What is Social Media and Why Does it Matter to the Ohio Irish American News, and to you?

Editor’s Corner
by John O’Brien, Jr.

Social Media can no longer be called new. It is vital, but not new.  Twitter just celebrated their 10th Anniversary on March 21st, 2006; Facebook preceded them, on February 4th, 2004. Small companies like ours have to find other ways to share our stories. There is the financial reason of course, but far deeper, is reach – reach is everything in publishing, and in advertising.

Social Media has been a Godsend for us, to meet our mission of seeding and promoting people, events, causes and concerns, all on a shoe-string budget, dedicated to being the gardner.  Preserving, presenting and promoting our rich Irish heritage is our passion and our fulfillment.  Through our many platforms of print, webpage, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat accounts, we reach and share with an additional 20,000 people each and every month.  In March and December, it is more than 50,000, above and beyond those who read and share our print edition at home and work.

Too many people listen to reply. Listen to understand. We can spray and pray, that someone will see our posts, react to them, and then heed the call to action by liking, sharing and most importantly, attending. But we’d rather have you as part of our army.

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Think of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat as ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox – We know each has followers and fans. Who is the audience on each platform?  They overlap, but don’t they have very distinctive audiences? What is their need? And how do you fulfill it? It is different for each network; it is different for each platform.

Did you know when you share someone’s post, the number of eyes that see it is 10x what it reaches with no shares, and that number increases at even greater proportions, as the number of shares and likes, activates another level in sheer numbers of people who see your post? What does that mean?

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The number of people who see your post is determined by rules written by Facebook, often called algorithms.  More of your audience sees your post every time a reader shares it to their own followers, so a good post gets a double bonus. Facebook is set up for popular posts to be shown to more people; unpopular ones die a quick death.
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Only 13% of your “followers”, people who have liked your page, actually see your posts, unless they have clicked a button, called ‘subscribe”, which makes sure they see ALL your posts.  This is how Facebook convinces you to buy ads on their site – more people will see your posts when you advertise than when you don’t. As people react to your posts or tweets, the percent of your followers who see it rises, dramatically. If you include an image, the eyes on you multiplies by 3-4 times.

Put feet to your faith, whether it be support for your business, your passion, your spiritual beliefs, your charity or your music. Be verbal, but be physical too – Get up; Lift up; and Show up. And then live it all over again, on Facebook. If you want to give a hand to a friend, share.

Go dtí an mhí seo chugainn, slán a fhágáil

(Until next month, goodbye)

John

“Follow me where I go, what I do and who I know;
O’Bent Enterprises includes:
www.twitter.com/jobjr
www.instagram.com/LiveMoreLife
www.facebook.com/OhioIrishAmericanNews
www.linkedin.com/in/jobjr
http://songsandstories.net/myblog/feed/

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May issue of the Ohio Irish American News. Cover features Andrew Fowler, Pipe Instructor, West Side Irish American Club Pipe Band. Photo by John O'Brien, Jr.
May issue of the Ohio Irish American News. Cover features Andrew Fowler, Pipe Instructor, West Side Irish American Club Pipe Band. Photo by John O’Brien, Jr.

I ain’t Mad, How Much March Madness Was in Your March?

I ain’t Mad! Editor’s Corner

How mad was the March madness in your March? Mine was mighty, warm and filled with faith, friends and family. I am an active advocate of telling people you love them, how much you appreciate them, while they are still here to hear it. We too often don’t take the time, until after time has already run out.

Many St. Pat’s Honorees got to hear how much they are loved last month, during all the parade and surrounding activities. I love hearing their stories, preferably first hand. I like watching older folks unobserved, to see the light in their eyes, what stirs them. I wonder what they have seen, what they are remembering, and how to connect with them, so they will share with me.

As I get older, wisdom, perhaps, allows me to see the tragedy in her story, the hurt and the beauty in his eyes, behind the shining. The beauty in a person or a people is readily evident, despite instant gratification impulses. Gotta let it steep; gotta let them know.

April 2016, Editor's Corner
April 2016, Editor’s Corner

One of my favorite people is Pulitzer Prize winning author and columnist Regina Brett. She writes with and of common sense, caring, leaving the judgement at the door in a life well-lived and the lessons learned. She says in her book, God Never Blinks, “People don’t want to be saved; they want to be loved; that is how you save them.”

We could all use a little saving I suppose. In turbulent times, Demons draft with glee. But a little love leaves a long legacy. Sometimes, people just need a break. Surely tomorrow, that extra bit of time you gave today won’t be missed by you. But for them, it will be life changing.

St. Patrick’s Day, like Christmas, or Thanksgiving, or perhaps too, the festivals, slows things down enough for us to see the gathered gifts we have gotten, the graces and breaks we have received. To those that paved the path, that planted seeds or nurtured their growing, to those who received the honors and the appreciation, and those who did it without any recognition at all, I wish to say, Thank you.

The Easter Rising Commemorations are in full swing. Many events are listed within. Commemoration is important, to not only say thanks, but to learn or remember; who we are is not limited by from where we came, but it is certainly influenced by it. Knowledge is power and there is power in remembering, and saying Thanks.

Go dtí an mhí seo chugainn, slán a fhágáil
(Until next month, goodbye)
John

“Follow me where I go, what I do and who I know;
O’Bent Enterprises includes:
www.twitter.com/jobjr
www.facebook.com/OhioIrishAmericanNews
www.linkedin.com/in/jobjr/ http://songsandstories.net/myblog/feed/
***

Milestones:

Our condolences to Paul and Peggy Baker, on the loss of Paul’s mom on Friday March 11th. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your families.

Congratulations to: The Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians Irish history contest year focused on the women’s’ involvement in the Easter Rising. The winners of are:
Level 1: 1st place – Ashlyn Garthwaite; 2nd place – Brigid Donnelly; 3rd place – Brian Royea. Level 2: 1st place – Morgen Donnelly; 2nd place – Liam Craig; 3rd place – Delia Lowry. Honorable Mention – Sophia Murphy

Congratulations to Writer and Director Sean Lackey, whose movie, ‘The Yank‘, a romantic comedy about a clueless four-generations Irish descendant returning to Ireland for the wedding of his friend, will be now available in DVD & VOD by Vision Films.

Congratulations to Katherine Boyd, named Host on the Morning Edition, WCPN Ideastream’s 90.3.

April 2016 Easter Rising Commemoration
April 2016 Easter Rising Commemoration

How Do You Celebrate St. Pat’s?

Editor’s Corner

How do you celebrate? I start out with my family, and my extended loving family, the West Side Irish American Club, with the annual mass at St. Colman’s, whose gorgeous marble, and design, commissioned to Irish men in Dublin, I appreciate more and more each year; I may be daydreaming, but ghosts seep out of the marble for me. Then it is off to this year’s 149th Annual Cleveland St. Patrick’s Day Parade. I walk with the Sheriff’s Dept. at the front of the parade, then circle around and march with the WSIA family, again.

I absolutely love it. The massive crowds are awesome to see, a culture like no other, one that invites all cultures to join us as we celebrate roots, family, and a passionate heritage that touches every curve and corner of the globe, through our own hard work, perseverance, and passion for freedom, in so many forms.

After walking the parade, we walk to a local hotel, and eat, drink and make merry, as outside our walls, downtown clears out. A few other parties and must go to appearances fill out the day, until we all reassemble at the Folks, for dinner, stories and as many cups of tea as your nerves can handle.

#LiveMoreLifeBeMoreIrish is my personal social media tag line and has been my credo for as long as I can remember; it is a life urgency instilled by my father, to make a difference as you trade each day of your life, for something; let it be worthwhile. You can find that same credo throughout the Irish community; it translates to any culture. Be aware, be awed and be grateful.

There is much to do this month; of course musical and event lists and labels run rampant in this issue. Deliberate, and then deliberately, pick your passion; pick your company, and Live More Life, as the Irish are wont to do.

We would love to hear and share how you celebrate – send me a note (jobrien@ianohio.com) or post on our FB page. Pics are welcome, as long as you own them. Follow our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages listed below and Opt-in to our Cleveland Irish Fest (clevelandirish.org) and Ohio Irish American News (ianohio.com) occasionally and respectfully sent and guarded email list, and win prizes like fest tickets, an annual OhIAN subscription, books or CD’s. We will run favorites in our April issue; share your memories, share your milestones, share all that being Irish, means to you.

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Go dtí an mhí seo chugainn, slán a fhágáil
(Until next month, goodbye)
John

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“Follow me where I go, what I do and who I know;
O’Bent Enterprises includes:
www.twitter.com/jobjr
www.facebook.com/OhioIrishAmericanNews
www.facebook.com/ClevelandIrishCulturalFestival
www.ianohio.com
www.clevelandirish.org
www.linkedin.com/jobjr/
http://songsandstories.net/myblog/feed/
www.instagram.com/LiveMoreLife

Who Was St. Patrick?

Who Was St. Patrick?

Patrick wasn’t Irish, yet America’s biggest Irish celebration is held in his name; he wasn’t the first bishop sent to Ireland, yet he is responsible for launching the evangelical push that converted the pagan Irish to Christianity. He never drove the snakes out of Ireland – there weren’t any, at least not in the literal sense.

St. Patrick is one of three patron saints of Ireland (the other two are Brigid and Columba). He was born in the late 4th century, most sources say 387, somewhere on the coast of Britain, perhaps in Wales or Scotland. As early as 431, Pope Celestine sent a bishop named Palladius to minister to the Christians in Ireland. Patrick came to Ireland when he was sixteen, but he came against his will, as a slave.

Fortunately, we have his own words left to us in the form of his autobiography, referred to as his Confessio, and his Epistola, an admonition of British mistreatment of Irish Christians.

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Patrick was kidnapped by Irish raiders who were searching for slave labor, a common practice in those days. He worked for six years as a shepherd, and in those lonely times, as he later explained in his Confessio, he began to pray in earnest and trust God. He escaped and made his way back to his homeland.

Later he became a bishop and had a dream or a vision in which he heard the voice of the Irish calling to him to come and walk again among them. He did return, and apparently had several run-ins with pagan kings. Patrick stood up for his beliefs and was instrumental in guiding the Irish people to Christ. His predecessor, who was probably already in the country when Patrick returned, had been sent to minister to people who already believed; Patrick ministered to the unbelievers.

Did Patrick convert all of Ireland? That would have been a near impossible task in one man’s lifetime, especially since it was done without warfare, unlike Europe during the Crusades. Others came after him and carried on his work in Ireland and beyond: Brigid, Columba, Brendan, Aidan, and Columban to name a few. But St. Patrick is the name today that identifies all things Irish. The holiday is no longer just a religious observance; it is a day of cultural pride for all those with Irish blood.

“Follow me where I go, what I do and who I know;
www.twitter.com/jobjr
www.facebook.com/OhioIrishAmericanNews
www.linkedin.com/in/jobjr/
http://songsandstories.net/myblog/feed/ www.instagram.com/LiveMoreLife

Little Boxes, Little Boxes …

Little Boxes, little boxes,
and their all made out of ticky tacky
and their all in my closet
and they all need a good home

Won’t you grab my new book; won’t you share with your friends, and their friends too (please, they NEED a good home):

The Lyrics of Irish Freedom by John O’Brien Jr.​
A great book to frame the 100th Anniversary of the Easter Rising (Ireland’s American Revolution) with commemorations now starting across the Irish Diaspora.

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#LiveMoreLifeBeMoreIrish

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Get yours at songsandstories.net; I’d be honored to sign it for you.
John

“Follow me where I go, what I do and who I know”:

#LiveMoreLifeBeMoreIrish
O’Bent Enterprises includes:

Ohio Irish American News
Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival
Songs & Stories, my author web and SM sites: 

www.songsandstories.net
www.ianohio.com
www.clevelandirish.org
www.twitter.com/jobjr
www.twitter.com/365Irish
www.twitter.com/cleveland_irish
www.facebook.com/OhioIrishAmericanNews
www.facebook.com/Cleveland-Irish
www.linkedin.com/in/jobjr/
http://songsandstories.net/myblog/feed

 

Happy New Year, and Happy Anniversary too!

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year. I’d also like to add, Happy Anniversary – to all our Ohio Irish American News writers, advertisers, distributors and supporters – we are 9 years old; we are very blessed to know you, and to have your active support. We continue to learn, to grow and to get better, thanks to your feedback.

 

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As always, there is much going on in and around Ohio. Every month ads and the Out & About Ohio section are filled with what’s to come; so save the date, share the wealth and plan accordingly to not miss the best the Irish have to offer each other, and our friends.

 

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It gives us great joy to share the wealth of our heritage, past present and to come. Seeding others bears so much fruit; just as it has for generations of ground breakers, immigrants, sponsors and saviors, who then sent those proceeds back and forward, to ease the road for the next one on it. We aim to have the same impact. In 2015, our budget for helping those in need was $10,000; we blew by that in June, and will end up being nearly double it for the year. To whom much is given …

 

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Irish Network Cleveland, the Irish Chamber of Commerce in Cleveland, has launched; Music Box Cleveland Sundays are back, The Cleveland International Film Festival; Northern Ohio Rose of Tralee, and RISE Foundation events are fast approaching; Primary elections are March 15th, with many Judicial races impacting our communities; The 100th Anniversary of the Easter Rising is fast approaching; Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival and many more events are this month, next, or deep into planning. I know they would welcome your support, and your help; they are asking, if you are looking for that chance to make a difference, and have fun.

“Follow me where I go, what I do and who I know”:

#LiveMoreLifeBeMoreIrish
O’Bent Enterprises includes:

Ohio Irish American News
Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival
Songs & Stories, my author web and SM sites: 

www.songsandstories.net
www.ianohio.com
www.clevelandirish.org
www.twitter.com/jobjr
www.twitter.com/365Irish
www.twitter.com/cleveland_irish
www.facebook.com/OhioIrishAmericanNews
www.facebook.com/Cleveland-Irish
www.linkedin.com/in/jobjr/
http://songsandstories.net/myblog/feed

It is 2 Days Until Christmas …

It is 2 Days until Christmas …

Come my friends, it is not too late to seek a better world. – Tennyson (Ulysses)

Living in the moment isn’t hard to do ~ perhaps because it is so easy, and we are so busy, we often forget to do it. Being aware of our surroundings, our blessings, right now, as well as the ripples outward, is called situational awareness.

I have become good at living in the moment.  Too much time in my head, trying to mentally conquer RA and a broken back when the physical implements of war have not worked, especially this year, has allowed me to not only look inward for joy, but outward as well.  I go a little slower, so life is not as blurry for me as for others. Silver linings.

Beside the Ohio Irish American News, Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival and my books, I work as spokesman with the Sheriff’s Office. Every day I trade one day of my life for something.  It drives me to make that something traded worthwhile. I can recover some memories, but not time. I can’t recover the day. The opportunities may be repeated, but not in the same way.

There is not a lot of money in it; there is a load of grief, but the opportunity to significantly help people, to make this world a better place for my having been here, exists every day. Sometimes I win; sometimes I learn how to win.

The same is true for my new book, The Lyrics of Irish Freedom, which comes out January 1st (www.songsandstories.net). Sharing the bardic stories and songs of the Irish passion for freedom was a fun undertaking, but only time will tell if it resonates with others as much as it does with me.

Another echo of striving to make the world a better place is editing and publishing the Ohio Irish American News ~ we are celebrating our 9th Anniversary this month, and have grown tremendously in the past year, our best ever. There is no money in it; we haven’t grown enough yet, tho I have grande dreams. The chance to learn and share our rich heritage with those around me; to say thanks to trail blazers, volunteers and sacrifice, and to capture stories of the past and the present, for the future, have their own rewards. Saying thanks while they are still here, to hear it, is way more important than after they are gone, tho their families only seem to sense their impact later in the wake line shares and tears.

This year more than ever, we are aware of situations of struggle, of heartache, of loss and injustice, so many in need of a helping word, a helping hand. A helping hand CAN be verbal you know. They can be given out like sincere candy. We have seen those blessed with enough have taken to paying off other’s layaways – how incredibly thoughtful, subtle and loving, without any banging on chests or self-congratulations.

Acts of selfishness often make the news; acts of selflessness rarely do. Those without money try to find ways to make the world better by giving in other ways. We can’t let the lack of money dictate a lack of action.

The smallest gift – of word, assistance, thoughtfulness, can have the biggest impact ~ random acts of kindness can be a part of everyone’s day, not just at Christmas time. The theory is sound, the practice of this situational awareness, how we impact others, is so easy; we often forget to live it.  But it is easier to act your way into a new way of thinking than to think your way into a new way of acting.

It is 2 days until Christmas

If not now, when? If we won’t begin putting other’s first, of thinking beyond ourselves now, at Christmas, whether we have money or not, when will we? The time for thinking is over; the time for acting is now.  … Two words have so much meaning: Act Now; Merry Christmas; Happy Anniversary; Thank You…

 “Come my friends, it is not too late to seek a better world”

Tennyson Come my friends

“Follow me where I go, what I do and who I know”:

#LiveMoreLifeBeMoreIrish
O’Bent Enterprises includes:

Ohio Irish American News
Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival
Songs & Stories, my author web and SM sites: 

www.songsandstories.net
www.ianohio.com
www.clevelandirish.org
www.twitter.com/jobjr
www.twitter.com/365Irish
www.twitter.com/cleveland_irish
www.facebook.com/OhioIrishAmericanNews
www.facebook.com/Cleveland-Irish
www.linkedin.com/in/jobjr/
http://songsandstories.net/myblog/feed