Re: Has ACGA run it's useful course/life?

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GunChleoc
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Re: Has ACGA run it's useful course/life?

Postby GunChleoc » April 15th, 2012, 6:18 am

I would like to post some ideas on this topic, although I'm not a member (I'm on the wrong continent ;) )
viewtopic.php?f=28&t=579


I think a map is a good idea, but privacy is also important. Mabye just list which state people are in, anonymously? Then poeple could send a contact request if they wish to contact others in their state, and members can decide for themselves if they answer. Or the info could be members only per e-mail.

Networking with other groups is also a good idea, and what about a travelling event that takes place somewhere else every year? Of course, there must be someone local capable of doing the organising, and working together with other groups might help there. Feasibility is definitely an issue here.
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Janice Chan
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Re: Has ACGA run it's useful course/life?

Postby Janice Chan » April 15th, 2012, 11:46 am

GunChleoc wrote:I would like to post some ideas on this topic, although I'm not a member (I'm on the wrong continent ;) )
viewtopic.php?f=28&t=579


I think a map is a good idea, but privacy is also important. Mabye just list which state people are in, anonymously? Then poeple could send a contact request if they wish to contact others in their state, and members can decide for themselves if they answer. Or the info could be members only per e-mail.

Networking with other groups is also a good idea, and what about a travelling event that takes place somewhere else every year? Of course, there must be someone local capable of doing the organising, and working together with other groups might help there. Feasibility is definitely an issue here.


Don't let being on the wrong continent stop you from becoming a member :D

Mike's idea about a map is a good one, and you have a good suggestion to protect privacy.

We traditionally have had a travelling event every year, but the very thing you identify as being necessary - a local person to co-ordinate has been difficult to find in the last few years.
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Steaphanaidh Carlyle
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Re: Has ACGA run it's useful course/life?

Postby Steaphanaidh Carlyle » April 15th, 2012, 1:18 pm

Curious... this thread ended out here!

I agree with GunChleoc here.

Indeed I would go further and dispense with the map and have a simple, text-based, hierarchal, by-state directory.

That said, whatever method is chosen, let's examine the practicalities.

(DISCLAIMER: This is based on my own experience with server systems; it's simply a summary of what may be required - it's not me volunteering, but then you knew that, right?)

For the sake of clarity, I'll call it "The directory" - whether it's text-based or a map.
The first choice is; static or dynamic.

Static: All entries in the directory are manually maintained. Simple to set up, a potential nightmare to keep current. Every time a member joins, or someones membership expires, the directory has to be changed, and the page uploaded :-)

Dynamic: All entries in the directory are linked to a back-end database through server-side scripting. More difficult to set up and customise, but any changes to the membership database are automatically reflected in the directory whenever someone opens the page. Of course, this still relies on someone (or someones) maintaining the membership database! And this assumes that the database is maintained on the host in a compatible database - if not, the database would need to be uploaded and, very likely, converted to the host-based database format.

(I am assuming that there is a membership database kept somewhere!)

Since I am not privy to the back-end details or the site (beyond what I can see; it uses a Content Management System (CMS), hosted at theplanet.com in Texas, and hopefully runs on a Unix platform, as all good sites should!), perhaps Rudy can give us more details, and give his opinion on the practicalities of having such a dynamic directory on the site, and what facilities exist for scripting?

If you go with a map, then there's the added problem of taking that data and generating a graphical representation of it; tools exist out there for this, but would they be available on the hosting server?

So, before we run off and start creating a map, let's find out what's even possible on the server. I'm really not trying to be negative (for a change), but it's often easy to say "hey, let's do this!" and then discover what you're getting yourself into!

Steaphanaidh Carlyle

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Janice Chan
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Re: Has ACGA run it's useful course/life?

Postby Janice Chan » April 15th, 2012, 2:00 pm

Stephanie Carlyle wrote:
(I am assuming that there is a membership database kept somewhere!)


Yes, we do.
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Cam MacRae
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Re: Has ACGA run it's useful course/life?

Postby Cam MacRae » April 15th, 2012, 2:15 pm

This is getting confusing following two conversations on the same topic. Is there any way we can combine them?
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Re: Has ACGA run it's useful course/life?

Postby Megan Moffitt » April 15th, 2012, 5:10 pm

Scott started this topic in the membership room. I'd like to hear from Scott, and see where he thinks it's appropriate to continue this topic. Scott? Dè ur beachd? I agree Cam, the entire thread should be shown in it's entirety.
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Re: Has ACGA run it's useful course/life?

Postby Scott Morrison » April 17th, 2012, 10:17 pm

EEEGADS!! This has grown exponentialy since I was last logged on! I am glad, but I have NO IDEA how to condense these two threads (actually three because the same topic is running in the board room!!! Rudy??? HEEEEEELLLLP!!!

A couple of things:

1) I agree that we need more "face-to-fece" time. That is what I have been wanting from the ACGA over the past few years (and there has been a discouraging trend towards less and less of it). The internet is a GREAT way to learn, but our group is a society and we need chances to meet. I am hoping to launch off of the AZ IW success and try to convince the board that we need one or two more of these weekend events in conjunction with a couple of other organizations (I am already starting to lay my evil plans to take over the Gaelic underworld...Moohha,ha,haaaa)

2) I like the idea of "streamlining" what we need to do as an organization to do things better. I am, however, a little intrepid as to deciding which program would get "cut" in favour of others. This will be a tough one...

3) A member "directory" is a good idea, but we have had those in the past and they didn't go a long way. That's way we created this forum! People here can share info as they'd like. That way we don't have to worry too much about printing and passing out sensitive info.

4) As for getting things to happen on a "local" level, I have already proposed that idea in the form of a greater "re-structuring" of our organization to include local chapters that could run independently (but with help from the national organization) with their own officers and everything. This outline is in the dropbox- Debbie:

5) a dropbox is a program that allows you to store computer files in and it is communally shared by those who have been invited to use it. I'll drag out my treatise from the ACGA dropbox and post it here after the AZ event (or when I get a chance to breathe, whichever comes first! :)

6) Tell your friends about this thread. We (the board) want to hear more like this from everybody!!
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Re: Has ACGA run it's useful course/life?

Postby Rìos MacAoidh » April 24th, 2012, 11:34 pm

A chiall! Tha mi air a bhith nam chadal. (This translates roughly as "Heavens! I've been asleep.")

I didn't know all this discussion was happening. I was trying to monitor the forum diligently, but obviously I slipped up. :)

Reading through all these posts I can empathize with a lot of what people have been saying here. You have all made some interesting observations and expressions of passion for Gaelic and for the value of a live person to person community of learners. It seems to me that ACGA still has a reason to be and some miles left to go.

I know that I was extremely lucky along with other learners and ACGA members in the Denver, Colorado, area. For about six or eight years (not sure how long exactly) we had a local teacher, Glenn Wrightson, who had been learning Gaelic way before most of the rest of us started. Glenn taught weekly classes for three (maybe even four) different levels for several years. During those years when we gathered on Saturdays for our weekly class meetings we developed good lasting friendships with each other and had a chance to meet several native Gaelic speakers from Scotland and Nova Scotia, because we had a large enough local group to invite them to come to Denver. I know that many of us miss those days, now that we no longer have regular weekly classes. A few of us still meet weekly in the Boulder-Louisville area in a small study group. And another group (the two groups overlap) meets monthly at Stella's Coffee House in Denver for conversation and a little reading. For me, online learning (although extremely valuable) could never replace the face to face gatherings I've been to over the years.
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Re: Has ACGA run it's useful course/life?

Postby Scott Morrison » April 27th, 2012, 2:03 pm

Ok, just to quell some nerves....The board is NOT considering closing the ACGA doors! We are in the process of evaluating which of our services are most effective and which ones are less so (in an effort to increase those that are). Or possibly revisiting our age-old agenda and re-writing it to fit modern-day times. There will be a board meeting next weekend and this will come up. More after that!

Personally, I don't see ACGA going away. It just needs a bit of a "facelift" ;)
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GunChleoc
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Re: Has ACGA run it's useful course/life?

Postby GunChleoc » April 28th, 2012, 6:07 am

I think local groups are a good thought. How about a call to the members to organise meetups in their area. Organisers could post here where they are, then people from the area could contact them and decide on a time and place to meet. It could then be turned into a monthly or weekly event, depending on the time everybody's got.

Those members who have experience in organising events could help them with their know-how.
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Janice Chan
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Re: Has ACGA run it's useful course/life?

Postby Janice Chan » April 28th, 2012, 10:18 am

As membership secretary, people often contact me to see if there are other learners in their area. Unfortunately, they are often the lone Gaelic learner in the wilderness, so to speak.

Almost all have computers, but not everyone feels they have the technical savey to set themselves up on SKPYE. Perhaps some sort of technical support could be provided for those who may need to be walked through the process. Then we could invite people who are interested in participating in virtual meetups to post in the members section of the forum with their SKYPE names and they can take it from there.
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Re: Has ACGA run it's useful course/life?

Postby Cam MacRae » April 28th, 2012, 10:29 am

Janice Chan wrote:As membership secretary, people often contact me to see if there are other learners in their area. Unfortunately, they are often the lone Gaelic learner in the wilderness, so to speak.

Almost all have computers, but not everyone feels they have the technical savey to set themselves up on SKPYE. Perhaps some sort of technical support could be provided for those who may need to be walked through the process. Then we could invite people who are interested in participating in virtual meetups to post in the members section of the forum with their SKYPE names and they can take it from there.


That's a good idea, Janice. I'm a great fan of Skype as an aid to learning Gaelic. I don't know any other Gaelic learners here in Illinois, but I spend several hours a week in Gaelic Skype sessions with friends in California, Colorado, North Carolina, and Virginia. I'd be happy to add my name to a list of people willing to join or help facilitate other Gaelic Skype sessions.

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