One year (and one week) ago, Donal and I launched the Marathon Swimmers Forum with the following mission statement:
- To celebrate and promote the sport of marathon swimming.
- To foster connections and information sharing among the global community of marathon swimmers.
- To provide an educational resource for aspiring marathon swimmers.
Donal and I are both pretty proud of what’s happened since then. Just by the numbers, 565 confirmed members have contributed 5,437 posts in 400 separate discussion threads. Even better, the quality of the contributions has been gratifyingly high.
To celebrate the Forum’s first birthday, here’s a quick peek at the site analytics:
A Global (yet, to be honest, mostly anglophone) Community
Geographical distribution of visits by city
Geographical distribution by country, full year
Geographical distribution by country, first month
Everybody Loves a Controversy
Top Threads, as measured by pageviews:
What’s the right way to decide something like this?
By fiat, like the Freshies? By committee, like induction to the IMSHOF? A vote by a group of journalists, like the Baseball Hall of Fame? Or, like the WOWSA awards, an online poll open to anyone regardless of experience or expertise?
First, some background…
‘Round this time last year, a few of us were discussing some of the great achievements in marathon swimming during the previous year (i.e., 2011). A few of them, truly world-class feats of endurance, on par with anything any famous athlete did in more visible, monetized sports. Penny Palfrey‘s 67-mile swim in the Cayman Islands came to mind. As did Forrest Nelson’s circumnavigation of Catalina.
Yet, as it stood then (in early 2012), no organization existed that was saying to the world, and recording for posterity: These are the most outstanding achievements in marathon swimming this year. …
It’s a typically slow time of year for my swimming related endeavors. And so it’s been here at the blog, too! A few brief updates:
- Exciting times at the Island of the Blue Dolphins.
San Nicolas Island is the real-life location of the beloved children’s novel The Island of the Blue Dolphins. It is also the only one of the eight Channel Islands that has never (to our knowledge) been swum to, from, or around. Possibly because the distance between the island and the closest point on the California mainland is more than 61 miles.
Anyway, the island is now owned and operated by the US Navy. Recently, an archaeologist in the employ of said Navy made an exciting discovery: the long-lost cave in which the “lone woman” immortalized in Blue Dolphins apparently made her home in the mid-19th century!…
Along with my friend, fellow swim-blogger, and Marathon Swimmers Forum co-founder Donal Buckley (of loneswimmer.com fame), I am excited to announce the first annual Global Marathon Swimming Awards.
As the name suggests, these awards aim to promote and celebrate the sport of marathon swimming – a unique and historic niche within the increasingly vibrant community of Open Water Swimming. Marathon swimmers – just as our founding father Capt. Webb did nearly 140 years ago – swim long distances in open water without artificial aids.
2012 has been an exciting year for our sport. In addition to the second appearance of marathon swimming at the Olympic Games, numerous solo swimmers have done incredible things in ocean channels, lakes, bays, and rivers across the world.
Few, if any groups – online or in the flesh – are in a more knowledgeable and legitimate position to identify and celebrate these achievements than the MARATHONSWIMMERS.ORG community.…
So much interesting stuff happening down at the Forum these days, it’s tough to keep up with it all; and it’s not even June! Some highlights since my last update:
Highlights from the past week at the Marathon Swimmers Forum:
Forum stats as of May 12, 2012 (exactly two months after public launch): 295 members, 104 threads, 1299 posts, 58K page views.…
Highlights from the past week at the Marathon Swimmers Forum:
In other news, the Forum was featured in the “Open Water Surfing” section of the latest issue of H2Open Magazine.…
After little more than a month, the Marathon Swimmers Forum is approaching 1,000 posts! In the interest of making all this content as accessible as possible, we’re now offering Email Digest Subscriptions.
- To receive a daily email containing all forum posts from the previous 24 hours, sign up here.
- To receive a weekly email containing links to all updated threads in the previous 7 days, sign up here.
If you use RSS, copy this address into your feed reader to subscribe to all new posts.
You do not have to be a member of the forum to subscribe via email or RSS. However, membership has its benefits: viewing member profiles, using the private messaging system, and participating in discussions.
Here are some of the highlights from the past week at the Forum:
- Farallon record-holder and marathon swimming hall-of-famer Ted Erikson comments on Joe Locke’s brave attempt.
Since its beta launch March 7 and its public launch March 12, the Marathon Swimmers Forum has attracted 230 registered members (and many more who benefit from its content anonymously), and over 23,000 page-views.
It’s already a remarkable community – vibrant, diverse, and global. The Forum brings together some of the most accomplished and knowledgeable marathon swimmers in the world, and puts them in the same “virtual” room with swimmers who may be attempting their first 10K swim.
The quality of the content is astonishing, and has exceeded even my own high expectations. As for quantity, well… no interpretation is necessary:
Forum Participation Statistics: March 6 – March 27
A Tale of Two Posts
The Forum recently benefited from “mentions” by two of the world’s best-known open-water swimming promoters: Steven Munatones, founder of Open Water Source and the Daily News of Open Water Swimming; and Paul Ellercamp, founder of Oceanswims in Australia.…
Donal Buckley and I are pleased to announce a new online community: marathonswimmers.org.
After a brief “quiet launch,” the forum already counts some of the most accomplished and knowledgeable marathon swimmers on the planet among its members. Whether you’re a current marathon swimmer, an aspiring one, a retired one – or just curious – we invite you to join their ranks.
Ask questions (there are no dumb ones). Discuss the latest exploits – from Dover, Manhattan, L.A., and Hawaii… to Perth, Wellington, Tarifa, and the Sea of Japan. Announce your friends’ swims and cheer them on.
2012 will, in all likelihood, be the most historic, exciting year in the history of marathon swimming. Follow it on The Marathon Swimmers Forum.…