Is social media right for your marine business? FaceBook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Twitter and the rest are no longer just for kids. If harnessed appropriately, social media may be able to help you generate more business.
With the launch last week of Fishington - a social media site for boating and fishing enthusiasts run by the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) - now is a good time to review other places that boaters "socialize" online.
By the way, Fishington has already has about 2400 members as of this post.
Here are some other popular or up-and-coming social media sites for boaters:
SailMonster is run by a friendly couple who sincerely welcome you when you join - this site has potential and is worth checking out.
Bluemapia.com took a while to open and differentiates itself as a "mobile" social network. Cool mapping technology let's you track where you've been or where you're headed.
TheBoaters.com seems to have a large following, possibly drawn to the network by their facebook ads as well as their frequent podcasts, originally hosted by Julie Perry.
activeboating.com - maybe 200 members at most; hard to 'make friends' because it's hard to find friends to make. If you only have time to visit a couple of sites, perhaps hold off on this one.
DockWalk.com, the social media site for crewmembers and other yachting professionals. The site's 5500 members include deckhands, chefs, yacht owners and more. Looks like a nice community.
Zooors.com - Launched in Feb '08, this social networking site is aimed at yacht owners. Still looks like a work in progress, but big beautiful photos and video screenshots make it pleasing to the eye. Not sure, but the site just may be a tool for promoting yacht charters based on the multiple text links at the bottom of the pages. Boater beware - if you join this site, you might get pitched to charter a yacht... Not that there's anything wrong with that.
BoatingPassions.com - find a date who likes to boat. I had this idea 5 or 6 years ago and added a section to a forum I ran, but the only posts were from porn spammers.
By the way, you can follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/canepari and http://twitter.com/FirstBoat