Active Captain - to share, or not to share?

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Mark
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Active Captain - to share, or not to share?

Postby Mark » Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:17 am

I've always been of the view that sharing info about places online is largely harmless. Few people view obscure websites and most places are already in the pilot books. Often the reason quiet places are quiet is because people want showers and power, not because people don't know about them. (Although I can think of at least three small clubs on the south coast with shore access, showers and a bar that simply never seem to get visitors - I don't really want word getting out about these.)

However, I've been meaning to have a tinker with Active Captain for a while, and I'm wondering if it might be a bridge too far? Seems to me it's already massive in the states and inevitably will catch on over here as plotters start to support it so a lot of eyes could be viewing the information.

So, on the one hand I'd like it to take off here because I'd find the info useful, and I like to know about new interesting places that aren't in the pilot books. On the other hand I don't want the places I like swamped with visitors. I'm tempted to go with a half way house and include details of places that are already well known, but again that's the slippery slope - sooner or later someone else will fill in the more obscure places.

What do you think?

I'm talking about this: http://www.activecaptain.com.

MrMcP
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Re: Active Captain - to share, or not to share?

Postby MrMcP » Tue Aug 17, 2010 10:28 am

Maybe I'm still too much of a newbie, but I like other people's reports on places before I go there. So I happily share what (little) I know on the basis I'm heavily on the 'take' side of the give & take curve while we learn about how to run a boat.

With ickle kids on board I'm less likely to take a punt on an anchorage, and we often bail out of planned stops to play it safe since we don't want to end up tired after long anchor watches or re-sets if we aren't sure of the holding with 3 kids to entertain the next day.

This season has been quite good so far for venturing further afield and trying new places, but we still spend an age balancing forecasts against possible overnight stops, and drastically altered our cruising plans accordingly to give us margins for safety. Hopefully this will improve over the coming years, but we'll be a while yet before we brave 'hidden' spots with the hooligans on board, so for us sharing is great. :)

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Mark
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Re: Active Captain - to share, or not to share?

Postby Mark » Tue Aug 17, 2010 2:10 pm

Oh well. I've made a few posts; given no secrets away and am well on my way to a free baseball cap.

I already qualify for free jubilee clips!

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Mark
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Re: Active Captain - to share, or not to share?

Postby Mark » Wed Aug 18, 2010 12:05 pm

My life is complete:

Congratulations! You have earned an ActiveCaptain hat!

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eligible for a free hat. Simply follow the link below to enter
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hat with the new ActiveCaptain logo.

Please log into ActiveCaptain and visit this page to get your hat:
http://www.activecaptain.com/awards/ha250.php

It's our way of saying thank you for your support of the
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marinas or get fuel - it shows them that you write reviews.

Thank you for your continued support!

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Re: Active Captain - to share, or not to share?

Postby ActiveCaptain » Wed Jan 05, 2011 6:43 am

Mark wrote:Congratulations! You have earned an ActiveCaptain hat!

So I'm dying to know...did we send the hat?

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Mark
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Re: Active Captain - to share, or not to share?

Postby Mark » Wed Jan 05, 2011 9:28 am

ActiveCaptain wrote:
Mark wrote:Congratulations! You have earned an ActiveCaptain hat!

So I'm dying to know...did we send the hat?


Yes! It came promptly.

I recently did a sailing club event which required "Christmas headgear" - I chose the Active Captain Hat with tinsel. :-)

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Re: Active Captain - to share, or not to share?

Postby ActiveCaptain » Wed Jan 05, 2011 2:06 pm

Mark wrote:I recently did a sailing club event which required "Christmas headgear" - I chose the Active Captain Hat with tinsel. :-)

One picture of that...we'd make you famous!

Happy new year. Safe cruising.

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Nick
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Re: Active Captain - to share, or not to share?

Postby Nick » Wed Jan 05, 2011 2:16 pm

.
I added a couple of entries for Balvicar Bay yesterday and they have not been added and appear to have vanished. What did I do wrong?
- Nick 8)

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Re: Active Captain - to share, or not to share?

Postby ActiveCaptain » Wed Jan 05, 2011 2:32 pm

Nick wrote:.
I added a couple of entries for Balvicar Bay yesterday and they have not been added and appear to have vanished. What did I do wrong?

You did everything perfectly. The new markers are there - here's a direct link to them:
http://activecaptain.com/X.php?lat=56.292829&lon=-5.595710&t=s&z=12

Both have a "New" status. That means they haven't been reviewed yet - they will be today within a couple of hours. We currently receive about 1,800 updates every day not including reviews. Every detail is verified and validated - a huge job - and takes a few hours. Given the time difference, it'll make it seem longer for you guys.

We've signed up a sailor who will be helping with UK data validations this year. We definitely need help as we expand coverage outside the US, Canada, and Caribbean - we've got a baseline of data now but want it as good as any guidebook just like in North America. MaxSea especially is interested and pushing us to do more international development and we're following their advice.

Thanks for the new anchorages - especially valuable. Looks like a wonderful area. We're on our boat for 9 months a year and would like to bring her over eventually and try out some of the excellent markers being documented. Scotland especially seems like such wonderful cruising grounds.

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Mark
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Re: Active Captain - to share, or not to share?

Postby Mark » Wed Jan 05, 2011 3:10 pm

Nick wrote:.
I added a couple of entries for Balvicar Bay yesterday and they have not been added and appear to have vanished. What did I do wrong?


Good entries! Never occurred to me to include mobile signal etc but it's a pretty handy thing to mention.

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Nick
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Re: Active Captain - to share, or not to share?

Postby Nick » Wed Jan 05, 2011 6:00 pm

ActiveCaptain wrote:Thanks for the new anchorages - especially valuable. Looks like a wonderful area. We're on our boat for 9 months a year and would like to bring her over eventually and try out some of the excellent markers being documented. Scotland especially seems like such wonderful cruising grounds.

One of these entries I was slightly reluctant to put in as an anchorage as there is not much room and most visitors take one of the boatyard moorings. Perhaps you should ahve a section for moorings as well. This site already runs a Scottish moorings section at http://www.bluemoment.com/scotmoorings.html . Perhaps we could come to an arrangement to syndicate the data?
- Nick 8)

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Re: Active Captain - to share, or not to share?

Postby ActiveCaptain » Wed Jan 05, 2011 9:59 pm

For moorings...if there is a charge, it should be created as a red/marina marker. That way the price and other facility features can be documented along with reviews in a searchable way. If moorings are free, they should be anchorage markers. There are exceptions to this but we've tried to keep it consistent along the lines of whether money is collected.

For syndication of data, we have some interesting things on the horizon...

There are organizations and especially website forums with incredible amounts of information. Often the organization doesn't want all of the information public because, quite reasonably, it's one of the advantages of being a part of the organization. Many clubs also have discounts at certain marinas. As an aside, I can see that happening (discounts) with forums eventually too.

So at the same time, organizations and forums want more members. It seems like a perfect match. We're planning on taking advantage of this with an "affiliate" program. It'll allow an organization to put data into ActiveCaptain that only their members can access. If you're a non-member, instead of getting the information, you'll get some brief info and a URL to go to for membership. So for example if you're looking at a marina with a discount for SSCA/OCC members and you're a member, it'll say, "20% of slip prices for SSCA members - provide your membership number when you make a reservation." But if you're not a member, it'll say, "SSCA slip discount - join at www.ssca.org to get more info."

A similar thing will happen for forum members. If you're cruising in an area and keep seeing the same special information for a particular forum, you'll join to get the data. In addition, you'll have a ready source for asking questions and having discussion like this, something that we're not going to implement in ActiveCaptain.

It seems like a great idea. We've run it by a dozen organizations here in the US and everyone wants it. It's on the list to complete in 2011. I'd love any feedback you might have - and make sure you're signed up for our newsletter so you can watch it develop.

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Re: Active Captain - to share, or not to share?

Postby DaveS » Sun Jan 09, 2011 11:19 pm

ActiveCaptain wrote:
Nick wrote:.
I added a couple of entries for Balvicar Bay yesterday and they have not been added and appear to have vanished. What did I do wrong?

You did everything perfectly. The new markers are there - here's a direct link to them:
http://activecaptain.com/X.php?lat=56.292829&lon=-5.595710&t=s&z=12

Both have a "New" status. That means they haven't been reviewed yet - they will be today within a couple of hours. We currently receive about 1,800 updates every day not including reviews. Every detail is verified and validated - a huge job - and takes a few hours. Given the time difference, it'll make it seem longer for you guys.


I haven't (yet) registered so couldn't look at Nick's entries, but while attempting to I couldn't help noticing that the nearest other entry, labelled Kilmelford Yacht Haven, is actually sited at Melfort Pier. (If you haven't a suitable chart to hand, click on this link http://www.threepointfix.co.uk/location ... gement.php and you should be able to find both of them.)
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