This post is one of a serialisation of key (edited) extracts of my thesis, “Digital Ethnography and a Virtual Orkney: The Role of Folklore in Creating an Online Orkney Place”, submitted and completed in 2018. You can download the full text below, with all footnotes, full data quotes, and list of references. I have left the original numerical chapter navigation in this post, for ease of reference.
Chapter 6: Discussion: An Orkney Place
The previous two chapters considered the broader themes and sub-themes of the data which arose during analysis of online functionality relating to the two specific platforms mentioned within this study and during thematic analysis of the content of posts. This chapter will draw from the three broad themes of Orkney’s online, physical, and human environments and the sub-themes previously identified to consider how Orkney, as discussed online and evidenced throughout the research, creates an online Orkney place; drawing together relevant observations, and discussing how these contribute to this place using crosscutting focal points. At times, further contextual data not previously discussed may be introduced. Such data will relate specifically, and add further context, to elements of the discussion.
6.1 The Creation of Place
Place and sense of place are not fixed marks. Understanding of place must fluctuate and develop as those engaging with a place themselves develop their own views over time: once somewhere is deemed to be a place, it does not stand to reason that it will always remain that same place. Discussing affordance theory, Raymond et al call for the need to consider sense of place as something both fast and slow, accounting for immediate sensory experience to be combined with place meaning and place attachment:
Little attention is paid to the role of sensory or immediately perceived meanings in the formation of sense of place; how place meanings are the joint product of attributes of environmental features and the attributes of the individual (i.e., the importance of situated cognition); the non-linear dynamics between sense of place and behavior, including the dynamic relations among mind, culture, and environment; and how place meanings vary across the life course.2017, p.8
Place can be something both individual and shared, and can be multiple and many-layered (Massey 1991). Ultimately, sense of place is subjective in nature: but there are aspects of place and sense of place which are more commonly shared amongst groups. This chapter will discuss those aspects identifiable from the data, highlighting key differences in opinion of the participant group, investigating to what extent there is an online Orkney place. The Orkney brand and responses to such branding, Orkney media, and Orkney people – and experiences with and of Orkney people – all contribute to a creation of a sense of place which then influences this Orkney place.
6.2 The Orkney Brand
Elements of Orkney’s environment and characteristics are interpreted by businesses and creatives with a view to incorporating Orkney’s sense of place into their products, whether they are selling physical items or advertising Orkney as a tourist destination. This creation and utilisation of branding codifies (and therefore commodifies) Orkney’s sense of place as something desirable and inspirational. In terms of the results of the analysis previously discussed, this Orkney brand offers a view of Orkney which is clearly identifiable within the data and provides relevant context to the creation of an Orkney sense of place. The following observations regarding the Orkney Brand were compiled from data relating to businesses and creative industries based within Orkney. There is no single precise codified Orkney brand, though there are identifiable features across a variety of creative and tourist-related businesses evidenced within the data.
Though the Orkney brand is only one element of many which help create an Orkney sense of place, it is nevertheless an important one. It is impossible to visit Orkney and not be aware of the tourism industry and the effects of tourism on Orkney’s economy. Similarly, many of those experiencing a virtual Orkney will do so to some extent through a prism of branded material, whether more or less overtly. There was clear evidence of a distinct Orkney brand within the analysed data, which featured two primary aspects of Orkney. Considerable effort had been undertaken to ensure that these were presented in a complementary rather than conflicting manner.
One of the primary aspects of the Orkney brand focusses on Orkney’s history and heritage, and much of the more formal tourist-related literature evidences this. Unsurprisingly, Orkney’s physical environment plays a significant role in the creation and continuity of this, and this is most clearly evident in the visuality of marketing material. Much is made of Orkney’s obvious links with the Neolithic era, and Orkney’s archaeological features and stunning vistas are the primary visual foci of multimedia marketing. To someone unfamiliar with Orkney, this will likely be their key association with the islands: Skara Brae; the Ring of Brodgar; Maeshowe; the Old Man of Hoy. All of these features of the landscape instantly conjure up a sense of the place that relates specifically to Orkney.
Secondly, there is an effort to package Orkney as somewhere clearly contemporary; not distancing itself from its rich cultural heritage, but being seen to be a progressive place rather than one with an unhealthy obsession with the past. This is more obvious in the words chosen for marketing materials, focussing on a healthy twenty-first century economy and a strong creative base. Bucher and Nováková state that “[r]egions with arguably stronger regional identity show themselves to be more respectful and more willing to adapt to sustainable development principles” (2015, p.83). The fact that Orkney has such a strong sense of identity may make it easier for the islands to adopt a less traditional outlook.
It is unclear which users interacting with a virtual Orkney first experienced Orkney’s physical landscape and subsequently experienced an interpretation of it via marketing; or vice versa. For the most part, it is irrelevant: Orkney’s physical landscape cannot now be separated from Orkney’s marketed landscape. Whether in virtual imagery or experienced in person whilst living on or visiting the islands, the aspect of the Orkney brand relating to the physical environment is pervasive.
Not only is there a common understanding of the physical environment of Orkney, one which is reiterated and encouraged in many of the branded products promoted throughout and beyond the islands, but this is understood to represent something beyond merely the physical environment itself: it represents an essence of Orkney’s sense of place in its crudest form, one which is especially acknowledged and accepted by those visiting the islands, if not entirely adopted by those who live there. Examples of branded iconography relating to Orkney include runic details and images of the Maeshowe dragon. Stylised images are used not just in tourist-related literature, but also utilised to sell products from jewellery to coasters.
In many ways, this sense of place equating to Orkney’s physical environment and archaeological importance is treated as a baseline fact. A knowledge of Orkney’s history and many physical attractions appears at times to be implied, even assumed: the landscape is sufficiently well-known and understood to increasingly allow the focus of marketing materials to relate more specifically to complementary contemporary opportunities and developments. Examples include the importance of Orkney as a base for energy production and distribution (in an increasing variety of ways: oil terminals, wind farms, potential for wave and tidal energy); an award-winning chocolatier, and; the development of the islands as a base for Higher Education and research. All of these more contemporary developments are to be found prominently amidst the presentation of a more traditional understanding of the islands.
Equally as important as the Orkney brand (perhaps even more important) is the response to such branding as evidenced within the data. Baldacchino discusses the various ways in which branding is adopted or rejected by those living in the area, noting that some “will accept the obsession to claim, objectify and render into beguiling metaphor as a necessary mythology to be endured, even refreshed and encouraged – perpetrated by their very own local branding organizations – since it bolsters the charm and mystique of their tourism industry, which may be their key foreign exchange generator” (2008, p.42).
6.2.1 Responses to the Orkney Brand
The aspects of branding discussed above were not as a result of any single, official branding exercise for Orkney, though they do include reference to official channels. Instead, they focus on the two primary aspects of branding that were clear from data relating to a variety of businesses and creatives based in or associated with Orkney, and evidenced within the data. Given perceived authenticity and co-creation in official place branding exercises are deemed important, it is necessary to consider how these aspects of branding are considered by users within the wider virtual Orkney participant group; those who have no direct interest in professional commodification of Orkney.
The concept of ownership in relation to a place is problematic; but, nevertheless, tensions arise when users feel that somewhere they consider to be their place (whatever their personal degree of affiliation) is misrepresented. The users whose comments and online interactions were analysed during this research were a mixture of those who lived in Orkney, those had visited Orkney, and those who had never even set foot on Orkney. The individual personal background of each user was quite different, and inevitably there were tensions in viewpoints between users, based on their own engagement with Orkney (virtual or otherwise). All of the users, however, contributed via discussions and online interactions to a collective ownership or identity relating to a virtual Orkney. The conversations surrounding the themes and sub-themes previously discussed at times demonstrated pride, protectiveness, and perhaps even defensiveness. It is not surprising, therefore, that some users were quite prominent in their subversion of specific elements of commonly portrayed (and widely accepted) Orkney branding. There was, however, evidence of much fewer instances of dissatisfaction with the Orkney brand overall than might have been expected, though the dualistic nature of the brand – offering something for most people – probably deflected many potential issues.
Literature (or, in reference to this study, how works of literature are discussed virtually) offers one way in which the Orkney brand can be critically analysed. A key example of this is the deliberate intention not to look at Orkney through rose-tinted marketing glasses, and not to romanticise the physical environment of the islands and life on the islands. As has been discussed, the respect with which the sea is considered in relation to the islands and the somewhat unforgiving wind plays a part in Orkney’s sense of place; but is not presented in the same way necessarily in Orkney branding. The at times harsh physical environment was not just acknowledged but embraced by members of the participant group, and has also been discussed at length in various works of literature relating to Orkney, and reiterated by certain texts which seek to portray Orkney more accurately.
In their challenging article on hijacking culture in place branding, Kavaratzis and Ashworth state:
Place brands are valuable if they are offered as ingredients for people to produce their place’s culture as they choose. This changes the place branding task into offering stimuli that people will use to form the place’s brand on their own and within this process simultaneously discover the essence of the place.2015, p.168
Less provocatively, Baldacchino, writing about immigrant entrepreneurs on Prince Edward Island, states that:
Nurturing an island brand that reinforces the local, quality aspects of island living – and having any distinct island product brands connect and conform to this stance – may be a superior strategy to follow than the more traditional one that considers a branding exercise as intended mainly or exclusively for an international, often tourist consumer, and one where the product brands could overpower the Island’s ‘hard core’, quintessential qualities.2010, p.390-291
Orkney seems to have managed, in its branding, to broadly achieve these aims.
The biggest problem with place branding in the twenty-first century is agreeing who manages and oversees such an exercise. The explosion of social media in recent years has affected the success with which branding exercises are understood and can be challenged, with the accessibility of social media removing the resource-specific limitations previously experienced by individuals. The internet has played a significant role in changing how branding is perceived and accepted, and use of virtual technologies and reception within virtual communities are now perhaps the most importance aspect of place branding. Branding has become much more accessible in terms of transmission, and the reach of place branding exercises has extended to numbers of people which would never have been imagined twenty years ago (perhaps even ten years ago, prior to the recent expansion of social media). Branding, therefore, has become much more visible: but so, too, has the public reception of place branding. Anyone with an internet connection can access and respond to branding and, as a result, this has an influence on branding exercises, how they are managed, and their success. Partick Thistle’s new mascot and, more recently, Leeds United’s latest crest are both examples of branding exercises which have not been universally accepted by those with an affiliation with the respective football clubs.
It is not surprising that the use of social media influencers has increased exponentially in recent years. Formal branding exercises – whether relating to a city or a privately-owned business – are not just often met with healthy scepticism, but are ridiculed across the internet. There is an element of distrust associated with many brands and branding exercises, with some users in virtual communities accused of actively looking for examples of campaigns to criticise, be offended by, or simply to troll. Businesses have evolved around discrediting and belittling such exercises (including extending to the current ‘fake news’ furore). The ability for such critical receptions of branding exercises has been facilitated by and managed predominantly through social media. There was no evidence within the analysed data of place branding of Orkney being attacked in this way; but the growing negativity of the social media environment does affect how users view content created for commercial purposes, and there was some evidence of this within the data. With regard to place branding and Orkney, the biggest concern related to the potential of crude cultural branding for increased tourist footfall, reducing Orkney to a two-dimensional caricature. This will be discussed further in Chapter Eight.
Media acts as a barometer of how a place sees itself, and how a place chooses to portray itself to its immediate community. As such, the media of Orkney is a key element of the overall sense of place of Orkney. Though the online presence of certain Orkney media outlets were included in the initial data collation, the analysis concentrated more on how users within groups responded to such content from media outlets rather than details of what was posted by individual outlets. The data collated from media outlets themselves has therefore been considered predominantly contextual. There were two media outlets which featured prominently amongst the Facebook Group discussions. These were The Orcadian (originally a traditional print-format newspaper), and BBC Radio Orkney (a series of radio programmes).
The Orcadian, now a weekly newspaper, was first published in 1854. It is managed by the Orkney Media Group Ltd, who also manage The Orcadian Bookshop, specialising in books of local interest. Even before increased internet usage and more recent adoption of social media platforms, The Orcadian had a degree of international reach as a result of paper subscriptions sent across the world. The majority of such subscribers would have had a direct personal affiliation with Orkney in some way. Now, however, a considerable amount of content is available online, and online subscriptions are available.
BBC Radio Orkney hosts two programmes available on analogue and digital radio. Following broadcast, the shows are uploaded to Soundcloud. This means that, not only has the reach of the shows expanded in recent years, there is now an opportunity to listen to the shows after the event.
A third media outlet deserves to be referenced: The Kirkwallian (an apparently now-defunct student newspaper for Kirkwall Grammar School) was an interesting feature of some discussions. Though not mentioned anywhere near as often as the other two key primary media outlets mentioned above, it nevertheless appears to have been a popular and well-respected literary institution in its own right. For the most part, there was an element of nostalgia whenever it was mentioned (in the data analysed, it was discussed within comments rather than original posts). For this reason alone, it deserves a specific mention here.
Print media outlets remain important to those across Orkney, especially when showcasing local events or individuals; and it was not uncommon for people to reference a current Orcadian article, in print form, online. Similarly, there were several references to BBC Radio Orkney programmes, particularly when they featured locally respected individuals, focussed on local events or exhibitions, or included reference to local schools. Media outlets offer an important indication of an Orkney viewpoint, both inward and outward facing. Though the readership or listenership is certainly not just those living within Orkney, the content is still nevertheless focussed on Orkney as a place, with the primary audience being those who actively participate in life on the islands in some form or other. This is an important distinction to the branding discussed above, and such media outlets provide a complimentary view of life in Orkney, and those things which are important to Orkney. The Orcadian still hosts a letter page in its print format, and the social media platforms utilised for The Orcadian and BBC Radio Orkney offer readers and listeners opportunities to engage with the content directly.
One example of the importance of local media in the creation and continuity of a sense of place relating to Orkney is “The Giddy Limit” comic strip by Alex Leonard, first published in The Orcadian in September 2005. The strip features aspects of life in Orkney, and references the physical environment (discussions relating to the wind makes a frequent appearance) as well as the human environment (the first strip referenced ‘ferry loupers’, and the second poked fun at dialect and accents). On one occasion, a black and white version of a strip about local appreciation for the Merry Dancers (the Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis) was shared in the Orkney Sky Facebook Group. This resulted in a conversation between users within the Group, following which the artist shared, in the Group, a colour version of the strip.
The environment in which media has developed over the last two decades has changed considerably. Gabbert and Jordan-Smith state that “whoever controls the rhetoric controls the discourse” (2007, p.223). Whereas the combination of the introduction of print media along with developing capitalism initially combined to offer a platform to those could afford it, substantially altering how communities and nations were perceived (Anderson 2006, p.67-82), social media introduced a new era of communication. Though seemingly considerably more democratic in nature at first, recent public revelations and discussions have acknowledged the increasing manipulation of social media via co-ordinated attempts to guide the public narrative relating to key political events.
Media outlets offer a nostalgic link to the past, and there was evidence within the data of several users having kept old copies of The Orcadian or the Kirkwallian as mementos. The physical reduction of the size of The Orcadian was discussed, with one user commenting how they had kept “a copy of the last ‘big page’ Orcadian and the first of the present sized one.” Another user mentioned how they enjoyed visiting the library in Stromness to read copies of The Orcadian from several decades ago, noting “the papers were massive compared to the day.”
Nothing, however, has affected media outlets as much as the advent of the internet and, subsequently, the increasing role that social media plays in delivery of the news and local commentary. Much as with branding, discussed above, the increased reach of The Orcadian and BBC Radio Orkney, facilitated by adopting online platforms, will certainly have changed how the media outlets manage their business to some extent; if not how they present their view of Orkney to the world. With the ease of transmission arrived an opportunity for a substantial increase in the visibility of content. It could be suggested that outlets which were traditionally focussed more on local communities perhaps started to consider the effect of their wider reach in line with an increase in digital engagement. Though this is not a consideration in the remit of the current research, it would be an interesting future study, as would analysis of the demographic of engagement with Orkney-based media (print and online).
Conversely, with regard to The Orcadian and BBC Radio Orkney, there appears to be evidence that the online platforms utilised by the two media outlets actually facilitate the ability for content to become hyperlocal. It is a relatively frequent occurrence for BBC Radio Orkney to post messages about lost and found property, and missing or located pets; and the constant availability of such a form of media transition, as allowed by social media platforms, allows BBC Radio Orkney to post regular updates about local sailing times and vehicular access across the Barriers. In this way, social media has facilitated local media outlets in creating a virtual Orkney tethered to the islands in real-time. Such media outlets are clearly aware of the national exposure of Orkney, and use online platforms to promote events within Orkney and those further afield which have relevance to, or an association with, the islands. Interestingly, the hyperlocal engagement as managed across social media platforms such as the BBC Radio Orkney Facebook Page appears to offer a degree of protection from the trolling which increasingly appears across a variety of social media platforms. The posts by the Page are of direct relevance to the local community and, as a result, appear to be curated less by the owners of the Page as much as the members of the online community in the virtual Orkney they help create.
In terms of visibility, social media platforms have allowed the wider world to participate in this hyperlocal virtual Orkney, substantially extending the former reach of the media outlets and their ability to convey and discuss local events as they occur. BBC Radio Orkney in particular manages this by presenting a certain view of a cohesive local community. This is best demonstrated by the Royal Mail being forced to backtrack on a ban on staff at BBC Radio Orkney reading out incomplete addresses on Christmas Cards during radio programmes, so that listeners could contact the radio station to help get the cards to their rightful owners. The BBC News website reported that:
The Christmas cards featured on the radio programme sometimes only have first names on them and no address. However the Kirkwall-based appeal would find homes for about 90% of the cards featured. The initial story on the BBC Radio Orkney Facebook page had seen a heated reaction from local people. Orkney Lib Dem MSP Liam McArthur wrote: “What a ridiculous piece of nonsense. On the case.BBC News 2014
The reaction to the initial ban could be taken as evidence of the fact that traditional media outlets – print newspapers and radio programmes – are still considered to hold sway in Orkney, regardless of engagement from the media platforms with social media.
6.4 The Orkney People
Hay states that “[i]sland meanings, divergent or convergent, emerge from a deeply visceral lived experience. They are phenomenologically generated and articulated” (2006, p.34). Certainly, perhaps even more so than the physical environment, the human environment plays an important part in the creation of an Orkney sense of place. Orkney people, therefore, have an important role to play. As has been discussed, for the nature of this research, an ‘Orkney person’ is anyone who was noted within the analysed data as contributing to discussions on Facebook and Twitter, and therefore part of the defined participant group.
Orkney people play an important part in the creation of a sense of place. In Baxter et al’s research exploring the role of the main street in Kirkwall in sustaining cultural identity, community, and a sense of place, they noted that “the very act of identifying family, friends and ‘weel kent faces’ in the photographs of the main street seemed almost to reinforce the participants’ Kirkwallian and Orcadian identity” (2015). The data shows clear evidence of the role that Orkney people play in the creation of a sense of place, not surprising given the online environment is framed and led predominantly by those with an understanding and close relationship with the islands. Due to the nature of the data, it is hard to ascertain clear characteristics relating to ‘the Orkney person’, simply because, though some inferences could be made, it is unclear based on the data collated what the relationship of the users online have with Orkney. They might be resident in Orkney, they might not: they might be from long-standing Orkney families, or they might be relatively new to the islands. Though it would be interesting to try and capture such characteristics, the data does not provide enough information to allow this study to consider such biographical information in relation to the other data discussed. There are, however, some key points that should be noted from the data relating specifically to Orkney and people.
There was evidence of a distinct general understanding of appropriate behaviour and etiquette within the online environment relating to Orkney. It was understood that it was common courtesy to request permission to share photographs posted within groups, and in some instances Group Admins posted clear codes of expected conduct, with specific guidance on how to behave within a particular Group. More interestingly, as well as respect for local expertise, there appeared to be deference shown by some users to those well-known within the Orkney community or even those more permanently based within Orkney. Less positively, there was also evidence of some users who had come to metaphorical blows outwith the online environment.
There was a sense of shared support when discussing Orkney people doing well, especially beyond the islands. Whether this was Amy Golder from Orkney winning gold at the World Martial Arts Organisation Championships, or Stewart Bain from Orkney Library being named Librarian of the Year, members and followers of Orkney Groups and Pages showed their support for such awards, following the progress of nominees and competitors. Even at local events, there was an indication of pride at the talent throughout the islands, with comments such as “inspiring to have so much local talent on show” not being uncommon, especially responding to posts by Facebook Pages. The memory and legacy of Orkney people was also important, with activists supporting the memory and encouraging recognition of local people, as well as official bodies encouraging engagement with various commemorative events. A recent internet poll to decide the name of the newest Natural Environment Research Council research vessel included the name of Dr John Rae, the Orkney arctic explorer, with users on Facebook encouraging fellow users to vote for the name. Demonstrating the more jovial nature of social media supported campaigns, Dr John Rae lost out to Boaty McBoatface; though it was eventually decided that the final vessel would be named RRS Sir David Attenborough.
One of the most important elements to note from the data relates to the terminology used when discussing Orkney people: namely, whether or not the term ‘Orcadian’ is invoked. When the lineage of an individual is uncertain, the data shows that users are very clear to only refer to “Orkney teenager” or “Orkney artist”, for example. Though there is still the sense of local pride associated with such posts, and a desire to communicate affiliation with Orkney, referring to someone as being “from Orkney” indicates primarily that they are not necessarily classed as Orcadian.
There is a sense that Orkney as a place is happy to adopt key figures, but they will never be referred to as Orcadian: even when such people might be considered as having a link to Orkney to the point at which Orkney can project some form of cultural ownership over them. Examples from the data include the late Sir Peter Maxwell Davies (“ambassador for the arts in Orkney”), and the late Alex Pirie (“husband of the Orcadian filmmaker and poet Margaret Tait”). Several posts and discussions made reference to an individual’s personal links with a named Orcadian – by marriage or relation – linking the individual more closely with Orkney, and being granted a status almost of being Orcadian by association.
Orcadians are often broadly described as natives of Orkney, but as with any such definition there are complications in defining what native means in such a context. Certainly, in terms of defining an Orcadian, there is reticence in using Orcadian to include people who are born in Orkney. One might be Orcadian, but it does not mean one is an Orcadian. This is captured in Liptrot’s The Outrun:
When I was in the south it was easiest for me to say that I was ‘Scottish’ or ‘come from Orkney’ but that was not what I would say to a real Orcadian. Although I was born in Orkney and lived there until I was eighteen, I don’t have an Orcadian accent and my family is from England. My parents met when they were eighteen, at college in Manchester, where Dad was retaking the A levels he’d missed due to his first bouts of illness and Mum was studying business. Mum grew up on a farm in Somerset, Dad is the son of teachers from Lancashire and was brought up in a Mancunian suburb. It was visits to Mum’s farm that made him decide to go to agricultural college. My parents have lived on the islands for more than thirty years, over half their lives, yet are still viewed as English, from ‘south’.2016, p.18
There is caution, therefore, when applying the term to individuals merely associated with (or even, as discussed above, apparently adopted by) Orkney.
Noting Ronström’s statement that “language becomes a mirror of culture, and culture a mirror of local conditions” (2009, p.164), it is also important to note that Orcadian dialect featured prominently in the Facebook data. There is insufficient data to be able to comment to what extent Orkney people and Orcadians are using the Orcadian dialect in their own posts and comments across social media platforms, however, and it certainly does appear, anecdotally, that usage of Orcadian dialect across Facebook occurs more frequently in posts and comments by older generations. This, however, requires further research to corroborate this hypothesis.
As always with places which have a sense of identity and individuality, there is a risk of an element of exclusivity creeping into the overall sense of place. Individual roots and a sense of belonging to a specific group becomes important, and this can in turn be represented negatively, as discussed by Behar in ‘Folklore and the Search for Home’ (2017). Orkney is no exception.
Though for the most part (perhaps excluding cruise liner traffic) Orkney is welcoming to visitors and embraces tourism as a core element of Orkney’s economy, the data suggests that this is not always the case for those who move to Orkney, often seeking a more quiet (and peaceful) life. There was clear evidence that, for some, the transition to living on the islands was not the peaceful and inclusive small community life they had envisaged. Though the phrase ‘ferry louper’ itself is usually used jovially, there were some discussions about Orkney as an exclusive place, with close-knit communities which did not welcome new residents, suggesting the potential for the less positive aspects of place-related theory:
[W]hile it is mostly a positive attitude that contributes to social and environmental responsibility, sense of place can turn sour or be poisoned when it becomes parochial and exclusionary.Relph 2009, p.26
Such comments were rare within the data, though one thread in particular hosted a number of comments alluding to Orkney not being an inclusive place, supporting the suggestion that islands are sometimes considered to represent “anti-social self-indulgence” (Hay 2006, p.21). Other users responded not rudely to these assertions, but with a firm (and perhaps curt) sense of pride that they did not see the Orkney they knew – and the Orkney people they knew – represented in such comments. Interestingly, the manner in which one such series of responses was presented did, unfortunately, suggest a somewhat exclusive community, though this may have been simply due to being aggrieved at the critical nature of earlier comments.