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Chris Richard

Montauk Surf Cam Issue

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I just got done reading a huge thread on Noreast.com about the shutting down of a web cam the Noreast Saltwater magazine had installed out at Montauk State Park. Apparently, the locals flipped out and had it shut off, citing an invasion of privacy. I wanted to hear some of the opinions you guys have, since the thread over there has degraded into shouts of "You're a homo" and "No I'm not. You're an idiot"

I don't get a "Big Brother watching" feel from some grainy web image, but it would have been nice to be able to check out the weather out there before driving 1 1/2 hours.

Some of the locals claimed it would bring loads more people out there, but for all of you who frequent the State Park, I don't think you'd notice another couple of dozen fishermen. Especially on the weekends.

My biggest gripe with the locals is that the cam was on state property and that they have no more right to that land than any other state resident.

So, what do you guys think?

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Chris, I think, for me, you answered the question. The cam was on State Park property. It was put there by a for-profit organization. The cam is not there for your convenience, it's there so the people that put it there can use it's presence to make money. For example, that cam was put there by the folks at Noreast....it wasn't put there by them as an out of pocket expense for your conveience...it was put there to draw more attention to their site and thus, to make money. I think the camera is best shut down, I don't think private organizations are allowed to exploit a state and federally tax funded park to make a profit. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe we are allowed to exploit our parks for gain, but I don't think so.

 

It's not a privacy issue, it's an issue about the uses of a state park for me. It would be different if the State put the camera up there and then charged Noreast and other sites for the opportunity to have a feed from the camera. In that case, the feed would be available to anyone who chose to pay the fee and the monies collected would go to the park to make it a better place. In that case, I'd say put the cam back up...but to use it as a vehicle for one site to turn a profit is a bastardization of a State Park in my eyes.

 

Just my two cents....

 

TimS

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I pretty much agree with Tim. Noreast.com is making money from the state by putting the camera there. While lots of folks make money from the state (I got problems with that too) the people shoudl be able to shut it down if they choose. Now if the state had a site and this camera was on it it would nto be an issue to me. Privacy was not an issue ot me in this. I read that thread btw it was ridiculuis to say the least.

 

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John M

johnm@stripersonline.com

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I totally agree with both you guys. One lone response on that thread mentioned the fact that such business ventures must go up for bid before being awarded to an organization. That argument was enough for me to agree with the shutdown. What tweaked me(but didn't surprise me) was the utter contempt that the East Hampton town residents have for "outsiders". Sorta like the French. I have never felt more unwelcome in a country than in France. They just hate to admit that if Americans stopped flying there to look at old paintings, the country's economy would shrivel up. Same in East Hampton. I've never had a shop owner refuse to take my money!

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Oh, BTW, the nice thing about visiting other boards is that you appreciate the valuable info that can be had here. The post by Brian on Fire Island is a perfect example. That type of info is just not available anywhere else. There is more usable info posted here on a daily basis than 6 months on any other site. Thanks.

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I wasn't aware of the goings on behind the scenes when I read that monster thread on Noreast. I had assumed that the cam was placed by a vendor who had complied with the bidding requirements and had been awarded a franchise--much like the folks who run the snack bar/gift shop at the base of the Lighthouse. And I assumed that Noreast was paying them whatever the going rate was for a surf-cam feed. It was made to sound like the people who operate the cam caved in to vigilante tactics on the part of a handful of locals who threatened violence of the cam wasn't removed. This thread has shed this matter in a totally new light.

 

As far as the other issue, the icy reception we get from the locals out there, my approach is vey simple--I bring whatever I need for my stay--coffee, sandwiches, and what have you--with me. I won't spend a dime on a stick of gum in the town of East Hampton. Southhampton too, for that matter. Might be just a drop in the bucket, and I feel bad for guys like Freddie's and other places where we get a civil welcome. But the "Thanks for shooping here--now go home!!!" mentality has to change before the nice guys ever get my business. You people belong to a Chamber of Commerce, police your ranks.

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I think it's important that your readers are aware of the facts as they are, not as some people believe them to be, and this will be the only post by me on this subject.

 

A Board of Directors made up of local Montauk residents' runs the Montauk Lighthouse. It's not a "State Park", nor is it run by the State or the Federal government. The process of approving the cam was lengthy and very involved and was eventually approved by the board. So obviously, locals had plenty of input in the decision.

 

Noreast.com funded the entire cost of the camera, the installation and the monthly maintenance fees. We also provided a feed for their website, and gave them full control over all advertising revenue they received from it. We never planned on deriving a single penny from the cam, and I resent any implications otherwise. Our magazine has been published for 11-years, and it has always been FREE. Each and every area of our website, from emailed newsletters to fishing logs, to video, to postcards etc, are also FREE. In fact, we don't sell a thing on or website, everything we offer our readers is FREE and always has been!

 

Your suggestion that such cams be run by the state with feeds sold to people that want to use it is a bit unrealistic. The costs are exorbitant and could never be recouped by reselling it. The numbers just don't ad up. We're able to do it because in addition to being a publishing company we're also a full service Internet Service Provider, and having our webservers and T3 internet connection in our office makes it much more affordable for us to keep a cam up.

 

It's a shame that the camera was shut down as the real losers are the folks that fish Montauk. But we're a diligent bunch here at noreast.com, and we have plans for over 10 new cams to be up and running in the next few months. Hopefully they'll go a little smoother.

 

 

[This message has been edited by noreast (edited 04-03-2000).]

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I understand what you are saying noreast. I thoguht it was a state or federal park. I guess I am worng and I appolgize. You have to admit that a Montauk Cam would help out your site by getting you more hits and hits are what its all about out here...anyway I hope then they get the cmaera back on....again I apologize for commentjing without understanding all the facts......

 

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John M

johnm@stripersonline.com

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Excuse my getting sappy for a moment...

 

I for one really appreciate folks from other boards coming over to calmly post on the topics at hand. It shows alot of class. This is exactly as it should be. Though we didn't start it, we've seen too much of the web-war thing lately. It's unfortunate that some keep forgetting what this is all about: a free exchange of ideas and information amongst those of shared interest. We need to be free to move around the net and gather/share info freely, regardless of the boards we call "Home."

 

Thanks, Noreast. No one here as an axe to grind with others in the fishing-info-board family (unless one gets really obnoxious about our "home.") That's why many of us visit this site: mature exchange of info...(OK, maybe a bit about blowing up fish, too. smile.gif Try not to "resent" any implication you might infer from what's posted as it's typically an innocent case of incomplete information. Calmly coming over to say, "Well, that's not quite the case," will typically earn you an "Ah...I see. Thanks for the info." Good luck on the web cams!

 

Dan

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Noreast

 

Not to stir the pot but I remember way back in the begining when Doc was writing for you that the publication was offered for sale by subscribtion. However, if my recolection is correct that format was short lived.

 

Fred B

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Thanks for the info, Noreast(George?). That really cleared away a lot of misinformation. I appreciate your coming over here and letting us know. I look at the Smith Point/FINS cam often to check out the scenery and enjoy the feature. You've always had a great magazine and it's nice to see reports from Swaine's in St. James since I don't get that way too much these days.

If you get a chance, check this board out when you can. It really has the premier surf guys in the area.

Thanks again,

Chris

 

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Noreast, thanks for explaining that tidbit about the lighthouse not being a state park. I'm afraid I picked up that info from the very thread that's being discussed here, my apologies if that info was incorrect. While we try extremely hard to make sure any info here involving others is 100% factual, I was mislead from information from that thread and do apologize.

 

I do indeed have a question for you. While there is no doubt your magazine is free, don't you sell substantial ad space on your web site? Doesn't the price you are asking for that ad space reflect directly on your site traffic? Just curious, that's how it works with most of the web sites in existence today. If the ad prices are directly proportional to your traffic, then doesn't the added attraction of your web cams make you money? Hey, it's America, we're all entitled to making money any way we can, but most people like to know the truth up front rather than having to dig for it. To say that the cams aren't a source of income is not true. To say that you never intended to recieve one penny from the cams is not true...while you didn't intend to recieve monies directly by charging people to look at the cam, I'm fairly certain that you intended and expected to draw more readers more frequently to your site...and in turn, that would bring more monies in the form of new advertisers and/or higher advertising rates. To say that you resent such accusations seems a bit harsh...unless in fact you really do take advertisers on your site 100% free...if that's the case, you have my apology for suggesting otherwise forthcoming!

 

It would be hard to believe that anyone, no matter how much they loved fishing, would fund a dozen or more surf cams if they didn't intend to benefit financially in one way or another. I resent being thought so naive that I'd buy that one.

 

I'm not trying to cause problems, honest, I just think that people have the right to know exactly what's going on. If more hits means more ad dollars, then the web cams are there solely to make money. Just my .02

 

TimS

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noreast, I believe the ball is in your court! I think our humble host did a little homework and has substantial knowledge in this field. Beautiful cross examination, time for the rebuttal. To bail out now would not be fair to those that are involved or interested! Lookin forward to your response! Bob E.

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Rock-rat, check out all the marinas, tackle shops, party boats, and charter boats. If that's not enough, look into the "Contact Us" section and send an e-mail to the one for advertising rates. I'm sure you'll receive a reply that states $XX/XX CPM....or a certain amount of money per thousand views of the ad. It's pretty standard, that's the way ad space is sold. It's not real obvious there, but unless I am sadly mistaken, for which I'll immediately apologize, the many boats and shops found there all pay a substantial premium....a premium made more saleable by the increase in traffic from the surf cams.

 

Again, not looking to start trouble, just when someone tells me they "resent" the "accusations" I've made...I thought the folks here should be made aware that my "accusations" were not unfounded.

 

TimS

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