Here is my own general rule of thumb for paddlers and their rate for embracing new technology and social networking tools. Whitewater paddlers jump on board right away followed shortly by sea kayakers. A long time later, canoeists will finally get on board after much complaining.
Why? Who knows. I'm sure I could make up some grand reason why this is the case and I'm sure that it something to do with age demographics and whatnot. But the trend has been proven to me time and time again and you don't need to look much farther then the internet for a couple of examples. Back in the young days of the net, whitewater kayers jumped on forums like rec.boat.paddle (remember that?) to talk about learn and argue with each other. At the time, there wasn't a sea kayak forum to be seen, a couple of years later a few started up and today hundreds are out there if you really want to start digging. Canoeing? Well even today, there are only a handful of active ones with the biggest being the Canadian Canoe Routes forum. I'm sure there are others so prove me wrong and let me know.
A more modern example is the cool world of iphone apps. If you go through the store of apps, you will find a fantastic app developed specifically for whitewater kayakers called RiverGuide. It provides water levels, river information and kayak news. So far, I haven't found anything yet specifically for the world of canoeing and sea kayaking yet but I'm sure that a route guide or a techniques video library isn't far behind.
Last example. Twitter. For a long while it was only the geeks and marketers who were involved with it. When it started to became more popular, whitewater kayakers jumped on board and more are joining every day. Do a quick search for whitewater kayakers and you will find the movers and shakers of the WW community already onboard and have been for a while.
Well, I'm getting excited because more sea kayakers are getting involved in Twitter every day. For those not in the know, Twitter is a great micro-blogging tool that allows you to post quick notes or tweats. The catch is that they can only be 140 characters long. You can follow other people on twitter and read what they have to say and I find that it is a super concise method for keeping in touch with a network of people that I normally would never interact with.
Twitter is totally different then Facebook. In a recent article I read describing twitter, they said that Facebook is for keeping in contact with friends you already know while Twitter is for keeping in contact with strangers who will become your friend tomorrow.
A two minute Twitter primer in plain English:
I made a quick list below of other people who you might know already involved. Feel free to visit their Twitter page and follow them if you wish. While you are there, follow me! I'm at @kayakinginstructor. I also have @akasharkbow but it is rarely anything to do with kayaking. Mainly pop-culture/technology stuff.
The list below is in absolutely no order for your reading pleasure. Of course I have missed lots of people and companies and for that, I apologize. Send me a note if you are truly upset.
So get signed up and get involved. The waters warm and you will like it.