San Luis Obispo, CA (PRWEB) October 12, 2008
From modern day piracy and rogue waves, to eccentric owners and billion dollar deals, the shipping industry is never short of interesting news but, like the speed of the large vessels they manage, shipping companies are never quick to adopt new technology. That's about to change.
For the past two years the gCaptain blog has utilized tools of Web 2.0 to find the most current and interesting articles about ships. The site's founder Captain John Konrad, said, "The growth in readership at gCaptain has exceeded our expectations. The maritime industry is filled with interesting articles and impressive media but until recently it took a company with deep pockets to bring stories from distant ocean locations to the average reader."
While gCaptain's articles certainly impress the average reader, it's industry insiders which sing the most praise. "Ship captains and managers are slow to adopt new technology. No one wants to be the first to pilot a 1,000,000 barrel supertanker down a narrow channel with marine electronics that have yet to be fully tested. This culture of caution filters down to every employee both aboard ship and ashore," said Captain Joe Marks, a regular gCaptain reader. "Visiting gCaptain is the first time many of us have seen the tools of Web 2.0 but we're impressed."
This week gCaptain announced a new tool called Discoverer. Taking a que from the popular sites AllTop and PopUrls, the new feature aggregates news headlines in real time. As maritime related stories break across the web, Discoverer's spider plucks the headlines and displays them seconds after they are posted. "We have been using the tool in-house since gCapatain was launched in 2006 and it's a primary reason why so many industry insiders have come to rely on the blog for breaking news. Last week we simply decided to make the full set of tools public."
The ability to aggregate news headlines from across the web is certainly impressive but it's not alone in gCaptain's arsenal of information weapons. Accessible from the sites "Tools" section are a host of other resources including weather dashboards, dynamic industry conference calendars and Captain Konrad's favorite an industry specific Custom Search Engine.
"We smiled last month when the largest maritime published Informa launched Maritime Answers with the tag line, 'Shipping's only dedicated Search Engine,'" said Mike Schuler knowing that gCaptain's Custom Search Engine has been available for over one year. Is he worried about the rise in competition? "No, the real advantage is that we use Google's algorithm, you get a more diverse and useful set of results than Informa can provide."
With the United States Coast Guard recently announcing support of Web 2.0 and companies like KVH Industries offering broadband Internet access at sea, the team at gCaptain expects to see shipping companies start to invest heavily in the space. Captain Konrad says, "Our biggest obstacle right now is balancing the needs of gCaptain's readers with those of the company's clients. Luckily the tools we develop for gCaptain can be easily ported to a client's website and vice-versa."