‘Ramp’ – Middle English verb – to rave, rush wildly about.
When we picked the name it didn’t necessarily mean anything. We wanted a strong, one-syllable word, that didn’t have any longstanding associations or negative connotations and could become a brand all its own. We brainstormed. Edge.ie? Who are we kidding? Silver.ie? Sinéad liked it, Lisa didn’t. Ramp.ie? Yes. It immediately took on meaning. On the Rampage. Ramp it up. Ideas we could work with. That was decided in January at our very first ‘no seriously, we’re making a new website’ meeting. We gathered momentum slowly. Column idea here, ‘wouldn’t be great if X wrote for us?’ there. And in the past few weeks Ramp has taken on its old meaning – to rave, rush wildly about. Design tweaks, editorial meetings, picking colours like frenzied brides, html queries up the hoo-hah.
We’ve solicited the best writers we know, pulled together a site design we quite like if we do say so ourselves, started to build the name and the content and the original quirks that will make us, us. So here we are, Ramp.ie. Have a click around and get to know the place. We like to call ourselves an online magazine because we’re doing some traditional magaziney things in an internet way. We have an editorial meeting – but we get together via email. We have regular columns – it just so happens that they’re behind shiny buttons like ‘The Letter Home’ and ‘Celebrity Sandwich’. Speaking of shiny buttons – they’ll lead you to our original content. Original content is the basis of Ramp.ie. Movie reviews? Music news? We’ve got it. Opinion, humour, funny stuff, musings, clever rants? We’ve got those too.
We’re not print trying to exist online, nor are we firing up content as fast as our fingers will allow. We’re an online magazine. Themes, planned content, bits of colour, serious graft – all coupled with the knowledge of how to share things online, engage in a conversation and always seeking to present ourselves in the right way. Each week there’ll be an editorial letter and we’ll introduce you to how things are going in the Ramp basement, why we’re writing about that idea, just what we thought we were doing with that swimsuit edition.
We have long held the opinion that print isn’t ready to die because there are some things it’s still champion at. Your traditional magazine or newspaper has some big plusses on its side. Reading a magazine gives you the news and tells you what’s important, while conversely the internet asks you to seek out the things you want to be informed on. A paper tells you how much attention you ought give to something with content deftly placed in left and right hand pages, things above and below the fold, design-led quiet indicators to what’s big or small in a way that websites are still only learning to emulate. Below the fold becomes ‘you gotta scroll’, front-page news becomes ‘put it in the featured section at the top or it’ll be gone in twenty minutes’. Traditional print allows you to turn over the back page and be finished, know that you are as informed as the world thinks you ought be, while the internet never stops.
Ramp.ie seeks to marry the best of both. We want to bring you quality Irish writing that happens to be on the internet. We want to keep the traditional goodness of well-edited content, organised media and a trusted name and send it out into the world via the most up-to-date, reader-friendly methods we can find. We might not be able to preserve the blackened thumbs of a good read of the newspaper, but we’ll try to preserve that contented feeling of knowing that you’ve informed and entertained yourself. As the Ulysses line goes, ‘sufficient for the day is the newspaper thereof’ – we’re not going for any tall order like being the only website you’ll ever need – but you will notice the change of day with us. Not just press releases or film reviews, we’ll use our heads to record the passage of time and comment on what’s going on in the world, be it frivolous or serious. Sorry for quoting Ulysses. What a shower of wreck-the-heads.
Welcome to Ramp.ie – there’ll be a few potholes but we’re on a good road.
Always feel free to tell what we can do differently.
PS: There are always thank yous when something new comes about and we’re no different.
Sinéad would like to thank Rick who invited her to write for her former online home Culch.ie many moons ago, Darren Byrne who allowed her to run the show over there for a while and offered lots of advice along the way, and the many Culch contributors who taught her lots and became mates. She’s also extremely grateful to Eric Foley for the awesome Ramp.ie site customisation, Gary Dermody for fielding many IT queries, Seán Earley for all of Ramp.ie’s awesome graphics and reams of sage advice, Aidan Coughlan for sub-editing and advice, Jonathan Byrne for help with testing the site, Neil Markey for always being on hand to give a dig out, and Lisa McInerney for being an absolute Trojan website put togetherer, inimitable wit and awesome friend. Kudos too, to all the friends who’ve offered vital drinks and distraction and very often offered their time and contributions to Ramp. And thank you to the many dozens of Keoghs she calls family – from whom she learned that not being informed just isn’t good enough.
Lisa would like to thank Darren Byrne, whose mentorship over at Culch.ie allowed her to develop the skillxors and brass neck to take on a project as ambitious as Ramp.ie. She’s similarly grateful for the support of Ramp.ie’s team of enthusiastic contributors, who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in their creativity, wisdom and willingness to be led up Ramp’s garden path. Huge thank yous go to Webmaster Eric, provider of choons and whiskey, Gary, who she has nagged by proxy, and Seán, who she has nagged directly. Thanks to the team of gallant ne’er-do-wells who’ve kept her sane: Louise, Kevin, Caroline, Ellen and Tara. Fistbumps to Rich, her very first reader when she started this new media writing lark, whose appreciation for her awkward literary efforts shoved her up the road to this point. Special bear hugs to partner-in-crime Sinéad, to Róisín, who’s scraped by without her ma for the past few weeks, and to her ever-valiant John, who’s provided endless mugs of coffee and enough moral support to lift and separate a nunnery. She couldn’t have done this without him.