History of Ireland Calls
1996 - 'Mayo on the Move'
Mayo Ireland Ltd set up the 'Mayo on the Move' website in 1995 and launched it on Valentine's Day, 14th February 1996. The site was soon gathering 1000s of visitors per month all interested in County Mayo.
1998 - Irish Chat
It was decided to provide visitors with the opportunity to chat with one another on all things pertaining to Ireland and the Irish. Over time the site developed into a popular meeting place for anyone looking for interesting and lively chat on any topic.
The early years!
As its popularity increased some members began flooding the chat room with unwanted messages, bad-mouthing everyone and anyone, constantly coming in with different names just to cause trouble and generally being a right pain.
In other words as the number of users of IC increased there was an overall drop in quality. As a result of this many regular users and potential new users were put off using IC altogether.
2006 - Irish Chat, the social networking hub
For a while we introduced a subscription based service and set up a message board for members to hold discussion on all kinds of topics related and unrelated to Ireland. In April 2006 we took this to a new level by providing the facility to add friends, create photo albums etc - a true social networking powerhouse.
2007 - Ireland Calls
As "IC" became more of a social networking site we decided to move away from "Irish Chat" and looked for a name that would reflect the changes. We put a few alternatives to members and it was decided to go with Ireland Calls as this reflected the pull that Ireland has on the Irish diaspora and the site could still be called IC for short. Hence Irish Chat became Ireland Calls.
2010 - Ireland Calls Social Networking site closed
It was always a struggle to keep Irish Chat and Ireland Calls running. For a small company, run by one and a half people, it was too time consuming, too expensive and not part of the business model. We would have closed it down years ago if it wasn't for our loyal members pleading to keep it open.
So as not to disappoint anyone we decided to look around to see if any other website could provide a similar experience for our members. We came up with Rendezvous353 (since closed) but didn't receive much support from them and had to abandon it.
2011/12 - Irish Chat
We decided, to keep the Irish Chat Room open. So we were back where we started in 1998 with a straight forward chat room and a "Céad Míle Fáilte" to all interested in using Irish Chat.
2012 - September
The chatroom, run by Digi-Net Technologies,stopped working. We tried to get in touch with the company but got no answer, this was a great pity as their chatroom was cutting edge.
Ireland Calls Trivia Quiz
Over the years a weekly Saturday night Trivia Quiz run by one of the IC members, Andrea, had proved very popular with the members. Nobody wanted this to stop so Andrea searched for an alternative chatroom facility. This has had a number of reincarnations and you can find out the latest by joining the Ireland Calls facebook group. We also set up an Irish Chat facebook page.
It just goes to show that, had we put a business plan together and looked for funding, Ireland Calls may have become a rival to Facebook. Then again, we might be as well off as we are!