Just a quick note on how to stay in touch when the blog portion goes ... all the sites below will remain live, as will Ireland Travel itself.
So, it'll be "Goodbye!" soon ... not from me in general, not from me as a writer on Ireland for About.com, not for the Ireland Travel site ... but for the blog section on it ...
A decision has been taken at the NYC HQ of About.com ... to retire the blogs in favour of other content and social media soon, all in the course of a major site re-design. And, having had sneak peeks at the new design, I think it was a good decision. The mock-ups looked good. And modern. And clean, getting the information to the reader fast. Better image handling too.
So, yeah, I like it. And really hope it works as well as it looks.
If you need a dose of blogging, however, you'll be ill served by this move. At first sight. Because, well, I have opted to start a blog on Irish matters off the About.com network. Yet, at times at least, inter-connecting with this site. A blog on rambling through Ireland, often with sort-of-rambling postings, called (*ta-dah*) "Irish Rambles". The plan is to keep the more travel-related stuff to this here site, without a blog ... while my own blog will feature short news snippets as well as the esoteric, ephemeral and eclectic side of Ireland (and big words, as you might have gathered by now).
We'll see how things work out ... but you'll see no mere duplication of content.
And, by the way, the social media sites below will feature both this site and Irish Rambles. So, I think (or hope), it'll be bigger, better, more. More work for me, too ... but all adding to the fun.
Some time ago I looked at travel guides (as in "printed books", not as in smiling people guiding travellers) and websites and thought ... "Cool, most actually cater for minorities these days - even if it is just a small section!" And then I noticed that some minorities were, across the board, not catered for.
Because they were too small? Because they were not deemed an important demographic? Because their special needs were simply forgotten, or not even known at all? I don't know. But talking to people of different faiths got me thinking: what would their co-religionists need to know about Ireland?
The result? Two articles addressing the needs of minorities. And emphasizing the point that travel to and in Ireland is not impossible for them:
Just a quick note on the developments here at Ireland Travel ... as I said before, the blog will go at the end of the month. Instead I will start blogging at Irish Rambles. But, and this is a big BUT ... the blog is just a small portion of Ireland Travel on About.com. Basically what you find in the middle column when you hit the website directly. That'll go. Nothing else.
The newsletter, RSS feeds and, most important of all, the information content will stay. All part of a redesign that will feature more and better images, a cleaner user interface and a quicker access to information (or so it should work out, some teething pains might be expected, that is normal). And the redesign will also interlink the content on the whole About.com network (with now over a thousand sites) more - so you'll find information that might be interesting from this site and others easier.
Anyway ... just to sum up ... I'll stay as your guide to Ireland Travel. And this site will stay. But the blog will go and the design will soon be different. Stay tuned!
Did you know that Dublin has beaches? Well, not if you were only hovering between Trinity College and Temple Bar, I suppose. Many visitors tend to lose out because they don't get out too much - but County Dublin, beyond the city's boundaries, has so much more to offer. So, why not spend a day exploring the often surprising attractions of County Dublin?
The province of Leinster tends to be dominated by Dublin ... with the rest being the hinterland, the commuter belt, sometimes beyond the pale. But Leinster has much more than the urban centre of modern Irish civilisation. Witness the attractions of these counties:
Civil unrest? Oppression? Panic? No need to shun Ulster - be it the six counties of Northern Ireland or the three that belong to the Republic. Make a point to visit:
Cork and Kerry are just a part of it, but maybe the defining part. The South-West of Ireland. But the southwestern province of Munster has so much more to offer the visitor:
Love/Hate is an Irish crime drama series ... broadcast on RTÉ Television and written by Stephen Daly. It is controversial. At times. At other times it is a soap opera of sub-Soprano material. And they killed a cat. Cue loads of media coverage. Anyway - Love/Hate would also describe my personal relationship with Dublin, Ireland's capital.
As in every city in the world, there are good sides to Dublin ... and bad sides. And it is not the old "Northside vs Southside" thing, it goes much deeper. So, let us talk about Dublin. Open. Honest. And about both sides:
"West" is a relative notion and not all the west coast of Ireland is in Connacht ... but if you head "into the West", you'll more than likely hit at least a part of Connacht too. And here's the attractions: