Wow . . . An interesting thread. In Nick …

Comment posted on Emergence of Kintyre and Gigha Marketing Group completes Argyll and the Isles jigsaw by Scots Renewables

Wow . . .

An interesting thread. In Nick Mills’ defence I would say that in the nine years since I moved my own web design business to Argyll from Aberdeenshire I have found the area marketing organisations to present as a cosy wee club or cartel, to the extent that the local newspaper has refused my advertisements for a website marketing the area and the local tourist board has refused the company membership. Conflicts of interest where business owners also hold positions giving them influence on publicly funded bodies are widely ignored.

Having said that, it was not much different in Aberdeenshire. I think it is just the nature of the beast, and it is very much who you know and not what you know. I too get mildly annoyed from time to time at the waste and misdeployment of public funds, but life is too short and I have enough work from small businesses both within and outside Argyll who recognise integrity and value for money, so I don’t feel deprived of the public teat and have concluded that it is not worth fighting to get the corporate snout in the trough.

Life in Argyll is just too good to bother getting over-excited by this sort of stuff..

Scots Renewables also commented

  • Just to keep people up to date . . .

    Still NO RESPONSE from OLTA to my company’s application to join

    Looks like Linda’s post above is just so much hot air and that OLTA is still a closed shop, part of that cosy club we were talking about . . .

  • Well, the short online form was filled in four days ago and no response so far.

    Yesterday I e-mailed OLTA to ask them to e-mail me a copy of the application form, but still no response.

  • Oh, and there is http://argyllandtheisles.info/

    Another one . . . with a different water/hill/island logo. This one is registered to a company based in Falkirk and Dundee.

  • Thanks Linda.

    Application form now filled in.

  • Pole Position,

    Sorry for not making it clear that you are a local company . . . I certainly recognise that you are, as you say, very local. Thanks also for indicating that perhaps OLTA is not the closed shop it once was. I will look into this further.

    As you know our companies have co-operated in the past and hopefully will do again. As you point out, we also share some clients. My comments were not intended to snipe at you. I was merely pointing out that in the nine years we have been operating in Argyll we have been given the impression that as far as publicly funded work goes it is a closed shop.

    No-one was suggesting that you were in any way responsible for this state of affairs, and no-one can blame you for taking advantage of a long-standing close relationship with OLTA.

    I trust this makes it plain that my beef is with OLTA, with AISTP, with Business Gateway and with any other organisation with access to public funding whose procurement processes are less than transparent.

    What, honestly, is your opinion of AISTP, its logo, website and marketing strategies? Is it being run by the best people, is it effective, is it going anywhere . . .

    And re. co-operation and collaberation between web development companies in Argyll – what are your views on the recently set up Argyll Web Development Association? (AWDA). Do you see a role for this type of organisation?

Recent comments by Scots Renewables

  • Russell admits vehicle element of former Dunoon ferry was indeed publicly funded
    A threnody is a song, hymn or poem of mourning composed or performed as a memorial to a dead person.

    Quite appropriate. The promise that was the original ForArgyll is indeed quite dead.

    I think I will stick to the Cowal Courier from now on. That’s a proper news site that seems to have your measure.

    Toodle pip!

  • Russell admits vehicle element of former Dunoon ferry was indeed publicly funded
    Oh do cheer up Newsroom! The hybrid ferries are non-military ships being built on the Clyde. Surely something to cheer about?

    Re. your concerns about staff training – I think you will find that staff require retraining whenever a new vessel is brought into service . . . each boat is different.

    And please do stop all this ‘we hear rumours’ rubbish. No-one believes you. Come up with facts and their sources like a real journalist or stop smearing doom and gloom. Less fuel is less fuel. And the new ferries are also designed to have lower maintenance costs.

    Now, here’s some more potential good news on the ship technology front for Scotland . . . CMAL has been commissioned to carry out a feasibility study for Scottish Enterprise to evaluate the technical and commercial possibilities of using hydrogen fuel cells to power zero emission ferries. If this goes ahead it could put Scotland at the forefront of another new technology, with the consequent design, development and manufacturing of hybrid engines being located here. Great news – though I expect ForArgyll will want to talk it down.

  • New Mobile Theme for ForArgyll.com
    The mobile version isn’t triggered by my iPad, which is a good thing – but it does come up in an iPhone emulator I tried.

    Strangely enough specific mobile versions of websites (as opposed to apps – which are here to stay) may be a relatively short-lived phenomenon. As bandwidth on phones increases dramatically and most displays become HD 1024 pixels wide or more so standard websites become more and more useable. I don’t come across many that don’t display well on the iPad.

    A mobile version was far more essential on older 320 pixel devices like Nokias, but these will die out. The non-mobile version of this site (for example) is quite useable on a new smartphone once it is rotated horizontally.

    Apps that do specific things on mobile devices are another matter – they are definitly here to stay. And for blog sites like this the mobile version definitley increases useability (but see below).

    Some feedback – I couldn’t view the comments on the mobile version, but I was using an emulator rather than an actual smartphone. Can other people view and post comments OK on the new mobile site using an iPhone or Andriod phone?

  • Clyde shipyards at risk – news by year end
    Just testing the comments function on the mobile version of the site.

    (Using an online iPhone emulator)

  • Scottish Conservatives underline common ownership of Saltire
    It is Scottish Labour that really needs to up its game dramatically if it wants to keep a credible presense in Holyrood in the 2016 election. What Ruthie and the Scottish Conservative Party do is of little relevance.

    According to Newsnet Scotland a recent poll shows Westminster voting intentions in Scotland as:

    SNP 39%
    Labour 33%
    Conservative 16%
    LibDem 6%
    Others 7%

    If this doesn’t ring alarm bells for Labour nothing will.

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80 Responses to Wow . . . An interesting thread. In Nick …

    • Also, just because Tarbert already has a marketing group, again which is prejudice in its members and just considers facebook and twitter to be all it needs, it is unacceptable to exclude a geographical location, this shows the inexperience of corporate fairness.

      Although Machrihanish Dunes does have a habit of being able to secure vast amounts of money which would no doubt be advantageous, they dont seem to be able to reply to emails and when they do they comment sarcastically on its content.

      Thats at least four marketing groups now in Kintyre, two for Kintyre itself, one in Tarbert, one in Carradale, and numbers of businesses already work together in a friends and round robin system for business.

      It amazes me how people come along with their ‘experience’ and think that they can make a difference, let me tell you lol if it costs money its not likely to work, its the fundamental item that businesses small and large dont appear to have throughout Argyll and if they have, theyve been lying for years which would then make them dishonest and trustworthy.

      If anyone is interested in being part of a marketing group where every business from homeworkers, shops, organisations and accommodation can have a say and a real digital presence with distance selling opportunities then take a look at http://www.argyllmarketing.co.uk which offers an alternative to the domineering controlling dictatorship Argyll and the Isles, or alternatively as there is no trademark for Argyll and the Isles, why not just register a domain name like argyllandtheisles.org.uk so whenever they do any marketing your business can have lots of free marketing, you dont need to pay to be on the marketing group… Simples ;)

      Enjoy free business :) , that tip was brought to you by a web marketing professional :)

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  1. well I though I would do a wee bit research while having my morning coffee so I searched for Argyll to compare who is doing what here is my findings visit scotland website page 1.ranked 4 in google click on events for kintyre 1 entry for colonsay festival nothing else….argyllandtheisles website (had to get another coffee by the time I found this)ranked page 18 click on events for kintyre 3 listed scottish series..mok music festival Gigha heritage trust(hardly an event) http://www.argyll.org page 1 on google ranked no.2 click on events NO didnt need to click there was a calender of events on their front page so I clicked on today and hey 5 events for today (Sunday) alone and their seemed to be a comprehensive list for the whole year.
    Conclusion leave the marketing to people who are professionals in this field ……

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    • ‘The Hotel Inspector’ is actually Nick. We don’t allow manipulative multiple personas.
      Play it straight and you can say what you like – and it’s not as if you’re behind the door on self promotion anyway.

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      • Actually its not me its another person in the household, please telephone to confim if you need to, just because its the same IP address doesnt mean to say its the same user, please investigate before you make allegations!!

        Or are there rules for one person per household to comment, is this another of Argylls policies and procedures?

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          • We both feel that your allegation is unnecessary, damaging and an infringement of our privacy and independent views and statements, please provide me (under the freedom of information act if necessay) a copy of For Argylls privacy policy, i would like to make a further investigation under current uk and european privacy legislation. You can contact me direct at http://www.argyll.org if you need to. Thank you.

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          • Do you realise you might get shutdown for what you have done? For Argyll is obviously part of a corrupt society, im taking this to the Police, its disgusting, do you compromise users and pass information on to those in the know, youre about to be investigated….. Terriible!

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        • I must admit to wondering if ‘Nick’ and ‘The hotel Inspector’ were one and the same person, given the shared peculiarities of grammar and spelling.

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          • Once again i can clarify with certainty that the two users are independent, why on earth would I have two usernames……?

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  2. Nick

    I have to say that after reading a fair number of posts you have made I am still struggling to actually get a clear picture of the message you are trying to present. Maybe I am just being simple and failing to see your point however what does seem to shine through is a consistent attack at groups who don’t do things they way you think they should be done, or who employ people who you don’t feel have the same marketing credentials as you award yourself.

    It doesn’t strike me as a particularly effective way to market yourself which surely places doubt in people’s minds about employing you to market them.

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    • Thank you, i can appreciate your input, the two points are really that one, the marketing of businesses and utilisation of businesses in Argyll by these groups and people is minimal, supporting businesses outside the area of benefit constantly.

      And secondly that none of the people or groups i have mentioned have taken time to consider the existing businesses, strategies or consider in full any ideas, strategies or good arguments that are in the contrary to their own, you might say that im acting somewhat anticompetitively and aggressively in my outward accusations however i think the way in which these people and organisations are conducting themselves requires a firm hand.

      If businesses do not wish to use another business due to differing political or commercial viewpoints then thats fine, albeit unprofessional, but i think it should be noticed that there are many different viewpoints and an unnecessary and unfair mechanism of support and funding in place.

      On a side note i think that For Argyll just making a claim and compromisinh the privacy of a user will be reported to the police, i have copied the post to present to Lochgilphead Police on wednesday.
      Any more thoughts would be appreciated.

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  3. well unless Nick has changed his sex no it is not nick I am the owner of the lochfyne seastore an online shop that sells jewellery
    could you please send me a copy of your privacy policies to MY email address as I am sure you have just broken them.and further to your accusations there are at least 4 people in this building that share the same IP address
    I have my own views and comments and am quite entitled to share them I am not at all impressed with your unprofessionalism,perhaps you would like to broadcast my e mail address too while you are it …

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  4. Can only one person use the same IP address to post on here, but if a person uses a proxcy server then they can post under many user names. Passions do run high but could possible infringements be investigated first before made public.

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    • Read further up John, the identity of a user has been compromised by making a public statemnt alleging that i was multiple users. The law doesnt permit the infringement of peoples privacy, but im sure with their CVs and experience they would know that of course, after all the rest of us dont know anything…

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      • Furthermore it is now a legal requirement to notify users that a site uses cookies, a method of remembering information on a persons computer or browser. With For Argyll remembering peoples IP ADDRESS and possible other information, they are once more operating illegally against uk web legislation.

        It makes you wonder what else is not being done correctly doesnt it…. The plot thickens.

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  5. OMG! Get a grip!

    Do you guys want to pick fights with everyone? or is that house you live in needing some happy pills dropped in the water tank?

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    • You see, the perception when someone criticises, brings to the attention that things arent being done entrelybproperly, passes passionate comment in regard to fundamentally flawed action is to be dismissed or accused as making trouble… This is a common theme, perception is often misconceived. Help often comes in the form of direct action.

      As to happy pills, actually i do suffer from depression and reactive anxiety, i would consider these to be dsabilities, and by other peoples responses it seems that disability discrimination is also apparant. Happiness is often just the ignorance of problems, your comments are most offensive which also highlights the lack of consideration of peoples personalities, social status and disabilities.

      Please do continue, if you have any more professional advise i would like to hear it.

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      • Nick, get off the cross mate. I am disabled, spent 6 years in a wheelchair and am going back to it at some stage of my life. I suffer from constant chronic pain, depression, anxiety…

        I need an extra sheet of paper to list all my meds to the DSS. Loads of us are suffering in one way or another – not just you.

        I would never dream of giving professional advice, but after reading all these vitriolic comments you have made, I felt the need to lift the mood a little.

        I am a battle-hardened, passionate and tenacious defender of schools, injustices and other issues (including disability rights), but when I make a comment, even at my most sarcastic and cutting, I still find the ability of writing something at least semi-constructive.

        I do not feel the need to “big-myself-up”, I can make my points without such self-endorsement – just with sheer intelligence and logic.

        Your comments seem to be nothing but bitter jealousy.

        Some substance please and remember you can’t have disability without ability :)

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        • Thank you.

          Not at all, i think its only fair to be allowed to promote a product along with everyone else, im not trying to big myself up. Im sure if someone ignored your important viewpoint you would be most angry, particularly if someone overlooked something critical to Argylls future wellbeing, not to mention contributing to peoples income and jobs.

          Im not at all jealous, on the contrary, incompetence always seems to ignore competence where professional position is taken. What else can you do if people ignore what they dont understand, i always think you should have the opportunity to have your say and raise awareness of issues, if my comments offended i apologise, i hope not though, not my intention.

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  6. I do get very passionate about issues, I see what is happening here, I am going to quote “Hope in Honest Error” by Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
    Lets all take time out and I hope this can be discussed off line and use this as a learning experience. Flame me down if I am out of order.

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    • I will give your comment consideration, newsroom has belittled my contribution and with this post in particular is written in a provocational and insulting way belittling my contribution and work, i find this is not at all required in For Argylls right wing support of Argyll and The Isles partnership. I take particular offence to For Argylls agressive opposition of indepedent viewpoints and for not reporting independently and ethically.

      Although i certainly feel that For Argyll and AISTP have been given extensive opportunities to operate professionally, without discrimination and to the letter of the law. It seems clear to me there exists a ‘do as we please when we please attitude’ that has no place in fair society.

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  7. Nick,

    I accept you are annoyed with newsroom’s approach to this however it is worth remembering that your response to a post by Mike Story (which was nothing more than a pleasant comment about Kintyre )was to accuse him of prejudice, his antics as ‘disgusting’, and described him as ‘misled.’ You go on to tell him he has ‘no idea’, said his methods and job are a ‘waste of time.’

    You also classify his, and AISTP’s approach to business as lazy, unresponsive and selective and also say it is ignorance and that his understanding of technology has killed Argyll’s future. You further this by calling his/their brands and funding mechanism as ‘laughable.’

    This is followed by a paragraph that suggests he, and AISTP are responsible for people turning to drink and drugs as they take too long to help with local employment, tourism and social problems.

    It then degenerates further when you say ‘perhaps Mr Story fancies himself as the new First Minister, or perhaps hes all going to get us cheap wives from abroad from his Thai business, who knows….’

    Having thrown all that at Mike Story (who I admit I don’t know from Adam) I find it a little hard to have much sympathy when you claim to have been insulted and had your contribution belittled.

    You clearly have a lot to say on the matter and maybe if it had been expressed with a little less vitriol then it would have been more engaging. However the level of personal insults you dished out (as detailed above) makes it very difficult to engage in a rational debate.

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    • I stand by my comments. The history regarding AISTP and Mr Story along with the application of fair policy is one that requires further investigation. None of the comments placed are personal or post comment on characteristics of his character, which you seem to suggest. I will continue with my complaint to the local constabulary next week.

      I should finish by drawing your attention to the anti-competitive nature of this post supplied by AISTP and that will also be dealt with in the appropriate way. Unnecessarily provocational, the existence of other marketing groups shouldnt preclude exclusion, surely that is discrimination and anti-competitive? Im sure these other marketing groups and businesses will have something to say about not having access to the same grants, money, insights and opportunities as the exclusive AISTP membership.

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    • I respect your comments, i’ll take note to be more specific and perhaps more polite in future posts, but unfortunately i really cannot abide people or organisations disadvantaging others by immoral, unethical or selective practice, its difficult enough in Argyll as it is without unnecessary added disadvantage, i will have to pursue my concerns regarding privacy on For Argyll and anti-competitive business by AISTP which is unlawful. Something for the courts to decide.

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  8. How can you compromise the privacy of a person who is anonymous? The name of “Nick” does not tell anybody much whether it be real or fictitious, and the other contributor at that IP Address only identified themselves AFTER Newsroom’s comment about them being the same person. Seems to me that they gave away their own identity(s) without any help from Newsroom.

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    • The logic is quite easy to understand Andy, seeing as i have posted links to my websites, therefore companies and home address, it should be too easy to understand from that who the other person is now that For Argyll told everyone that the other user was frim the same address, common sense really……..

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    • Ooh now it is getting very personal , i must congratulate myself for hitting some raw nerves, and i must have set a record for the nost deslikes in one post….. Fantastic… Although its also demonstrated the small user base of For Argyll and its limited capacity for marketing, its yet another platform for self praise from a small and largely not independent group of individuals, thats my educated opinion and conclusion drawn from my contribution. I can see that formal action is much more suited to dealing with issues that have been raised.

      Its much too late for explanation and trying to cover up whats going on, For Argyll and AISTP should be ashamed of themselves…….

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    • A kintyre marketing group that excludes towns and villages because they already have marketing groups and AISTP that has selective membership and anti-competitive principles, is everyone blind to whats going on,….. That was the original discussion originally.. Its as if this post was written in respect of comments in a different post, i wonder how many people using this are related to or are part of the AISTP hierarchy.

      Id like to congratulate my uncle though for recently becoming Mayor again for the second time, glad to see that in some places you can get ahead with integrity and honesty.

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  9. For me there is a genuinely interesting topic here which is being buried by unfortunate ill feeling.

    I would like to get beyond that and get back to the more important topic.

    I know very little about AISTP so would be interested in hearing why Nick feels they, as a group, have a selective membership and also anti-competitive principles. It is clearly a matter which he feels strongly about and whether or not people agree he has a right to express that view (and also be challenged on it).

    I am not interested in individual people being named but more why Nick, as a whole, feels the body, its aims/objectives and way it does business is as abhorrent as he is presenting them as being.

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    • At last, thank you for encouragement and taking a step to consider what I have written (hoping it is genuine of course).

      The frustrating thing about the AISTP is that they are around 10 years behind the natural progression and requirements of marketing focusing on items that do not provide the necessary strategy to deliver prosperity to Argyll, as Alan Sugar stated this evening “you need to take good businesses to the USA as they are good at venture capitalism”, and I agree, there is no enterprise support structure in Argyll and nothing that considers and supports existing growth businesses, nothing of any discernable value anyway.

      The funding mechanism is also wrong, not to mention that the AISTP have chosen to get alot of their work paid for out of Argyll, as have Tarbert Harbour and Tarbert & Skipness Trust, millions of pounds if all lumped together with no jobs, no apprenticeships and no immediate impact in tourism.

      I can’t begin to go over the intricacies of modern marketing, business ethics, economics and growth strategies within rural environments, but what i can say is that there is an eggs and basket scenario that is unhealthy.

      I would love to know why AISTP operates anti-competitively, why arent they using local businesses, why are some businesses excluded, why do they attract funding for flawed marketing yet anyone else in the industry of any form is left out to dry that has a better (and more sustainable product)?

      Im unlikely to get any answers but in the last four or five years all I have heard is there is no money, no money, yet there has not been one large home grown export business that is sustainable and can support exponential growth of product manufacture, export, delivery and jobs. Loch Fyne Oyster bar which was the areas flagship even had huge debts and had to be sold to a Chinese company to stay trading I am to understand.

      Its this information that does not give me confidence in what is being delivered, and Argyll continually overlooks normal everyday people who have great ideas, great products and most of all there is a plagiouristic operation which removes all credit from people who create and develop ideas.

      Im afraid to say that there are some disappointing comparisions in Argyll, do you think its ok for the Cairnbaan Hotel to be involved in Heart of Argyll which is a conflict of interest, im sure if the hotel was in Oban they wouldnt be involved, yet I am not allowed the same opportunity to promote and provide a successful business.

      Life isn’t fair we know that, Argyll life verges on the comical based on social connections rather than an acceptance that sometimes someone else or someone elses strategy or product is better than the one that exists.

      Probably not much help but covers some points.

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      • Nick,

        First off I can assure you it is genuine. I have no connection with AISTP not have I ever met anyone who is connected with the (not that I know of anyway). This is why my interest is not in the personalities but in the nature of the business approach.

        I was specifically interested in hearing why you think they have a selective membership and anti-competitive principles. Based on your response to this question (I am trying to avoid reading between the lines in other posts as I don’t wish to get the wrong end of the stick) it would appear this stems from a dissatisfaction in AISTP employing firms who are not Argyll based to offer advice on marketing within Argyll. Is this the case? If so then the complaint boils down to AISTP’s policy on appointing consultants and the policy they follow. If AISTP are deliberately excluding local firms then you clearly have grounds for complaint. Equally though they would not be allowed to exclude non local firms purely on the grounds of encouraging local firms. They could apply a weighting to a procurement scoring exercise which would assist local firms but this couldn’t be so high as to skew the process excessively and they would need to have clear justification for it should it be challenged. Ultimately the work will be awarded to the organisation that provides best overall value for money with that not necessarily meaning the cheapest.

        Whether they attract funding for ‘flawed marketing’ is obviously a matter of opinion. I am in no position to challenge their, or your approach to marketing.

        I personally don’t believe that third sector organisations are making a society reliant on grant money. I would accept that it would be easy to find examples of where this does seem to be the case but it would also be easy to find examples where the services and experience available from the third sector organisations are being tapped into with a genuine desire to deliver something with long term sustainability at the heart of its objective.

        This, of course, doesn’t guarantee success, much the same way employing private sector expertise doesn’t guarantee success and there is a degree of duty on the third sector organisation to carry out appropriate due diligence before committing public resource to projects. If AISTP are a body who fund Argyll based projects I would expect them to have proper governance in place to manage that award process and I also appreciate they will be restricted by the size of the ‘pot’ available.

        I can also understand why private firms might feel that the provision of public grants might be anti competitive as they feel that this money is then being spent on firms which are maybe not local or on an ‘approved list.’ This is why there needs to be clear segregation between the funding body and the award of contracts. I mean all this in a general sense rather than specifically to the issue under discussion here.

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  10. What Nick needs to understand is that Argyll does not owe him a living – if he is in the wrong business and can’t make a living wage then get out and do something else – he could also perhaps try to get work outside Argyll by actually spending less time on these forums and working harder at expanding his website business throughout the UK. Everything in business, especially the tourist business, is highly competitive – nothing is easy Nick! Earning enough to cover 12 months outgoings from maybe only 6 months income is hard. However at the end of the day it’s the quality of what you personally offer that matters,not what government sponsored bodies offer in the way of advertising, funding or corporate days out. Who wants their excellent Hotel’s reputation bundled in with others on the same website who they know make little effort. Advertising makes everyone look equal but it’s what happens when the guest walks in though the front door that matters. So most tourist orientated businesses depend on good repeat bookings and excellent reporting by those who have already stayed or visited with them. Small groups of like minded quality local businesses work well but as soon as it gets bigger and you have the ‘professional committee egos’ being elected, it all goes to blazes. Websites are perfectly capable of saying everything about Argyll and where you are in Argyll – you can virtually add ‘everything that is good and worth visiting in Argyll’ on you own business website if you have the enthusiasm. And further, if you pay regular attention to it you can easily get it to the top of the ‘Google Search’ pages. I have to seriously disagree with newsrooms article above when they say ‘seeing everyone and everything else as competition” is in the past. Competition is what drives serious hard working business people to the top of the pile.

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    • Uh oh! If the original articles sparked off the rabid reactions from Nick and his family (allegedly) then this is really gonna get the family toys thrown right out of the pram.

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    • I think Argyll,its organisations and its businesses owe everybody within the right to opportunity, education, a modest living and the acknowledgement that in fact we are all equal and deserve the same professional, educational and life opportunities. Why else would anyone operate otherwise.

      Third sector organisations in Argyll are making a society reliant on grant money and decisions resting on a few people, that is not a democratic society in any shape or form and society cannot prevail.. why do you think countries such as Egypt and Greece are in uproar… thats right the people in these seats have great and often abnoxious wealth while the workforce are made to work for a pittance, i compare it to third world countries.

      Why would AISTP ignore something that already fulfils a role in society, simply because its something they do not have the power to control in my opinion.

      I do think you are missing the point, and if thats the attitude for those hotels they dont deserve a business, Argyll relies on honest businesses growing and providing opportunity.

      I think its obnoxious how people suck up to businesses to extract money for alleged sustainable causes, lets see these people start to do something for the good of the 100s of businesses that are for sale and desperately trying to get out of Argyll, its unnecessary and if people arent worried they should be.

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  11. Nick, hate to break it to you, but you have to go some yet to get the most dislikes. I believe Simon has that scoreboard completely covered at the moment.

    Talking of which…

    did no-one else see the obvious bait in comment no.1?

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  12. Andy, Andy Andy**. Behave.

    But Well spotted Crazy!!!

    See, when you’re fishing sometimes you get a bite – the amatuer amongst you would STRIKE, but the canny would just treat that as nibble – and j-u-s-t wait till he finally took the hook.

    Despite what you lot feel – single issue folks ARE actually all the same.

    Swop ‘tourist marketing group(s)’ for under-occupied-and-expensive-rural-schools and you guys* and Mr Mills** could live happily ever after….

    *note the rush for an FOI?

    ** Andy Duh!!! ;) I googled ‘Tarbert chairman festival….’

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      • Not sure i understand, you’ll probably find alot of people dont like me, but alot of people dont like people who speak their mind in an open and honest fashion, i cant abide liars, gamesplayers or con artists, there are plenty of them around thats for sure.

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    • Im disappointed that i wasnt the first to post, although im pleased that im such a catch, should i be honoured or scared?

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    • Sorry Simon, but I believe the record for dislike votes is held by an eejit claiming to be called Jock McSporran on a completely separate post, although he did go off on one like this Nick/ Andy persona.

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  13. I wonder how many of these posts are by the owners and content contributors of For Argyll afraid to come out of the ‘closet’. Its a little cowardly dont you think?

    Also the connections between the group responsible for For Argyll seems to be heavily connected with AISTP and organisations that seem to be acting and would i dare say profiting from social connections, conflict of interest, the same old story guys its not what you know its who you know that matters.

    Its amazing what you can find out about the For Argyll team when you ask the rght people, such a shame after the weekends unfortunate privacy issues thats its unprofessional delivery perhaps along with the sustainable future of the AISTP may be shortlived.

    Please confirm that this article has been provided by AISTP and that the For Argyll team has not created th article, its rather a derogatory article, slightly amateurish, have a wonderful holiday monday…

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  14. Nick, In the time I’ve known the team operating For Argyll it’s become absolutely apparent that they are in no-one’s pockets. They judge each item entirely on merit without regard to where it came from or the people it’s associated with. Sometimes I’ve felt that judgement is harsh or just plain wrong but that’s the way it is. Newsroom invariably tells it the way newsroom sees it and wild horses and hellfire wouldn’t change that.

    The idea that newsroom is a front for some group or other has been mooted before. Actually for newsroom to front so many would take up so much time there would be no time for running this kind of news site!

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    • Im just amazed at the allegations made regarding two people posting from separate computers are on and the same, why on earth would someone suggest such an act unless it was already abundant with the creators of For Argyll, simple reverse psychology would bring us to this very conclusion. Im sure we are all familiar with the ‘he who smelt it dealt it’ playground chant.

      I can appreciate that there will be opinions good and bad regarding For Argyll, it clearly operates a bullyish nature with regard to contribution, in my opinion no-one has operated in a professional way and i think Argyll would be For the better if this amateur delivery was no more.

      This is my final post and final use of For Argyll, a place where only a few are welome, and even fewer independent or different viewpoints are accepted, seems Argylls Euro even had immigration control in place already.

      Cheerio. Will be in touch regarding the privacy issue ( we are both still waiting for a copy of For Argylls Privacy Policy – if one exists?)….

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  15. Oh c’mon Mel – just because people have strong feelings about a single issue doesn’t make them ‘raving lunatics’. Just look at Crazy, Integrity, Robert, Anne – ok I get your meaning… :)

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  16. One other thing about AISTP – very sloppy work when it came to securing the domain name.

    argyllandthe isles.com is registered to Randak, not to AISTP – a bit careless on AISTP’s part and naughty on Randak’s part. Web design companies should always register the domain in the clients’ name, not their own, as all sorts of difficulties can present in future if the domain is not actually owned by the organisation using it.

    (This can be easly rectified – Randak can change the ownership of the domain in seconds, and AISTP should request this ASAP).

    argyllandtheisles.co.uk is registered to an Oban marketing and social networking company

    argyllandthteisles.net is registered to an Argyll-based web design business

    argyllandtheisles.org.uk is registered to a church group

    It’s a bit of a shambles, frankly.

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    • No more of a shambles than any other domain name really, the dot com domain for my company is ‘owned’ by a bandit in Taiwan who wants 10,000 euros. I’ll be quicker off the mark when internet mark II comes along.

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      • Mel Gibson are you implying Randak are bandits.
        Welcome to capitalism, how many of us are held to ransum every day, high fuel cost, high rent, vat 20%.

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        • I certainly didn’t imply that Randak are bandits- I merely referred to one specific bandit in Taiwan.

          And why do people blame it all on ‘capitalism’, when they really mean they just aren’t as well off as they would like to be?

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  17. the current tourism marketing organisation are only using a domain and website that was put together by the argyll and bute agricultural forum which was touted as being a wonderful innovative portal to promote local food…
    some years later, and much public money invested, it had achieved nothing.
    But it was there so available for the new marketing group to take over. At least it is being used for something remotely useful, but yes, if this is to be a global marketing brand then the rest of the domains should have been checked before investing more public money this way.
    If you check the domains the sensible other options have been created in the last year – this really is negligent of the marketing group.

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    • Yes, it is negligent – and if AISTP is a genuine marketing group with real marketing expertise then it should not have happened.

      It does not inspire confidence.

      Randak are almost certainly not bandits, but I do wonder why they have chosen to retain control of the domain name in question. This would not have happened if AISTP had chosen to use one of the many highly professional Argyll-based web companies.

      Hopefully Randak will fix this now it has been pointed out.

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  18. Scots Renewables
    I find your last post very intriguing, the first person to question AISTP ability was flamed out. What I read from your post, there may of been negligence and sever lack of marketing experience. No wonder you then question the confidence level, but the most damming part is based on fact about Randak retaining control of the domain name, “Randak are almost certainly not bandits”, almost is a interesting word used in this context. Finally, by passing “the many highly professional Argyll-based web companies” well, I copied this from RandaK web site, maybe someone else could answer your question. Our council do not appear to hold your view on many highly professional Argyll-based web companies.
    http://randakdesign.com/clients-p3.html
    “Argyll and Bute Council
    Market research demonstrates that Argyll is primarily known for it’s landscapes and coastal scenery. Randak created a graphic that captures this feel and this has formed the basis for us to be able to develop a stronger regional identity. We are now working together to develop a website facility for Argyll that can act as an invaluable promotional tool for the region.
    Fergus Younger – Argyll Area Agricultural Strategy Development Manager”

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    • If that’s an accurate copy and paste from the Randak website, then I would have expected them to know the correct usage of “it’s” and “its”!

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  19. Scots Renewables
    In my view you have explained the situation very well and have noticed the lack of replies to your input. This topic no longer shows up on the home page under “Most Commented”. If I had to sum up this whole debate I would use your quote “Let’s face it, there is only room for so many snouts in the local trough.”.
    Thank you

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  20. Membership of OLTA is open to all businesses in Oban and Lorn who have an interest in supporting the sustainable development of our tourism industry. Please see our website page headed JOIN US and fill out an application form – we’d be delighted to welcome you on board. BTW VisitScotland’s Growth Fund (which I assume if the ‘public funding’ to which your post’s refer has dropped its requirements for businesses/groups/organisations to be QAd – OLTA no longer requires our accommodation members to be graded and classified however we do continue to support and promote this well established and respected scheme.

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  21. Just to keep people up to date . . .

    Still NO RESPONSE from OLTA to my company’s application to join

    Looks like Linda’s post above is just so much hot air and that OLTA is still a closed shop, part of that cosy club we were talking about . . .

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  22. “Looks like Linda’s post above is just so much hot air and that OLTA is still a closed shop, part of that cosy club we were talking about . . .”
    surely not!

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  23. Scots Renewables – not sure why you’ve not had a response yet but I think you are being extremely unfair. OLTA is run by a small group of VOLUNTEERS who give up hours and hours of their personal time to run the association to the benefit of many tourism businesses in the area. They are not paid to do this and they all have their own businesses to run in this challenging current enviroment. The committee has appealed on more than one occaison for more members and for more of them to help run the association but with little or no response. Yes you should have had a response before now but please give Linda and her team the benefit of doubt before talking about ‘hot air’ and closed shops’ again.

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    • Thank you for the recognition of the hard work and commitment of OLTA’s voluntary committee members who have to juggle their unpaid work for OLTA with their own work (often running their own businesses) and family commitments. Our membership secretary was extremely upset by the comments from ‘Scots Renewables’ and she handed in her resignation – so thanks for that…..we are already extremely stretched for help and an apology would help me persuade her to stay as I am sure you did not intend any harm. Your membership application has been received and will be processed as soon as we can.

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      • I remember well the welcome the OLTA volunteers put on for the passengers on the Sunday direct train from Edinburgh to Oban – waiting at the entrance to the platform with pipers from the Oban High School Band, smiles, information, brochures and discount vouchers.

        We had gone to Edinburgh to travel over with the first Sunday’s adventurers, to talk to them about what they were hoping Oban would be like and what they planned to do.

        When we travelled back with them at the end of the day to see what they’d thought, what had been good and what might be better, it was clear how special this welcome had made them feel and how useful the information they were given had been.

        OLTA members have a track record of hard work.

        I don’t know if the volunteers who ran the first Oban Winter Festival last year were OLTA members or not – but they were certainly a group of volunteers who worked their socks off to help the town establish an imaginaative event that would move it towards being a year round destination of choice.

        We have to get used to a world where money is going to be very tight into the mid term and where even more is going to need to be done by volunteers – or not get done at all.

        Argyll is fortunate to have squads of able and committed volunteers already.

        If they hadn’t done what they have done to date, where would we be?
        Lynda

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  24. For Scots Renewables (and John Sinclair)

    First of all SR, thank you for the compliment, albeit slightly back-handed by adding the ‘nonetheless….’ at the end. What you do fail to mention (and I hope it was simply an oversight on your part) is that we are infact a very local company, based in Oban, Argyll, and have been since being incorporated twelve years ago.

    I also feel compelled to point out some truths and set the record straight on some of your (potentially) more misleading points.

    The website that you mention is not a ‘tourist board’ website and not publicly funded. It is owned and run by the Oban & Lorn Tourism Association (OLTA) and has no direct affiliation with the Tourist Board (ie Visit Scotland/Scottish Tourist Board). The OLTA is a local marketing group headed by a committee made up of local business people with the aim of promoting Oban as a tourist destination. It is a non profit organisation which primarily earns money through membership and advertising fees which are then ploughed back into marketing strategies both offline and online (although more offline). The organisation works hard to identify mainly match funding opportunities or grants in order to increase its marketing capabilities with which to enhance the visibility of Oban through many different advertising avenues. They are a creative and innovative group that has raised the profile of the town greatly over the years.

    It is true that, in the past, the OLTA has had to turn away membership applications from businesses who were not VS/STB members themselves and this restriction was enforced by VS/STB themselves due to the nature of the funding received from them. This is no longer the case and membership is now open to all. It might be an idea to talk to them again if you want to be a part of the group, now that this restriction has been lifted. Our company has never been involved in membership policies. As for using the webcam streams on your own website, again I would urge you to talk to the OLTA, as times have changed.

    Our company used to sit on the committee of the OLTA (mainly in an advisory capacity for online strategy) but recently resigned as it was felt that it could be percieved that we were in in for personal gain. In all honesty, we were there mainly to give an idea of cost and practicalities regarding the website when various ideas were put forward by committee members. We had no political agenda and our aim was to assist the OLTA in the marketing of our town.

    I cannot comment on the Oban Times’ stance on your advertising. All I will say is that it has been a long time since I wasted 70p on buying a copy of this poor local comic!

    As for your comment about all local web design enquiries being passed to us. I strongly deny this and I resent the remark vehemently. We have to work damned hard to build our client base, as I’m sure you do, and they don’t just come rolling in on the conveyor belt of this ‘cosy network’ you seem to think that we are a part of. We go through (most likely, the same as you) a process of quoting or tendering, based completely on the needs of the individual enquiry. Some we win, some we lose. Some go elsewhere in Argyll (you should know since we share some mutual clients) and some go further afield to the cities. I won’t deny that we have been very fortunate in keeping the OLTA as a client and that it has resulted in us finding clients through the partnership but it is in no way a done deal that members of the OLTA come to us for their web design needs.

    By the ‘local trough’, I am assuming that you mean the local business market. There is plenty of room for more ‘snouts’ to benefit from the needs of local businesses to market themselves online. There are many good, very good, web design companies in Argyll and we are constantly surprised at the wealth of local talent in the area and the quality of the work being produced. It is simply a case of offering a good quality, cost effective, reliable and timely service with on going support. I welcome more competition to the area, infact, I embrace it. I want to be able to get on the phone to another local company and say ‘we have a job that we can’t handle, can you help us out?’. In fact we have had to pass work on in the past that was too technically demanding, time consuming or simply outwith our skill set. Finding the right partners to work with in this scenario is critical to your business reputation. Something that we are very proud of! Competition is something that keeps you on your toes and collaboration can only strengthen the relationship between local businesses.

    I would dearly love more Argyll based businesses to use the services of Argyll based web designers. It would benefit all of us who are in this field and showcase our wealth of knowledge and talent. I have no idea why some of these marketing groups go elsewhere and pay city agency prices instead of looking closer to home and keeping the business local. Perhaps the perception is that none of us can do the job?! Let’s just prove them wrong and not squabble about who’s doing what with who in the process!!

    Oh, and by the way…. My corporate conscience is crystal clear too.

    I apologise for this reply being ‘off topic’ but I will not sit back and let my company’s reputation be tarred with a brush when the brusher is not in possession of the full facts and makes unfounded accusations.

    Second apology for misspelling our company name but I can’t seem to edit it now!! Should be Pole Position Internet Services Ltd. Embarrassing! Damn these laptop keyboards!! :)

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  25. Pole Position Internet Service Ltd
    I have noted “I also feel compelled to point out some truths and set the record straight on some of your (potentially) more misleading points.” and “I cannot comment on the Oban Times’ stance on your advertising. All I will say is that it has been a long time since I wasted 70p on buying a copy of this poor local comic!”.
    As at Thursday 7th June 2012, the price of The Oban Times and West Highland Times was 77 pence, was that the news paper you were meaning.
    “I apologise for this reply being ‘off topic’ but I will not sit back and let my company’s reputation be tarred with a brush when the brusher is not in possession of the full facts and makes unfounded accusations.” So is this fact that Obans local news paper is a “poor local comic”.

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  26. Pole Position,

    Sorry for not making it clear that you are a local company . . . I certainly recognise that you are, as you say, very local. Thanks also for indicating that perhaps OLTA is not the closed shop it once was. I will look into this further.

    As you know our companies have co-operated in the past and hopefully will do again. As you point out, we also share some clients. My comments were not intended to snipe at you. I was merely pointing out that in the nine years we have been operating in Argyll we have been given the impression that as far as publicly funded work goes it is a closed shop.

    No-one was suggesting that you were in any way responsible for this state of affairs, and no-one can blame you for taking advantage of a long-standing close relationship with OLTA.

    I trust this makes it plain that my beef is with OLTA, with AISTP, with Business Gateway and with any other organisation with access to public funding whose procurement processes are less than transparent.

    What, honestly, is your opinion of AISTP, its logo, website and marketing strategies? Is it being run by the best people, is it effective, is it going anywhere . . .

    And re. co-operation and collaberation between web development companies in Argyll – what are your views on the recently set up Argyll Web Development Association? (AWDA). Do you see a role for this type of organisation?

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  27. John Sinclair

    Thank you for noting various parts of my post. I apologise for getting the price wrong but it shows how long ago it was that I bought it.

    No, I’m sure that it isn’t fact and I’m sure plenty of people enjoy it however, it is my opinion which I am quite entitled to. And as for the rise in price? it just represents poorer value for money (IMO). It is a hard read trying to get through the poor grammar, spelling mistakes and obvious bias (again, IMO) to get to the news. News supported by expensive advertising space. But (also IMO) that is another topic for another day and one I’m not going to get drawn into, Sorry if I offended you but don’t you just love opinions?

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