Since the thread has stalled, I thought I'd give some thoughts about the comments raised.
First, there needs to be additional input capabilities to reviews
in ActiveCaptain. We currently display reviews
with the latest one first. I think there is huge benefit in being able to get to all reviews - even ones that are years old. It shows trends and past possible issues. I have seen numerous marina reviews where there are negative reviews...then something changes and the reviews are positive. That provides good information.
That said, I'd also like users to be able to say "I agree with that review" or "That review was helpful" and allow the reviews to be sorted in order by those counts. That type of thing is very valuable when there are many reviews accumulating - and we're starting to get there.
I think that in the paper world there are two types of guidebooks
: (1) Quality references
, and (2) Tainted ad-based information.
The Pavlidis guidebook is an example of a quality reference. It costs some money
and provides researched, quality information that can be trusted. It often contains historical information and other cruising data that is helpful. It has an issue of currency as some things can go out of date, but as long as those items are avoided (slip pricing, fuel
pricing, pump out, mooring
field changes, etc), they are quite useful.
The tainted ad-based information guidebooks
are basically advertisements that attempt to lead you to the vendors and marinas
placing the ads. The fact is that large, expensive advertisements from marinas
cause much better content to be written about those marinas in these guidebooks. Anchorages are rarely discussed because the marinas don't want them displayed. It's all written in a way to make you think it's a reference and for $45 you'd think it should be. But what you're buying
is advertising and it's tainted with hidden bias. Charging
for this material disgusts me and it's the reason my wife and I started ActiveCaptain. There needed to be a better way to get current
, honest information into the hands of cruisers.
So where are we going? I'm currently on the speaking circuit on the Chesapeake - various rendezvous, fests, etc. What I've been showing is the integration of existing quality reference material like Pavlidis' book into ActiveCaptain. It'll take a year to get it in place especially since our data flows through to other navigation
products like Furuno
, Coastal Explorer, Navimatics (iPhone/iPad), and others coming out next. But what it will do is provide a way to get this quality information into the hands of electronic users. There will be an extra cost associated with it but it'll be less expensive than buying
the book (no costs of good sold) and it'll become available in all your navigation