Iomaíocht do iGaeilge ar an bhFód go Luath!?

My article for Beo! in April where I admit that writing about technology hadn’t been at the forefront of my mind as I prepared arrival of Nipper 3.0. However that didn’t stop me using technology to help me! I also put a shout out for assistance in translating WordPress into Irish. Volunteer below in the comments please!

Caithfidh mé admháil, a léitheoirí, nach raibh m’aird chomh dírithe ar an dteicneolaíocht mar ba chóir le tamall anuas. Rugadh mo thríú leanbh ag tús na míosa seo chaite. Sin ráite, tá an teicneolaíocht chomh lárnach sin i mo shaol gur bhain mé úsáid as feidmhchlár iPhone is mé á tabhairt ar an saol! ‘Labor Mate’ a tugadh ar an bhfeidhmchlár seo a dhéanann taifeadadh ar chrapthaí le linn tinneas clainne. Is mé ag cuartú a leithéid de fheidhmchlár san App Store (agus tá neart díobh ann!) bhí mé ag gáire faoin gcur síos a mhaígh go bhféadfaí sonraí an tinnis clainne a sheoladh ar r-phost láithreach chuig do dhochtúir nó bhean ghlúine agus am a shábháil mar sin. Nílim cinnte céad fán gcéad go bhfuil rochtain ag foireann ár gcuid otharlann ar ríomhaire gan chaint ar r-phost ar ghléas soghluaiste!

Maith dom mar sin go bhfuil m’alt rud beag scaipthe an mhí seo. Aithním féin snáth ag rith tríd: tábhacht an chomhphobail agus na féidearachtaí atá ann nuair a ghríosaítear an pobal sin, ach fós féin, aithním gur torchaire agus murchuir na míosa atá ann.

Thugamar Ada ar ár n-iníon d’Ada Lovelace, an chéad ríomhchláraitheoir. Rinneadh ceiliúradh ar Ada Lovelace agus ar mhná san eolaíocht agus sa teicneolaíocht go ginearálta ar 24ú Márta, Lá Ada Lovelace. Gheofar tuilleadh eolais faoin lá seo agus faoi Ada í féin ag www.findingada.com. Mar chuid den cheiliúradh seo, scríobh níos mó ná 2,000 blagadóirí blagmhíreanna faoi na heolaithe agus faoin lucht teicneolaíochta baineann a spreagann iad. Leamh go leor is mé ag scríobh an ailt seo, tá mo bhlagmhír féin ina dréacht go fóill mar go bhfuil mé chomh gafa sin lenár nAda féin.

Twestival agus Gradaim Bhlag

De bharr theacht Ada ar an saol, chaill mé dhá imeacht mhóra i gcomhphobal ar líne na hÉireann. Dhá imeacht chosmhuintire atá i Twestival agus Gradaim na mBlag a tharla ag deireadh mhí Mhárta. Féile idirnáisiúnta is ea Twestival a bhailigh níos mó ná €200,000 i mbliana go domhanda do Concern.  Bhí imeachtaí ar siúl i nGaillimh, i mBaile Átha Cliath agus i mBéal Feirste. De réir na ngiolcacha a léigh mé ar Twitter ar an oíche, bhí an-am ag cách sna trí ionad agus cnuasaíodh an-chuid airgid. Gheofar tuilleadh eolais ag www.twestival.com

Imeacht eile a lean mé ar Twitter freisin toisc a bheith sáite i dtuismitheoireacht ná Gradaim na mBlag a bhí ar siúl i nGaillimh i mbliana. Ritheann sé liom gur scríobh mé mo chéad alt don iris seo is mé ag filleadh abhaile ar an traein ó Chorcaigh tar éis na nGradam anuraidh! Is ceiliúradh den scoth í an ócáid seo ar na blaig is fearr in Éirinn. An t-aon deacracht atá agam leis na gradaim seo ná gur féidir leis na buaiteoirí gabháil san iomaíocht arís an bhliain dar gcionn. Dá bharr sin, tá an duais buaite ag an mblag céanna i gcatagóir an ceoil, cuirim i gcás, le ceithre bliana anuas. Ar ndóigh, tá an pointe ann, más é an blag is fearr é, níl séanadh air, is é an blag is fearr é, agus má ghearrtar a leithéid amach as an iomaíocht é, is toradh bréagach aon toradh eile. Níl aon cheist go bhfuil an duais tuillte ag an mblag céanna agus b’fhéidir go bhfuil an ceart acu siúd a deir nach bhfuil iomaitheoir ann dó in Éirinn. Ach chun na ceolbhlagadóirí eile a spreagadh, dar liom féin, ba chóir dóibh cleachtas Chorn Uí Riada an Oireachtais a leanúint: nuair atá an Corn buaite faoi thrí, ní cheadaítear don amhránaí sin gabháil san iomaíocht arís. Cé mhéad onóir gur féidir le blag amháin iompar ar aon nós!

Mar a tharla sé, bhuaigh iGaeilge sa chatagóir “An Úsáid is Fearr den Ghaeilge i mBlag” arís i mbliana agus níl aon amhras orm go bhfuil an onóir tuillte ag Conchubhar Ó Liatháin, údar an bhlaig. Tá an iomaíocht géar sa chatagóir sin, go háirithe ó ligean an catagóir meascán mór de bhlaganna le Gaeilge iontu gabháil san iomaíocht. Tabhair faoi deara nach é an “An Blag Gaeilge is Fearr” atá i gceist.

Dea-Scéala WordPress

Mar a luaigh mé is ócáid chomhphobail blagadóireachta atá san imeacht seo. Tá an pobal seo ag fás chuile bhliain.  Mar a tharlaíonn sé, tá naisc ar leith le muintir WordPress, ceann de na hardáin is mó blagadóireachta, le hÉirinn. Tá duine de phríomhinnealtóirí WordPress ag obair leis ó Chontae Chorcaigh agus cheannaigh WordPress Polldaddy i 2008. Is ardán suirbhé is pobalbhreithe, a bunaíodh in Éirinn, é Polldaddy. Ní haon ionadh mar sin go raibh Matt Mullenweg, duine de bhunaitheoirí WordPress, sásta teacht go hÉirinn chun cur i láthair a dhéanamh ag an Dublin Web Summit a tharla ag tús na bliana. Le linn na cuairte sin bhí comhrá ag Mullenweg le Éamonn Leonard ó EchoLibre.com. Chuir mé féin is Leonard aithne ar a chéile nuair a d’oibrigh an bheirt againn ar Gaelport.com roinnt blianta ó shin. I measc rudaí eile a phlé Leonard le Mullenweg, dúirt Mullenweg go raibh fonn air le fada leagan Gaeilge de WordPress a chur ar fáil. Cosúil le bogearraí foinse oscailte, nó saor in aisce, eile a aistríodh go Gaeilge roimhe seo, is trí iarrachtaí deonacha an phobail a dhéantar a leithéid. Mar sin tháinig Leonard chugam chun tús a chur leis an togra seo. Más speis leat páirt a ghlacadh sa togra seo, déan teagmháil liom ag roseanne ag roseannesmith punc com agus bígí cinnte go mbeidh iomaíocht ann go luath do iGaeilge!

Not all bloggers are idiots or lunatics

Why not come and meet some and find out?

Last February Irish blogger Jason Roe had his 15 minutes of fame after an online tussle with some of Ryanair’s staff. I don’t know if it was a wish to prove that all bloggers, twitterers, whatever, are not actually idiots or lunatics that prompted Jason to start organising the BTW (Blogger, Twitter, Whatever) Meetups but they have been going from strength to strength since. I made it to the last one and it was a great opportunity to put a few faces to names. Embarrassingly it was rather difficult for me to keep those names attached to those faces in one instance but it had been a long day!

The next BTW meetup is on Thursday 3rd September in the Kudos Bar in the Clarion Hotel in the IFSC. There’ll be eating and drinking and it kicks off at 7pm. It doesn’t matter if you are new to blogging or tweeting or if you’re an old hand, you should come along. It will be fun, you’ll meet new people and maybe learn a few tricks about gaining international notoriety from the man himself!

Register online today and I’ll see you there!

Bíodh Cead Cainte ag Cách

This is my article for Beo.ie for July 2009 where I discuss an aspect of my work with the IIA and a recently published Guide to Blogging.

Bímse féin chomh sáite i dteicneolaíochtaí an idirlín go ndéanaim dearmad ar nuálacht na teicneolaíochta céanna uaireanta. Táimse féin ag blagadóireacht, cuirim i gcás, ó 2003 nuair a tháinig mé ar bhlag de thaisme is mé ar fánaíocht síos ascaill an eolais tráthnóna amháin. Bhí m’ainm fearainn féin agam cheana, ach ní raibh tuairim agam céard ba chóir dom a dhéanamh leis. Ní raibh mo dhóthain eolais agam faoi ríomhchlárú chun an saghas suímh a bhí uaim a chruthú. Ba réiteach iontach dom é ag an am mar sin, Blogger.com.  Bhí mé ábalta an cód s’acu a fhí isteach sa teimpléad a dhear mé féin agus ar aghaidh liom.

Bhí tréimhsí thuas leis, thíos leis agam leis an mblag. Taitníonn an scríbhneoireacht liom, ach bhí mé chomh gnóitheach go minic is nach mbíodh am agam mír bhlaig a scríobh. Chomh maith leis sin ní raibh mé féinspéiseach a dhóthain gur shíl mé go mbeadh spéis ag an saol mhór i ngach bolgam de mo bhéile dheireanach! Ach ní bhfuair mé réidh leis riamh agus lean mé leis de bheag nó de mhór.

Ní raibh mórán daoine in Éirinn ag blagadóireacht ag an am. Ní raibh Myspace, Facebook nó Bebo ann ag an bpointe sin, nó má bhí, ní raibh siad i bhfad ar an saol. Ní raibh an teárma “na meáin sóisialta” chomh coitianta is atá anois. Ní raibh i gceist le blagadóireacht ag an tús san iomlán ach cinnlae nochtaithe leis an saol mhór thar an ngreasán. Más buan mo chuimhne, ní raibh léitheoirí in ann tráchtaireachtaí a fhágáil fiú: is cuimhin liom seirbhís eile a shuiteáil i gcód mo bhlag chun tráchtaireacht a chur i bhfeidhm.

Tharla réabhlóid iomlán ó shin. Bhunaigh an Irish Internet Association, lena bhfuil mé ag obair faoi láthair, Grúpa Oibre ar na Meáin Sóisialta bliain ó shin. Le mo thaithí mar bhlagadóir go háirithe, iarradh orm comhaltas a ghlacadh sa ghrúpa oibre seo. D’fhoilsigh an mheitheal seo a gcéad treoirleabhar, “Join the Conversation: The Guide to Blogging for Business” dhá mhí ó shin.  Is réabhlóid mhór é seo ón am a raibh drogall orm mo chuid oibre a lua ar mo bhlag go dtí an lá atá inniu ann nuair atá comhlachtaí ag guí le cúpla líne ó bhlagadóirí faoina seirbhísí nó faoina dtairgí nua gan chaint ar na comhlachtaí atá ag tabhairt faoina mblag féin gan aon agó. Agus bígí cinnte, leis an gcúlú seo ar siúl, níl aon duine díobh á dhéanamh ar son an tsiamsa (amháin!).

Toradh Taighde

Rinne roinnt de na blagadóirí gnó sa tír seo suirbhé dúinn mar chuid den taighde don treoirleabhar. Léirigh 89% díobh gurb iad custaiméirí féideartha a bhí ar an bpríomh-spriocmhargadh a bhí acu agus iad ag blagáil. Léirigh 80% gurb iad na custaiméaraí reatha a bhí sa dara áit. Ach is custaiméirí a bhí lárnach dóibh bealach amháin nó bealach eile. Léirigh siad freisin gurb é an príomhfháth gur shocraigh siad ar bhlag a scríobh ná chun dearcadh níos pearsanta agus cairdiúla a chrúthú don chomhlacht; go dtuigeadh a gcustaiméirí go raibh siad ar fáil chun aon ní a phlé leo. B’aiseolas dearfach ó na custaiméirí céanna príomhthomhais a ráthúlachta.

Ach tá dhá rud a luaitear go minic nuair a phléitear blagadóireacht is na meáin shóisialta i gcoitinne agus an gnó: am agus an toradh ar infheistíocht an ama sin. Ní chosnaíonn na huirlisí cumarsáide seo mórán ó thaobh airgid de ach tá a fhios ag éinne a ghlac cuntas ar Facebook riamh gur féidir na céadta a chaitheamh gan stró ag breathnú trí ghriangraif bhainise col seisir éigin nach bhfuil feicthe agat ó do chéad chomaoineach. Is cuma, ar ndóigh, cén bealach a chaitheann tú do chuid am saor ach is ceist iomlán eile é más ar an gclog atá tú. Agus sin eagla mhór a bhíonn ar lucht gnó go minic: go mbeidh am curtha amú acu.

Bhí spéis ag an ngrúpa oibre sa cheist chéanna ar ndóigh, agus cuireadh ceist ar na blagadóirí gnó faoi. Dúirt 39% dóibh go mbíonn siad ag blagáil cúpla tréimhse sa tseachtain agus dúirt 50% gur chaith siad idir uair amháin agus ceithre  uair ar a ngníomhaíochtaí blagadóireachta; taighde, scríobh agus tráchtaireacht san áireamh. Dúirt 32% gur chaith siad idir ceithre agus ocht uair sa tseachtain.

Fiúntas an Ama Duit

B’fhéidir go mbeadh sé deacair ar fhiontraí, go háirithe le comhlacht nua, an méad sin ama a chur ar leataobh ach smaoinigh air mar seo: samhlaigh go bhfuil tú ag seoladh seirbhís nó tairge nua. Socraíonn tú ar phreasráiteas a scríobh is a scaipeadh. Chaitheann tú, ar a laghad, leathlá á scríobh agus scaipeann tú ar na meáin é. Ní phiocann suas oiread is páipeár nó stáisiún raidió amháin é: b’obair in aisce an leathlá sin ar fad. Samhlaigh anois go raibh botún ann agus náid amháin fágtha as an bpraghas agus foilsíonn gach nuachtáin áitiúil é dá bharr. Faigheann tú an phoiblíocht ach cailleann tú custaiméirí mar chreideann siad nach raibh ann ach cleas nuair a chloiseann siad an praghas fíor atá, ar a laghad, €50.00 níos mó.

Samlaigh anois gur fhoilsigh tú ar do bhlag gnó féin é. Tá gach seans go bhfecifidh 100 nó níos mó duine an t-eolas seo. (Bíonn níos mó ná céad cuairteoir ar mo shuíomh pearsanta chuile mhí agus nílim ag déanamh aon phoiblíocht air.) Bí cinnte, freisin, aon duine atá ag breathnú ar do bhlag, tá siad ann ó tá spéis acu sa tseirbhís nó sa tairge ar aon nós. Má dhéanann tú botún, níl ort ach é a cheartú mar a cheartófá cáipéis leictreonach ar bith eile. Beidh gach focal a scríobh tú sa bhlagmhír sin ag obair ar do shon go deo. Ar an láimh eile, beidh preasráiteas an mhíchruinnis a foilsíodh sa nuachtán sactha isteach i dtóin an bhosca bhruscair an lá dar gcionn.

This is not me

Further to a conversation I had with some of my family members recently about our family’s penchant for unusual names, this popped up in my Google Alerts this morning.

Baby’s illness made worse by flat, says mum From Malvern Gazette.

The woman featured in it is called Roseanne Smith but it’s not me. No doubt this happens all the time to people and while my name is not so unusual, my siblings certainly have far more unusual names. Okay with a surname like Smith only one half of your name can be a differentiator but honestly whoda thunk there would be another Blaise Smith in the world? All my siblings do quite well in Google search with their online profiles. This pops up for Macdara.

This reason I am looking at all these details is because I am helping them with their social media by holding a workshop for them on Monday afternoon. They know some of their stuff and are doing well on MySpace for example but we really need to work on their Search Engine Optimisation and I really believe that social media and blogging in particular is a great route to improving your search engine ranking. We also need to start translating the time they put into their social media into bums on seats/ album sales/ record contracts/ commissions/ listeners whatever. But I also know that all of them would enjoy blogging and be really good at it and would have a lot to offer their communities. Abigail is already blogging but on a terrible platform and Dad has me. his lovely assistant, doing it for him until he gets his head around it. I think they would be great bloggers because they are all interesting and interested people. They are creators and blogs are another blank canvas waiting to be filled by people like them.

So if you have any tips for aspiring creative arts bloggers please share them. Do you read any creative blogs? What other social networks work well for artists? I know Bernie Goldbach recommended Seesmic to me a few months back and I will certainly encourage them to consider it. Qik could also be an option if venues would cop on and offer Wifi as standard. After an evening with the IIA Social Media Working Group discussing podcasting I would really like my oldest brother to consider giving it a go. I think a lot of people would be very interested in hearing his perspective on painting.

I will record the workshop on Monday if my family are happy to do so. Certainly we’ll try and do some video snippets so stay tuned!

Learn Five things about lots of things

five1Táim díreach tar éis aoi-mhír a scríobh dar teideal Five things you may not know about the Irish Language do bhlagadóir darb ainm do Joe Scanlon. Is breá liom an sraith míreanna seo aige mar is féidir le éinne gur mian leo scríobh faoin ábhar is mór leo nó ar a bhfuil saineolas acu. Má’s mian leatsa a leithéid d’alt a scríobh líon isteach a fhoirm teagmhála anseo. Ní gá duit bheith i do bhlagadóir tú féin agus ar bealach is slí isteach ar an mblagadóireach aoi-mhír a scríobh. Mar bhlagadóir pearsanta agus gairmiúil tá a fhios agam nach bhfuil aon ní níos fearr ná aoi-mhír a fháil a fhad is go bhfuil sé uaithúil, go bhfuil taighde déanta i gceart agus go bhfuil níos mó ann ná “sales pitch”!

I have just had a guest post published on Joe Scanlon’s blog entitled Five things you may not know . Iabout the Irish Language. I think this is a great series by Joe where he invites anyone and everyone to write a post about their area of expertise or an area which they are passionate about. Bloggers being the show-offs that they are (myself included) have gone for it big-style as you will see from the list of posts so far. Contributing to a series like this is a great way to give blogging a go, especially if you are running a business and want to show your expertise. I know as a personal and business blogger that I love getting guest posts as long as they are unique, that the research is done and that it is far more than just a sales pitch!

Míle buíochas, Joe, don deis an blagmhír a scríobh!

Here’s a reprint of the post: (Buíochas le mo chara Ronan Ó D don chabhair 🙂 )

Five things you may not know about the Irish Language

1. Peig is not the worst book in the Irish Language. It’s not even the worst book on the Leaving Cert Syllabus. In my opinion that honour must go to Tóraíocht Dhiarmada agus Gráinne by Nessa Ní Shé* which isn’t even written in standardised Irish. Sadly the best book on the Leaving Cert Syllabus is studied by very few and is an epic story of unfulfilled young love, adventure, humour and high jinks spread over two continents involving gambling, sailing, tattie hoking and hypothermia: a real rags to riches blockbuster. If you have the opportunity try and convince your teacher to study Caisleán Óir. It’s great craic!

2. The Irish word for English is Béarla. You probably know this but did you know it is also the Irish word for nonsense? Says a lot really doesn’t it?

3. There are many loanwords from Irish in the English language as one would expect from two countries so close to each other. Daniel Cassidy claims in his 2007 book that the Irish invented much American slang claiming for example that the word jazz came from teas, meaning heat and having specific sexual connotations. (They didn’t teach you that in school, eh?) Amongst these slang words is also the word “quid” which is slang for money said to come from “mo chuid airgid”. In fairness to him it makes logical sense but being a largely illiterate minority in the nascent United States there is little evidence to back up his claims. There are loan words (and more importantly a wealth of beautiful bardic forms) in Irish from French, of course, and Latin too. In fact there is a whole system for changing a Latin word to Irish thanks to the methodical approach of the religion that brought the words to the country. My personal favourite loan words in the English language come from a very sad source. Two quintessentially English phrases, “Smashing!” and “Bully for you!” are anglicisations of the phrases “Is maith sin!” and “Bulaigh fir!” both common phrases in Ulster Irish (You would definitely know them if you had been enjoying Caisleán Óir rather than Peig as per point 1 above). Apparently they passed from one language to the other in the trenches during the Great War. It speaks volumes about the soldiers from Donegal who managed to remain that positive during such cruel and unusual times.

4. Irish is a funny language. There is no Irish for “I love you” or “I miss you” and yet it has some of the most beautiful love poetry in Europe (see point 3 above). The Irish for “You would feel” is pronounced “Wuhohaw” but spelt “Mhothófá”. The Irish for “would not get” (Ní bhfaighfidh) is pronounced “Knee wee” in Ulster Irish. While these two pieces of information are unamusing to a monolingual Irish speaker us bilingual Irish speakers have a little giggle about it the odd time.

5. Irish and Gaelic are two seperate languages in the same branch of Celtic languages. One major feature that differentiates them from other Celtic languages is that at some point Q-Celtic speakers (us and the Scots) took a notion against the “p” sound so that Pembroke in Wales would be Ceann Broc in Ireland or Scotland or the name David Williams would be Dáithí Mac Liam in Irish or Gaelic but Dafydd ap Gwilym in Welsh. Gaelic is differentiated from Irish by the fact that is has fewer tenses, its spelling was not standardised (meaning they’ve a lot more bhs, dhs and ghs hanging about), it has many loanwords, conventions and placenames from Scandinavian languages and the Gaelic for sweets is “suiteis” which is my favourite Gaelic word.

* For the real Celtic Language nerds among you Nessa Ní Shé was Somhairle Mac Gill-Eain’s muse and the inspiration for his most famour work “Dàin do Eimhir agus Dàin Eile” which is considered a classic of modern poetry regardless of language.