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Old 08-06-2012, 01:58 PM   #21
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I have heard some company's adds on the radio, they claim they can make them go away I have no idea if it is true or not.
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Old 08-09-2012, 11:02 AM   #22
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While I can't speak for all websites, I can definitely, without any question tell you exactly about what happens on ActiveCaptain.

It doesn't matter how much anyone is willing to pay us. We will never remove a review because a marina doesn't like it. We rarely have ever removed reviews - it has happened about 15 times in 6 years with hundreds of thousands of entries. I probably write to about 4 reviewers a week to ask for clarifications about a particular review because something about it isn't right. Some facilities have tried to write their own fake reviews (on both their own marker and/or competitor markers). We have elaborate detection schemes for that type of thing. Still, some can get by but the system works most of the time.

In many cases, when someone is confronted with, "hey - is that real?" they'll ask for the review to be removed because it wasn't real. The only times we've removed a review without verification (about 15 times) is when a review seemed fake and the author wouldn't respond to a request about it within a reasonable time. We also have removed 1 review because of bad language that the author refused to change (it was a racial slur).

Just last week a sponsor marina requested us to do a specific action in order for them to pay us again for an additional year of sponsorship. We told them that we would not alter our brand or the integrity of the system for their sponsorship. Their sponsorship has now expired on the system and their marker is no longer highlighted. It would have been very easy to take their money and give them what they wanted. But we will never, ever do that.

In the case of AYB there were a few negative reviews early. Over the years I think they've taken those reviews to heart and have become a better facility because of it - they listened. Newer reviews have higher ratings and boaters are happier there. That's the way this is supposed to work, isn't it?

And for what it's worth, AYB is an ActiveCaptain sponsor who pays us now. The bad early reviews are all still in there because money doesn't take them out on ActiveCaptain and never will as long as my hands are controlling the database.
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Old 08-09-2012, 11:43 AM   #23
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Thanks Jeff and Karen! ActiveCaptain is a real asset to the boating community!
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Old 08-09-2012, 12:44 PM   #24
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I love the realtime Navigation Hazards and Local Knowledge info. I hope the Marina Reviews are at least as accurate as the Local Hazard info is!
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Old 08-09-2012, 01:33 PM   #25
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Not really knowing how ActiveCaptain is set up I'm glad to learn that there are sponsors who pay for the privilege. Now that we've "discovered" ActiveCaptain and have found what an outstanding asset it is to the boating community, I was beginning to wonder how the owners could maintain what has to be a pretty drive-space-hungry and costly on-line presence without charging its users. I hope the owners are at least breaking even or, better, getting some payback for their efforts.
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Old 08-09-2012, 02:42 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marin View Post
I hope the owners are at least breaking even or, better, getting some payback for their efforts.
We're in our 6th year. We started becoming profitable in April 2011. We think that all the first 4+ years of investment will be paid back by the end of 2012. Certainly by 2013.

We have a lot of sponsor businesses who work with us. We have an incredible relationship with Defender implementing their Defender 1st program. There are many developers and marine electronics companies who are partners with us (Garmin, Rose Point, MaxSea, Nobeltec, etc. and many that can't be mentioned). And we're days away from the largest, most unique partnership that has ever happened in our history being announced. It's something totally new with big implications for boating in an area that no one suspected we've been working in for over a year. That announcement looks to be coming out on Tuesday. It'll be in our Wednesday newsletter. Half the excitement about this announcement is the guaranteed availability of ActiveCaptain data through a very large new source that reaches about a million people every day implemented on hundreds of servers. Our user-base is about 200,000 today and we see this as a big growth potential.

Our challenge isn't money. It's maintaining the quality and providing additional capabilities for this new area of social navigation. There is much more coming on the horizon with that.

I've got to say too that the whole thing has been incredibly fun and we've met many thousands of wonderful cruisers along the journey.
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Old 08-09-2012, 11:58 PM   #27
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ActiveCaptain,

first I LOVE your service. I use it all the time and I'd pay for it if it was necessary. But Free is good.

I want to know -- at what point do posts get deleted? Do they age out if there are so many postings on one marina for instance? If there are more than 60 comments, then does #61 get aged out? I've seen some comments go away and I know I didn't imagine that, but maybe I did. I tend to drink a lot of beer when I get backed in...

Woody
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Old 08-10-2012, 07:29 AM   #28
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Reviews of facilities, vendors, etc. on a website are all over the place (just like posts on a boating forum). You have to read a few and you have to try to figure out the mindset of the reviewer.

For example, when considering marinas, some folks may be looking for a cheap place to dock their old broken down boat so they can work on it and leave parts strewn all over the dock, while others are expecting uniformed dockhands to catch their lines, bring them ice and beer, etc., a pool, hot tub, bar, and restaurant on site.

If you are expecting one of the above and find the other, your review might be biased.
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Old 08-10-2012, 08:29 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Egregious View Post
I want to know -- at what point do posts get deleted? Do they age out if there are so many postings on one marina for instance?
We don't remove any. There are quite a few facilities with more than 60 reviews and even ones with more than 90 reviews.

Right now they're displayed sorted by date with the most recent ones shown first. For the Companion, there will be a new option where you can quickly click on a review to vote it as as being helpful to you. There will be an option of ordering the reviews by most helpful - it'll actually default to that.

I'm also going to implement a list on top of the reviews showing the star distribution so you can see how many reviews by each star type. Clicking on a star item there will show only the reviews in that class.

When I go to buy something, I find that I want to see a good overall rating for the product but then I want to see the 1 and 2 star reviews so see what people didn't like and decide if their problems relate to me. I think the same thing applies to marina and anchorage reviews. Many marinas get bad reviews for a repair/project problems. If I'm just going as a transient without any desire to have work done, those negative reviews probably won't impact my decision to go there.

We're not even close to being done with the development of this to provide continuing new capabilities. With so much new data coming in now (we recently passed 3 million updates) we get a good view at what's needed and what we can do to make it better.
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