Royal Navy wants UK geocities members

Lloyd Wood (
Thu, 9 Apr 1998 00:46:44 +0100 (BST)

This is the funniest thing I've read about all week.

Excerpts from US Wired News article covering the launch:

The British Navy launched a recruitment drive Tuesday to net surfers
on the World Wide Web.

British Navy! Hundreds of years of careful marketing and
hardwon battles over trademark protection as the 'Royal Navy'
_completely_ down the drain here. Blame John Paul Young.

The campaign, dubbed "Saltwater Surfin'," will twin the
Royal Navy with 100 universities and 40 Internet cafes across Britain
in the hope of attracting technology buffs to its ranks.

"Saltwater Surfin'" has rather different connotations where
I, er, come from.

"Overall we need people with a higher technological ability than
the army and that's why we are implementing this project," recruitment
chief Brigadier Simon Hill told reporters at the launch in a London

A classic Navy-sneers-at-those-grunts-in-the-Army dig!

Can you identify this London cybercafe? Was it Webshack or the
other one... Cyberia, would it be called?

The Royal Navy had to use a cybercafe? Doesn't it have any
computer networks of its own?

"We are expecting a good response and we are going to
monitor this [Web page] very carefully and trawl through every
response because going to sea for a career is not everybody's cup of
tea," Reed said.

Trawl/sea/tea. Excellent 'wet' metaphors.

Excerpts from Official Government Business press release:

The thousands who visit Cybercafes to log onto the world-wide-web
will get an "on screen" invitation to explore the Royal Navy and
the opportunities available through a career with the "senior

Whatever happened to popping into the Careers Office for a bit to
impress your mates, or because it was raining and you wanted a cup
of tea?

The Royal Navy already has one of the top websites with over a quarter
of a million 'hits' each month.

250,000 'hits'? Without subtracting graphics? Oh dear.

>From the second page they will be taken straight into the Royal Navy
website where nearly seven hundred pages of information and pictures
are available.

Quick arithmetic here - you're saying each page is read less than
twelve times a day? Even _before_ we discount the graphics 'hits'?
Isn't Saddam keeping tabs on what his enemies have got, at the very
least? And downloading the gifs so he knows what the ships look

The Director of Naval Recruiting Brigadier Simon Hill said the Royal
Navy needs young people who are at home with up to the minute methods
of communication.

And then it wants take them to sea - away from those
up-to-the-minute methods of communication!

"There is nothing 'virtual' about world-wide travel, world-class
training, excitement and variety which our careers offer.

...but if you want to actually kill someone, you'll probably
have to go back to Quake.

"Be warned, after surging through the ocean in a 3,500 tonnes frigate
you might find cyberspace a little predictable."

if you can access cyberspace. Do those frigates run Navigator?
Do I get to keep my ICQ number and run PointCast? How
many megabytes of disk space do I get on

Oh, hang on, I get to share a ship with _real_ women?
Where do I sign up?