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Old 12-14-2014, 08:00 AM   #1
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ActiveCaptain 101

Based on requests from others, this thread will help boaters unfamiliar with ActiveCaptain learn the basics and get started. A couple of ground rules:

- No question is too basic. This is the place for people who want help and don't have experience with the knowledgebase of ActiveCaptain. If you have a question, ask, because there are others who surely have the same question.

- We can't discuss other products. This is a TrawlerForum rule. Please don't ask me to compare or contrast ActiveCaptain against anything else that exists.

- Try the things we talk about. Everything is live for use. Actually try some of the things we'll go over. There is nothing better than doing.


So step 1 - we're going to go over the ActiveCaptain website. It's where everything started and it's the backbone of everything that's possible. Although only 20% of the ActiveCaptain use today is on the website, understanding what's there will make everything else more obvious and easy to grasp.

The first thing to do is to make sure you have a free account on the website. You'll need an email address and a password. You'll also provide a captain name and a hailing port. Those two items will be used to identify you in the reviews you write. We keep email addresses confidential. In 8 years, no one has ever spam'd our users by obtaining lists of email addresses. We keep all of that private and secure.

Because your captain name identifies you, you'll need to have a unique captain name. With hundreds of thousands of users today, you won't be able to get a captain name of "John" just like you can't get john@gmail.com. It was taken a while ago. Many boat names are also taken - so you'll have to find something unique to identify yourself with.

Part of the registration process asks for other information - first and last name. Those are not made public either. We use them if we need to contact you to discuss a review, learn more about a comment, or get more details about a detail update you provided. Less than 1% of updates get any type of follow up but occasionally, it's critical. For example, there have been times when someone put a review on the wrong marina. When the review complains that the pool was dirty but the marina doesn't have a pool, we'll often contact the writer to figure out which marina they meant to write about. The goal is getting to the truth while providing multiple real experiences so you can obtain a view about a facility, anchorage, other other resource.

If you have an account, make sure you can log in with it. If you register a new account, you'll immediately receive an email validation that you must respond to before you can log in with the account. This is quite common today - check spam, junk, and other folders like that. It is sent immediately to the email address you registered. You can't log in until you respond to that validation email.

If you have an account but forgot the password, there is a "Lost password" link in the login page. Enter your email address and it'll send you your password and tell you if the email address is unknown.

When you log into the ActiveCaptain website (https://activecaptain.com), you should usually check the "Remember me" checkbox. Doing that will automatically log you in when you come back. Again, that's pretty common today.

As long as we're setting up account and doing the basics, make sure you also have an electronic boat card set up. We'll be going through that too and now is the time to make the account. To do that, go to eBoatCards (http://eboatcards.com). Log in with your valid ActiveCaptain email address and password. eBoatCards uses the exact same credentials.

When eBoatCards sees you for the first time, it'll ask you about setting up your electronic boat card. If you'll be using this as a boater for your boat, set up a Boat account. If you're just a friend of someone else, create a Friend account. And if you don't currently have a boat but are looking, set up a Dreamer account. The business accounts there aren't appropriate so ignore those.

Follow through and complete the initial signup in eBoatCards. Don't worry about adding to your profile yet - we'll get into that later.

That's the first step. I'll give that a day or so to let people catch up and ask questions or solve problems that come up.
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Old 12-14-2014, 08:12 AM   #2
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Looking forward to learning
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Old 12-14-2014, 10:02 AM   #3
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Greetings,
Mr. JS. EXCELLENT. You're a good man. THAT being said, might as well get my anticipated confusion over with in the third post...



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Old 12-14-2014, 10:47 AM   #4
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eBoatCards

First question... Regarding eBoatCards...

Since I'm in the process of having my boat built do I register as a "Dreamer" or a "Boat" and, if I register as a "Dreamer", will I be able to switch my type of eBoatCard to a "Boat"?

To add to this, is it possible to change/modify the other data once you've established an eBoatCard? For example can one change the Boat name, Hailing port, Flag, etc. etc.?
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Old 12-14-2014, 11:24 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Diesel Duck 492 View Post
Since I'm in the process of having my boat built do I register as a "Dreamer" or a "Boat" and, if I register as a "Dreamer", will I be able to switch my type of eBoatCard to a "Boat"?
Everything can be changed. Changing category requires a request to us but we do that every day.

I think the general rule is, if you have a name for the boat being built, register as a boat now and maybe add "(being built)" after the name. The moment it's in the water, you can edit the postfix out yourself immediately.

Every other setting/identification can be instantly changed by you at any time.
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Old 12-14-2014, 11:57 AM   #6
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One warning about this thread...

Because it was required to be in this Commercial section, there will be no indication that the thread is active in the Trawler Discussions list on the upper right. It also seems like it doesn't come up when New Posts are selected at the top.

This is an unfortunate crippling of the thread apparently to give it less exposure because this is a "commercial" product although completely free for all use to you. I have a feeling that unless there is a great amount of activity with the thread, I'm going to have to find a different way of providing an ActiveCaptain 101 capability because this might not be worth my effort.
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Old 12-14-2014, 01:04 PM   #7
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Yes I just noticed that it is unfortunate the upper right is the tool I use to see the active

But at least you got a start looking forward to learning more about AC
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Old 12-14-2014, 01:56 PM   #8
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This thread definitely comes up in the New Posts area which is what I use to monitor this forum.

Keep up the good work, Jeff.

David
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Old 12-14-2014, 02:03 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by djmarchand View Post
This thread definitely comes up in the New Posts area which is what I use to monitor this forum.
Ditto, I saw it listed in the 'new posts' section as well.
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Old 12-14-2014, 03:20 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by djmarchand View Post
This thread definitely comes up in the New Posts area which is what I use to monitor this forum.

Keep up the good work, Jeff.

David
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Old 12-14-2014, 06:18 PM   #11
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Although the updates show up on New Posts page, they are still missing in the side bar on the main Trawlers Forum page ... that's too bad, and a bit perplexing.

Back to AC 101 ... I have been using AC for a couple years now and feel rather comfortable there, and find it really useful.

The eBoatCard on the other hand is baffling a bit ... staring with the lack of link to it from or dedicated tab on the AC homepage. Believe me there are more important things to remember or bookmark than that ...

The other question in my mind is ... what's the real purpose and long term plan for eBoatCard?
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Old 12-14-2014, 11:04 PM   #12
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The eBoatCard on the other hand is baffling a bit ... staring with the lack of link to it from or dedicated tab on the AC homepage.
We had that link/tab originally. It confused too many people because it brought them out of ActiveCaptain. The fact is that ActiveCaptain is separate today from eBoatCards. eBoatCards is about your boating lifestyle. ActiveCaptain is a knowledgebase of destination information for planning and use while underway. If you have a bookmark for ActiveCaptain, just make another below it for eBoatCards. I fully agree that eBoatCards is baffling today because it's very immature and the major functionality is still coming out for it. You'll see though - it'll be much bigger than ActiveCaptain's data today. It's going to double with new capabilities in the first part of 2015 alone. It's all I'm working on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard W View Post
The other question in my mind is ... what's the real purpose and long term plan for eBoatCard?
The guidebook aspects of ActiveCaptain.com will eventually be inside eBoatCards and, well, eBoatCards will go away. The user-interface of eBoatCards centered around your boat, the relationships you've made, and the affiliations you are part of, will be the central part of all the data. We think that in 2016 or 2017, ActiveCaptain.com will be eBoatCards with the ActiveCaptain parts merged in and eBoatCards.com won't exist.

Remember that 80% of ActiveCaptain use today happens in navigation products and not on the website. The website should be for live interactions and especially ones with very large amounts of data that shouldn't be offline because of size and transmission costs. So when I want to plan my route in the future, the website will be able to show you all the events occurring through the passage you're making along with all of your friends and group members who's plans are intersecting with yours. That would all be too dynamic and too large to store offline. But the eBoatCards UI is designed to handle exactly that type of thing.
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Old 12-14-2014, 11:50 PM   #13
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Thanks for the info ... appreciated.

I was afraid that it all leads to another FaceBoatBook or something way too similar but maybe ... hopefully ... not. It all depends on what the focus will be ... the info/knowledge vs interaction/social aspect.

I am looking forward to learning and seeing more.
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Old 12-15-2014, 07:35 AM   #14
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Although the updates show up on New Posts page, they are still missing in the side bar on the main Trawlers Forum page ... that's too bad, and a bit perplexing.

Sidebar?

I see this AC-101 in New Posts; don't remember ever noticing a sidebar. Not sure I ever see a "main Trawlers Forum page"...

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Old 12-15-2014, 07:50 AM   #15
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This all possibly depends on how you are viewing the forum. Laptop? IPhone after dropping the website in your home screen? iPhone using the app (application downloaded from iTunes) which is how I view it. For me- I use the app. So when I open the site- since I have posted on this thread- I usually first check "participated" and if there are any new posts on this thread its marked. I think the "side bar" mentioned is the one viewed on the website, right side, with about 20 of the latest participated threads shown. I'm no techie, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night...😆!


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Old 12-15-2014, 07:59 AM   #16
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Is eboatcards supposed to be like Facebook for boaters?
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Old 12-15-2014, 10:22 AM   #17
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Is eboatcards supposed to be like Facebook for boaters?
In a way...but it's more like Facebook for your boat. Individuals should have online social interactions with Facebook. I think that your plans for your boat among others with boats would benefit from Facebook-like functions in eBoatCards. eBoatCards is 99% the boating community and not about Aunt Bettie having a birthday and showing the cake she had at the Chinese restaurant.

There also needs to be a place where you can easily create logs of your experiences. Some of that is reviews, some is tracking, and some of it is the products and services you use. So instead of blindly asking, "anyone know a good surveyor in Baltimore?" or, "what kind of fuel polishing system should I get?", why not look to your relationships and affiliations for suggestions and advice? With those boats, you know them. You'll often know how they think and the real experience they have. You'll see the products they use and get to see their reviews about them. You might look at others with the same type of boat as you because, let's face it, for many products and services, our trawlers relate to other trawler owners more than the typical Catalina 22 owner (not that there's anything wrong with C-22's but for many things, they'll want advice from other C-22's more than us).

Those are the things, questions, and interactions that eBoatCards is designed to handle (among some other things). It doesn't do them all today but that's because it's a huge effort and will take some time to develop and expose all the capabilities.
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Old 12-15-2014, 02:44 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Forkliftt View Post
This all possibly depends on how you are viewing the forum. Laptop? IPhone after dropping the website in your home screen? iPhone using the app (application downloaded from iTunes) which is how I view it. For me- I use the app. So when I open the site- since I have posted on this thread- I usually first check "participated" and if there are any new posts on this thread its marked. I think the "side bar" mentioned is the one viewed on the website, right side, with about 20 of the latest participated threads shown. I'm no techie, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night...��!

Ah. Tried the app, didn't like it. At the time, it didn't do a New Posts, which I prefer... so I just use a browser. That's not great on anything less than a 10" tablet, but then typing on a tablet sucks for me as well...

Found the sidebar, though

Probably never noticed it 'cause when it appears on the login page, it's too far down the screen to see without scrolling. And probably never noticed it on the Quick Links/Subscribed Threads page 'cause I've probably always gone to New Posts too quickly... Or maybe it's all because I'm really blind.

-Chris
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Old 12-15-2014, 03:38 PM   #19
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Would it make sense to have a Trawlerforum.com group on eboatcards?
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Old 12-15-2014, 03:59 PM   #20
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Would it make sense to have a Trawlerforum.com group on eboatcards?
Definitely.

T&T has one:
http://www.eboatcards.com/trawlers-and-trawlering/

Quite a few organizations have them too (MTOA, SSCA, etc). They can be kept private so members have to be approved. What it gives is a way to track members of the group.

I'll attach a screen shot showing the current locations of members in the T&T group that allow their position to be seen by others in the group (by default it's off). The redish marker is me.

There are many other reasons for a forum to have a group based on all the additional capabilities coming too. eBoatCards is not going to be a forum. But it's a place to collect up the combined wisdom of groups (or friends) and allow that to apply to decisions you need to make. The thing that's coming next with that is Services (first) and then Products. Forums are not going to be able to implement something like that which is why there's room for both types of services.
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