Pirates on the Media Horizon!

International Talk Like a Pirate Day may not be until September 19th; however, there are pirates on the media horizon.

On Friday May 26th the hugely popular Pirates of the Caribbean series lands with its 3rd installment, At World’s End.

A week later, more at sea reality TV will be launching on CBS with a new Mark Burnett series called Pirate Master.

Both of these shows have great websites to explore. Pirate Master has set up a wiki which will allow show fans and pirate enthusiasts to create their own content for the website. This will be fun to follow.

Several of the tall ships that star in these shows (Continental Sloop Providence, HMS Bounty and the Barque Picton Castle) will be participating in the American Sail Training Association’s TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE Series this summer on the Atlantic Coast of North America.

If the pirate’s life’s for you, there are plenty of opportunities to hop aboard and sail into the sunset.

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World Premiere of Sea-Fever Cinema!

Welcome to Sea-Fever Cinema, the latest exciting feature of the Sea-Fever blog. Allright “cinema” might be overstating things. Over in the left column you will find a new widget which will have three new videos every few weeks that will explore the same topics I write about in the blog.

The first installment of videos cover a wide range of maritime topics. As a young boy I often dreamed of being a tugboat captain and this McAllister Towing promotion video of the move of the USS Intrepid is pretty cool.

The next video is one of my favorite sail training videos and I wrote about it on my old blog Tall Ships Today! over at the American Sail Training Association.  

The final video about maritime security I stumbled upon soon after an exchange over at The Tabor Boy Project with a former shipmate who is currently onboard a Military Sealift Command ship.

Breakout the Cracker Jack and enjoy the show!

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Nonprofits Using New Media Tools – The Center for Wooden Boats, Seattle, WA

As a strategy and communications consultant I am always interested in learning how organizations use new media tools to engage stakeholders. Many of these tools are free and so easy to use that nonprofits can spread their messages more effectively than ever.

A couple weeks ago I wrote about the groundbreaking for the Lake Union Park project in Seattle. (Seattle – A Maritime City)  One of the key players in that initiative,The Center for Wooden Boats, set up a separate website using blogging software to inform the community of The Master Plan for Exhibits and Interpretation at Lake Union Park. Here you can find lots of useful information including several videos introduced by founding director Dick Wagner and narrated by CWB executive director Betsy Davis.

I was surprised that a high profile community project like this did not generate any comments on any of the blog entries but maybe that’s because CWB has done such a good job of informing and including the community in the process. The YouTube videos which were pretty well put together have also not been watched as many times as I would have thought.

In any case, the Center for Wooden Boats use of these new media tools demonstrates their commitment to giving their stakeholders access to information on the organization’s important strategic initiatives. That’s always a good practice.

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"What the Law of the Sea Teaches Us About the Regulation of the Information Ocean"

This morning I came across an interesting post on Discourse.net, a blog by Professor Michael Froomkin of the University of Miami School of Law. What the Law of the Sea Teaches Us About the Regulation of the Information Ocean which was the title of an address that he delivered at a recent conference.

I am always intrigued about the rich metaphorical power of the sea. On the Sea-Fever Consulting website I wrote:

We believe that the sea is a strong and effective metaphor for business. Both present an ever changing environment and those that don’t adjust can find themselves far off course or worse. Successfully sailing across the sea requires teamwork, also a characteristic of high performing organizations.

On Discourse.net Professor Froomkin wrote:

The root causes of these two dangers have much in common: just as the Internet is one of the most exciting and even defining technological developments of our time, so too the sailing ship was a crowning technological achievement of its day. A tall ship is a highly complex machine that requires enormous organization and technical expertise to run properly. In broad terms the same is true of a complex network. Both depend on an extensive external infrastructure, be they boatwrights and ship’s chandlers or fab labs and electrical and telephone networks. (A critical difference, however, is that the tall ship required a well-drilled team to work properly. In a good network the work tends to be more distributed and in a really good network it may be more fault-tolerant as well.)

Not sure if the Professor is a sailor but it sounds like he understands tall ships.

If you are interested in technology and how its rapid and continuous advancement can overtake our ability to manage or regulate it, you will probably find this interesting too.

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A New Year and a New Adventure!

Today marked the beginning of a new adventure. After 6 exciting, and at times challenging, years leading the American Sail Training Association I needed a change. There were many reasons why I decided now was the time, not the least of which is that I really wanted to have the opportunity to spend more time with family. Joy turned 2 yesterday and Luke will be 4 in a few months; it’s such an exciting time in our house and I did not want to miss it. (Check in with the MattapoisettMellos)

I have launched new company called Sea-Fever LLC, hence the name of the blog. Through Sea-Fever, I will embark on a consulting career focusing initially on the nonprofit sector. I am also working on a few other interesting projects which will be covered in this blog from time to time.

This blog will deal with a wide range of issues that interest me including challenges and opportunities in the nonprofit sector, new media and storytelling. I will also write about leadership which is a topic that has interested me ever since I was a young boy and which will be a significant part of the Sea-Fever program.

Finally, why Sea-Fever? The sidebar has a link to the inspiration which was the classic poem by John Masefield. My life has been incredibly influenced by the sea and sailing and to me Masefield captures the spirit, adventure and enthusiasm that all facets of life deserve.   

Welcome aboard. I look forward to our journey together.