Devizes together in Lockdown

This weekend I find myself toiling with the idea of this virtual festival, and essentially, the direction Devizine has to take as a whole. Its awkwardness at bestowing the mandatory features for online presentations, the quality and quantity of online events being released, and my time management in presenting it all sufficiently and fairly, while working extra hard in my real job. Seems every man and his dog are live streaming, and the ones the dogs do often more entertaining.

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What begun as the creative doing what they can, and entertaining us with their talents seems to have been lost in a saturated Facebook feed of drunks bobbing around their kitchen; that’s not, I believe, what you ordered. At the beginning of this lockdown I reserved myself to the fact it’s currently all we have, now I fear, it’ll do worse than bore and advance the party longing to riotous levels.

I took to repudiating Facebook last night, tried to forget its very existence. I relied on the antiquated entertainment source, television. Ah, can’t say it was all bad; money-spinning predictable Hollywood bile that it was, the family sequel entertained me enough to keep my eyelids open. I confess I’m not a fan of gluing myself to the box. In an ever-changing era, I intend to press on with this regardless, pondering where to take the idea next.

I reflect, people warm to Devizine, yet the virtual festival is not the original ethos of it; damn I wanna go to the pub and return with a sore head to write a review of the band who played there! Apologises if this all sounds rather despondent, yet presenting this virtual festival as more than a live stream by added features, I think, is valid. I draw your attention to the artist’s contributing to our gallery pages, and the beer tent and food hall pages prompting local businesses still operating in the area to let me know their details so we can build a directory, of sorts.

All you need do is drop me a message if you’re a business still operating who wishes to take advantage of this virtual noticeboard; few bothers to, though. Making me doubt it’s worth and consider perhaps it’s my total ignorance and incapability at modern websites. I know, dammit Jim, I’m a writer not a web designer; just doing what I can.

On the other hand, I find the mass of guidance, information and entertainment online is wafting past us unnoticed not because there’s so much of it, but from people’s failure, or lack of desire, to want to integrate their ideas. Take the amount of local Facebook groups as symbolic of this, if you disagree with the regulations of one, you create your own. How many Devizes Issues pages do we need? You do realise not everyone bothers with Facebook?

So, here’s an idea developing, which was my original intention of writing today, I genuinely hope it gathers pace. A free, one-stop directory for local small businesses who don’t have the clout of the big guys has been set up. Presenting In-Devizes, not my pet project, so expect a website superior to this strung-together-with-virtual-string one!

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The creator of In-Devizes, Ida McConnell “hopes it will evolve into a much bigger thing,” hence my notion to integrate. Could this be the ideal opportunity to highlight and promote your business through this hard time? I hope so, but it needs your attention, it needs all to contribute details in order to make it comprehensive and therefore a valid resource. The ethos goes along the lines of, “if you don’t have a website, don’t do Facebook or are otherwise suffering from competing with the big guys during the COVID lockdown, this is the place for you.”

I submitted details of Devizine on there, a simple and quick process, I urge you to do likewise. A building directory open to categories, prompt people towards your business. As I really feel it’s time to stop spamming Facebook individually and crossing your fingers that someone will browse past it. If this lockdown has presented us with anything positive it’s the notion that if we work together, we can provide a service, we can entertain and help each other out.

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Stay safe, as the saying goes, but also, contemplate my thought for the day, let’s integrate our resources. Please support upcoming projects like In-Devizes, and of course, Devizine too. Use the resources set up, such as Devizes Covid19 Support. Please, do click on our links to Bandcamp or other and buy local music, phone a local business and grab a takeaway, brighten your walls with some art from our gallery, and most of all, inform us your ideas, businesses and projects. Let’s stay safe, yes, but let’s also keep our heads up and enjoy our days too; virtual hugs, for all they are worth.

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