Tuesday, March 12 2013
Since I don't want to turn my blog into a Calmac Timetable I decided to post the link of yet another one vessel timetable on Twitter as well as on Facebook. It seems that this one vessel timetable will also be effective for a few more days than expected. So I'd like to point everyone to the Calmac website in the section Service Status where you can check the current active ferry schedule. I hope this will be of any help!
The Fair Ferry Poll
What remains is the Fair Ferry Poll which I started a few weeks ago. First of all I'd like to thank everyone who joined the poll. There were a total of 1641 votes, which is quite a lot. Today I've closed the poll and I'd like to present the outcome here.
During the poll I was contacted by several people who were concerned and asked me if the poll was secure and if it could be cheated. Let me explain how the system works. There are two layers of security; the first one is a cookie. As soon as you vote the poll module will place a cookie on your system which will stay there for one day. During that day (24 hrs) the poll module will remember you. In theory you could vote again after the cookie is no longer valid. There is however a second layer of security which is your ip-address. When you vote the blog will also register your ip-address and save that for a week in the database. All this means that you can't vote more than once a week unless you get a new ip-address when you connect to the Internet. This of course is all theory and like every system, also a poll can be cheated. If anyone would ask their relatives and friends in another area to vote it would be perfectly valid. Continue reading....
I did some, not extensive, research in my stats and analytics tools and I haven't seen any strange behaviour. The number of unique visitors to the poll roughly matches the number of votes so that should be fine. Does this mean the outcome of the poll is fair and without cheating? I personally can't guarantee that. Like I said, I have done some research but I can't check every vote to see if it's valid.
My two pennies worth
Is the poll representative? Can it be representative at all? In my opinion a poll can only be really representative if we would ask every Ileach to answer these questions, that however is not the case. But to a certain extent I think this poll has some interesting information. It was of course no surprise that the good folks on Jura and its visitors would like to see more ferries in Port Askaig, that's only logical and perhaps just that fact is reason enough to talk with Calmac and Transport Scotland to try and get more ferries to Port Askaig. The Isle of Jura has a fragile community, unlike Islay, and should receive every help they can get. They are the only island in Scotland with 200 inhabitants or more who don't have their own year round (car)ferry. So perhaps the good people on Islay (North and South) should work together to try and help their neighbours who are in dire need of a reliable and frequent ferry service to Port Askaig!
The Islay ferry leaving the mainland for Port Askaig