Largs and Millport Weekly News

Article published 31st March 2000
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Birth of Largs Internet site

Dave Eastabrook explains the ideas behind the new Web site for Largs

www.largs.org

The Internet is being hyped up to the limit, and we've seen the last few days a "dot com" start-up of 18 months ago achieve at one time a market valuation of well over half a billion pounds, with no profit and no assets. Some mobile phones already have WAP which allows easy viewing on-the-move of suitably adapted websites, and whatever the real value is for most of getting on the 'Net, it's something that few businesses, organisations - or towns - can risk ignoring completely.

I registered the web-site largs.org in October with a view to using it to provide facilities and information for the Community itself - often overlooked in local discussions which focus on tourism not inhabitants, politics or personalities not people. I've a particular hope that the young people of the town will take an interest and contribute heavily to its success, and also hope to encourage usage of web skills in the town.

Recently we've seen some controversy over the Largs Community Council, and I dropped in to a meeting to see what it was like. Well, there's a lot of raw energy there, naive aggression and great enthusiasm. There have been times in past elections there haven't been enough candidates, and it's not many people that are prepared to give their time and nervous energy to try and do their best for their town.

The marvels that could be achieved by these people if they could direct all their energies into a perfect sprit of co-operation would be staggering beyond belief. I'll be delighted to accept unanimously agreed contributory material for the web-site from the Community Council, as they have an important part to play in its success.

Last year there was an open meeting for the Largs Initiative, and this was very well attended showing that we do take an interest in our town. This is a group of volunteers who, like the Community Council, have the good of Largs and its inhabitants firmly in mind and in their hearts. I also welcome articles or more, from them, when they're ready to go fully public with their plans for us.

There's a lot of people with ability and enterprise in Largs, and many have shown their mettle by standing up for their principles and forcing changes to unpopular planning decisions. This website should support their activities, while encouraging articles from Councils or any involved companies such as Railtrack/Scotrail and Calmac in return.

There are also some highly influential and Enterprising people from Largs who will hopefully volunteer to give some insight into their success. Maybe too they can help with genuine and free advice and assisted access to Venture Capitalists, for those who have ideas and high energy but don't fit the standard jobsworth grant-assisted mold whatever that is, with its over-emphasis on management teams and business plans.

Report spots

The website is not a replacement for the Wee Paper, and I'll be hoping for regular articles from the folk there? Doctors and dentists, accountants and solicitors, schools and churches, local business-people and others with knowledge and advice to share are all invited to write. Regular report spots are possible and photographs are all welcome; details for submission will soon be on the web-site, or email me. Full credit (links where appropriate) will be given to all contributors and you retain your right to sell and publish elsewhere.

What could the website help us all to achieve? A new station please, with an actual front entrance for a change before the summer; maybe the restoration of the Common Good Fund to those it belongs to - us, along with all those back years peculiar appropriations. Perhaps a cycle track stretching from Seamill to Skelmorlie and one to rival those in Holland and most other European countries. And beaches and promenades free from poohlution and last year's storm-tossed stones and rubble, and skateboards and rollerblade rinks, mountain bike cross-country assault courses and other stuff? What do you want? Does anyone ever ask you?

The web-site will provide links to all those with web-sites of interest in Largs, however, we do not exist in isolation, and have for instance close ties with Millport. I already have some contact with other local town sites and authors or organisers and will be delighted to co-operate with them and exchange links.

I'm "hosting" the web-site myself, meaning I and my company provide the space and facilities, and it will be non-political and open to all. In fact it will go out of its way to emphasise and promote positive accords and not the politics of negativity. Networking not nitpicking!

But largs.org should also be Fun with chat rooms, web boards and maybe multi-player network games. I've checked out some freeware, looked at egroups etc, or might even write my own if I get the usual and unwelcome "rest between contracts" when the present one ends in April. On the other hand largs.org can be a good beta test area for local produce - any software authors in town?

And that leads on to competitive co-operation from web authors which is totally encouraged. I'm providing the shell and will be improving on the initial version, and taking care of some of the techie stuff (like Perl, CGI, XHTML, validation etc; XML and WML tutorials maybe) though you're welcome to help. If you can work with local sports teams or organisations and take care of them - and do your bit better then me, then so much the better. But then I might have to improve mine ...

"a web-site is always a work in progress"

Lastly at last - why have I written this letter and who's it for, as my daughter asked me? I'm writing it to ask for your interest, support and help. And it's for everybody from before birth, to those of a rather more sedate age!

Dave Eastabrook     Email: webmaster at largs.org :)

 Dave Eastabrook (biged)
 pretends to look thoughtful
Is that your final answer?


Thanks to Drew Cochrane (Editor Largs and Millport) for publishing this letter
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