News.ai was the first and only web presence for Anguilla through the mid and late 1990’s. Bob Green, the founder, started the site accidentally. It all began shortly after Hurricane Luis in 1995.
Luis battered Anguilla at Cat5 ferocity for 36 hours. It flattened Anguilla. Bob was fortunate to have access to a T1 line, the only Net access remaining. While the rest of the powerless island sweltered, Bob froze while working from an air-conditioned server room (powered by generator).
E-mail updates from Bob to the outside world became web page updates (at first on his own company’s website). These words to the outside world became news.ai! Imagine, out of devastation, Anguilla was given its first presence on the Web.
News.ai soon became a family of sites… beaches.ai, hotels.ai and so forth (see “Anguilla 1995-2005” in left margin). Be sure to check out the huge resource of photographs from that era (“Photo of the Day” in left margin — fun!).
Bob actively maintained this growing family of sites, thousands of pages and photos until 2005. By that time, other sites had appeared and grew to carry the e-torch.
Bob not only put enormous hours into growing an invaluable representation of Anguilla’s first decade online, he also ran the Computer Club for kids.
He enjoyed getting into various forms other e-ventures and mischief with Vince Cate, all with no expectations of recompense. He has so many crazy “early days of the Web stories.”
Most importantly, Bob has given us this remarkable peek at Anguilla, for us all to enjoy forever…
The archives (and his final post) are here. These pages stand as a unique 10 year history of Anguilla’s e-history, seen through the eyes of one Canadian who had moved from one tiny island off the West Coast of Canada to another one in the Caribbean, neither of which had many people ever heard. As just two small examples…
Below (left) is a photo of Sandy Ground in 1996 (note the absence of villas in North Hill), followed by Meads Bay from the same year (below right).
Anguilla has changed a great deal. No one can argue the benefits that Anguilla has seen over the years.
But it is natural too, to lament the passing of a different time.
Anguilla had been changing from 1980 to 1995, a special post-independence period in itself that can only be captured by oral history and analog photograpy.
Anguilla’s advancement accelerated from 1996 to 2005.
Bob has captured those pivotal years of change through the Web and the earliest of digital photographs.
For that, we owe him a debt of thanks.
Bob is one-of-a-kind.
His mind flies in 1,000,000 directions at the same time. At times, his attention span seems measurable only in nano-seconds. 😉
He’s constantly onto the next thing.
If you know him, you marvel that News.ai (and its family of associated sites) could manage to sustain his attention for 10 years. It is great testimony to his love of the island, and to th power of the island to enrapture him to put so much energy into News.ai.
We thank him for passing this torch to us, to keep the history alive and to revive what he did going forward, in a local way, in service of both Anguillians and visitors to this island.
We will try to do it justice as we strive to make this a useful resource for all.
LeRoy Hill says
Welcome back! hopefully we will get additional perspectives on Anguilla news. Happy to see old photo of me back in 1996 with Computer club.
Thanks very much, Leroy. I’ll let Bob know you popped by. 🙂 My next post will be explaining more about the role of the “new News.ai.” Best regards, Yuki Evoy
I was thrilled the first time Bob posted my report and pictures, it is wonderful of you to bring back the site, what a great tribute.
Looking forward to all the news.
Danika Dahl says
I already posted on Nori’s FB Page, but I’ll say it again here too…
What a beautiful union this is going to be for both of you! Yuki, I love that you are doing this!!! 😉
I first discovered Bob’s site in 2007, same time I discovered Anguilla-Beaches. I’m so glad to see that it will be revived, not lost in the layers of the web, and carried on by true lovers of Anguilla.
Exciting stuff! I think you’re going to have a lot of fun with this!
Congratulations Yuki!!! 😉
Cal Fleming says
Great to see this website is back up. I first noticed it back in the late 90s, it was a great way to keep abreast of the happenings on the island. Thanks for picking up up where Bob left off.
joyce early says
Where is Bob now?? Is he still on the island. Do you ever list properties for sale??
Bob splits his time between Anguilla, St. Barths and traveling.
Regarding the listing of properties for sale, this site is here to help Anguillians get the word out about their businesses. So I suppose, if a property had a particularly interesting angle or story of interest in itself, I would post properties for local agents.
I accidentally surfed onto Bob’s web site and couldn’t wait for his next post. I was devastated when he stopped posting. On one of my many visits back home, I sought out Mr. Green. I told him who I was and he graciously showed me around the complex. I really enjoyed the fact that he took time out from his busy schedule to show me around. I’m very happy that Yuki and family have picked up the torch with Bob’s blessing, and are moving forward. I think it would be great for Bob or maybe Yuki to create a book of Anguilla during Bob’s exemplary time. Just thinking out loud and I hope that thought comes to fruition. Tyrone.
Tom Turton says
Welcome back! My wife and I have had many wonderful visits to this beautiful island. I would think that news.ai was the first site to establish an internet legacy for Anguilla. I was privileged to experience Bob’s “cyber-coverage” of hurricane Louis firsthand and all of his postings thereafter.
Thank you for your frank coverage of the recent crime issues.
Best wishes to you and all of the Anguillian people.
Thanks very much, Tom. Yes, Bob did a wonderful job promoting Anguilla from 1995. News.ai was actually born in the midst of Hurricane Luis, when friends started emailing him for news about how others were doing and then, when the worst was over, when hotels were re-opening, etc. That grew into what became Anguilla’s online presence for many years. We owe him much for those efforts. Nice of you to remember and mention! I was a huge fan, too!
Regarding Anguilla Crime… sadly, we are back to “quiet ticking time bomb” status. It’s been quiet for a while, so everyone chooses to hope for the best. Strictly in terms of probability, it’s not a matter of “if” but “when” another crime goes viral online, further damaging our reputation.
Nothing has changed since I did my series on crime, with proposals, including since my last summary on Anguilla crime. The Governor, government, police chief, ATB and private tourism section need to decide to do what St. Kitts proved CAN be done… fix crime at the “Anguilla” level. If you do that, you not only make Anguilla safe for all Anguillians, you automatically make it the safest place in the world that tourists want, too.
Paradoxically, when the UNODC report on worldwide crime comes out this year…
1) our murder rate will likely be in the Top 20 in the world (the statistical risk of having a population of only 13,000 people) — hardly great publicity
2) Anguilla remains one of the safest (if not THE safest) island in the Caribbean. On your next visit, you won’t notice that anything has changed. But, until clear policy changes have been put in place, it’s no longer perfectly safe to choose some remote beach for a picnic. The odds are that absolutely nothing will happen. But we never had to think like that before.
Officials like to say that the world has changed and that no place is as safe as it used to be. And that’s true. But the reality is that some good work here could indeed return Anguilla to what IT used to be. We’re a small and manageable village. Effective crime prevention, reaction and solution is a do-able project here.
love the site!
I have a ?- coming down for 1st time and am totally confused as to whether I can fish from the shore , or a kayak for that matter.
– I read an old post from Bob saying T.B. said no license is required. I have heard that private beaches are o.k. (from the manager at SB (West) The Tourist Board says “no- hire a boat,” There are blogs from several years ago saying “yes- but you need a license.”
I am confused. I just want to do a little catch and release outside of the Marine Park system- which doesn’t include SB (West ) I believe.
thanks for any assistance
*Is the law written down anywhere accessible?
Adam, there are 3 answers…
1) legal — you probably need a license to fish, but check with gov.ai to verify if you really fell the need to be in compliance. Whether you get it before you arrive, well, I’d like to learn more about your experience if you try. 😉
2) practical — if you stand on the shore or sit in a kayak with a line in the water, I doubt if anyone’s going to object. You’re a tourist who’e here to relax. And THAT is what Anguilla is all about. In any event, the Caribbean isn’t like the over-regulated developed nations who sweat stuff like this. It’s not like you make your living off of fishing.
3) most fun — the fishing charters know the waters and will take you to the best spots.
It sounds a little like you may be looking for a blessing, in which case… If you don’t have a license and, by some remote chance, someone ‘official’ happens to see you, you’ll probably have to stop. Frankly, though, I can’t see the harm and a friendly exchange will likely leave you alone, enjoying Anguilla with your line in the water.
Hope that helps put some perspective on it, even if I’m not sure of the exact answer. 😉
All the best,
I am so happy to see this! I followed Bob for years! My first visit to Anguilla was before the hurricane, and I was grateful for Bob’s updates. I loved watching him build his “compound” with his wife, Mary Ann?.