Interview: Mal Jago - Coastalwatch Technologies


I/V: Mal Jago - General Manager: Coastalwatch Technologies: 29th May 2003


What's your background?


Foreign exchange dealer - banking 15 years.

What are the aims and objectives of CoastalWatch?

Keep site going after a bumpy patch 18 months ago,(and in general internet), build up our service offering and continue to improve how and the way we deliver this info. Surfing isn't a minority, it's one of the biggest sports in this country and one that we have a comparative advantage in. We have grown virally to date and are knocking on the heals of a few of the big end of town.

When did you first launch the site?

1998.

What changes have occured to the surfing portal business, and in particular Coastal Watch over the years?

People said content wasn't the future, which was true but more and more with advances if you have something that there is a natural demand or need to use info people will find you... not content for the sake of content.

Ccameras vary depending on locations and money in the bank. We are hosted at Flow Communications who have been helping us manage our huge data requirements. We have been supplying SMS content and MMS for some time. As well moving to broadband as we speak.

How does the whole operation come together?

With dedication from the founder, Chris Lane, and some very clever technology as well as a team of dedicated surf reporters.

Who are your biggest backers?

Surf board shapers, and also Telco providers. Private funders have been very keen to support us and see great long term prospects

Surfing Australia, have stood by us and we work closely with them. Boost mobile and Quiksilver have been good. Jake Patterson been great.. in general we receive most support from outside the industry oddly enough.

What well known surfers and industry authorities do you work with to "make it happen"?

SO many it's a joke, moving to ADSL , trialling 3G to get surfing live (it works) Some web development a\with assoc industries, Government grant with wave modeling. And lots of others.

How many beaches do you monitor?

30 I think... with the help of a few linked guys like Centralcoastsports.com etc

What traditional and surfing media exposure has Coastal Watch received?

Good article in the SMH (Sydney Morning Herald). Not too much surf media coverage. The Jack McCoy Film Festival gave us great coverage.

How much of the work do you do, and how much, and what, gets delegated?

I do very little. Its our tech guru Chris Lane and a team of reporters that do the work.

Do you surf? If so, what and where?

Confession. No but have taken some lessons which were great at Byron Bay Surf School. Bronte Sydney, NSW, where I live.

How many website visitors do you receive?

100,000 unique users per month. 1 million page impressions. (Red Sheriff).

What motivates you?

To make this concept succeed, there are to many people who don't see value in the internet, and what it can do. Surfer community who have a need for this info and have proven in numbers, who aren't represented by free to air TV but by far have a lot bigger participation rates. A person who surfs, also plays and or watches football.

What else would you like to tell our readers?

Watch this space there's a lot more to come and as we grow so will our offerings and commitment to our community.

...end.

Profile

CoastalWatch.com

Websites

CoastalWatch.com

SurfingAustralia.com

JackMcCoy.com

Australian Surfing Portal (Greg Tingle's surfing portal)

Coastal Directory

Surfing