It 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.