Sort it out, Kevin

may-gaa-websiteIt is more than a little ironic, I think, that emblazoned across the home page of the official Mayo GAA website are the words “sort it out”.  This exhortation relates to alcohol and substance abuse prevention (a worthy initiative in the world we live in) but it could with equal validity be applied to the site itself, which, as anyone who happens to peruse it can attest, is shockingly, atrociously awful.  It’s a complete and utter joke and stands as an affront to all Mayo GAA supporters.  It needs a complete overhaul and this job should be top of the list of priorities of the new County Board PRO, Kevin O’Toole, who was elected to the position earlier in the week.

I could waste the next twenty minutes or so of my life cataloging the failures of mayogaa.com but if anyone has ever clicked on it, I know that there’s no need to.  I’d be the first to admit that it does a few useful things, in the area of club fixtures and results and, up until last year, providing details of county team line-ups but these small positives are completely outweighed by what it doesn’t do.  There’s no up-to-date news (you won’t find any mention of the Westmeath match being all-ticket here, for example), there’s nothing on inter-county fixtures, there’s no match reports (not even links to reports in the Western or Mayo News – for chrissakes, even I can do that), the photo gallery hasn’t been updated in years, the attempt at providing a ‘history’ is, at best, patchy and extremely incomplete.  And the design of the site – another ironic twist, this – which is apparently the work of some geniuses called “21st century”, just sucks.  It’s out there on the far side of awful.

It’s stating the bleedin’ obvious to say that there is a better way – of course there is.  To those who would say that I should lay off and accept that this is an amateur organisation with limited resources yada yada yada, I would respond thus: go look at Leitrim’s official site.  It’s a little gem – it’s buzzing with activity and is a shining example of how things should be done.  It shouts out loud and clear its interest in and enthusiasm for everything to do with Leitrim GAA and lets you know that this is the place to come if you want to find anything out.  Our county site, in contrast, says clearly that it really couldn’t give a fuck.

If I might be so bold, I would suggest that one of Kevin’s first jobs should be to get in contact with his opposite number in the Ridge County (all his contact details are, needless to say, on their website) and pick his brains clean.  He could then do worse than to contact the Club Mayo Dublin guys up here – this is an official Mayo GAA website that really does its stuff and, in the year it’s been going (belated Happy Birthday, by the way, lads), has become an invaluable resource for all us Mayo supporters in the capital.

This is the 21st century and so more and more people are using the internet to follow what’s going on in the GAA world (the monthly hit count on this humble site, for example, will come very close to breaching the 10,000 mark for the first time by midnight tomorrow night).  It’s also the GAA’s 125th anniversary and, at national level, the organisation has revamped its own website for the occasion.  We urgently need to do the same.  It would be a fabulous resource for all of us if we had a website that combined the best of what the likes of Leitrim and Club Mayo Dublin do. I’d love to incorporate my results archive, which already contains a full record of all competitive senior games for the past fifty years but which is still only a work in progress, into it as well.  No other county does this so we could claim a first in this area.

It goes without saying that I’d be happy to help out in any way I can in the redevelopment that needs to be done and I’m sure there are many others who are a hell of a lot more tech-savvy than I am who’d be equally prepared to help out as well.  Sure, there’s a lot to do but the sooner it’s started, the sooner it’ll be sorted. It’s time to get the ball rolling, Kevin.

7 thoughts on “Sort it out, Kevin

  1. WJ, While I agree with most of your points on the mayogaa.com website, I cant let you get away with lambasting it in the manner in which you have done!
    You are only concerned as far as I can see with its coverage of the inter-county scene(which is I agree, poor at best) but I know from a club perspective it does serve a very good purpose in that results are posted often within minutes of full time of games.
    League tables are extremely accurate and updated and are the ONLY source of such information for managers and players of mayo club sides as the mayo papers often don’t publish same.
    As you are probably well aware with Club Championship here played on a group of four basis, points difference often determines who goes through and who goes out…I can only speak for myself, and in fact some of my team-mates who live away from home, it has provided us with the information we so dearly want on our status in our particular league/group.
    I have complimented you in the past on your blog which is extremely interesting and thought provoking to say the least. However, your latest post has seemed to confirm what I always questioned in that seen as you live in Dublin, maybe you have lost or do you still share an interest in club matters in your native county??
    You would have to agree that club football is the grassroots of the gaa and while this site is a tremendous endorsement of gaelic football, mayo club football (which attracts a huge interest in the county itself) is unfortunately not well represented.
    One piece of advice which I might suggest is to incorporate more material on the above, especially with the announcement of championship fixtures a week ago. Then, we could all follow the quest for the moclair, sweeney and junior championship cups!
    Yours in sport,
    EM

    Yours

  2. Fair enough, EM – every rant deserves a reasoned response, I guess!

    I’m glad the website is of some practical use to clubs but you wouldn’t think it by looking at it. Why don’t they make some effort to package this valuable content so that people might notice it and then grumpy people like me might say nice things to them about how they do this? As things stand, it’s not immediately obvious that there’s anything of value there though I acknowledge and fully accept what you say about the value of the information they do put up.

    You’re right about the club scene and my lack of coverage in this area and it is, as you suggest, a product of my living outside the county for so many years. My first allegiance has always been to the county and, to the extent that I’d have a club attachment, it’d be to my local club up here – St. Vincent’s – some of whose matches I’ve covered here on the site.

    I could, and maybe should, do some more stuff on the club scene in Mayo but, to be honest, from this remove I don’t feel I have sufficient insight to add any meaningful value to what’s already being done. Incidentally, my fellow blogger No One Shouted Stop! (who is based in Mayo) does a very good job in this area and nothing I’d do would add in any way to this.

    All the best

    WJ

  3. Just to add my twopence worth. Mayogaablog.com is about our county not about the clubs in the county. It gives us that live outside an intelligent forum to discuss various issues. I come from the furthest point west in Mayo but my local club is Dunboyne. I have no interest in the club scene in Mayo, when I buy the Western I get up to date.
    As you get more succesful Willie Joe your core base is going to broaden and you will get some very challenging posts!

  4. I agree with the above, mayogaablog.com does indeed provide an intelligent forum on all matters relating to mayo football. However, to think that “ontheroad” has no interest in the club scene in mayo is kinda a contradiction of sorts.
    Club football provides the basis for a successful inter-county side. If JOM is searching the county for the next stars, hes hardly going to be sitting at home watching archive tapes of mayo minor, under 21 matches now is he? A weekend trip across the county in early april would give him the best insight.
    Take kieran conroy from shrule, never played for mayo at any level underage.. First year senior, hes thrown in(probably against his own wishes) at full back. Where did o’mahony see him or hear of him? I can only guess it was his gusty performances as a make shift centre back for shrule in the absence of one kenneth mortimor. There are others, that have shone at club level and have been given the call-enda devenney and Im going to take a chance and risk saying paedar gardiner never played underage for mayo??
    Point I trying to make is—- Even A league game between ballina and knockmore or cross and ballagh or mitchels and breaffy would give any pundit or interested party a greater insight than a facile inter-county challenge game at the opening of some pitch in may. Think about that.
    However, You may need to look at mayogaa.com though to see When,Where,What time and whose refereeing the match in question!!! But if you dont go, sure they’ll put the score up anyways for ya…
    EM

  5. I accept your point, EM, about the importance of what’s happening at club level and it is, of course, the case that the county side springs from the clubs that supply players to it. I think the point you’re missing though (because you’re living in Mayo, perhaps?) is the practicalities involved in trying to follow at first-hand club action within the county as well as the inter-county stuff. I do more than enough miles as it is getting to the number of matches I do and there’s no way I could see myself doing more to get to any club games.

    It’s for that reason that I don’t include much about the club scene – as I’ve already said, I don’t think I can, at 140 miles away, provide the kind of useful insights that I might be able to do if I were to be at the games. Still, following Vinnie’s up here has its compensations: I did, after all, get to experience an All-Ireland victory following them, with their two Mayo lads on the team, last year!

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