Monthly Archives: September 2013

New Marketing Paths

I’m putting together a new marketing push these days, which consists of a range of traditional to non-traditional approaches.

The most traditional is a series of ads for in several maritime and naval magazines over the next few months: Military History, Power Ships, Sea History (I have been writing a column in Sea History about ‘Maritime History on the Internet’ for many years now), and Naval History. Personally, I like print ads. I know there are reasons why they might not be a great idea, but I like ’em. I may add some online ads, as well, but (despite my previous work with electronic journals) I do love me a good print serial.

I am thinking of doing some ads in genealogy magazines next. Any suggestions on which you think would be most relevant?

The first non-traditional marketing tool is underwriting my local NPR station, WSKG, and I’m writing this now because I heard the first on-air acknowledgement spot earlier today, at the end of “On The Media”, which is a show I very much enjoy. The other spot is at the end of “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me”, which everyone in my family enjoys. I will look forward to see if they have any impact at all. It’s really not that non-traditional, though, is it? I mean, has been doing it at the national level for a while, and I have heard national underwriting spots for library database companies that individuals can’t even purchase, like EBSCO, ProQuest, and even for Summon, from Serials Solutions. (I’ll admit, hearing the last one was pretty cool.)

The totally non-traditional marketing move is to sponsor collegiate cycling teams. Now, in this case, I expect essentially no financial return from the move, just good karma and psychic positivity. (Plus a cycling jersey with the logo on it…) At first, I wanted to sponsor TeamType1, which is now Team Novo Nordisk, but they limit their sponsors to cycling and diabetes products and services. Also, they’re a professional, international cycling team, so I probably couldn’t have afforded it, even if they had accepted me. Then I thought about the local collegiate cycling teams, but the Cornell guy never got back to me, the Ithaca College team seems dormant at the moment, and I wondered why I was thinking about them, and not my alma maters.

The folks on the Carolina Cycling Team know what they’re doing. They put together a great proposal, were quick with the information, plus offered great information about the team and its current status, and were quick and accurate in requesting actual payment. I hope my jersey from them comes soon, and I look forward to keeping an eye on how they’re doing. I’m also going to sponsor the Oberlin College Cycling Club, though they haven’t yet asked for the actual money. I guess I should bug them about that soon. I would gladly sponsor teams at East Carolina University (they’d be especially appropriate, since their institution also subscribes to the database) or Binghamton University (well, SUNY Binghamton, as my wife, the graduate, still calls it). If you know someone there, have them contact me. My research suggested that both are dormant at the moment.

(Since cycling is not an NCAA-approved sport, they don’t have limitations on accepting sponsorship. They also don’t get any [or much] money from their athletic departments, so they need the sponsorships. My wife suggested I try to sponsor rowing teams — at least they’re on the water, after all — but since they’re NCAA sports, they cannot accept any sponsorships. Also, I love cycling, and that’s where I wanted to start.)

So, that’s where marketing is going right now. If I’m doing it wrong, tell me how to do it right.

A New Book on the Maritime History of the World

I’ve long felt that all I need to do to make a smashing success is to change how the world views maritime history. Maritime history is a mostly-neglected area of study, perhaps because it is, in many senses, the history of the space between places. While parts of maritime history are focused on an individual country (think expansion of the US interior, through and along the Mississippi River), most of maritime history looks at connections between, rather than within, a given country’s borders.

And even if you’re studying regional history, some of the most important aspects of maritime history are in the movement of people and ideas between regions — even, or especially, regions as large as continents.

So, while my primary goal with is to “simplify maritime history research”, there’s also a need to make maritime history more relevant, and perhaps more visible.

I’m thrilled to see announcements of Lincoln Paine’s new book of maritime history, titled The Sea & Civilization: A Maritime History of the World, to be published in the US on October 29, and in the UK on February 6, 2014. I very much look forward to reading this book. Peter Neill, author of Great Maritime Museums of the World and a past President of South Street Seaport (and lots more; those are how I know of him), wrote in a pre-publication review, “‘I want to change the way you see the world.’ This brave ambition is brilliantly realized by Lincoln Paine in this single volume. Thoroughly researched, clearly argued, eminently accessible — we have at last a responsible and persuasive explanation of the inextricable connection between the ocean and world civilization.” I love that point.

I can’t wait to see the book itself.

Upcoming Genealogy Conferences in NY State will be at several conferences in the next few months.

Come see us in upstate New York, at the first New York State Family History Conference, in Syracuse, September 20-21. It’s co-sponsored by the Central New York Genealogical Society and the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society. The sessions look like they’ll be pretty interesting, and it looks like they might also be pretty packed, as a number of meals and lectures are already sold out.

The exhibit hall is free and open to the public. Come visit us at the Holiday Inn & Conference Center, in Liverpool (just outside Syracuse). Hours on Friday, Sept 20, are at least 9:00 to 4:30, and possibly as long as 8:00 am to 6:00 pm (different sources have times; I’m seeking clarification). On Saturday, the hours are 8:00 am to 3:30 pm. Come pick up a bottle opener, try the database, as questions, offer suggestions, or just say hello!


If you live ‘downstate’, come see us at the second Genealogy Event, in Manhattan, Saturday, November 2, at the Metropolitan Pavilion, located at 125 W 18th St, New York City. This is the second year of this neat event, and I very much enjoyed exhibiting at it last year. The format this year is a bit different, however. Last year was a two-day event; this year, it’s one long day — in this case, a Saturday. The hours are 10am to 8pm, with all sorts of sessions and workshops through the day.

The exhibit hall will be open the whole time, as well; unlike in Syracuse, you do need to pay to access the exhibit hall. In any case, genealogy gatherings are rare in New York City, and a lot of people attended the inaugural event last year. I look forward to attending, but I think I will need to leave a bit early (like, maybe a half-hour early) to catch a bus home — given the cost of hotel rooms in Manhattan, it makes sense to catch a late bus home, if at all possible. I may miss the last half hour of the show, but the first 9-1/2 hours should be great! Please stop by and say hello if you’ll be there.


Beyond the state borders, I anticipate attending Who Do You Think You Are? LIVE, in London, in February 2014, and the National Genealogical Society conference, in Richmond, Virginia, in May 2014. If you know of other events you think I should consider, please let me know.