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16 October 2014


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The next steps for Island Blogging

Hello Island Bloggers,

For those who recall the early days of Island Blogging, you’ll know that this year is its fifth anniversary. What began originally in the Argyll and Clyde islands as a project to promote digital literacy has grown to encompass communities in the Northern and Western Isles.

As that digital literacy grew, and the blogosphere in general developed, it has become very easy to set up blogs elsewhere across the web.

Your concerns about Island Blogging’s technical limitations, House Rules and Terms and Conditions have been noted. At the same time, your patience and support has been greatly appreciated as problems with the blogging engine and spam filter recurred with increasing severity.

In short, five years on, it has become apparent that the site does not best serve your needs and that the technology has reached the end of its natural life.

We are as keen as ever to help you share your personal stories about island life through the BBC Scotland website and want to take a new approach to share the best material with an ever widening audience online.

As many of you have already found, there are now a number of widely available blogging engines which have superior performance to Island Blogging and, although we would not recommend one above another, they’re straightforward to set up. We’d now encourage you to use one of these blogging engines and, over the next few weeks, we’ll be aiming to support you in this.

We look forward to your material continuing to feature prominently on BBC platforms via our revitalised BBC Local sites. Additionally, the wealth of images, writing and information which exists in Island Blogging will be kept as an archive, available to future users.

If you have hints and tips for other Island Bloggers on what you’ve found in the wider blogging world, we’d like to hear them. In the meantime, have a look at the FAQs which will be posted soon and which we hope will answer some of your initial questions.

If you experience any difficulties moving to a new blogging platform please get in touch and we will try to help and advise you through the process.

As this process is rolled out, it would be unfair to accept new bloggers, given that Island Blogging in its current form will not continue.

There will be updates as things develop; any comments, queries or suggestions can be left here (blogging engine allowing) or e-mail:
Posted on I.B.H.Q. at 15:07


Its the end of the blog as we as know it!

Muness from Fetlar

I feel like I'm losing an old friend. IB was heart and soul, great pictures, and very down to earth without all the fluff that is on most blogs sites. I will miss all of you very much and will wonder how everyone is doing. Fair Winds and Following Seas!

Gale from NC, USA

I am outraged. How could you do this to me and the other people involved. I do not think that you realise what Island Blogging has been responsible for over the years. If it wasn’t for Island Blogging I would not have met the first Mrs T at the fank dance. Oh when I saw her in her one size fits all dungarees from Emporioalanjohn with her pants just visible below her shoulder blades I just knew she was the one for me. It was wonderful. If it wasn’t for IB I would not have got the material for my international best selling book: “101 Gugu recipes”. Let me tell you this, the comfit of Gugu with broiled cabbage and prune in a rhubarb reduction will live with me for a very long time. This particular recipe is now available in the restaurants of one of those celebrity chefs; he didn’t even ask me but the next time I’m talking to him I will have several f-words to say to him. It was because of mjc that I discovered yard sales and met the second Mrs T (strictly speaking the first Mrs T doesn’t know about her yet). I also managed to get a non-working ride on (yes ride on) mower at the yard sale. I was also hoping to meet the third Mrs T at the inaugural meeting of the Lewis branch of the RSPB but you have ruined all that. I now feel that I have no alternative but to organise a protest so with this in mind I intend to block all the entrances to BBC buildings with a giant craft fair. Oh yes, and I don’t care if they are indigenous or not – I think at this point the soaplady and DM should brace themselves, we could be in for something beautiful. I know people complained about your censorship. This only happened to me once and to be honest I enjoyed it, I didn’t realise that you came round in person to do it. But I now think I know the real reason that IB is ending. You have been promoted! Yes, inside information tells me that you are now in charge of editing phone calls on Radio 2. Don’t try and deny it, we know the truth.

Tormod from Crying in my key board

A positive development indeed, and I look forward to learning more in the coming weeks. For what its worth, I think the most important consideration in determining where Island Blogging goes from here is to try to maintain that sense of genuinely local community that IB has engendered. It is pretty unique and extremely charming.

John (x333xxx) from Achmore, Isle of Lewis

In the very recent past I too have enjoyed IB, occaasionally making comment, John from the lovely Island of Lewis has made fair comment,IB is unique, it is charming and so are the island bloggers who took the time to enlighten the world of their island and their activities, Whilst many bloggers feel the time is right to move on up into the big wide world "other blogging web sites", I cannot but see that the very essence of "community" among the island bloggers will be lost forvever, sometimes, I think, small is definately best.

Linda Brackenbury from Scotland

Is it the BBC's intention to continue with the Island Blogging sites, even though no new members will be accepted? It would be a pity to lose the sense of community that BBC IB has created - and I am sure that those outwith the islands who enjoy reading our ramblings would feel deprived.

Bruce Fletcher from Stronsay, Orkney

Would people feel happier if all the island bloggers were migrated to a single new blogging site that dealt purely with island bloggers? In other words, do you want your own community? It could be done . . .

NickB from Seil Island

I was wondering that too NickB, but then thought there might be obstacles in terms of moderation. Would be interested though.

Life on Jura from Jura

It's sad to think IB will be no more on the BBC Scotland website. I've really enjoyed reading about what goes on on the islands, some of which I've been lucky enough to have visited. I've always felt a sense of community on IB which I think will be lost in the big wide blogging world.

Mo from Glasgow

It can be done re: Nick's suggestion and there are a number of similar communities springing up. There is already a Scottish Blogs site (currently out of action as they upgrade to new website) as well as The social networking site Ning is probably the easiest method of accomplishing this - provides a community area (forum etc) as well as place for members to create their own page and (importantly) blogs. It took me 5 minutes to set up my Ning group for uni so hopefully someone from the Island communities (or BBC although it would be more exciting if it came from the grassroots!) to set it up and then carry on a bit of moderation/tweaking from time to time. Good luck getting it off the ground - I agree this is a significant resource that has built up here, it would be a shame for the BBC to let it slip away.

saoghalbeag from Noobah

HI,i would be greatful if any body from folua of scotland could inform me if there are ant HOLBOURNS left the iland as thay will be my addy is many thanks blessed be to you


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