Keeping You in the Loop

How big news fish feed on little news fish

Or how we unwittingly outed our local Banksy

WHEN we started The Bellman project last year, our aim was to do just that – keep you in the loop – by providing a platform to enable Stonehaven people to share their news and be aware of what everyone else is up to.

We also want to provide coverage of the actions of our elected representatives at Stonehaven and District Community Council and Aberdeenshire Council – but we know that’s the boring stuff.

So we set about building the website you see now. It’s not perfect, but it’s as good as we could manage with no previous experience and the help of YouTube.

Towards the end of last year we were road testing the website and needed to post some stories to see how things looked. The latest sculpture at the boardwalk had just appeared, so a quickly written wee story on that would do nicely.

Now at this point, almost no-one outside our group knew about The Bellman, so the expected readership of the story was about three.

What we didn’t expect was the local BBC reporter spotting the story. We suspect the use of special software that ‘trawls’ for stories, but don’t actually know. Either way, we know he read all about it on The Bellman because he got in touch via our Facebook page. Because no-one was supposed to be looking at that either, we didn’t see the message until too late. Other local contacts were found to help him out.

And the rest you know. The story took off and has kept on going.

So there you have it. Probably the biggest ‘splash’ we’ll ever have and we were totally not expecting it. And couldn’t even boast. How can a website no-one knows about claim a scoop?!

Apologies to Mr Malcolm if he would have preferred his anonymity. But this is a great little clip from BBC Scotland’s show Loop, which will feature Stonehaven’s Banksy on Thursday evening at 11pm.