Photo by David Hobby
We estimate that the Maritime Industry is 3-5 years behind better knowing communities in the adoption of social media and the sharing of thoughts and ideas online. One of the problems is that setting up a blog (the right way) is difficult and time consuming. Then there is the problem of staring at your readership statistics and writing articles while you are waiting to get noticed. From our launch in April of 2007 it took us a full year to log our first million pageviews and only last week did we pass the three million mark. This is the primary reason we launched YOUBlog, to make the first steps easy for you. But I digress, the point is there are many great maritime bloggers our there sharing ideas that deserve to be read by a larger audience of maritime professionals. Here’s a listing of a few of our favorite maritime bloggers we have yet to cover;
Bryant’s Maritime Blog
Since launching gCaptain we have subscribed to many e-newsletter services. The Maritime Executive’s weekly newsletter is our favorite for industry news, Marine Norway (now M&E) has the best design and, although lacking original commentary, our friend Raina Clark has done a good job finding new maritime company press releases for Marine Link‘s daily newsletter. But our daily connection to the US regulatory and government world has been solidly kept via the writings of Dennis Bryant of HKLaw.com.
In a recent and unprecedented move I’m happy to report that our favorite, inside the beltway, e-journalist has joined small but growing ranks of maritime bloggers with the launch of his blog Bryant’s Maritime Blog. It’s certainly on our daily news feed, hopefully, soon it will be on yours!
By now most of you know that Admiral Thad Allen, Commandant of the USCG, is a true supporter of social media and some of you might even be fans of his on facebook but have you read his blog lately? iCommandant, Web Journal of Admiral Thad Allen, is our daily stop for insight into the high level workings of the U.S. Coast Guard. What we like most about the blog is the Commandant’s frequent invitations to other USCG leaders (including, but not just, officers) to write articles for his blog. We also appreciate his ability to engage readers in the discussion. Just yesterday, in fact, he welcomed readers to submit questions which he will address during his annual State Of The Coast Guard speech. This level of commitment to social media gives you, the average mariner or maritime industry CEO, the chance to make a difference in our future. For that (ok…. and his frequent mentions of gCaptain!) ADM Allen is our favorite blogger of the past year.
Thousands of mariners have a cumulative knowledge that far surpasses anything ever documented. Here at gCaptain we have put great effort into giving mariners the ability to share this knowledge, first with the launch of our forum and, recently, with the launch of YOUblog, but it’s true leaders that make the extra effort to step out of their comfort zone to lead A Tribe (great book BTW!). What does it take to lead a tribe? You will have to read the book to find out but, in short, it’s putting your ideas (popular and unpopular) out for others to learn from, steal, and build upon. Sharing great ideas is never easy and always welcomes criticism, even anger, (probably why the blog is written annonymously) but it’s the sharing of these ideas, coupled with his experience as a merchant marine captain, that makes Kennebec Captain one of our favorite reads.
Rough around the edges? Certainly. Controversial in their views? Without a doubt. Containing great information? Absolutely. Here at gCaptain our experience driving large ships often blinds us to the diversity of the maritime industry. Like the vessels they operate, mariners come in all shapes and sizes, but each has valuable insight that we can all learn from. On our forum we have made great strides to include everyone, seaman to CEO, in the discussions and it’s my opinion that we have done this successfully. Today our forum welcomes over a thousand members contributing an average of 50 posts each day and a healthy percent of those link back to Towmaster’s. Well done guys.
Our next pick needs little or no introduction. AMVER, The Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue System, has been saving mariners lives for over 50 years but this organization is certainly not old in its thinking. AMVER’s blog shares the stories of rescues we, in years past, only heard over coffee in the break room. The posts are good but their participation doesn’t end there as AMVER also has participated in Twitter, Facebook and even our own Messing About In Ships podcast. By utilizing social media AMVER hopes to get the next generation of mariners interested in safety and participating in their program and, from our perspective, they are heading in the right direction to meet this goal.
It’s too early to pass definitive judgment on the newest site from our podcast partner and friend Peter Mello, but knowing Peter’s ability to deliver quality content we are certain good things are in store for Seaz.me, a site that brings social media instruction to the maritime industry. If you or your company is looking for guidance in joining the world of Web 2.0 then we encourage you to visit Seaz.me as they are currently, along with our own Unofficial Networks, one of the few companies in the maritime industry that provides social media guidance. Those looking for more established content should visit the websites Sea Fever and Weekly Leader, both previously mentioned on this blog. Not to be missed is our own Mario Vittone‘s posts on leadership (link) a truly inspiring read.
Unofficial Coast Guard Blog
One of our true favorite websites is likely a thorn in the side of Coast Guard brass but certainly has the hearts of the average Guardian: The Unofficial CG Blog. We like it so much in fact our parent company, Unofficial Networks, tried to buy it last year. Unfortunately our bankers thought the offer was a joke (the announcement was made on 1 April last year) so they are not part of the gCaptain family (yet!) but they do share our vision of bringing the top stories daily to a specialized audience of readers and fans. We read it on a daily basis and, although not every article is of interest to us in the commercial maritime industry, we encourage you to read it daily as well.
That is all the links we have for today but, by no means, are these the only blogs that we love. Visit our blogroll for a complete list of maritime related blogs, bookmark maritime monday for the week’s best of and be sure to answer the following question in the comments below:
What is your favorite maritime blog?
Previously mentioned favorites:
Maritime Accident Casebook
Favorite non-blogs online:
- The Maritime Executive
- MAREX LinkedIn Group
- Professional Mariner Forum
- Twitter #maritime
- Tradewinds Online
- to name just a few!!