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Improvements to Belfast Local

(4 Posts)
BelfastLocalEditor Fri 20-Feb-15 15:43:00

Hi everyone, lurkers and otherwise ;-)

As you may be aware, I'm a new editor, and I'm really keen to get this site going as a really useful site. So, can I ask you to be thoroughly honest please about what you like and dislike about Belfast local, what you would like to see here, what would bring you back regularly etc?

My feeling is that it has great potential, but at the moment it's just a bit quiet. I came here myself looking for a bit of local knowledge and ended up signing up to be the editor once I saw the site really needed it! However to get that local knowledge there needs to be a good bunch of us regularly chatting here and also in local meetups.

So, what do you reckon?
Organise some regular meetups?
What listings do you find useful?
What listings are not useful at all?
Do you use the classifieds section?
What offers would interest you?
Do you feel you can chat in local talk?
What else would you like to see?

I'm really looking forward to hearing your ideas... don't leave me hanging... ! :-)

Thanks a million
Jen

justupthebend Mon 23-Feb-15 11:54:19

Honestly and I'm sure it's really disheartening as a LE but local has already been done on sites such as Netmums much better, it always has. MNHQ itself missed a trick on local pages and as far as I can see there's precious little point reinventing the wheel. For example if you have a look under Education Services on Belfast there's simply a list of primary schools with incomplete postcodes and no info. MNHQ bought this service in and the company just didn't do NI. In fact when it was first done, all NI primary schools were lumped in under Belfast - there was a thread in Education on the main site about it.

MN in general be it from school holiday starting dates to education places etc does seem to be focused on England and Wales and like I said earlier Netmums had filled the gaps especially with regards to places to visit, parks etc.

MN Local has been rebranded about five times in the past 3 years and it's never "stuck". There's loads of posters from NI on the main boards but very few venture into this area. Maybe as well it's because we are a small population and I'm not sure if there's a worry about being recognised.
I know my post reads like a litany of problems and complaints but honestly I think they're valid points.

BelfastLocalEditor Tue 24-Feb-15 00:25:08

Thanks justupthebend, all very valid points and as I say, honesty is welcomed!
It's good to hear what is not working and I really appreciate you taking the time to respond.
Plans are in the making so any feedback from any of you at this stage will help shape them, I think it's a real opportunity to give this site a chance to be something.
Thanks a million
Jen

shoofly Tue 24-Feb-15 16:49:04

I think another difficulty is an apparent refusal of MNHQ to listen to valid criticism from people in NI about the way local is set up here. For somewhere as small as here, do we really need a site for each county plus Belfast. I live in Jordanstown and have been looking at Co Antrim and Belfast this afternoon. I also do think that the discussion on the main boards is more frank than on Netmums, and because of this the anonymity is attractive. For this reason, and given the nervousness about politics and religion here, people might well be afraid to put themselves out there!
Tee did organise a regular meet up in Ground coffee in Next in central Belfast. Because it was a regular - ie last Friday every month slot, it did have some people showing up.

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