Thursday, May 05, 2005

Sailors are intrinsically storytellers

Technology is having a significant impact on sailing culture, particularly in how sailors communicate with one another and share information about key aspects of voyaging and cruising (weather, friendly ports-of-call, sheltered anchorages). Some of the best examples of this are found in the multitude of individual sailing weblogs being published…with more popping every day. Unlike Zephyr, which focuses on a specific topic (sailing culture) and covers it broadly, these sailing blogs are written from the perspective of voyagers, boatbuilders, weekend warriors – they're mostly about the individual journey and serve as a two-way, grassroots window into the sailing world. When I was mate on the Maxi in the late 90’s I used to punch out email updates to all my desk-bound friends back in the States, compile a mailing list and send them whenever I could find an Internet cafĂ© when we paused in Roadtown, English Harbor, Culebra, etc. I remember people enjoyed them, forwarded them all over their offices, to friends across the country. Sailors are intrinsically storytellers and the Internet has magnified this attribute. Consider the shift from the viral, uncontrolled mass email to a narrow-casted, self published weblog. We are witnesses to this technology proliferating, evolving and beginning to virtually knit together the larger community...not surprisingly the results are (like many things in life) heterogeneous - we discover compelling content side-by-side with the trite, sublime with mundane, unique with conventional... Take a look in my Zephyr link roster for more examples and please comment with any I've missed.

1 comment:

wingssail said...

We too have been emailing newsletters to a loyal mailing list as we travelled around the Pacific on our beloved 43' sailboat WINGS. We will still send newsletters by email, but now we'll also post them to our new, Zepher inspired, weblog