Originally Posted by YachtForums
I received a copy of the article yesterday and found myself in a quandary as to whether I should speak up, or shut up. As politically incorrect as this may be, I think the time has come to say something…
1. Privacy & security are paramount at YachtForums.
We've made every effort to create a comfortable atmosphere for owners. We don't discuss owners or their businesses, unless it is otherwise public information published in other forms of media. This is one of the reasons our membership is approaching 10,000 now. 2. A yacht's location ranks in the top-10 of the most useless topics on the internet!
Although we have to keep in mind, for a lot of people that are new to our world, seeing one of our majesties in person is exciting and it instills a sense of wonder that often results in a Google search. There is no harm intended by enthusiasts who speak up to say "hey, I saw that boat too!", but they don't think about the big picture when posting their excitement. More than a few times, I have edited or removed content that seemed security sensitive, as have ours moderators. 3. Some people have NO "write" to be in this business.
One evening while I was seated with 30 of boating’s best known writers, one editor informs the rest of the group that Diane from PMY refers to her forum members as “Yacht Stalkers”, going on to say “it's a pain to baby-sit them”. And now, we have an exert from the Wall Street Journal confirming what Ms. Byrne thinks about her members...
Diane M. Byrne, Power & Motoryacht's editor, says her magazine's site has dozens of anonymous contributors -- from yacht brokers in Florida to a bored office worker in Seattle who snaps photos from his window overlooking the harbor. "They're enthusiasts," says Ms. Byrne. "But it's also voyeuristic. These people want to peer into a world that they don't belong to and see how the other half lives."
Which begs the question… what makes you think you belong to this world Diane? Have you ever designed, engineered, built, navigated, sold, owned or worked on a yacht...??? I think NOT. I'm sorry, but a literary degree does not qualify someone to write about our world... or pass judgment on those who appreciate it!
Carl, I wish you had contacted me before repeating the story you relate. I do not refer to the PMY forum members as Yacht Stalkers, not have I ever said it's a "pain to baby-sit them." The forum members--enthusiasts, industry members, yacht owners, yacht captains, even people who've joined as a result of searching for info on a yacht they happened to see--know that I enjoy the give and take of information and learn as much from them as I hope they learn from participating. And Robert Frank from the WSJ knows how I feel about yacht spotting as well as his article.
As to your own questions, my 14 years as a respected PMY writer and editor make me a member of the marine world. I invite you and your members to ask yard reps, brokers, etc. how they view me. If after doing so, you still believe that my work and journalistic credentials are not worthy, perhaps we're best agreeing to disagree. But realize that by extension, you're questioning most of the marine media--indeed, the media in general. Many marine journalists have not built/designed/engineered a yacht, just as many art critics have never painted masterpieces, finance journalists have not started multimillion-dollar companies, aerospace reporters have not built planes, etc.
If you or anyone else wishes to contact me directly, I would be glad to explain what I did and did not say--to people in this business, to forum members, to the WSJ reporter, etc.