March 30, 2009

March 2009 Newsletter

Welcome to The Seasteading Institute’s March Newsletter! We had a ton of press coverage this month, have lots of new volunteers, and a number of key projects are moving along.


### [Community][]

* [Membership Program][] – This will launch on April 15th (TSI’s 1-year anniversary), along with our 2008 Annual Report. Expect a special mid-month mailing about these!
* [Design Contest]( – Deadline is May 1st, and already several submissions so far. Lots of interest from the blogosphere.

#### Website / Social Networks

* [Community][] stats for March – Feb stats in (). We’re very excited at the massive growth in our mailing list, which more than doubled this month thanks to traffic from the CNN story.
* []( 1639 registered users (1067)
* [Mailing List]( 828 (318)
* [Facebook Group]( 462 (330)
* [LJ]( 38 (36)
* [Website](/) [migrated to a new host]( which is faster and more reliable. Statistics:
* Again, our 2nd best traffic month ever, beating Jan/Feb and only exceeded by last May’s slashdot/gizmodo/etc.
* March daily averages: 2900 visits (2400), 14k pages (11k), 180k hits (102K).
* Over 500 people a day found our website by googling for some variant of _seasteading_ or _seasteading institute_, indicating that our many offline news stories are driving significant traffic.
* Blog(s):
* We are about to spin off our first “sister blog”, [Let A Thousand Nations Bloom](, for discussion of the political theory around seasteading and similar topics which increase the size and competition in the governing industry. We think that a separate blog, especially with a more general topic area, should be able to take on a life of its own and bring a wider audience to seasteading. Patri and Catallarchy founder [Jonathan Wilde]( will be the initial authors, with [Mike Gibson]( as the editor. Content will be going up this week.
* [ResidenSea…stead: Ships Revisited]( – A long post analyzing condo cruise ships as a business model for early seasteads.
* [Revising TSI’s Mission Statement]( – Comment/discuss here.
* [Update on Poseidon Underwater Resort](
* [Trip thoughts, ideas, comments]( – A bunch of miscellaneous ideas based on discussions on Patri’s March trip.
* [How Rich Countries Die]( – Political theory from Mancur Olson which is quite relevant to seasteading.

#### In-person GTGs

* Socials – in addition to the usual Bay Area, we had meetups in Manhattan and Boston as part of Patri’s traveling.
* [March Bay Area social]( – ~25 people, talked about sailing club and ocean engineering study group.
* March NYC social – 25 people.
* March Boston social – 7 people.
* April Bay Area Social – We’ll probably do this one indoors, but May we will do something outside like Kayaking or Shoreline Lake.
* Conferences
* Second Annual Seasteading Conference – Planning continues. Mark your calendars for Sep. 28-30 (Mo evening, full day Tuesday, Wed through dinner, location TBD).
* [First Ephemerisle Festival]( – Planning continues, we are building a website and researching the location. Mark your calendars for Fri Oct. 2 – Sun Oct 4 (in the Sacremento River Delta).
* Talks / Conferences, all are open to the public:
* March
* 2009/03/07 – New Hampshire Liberty Forum – 50 attendees.
* 2009/03/04 – Yale University – 30 attendees.
* April – As the list this month is so long, only date and city are noted, please go to [the TSI Calendar]( of event webpage for exact location and other details. Note that the calendar is in PST time zone, but each event lists the local time in the details.
* [London, UK, Tuesday March 31 6PM-8PM, Adam Smith Institute](
* Durham, UK, Wed. April 1 – Fri April 3. [The State of Sovereignty: 20th anniversary conference]( Attending, not speaking (probably not open to public).
* [Hamburg, Germany, Saturday, April 4](
* [Copenhagen, Denmark, Sunday April 5]( 4PM local time, hosted by [CEPOS](
* Washington DC, USA, April 7, noon. [Cato Policy Forum Talk](
* [University of Virginia, USA, Tue April 7th, 7:30PM](
* [George Mason University, Fairfax, VA, USA, April 8th 4PM](
* [Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, USA, Thu April 9, 6PM](
* [San Jose State University, San Jose, CA, USA, Monday April 13th, 4:30PM]( Patri’s first local Bay Area talk since Convergence last November.
* Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME) Northern California, Wed. April 15th. Not open to public.

#### Basia: Press / Awareness Report

March has been quite a month here at The Seasteading Institute. We received a lot of press, started some new initiatives and we are happy we are getting more and more people interested in Seasteading.

Social Media & Community Relations

  • Our Facebook supporters are growing in numbers. As of now we have 443 members in our FB group and 80 fans on our new Seasteading Facebook Page .
  • We also started a new Twitter (@Seasteading ) feed to keep all of our supporters and followers up to date on current inititaitives here at Seasteading. In a very short time we already have 89 followers!

Press Coverage


In the last few weeks Patri has been really busy travelling and giving talks about Seasteading (Yale and NH Liberty Forum). In the next couple weeks we also have several conferences and talks coming up in the US and Europe. As always, a full list of upcoming events is available on our website.

#### James: Volunteer Coordinator Report

* Key Accomplishments
* Jorge Schmidt is a lawyer who has experience with maritime law who’s been consulting with us on and off for a few months. He’s just agreed to head up a legal research project for TSI, and is working with other legal volunteers Joe Denison and Solomon Bashi to put together a broad overview whitepaper about seasteading’s legal issues, challenges, and options.
* [Basia Montauk]( has been ramping up fast, getting very involved in PR and community relations initiatives. You can see her elsewhere in the newsletter (contributing the PR section), or on Twitter as [@seasteading]( She’s also planning our [Bay Area Maker Faire]( presence, working on a blogroll, and more.

* New Faces
* Many new faces this month thanks to our [coverage on](!
* [Chuck Grimmett]( has joined us as a Website Content Manager, and is going to be keep our website content compelling and up-to-date.
* Jacob Hansen has come on board to help Lasee Birk Olesen run our design contest (only one month left… for this one, at least!)
* Pearce Holland has volunteered to help with public relations work as well.
* Dheeraj Jagadev will be researching grants which TSI may be able to apply for to get significant extra amounts of funding.
* Tommy Liang has joined our website development team.
* Nathan Manousos has joined us as a Product Lead and is working on an important redesign of our website’s front page that conveys our organization’s purpose more clearly and more clearly establishes our credibility.
* Arlene Mendoza has joined us as a Product Lead, helping create process improvements for the website team and prioritizing and managing bugfixes and minor site enhancements.
* Troy Oltmanns is helping out with system administration for our website.
* [Kyle Taylor]( is our first Voulnteer Coordinator. He’s helping out with volunteer inquiries, recruiting, and much-needed administrative help for the volunteer program, and has already set up a [TSI org chart]( online.
* Tyler Willis has joined us in a Community Relations role for the San Francisco Bay Area, and scored us a really great venue for our [March social]( (a bar in the middle of Berekley that we get to ourselves, for four hours, for free!)

* Key Needs ([complete list](
* [Website System Administrator](
* [Website Developer](

### Technology & Research

#### Engineering

* [ClubStead][]
* [Video Flyby tour](
* We are meeting w/ MI&T to wrap up the design this month.
* Other designs
* [Blog post thinking about what type of seastead to design next]( – your feedback would be welcome!
* Single-Family-Seastead – [Notes on meeting with Vince]( about his views on seastead engineering. Vince’s version of his strategy is on [this wiki page]( [Discussion on this forum post](
* We are considering trying to hire a Director of Engineering so that we have more in-house engineering expertise.

#### Legal

* Volunteer legal team assembled (Jorge Schmidt, Joe Denison, and Solomon Bashi) and is starting research!
* [February Maritime Law Meeting]( – Notes from discussion w/ legal expert.
* [Legal Status of Coaststeads](

### Business

We met with our nonprofit lawyers last week to discuss how TSI can work with and/or spin off for-profit enterprises. There are definitely some ways it can be done. We will continue to iterate on our business strategy until it is ready for feedback from y’all.

### Administrative / Misc

* With all our volunteers, things were complicated enough that James made an org chart, and Volunteer Kyle Taylor ported it to [CogMap for a nice visualization](
* Strategy – Being reviewed by the board now, will be out soon!
* Annual Report – Will be out on April 15th.
* Planned Q2 goals/projects.

[Michael Dent]:
[Roman Hardgrave]:
[Staff Bio]:
[Press Page]:
[In The News]:
[Membership Program]: /contribute/membership-program