Seafaring social media site surges in popularity

Posted 7/24/13

MIDDLETOWN – Crewtoo, a new social media site for seafarers run by a subsidiary of Rhode Island-based KVH Industries Inc., has attracted more than 60,000 users within less than a year of its launch, KVH announced.

The website is part of Headland Media, a seafaring-focused news and media company that KVH purchased in May.

The platform was developed in part to address the barriers that seafaring crews often face in forging connections and receiving information – both cultural divides among multinational teams and geographic obstacles that limit connection to friends and family onshore.

Those issues led to the International Labour Organization’s creation of new rules that dictate a higher standard of living aboard ships. Crewtoo and Headland Media’s other offerings satisfy the regulations, which will go into effect next month.

“For many of the world’s 1.2 million seafarers, the initial romantic vision of a life at sea was too soon replaced by the reality of hard work in harsh conditions and increasing isolation,” Mark Woodhead, Headland Media’s managing director, said in a statement. “Crewtoo’s unique objective is to combat that sense of loneliness and lack of contact that most people at sea experience by providing a space where seafarers feel they belong and can converse.”

The partnership with KVH has allowed Headland Media to use the company’s platforms and technologies to broadcast movies and training videos onboard.

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