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The future of the Site

Posted: Sun May 02, 2010 8:00 pm
by Big Pete
Hi Martin,

I really enjoy the forum on this site and it is fair to say following it has become a hobby of mine.
My wife is not yet complaining that she has become a "Diesel Duck Widow" but sometimes it gets close!
The recent upgrade and spam attack reminds us all of how much work you put into this site, for everyone's benefit.
I get the impression that you run the site pretty much as a one man band, with a bit of help maybe from JK.
This makes me wonder about the long term future of the Site, eventually you will want ( or be forced) to stop running it.

Where does the future lie?

Will the site just wither away?
Have you nominated a successor?
Maybe a Marine Engineering School or Marine Engineering Institution would take responsibility for running it? (Although this would obviously change the character of the site)
Maybe you could set up a charitable foundation to run it?

I think the site is too important a training resource to the International Marine Engineering World to be allowed to die.

Has anyone any other suggestions?

Questions, Questions, Questions!!! Has anybody got the Answers!!!


Re: The future of the Site

Posted: Mon May 03, 2010 1:25 am
by JK
Martin, with the help of his wife, is the Band leader. I just hang around during slow times at work and to get a break from some of the databases I am using.
I think this is his work of love.
It is a huge resource and it is too bad that the hundreds of people who read this would not take the time to post their experiences.
When engineers like yourself take the time to post what they see and deal with, it is a help to all.
( In fairness Big Pete when I read your posts, I always think. Thank F*** that isn't me!!}

I know for a fact that certain TC examiners point candidates here to help prepare for their exams. That says volumes for the work Martin is doing.

Re: The future of the Site

Posted: Thu May 06, 2010 9:02 pm
by The Dieselduck
Hello Pete,

Sorry I did not see the post you made a few days ago. Thank you to both you and JK for the kind words. Thank you also for your continued input, which I believe is very valuable to all of us, even if sometimes most people don't admit it - I know this for a fact, ehehehe.

You had many question, hopefully I can answer to your satisfaction.

Where does the future lie? That is a very good question. As far as I am concern the future is bright for me personally in my career, and in relation for the site, since I draw my drive and creative juices from my career. I am very pleased that the site is popular regardless of it not being the most high tech or web 2.0 friendly site out there. The site success is thanks to the content, which as far I am concern is king. Nothing matters about flashy things if there is nothing to learn or appreciate from it.

I am pretty taxed for time at this stage of my life. I have three young sons, and house and the whole kit n caboodle, along with a full time career at sea, so the site does not get the attention that it wish for it, but ultimately it is a hobby for me, but a serious one and one that I can do pretty much from anywhere without much more but a simple computer and an internet connection. I introduced the forum and the blog to make the site easier to manage, especially from web access challenged positions, and also to keep fresh content for all the regular visitors; which thanks to JK in particular, and you and the many other contributors, this has been making my life easier in maintaining this project.

Will the site just wither away? I don't intend it to wither away anytime soon. I wish I could put more time in updating the site and adding more content, but I am just a bit overwhelmed with other commitments at this stage of my life, but the site will grow, at least remain the same, for quite some time. The cost of remaining online has been borne by me pretty much since the beginning, but it is not an obscene amount of money, and I write it off as advertising for me and my skills, which will pay dividend in the future.

Have you nominated a successor? a successor now your making me feel old, and / or regal - stodgy, ehehehe I love collecting information, sharing that information was one of the basis for starting the site, a sort of pay it forward thing. I believe that what little help I can offer to better other people lives is well worth doing, and if it builds solidarity for all those practicing our craft to the best of our abilities, then its mission accomplished.

In that spirit, those that continue that work, would not need to be nominated, just appreciated and gladly assisted in whatever way I could. I am a big fan of the wikipedia concept and ultimately I would like to see this takeover this site. Because as you know the marine industry, is worldwide and ever so shifty, so one person cannot possible keep information accurate, especially in the format the site is currently presented in. So to briefly answer your question, no, no one is nominated because I would like to see all the data currently on this site, migrate to wiki type site, where it could updated by pretty much anyone willing to do it when a need arise it to correct that information, from anywhere in the world.

Maybe a Marine Engineering School or Marine Engineering Institution would take responsibility for running it? (Although this would obviously change the character of the site) Like I said above, it is pretty rare to find passionate people and trust me there is no real money to be online unless your running a porn site so there is really not many incentive for people to maintain this site by other then me, especially since it has my name on it, eheheh (i tried to get a more generic names, and still have a few in my back pocket just in case). I am pretty sure a school would not be interested in running it, it would have to private business, and a great deal of passion or money would be required.

Maybe you could set up a charitable foundation to run it? Wikipedia is a great resource for all humanity, yet they have problems raising money from donations to maintain the site. Sailors and engineers especially, are cheap, its our nature, that's what we do, try to get as much done with spending as little money as possible. Not to say that engineer, ans sailors in general, are not generous, its just that cold hard cash is pretty hard to extricate from a sailor, I'm the same way myself. I've had various facilities over the years for donations, the last one being that visitors can directly contribute to the website hosting, without giving me a dime, but no one has ever taken advantage of it (the link is on the front page, lower left side of the main site - by the way). Its ok with me, I don't expect it nor do I need it. A foundation may contribute, but I don't know of any, and of course I would have to change the character of the site, such as discussed in your previous question.

I think the site is too important a training resource to the International Marine Engineering World to be allowed to die. Yes, but all things die. There is a wealth of information already out there, this site, just represents it here in a more accessible way, but there is even better ways of keeping this community alive and I am sure this site will pass, all things do. But perhaps the next thing, maybe born here, will be better.

Re: The future of the Site

Posted: Fri May 07, 2010 12:36 am
by Big Pete
Hi Martin,
I see where you are coming from and I admire your hard work and IT skills in producing the site.
You appear to have a very laid back attitude to the future of the site, (your 4th Child?).
You are probably right, that come the hour someone will step forward to save or re-invent the site.
After so long at Sea, (40 years) hoovering up knowledge, I had become very frustrated that I was unable to pass it on to the next generation.
I thought about College Lecturing but I am not sure if I have the personality for that, and the money is rubbish.
In recent years I have come across too many young Engineers, straight out of college, wet behind the ears, with their first Certificate still wet from the printers, who think they know it all. When I have tried to explain things to them they have turned round and told me that they don't need to know that or that I am wrong. Then refused to sit down with me and go throught the instruction manual to see why they are wrong, and continued to insist that they are right. With that and the language problems, with all the 2nd & 3rd world crew that I sail with now, I was begining to think that my knowledge would die with me.
Your site is giving me a chance for immortality, in that at least some of my knowledge will live on.
Your site links me to a receptive audience, who actually ask questions and want to learn, I couldn't ask for more on that front, and I also learn from the information posted.
I guess that the site will give you immortality with your name and that of the site, being remembered for generations.
Good luck with juggling the family/hobby/work balance.


Re: The future of the Site

Posted: Fri May 07, 2010 5:40 am
by JK
I look at the time I put in here as a thank you to the engineers who were generous to me.

Re: The future of the Site

Posted: Sun May 23, 2010 7:30 pm
by conrod
Passiing on the info gained after extensive years at sea is a challenge indeed. I continually get told that having my experience is a valuable asset to my current position, but unfortunately it does not benefit the guys on board.

I can understand the frustration of attempting to teach " younger chaps ", but unfortunately as technology advances, and companies change their operating methods our skills will become redundent.......I think reading an earlier post summed it up rather well........sooner or later we will be replaced by electronics boffins.......even the offshore industry has caught up. My skills as a Chief on AHTS, winch driving and working mooring systems is being taken over by mechanical arms etc. Going rapidly are the days when crews went on deck to make / break connections.......its all done from the Bridge using mechanical arms.

We are slowly becoming extinct !!