That is what I did when the El Faro incident happened. I looked for a professional opinion and found gcaptain forum. I have been a nuisance (to some) on here ever since.
That’s the ideal. In practice it depends upon what actual expertise members have and if it relevant or not.
In thinking about past threads I think there is a natural tendency for each of us to put more weight on our own experience than is justified.
The Fennica grounding near Dutch Harbor is an example.
The Alaskan trawlerman who commented said it was ridiculous to think the charts were at fault because everyone knows that patch where the Fennica grounded is shallow and to be avoided.
Other posters with Alaskan experience said it was a well known fact that in Alaska it’s standard practice to avoid unfamiliar waters without local knowledge because of possibility of charting errors.
Some forum members with no Alaskan experience thought the idea that charts should not necessarily be trusted was preposterous.
Each of us was using our own experience and discounting the experience of others.
As previously mentioned I discount information and opinions expressed by anyone untill I can determine their biases.
One of the problems with the forum is the difficulty determining the personal information (experience, education, nationality, etc) that is necessary to determine bias and perspective of any individual poster. To find the bias I often have to run specific post by people of known bias (sometimes this is done for us simply by a frequent poster responding to these posts).
On the other hand a wide range of bias and perspectives often leads to new channels of thought.
I would also contend that the gCaptain forum is good at solving puzzles but ineffective at solving mysteries.
The only problem I have with providing personal information is what happens with a lot of people on other social media sites where employers have ammunition to take action against employees.
True and this might be another reason we are able to tease out better predictions. Specifically because we can contact individual posters directly, ask questions and promise to keep background information private.
Here is the article from the ADN NTSB investigates whether ship tried a shortcut course
How could they make a mistake of this magnitude?" Lethcoe asked. Instead of assuming Cousins made a huge mistake, he said, it is easier to believe he was trying to navigate the tanker through the old steamship passage and made a minor error that put the vessel aground.