Tall Ship Sailing and Social Media: US Brig Niagara Video

Back in July 2006, when I was executive director of the American Sail Training Association, I created this video in one evening from footage shot by the ASTA summer interns aboard the US Brig Niagara, one of the most spectacular ships in the fleet. I revisited it tonight after getting an email from my friend Billy who’s currently chief mate on Niagara and low and behold, we’re in spitting distance of 10,000 views. Can you spare a fella a watch and get it around this waypoint?

YouTube – TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE 2006 on US Brig Niagara

Begging for views aside, social media is an incredibly powerful tool for nonprofits to have in their toolbox. Think about it. Just a year before this video was made and posted, you really couldn’t do this sort of thing because Youtube did not even exist. A month after I posted it, the Wall Street Journal published one of the first articles about the online video sharing phenomenon. In 2 short years there are so many powerful video and other communication platforms available via the Internet that it will make your head spin.

My video has nearly 10,000 views with zero production or marketing budget. It’s not Disney or Spielberg but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, it probably shouldn’t be if you are a nonprofit. Storytelling through direct program participants is authentic and powerful.

Anyway, Billy got me thinking about all of this tonight so please go over and visit the US Brig Niagara blog to see what they are up to this winter.

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Peter A. Mello

Father, son. Lifelong mariner, student of leadership, photographer. Professional creative placemaker.

2 thoughts on “Tall Ship Sailing and Social Media: US Brig Niagara Video”

  1. Ooops! I see that HTML markup in WordPress differs from the standard – my previous comment got totally garbled. It is a pity that there is no way to preview a comment before actual posting.

    Here is attempt to provide a corrected version of my comment:

    Gosh… I pray for the election season to be over as it got me into fact checking of ANYTHING posted anywhere… Your video is from July 2006.; YouTube went online in February 2005. So it is 17 moth difference… not a year as you state.
    I see that you could be a viable candidate for US Presidency… ( and IMHO better than 50% of present ones ;) ) I understand that one can argue that you actually provided a true information. Just “rounded” for the PR efect.
    I agree with your opinion on social media and networks as valuable tool for non-profits. As a webmaster of a website for Amistad America – I gain a lot practical experience and have many thoughts how to use online social channels… Unfortunately – they are not silver bullets…
    Schooner Amistad provides updates on Twitter , she is also the most popular tall ship on Facebook with over 1600 friends. I guess we both started promoting tall ships by posting videos on YouTube in 2006. A video from Schooner Amistad that carries a similar message as your clip, was the first that I posted there.
    You say: In fact, it (…video…) probably shouldn’t be (…Disney or Spielberg…) if you are a nonprofit.
    I respectfully disagree – they SHOULD!
    I am aware of theory that non-profit PR efforts should be shabby and cheapo as that suggests careful spending of funds. In real world unfortunately we, as viewers got trained to respond only to good advertising and images. I am not advocating “expensive”, I am advocating “good quality” …
    As for the power of message by Spielberg: his movie "Amistad" from 1997 created so many false myths in the public mind, and it is impossible for real Amistad to reverse them… Power of Spielberg! And on evry wharf all the public ask if Amistad is a "pirate ship" – legacy of Disney and Captain Jack Sparrow.

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