In my abortive early career as an academic of sorts, I used to teach a class on social networking as a means of accessing hard to get research data, source interviews and industry inside information.
This was before the days of Facebook and rampant online media; as an example, an online metadata search in Biological Abstracts cost $50 a minute. This was before Google and the Pentium computer chip.
As an information junkie and one of those people who get to know people in odd places, I helped prepare young researchers who were preparing to travel to foreign locales to perform cross-cultural studies in diverse fields; it was a lot of fun and a lot of work for the 3 weeks a year that were taken up with conferences.
I certainly don't have my old touch.
I've been trying to help some of the unlicensed mariners who lost their jobs when AHL Shipping Company went under a few weeks ago, by finding new job opportunities for them. One of the tremendous difficulties about this is that AHL was a union-based company, one of the few maritime organizations that were staffed top-down from one single union... unfortunately for the unlicensed crew, the small offshore unlicensed division of the IOMMP was a one-trick pony, with only one company left in the union, and that company now apparently gone the way of the dodo (I keep hoping that there will be a big surprise, where a last-minute infusion of cash will show up and keep so many mariners employed... a pipe dream, maybe, but a good one).
In the meanwhile, there are plenty of career mariners out there now without a union and without a ship.
I've been in contact with Capt. Kelly Sweeney of Maritime Headhunters , who has been one of the few people I know of who can find ship jobs for unlicensed guys in this economy, in the hope that he'll be able to keep some of my friends and former shipmates from languishing on the beach. I'm certainly not having much luck myself. I've helped one guy out, so far... well, one and a half- another guy is now on a commercial fishing boat in New England, which is like being in hell only not so restful what with the communists taking over NOAA and gutting jobs this month under the new pogrom, or program, whichever it is.
If anyone knows of a deep-draught job for Able Bodied Seamen or QMED's, please contact me so I can forward the info. Thanks!