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Old 10-09-2014, 06:20   #46
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Re: Active Captain - Ramblings of a User

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Sounds like there may be a market for another app. Maybe even pay for play. What would be the value tipping point for an app that delivers the right info? Two revenue sources include users and commercial service providers. Alternate to a subscription fee would be an AC competitor startup app that's crowd sourced. The quality of that data could possibly be higher.
Already have pay for play. They are called cruising guides and they are always less up to date and usually have an agenda that makes thier "professional" assesment no more reliable than your average cruiser (probably worse as the bulk of posters don't have an agenda). 15-20yrs ago cruising guides were your best bet. Active Captain blows them out of the water in terms of available data with updates.

Feel free to start a new app. Competition is always better for the market but don't expect to be successful. The boating industry is too fragmented and there is already a great free app available.
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Old 10-09-2014, 06:33   #47
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Re: Active Captain - Ramblings of a User

I like AC a lot and use it when planning and while on a cruise. I have also posted on it a number of times and given reviews of a marina or two that I have stayed at. As others have mentioned it would be nice to know a boats draft or how deep the area where they anchored was. Sometimes those who post do mention it. If I happen to be anchored in a blow I will also mention how well the boat held in the conditions. So that others might sleep a little easier if they should anchor there in similar conditions.
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Old 10-09-2014, 15:16   #48
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Re: Active Captain - Ramblings from a New(ish) User

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.................. My own particular bug-bears on ICW reviews were:

"On the right/left hand side" - with no indication of which direction the reviewer was travelling; or similarly "on the east/west side" when that stretch of ICW - in the real world, rather than on the chart-plotter's screen - actually runs in an east/west direction.

Another regular was "we had x inches of water under the keel, even at low water." Fine, but how about telling us your draft too?

The quality of 'holding' in anchorages - both ICW and back in the Caribbean - was an area we particularly took with a pinch of salt, or perhaps to be more accurate, we looked actually out for 'old friends' amongst those posting: When we see that someone's posted along the lines of "Previous AC posters said that the holding here was good, but we dragged/couldn't get the anchor to set" at yet another location, we wonder how many more they'll give a one-star rating to, before perhaps considering whether their own technique or ground tackle is perhaps suspect.
The problem with these reviews (it's called "crowd sourcing") is that nearly one half of the population is below average intelligence. You would think that the average person would realize that posting how much water was under their boat's keel is just stupid. And yes, more people than you would hope for do not know how to anchor a boat.

The "star" rating is something that should be done away with. Personally, I have a hard time rating a marina with stars. What if it has great facilities but is away from shopping? Do you take away stars for that? Close to shopping but poor or dirty facilities? Suppose the facilities are clean but sixty years old? Do you subtract stars?
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Old 10-09-2014, 15:54   #49
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Re: Active Captain - Ramblings of a User

I'll give an example. I was planning on staying in a five star rated marina with glowing reviews. I called and they refused to take me because of a pending storm. Should I review this marina and give it one star?
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Old 12-09-2014, 04:52   #50
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Active Captain - Ramblings of a User

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Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
Already have pay for play. They are called cruising guides and they are always less up to date and usually have an agenda that makes thier "professional" assesment no more reliable than your average cruiser (probably worse as the bulk of posters don't have an agenda). 15-20yrs ago cruising guides were your best bet. Active Captain blows them out of the water in terms of available data with updates.

Feel free to start a new app. Competition is always better for the market but don't expect to be successful. The boating industry is too fragmented and there is already a great free app available.

Good insights. Considering the merits of an app design similar to that of Wikipedia whose mission is to empower, engage and disseminate http://m.wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Terms_of_Use. Crowd source with governance. The internet of everything changes what's possible. Why settle for less?
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Old 12-09-2014, 10:16   #51
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Re: Active Captain - Ramblings of a User

Actually no since you did not stay there, and most marina's will not take transients with named storms approaching, just basic business.
Everything is relative, so if you see three people rated the place the amount of information is limited, if you see a place with 60 people rating it I find the star rating pretty close to what I would rate it at. Cruising guides are very generalistic, they certainly won't give a bad review as they are also selling advertising.
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I'll give an example. I was planning on staying in a five star rated marina with glowing reviews. I called and they refused to take me because of a pending storm. Should I review this marina and give it one star?
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Old 12-09-2014, 12:25   #52
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Re: Active Captain - Ramblings of a User

I did reviews for the places I went to last week, "won" a free hat
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Old 12-09-2014, 13:58   #53
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Re: Active Captain - Ramblings of a User

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Originally Posted by RKsailsolo View Post
Sounds like there may be a market for another app. Maybe even pay for play. What would be the value tipping point for an app that delivers the right info? Two revenue sources include users and commercial service providers. Alternate to a subscription fee would be an AC competitor startup app that's crowd sourced. The quality of that data could possibly be higher.
The value of crowd-sourced applications is in network scale and the quality of crowd. If the filter on crowd membership is significant, you lose scale. If you only want to show "the right info", you need to filter out those who aren't qualified and those who aren't biased and then you have to curate the information that comes through and vet it for accuracy. Lack of bias kind of rules out commercial service providers. That doesn't leave you with an easy or affordable business model unless you're a government.

That's not to say there isn't room for an AC competitor. There are parts of the world with lots of sailing and not much AC penetration. Those regions would seem to be good places to try out differing versions. If something else takes off, it's likely to be adapted elsewhere.

However, the idea that anyone would use any source of information, especially crowd-sourced, without vetting makes me cringe. I use AC regularly and value what I get, but it's just one source of information. I use my iPad, my chartplotter, my charts, my friends and my senses (in reverse order). All have a role.
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