Old Media, Social Media and the NYC Waterfront

City Room - Metro - New York Times Blog_1217555847247

This week one of America’s oldest media companies, The New York Times, has been using some social media tools, The City Room blog, to create a dialogue, or at least Q&A, with Roland Lewis, the president and chief executive of The Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance about the New York City waterfront.

The Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance “works to transform the New York and New Jersey Harbor and Waterways to make them cleaner and more accessible, a vibrant place to play, learn and work with great parks, great jobs and great transportation for all.”

While Mr. Lewis doesn’t address every comment submitted, he does a good job of fielding a number of interesting questions about the current status and future plans for New York harbor. You can read the first day’s Q&A here and the second day’s here.

It seems like a great way for a nonprofit to deliver their message, engage stakeholders and recruit some new ones. Kudos to the NY Times and the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance!

Thanks to Bonnie at frogma

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First Fish(s)

BBA logo On Saturday afternoon I was working on a Powerpoint for the live auction for the MattSail Gala that was taking place in the evening when our doorbell rang. It was our old friend Mark Barry (NOT this one) who stopped by to let us know that the Buzzard’s Bay Anglers Club was holding a junior fishing derby on the docks just outside our house. He invited Luke (5) and Joy (3) to come join in the fun and try their luck at fishing.

The Buzzards Bay Anglers generously provided all of the equipment which amazingly the kids were then able to keep. There were nifty rods and a cool little tackle box that was a “reel” hit with Luke and Joy.

On the way to the fishing spot, Luke ran into his buddy Stefan and his dad, “Sushi Chef” Dan. The boys got right into the fishing with Mr. Barry providing pointers and support to Luke. Stefan was the first to catch a fish and if you look really hard you might see it in this photo.


Then Luke caught his first fish, a beautiful striped scup. It was all pretty exciting.


In fact, it was so exciting, Luke wanted to go back to the dock this morning and try his luck again. Yesterday the bait was squid but this morning we used Mummy’s home-cooked ham. The fish didn’t seem to mind too much as Luke caught another.


When I was a kid I fished a lot on a pond at a cottage that our family rented each summer. There we’d catch and release sunfish like there was no end. I really enjoyed it until one day I hooked my cousin Laurie instead. Hmm, not good but thankfully I got her on the meaty bit of the arm and she survived and still talks to me today.

At 5, Luke is getting right at the age where he’s capable of doing these types of activities and boy it’s fun to watch (and teach). Catching his first fish is a real milestone and I’m 100% certain that he will catch many more off the end of the Mattapoisett docks this summer. It’s great that there are organizations out there like the Buzzards Bay Anglers Club that give kids the opportunity to experience the thrill of a new sport or activity.

Thanks to the Buzzards Bay Anglers Club for the great rods, reels and tackle for Luke and Joy! But more importantly thanks for giving our family a chance to do something really fun together on a Saturday afternoon. I can guarantee you’ll see us out there catching fish again and telling plenty of stories about it too.

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Morning Light Trailer

Anyone who reads the Sea-Fever blog will not be surprised that I’m very interested in seeing this movie in the fall.

I’m particularly interested because I know one of the young people involved. Jesse Fielding was one of only a handful selected from a pool of thousands to take part in this project. His father/guardian is Steve Baker, one of my former colleagues over at the American Sail Training Association. Steve also has a sailing blog called SailScape.

Here are links to the Morning Light Project website and the movie’s website.

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Life is too short! Live it like this!

Randy Pausch died today from pancreatic cancer at the age of 47.  This was his “last lecture.” I highly recommend it and guarantee you’ll learn something valuable.


Thanks Professor Pausch!

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French film director Louis Malle and the SS Andrea Doria

Today in 1956 the Italian line SS Andrea Doria collided with the Swedish American Line’s SS Stockholm resulting in one of the most famous maritime disasters of all time. Remarkably, while over 1600 passengers and crew were aboard the Andrea Doria, only 46 lives were lost as a result of the collision even though half her lifeboats were inaccessible due to the severe list she took on after the incident. Much of this can be attributed to the improved maritime communications post-Titanic and the close proximity to the United States mainland and nearby vessels who quickly rendered assistance.

A week or so after the casualty, a team of divers located the Andrea Doria on the ocean’s floor and, led by a young Louis Malle, they were able to shoot the first underwater footage of the vessel in her final resting place.

Of course, Malle developed into a prolific and awarded film director who was nominated for three Oscars and won several awards at Cannes. One of his earliest successes was Le Monde du Silence (The Silent World) which he co-directed with famous underwater explorer Jacques Cousteau and which won Canne’s prestigious Palm d’Or (Golden Palm) in 1956. Here’s an snippet for this groundbreaking film.

While the Andrea Doria met her end 52 years ago, it’s amazing that the SS Stockholm continues to sail today under the name MS Athena for Classic International Cruises; not surprisingly, there’s no mention of her special place in maritime disaster history which probably is a sound marketing strategy.

For another famous director who launched his career doing maritime movies check out the previous post Stanley Kubrick and The Seafarers.

PBS – The Secrets of the Dead – The Sinking of the Andrea Doria

Andrea Doria – Tragedy and Rescue at Sea (some annoying pop-ups here)

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Foto Friday – Wind Powered x2

Daily Mail - Wind Powered

Here’s a dramatic photograph from the The Daily Mail UK (July 19, 2008 ) – The winds of change – the moment a Tall Ship faced up to modern wind turbines.

The solitary figure wading out into the sea is actually a sculpture by British artist Antony Gormley who may be most readily known for his monumental sculpture Angel of the North which is celebrating it’s 10th anniversary this year. Gormley was also awarded the Tate Gallery’s prestigious Turner Prize in 1994.

Antony Gormley’s “Another Place” (BBC’s h2g2 April 21, 2008 )

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Jet Ski in the Jacuzzi

This guy’s insurance company gave him a very limited navigation warranty in his policy. I guess he can’t get into too much trouble but he still should probably wear a life jacket. Just another reason not to like jet ski’s. Hope he’s not your neighbor!


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Kick Ass Speed Boats from the 1970’s


ISO 50 The Visual Work of Scott Hansen brings us Kick Ass Speed Boats, a must see collection of photographs from the 1970’s.  When I was a kid I remember this being pretty popular; not quite up there with Evil Knievel but still exciting. Check it out!

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Has Microsoft caught Sea-Fever?

Microsoft Vista ad

Here’s the latest graphic that was used in an internal Microsoft conference about the upcoming $500 million Windows Vista marketing campaign as reported by the NY Times Bits blog this afternoon (Microsoft Tries to Polish Vista) and ZDNET last night. (First hints of Microsoft’s “fight back” ads appear)

Of course, we love the maritime theme and can only wonder if it was in someway influenced by the American Sail Training Association’s TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE Series which recently made several ports of call in their neighborhood. Probably not but it’s cool anyway. Too bad they didn’t use a photograph of an actual tall ship like the USCG Barque EAGLE or the more local Lady Washington or Adventuress. That could have brought some much appreciated attention to the good work that these vessels do in preserving our country’s rich maritime heritage. And wouldn’t it be great if Microsoft took a few bucks from the $500 million earmarked for this campaign and used it to support the youth programs of these and other Pacific Northwest tall ships.  Now that would be super corporate social responsibility. Okay, I know I’m dreaming but what the heck, it’s worth blogging about.

Like they say, “At one point, everyone thought the Earth was flat.” But then they got on a tall ship and the rest is history (or maybe science).

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