Thanet Star

Filling A Thanet Need

Having set myself the challenge of writing only positive posts for two weeks my output on this blog has dropped. This tells me that much of which I had to write about has been silly things the "unpaid" local "authorities" (also known as councillors or pocket people) have been saying and the dire things other money grabbers have been up to. I'm a little sad that I've not had more positive things to say.

Rather than wallow in self pity and ignorance of what we have going for us I've been trying to improve my grasp of local resources. It was in doing so that I discovered that the faceless body of work so often attributed to TDC is more likely funded and run from the shadows by KCC, businesses co-operatives and other interested parties with lots of cash. To be honest I've been hard pressed to see exactly what it is the council does at all (other than cost us money).

I have also discovered something else - a need. A need that any right thinking businessman with sufficient investment capital could easily convert into a profitable venture. Even TDC would be hard pressed to screw it up.

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Getting Started With Blogging

Lot's of credit to Michael Child who has started a blog to tell other people how to get started blogging. While the advice of using blogger.com might not be the best advice for a business (on the whole) it is a great place to get started if you have never blogger before. Blogs, forums, wikis and social media are not going to go away and are likely to be a big part of our lives one way or another.

Therefore it is highly recommended that all businessmen start a personal blog if only to get to know what blogging is and how it works.

Blogging is a valuable tool when addressing The Five Specific Goals of a Business Website. Not only can reputation and brand be enhanced but customer to business and business to customer communication is possible in new and ore interesting ways. Finally do not forget that blogs are already being used to earn money (on their own) and a well written blog can increase the number of leads you business enjoys.

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Getting Cheap and Fast Internet Access in Thanet

Thanet does spectacularly badly when it comes to Internet access. The average price for a "good connection" is still more than 20 a month and the quality is something out of the stone age. Offers such as 7.50 p/month for 8 Mbps from O2/Be are not available in this area.

The reason is that there are only 15 to 20 actual network operators in the UK - all other ISPs are resellers (even BT Yahoo!, which has well in excess of 1 million customers) often of BT Wholesale products (the one's with the high price). (read more here)

Almost all Internet access in Thanet runs through BT Wholesale one way or another which is why as one of the UK poorest areas we have the highest priced Internet charges. What can we do? How can we change this? (can we change this?)

Read on to find out.

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Musical Numbers Anyone?

Two weeks of positive cotent - day three


music from Live in Thanet
Thanet's local music scene is something that does not get anywhere near enough praise by us local pundits. So today's post aims to make up a little for this.

You can catch up with a number of local musical types at Live In Thanet which is just one of the many locations that they hide away.

But out local music tallent do more than entertain us in pubs and make nice sounds for our ears in he better type of club. They also rasie a lot of money for charity too.

Take for example next year's Bands on the Sands - a massive concert on Margate beach which will raise money for breast cancer research (on a side note why is it always that particular cancer that gets all the cash?)

As blog writers we have the power to make a difference to the level of exposure local bands get. We can be an influence for good (or bad). Even so much as to increase the profitibility of running gigs by simply helping to get the word out. I'm not saying we should shout about them allt he time but there is no harm in addopting a group or two as mascots.

It might not be for everyone but it is open to anyone.

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Art Saves Thanet

Two weeks of positive posts - day two

My fellow pundits of Thanet may be aware of the storm-in-a-very-small-tea-cup that is the reaction to a certain 'rubbish' mural. For those that do not know much about this work of art (!) it is a mural showing our and some local land marks downing in rubbish.

Our local "leaders" have been moaning about it (moaning is too easy in Thanet which is why I am trying to give it up). I read one quote wherein the quoted quote-ee (I forget who) said it was a bad advert for Thanet and that the art should be a good advert for Thanet. Or words to that effect.

What a lot of tosh or have we forgotten that the other big news story is that The beaches are drowning in rubbish. I'd say the Crew have hit the nail right on the head with this artistic statement and I congratulate them for their insight.

It might hurt us to admit we have a problem but until we corporately admit that, as a people group, we have a big booze addiction that is running out of control we can not hope to get better.

I am more than happy to stand alone on this issue and applaud the artists that produced the mural of Margate. They have done far better than any other in acting as the unconscious conscience of Thanet. That still small voice that says "actually, I think we should be worried".

Today's post therefore is in praise for our local artists. Long may they upset the apple cart and poke at the tender bits - it's what art does best and it is what we need. Without such art we may well have been doomed.

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The Star is Such a Cheeky Chappy

Two weeks of positive posts - day one

I mentioned recently (Thanet has arrived online) that I wanted to try and find something positive to say about Thanet on 14 different topics over 14 days. As Peter Checksfield was the first to reply to that post (in stereo) I think I will start with him today.

Peter Checksfield is a Rising Star
Peter Checksfield is Thanet's leading cheeky chappy, outspoken nudist and the local naked photographer (read that one how you will) famous for his (NSFW) Naked in Thanet website (among other things). There is even a fan "led" Peter Checksfield Appreciation Society which has among it's (rather scant) number our local reporter Thom Morris.

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Thanet has arrived online

Technorati Chart
Thanet has arrived according to technorati at any rate. It seems that sometime around the October to November 2007 the word "Thanet" started to register on the global radar. This is great news for all Thanet bloggers and web surfers because it means that the island is finally forging an online identity.

We have a long way to go before Thanet is, in any way, an interesting enough topic to attract financial impact outside of a few isolated blogs but we are starting to get noticed. However, compare that with Kent as a whole (which also started to register around the same time and we only have 1% of the impact that Kent manages.

Keep reading for a live chart of the uses and mentions of Thanet within the last year (and a static capture of that chart).

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Buy a Home in Thanet?


image by davepattern
Today we are talking about Real Estate in Thanet. Specifically Real Estate Websites serving us in Thanet. Are they any good in your opinion and what could they be doing better?

For an example I did a search in Thanet Finder (our local search engine) for the phrase "homes for sale in Margate" which I figure might be something that anyone might type into a search engine when looking to buy a home in the area.

I was a bit surprised by the result!

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Chaos on Thanet's Roads

Margate has experienced massive disruption to the normal flow of traffic today following a fire and an unrelated traffic accident on the main route trough Margate to Ramsgate.

The fire at Hawley Square has, according to kentnews.co.uk, had 70 firefighters and 12 engines fighting the blaze which has left at least 8 people homeless and the main road closed.

This has caused traffic (including buses) to divert via the clock-tower leading to an increase of traffic through that area making it unseasonably busy there.

As if this was not bad enough a car crash near the Star Pub on the Margate road has closed a section of the Ramsgate Road. This has forced traffic to redirect through Victoria Road traffic junction and around behind the hospital. The traffic lights there being mainly temporary lights.

At lunch time today the traffic was backed up from the lights to the roundabout. Buses are having to pass through the lights twice in each direction in order to service the QEQM hospital. The result has been that bus services having been messed up to the point that any given bus is running at least an hour late so that buses "arrive when they get there".

If you are using public transport today be sure to leave extra time for your journey. From Westwood cross to the Weatshief is taking about an hour at present (guess what journey I had to make today).

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Self Loathing in Broadstairs

Girls dressed as Thanet Police
Photo by weegeebored
Our district endured yet another pointless roasting this week. This time from The Independent's writer Will Self who opens: "The Isle of Thanet has always been a little problematic for me".

Of Broadstairs he writes "seldom has anywhere more gentrified become more chavvy" - a comment which has some grounding in fact, sadly. Broadstairs does have a "youth drinking problem" (not to mention an adults drinking problem at some pubs if all reports are to believed). Will ends by saying:

"Waiting for the train back to London, I overheard two Thanet warriors discoursing on the platform: "'E's a cunt inne?" said one, "always bum-licking, but if you turns yer back on 'im 'e'll give you a smack in the mouf." They were drinking Stella Artois; if only it were reassuringly expensive."

Will might be pleased to understand, then, that our local coppers have been doing their job (who muttered "for a change" own up?). Police have been seizing alcohol from young drinkers caught "boozing in the park" (says Kent online).

It seems the the local "Ol' Bill" have been quite efficient just lately - read on.

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An Alternative's Guide To Thanet


This Margate Shell Grotto Image
is by Louise Oldfield
If you are interested in Alternative Rock (and it's relatives) then a visit to Thanet might be something that would interest you. One of the things that the area has going for it is a massive culture of arts and music.

This guide is intended to be an introduction to the not-so-mainstream that still hangs on in Thanet. It is my hope in writing this guide that I can spread the word about what's left of the area. It's not all bad here you know!

For example the price of drinks is very low with one venue often charging just 1 for some lagers and shots. Compare this to London prices of 3.50 or more for a drink and you can see how the night life hangs on here. Two-for-one offers are also common meaning that a wild night out can cost just 75 including somewhere to stay, your drinks and after booze take-a-way.

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Byte Sized

Mentions

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

Blogs
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Creatives

Thanet Creative have a new webiste and a new name

Blogs
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Local Art

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

Blogs
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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
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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.

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