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I.B.H.Q. - July 2005


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Islands Network News

Here's a couple of extracts from the Scottish Islands Network newsletter:

Oban Linkspan to go Ahead
The Scottish Executive has confirmed that a second linkspan facility is to be constructed at Oban harbour by ferry operator Caledonian MacBrayne. The proposed development was the subject of a public enquiry back in February, after local fishermen and other harbour users objected to the plans, arguing that they would create safety issues and reduce the berthing currently available for other vessels using the pier.
The £3 million facility should be complete by the end of next year and will help secure and develop lifeline ferry services which operate to and from Oban – enabling the ferry operators to cope with increasing volumes of traffic and providing a back-up in case the existing linkspan breaks down. Islands currently served by ferries from Oban include Islay, Colonsay, Mull, Lismore, Coll, Tiree, Barra and South Uist.

Tiree Development Plan Published
Tiree Development Partnership has published its draft version of the Tiree Community Development Plan, following extensive local consultation. The new draft plan is now available to download online at www.tireedp.org.uk.
The plan looks at a 20-year vision for the island, to be worked on and re-evaluated every 5 years. Ideas for the first five years of the plan include building at least 15 new affordable homes for rent, creating 20 more permanent jobs, increasing the island’s population by 10% and making the island run on 100% renewable energy.

We'll be partnering up with the network when we move to the Western Isles later in the summer, which will be a great way to bring Bloggers hard news straight to you.

Until then be sure to check out the Scottish Islands Network site here.
Posted on I.B.H.Q. at 12:38



Comments Comments

Hi Everybody
I just wanted to chip-in to the comments debate. I'm afraid it's nothing as sinister as has been suggested, we are simply having some problems converting over some of the data (aka the old comments) from the old system to the new. It should be fixed very soon.

We're working on the white on white problem as well for the comments.

So new comments should go up fine, old comments will be retrieved in due course.

On the question of whether you can edit or delete your own posts, we're sorry if you don't like the new options, this was in response to extensive feedback from users about what they liked about the site and what they wanted. It's all aimed to give the user more control.

We're also upping the font size as several people have commented they find it too small.

regards, Mike


Posted on I.B.H.Q. at 15:14



Blogging Vlogging and the Archbishop

Apologies for being offline and out of touch folks – I’ve been on my annual holiday (!)

But I’m back, refreshed and raring to go and sort out these horrible gremlins that are affecting our new site.

In the past two weeks blogging has been condemned by the Archbishop of Canterbury * and commercialised censorism between China and Microsoft. Now it seems blogs are getting better publicity in thee wake of the London bombings:

“Blog tracking service Technorati said there were more than 1,300 posts about the London blasts by 10.15am yesterday, just an hour after the last explosion. Many expressed concern for those caught up in events, while others speculated on who was responsible. Photo-sharing sights such as Flickr received images from the areas affected.”

Meanwhile I was given a cool presentation by a Vlogger (from video-log) yesterday about the fun and funky world of vlogging.

For two different styles of vlogs take a look at Amanda Congdon’s daily Rocketboom and Duncan’s 29 Fragile Days here.

* The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, criticised the new web-based media for "paranoid fantasy, self-indulgent nonsense and dangerous bigotry". He described the atmosphere on the world wide web as a free-for-all that was "close to that of unpoliced conversation". In a lecture to media professionals, politicians and church leaders at Lambeth Palace in London Dr Williams wondered whether a balance could be struck between the professionalism of the classical media and the relative disorder of online communication. (ed- sheesh!)

Posted on I.B.H.Q. at 10:17



On Links

On the right hand side of your blog you have five sections: 'About Your Blog'; 'Recent Posts'; 'Archives' and 'Links'.

Your Recent Post and archives update automatically, but you can change the text and image about your blog and your favourite links.

A couple of notes worth remembering about your Links section. First of all its important to remember that you can't link to commercial sites - that's shops, hotels, or sites flogging stuff.

Second, a couple of things on formatting. To include the url (the web address or link) as an active link (ie one people can just click on to get to it), copy the following into the Links section:

Links


By adding the address in this way it will look much neater and be an actual live link. Also, you'll see there's a
which stands for break and this seperates your links to another line.

All you have to do is replace the address starting 'http://www' with the address you want, and also replace the text in the middle with the text you want.

So say you wanted to have Google as one of your favourites. Okay not the most original choices I know but heh! This is what it would look like:

links


Hope this is a help.

Mike

PS Brian mentioned had difficulty posting yesterday, there was a glitch which was out of cour control. 'Igor' (we're not kidding) told us it was "problematic disc".
So that's that clear then...


Posted on I.B.H.Q. at 10:29



Ming-in?

A colleague of mine electronically mailed me recently with plaintive query. This was it: "Where's Ming? I miss his posts : ( " T

There's been a number of requests now and I think we should get to the bottom of this.

Where is Ming the Merciless?

Last seen here... sometime in April but hasn't been seen since?

Could the Carnan Road Express hold the front page? Could collblogdotcom go and chap on his / her door? Is this the blogging equivalent of seeing your neighbours milk pile up un-drunk?

Is un-drunk a phrase you can use in relation to Coll?
Posted on I.B.H.Q. at 16:54



NEW DAWN FOR WIND ENERGY?

I don't know if it was an urban myth (or maybe a rural one) but I heard that the reason it was so expensive to fly internally in Scotland was because of all the military no-fly zones meant it was impossible to fly from A to B in a straight line.

Certainly it was true that the Ministry Of Defence thought that windfarms would interfere with their radar and other listening devices and had a blanket ban on them being built within a certain distance from military installations. So good news - if your a fan of renewables - with today's announcement that the MoD have moved to allow wind turbines within 17.5km of its seismic detection station at Eskdalemuir, in Dumfries and Galloway.


Full story in the Herald here...

Good news?
Posted on I.B.H.Q. at 09:27



More Top Tips

I'll be posting extracts from the new pages we're creating to try and de-mystify the process of creating and maintaining an Island Blog (see On Linksas part one of this process).

If there's specific things you want added to this document pleaese let us know.

Joining Island Blogging

Anyone who lives on an island in Scotland is eligible. To join you simply choose the area you live in and click on Contribute on the left hand side of the page. From here you have to fill in a form ‘Create your bbc.co.uk Membership’.

You have to do this only once, it gives you access to a host of BBC sites with one membership. It’s called Single Sign-On and was designed to allow you easy access to all the content that requires membership, Message Boards and similar.

The trick is to write down and keep safe somewhere your Member name and Password.

Once you’ve done all this you can go into the Island Blogging website and write your first blog.

You can choose from one of six style for the look of your blog, write some blurb about your blog, put some permanent links to your favourite sites, and post a picture to go with the blog.

All of your entries from this day forth will then be updated automatically and archived.

Posting a Blog

It’s easy to do, at its simplest you can just write a bit of text and post it live.

But you can also add photos, create a gallery, add links to other parts of the internet, or add formatting like italics, bold or block quotes.

All this works in the same way. You highlight the text you have in mind – left click on your mouse and drag it over the relevant piece of text – then click on one of the commands you want.

For instance – ‘link’ – then add in to the box that appears the relevant url (web address) that you wish to link to.

If it sounds complicated don’t worry. A bit of trial and error and you will quickly get the hang of it.

Once you’ve posted your previous entries will still be available for you to edit or even delete.

Your Settings

This is the bit about your blog and it will remain the same while your daily blogs change. It will say: “Edit Weblog Settings Now that you're a bbc.co.uk member we need to decide how your weblog will apear to other internet users. We need to know where you're from, what you're calling your weblog and what design you like the most. Remember, you only get one weblog, so stop and think before filling this in.”

You can go back in and edit this information, though it will be confusing to users if you are constantly changing the information.

On Adding Your ‘About This Blog’ Details

Following general internet-safety it’s best to keep the information relatively anonymous.

A sentence just about what your general themes are and where you’re based is best.

Adding Images

Files should be no bigger than 200Kb and should be either gif or jpg images under 440 pixels in width.

When you wish to post an image on to your blog, just click on the ‘Insert image (s)’ button along the top of your create new post options.

It will give you the choice to ‘Upload a new image from your own computer to Island Blogging.’ Click here and select the image you want remembering the file restraints ‘Files should be no bigger than 200Kb and should be either gif or jpg images under 440 pixels in width.’

You will be asked to ‘browse’ which just means to search your computer for the right image. Once selected, click on it and then click on the upload button.

That’s it.

It will then say “Enter a description to accompany this image in the box below. Next, select how you would like to see it displayed, then click Insert.”

Before you are given the prompt to Publish you are also offered the chance to edit. Please edit your posts till you are happy with the formatting of your pictures. You can experiment by seeing what looks best in terms of layout by choosing align ‘left’ ‘centre’ etc

Inserting an Image Gallery

An image gallery allows you to add images one after the other in a single space so that viewers can flick through, one after another.

One thing, not obvious but worth noting is that you do have to put a small bit of text before you start your gallery.

Basically once you click on ‘Insert Image Gallery’ it will include all of the individual photos you then post within that Gallery between

Before you are given the prompt to Publish you are also offered the chance to edit. Please edit your posts till you are happy with the formatting of your pictures. You can experiment by seeing what looks best in terms of layout by choosing align ‘left’ ‘centre’ etc




Posted on I.B.H.Q. at 15:28



Island Blogging Unites

Heard this from a friend this morning: " I was at a family wedding on Sunday … with one branch of the MacDougalls (from Scotland) who actually met up with the Canadian lot in the last two weeks when they were in Canada.

I was ready to mention the site - but they beat me to it explaining that the woman in Canada tracked them down via Island Blogging."
Posted on I.B.H.Q. at 11:53



Staff Wanted!

I was passing a certain hotel in a certain Argyll town south of Oban at the weekend and saw the following fantastic sign in each of the windows along the front:

"Due to unreliable staff having 'other plans' the restaurant will be closed for today.

New staff required. Immediate start.

Muppets need not apply!"

Ouch.
Posted on I.B.H.Q. at 10:28



New Gallery

I don't know why the Gallery has been slow of late, maybe the weather has been too good and who wants to sit in front of a computer while the sun's out? But we have a new gallery up today (Thursday 28 July).

Go here to send to take part and win a copy of Isles of the West by Ian Mitchell.

Here's a preview...


Posted on I.B.H.Q. at 15:43



Last Call for Holy Islanders and Sandans

We're about to pull the plug on these two, so they'll stay the weekend and then go...so if there's anyone out they're this is your last chance.

But, mystery new island will be taking the place of one of them?!?

This is getting like Big Brother.
Posted on I.B.H.Q. at 14:50





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