Thursday, November 20, 2008

Feeling Social Part 2

Where do you socialize online when you're not boating?

Last post, after witnessing the launch of Fishington.com, we started reviewing the existing social networking sites for boaters. This post looks at the rest.

Just as SailMonster is a favorite site for the sailboat community, DockWalk.com is probably the best community site for crew members and yachting professionals. The site's 5500 members include deckhands, chefs, yacht owners and more. It's the perfect place to hang if you work on a boat... or if you want to someday.

Bluemapia.com is a "mobile" social network for boaters, and if you're not sure what they mean by "mobile", visit the site and check out their embedded Google Map. Though this site is still in what they call "Beta" phase, when it fully launches it will allow you to visually share where you've cruised and where you're cruising to, and post videos, pics and reviews related to your voyage. Looking forward to the official launch!

Of the current active boating networks out there, TheBoaters.com is far and away the biggest, touting nearly 60,000 members. Its mass appeal could be a testament to the site's clean layout and ease of navigation, or perhaps to its inviting photos of boaters and their boats. But the success of any social network is its ability to easily allow members to connect to other members, and this is where TheBoaters.com really excels. Encouraging visitors to add their "Nautical Resume" and find boaters in the network with similar interests, near and far. In addition, TheBoaters.com is plugged into FaceBook, allowing you to "share your boats with your non-boater friends." You can even get updates from TheBoaters on Twitter, so you'll never miss a beat.

In summary, if you're looking to connect with other boaters on the web, you no longer have to fish (pun intended) through generic social networks like MySpace. There are several communities out there created just for boaters, and surely one of them is right for you. If we missed your favorite boating-related social network here or on our previous post, please let us know by way of comments below.