Thanet Star

Promoting Thanet Blogging

Thanet Blogs on Facebook
It is my experience that Thanet blogging has encountered something of a wall in reaching the people of Thanet. There is no one specific reason for this but thankfully there are a few things we can do.

The first of these efforts I have undertaken is to reach out to Thanet people on FaceBook. To your left (all things being equal) should be a facebook "Fan Box" for Thanet Blogs. The fan page is powered by the most popular RSS/Blog application Networked Blogs on which a lot of Thanet Blogs are already listed.

By becoming a fan of Thanet Blogs a person will get all the sites headlines right into their FaceBook home page.

This allows us to reach out to our non blogging local friends and invite them to the world of Thanet blogging as a whole. This is to everyone's benefit as we all get a little more exposure and maybe inspire a few more new bloggers.

I will be looking at how else a blogger can get noticed in Thanet blogging as this question has been asked of me by a few shy persons.

Together we can overcome this invisible wall and take Thanet's blogging to new heights.

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Lark in the Park vs The Big Event

Compare the volunteer run run Lark in the Park with Margate's Big Event. Lark in the Park cost less than 455 a day (5,000 was the grant they were given to run with) which filled 11 days with end to end activity. Margate's Big Event could well come in at over 50,000 a day when you start to consider all factors (says Big News Margate).

So which was better value for money?

The Big Event reached London but was described as a bit disappointing as seemed to be scaling back resulting in a ridiculously expensive fairground (even by London's standards.

By the standards of the Lark team it would cost a mere 165,620 to make Thanet a year round interesting place to be. A veritable party town with something for everybody. At that price we could afford to fill every park in Thanet with Larking.

Not so the Big Event. 4.5 Million a year would be the price of an overpriced disappointment that might not attract people all year round.

Compare the 4.5M a year of the Big Event to the less than 0.17M a year long Lark and I think the value for money challenge has a clear winner.

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Margate bomb scare

A suspect package in Margate Magistrate Court has caused town centre chaos in Margate's Cecil square.

Updates as they come in. (feel free to update us).

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High(ish) speed links

I see that the first high speed rail links will begin this September bringing the time into London down from just over two hours to around one and a quarter hours (give or take a little). Is 1.25 hours fast enough to make a difference to Thanet?

If Mr Smith starts work in London at say 9am then he would need to arrive by 8:50am. So he would need to have made the tube journey before that. Let us assume that regardless of where he leaves from the tubes take no more than a quarter of an hour to get him to work. That means that he must get on an underground train at 8:35am and as they run every 3 to 4 minutes he needs to enter the station by 8:31am. Assuming it takes 3 minutes to get there (if he runs and there is no other problems) that means the train needs to get in by 8:28am.

Assuming his train runs on time and perfectly in sync with this by the current speed he would need a train that departs no later than 6:18am. With the new higher speed trains he would need to be off by 7:07am.

So Mr Smith needs to be at Ramsgate station by 7am washed, breakfasted and dressed. I'm guessing he sets his alarm clock for 5:30am.

He would arrive in Ramsgate if every connection was perfect no earlier than 6:43pm or more likely 7:30pm. To get a full 8 hours kip he would need to be home and in bed by 8pm.

So while the new high speed link bring plausibility to Thanet will it actually bring that much change? Can you imagine a well paid executive pulling a 12 hour work day to live cheaply in Ramsgate or Margate? Maybe you can but I'm not as confident as our current leaders. Not at all.

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Thanet Star: Facts and Myths: Part Five

Myth: Thanet Star is a place for random links. I'm not sure where some lazy SEO types have gotten the idea that Thanet Star is a place to dump links but they are very wrong. Evidence of abuse by any UK based ISP will always be reported and I am open to the idea of pressing charges of Computer Misuse regardless of where the spammer lives.

Fact: Thanet Star is a blog. A form of participatory journalism. Thanet Star is (using the wikipedia) a type of website, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order. Many blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject; others function as more personal online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, Web pages, and other media related to its topic. The ability for readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs.

Myth: Thanet Star is "out to get" INSERT NAME HERE. Certain politcial figures have been observed acting like berks. When they grow up and take responsibility we'll stop talking about their bad behaviour. I'm not out to get anyone but I'm not going to shield someone from the fall out of their own freedom to be a plonker.

Fact: Thanet Star is run for profit. I freely admit that there might be some bias in that I will gravitate towards popular topics and topics that might lead to advertising deals for the blog or contracts for my company. However so far I do not feel this has compromised my neutrality. Read sponsor Thanet Star for more on the subject.

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Thanet Star: Facts and Myths: Part Four

Myth: Thanet Star is purely political. Thanet Star is about Thanet. Thanet is a political entity as well as an island (in name at least) so some content is political. However I also like to look at the subject of blogging, SEO and other technical points too.

Fact: Thanet Star needs support. It's true without the support of businesses and locals within Thanet it is fairly pointless me writing for you. Your attention and opinion as readers is massively important to me. You are the reason to write.

Myth: Thanet Star is only written for the money. If I were only interested in money I'd have a blog about Poker, Pills and Porn because they pay best. I chose to write about Thanet because I care about Thanet. Thanet matters to me. The truth is that it costs more to run Thanet Star than I earn in the average month so it is subsidised by my other business activities. It does not cost a lot to sponsor Thanet Star and there are significant benefits in doing so.

Fact: 20 a month is all it would take to start sponsoring Thanet Star. For this you would get some high profile exposure (if you wanted it) for you business, blog or favourite charity. I'd also give you a write up so everyone knows in whose name Thanet Star is sponsored. Read sponsor Thanet Star for more.

Myth: Anyone can sponsor Thanet Star. It's true that most people from Thanet are most welcome to sponsor us and it is true that some bigger businesses would be welcome too. However, I have standards and as such would not accept sponsorship from just anyone. Local businesses are most welcome but certain less reputable, uh... fire starters, need not apply. I'm sure you get where I am coming from. Read sponsor Thanet Star for more.

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Thanet News Roundup

There seems to be a lot of news with Thanet at the centre today so here is a rough round up of what is going on.

Let's stat with some congratulations to Tany Flaig for getting mentioned in the corridors of power: Read more here.

In green news the Guardian is critical of Thanet Earth suggesting that it is not ecologically sound. Green Moral is talking about growing potatoes while Tim Garbutt (Green Independent MP hopeful) is talking about Berties favourate topic - Thanet's drinking water.

For Broadstairs Folk Week: Michael Child wonders why TDC "forgot" to promote Broadstairs Folk Week on it's website (not in Margate perhaps?) Adam also has coverage of Folk Week.

Meanwhile Thanet District Council is under fire from the Telegraph Council spends 30,000 on saucy burlesque festival shouts the headline. This is picked up on by the Tax Payers Alliance calling it a totally inappropriate use of taxpayers' money.

...

» Continue Reading: Thanet News Roundup

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Hazel Blears gets special attention from police.

When a spate of vandalism to cars swept though Millmead not so very long ago the police refused to come out unless they were assured that there was finger print evidence available.

Now I loved to play detective when I was little as much as the next boy but real life crime scenes are a tad more complex. How many people do you know that can dust for prints when ever duty calls?

Yeah, not so much hope.

So why then when tax dodging MP Hazel Blears had her car attacked were the police all over it? It seems to me that those earning less than 45,000 a year get a different level of protection from "the law" than the rest of us even if they are tax dodging, claims guzzling, cheats.

Or is it just that the Greater Manchester Police are a hell of a lot better than Thanet's local plod?

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Thanet Star: Facts and Myths: Part Three

Myth: Matt is a member of INSERT PARTY HERE. While Dr Moores seems to content to suggest to the local newspapers that my actions are motivated by my political elegances he should know better. At the time of writing I have no membership of any political party. What I do have is a strong revulsion to specific characteristics of specific political figures however if and when I choose a party to become a member of it will be only to serve Thanet as a councillor for my community and my choice will be based on which party offends me least.

Fact: Matt is not strongly political enough for his friends. I have strong Labour and strong Conservative friends. Both groups often protest that I clearly am in the other camp. Sooner or later one group will be proven right and one will be surprised. I do not strongly endorse a single political ideology because I believe that every issue should be judged on it's merits and not on an arbitrary "articles of political faith".

Myth: Matt dislikes the politics of INSERT NAME HERE. I am largely unaware of most councillors having any definable politics. Therefore I am largely indifferent to them on this score. I do disapprove professionally of Dr Moores' SEO and promotion, I strongly disapprove of the attitude of Sandy Ezekiel and I am unimpressed with the application of effort of Stephen Broadhurst. However I am strongly disappointed with the effort all parties have made for Dane Valley in the last few terms.

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Thanet Star: Facts and Myths: Part Two

Myth: Matt is the one behind Thanet Strife. I'm sorry no. It's a good blog and one to watch but I am no fan of blogger.com and feel the need identify myself. I'm not even sure how this one got started.

Fact: Matt strongly disapproves of Sandy Ezekiel. While I have never met the man I don't much want to. His character comes accross strongly enough through the reports of his actions to cause me to strongly dislike his behaviour and not want to be politically aligned with him. I feel his attitude leaves a lot to be desired. He is welcome to try and prove me wrong.

Myth: Matt is a Labour party activist. According to Dr Simon Moores' comments to Your Thanet Matt is a Labour activist intent on ruining his [Simon's] reputation. Quite aside from the fact that I feel Simon is quite able to do that for himself Mr Moores does not figure significantly on my political compass. Were I to choose a party and stand it would be for Dane Valley and therefore my best efforts would be focused on Dane Valley Councillors.

Fact: As of 7th August Matt is politically undecided. It's true that I feel that I may be compelled by my concern for Dane Valley to stand as a councillor but were it not for the presence of one Sandy Ezekiel in the Conservative party I might have had a hard time making up my mind. Politically I favour justice, democracy and local prosperity. I am strongly for that which erradicates the cycle of poverty, that which improves Thanet and that which increases choices for those in my community.

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Thanet Star: Facts and Myths: Part One

Myth: Matt B is ECR. I'm sorry folks but I'm a strong advocate of not using blogger.com for any worthwhile blogging undertaking. ECR was here long before me and is far more satirical than I. I'm not even sure where this idea came from.

Fact: Thanet Star is a highly popular blog. Thanet Star has, from the outset, been a popular blog. Feedburner report an RSS based readership of 240+ people. Given the low RSS take up it can be estimated that this is maybe as little as 5% of the total daily readership. The only blogs to keep pace with this level of readership appear to me to be ECR, Big News Margate and Naked in Thanet (the blog) and maybe Thanet Strife.

Myth: Matt hates Simon Moores. As the primary writer for Thanet Star my aim is to report newsworthy information, to add commentary & analysis to local events and be interesting. If Simon happens to be the news then that is what I report. I have never met Simon so it would be hard to actually hate him.

While I cannot picture myself buying Dr Moores a pint at the local pub it's got little to do with it - If David Greene did something I considered to be shady I would report that too. I admit that Simon's actions on wikipedia were offensive and I disapprove of his approach to SEO & web promotion but that is hardly grounds to get excited. Any "beef" I might have with Simon is completely non political and mostly a mater of him doing something worth talking about.

Fact: slightly controversial content is good for a blog. I'm sure that is why Simon is saying such things about me. That or he has a persecution complex caused by no longer being the big daddy of Thanet blogging. That title is always open to whoever can be the most interesting and talk about Thanet at the same time.

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Be a Thanet Councillor

Have you ever considered becoming a Thanet District or Kent County Councillor? I know I consider it on a regular basis mainly from utter frustration with each and every lat one of our councillors - the decent ones included.

It turns out that there is a site dedicated to helping regular folks like you or I becoming County Councillors. The site can be found at www.beacouncillor.org.uk and has the normal collection of self congratulatory hyper but also some interesting and useful videos and links.

I think many readers might be particularly interested in the section called First Steps to Becoming a Councillor. Fancy a new challenge in life?

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Tory Failure in Dane Valley

It's not just the run-away councillor that has let down Dane Valley by not showing up to council but the entire party but not showing up to Dane Valley.

For example why is a Dane Valley Councillor Mayor and not a Margate Councillor? Dane Valley is big enough and complex enough to need three councillors. With one doing duty as mayor, one on permanent vacation and one yet to show up on the estate but at least is available in session I think it is time for a by-election in which all three councillors take a hike. Especuially the two whose only representation of Dane Valley is on paper.

The conservatives managed to win the last round of lacklustre voting to scoop all three seats in Dane Valley in what had to be the easiest win in ages. With the Labour party dropping the ball by not giving much of a damn about the area the Tories had an excellent opportunity to rub their noses in it and do better - they did worse.

The ready to retire do-nothings that the Labour party put in place in Dane Valley prior to the last elections have shown a lack of consideration for the people of Dane Valley but we have since learned that not even being able to spare an hour a week for the people you represent is something that , and Ted Watt-Ruffell are just as good at.

When the right wing parties get more than a nominal foothold in a council estate dominated area it is a sure sign that the people of the area are mightily p*ssed off with their political representatives. From there it is a short timer wherein the centre and left can redeem themselves before the likes of the National Front show up and start winning seats.

Given the local racists, Nazi's and other less acceptable members of the political fraternity seem unable to get much of a foothold it seems that the Tories (Conservatives party to you and I) were enjoying a free ride. A free ride they seem to have cocked up mightily.

...

» Continue Reading: Tory Failure in Dane Valley

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Thanet Light Rapid Transit

Could Thanet one day have a light rail network?

Imaging jumping on a train\tram to do the days shopping with stops at Westwood Cross for "fashion", Ramsgate for Books and History and Margate for a pub lunch and a donkey ride. It all sounds a bit far fetched but it's not totally beyond possible.

The Thanet Light Rapid Transit enthusiasts have already began pressing KCC and national transport ministers to make it a reality: Thanet is possibly the most underrated part of Britain. Says Richard Jalabhay, The airport needs a direct rail link, congestion at Westwood needs to be relieved and the entire economy of Thanet needs a new driver.

That's a hard line to argue with. Keep reading to find out some more of the advantages of such a scheme and how it might be implemented.

...

» Continue Reading: Thanet Light Rapid Transit

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Byte Sized

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.

General
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Did you know?

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

Facts
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Did you know

MP Roger Gail (Thanet North) wanted to increase VAT

Facts
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Did you know

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

Facts
 
 
 

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