website development

Fri Jul 23, 2004 12:55 pm

Hi all

I've been giving the further development of the site some thought after a meeting with the MIDA project team down in UCC in Haulbowline. They want to use the information on the shore marks and skippers as part of a Geographical Information System (GIS) for the entire Irish coastline (north and south) and they already have my permission. I expect that this will bring new users here and as part of their development they will have to give me a website database specification. This will hopefully be used to migrate the entire website onto a database back end...

Equally I want to add another layer of detail to the shore marks, and to this end, the Marine Institute are send me samples of the aeriel photos taken during the 1999 National Coastal Survey. The idea would be to replace my hand drawn maps with actual photographs (you can pick out lampposts on these things!) and add detail including bait locations etc. It all depends on whether the photos (which are not GPS referenced before you ask!) can be 'treated' to allow reasonable download times. Myself I am not in a broadband accessible location so we have to stick with ISDN.

Added to this I want to upgrade the forum software (not before time I hear you all shout :lol: ) and that means moving to commercial software.

All of this is going to take money. I have been approached by several people asking if they could advertise on the website - now I know this is a very contentious issue and that you would all be dead set against it, but the developments, assuming you think they are a good idea, will have to be funded somehow. I was thinking more in terms of sponsorship and definitely not the intrusive pop-ups and other muck that is destroying the internet. Look, at the end of the day, this is effectively your website so how about you tell me what you want and how it might be funded?

I am not looking to make money out of this, I've put thousands of hours into it over the years for free, but leavinbg aside the time, I can not afford to fund its further development. BTW, for the boat anglers, I had the idea of adding in sea mark locations (not GPS coordinates, just general information that would be of no use to commercial netsmen), information on the sea bed, slipways, piers, currents, hazards, reefs etc.

There is, with a database back end, even the possibility of giving every single angler (and skipper) their own secure and private online diary, individual profile page, individual gallery...

C'mon now, give us some feedback! Thanks

Fri Jul 23, 2004 2:05 pm

Hi Kieran,

The changes sound great. The forum problems can be a real pain for angling reports and I can't see why anyone would have a problem with banner advertisement.

Best of luck

Fri Jul 23, 2004 3:31 pm

This site, without doubt, is the finest sea angling site I have come across. Kieran, I cannot express well enough my admiration for the job you are doing. As well as covering the essential information on sea angling in Ireland, in the marks and kit sections, it also has this incredible forum. The knowledge, wisdom and common sense of the contributors, delivered with great wit and humour, is a joy to behold. If ever there was an example of an online community then this is it. It is one of my three favourite websites, the others being Google and the BBC news site.

What these sites have in common is that there is no advertising. In these days of marketing gone mad, that is something very special. From my own point of view the quirks of the software are a nuisance that I could live with though I can understand your wish to upgrade the software. Something that strikes me though is that by adding a few more sections, for example on rigs and knots, and getting some regular articles you are quite close to having a magazine. If you take the idea of a magazine, or should I say webzine, along with the suggestion of a virtual sea angling club, registered with the IFSA, then I think you have a case for a subscription. I would certainly consider it value for money.

I also took the time to visit the Total Fishing site to look at the banner advertising. It isn't too intrusive and without other promotions on the pages might work for us also. Keeping it low key and light on the download times is essential.

So having positioned myself firmly on the fence I would give my preferences as:
1 - Subscription
2 - Banner advertising
3 - Mix of subscription and banner advertising.

For heavens sake do not go with the heavy duty advertising that infests the web!

Finally to accommodate the various connections speeds to the web you could publish a low res copy of the aerial photographs for each mark, that hyperlinked to a high res copy for those interested in viewing it. That way you have the best of both worlds, light for those with low speed connections and available for those with high speed connections.

P.S. I didn't praise the gallery because ever since the day I entertained the idea of sending photograph in, I haven't caught a fish :cry: .

Fri Jul 23, 2004 3:31 pm

Hi Kieran,
The changes do sound great.
Sponsorship should not be problem - you might easily have 50 members willing to pay 20 euro if it is purely that - sponsorship.
How much do you think the SW will cost?

I agree that advertising is the wrong way to go. - Subtle sponsorship such as H Rocks prizes in the photo gallery are good.

Maybe another option is to setup SAI as an angling club, with annual subs and maybe try to get accreditation to the IFSA (or whatever).
I personally am not interested in competitions or the like, but I would have no problem spending a small few euro to be a member.

I dont think charging for access is a good idea either, i think the people in the forums are good souls and would help out by way of "membership".

Fri Jul 23, 2004 4:56 pm

This is going to be a dodgy thread
I have no probs with the advertising, once, as you state, it doesn't involve pop ups or the like. Small links either side of the page heading would be about as much as I would like to see, small as in the size of the pic with the shark saying "Welcome to the Forum!".
I love this site, and my main worry is that it will lose its personal touch with the ads and the huge publicity it is starting to receive.
I can see it turning into a site where people join, put up a post and never return. Currently we enjoy a certain level of privacy, whereby we're not advertised all over the place and the people we have now are true and respected fishermen, whose comments, suggestions and reports I and most others not only rely on, but very much respect.

I know some members would like to see changes, and so would I, but maybe not to the extent you're suggesting.
I'm being totally selfish here, and its obvious, but I like my site the way it is. If its the case that you want to upgrade the software, but don't want to take the look away from the site, then I and I'm sure the others too would be happy to pay a fee. Although I think JFK made an interesting suggestion that "set-up SAI as an angling club, with annual subs and maybe try to get accreditation to the IFSA". Pooling together and getting a boat out for the day, depending on numbers, even weekend trips.

Either ways Kieran, this site is a credit to you that I cannot express.


Sat Jul 24, 2004 12:22 pm

Thanks lads

I'm not looking for bouquets.... but it is nice to know the site is appreciated and more to the point being used!

What has been recommended is something like is listed now on the Mayo - Achill & Clew Bay page now... ... yo%201.htm

A series of relatively discreet links to potential advertisers - information not just for the sake of it or the revenue, but of actual value to people using the site. The map will be replaced with one or probably more low res photos that can be clicked on for higher resolution images of the areas. Bait areas, marks, landmarks and other information can now be included (hopefully). Maps of the seabed and other geography may be available too - this has yet to be verified. Bit of delicate negotiation :wink:

Ideally each mark will have its own individual page in due course.



Sun Jul 25, 2004 9:16 am

Firstly, I must echo both the praise and general comments made by Read, jfkireland and Wes.
It is difficult to know exactly how to progress from here or, indeed, how to advise on such. Certainly, as progress to date provides, Keiran has made a highly commendable input to our pastime. His track record thus demonstrates that his decisions, to date, have been good.
My proposal, for what it is worth, is that those who are motivated can share costs within a budget, as per jfk's idea. Hopefully this might do away with the need for advertising. Next step would be to determine costs and to find out how many of us would be prepared to make any annual contribution. A problem that might arise with contributors is that of ownership of the site. This, in all fairness, would have to remain with the site's originator. Perhaps we could draft a constitution incorporating the concept of ownership and that of an informal committee whereby the subscribers have a vote in the development of the site ?
Just ideas FWTAW !

Tight Lines,


Sun Jul 25, 2004 10:05 pm


I'm very new to this site but like everyone above I think it's amazing and extremely helpful.

I would have no problems with paying a €20/€30 annual membership fee or whatever.

What about the Charter Boats section? That's basically you advertising all those skipper's boats. Do they pay anything for this?

And I don't think that links to other sites or even banners are a bad thing. Pop-ups are a completely different story, but you could even make the links to other sites appear helpful - as in the link above.

For example, links to hotels, pubs, tackle shops, etc near a particular mark may be of interest to some people and would also be a way of earning money?

Tue Jul 27, 2004 10:37 am

Hi Kieran,

I would have to agree with yourself and the others on this one. Some advertising can be helpful and less obtrusive that say "pop ups" that are very frustrating. But like you say you have to pay for the site upgrads in some way. Personally I too wouldn't mind contributing to the site on an annual basis. An american site that I access frim time to time is free but you can pay a voluntary subscription every year. For this subscription you get a baseball cap with the site logo on it. I think maybe this is an idea that you could use or modify to help raise some cash, especially for this new software :roll: :D You might also want to PM "toma" I think he owns a UK based fishing forum that uses some nice software.

Chat to you later,


Tue Jul 27, 2004 11:00 pm

Kieran, sounds like an great idea, though I'm sure you've seen the problems Total Fishing had by upgrading and creating members subscription. It's difficult to please everyone all the time I suppose.

As said a few times above, this site is one of the only 3 I view on a daily basis, along with Total Fishing (which I have lost interest in lately) and the BBC News. It's the way forums should be, advice , tips, reports, and no bickering and petty squabbles. It's a credit to you and if you can maintain this on the new setup, fair play to you.

If there's anything I , or I'm sure anyone else, can do to help, just holler.

As for advertising , banners , links or whatever way you want to go with it, let me know, I'd be interested in hearing what the craic is. Good luck.

Wed Jul 28, 2004 3:50 pm

It would be interesting to know exactly how much is needed to upgrade the software, i.e. would subscriptions alone be enough to pay for it?

I'd gladly put my hand in my pocket for this, I spend more time on here than actually fishing lately! I'm sure a lot of others would be willing too, but if it causes the kind of hassle and bitching as seen on TSF, then it is not worth it.

The idea, as shown on the Mayo site, looks excellent. It is not intrusive like those damn pop-ups. In fact it is very, very useful information for people travelling to those areas (i.e. tackle shops, bait providers, b&b's etc - it's all vital information, and certainly would be welcomed by our friends across the Irish Sea).

My only worry is that sometimes too much information can be a bad thing. The Lounge (UK site) suffered a huge drop in forum postings as a result of adding a large amount of unnecessary info on it's site. I'd hate to think that would happen here, as the forum is really thriving and is the lifeblood of this site.

Banners/advertising headings, similar to those on TSF, would also be a good idea, as long as they weren't taking away from the site itself. I'm sure that several companies would be interested (based on the massive number of hits this site is getting lately!).

I can't finish this without the obligatory praise either Kieran. The website is fantastic, and as someone mentioned above there is a real community feeling to it. You deserve serious praise for all the hours you have put into it, and for allowing us to indulge in our fishing obsession that little bit more!

Wed Jul 28, 2004 8:14 pm

[quote="Read"]This site, without doubt, is the finest sea angling site I have come across. Kieran, I cannot express well enough my admiration for the job you are doing. As well as covering the essential information on sea angling in Ireland, in the marks and kit sections, it also has this incredible forum. The knowledge, wisdom and common sense of the contributors, delivered with great wit and humour, is a joy to behold. If ever there was an example of an online community then this is it. ]


In a nutshell, I wholeheartedly agree with the feelings expressed so well by Read and others. The site is the best there is, full of great information and help for anyone who needs it.
It is a fine advertisement to fishing (and the craic) in Ireland and even on that basis, deserves a fat cheque from the Tourist Board.
So I hope you will please forgive me for chipping in from over the water and expressing a view. I, like so many, would be happy to contribute financially to keep the site just as it is. However if it is not going to be enough, what you have proposed on the Mayo-Achill-Clew Bay page looks a terrific alternative. The fee for advertisers wouldn’t have to be too big as there are so many places to fill. The adverts would be there for the serious seeker of information, not one of a multitude we can all ignore completely. I’m sure business owners would be keen to have their names listed in their area for a handful of Euro (with the handy requirement to renew/update annually to avoid the dreaded stale and incorrect stuff you often find).
I’m getting carried away with all this commercial talk – it’s not what I’m keen to see, I just want it as it is, but we have all taken advantage of your time and indeed probably finances and it’s going to have to change. So, over to you Kieran, your judgement to date has been superb and I’m sure you’ll do the right thing.

Thanks for a great site.

website development

Tue Aug 03, 2004 2:55 pm

Individual skipper profiles and diaries, private gallery for each boat? All sounds a bit fishy to me. :lol:

Re: Thanks

Mon Feb 14, 2005 9:41 am

kieran wrote:Thanks lads

I'm not looking for bouquets.... but it is nice to know the site is appreciated and more to the point being used!

I can get ya Bouqets... On the cheap. lol