consider how this expertise can be offered to the boater in a way that is beneficial. Peruse the eBC groups for ones that match your expertise. Remember, we are adding new groups daily so periodically check back.

(0:44) Consider suggesting a group that both fits your expertise and adds value for boaters. Let us know if you are willing to admin the group.

(0:40) Here are some possibilities. They are not all inclusive and my real hope is to get you thinking in new ways.

(0:36) 1. The Cruising Areas category is the place to educate boaters about why they should come to your area. Interesting events that are coming, attractions they may not know about, a weekly farmer's market accessible to boaters, a local restaurant that only the locals know about, or a nearby dog park are just a few things that are difficult for boaters to find out about. Make sure to check the posts often to find out what information boaters are seeking. Then use your own local knowledge to help them out. You will know you are successful when they begin to seek out your knowledge.

(0:23) 2. Boat Products & Systems are always an area where boaters are looking for help. Boatyards have an advantage here and should absolutely offer their expertise. Are you a certified John Deere or Westerbeke center? Consider offering to be an administrator for that type of group.

(0:15) 3. There are Interest areas that are forming with many possibilities still left. Does your staff have canvas expertise? Maybe someone is a master chef with a pressure cooker or knows celestial navigation. Wherever you can participate and contribute in a meaningful way you can gain valuable exposure.

(0:08) Every posting you make and every boater you help will have your marina name tagged along showing them (and everyone else) where the information came from. Make yourself a valuable contributor and you will reap the benefits.

(0:02) And that's the marina minute.