The past couple of weeks I had a couple different sets of customers say they've read some nice reviews of us on www.Undercurrent.org. Undercurrent is sort of the bible for travel divers. It's a pay site and members review operators from all over the world, so it's a handy spot to look up reviews from fairly frequent experienced dive travelers. I hadn't been on there in ages so I thought I'd take a peek at the reviews in the Hawaii section. It's nice to see that I must be doing something OK, from 2008 through today (2008 was about the time I started getting to where I was going out at least 4 days a week) I've got about as many or more positive reviews on the site as any of the operators here in Kona, and I'm small potatoes (as far as the actual number of divers I service) compared to several of the big well established operators. I'm done patting myself on the back now.
Anyway, that got me to thinking about review sites where people can go to at least check on potential operators when visiting a new dive location. A good one I like to check out is Scubaboard. It's a busy forum website with forums covering pretty much all things scuba, it has a travel forum section broken down into regions (states, countries and such) and is a great source for picking up some info on operators. Scubadiving.com is another message board that has a number of followers, although it doesn't seem to be as busy as the previous one I mentioned. Over the past couple of months I've found Yelp and Tripadvisor have review spots for businesses of all types, including dive operators.
With most of the non-pay sites it seems the big operators get the bulk of the comments, it makes sense. For instance, being a 6 pack operator I'll probably never get the kind of comment activity that larger established companies receive. My best month ever (so far) was March of this year, I had 34 total individuals come on the boat, most for multiple outings... some companies here can, and do, put that many customers or more on their boats in a day. Word of mouth takes time... so on that note, I'll do a one time solicitation... if you've been on my boat in the past and had a great time, feel free to visit yelp.com or tripadvisor.com and post something nice some day, it can't hurt. Thanks in advance to anyone who posts something.
Anyway, there are sites that you can research to find out a little more infomation about operators so you're not going in completely blind when looking at a new operator to try out.