Thursday, January 22, 2009

Catihness.org - would it work in Nairn?

Caithness.org is a powerful community site and its forum is effectively another local paper in digital form. It even has a Birth, Marriages and Deaths column. So far the forum has received 406,254 posts and has, 4,158 members. Obviously such a site and forum must take a lot of work but maybe there is funding available for such a community venture. Although the Nairnshire area is much smaller, maybe it would work here. It would be a lot more use than our present 'Sleeping Beauty' nairnscotland.co.uk. which is still stuck in April 2007, maybe a passing timelord could go back and rescue the administrator of that site?

10 comments:

Atomic Wicker said...

Caithness.org is a really great site. I think it has been established for at least 10 years, and remains a really good community forum.
I understand it is not too popular with the local press as like the Gurn it has breaking news as it happens, but also carries small ads and BDMs which are bread and butter to the more established medias

Bill said...

Very interesting. I see it is run by 'Scorrie Internet Services' whose website is here:
http://www.scorrie.co.uk/

- they explain very clearly in their homepage what their strategy has been since they set up Cathness.org in 2000. I have no doubt that the 'dead-tree' media up there don't like it at all. But the harsh reality is that if they don't modify their business plans to cope with 'newfangled' ideas such as the internet, they will get left behind. Memo to 'The Nairnshire'?

I'm not aware of an internet services provider in Nairn, but I know there is one in Cromarty; one of the websites which I manage has been hosted by them since 2000 (it's an Inverness-based club). They are called Calico UK Services Ltd and their website address is, for information:
http://www.cali.co.uk/
- they don't seem, though, to be directly involved in the kinds of things with the Caithness internet firm does, though. Perhaps there are others in the Inverness-Elgin area who are?

Incidentally 'The Inverness Courier' website seems to be hosted by people whose website is:
iomart.co.uk
- seemingly registered in Scotland, but I am unable to identify where exactly, although they seem also to use the services of another hosting company:
internetters.co.uk
- registered in England, but again I am unable to identify where. However the two websites are very similar in design so I assume they are part of the same organisation.

Bill said...

PS/
It's very easy to set up a discussion forum. Two companies I know of which allow you to do it for free are:
http://www.proboards.com/
- no idea where they are located, but my 'guesstimate' it is in the US.
- I am a member of several UK and Spain-based forums hosted by them. There is a 'paid for' option.

http://www.bravenet.com/
- this is a Canadian company located in BC. It so happens I host my own websites with them, although I pay for my hosting, rather than use the free versions. They have a very wide range of tools from websites to guestbooks to forums to hit-counters, etc.

Note - with 'free' websites/boards, there is advertising which you often can't control. Personally I would never operate anything on the internet based on such a format.

AyeRight said...

Bill,

I would agree with you about Calico. They are 7 miles away (As the boat floats) on the Black Isle, but have always been excellent.
I have heard many good reports of them, and absolute beginners can quickly get a website going with their Spanglefish offering (Although 'proper' web geeks hate the code used in this)
Iomart are a large hosting company based in Edinburgh

KrA

Anonymous said...

Setting up a forum wouldn't be diffiult - I can do that no problem, but so far there has been so little interest from people in Nairn actually going online that it would be hard to see it developing well. I would also imagine the Caithness forum has had a lot of promotion over the past 9 years to help promote it to the local population.

Forums really aren't a rival to traditional media in most sense of the word, but they can be a powerful community tool.

Interesting to hear the Inverness Courier is hosted with Iomart - a company that has a less than good reputation in terms of internet services, not least their "SEO" packages which are near useless, but until at least recently were being heavily pushed on small businesses via cold-calling.

I also wouldn't touch free forums like proboards and bravenet, etc, for a proper forum - you don't have proper admin controls, and because there's no contract of service, the host company can delete the site by accident or on purpose, with no come back. I *have* seen this happen to very big communities. For an example of a dedicated full admin forum, just like at the Cinema of Dreams forum to see what can be achieved.

If anyone really wanted a dedicated Nairn community I'd be happy to build one, but personally, I'd prefer to build a larger regional portal and see how it develops, not least having a Nairn section - and if demand was proven from this, expand into a dedicated Nairn community.

2c.

Brian
- MyNairn

Spurtle said...

Once again Spurtle's eye is caught by a glint of irony.

Scorrie Internet Services, the company responsible for the Caithness.org site, is owned by Bill Fernie.

That'll be Highland Councillor Bill Fernie, chair of the Education, Culture and Sport Committee.

Perhaps we should ask Sandy if he fancies setting up something similar :)

The new depression said...

'we should ask Sandy if he fancies setting up something similar'

I reckon he would like www.pies4urfuction.com

Could anyone do that?

Anonymous said...

oh dear the Gurn is on the slip isn't it? What rubbish!

Havin' a laff said...

Gurn on the slip?
Don't think so, it continues to live up to its mission statement :)!
At the top of the Gurn it states "Blogging from Nairn: sometimes satirical, sometimes silly, sometimes serious but hopefully giving a flavour of life in our community."

I suspect a sense of humour failure somewhere!

Graisg said...

@anon a 3.49, a full refund is in the post.