12 November 2010

You spoke. I listened.

...and I acted.

Last week I asked for your opinions on the question bank and I asked what type of interviewees you would like to see and for suggestions on where to find those types of cruisers.

Regarding questions, I'm going to assume that the fact that no one responded to this issue means that they are good as is for now. That's great.

Regarding types of people to interview, by email and comments to that post, I heard two major suggestions:
  1. Cruisers on budget and/or in smaller boats.
  2. Newer cruisers (< 2 years) with the caveat that these would either need to be on a separate site or marked clearly somehow so that they don't defeat the purpose of having experienced cruisers answer questions.
Here is what I'm doing:
  1. Renewed my efforts to track down smaller/budget cruisers. Since the first day I started this project, I've been trying very hard to find budget cruisers in smaller boats. What I've found is that they are extremely difficult to track down. There seem to be fewer of them "out there" (the average boat size is increasing) and those that are out there seem to be more likely to not have an online presence (website/blog) and to have a shorter than 2 year cruise. With that being said, I've sent a bunch of emails following  up on some more leads and am renewing my efforts to try to find these cruisers. I have an interview in this category coming out on December 20th. I think once my husband and I sail South this summer I will meet more of these people in person and have a better chance of finding them. If you can think of anyone in this category, please do suggest them. I can only ask people and I can only ask people I can find - there are limits to my powers as a non-paying site.
  2. I'm mulling this one over. I think it is an excellent suggestion. Because I'm doing this for free*, in my free time, while I'm cruising myself, I need to make sure that this site stays on the fun side of the fun-to-suck ratio for me and for that reason I don't want to bite off more than I can chew. Still, I love the idea so I'm considering it and even have a few ideas on how to make it a fun occasional add on to this site without diluting the initial purpose. What I have done in the meantime while I'm mulling over options is to add 3 questions to the bank which I've already started sending out to interviewees: In your own experience and your experience meeting other cruisers, what are the common reasons people stop cruising? / In your first year of cruising, what transitions did you find the most difficult? / What mistakes did you make in your first year of cruising?

Also, please remember that once I "act" it can take months for those interviews to appear on the website. First, there is a back-and-forth email chain between two sets of people who are both traveling which can take months. Then, once I have their interview I try to keep a backlog of 2 months of interviews ready in advance so the new interview won't see the front page for weeks or months after I have it in hand.

Thank you very much to everyone who responded on the post and those who emailed me directly with your feedback. I appreciate your time and involvement. For those people that gave specific suggestions on cruisers to ask, thank you - I will have looked into each one by the end of the week.

*actually, with the Google ads you readers have to put up with, I'm probably earning a pint or two a month. I like to measure progress in frosty cold ones.