Tuesday, January 20, 2015

All In The Family

(1:03) Lately, we've been writing about the concept of crowd-sourcing in our ActiveCaptain boater newsletter. We've discussed how it works, why it works, and interesting new technologies that are emerging. The feedback and discussions generated have been terrific. It got me thinking more broadly about who really is "the crowd."

(0:55) It's easy to oversimplify this complex and diverse group as just, "a bunch of boaters." But having lived aboard now for twelve years, I know it's much more. Just as in nature, it is the diversity that creates the magic.

(0:49) I've found that there is not only diversity among the actual boaters - wide experience levels, transients, locals, different boat types, and on and on. The diversity also spreads out into others who live, work, and dream in this wonderful boating family.

(0:43) Contributors include towboat operators, NOAA and Coast Guard personnel, yacht clubs, other boating clubs, and more. It also includes you, the marinas and boat yards that service the boaters. You are a key piece of what makes this family work.

(0:37) When you update your fuel price, or fill in your amenities, or correct your approach information, you are adding to the crowd-sourced data. Your additions and corrections do more than simply make sure your marina is presented well. You are helping to bring more users into the fold who will offer more crowd-sourced data that will help more boaters cruise with confidence. It's a continuous cycle resulting in more boaters who get into boating, and more importantly, more boaters making more use of their boats.

(0:27) Every day we are told how the resource we set in motion with ActiveCaptain has fundamentally changed boating, making it safer and more enjoyable. This has caused more boaters to throw off once-fixed lines. One boater recently wrote that it makes other resources seem "laughable".

(0:20) The message for you is this - don't view your contributions as merely limited to the small world of your marina. You are a part of something much bigger. You are as much a member of this boating family as any boater out there. You have great value to add that can help boaters spend more happy days on the water.

(0:13) In return, they help you by highlighting your strengths and telling you how to be better. They enter your ports with less stress and enjoy more of their time with you.

(0:08) So continue to contribute your knowledge, and look for new ways to assist boaters by updating hazard and local knowledge markers as well. We are all in one big family, sharing the experience.

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