Saturday, 1 March 2008

Some more Outer Hebrides bloggers...

Partially for research, and partially to increase the reading material available to Barbie, I'm compiling a list of residents of the Outer Hebrides who blog. Here's a start; this post focuses on Lewis to Berneray.

Exclusions

I haven't included the diaspora - residents, or descendants of Outer Hebrides residents, who moved abroad - as that would be a massive project in itself. One example of many is the blog of Ian Morrison from Lewis (Nicolson Institute class of '91) and his partner Nikki, who are now living it up in the slightly warmer climate of Houston, Texas.

I haven't included blogs which appear to have been abandoned - such as this one from Drinishader in Harris - or haven't been updated for several months; of these there are many. And blogs which I had difficult in working out who or where the author is based.

Blogs from Hebridean islands outside the Outer Hebrides, such as this one from Islay, are also excluded. I am tempted to include blogs from residents who have moved away - this one from someone brought up in Stornoway contains a wealth of Stornoway-based anecdotes in but a few posts - but for the moment won't. The many blogs written purely about holiday experiences in the Outer Hebrides such as this Uist-based one, or this one, or this, are excluded too.

I also haven't included any from dedicated Social Networking services such as MySpace or Bebo. At a stroke, that removes 95%+ of candidate blogs from this list. On the former you'll find many teens, 20-somethings and musicians from the Outer Hebrides, such as Roddy Huggan from Stornoway. The latter has hundreds, if not thousands, of profiles of Outer Hebrides residents. Possibly uniquely, I know several adult Outer Hebrides residents who have recently deleted their Facebook profile and moved back to Bebo, where their ex-schoolmates hang out.

MySpace and Bebo share one commonality, in that the default and most of the configurable settings results in aesthetically garish layouts. Plus, often, unwanted music blasting out the second the profile opens up. And there's also a higher proportion of very difficult to read blogs due to textspeak - here's one example from a Ness resident that quickly gave me a headache. Bah humbug.

So, after all that excluding, here's some of what's left.

The list so far (Lewis to Berneray)

Lewis, being the most populous island has, not surprisingly, the bulk of the bloggers. Here's a happy blogger from, probably, Valtos. Meanwhile, here's Andrea, describing herself as a "Grumpy woman living in the Isle of Lewis with her Eve surrounded by mounds of old cameras." And speaking of cameras, here's a Ness-based blog that consists of a local picture every day.

Over in Back, Iain Campbell, the scourge of small bookshop owners, is the pastor of the Free Church of Scotland congregation. He writes the "Back Lines" column in the Stornoway Gazette, some of which appear in his blog. Somewhere else in Lewis (not sure where) resides Iain MacKinnon, a "29 year old teacher, musician, worship leader and husband"

In the big smoke itself (Stornoway) we have a brace of bloggers who attract considerable audiences to their blogs, but very different types of posting commentors. Angus Nicolson (no "h") is an ex-councillor who writes mainly political stuff. The comment sections of his blog postings are not for the thin-skinned to post on. A few hundred yards to his east is the residence of Guido, who blogs on matters local and weather as part of the close-knit AOL blogging community; unlike Angus's comment areas, comments on Guido's posts tend to be all warm, cuddly and cosy.

Elsewhere on Lewis, here's a bilingual blog with some good pictures, from what appears to be a German resident. Iain MacIver, a freelance writer and ex-journalist, writes on a blog with a particularly clean layout. While Murdo MacLeod, a (very) disgruntled ex-employee of the Comhairle, is blogging his grievances in considerable detail.

Moving south through the archipelago you come to the blog of David Heggie. As it turns out, his blog was influential in several people and families moving to the Outer Hebrides; add to this his own breeding, and he's practically a one-man "keeping the demographics up" show for the islands. Further south in Harris is the settlement of Scarista, from which a blogger takes his blog-name (though he appears to be of Lewis origin and lives elsewhere).

Finally, here on Berneray (population: 124) we have three bloggers, namely myself, Scotproof and Nightwatcher. All three blogs have digital pictures of Berneray scenery, such as this and this.

More...

And that's it for now. If you know of any more - by residents of any island in the Outer Hebrides - that actually pass my draconian exclusion criteria, then please comment and I'll add them to an updated posting.

6 comments:

  1. I thought one of those you excluded was the best. This one http://karenniseach.livejournal.com/Very funny. The people promoting Gaelic will read it and despair. Its no different I imagine than what someone of that age from the south of england would write.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I really liked Karen's blog too. As someone who'd probably say Scots (rather than English or Gaelic) was my "native" tongue, it was a great read.Nice to see that poorly written, terribly structured, ungrammatical, SMS-based Scots is as alive and vibrant as it is on the mainland.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Obviously, what I meant to say in my poorly written, terribly structured, ungrammatical comment was that SMS-based Scots was as alive and vibrant *here on Lewis* as it is on the mainland.It's been a long day ...

    ReplyDelete
  4. Island Threads also has a written blog about life and art on lewis http://www.bbc.co.uk/scotland/islandblogging/blogs/005253/

    ReplyDelete
  5. A couple of people who I visit occasionally - i *think* they're both resident in the W.Isles altho don't know either personally!Catholic Teuchter - Catholic-inspired devotionals etcMackle - music, some Gaelic, don't read it very often

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks for the name drop! To clarify, I am 'Mackle' (so I got linked to twice! Woohoo!) and I'm in Gress on the Isle of Lewis, although I work in Ness. I'm currently trying to blog my way out of the black hole of American Politics as interpreted by a sarcastic Leodhasach. Obh obh...

    ReplyDelete