Friday, January 14, 2011

Damn Dunolly Deluge and local council history blogs critique

I have a couple of irritants I feel the urge to share with you, dear reader.
For if I do not, there will be brain explodage all over the shop.
And that doesn't make for a good start to the weekend.
My bugbear number one - the lack of rail services to Dunolly.
Today, Friday January 14, Dunolly was completely cut off, no way in or out of the town owing to the flooding rains.
Except by rail.
"Nobody can get through, the only way in and out is by railway so we'll be getting some supplies sent through that way."
source

Problem was, the only rail services are goods trains carting wheat from the silos at night as passengers services were cut back in the early 80s.
And let's not forget the Department of Transport which declares that the town is well serviced by buses.
Buses.
Buses that couldn't get in or out and were not venturing anywhere much if the list of cancellations of V/Line Tweets were anything to go by.
Also, one of the major news services announced that due to excessive flooding across major highways the road transport of food across the nation was halted until further notice.
That would be due to trucks unable to use the roads.
Unlike rail services which were mostly uneffected.

Bugbear number two - yes, I'm on a roll and I'm getting up a head of steam here.
Local council history blogs.
Few are run by someone au fait with blogging or the platform on which they're hosted.
  • So many are on Blogger but haven't updated all the bells and whistles, like the simple inclusion of networking buttons in the footer of each blog post (we are becoming lazier and without those quick and easy buttons most won't share the brilliant work that goes into the posts).
  • The lack of a Facebook page or Twitter account (basic marketing - use the free tools available and get your message out there by all means, link it up with the blog so you get triple the coverage with one blog post).
  • Few and far between updated posts (nothing more off-putting than finding a great source of local history only to realise it hasn't been updated since the year before last, gives the impression of laziness and puts people off).
  • Local events, however tenuously historical, should be advertised within the blog to keep the info ticking over, to show readers that it's an eventful and happening area, that pride in the area and it's heritage is taken seriously, etc (when you know an historical event happened and was completely ignored by the blog then it becomes seen as not so reliable and not read).
  • A local historical society without a blog or website again puts forth the impression those running it are either too lazy, too old, too busy or just can't be bothered (without the info there, readers skip over and forget the historical society even exists which goes towards a possibly avoidable demise of the society).
 *phew*
Finished!

9 comments:

Davo said...

Ah, Not t worry. Australia will be saved .. by the National Broadband Networry.

Am being a bit cynical. Serious Infrastructure has been a bit neglected for probably the past 40 years. blame who?

Timespanner said...

"A local historical society without a blog or website again puts forth the impression those running it are either too lazy, too old, too busy or just can't be bothered (without the info there, readers skip over and forget the historical society even exists which goes towards a possibly avoidable demise of the society)."

I spoke on this aspect to the Auckland & Waikato region historical socities gathered at Pukekohe in November last year. Basically, I summed it up that websites are a historical societies shop window and signboard combo view to the rest of the world. The trouble is, on this side of the Ditch, that a website is seen to take a lot of Net-savvy to set up, and the annual maintenance cost can be $150-$300 per annum. Something a lot of societies can fit into their budgets, let alone the hundreds of dollars to website companies to design the site in the first place.

Which is why I emphasised free stuff (Google sites, Blogger) and urged especially the creation of more Kiwi heritage blogs.

My home society has had Net-presence since 2002. Nothing too flash, but hey -- we regularly update!

Andrew said...

Any net site that does not update is off putting. I can think of some that are a treasure of information, but over time the info becomes inaccurate due to changes. Good point to bring up Jayne.

Windsmoke. said...

Any blog or website that doesn't update on a regular basis gets the chop as far as i'm concerned and it is just lazyness.

•´.¸¸.•¨¯`♥.Trish.♥´¯¨•.¸¸.´• said...

Well said Jayne ...we need to keep our blogs up to date.

They are doing themselves no favors not using a very easy platform to share their treasures & info.

That said I haven't added networking buttons ot mine (not sure how :)...better learn)

River said...

I have a (grammatical) bugbear of my own.
So many people do not know when to use affected/effected; affect/effect; unaffected/(uneffected? is that a word? It isn't in my dictionary....)

For instance something (rail travel), is affected by something else,(government cutbacks), which then causes a flow-on effect among the people.

Sorry Jayne.

Brian Hughes said...

As somebody who hasn't updated my blog in ages...I reckon you're right. Mind you, when Wyre Archaeology start paying me to do it, I might start it up again.

Beet said...

feel better for getting all that off your chest?

You're absolutely right though. The state of public transport is appalling.

And yes with all the free services out there local history groups or any community group would be mad not to have an internet presence

Jayne said...

lol Davo.

Too many freebies to not use, Lisa ;)

Thanks, Andrew, Windsmoke and Trish.

So glad I can give you something to pick over, River :)

LOL Brian.

Exactly, B ;)

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