Today Is VentnorBlog’s Fifth Birthday! (Updated)

Darn … where did that go?

** Reworked **


Today is VentnorBlog's Fifth Birthday!As of today (Tuesday), VentnorBlog has been freely serving news to the Isle of Wight for a full five years since our first article about an explosion in the Ventnor Haven.

Is it really five years?
Time is a funny thing, isn’t it?

In many ways it’s really hard to believe that five years have passed since the first VB post. Other days – the hard days – it really feels like it.

Of course when VB started, it was bit of a giggle – it was much more about the wide-eyed amazement at how active and vibrant the art and music scenes were on the Island.

Gradually, through requests from readers, VB grew to cover ‘hard news’ – stories that really mattered to those on the Island. Stories that required research. That old-fashioned thing called journalism, that is missing from so much of the media these days.

First source of news
Our ‘hard news’ coverage has grown to a point where many people tell us that they use VentnorBlog as their first source of Island news. Something that makes all of the work that has gone into it worthwhile.

It’s not just on the Island. National media organisations have told us that VentnorBlog has been their source for information about Island events.

We’ve helped many people to have a voice, where previously they’ve been ignored.

We were also very proud that all of those who have contributed to VB over the years have had their work recognised by peers around the UK – awarding VB the Guardian Local Hyperlocal Site Of The Year Award earlier this year.

The thing that has made us most proud is how much the Isle of Wight community has engaged with VentnorBlog, with over 30,000 comments left just on VB stories. On top of this, over 35,000 posts have been added to the VB Forum, plus goodness knows how many comments on Facebook and Twitter.

Nearly 10,000 stories
Over five years, we’ve published close to 10,000 articles – that’s an average of nearly to five and a half articles every single day of that past five years.

We don’t actually publish every day, so you, dear reader, sometimes get days like Monday, where we put out 18 Island-related stories in a single day. That’s what brings VB such a high daily average.

What drives us
Why have we done it? To this point, it certainly hasn’t been the financial return.

But then again, up to now, we haven’t been that commercially focused. It’s been delivering the news that’s stimulated us … and that’s proved to be what you, the reader, has liked too.

What has driven us for five years has been bringing The Truth to the Island. News that isn’t influenced by commercial or political favour. News that tells it how it is, rather than how someone else with power – no matter how it’s sourced – wants you to hear it.

With this small group of people, we haven’t made many friends. Our approach challenges their status quo. Removes their carefully constructed fig leaves. Shouts, “The Emperor has no clothes!”

They don’t like that. So, over time, we had much muck falsely spread about us – both as a publication and personally.

We’ve been accused of all sorts of nonsense – not telling the truth(!), misreporting, being Communists and plenty more – you name it, and it’s highly possible that someone has said it in an effort to blacken our character.

And for why? Because those people who think they’re in power – no matter how tenuous their connection to it – haven’t liked to have their version of reality challenged.

Please support us
If you’ve read VentnorBlog in the past and have found it useful, or you think it might be useful to you in the future, please donate some money to enable us to continue doing what we’ve been doing for five years.

We’ve been told by many people that they believed we were paid to produce VB. Although this would be lovely, it’s far from the truth. Any advertising you see on the site goes towards the running costs, but doesn’t stretch to cover salaries for those who work hard to keep the news coming.

(As his pay wall shows, even the deep-pocketed Rupert Murdoch has decided that he can’t give his news away for nothing.)

If you’re able to show your support through a donation, it really will make a massive difference to us.

Image: Michael Ruiz under CC BY-SA 2.0

Tuesday, 28th September, 2010 10:36pm



Filed under: Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Online, Site admin

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23 Comments on "Today Is VentnorBlog’s Fifth Birthday! (Updated)"

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Happy Birthday VB!

I’ve been a member and contributor to many many blogs that have come and gone, I even run a few of my own and moderated for other people…but none of them have the diversity of opinion, good sense, and good humour that allows them to grow the way VentnorBlog has. There may be bitter enemies, but their anomisity says more about them than it does the Blog… Read more »
hazel wyld

One of these days number five I`ll come looking for you, I so enjoy your input even when I don`t agree with you…and I really appreciate VB and all the support they have given us so well done Simon and Sal.


I’m not hard to find :)

Wendy V

Congratulations, and thanks for all the hard work you’ve put in over the past 5 years. You’re an island treasure!

The Good Fairy

well happy blooming birthday VB, and heres to many many more xxxxxx

: )

Thank-you VB for providing a voice. Without you we would still be waiting at the news stands on a friday for some one-view rag. Top top stuff. You have given the Island an alternative view, and for that we are truly grateful. As for pints, Sal & Simon are always top of my list, but failing that I would always share the bar with No5, and strangely… Read more »

Happy Birthday VB!!!

We have been on the island for just 3 years but before we moved here we were reading your great blog…..keep up the excellent work…..we know you don’t do this for the fortune or the fame, but you deserve both.


Happy Birthday to you… and many more. many like me may not contribute in a regular way, but I read it almost daily, and LOVE IT,,keep it up.


Well done VB. Finally, balanced and relevant news on the Isle of Wight. You’re the reason I don’t buy the County Press anymore.


Well done VB. My invaluable link to Paradise island.I’ll be advertising my new holiday apartment ventire soon on VB so more income coming your way..

roger regular

Happy Birthday to youuuuu, Happy Birthday to youuuu, Happpy Birthday V….B…., Happy Birthday to youuuuu :)

See you soon for a drink

Many congratulations on your fifth anniversary. It was a remarkable day for other reasons. In 1066 William the Conqueror invaded England, beginning the Norman Conquest. In 1928 Parliament passed the Dangerous Drugs Act outlawing cannabis. In the same year Sir Alexander Fleming discovered what later became known as penicillin. And you share your birthday with Confucius, Chinese philosopher, born in 551BC (not sure about that, it was… Read more »

What i like about your reporting is that it’s unbiased and non-political – unlike that other ‘rag’ – which appeals to the retired tory nimbys we all know and love.

VB for me every time! ;0)


Many congrats. VB gives us a voice that otherwise would go unheard irrespective of politial views. That Friday rag cannot compete as the word truth does not enter its vocabulry.Wheereas VB has always been a stronghold of truth.


Don Smith

Happy Birthday VB.

Wish I’d have found you sooner.

Continue saying it as it is. Best wishes.


Well done VB. Hope the financial benefit from VentnorBlog that has eluded you so far finally comes to you. You certainly deserve it.

Man in the dark shadows

Very happy birthday guys. Long may it last. You certainly get the movers and shakers talking. You have undoubtedly become the best, fastest Island news source.

Grainne Andrews

Happy Birthday Ventnor Blog form Medina High School. Congratulations on your 5th birthday!

Helen Cunningham

Well done! Its been (and continues to be) interesting watching VB evolve – all best for the future :-)

Debby Robinson
Would like to add my congrats to all those pouring in. The contribution you’ve made over the last five years has been extraordinary. I know it’s been a thankless task for you guys for so much of that time but the appreciation and respect you’ve earned is phenomenal. Good luck with nominations for the Digital Heroes award – I can’t think of a better title for you… Read more »

Well done VB, you are always my first source for Island news and have been following you for the last three years.

I hope to make a donation in the next day or so once my salary is in the bank.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Long may you continue, thank you!