Thanet Star

You Donít Have to Be A Geek to Understand SEO

Today I am going to be talking about SEO. I am not going to be talking about how to do it but rather I am going to cover what SEO can do for your website, business, blog or reputation. SEO Stands for Search Engine Optimisation and it is a topic I am going to touch on a few times in the coming weeks.

To help cover this topic more effectively I have even gone so far as to obtain an advertiser known to be an expert in the subject. So don't say I never do anything for you...

Having spent a long time having a good long hard look at the state of websites in Thanet I can see that there is only a minimal grasp of even the existence of SEO. If you are one of the few that have understood the basics then I apologise if I make things too simple but I feel it is important to arm Thanet businesses with the tools that can help us all prosper online and off here in .

The short story is that correctly applied SEO makes your site easier to use, more pleasant to read, brings more visitors and reduces the chances that your site is in breach of certain UK laws. Laws that insist that a disabled person be able to access your site. While the aim is more visitors these other things are a pleasant side effect.

How it all works and how to apply it is todays topic...

...

» Continue Reading: You Donít Have to Be A Geek to Understand SEO

Have your say (there are 4 Public Comments) · read more items categorised Thanet · Don't miss a thing: Subscribe Today · Help: what's a feed? · This site is operated on set principles of policy and disclosure read them here

Is debt consolidation the best bet?

Whenever I go to the bank to reorder my finances the subject of loans comes up. If I am in good credit with the bank (ie not running on the overdraft at the time) then I am offered large loans. If I am into the overdraft then I am offered smaller loans with significantly higher interest.

The last time I had the distinct lack of pleasure to visit my bank (now inconveniently relocated to Westwood Cross) I wanted to rework several arrangements to free me to make a vital purchase that a system error had made ten times harder than it needed to be. Given I was actually only trying to spend £200 this was all a bit much. The options were:

(a) Have the bank admit they were at fault (never going to happen).
(b) A small loan (just £1,500 over a year - the smallest on offer)
(c) Redistribution of credit - so that the credit that already existed was all in one place.

As soon as I said the magic word "loan" the bank manager did everything short of pull a gun on me to try and make me consolidate everything into a massive single loan. Now quite aside from the fact that I would have had to pay an arrangement fee for this was the fact that the interest rates were higher than my current arrangements.

...

» Continue Reading: Is debt consolidation the best bet?

Have your say (there are ) · read more items categorised Business · Don't miss a thing: Subscribe Today · Help: what's a feed? · This site is operated on set principles of policy and disclosure read them here

Thanet and Blogger - Again(!)

Apologies to those Thanet bloggers that did not get a visit from me and a comment in my Tuesday Evening Roundup of blogs. The problem was down to your chosen host () having a technical fault with the commenting system. Blogs not on this platform might have seen me but as most Thanet Bloggers are on Blogger (still)...

There is something to be said for variety within a population. Not only does it insulate against global devastation (ask any farmer) it also leads to better innovation and less copy-cat sites. We've not seen too much of the later yet but as this niche grows I am sure we will.

If you need help establishing yourself on a hosted solution with your own domain name you can always contact me. Just click my name on any article that I have written. Easy.

Have your say (there are 2 Public Comments) · read more items categorised Blogging · Don't miss a thing: Subscribe Today · Help: what's a feed? · This site is operated on set principles of policy and disclosure read them here

Getting the bigger picture

In the UK 3 Million families are expected to be unable to heat their home this year. This is equivalent to one person from Thanet per 20 family without heating. Even if we were all nicely well off this is a poverty problem of a scope that we would still not be to cover.

Sadly a large portion of Thanet makes up a share of this number. Families, possibly in your road or mine that are unable to keep warm due to economic hardship. Posh knobs might simply ignore this by saying "get a job" but let us be honest about the fact that the work in Thanet does not exist and is likely to become ever more scarce.

The UK poverty rates are 50% higher than France and more then twice as high as Scandinavian countries and yet the UK is the fourth richest nation. Three quarters of a Million children will go without a warm waterproof coat or proper shoes this winter and around 42% of these children are from single parent families. Raising children is hard enough if you are living in a nice house, with a good income and a partner to support you. On your own with none of this it is infinitely harder.

According to Capacity (from whom I obtained this data) "Children growing up in poverty are more likely to leave school at 16 with fewer qualifications." Do you know what sort of work exists in Thanet for those with few qualifications? Yes, that's right - not a lot.

Back to the problem of the prior generation...

...

» Continue Reading: Getting the bigger picture

Have your say (there are ) · read more items categorised Thanet · Don't miss a thing: Subscribe Today · Help: what's a feed? · This site is operated on set principles of policy and disclosure read them here

Conferences, Code and Classes

Things are moving apace with the code I have been writing to generate the top 100 Thanet blogs. The statistical methods to be used have been numerically modeled and appear sound and classes (a form of archetype abstract and template in code) have been created to build the metric monitors from.

In English this means I have been working hard.

However, things will have to take a backseat for a short while as I have a conference to attend in London where I will be representing part of Thanet. If there is anything generally interesting to report back (and that it would be reasonable to do so) you can be sure I will write about it. I will be departing before the birds wake up on Monday morning.

Have your say (there are ) · read more items categorised Thanet · Don't miss a thing: Subscribe Today · Help: what's a feed? · This site is operated on set principles of policy and disclosure read them here

Setting up a personal or business website

Put your content in any design
For all the many different people I have done consultation work for there have only been two distinct barriers preventing the person or the company running a profitable and popular website. It does not seem to matter what the aim or scope of the site will be - one or both of these two barriers come up every time. They are both, in their own way, issues of perception.

1. Lack of understanding of what a web site is and can do
2. Lack of skills or understanding of the technology that can make things easier

Now the first issue usually results in people requesting fancy, yet pointless, interactive media be embedded on a single page. This might seem great but unless this bit of media is so hot, so fantastic, so astounding that everyone that sees it is filled with a religious zeal that motivates them to make every one they know look at it, then you site just died in the starting blocks. The reason being is that your website has just one page with an interactive movie on it.

When search engines index the site they will ignore the movie and look for text. When real people do, somehow, find their way to such a site they will (if you are very lucky) give you as many as 25 second for the movie to load and then they will go away again. Amazingly companies will pay more than £5,000 for such sites (I can name at least two that are no longer in business because of this) and yet what they get does little more than tickle the managing director's ego and appeal to his or her inner artist.

Art is fine but the right art for the right medium.

...

» Continue Reading: Setting up a personal or business website

Have your say (there are 4 Public Comments) · read more items categorised Business · Don't miss a thing: Subscribe Today · Help: what's a feed? · This site is operated on set principles of policy and disclosure read them here

Police free to take whatever they want, whenever they want to

In case you harbored any dreams that human rights and things like basic freedom existed in Kent as they no longer do in the country as a whole I have some bad news for you. This simply is not the case, as this story illustrates.

For as long as there have been camera people have used them to take pictures of other people. We seem to like looking at each other, especially when we know each other. One example of this is crowds.

Some of the best and most usful documentary evidence of a particular event in terms of history comes from photographs of crowds. Indeed much of the cannon of "art" produced by photographers is of crowds of strangers doing whatever they do. It is generally accepted that if you are out in public then you can be seen by other people and that includes other people taking photographs.

To be honest no one taking pictures of crowds is interested in you particularly but only in the crowd you are part of. We are past the stage where we are worried that photographs steel you soul and so long as we don't have to see the photograph, on the whole, we are not worried about the content. The average street photographer is unlikely to do much more than store the photograph in his portfolio to "show what he can do".

...

» Continue Reading: Police free to take whatever they want, whenever they want to

Have your say (there are 4 Public Comments) · read more items categorised Thanet · Don't miss a thing: Subscribe Today · Help: what's a feed? · This site is operated on set principles of policy and disclosure read them here

TDC and the Real Black Hole

have once more demonstrated the folly of using expensive proprietary systems over the more logical free and solutions that are the defacto standard. In case it was not clear (and to some it might not be) the council website runs a Windows based server and runs the web scripting framework.

Both of these require more resources than say PHP5 and on a server. Not only do these take less processing power but they cost nothing and do not have a license that expires every year.

Like this:

Persits.Jpeg.1 error '800a0004'

AspJpeg has expired. Please visit www.aspupload.com to purchase a registration key.

/_colony/members/branding_style.asp, line 22

Observed on http://communityportal.thanet.gov.uk/ at 0943 hours on 19.01.2008

So no image uploads for the council until they pay for the right to use the code that blogger.com, wordpress.com and even thanetstar.com enjoy for free. I am sure that we could reduce taxes if we stopped the council paying thousands of pounds per department per year for expensive software solutions when free software of equal quality exists right now.

Have your say (there are 6 Public Comments) · read more items categorised Thanet · Don't miss a thing: Subscribe Today · Help: what's a feed? · This site is operated on set principles of policy and disclosure read them here

Spending £3 million

It seems that Thanet Council have managed to nab £3 million out of a possible £16 million for the whole of Kent. This money is for "housing improvements" they say. My experience of such things means that Mears should be celebrating a free give away of cash from the council for doing little if anything of lasting value. Expect a big round of self congratulations that holds little correlation with reality in the next year or so when this cash has been spent.

I apologise if this item is not so well rounded as normal but I have lived through many years of such things before and my experience has been consistent in one thing only - the council has yet to lift a finger to verify what the contractors tell them. So what do you think they are going to "do" with the cash, really.

Have your say (there are ) · read more items categorised Thanet · Don't miss a thing: Subscribe Today · Help: what's a feed? · This site is operated on set principles of policy and disclosure read them here

Bob Geldof on Margate

Fire at Arlington House
Image From the BBC
The tiny online world of is abuzz with the news that someone had the audacity to say something bad about . Forgetting the fact the we who write sites like this often have negative comments to make let us not be blind to the facts of the mater. Margate is not exactly a gem.

In case this is all a mystery to you (and you do not have page three of the Thanet Extra to hand) Bob Geldof is quoted as saying "If you drive of piste for five minutes you can find complete beauty. It's a mad mystery, the battle of the ugliness of Margate against the charm of the beaches." Bob is no stranger to Margate and has had an off and on flirtation with it (and Kent generally) from early in his carrier. Geldof fans was recall that it gets a mention in in which he describes something that is still the social norm here today.

Apparently the fact that Saint Bob of Geldof has said that Thanet has areas of outstanding beauty is lost to the fact that he has observed that Margate is ugly. Have you seen the sprawling town "centre" of late? Not too nice to look at and as for Cecil square...

...

» Continue Reading: Bob Geldof on Margate

Have your say (there are 4 Public Comments) · read more items categorised Thanet · Don't miss a thing: Subscribe Today · Help: what's a feed? · This site is operated on set principles of policy and disclosure read them here

Thanet Star and the System Error

sexi back
Image by weegeebored
This last week I have had one or two minor issues with my adverts and I was hoping that it had gone unnoticed. However, after Mrs Tara Plumbing sent me a message to mention it I knew this had not been the case.

I use a number of different agencies to help monetise this blog (that's a posh way of saying pay for it's costs and my time) and the prime network I use is bidvertiser and therein lies a short story. Bidvertiser are a good network for those of us bloggers that might use more than one source of adverts and might wish to sell our own (you can buy space in the bidvertiser slots on this site through their site).

Bidvertiser will provide a starter selection of adverts for which clicks or impressions result in payments and generally match reasonably well even if they don't pay huge amounts (compared to the advertisers that will generally put in bids once you have some statistics to show off). The option I use more than any other for filtering adverts is the setting for the most family friendly adverts only. However, a dating agency seems to feel that scantily clad ladies counted in this category.

Quite aside from sending a number of stiff messages to the bidvertiser team I have taken the further option of running adverts from my own server when the advert price was lower than a value I specified. The challenge was, of course, to out price the naughty dating agency and this took a little while. During this time the not-at-all suitable adverts were shown on item pages.

I apologise for this, especially if anyone felt offended or put off as a result. When I set out to write this blog I intended to present a balanced point of view (where possible) and family friendly content at all times. The sort of things I would not feel uncomfortable if my Nan, mum or sisters looked at. This time around this did not quite work out.

I hope you can forgive this.

Have your say (there are ) · read more items categorised Business · Don't miss a thing: Subscribe Today · Help: what's a feed? · This site is operated on set principles of policy and disclosure read them here

Fort Hill Controversy

The news that Cllr David Green broke (back on the 13th) that KCC have decided that it is in our best interest to have a load of roadworks done has finally made the papers just five days later. If you know where to look the news is freshest from . (Knowing where to look is another story, however.)

The has tucked the story away on page 7 because the trail of a drug addict and the opening of a large gambling centre were much more important. The headline reads "Anger grows over KCC 'arrogance'" which is uncannily accurate. Given the amount of "power" that the district council has handed to the county council (not to mention money) what else could we have expected. Any indication of "consulting" the public is in reality about as honest as the unpublicised consultations of the district council. It seems both groups are equally as keen on doing whatever they want rather than spending time and effort on finding out what people in actually think.

It also comes as no surprise that the tame newspapers have given a sub heading of his own. (Why do our local papers never wish to disagree with the "leader"?) The fact that Cllr Sandy Ezekiel should never be allowed to talk to the press (or the public for that matter) is evident from the fact that once more they have him twittering on (almost off-topic) not about the subject but about "The Labour Group" who he seems to think "have been fully informed". Cllr Sandy Ezekiel should perhaps be briefed on the fact that this briefing is exactly what has gotten people so upset.

Care to share your opinion?

...

» Continue Reading: Fort Hill Controversy

Have your say (there are ) · read more items categorised Thanet · Don't miss a thing: Subscribe Today · Help: what's a feed? · This site is operated on set principles of policy and disclosure read them here

Dentists and Thanet - Things You Should Know

UPDATE: This article on the nature of dentistry in Thanet is over a year old. For more up to date information skip to the Thanet Dental Update.

One thing that is abundantly clear to those of us in needing to find is that there are not enough. One thing I do not understand is that Doctors and Pharmacists seem to have some contractual arrangement that prevents them even talking about your teeth with you. Try it and watch them react as if they were the undead in a b-movie and you have just shown them a holy icon.

If some one would care to enlighten me on this arrangement that seems to benefit no one but the dentists please use the comment form right now. For the rest of us the issue is still highly pressing and has resulted in horror stories of medieval style "home dentistry" more likely to kill than cure. For times when the pain gets way too much there are things you can do.

Admittedly unless you can get your hands on a great deal of cash then there is no chance of getting intervention in the form of a filling that will save the tooth. No, poor user you must wait until the pain can not be dulled with pain killers and then there is help. A little help but also a "secret dentist" that we can all use.

...

» Continue Reading: Dentists and Thanet - Things You Should Know

Have your say (there are 17 Public Comments) · read more items categorised Thanet · Don't miss a thing: Subscribe Today · Help: what's a feed? · This site is operated on set principles of policy and disclosure read them here

Some industry news

I know that some bloggers from Thanet are using adsense to earn an income from their blogs. I doubt that anyone is getting a fortune from it at the moment but then earning from blogging is hard work. However, the terms of service are changing. All referral traffic will no longer count as of the later end of this month.

It is covered in more detail in "Adsense Slaps Foreign WebMasters in the Face" by noted professional blogger Shoemoney.

...

» Continue Reading: Some industry news

Have your say (there are ) · read more items categorised Business · Don't miss a thing: Subscribe Today · Help: what's a feed? · This site is operated on set principles of policy and disclosure read them here

A very rainy day.


Image by chrisjroos
The biggest issue on the minds of bloggers in Thanet seems to be that all prevailing () obsession - the weather. Over at Zumi the discussion at least comes with the good news that there are no immediate warnings for the area to come with the high winds and heavy rain.

In a related story The Big Blog talks of a power cut in that was more selective than normal with the houses failed. Unfortunately with bad weather and a rather questionable work ethic from the energy companies means that this time of year power cuts are all to common. Fortunately being a programmer with a laptop I can carry on working (without internet access as the router has no back up) but it is still a drag.

On that topic Mrs Tara Plumbing has a post about a burst boiler. It seems that a land lord was remiss in his maintenance and someone got hurt (ouch!)

But just because we are lucky other parts of the world are not doing so well. The BBC reports that the next 48 hours are the critical time frame in which we could see some very bad flooding or worse. "A repeat of July 2007's devastation is feared after rain began lashing western England overnight."

...

» Continue Reading: A very rainy day.

Have your say (there are ) · read more items categorised Blogging · Don't miss a thing: Subscribe Today · Help: what's a feed? · This site is operated on set principles of policy and disclosure read them here

Please feel free to comment

I have noticed from the site's stats that a lot of people visit without saying anything. Which is fine, after all this is a "free" country (for given values of free) but at the same time there is no special reason hold back. say what you think both for and against the article) or even pulling it up for grammar violations if you really wish).

So long as we remember that we (mostly) all live within about five or six miles of each other and might have to share a room one day I think we can all get along just fine. Disagreements and all.

so here is the lowdown on comments.

...

» Continue Reading: Please feel free to comment

Have your say (there are 2 Public Comments) · read more items categorised Blogging · Don't miss a thing: Subscribe Today · Help: what's a feed? · This site is operated on set principles of policy and disclosure read them here

Live in Thanet with Delay Room

Some readers my recall that a while ago I made mention of a specific site called Live in Thanet. Fans of the musical talent of Delay Room (who come from Ramsgate) will be pleased to learn that four of Delay Room's songs are now available at Live in Thanet. "A Reflection of You", "Sad City", "Lost" and "Chasing a Fools Dream" are currently in the front page play list.

Of course if you want to create a free account you can add these and other tracks to your personal profile page. In addition to Delay Room I have noticed other local talent have create accounts. Let's hope that they upload some music too.

For more information about Live in Thanet - Click Here

Have your say (there are ) · read more items categorised Thanet · Don't miss a thing: Subscribe Today · Help: what's a feed? · This site is operated on set principles of policy and disclosure read them here

The Wind Farms are Coming

Wind farm on South Point, Big Island of Hawaii by Harvey McDaniel from Naalehu, HI
Enough energy to power all of Thanet some many times over. This is what we can expect from a series of installations of Wind Turbines of the coast of Kent. The collected power of the installed turbines that Kent will be part of will, starting this year, reach a high of 1.3 GW (Gigawatts) of energy. This is made up of 300 MW (Megawatts) from the Thanet Offshore Wind Farm added to the Gigawatt from the London Array which covers part of the Margate coast.

The building work for the London Array will be carried out at port Ramsgate according to the wikipedia (I was not able to independently verify that) but I can state that Ramsgate will become maintenance base creating up to 100 new jobs in the area. This will be in addition to the jobs created by the construction of the array itself and the work created by Warwick Energy's 80 or so turbines (due to start construction this year).

"Thanet District Council said 800 new jobs were expected during the three-year construction period, with another 100 when Ramsgate becomes the maintenance base for the wind farm."
Offshore wind farms get go-ahead, BBC News, Monday, 18 December 2006, 15:50 GMT

But what does it mean to us living in Thanet?

...

» Continue Reading: The Wind Farms are Coming

Have your say (there are 1 Public Comment) · read more items categorised Thanet · Don't miss a thing: Subscribe Today · Help: what's a feed? · This site is operated on set principles of policy and disclosure read them here

Thanet going to the birds?

Hidden deep within the depths of the World Wide Web is a site entitled (in caps) "THE WORLD ACCORDING TO BORIS THE HEDGEHOG". This rather unusual personal patch of supplied web space contains a page on the topic of "Birding in Thanet" from which we can guess Boris is a local.

It is a single page guide but is thankfully free of the garish and annoying animated graphics web page makers seem compelled to put on this sort of page. It is also wittily written and informative. Anyone with an interest in those things that flutter about, in all weathers, and make a lot of noise, in the morning, just to tell you it is time to wake up, might like to give the page a quick read.

While this is not going to be all the information you will need on the subject it will get you started and with a flavour while doing so. If you check the main page the site author has left an email address so if the hobby of looking at birds is for you then, maybe, you could strike up a conversation. While not for everyone those chirpy things sure are pretty and make the place seem nice.

Have your say (there are 2 Public Comments) · read more items categorised Thanet · Don't miss a thing: Subscribe Today · Help: what's a feed? · This site is operated on set principles of policy and disclosure read them here

Corrections

In an earlier article I suggested that were not taking part in however Tash from the children's library at has emailed me to correct me. It seems that I was mistaken an you can get BookStart packages from Margate library (which actually makes more sense).

Tash tells me that you "...can collect a pack from any library including Margate. Just take their baby's red record book and ask a member of staff."

Thanks, Tash for putting me right on that one.

Have your say (there are 2 Public Comments) · read more items categorised Thanet · Don't miss a thing: Subscribe Today · Help: what's a feed? · This site is operated on set principles of policy and disclosure read them here

Got green fingers?

Manston Garden Club recently appeared on my radar (so to speak) care of the Thanet blog list. From what I can tell the club is a formal organisation for those interested in the green fingered activities for which Thanet is quite well known. They meet on the first Friday of each month at at half past seven (1930hrs) inside the Village Hall in . I understand the hall is located in Preston Road.

From what little information I have so far been able to gather I do not believe they are a mutual society but possibly exist in some form of charitable or none profit status. If anyone can update me on this I'd be grateful. I do know that they currently have a committee that runs things with three elected members but they are looking to expand with a number of sub-committees. This tells me that they are formally organised and possibly have to maintain a level of transparency and so forth. (this is good).

So if you enjoy a little bit of gardening, can get to Manston on a Friday evening and feel like helping out I expect they will be quite pleased to see you. I'd be very interested in hearing back from anyone that has visited.

Have your say (there are 2 Public Comments) · read more items categorised Thanet · Don't miss a thing: Subscribe Today · Help: what's a feed? · This site is operated on set principles of policy and disclosure read them here

PC advisor needs to take advice.

According to an article published in July 2007 (yes, last year). Thanet has but one MySpace profile.

"But Lowther in Cumbria, Attleborough in Norfolk and Thanet in Kent each have just one MySpace user.

This proves either that a combination of the delights of small-town England and the scarcity of rural broadband make MySpace less than compelling in the sticks, or that country-folk are too busy distrusting strangers and maintaining a tiny gene pool to learn the intricacies of online social networking."
Matt Egan, pcadvisor.co.uk, "MySpace UK has 10 million users." Thanet one, July 10, 2007

Quote aside from the insulting tone used I can point you to two Thanet Specific Social Networks on ning.com alone, not to mention the crusty looking Planet Thanet Chat which has been kicking about MSN Groups for donkey's years. Then we get right to MySpace itself and here is a profile Google says is from thanet so I take it that this and this and this too are just or is it that Matt Egan has all the investigative skills of a dead hamster?

...

» Continue Reading: PC advisor needs to take advice.

Have your say (there are 4 Public Comments) · read more items categorised Thanet · Don't miss a thing: Subscribe Today · Help: what's a feed? · This site is operated on set principles of policy and disclosure read them here

Social Enterprise in Thanet

No, this is not some unreleased episode of Star Trek but a different way of doing business. A social enterprise is one that has been established with the aim of improving society. We have such things within if only you look in the right place.

SureStart Millmead is a and a social enterprise. It started trading as an independent organisation in April 2006. In this article I will be taking a brief look at the Millmead SureStart community mutual and how it is different to other forms of business.

...

» Continue Reading: Social Enterprise in Thanet

Have your say (there are ) · read more items categorised Business · Don't miss a thing: Subscribe Today · Help: what's a feed? · This site is operated on set principles of policy and disclosure read them here

£100 Laptops in Thanet

(something worth a little fight)

The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) program is a project that aims to produce a rugged and portable learning device for less than $100 (that's about £50) and make it available to disadvantaged groups. The current price of the XO (the laptop in question) is a little higher being nearer £95 per device. Sadly the foundation is currently missing out on a significant number of ways to get the XO in the hands of those that need them most and that is buy using the needs of those of our society that need them almost as much.

If the £29.5m so far spent not getting anywhere with the Thanet Turner Contemporary Centre had been spent on laptops then would right now see 310,526 children (more than double the current total population of Thanet) with a tool that would give them a significant competitive advantage in the next six to twelve years as the oldest start to look towards a-levels and top universities. Ten to sixteen years from now we would have the most academically active and technologically literate children in the country. Not to bad for a district flagged as being an area of major disadvantage and social and economical deprivation.

...

» Continue Reading: £100 Laptops in Thanet

Have your say (there are 6 Public Comments) · read more items categorised Thanet · Don't miss a thing: Subscribe Today · Help: what's a feed? · This site is operated on set principles of policy and disclosure read them here

Getting a Bookstart in life

As a boy as was read to by my parents from a very young age. As the oldest child this formed part of a special time that had no other siblings for me to compete with. I remember that I was still quite young when my mum gave me my first proper book. It was an adventure story called the Boy Next Doy by Enid Blyton and after my mum would read me a chapter I would read as many more as I could before I fell asleep.

Reading has never left me and laid a foundation for the remainder of my learning enabling me to pick up skills and knowledge far in advance of many of my peers and contemporaries. There is no doubt in my mind that reading was the key to much of the success I enjoy today. While not all children come from a book loving family (where would we be if we were all the same) there are groups that wish to promote reading to all.

Book Start is one such project. It is administered by a national independent charity called Booktrust and is a national program to encourage parents (and carers too) to enjoy books with children from as early an age as possible. The project is sponsored by over 25 childrenís publishers (as well as other large enterprises) enabling the distribution of free books to small children.

Wendy Cooling, the Bookstart senior consultant explains:

"We have always instinctively known that reading to very young children was good for them, though there was very little research showing this. I wanted to explore the impact that early book-sharing would have upon whole child development and upon children's pre-literacy skills."

As a dad this means to me that my children will be given an extra boost to their start in life despite the apparent extra hurdle of living in . This is no small thing. In this article I will be looking at the potential impact of Bookstart and the obstacles it faces. I will also be reporting on the results of a number of discussions I carried out as part of my research.

...

» Continue Reading: Getting a Bookstart in life

Have your say (there are ) · read more items categorised Thanet · Don't miss a thing: Subscribe Today · Help: what's a feed? · This site is operated on set principles of policy and disclosure read them here

At the start of 2008

Thanet Times Old BuildingAs we look back over the year that has ended and towards to potential for I thought it a good opportunity to ponder where has come from and where it can yet go.

Back in 2006 there was not even a scene worth talking about. Yet come 2007 we had blossomed to a point that the local news actually took note. This is quite significant given the level of ICT illiteracy in the Thanet and the limited number of users with Internet access.

And so they should. Blogging is widely held to be "the people's journalism" allowing the voice of all levels to be given a platform with a relatively even footing. Currently, of course, as a young blogging scene (blogging has existed in some form since at least 1983) we have a way to go before coverage or even readership is in any way significant. When I talk of significance I talk of readership I refer to the global readership of blogs by members of the Thanet population rather than the micro successes of some blogs.

But what territory have we yet to cover?

This is my breakdown of the most obvious challenges still before the community. Challenges that will be filled in one way or another leaving only the question of who will take the success first.

...

» Continue Reading: At the start of 2008

Have your say (there are 2 Public Comments) · read more items categorised Blogging · Don't miss a thing: Subscribe Today · Help: what's a feed? · This site is operated on set principles of policy and disclosure read them here
Byte Sized

Like to write?

If you love to write then the Thanet Creative Writers blog might be the ideal place to connect with your nearest writer group.

Blogs
Help us remove these Ads.
Byte Sized

Hyper-localism

For those interested in blogging local news in and arround the UK this BBC article from last year is sure to be of interest.

General
Byte Sized

Did you know?

Margate was the first seaside resort to introduce deck chairs way back in 1898.

Facts
Byte Sized

Did you know

MP Roger Gail (Thanet North) wanted to increase VAT

Facts
Byte Sized

Did you know

MP Roger Gale (Thanet North) has never voted on measures to reduce tax avoidance

Facts
Byte Sized

Too popular

On Wednesday 28th May the article The staggering truth about Gloag's Manston deal was so popular that it was briefly unreachable as the server could not supply pages fast enough.

Facts
 
 

Recent Comments

Matt B commented on Any copyright experts out th...
That's kind of what I expected. Lesson learned. All future contributions will have a...
[03-02-2017 19:35:51]

Sandra commented on Any copyright experts out th...
Unless you have written publication terms you cannot claim any kind of a perpetual,...
[02-02-2017 10:33:30]

Matt B commented on The Sun should apologise to ...
How exactly does speaking up for others have anything to do with election results? Given...
[18-01-2017 14:31:14]

Matt B commented on Stand up to The Sun
Enjoy your vowel-free comment courtesy of the disemvoweller. Trolls are not welcome...
[11-10-2016 00:46:40]

Star Crusher commented on The Sun should apologise to ...
Who is it you claim to represent Matt? Given your drubbing at election time, it would...
[10-10-2016 21:14:08]

Alex G Copson commented on Demand truth
This should be a year-round campaign.
[09-10-2016 19:11:53]

Alex G Copson commented on Stand up to The Sun
I agree with Margaret Fields. Ban The Sun!!!
[09-10-2016 19:10:52]

Martin from Ra... commented on Demand truth
Just a week?
[09-10-2016 18:36:24]

Matt B commented on The Sun should apologise to ...
We can try to get an apology. That's what the report The Sun week is all about.
[09-10-2016 18:28:10]

James TC commented on Meet up for Autistic Spectru...
What became of this?
[09-10-2016 18:26:22]

Get the latest comments by feed

Thanet Finder

Thanet Finder is Thanet's search engine created by people like me and you.

Contact Us


Talk to us on Google+.

Connect with Thanet Star on twitter as @thanetstar

Thanet Star on Facebook

You can also leave a message