Thanet Star

Thanet: "The People", the bollocks and the truth!

Apparently we are all a bunch of work shy slackers here in Thanet. According to both the "News of the World" and "The People" (two papers not exactly famed for their fact finding abilities) we are all here to laze in the sun (what sun?) and claim benefits.

I work bloody hard from seven or eight in the morning until six or later every single day. This year I have only had 3 days in which I have not worked. Most people expect to have Saturday and Sunday off each week but I know that I do not have the time for that.

Given the utter inability of these two national newspapers to even tell half the story here are a few facts that upset their over sensationalised and frankly insulting attack on Thanet.

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Exposing Ladyman Before Breakfast

An update now available as new facts have come to light

I am no special fan of the political representatives of Thanet but even I feel I should offer a word of congratulations to our local MP . Whatever else you might want to say about him (and a good number of negative things spring to mind such as his strong support for ID cards) I had a great deal of admiration for his altruism and transparency in publishing his commons expenses for all to see. However, I was soon massively disappointed in the truth of the mater.

All of the information was already in the public domain but he has taken the step of "publishing the information on his website" (here). I should point out that the "table of expenses" is the only data he has actually (re)published (rather than just linked to) and it can be found at They Work For You (dot com). The fact that the table of expenses on theyworkforyou.com is better formatted notwithstanding I, for one, want to applaud the action but call for him to go one further and provide the details and breakdown in his own words. Specifically I would like to know if he maintains a second home and what he spent on it.

Keep reading to discover how this makes it as little more than a footnote in the current debate over listing of MP expenses as it does not provide the information that the public have been asking for.

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» Continue Reading: Exposing Ladyman Before Breakfast

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What do you think?

Any Monkey Can Blog

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What do you blog about?

Vowing Wedding Favors

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Pet Blogging?

Good Quality Pet Blogging

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Thanet's Business World has Changed

The business world has changed. The only thing keeping Thanet's present Jurassic form going is that it is yet to notice. "Marketing and Sales" are, like the beheaded chicken, dead yet still moving.

"We are immune to advertising. Just forget it."
Article 74, 95 Theses, Clue Train Manifesto

What I hope to outline in today's post very few of Thanet's businesses are ready to grasp. Some are already aware of this but for the large part these are businesses that are small enough to still be nimble. There is no reason why the small and alert business can not take over quite completely from the large entities that need such artificial things as , full page adverts and sales scripts.

Are you ready to learn the secret of Thanet's new market place?

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Topics that guarantee new readers to Thanet blogs

Let us be honest - search engine results are a dirty topic with Thanet's home-brew media. However, it is a subject that, much like sex, is better off out in the open. We are much less likely to get funny ideas that way.

In the first of what I hope will be a series of posts on the topic, I want to address to address the subject of crafting content to get readers. This is simply done by writing some of your blog posts or site pages specifically with a single search phrase in mind. By picking a relatively highly used phrase with a low quality of results you can be sure to score well and get the attention of the people doing the searching.

Thanet has, on the whole, got some amazingly under populated niches with high levels of traffic. Traffic that would produce reasonably well-paying AdSense prices (for those that run such adverts). It would not take an SEO genius to dominate the search results for any of the searches I have identified.

Each one has a high level of daily search traffic (people looking for these phrases) and a low level of relevant based results. In some cases, there are more adverts than search results. Consider: kent England genealogy, DJ Equipment Kent, DJ Equipment Thanet, Thanet Real Estate, Rent Prices Thanet and Thanet Homes To Rent they are all ripe for the taking.

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Ending blog wars for all time


Image by Jayel Aheram
Thanet's home-brew media is and has become a deeply divided place to be. It is subject to a worrying trend of verbal violence, threats, veiled spite and outright rudeness. So much so that people like Simon Moores have felt compelled to bow out of local blogging. What causes otherwise rational and pleasant people to suddenly become animistic, crude and abusive? How did this trend start in Thanet and what can we do to change it? In short, what is going on and why?

The answer lies in understanding the joint effects of anonymity and emergent crowd behaviour. This is a posh way of saying "how and why gangs do things". I am going to try to explain exactly what is going on underneath the surface and the best practices that have emerged to deal with this behaviour.

The short truth is that we are all guilty. There are, sadly further truths that you may find shocking - they say the road to hell is paved with good intentions and in Thanet this has proven to be true. The key architects of the "attitude of hate" are the key voices of Thanet's home-brew media. Not because they have wished to create hate but nevertheless from the purest of intentions, albeit poorly informed ones, Thanet's home-brew heroes have allowed the fox into the chicken coup. The result is the only possible outcome when that happens - metaphorical bloodshed.

Read on to find out more about how Thanet is better off without a "blog war".

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Do you know what keeps Thanet poor?

A Case Study

What is the single biggest failure of the entire market place today? The thing that is so pandemic in places like Thanet that wealth has no chance of being developed. The thing that keeps Thanet poor?

Undervaluing the intellectual and human resources of the company - the workers themselves. This is so common today that entire market sectors and niches are filled with businesses that could be doing ten or twenty times better then they already are but have opted instead to grind what they have to nothing. As a result customers are being forced to pay extra to maintain growth while employees are paid a fraction of their true value.

The result is poverty. Poverty for the company and poverty for the people too. Lets take a look at a couple of examples: Tony Flaig and a friend of mine that we will call Tim Smith. I believe that at an average both are worth a minimum of 30 to 40 an hour to their industry plus a range of fairly hefty bonuses; if only their employers would realise.

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» Continue Reading: Do you know what keeps Thanet poor?

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The Business Stone Age - An Introduction

I want to outline here an introduction to an idea that I hope to expand much more extensively over the coming weeks. I am going to be addressing the business attitude and market environment of Thanet in general terms. I am aware there may be exceptions.

We are no living in the 21st Century and the technology readily at our disposal allows instantaneous communication with the entire market sector. It allows our records and our data to be analysed in minuets to a level that might take a team of experts a year or more. We can have meetings where attendees are in Rome, New York, London, Paris and Berlin (for example). Why, then, in Thanet are we finding it so difficult to engage in even the simplest ecommerce?

In theory we have the manufacturing power already operational in the area to be a world player. We have plastics, aerospace, electronics and dozens of other key industries right here in Thanet, more in Kent and the surrounding area. We have access via road and air to the rest of the world. What, then, is it that keeps us poor?

What keeps Thanet unproductive and weak is fear. In this article I will be looking at what this fear is and how we can overcome it. This answer is not for everyone.

Many business leaders are comfortable with the lack of forward motion. They would rather engage in practices of unproductive "manager masturbation" where lots of paperwork is completed and talking done but no actual profit is made. It's like a Jurassic Paralysis that is trying to suck us back through time.

Only those business men willing to evolve their business thinking are going to see their businesses flourish where others fail.

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» Continue Reading: The Business Stone Age - An Introduction

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What realy matters here

(What am I trying to achieve, why and how.)

Reading the comments at Big News Margate I see that Tony may have the idea that I'm only interested in ratings (Blogging Controversy rumbles on, comments). So perhaps I am guilty of giving this impression to people. After all I am only a human being and as such like everyone else I make mistakes sometimes.

I would like to create a successful blog (who would not?) and yes I do have to justify my time in terms of earnings as part of a greater whole. This is both the joy and the downside to working with oneself as the boss. But beyond these limits what am I trying to do?

I am trying, in my own small way, to make my hometown a better and nicer place to be. I am also trying not to loose too much money doing so. How am I am trying to do this and why I am now going to outline.

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Announcing Thanet's Own Search Engine.

Thanet's Own Search Engine. Thanet has already picked up a blog list and a social networking site and now it has it's own search engine.

Thanet Finder is powered by Google and controlled by people from Thanet. People like you and me. Between us we select what is important enough to be listed and how it is categorised.

To do this you will require a Google account which almost all blogger.com users will have already (it's what you log into blogger.com with). You can add the community created search engine to you Google homepage if you wish and you can add yourself as an editor of the sites included in the search. Already there are over 60 sites listed and most are sub categorised too.

Where it goes from here is up to you.

Visit Thanet Finder

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Red Hot News: Thanet's Buzz Right Now!

This is the Thanet Star and I am Matt B bringing you a round up of the headlines that evidently matter to you. What have the "home brew" media been saying of late? What is the hot topic? Find out now.

General Thanet News Zumiweb and the Balkan Belly Dancers invites you to visit the Belgian Cafe for a "...fusion of Belly Dance and Burlesque eccentricity..." For this story "Thanet Creative Arts Network" comes back to life. So the whole world is off to see the ladies then?

Meanwhile David Clare goes with a far more "safe for work" story of his own success taking photographs of Robins in "The Rewards of Patience or The Poser Robin". (Any one who has tried to photograph a small bird and get a good image knows that it's not easy.)

Bleak Mouse has the interesting title of "Hello...Yea..Can't talk now ...I'm on the Evolutionary Ladder".

Keep reading for coverage of Margate, Ramsgate, Politics and Mainstream News.

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» Continue Reading: Red Hot News: Thanet's Buzz Right Now!

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A small hint for reducing bills.

Ask.

No, really, asking for things is the single best way to reduce bills. Ask for a discount and the worst they can say is "no". The best is "yes".

I put this to work today when I phoned my bank.

"Is there anything else I can do for you sir?" asked the person on the other end of the line (they ask this until you say "no").

"Yes, please." said I. "I'd like to pay less interest."

After explaining using alternative words what I meant (this was after all a call centre in India) I was put on hold.

Two minutes of waiting and I had reduced my APR by 4.2 - not bad for a moments asking. My credit card is now cheaper than my overdraft so I think I will have another word with my bank shortly.

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Random Acts of Kindess

If you did not happen to be blinking when it slipped into the news briefly you might recall that a brave young man has decided to walk from the UK to India using no money at all. Just for the love of it (dot org) pilgrim Saoirse is a man with a mission. A mission to perpetrate random acts of kindness on the world.

He is also coming to Thanet. I know this because I took the time to catch up with him over a few emails recently and suggested that he pass through. You can read his blog here which details some of the things he has been up to as he tours the UK on foot foregoing our financial system as he does so.

Recently the National (British) media got hold of the story and by all accounts were about as accurate in their reporting as our local lot. Saoirse writes: "...if they are so inaccurate and irresponsible with a small story like this, how much more so with the really big news! Is anything in the papers or on the news really true?" (Post entitled: Paper accepts all ink...).

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Overstretched?

I first picked the story up via "The day a crane driver really fell for a new 1m home" which is the title of a post that was posted in Nothing To Do With Arbroath. The story is of a crane that was used beyond it's limit and fell over... onto a house worth a cool million. The event (picture below) happened in .

Who says nothing interesting or ironic never happens around here. I did a quick look for other Thanet blogs running with this news but found very little. I guess Sunday is a good day to get out and do other things (like drop cranes on new houses).

There are more images and a better write up in "arbroath.blogspot.com".

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Unsubscribe.

The you tube video I wanted to show you was removed from you tube. I found this slide show which covers the basics and should work for the foreseeable...

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What is a feed and how do you use it.

Most modern site offer site feeds. For example blogspot blogs have them by default and most modern blog platforms do too. A site feed is an XML encoded file that carries the latest headlines and (optionally) the content of posts (full or tease).

You probably use feeds without realising it (according to a white paper from yahoo). In fact the white paper found that over a quarter of Internet users used syndicated (feed) content but that 12% of users were aware of RSS (the most common feed flavour) and that a mere 4% had knowingly used RSS. So if you have little or no idea what it is then you are not unusual as the majority of people are currently unaware of it.

People that own a PDA, a laptop or even some mobile phones will often use a feed reader to get the latest posts from their favourite blogs and news sites to read at lunch or while traveling to work. Offering a news feed allows you to extend the range of your readership. Something the local news sources seem to have failed to understand (whereas the nationals have all embraced this technology).

But it does not just stop there - other uses of feeds exist. The Thanet Blog List uses site feeds to create a summary feed of the local activity of Thanet blogging. Yahoo, Google and MSN allow users to put headlines on their customised "start pages".

Keep reading to find out the tools that are available (mostly for free) to consume (read) feeds and do other interesting things with them. If you blog or plan to then you can not afford to let yourself fall behind. Feeds are already becoming a vital part of the blogging landscape but they need not be a big deal.

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Byte Sized

Mentions

We got a mention in 5 ways to blog from Thanet now.

Blogs
Byte Sized

Creatives

Thanet Creative have a new webiste and a new name

Blogs
Byte Sized

Local Art

Local Artist, John Wooster-Brown has a new website.

Blogs
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
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
 
 
 

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