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In Your Words
Another view of Jersey
By Ryan Morrison
We take a look at the increasing number of blogs, message boards and Facebook groups in Jersey.
There was a time, not that long ago, where the only source of news for Jersey was the local newspaper.
Then other forms of news and information came on the scene – Channel Television, BBC Radio Jersey, Channel 103 – these were later followed by several local magazines.
But all of these were and are still owned and controlled by large media organisations with stories from professional journalists.
However, the real change has been happening over the last few years – first the Jersey Evening Post and others launched websites with news available online for free – but again this is still news from the same big companies.
Now though the information, the stories, the ideas are being put out by the people they feature, or commented on directly by the people the story might affect.
This new wave of ‘social media’ takes a number of different forms.
Facebook and others
One of the most common ways for islanders to share their opinions with other islanders on the internet is through Facebook groups.
There are dozens of Jersey related groups, both light hearted and political groups on Facebook with hundreds of members each.
The Say NO to GST group has more than 1,500 members; the Pound Note Appreciation Society also has more than 1,500 members, the Jersey Royal Appreciation Group with 200 members and other groups for bands, politicians and venues in Jersey.
It’s not just Facebook though – My Space has its fair share of Jersey connections but these are mainly with bands, DJs, venues and promoters.
Plus an increasing number of Jersey related videos appearing on You Tube and photos on Flickr.
The second main group is the message boards. For a long time the only real board of any real significance was the Jersey Beans MSN group and the Island Bass forum.
Photo: Jersey Beans Group
The Jersey Beans group is much more than just a message board though. It’s a community of like minded people with one thing in common – a love for Jersey.
This group, as well as sharing stories and photos have actually made the leap from online to offline with a couple of meets in the island.
Dottie, the woman responsible for setting up the group back in 1998 told me she set the site up after moving to Wales to create a way for “anyone who had moved away from, lived in or just loved Jersey could exchange messages, chat, & add photos etc.”
She told me that she is “proud to be the founder/manager and have made many internet friends over the years.”
Dottie went on to explain the offline meetings. She told me “we have had two meetings on the island ( 2004/05) which were a great success. In fact in 2004 we had a Japanese member, who lives in Japan, join us at Reg's wonderful garden.”
Since the launch of Jersey Beans in 1998, we’ve seen the launch of an increasing number of boards – most within the last two years.
These have ranged from sites like Is This Jersey, Channel Islands Forum and Planet Jersey covering a more general mix of topics to specialist sites like the forums of event promoters Positiv and the CI Car Scene forums.
The latest forum to launch was Planet Jersey, I spoke to their admin to find out just why they felt they needed to launch.
He explained that “the reason we built this is because we did not think there was a concentrated forum on just political, finance and taxation issues that was good enough for Jersey at this moment of time.”
And went on to explain that “The timing of this forum is also with a view of this years elections. We also thought that some face book groups suggested that a general forum was needed, especially groups that have sprung up on the issue of GST of late.”
Blogging has really started to explode as a form of journalism in the last few years and Jersey has been no exception.
There are people blogging across the island on a range of subjects, from a range of view points and bringing a variety of information and stories to their reader’s attention.
Screaming at the States of Jersey
Is This Jersey is a form of blog, with posts from all its members and other high profile island figures – including Senator Stuart Syvret.
In fact Stuart Syvret has gone on to launch his own blog. The Senator has said he intends to use his blog to bring the views of a politician direct to the people.
He writes “I think people will find it pretty interesting to be able to read a politician’s views – directly delivered and free from the various “filters” imposed by the traditional media.”
Blogging really seemed to kick off in the island after the 2005 elections, this saw sites like Elect Jersey invite several people to keep a blog and share thoughts on the issues and sites like Is This Jersey do much the same from a different view point.
Senator Stuart Syvret
Charles Robertson uses his blog, Free Jersey, to talk about issues that matter to him in the island and Philip Balderson, MD of Webreality, writes about his latest thinking on web marketing and technology and includes comments on the islands economy.
There are other people blogging about less political subjects.
David Warr of Cooper & Co Tea & Coffee Merchants writes about his views on tea, coffee, life, the universe and everything.
The Jersey Tourism & Hospitality Industry blog has “Information and comment on aspects of Jersey's Tourism industry.”
It doesn’t look like this will be the end either – with more Facebook groups being set up all the time, more videos posted to You Tube, more blogs being launched and the increasing popularity of message boards – the popularity of social media looks set to increase.
Do you blog? Do you contribute to local message boards or a Facebook group? Why not send us the details here.
last updated: 31/01/2008 at 17:08
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A blog is a user-generated website where entries are made in journal style and displayed in a reverse chronological order.