FIR a wheen o years ah hae bin oan the council o the Scots Language Centre (http://www.scotslanguage.com/), aiblins the maist wide-reingin an uisefu resource fir the Scots leid oan the internet. At wir lest meetin ah wis gien the role o convener o the SLC. Syne 2002 the director o the SLC hus bin Michael Hance, a rael champion fir aa speikers o Scots — an gin ye wid like tae jyne in the conversation anent Scots wi hae a braw forum oan Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/126242628908/. This week ah thocht ah wid gie a bit owerview o the wark that Michael dis fir the SLC an the braid canvas that wark cuivers.

This past while Michael haes bin warkin oan a reinge o activities an oangauns. “Thair twa-three new projects oan the go an the SLC hus bin developin their presence oan social media.” Michael says, “The Centre’s shift fae the production o content oan its web site tae makkin material fir social media hus enabled us tae ‘engage’ wi faur mair fowk as evir afore.

Features frae the site haes bin shared hunners o times on Twitter an Facebook an bring ilka day new audiences tae the work o the centre We commissioned special images for sharin at St Andra’s Day, Yule an Hogmanay.

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“Oor theme on St Andra’s Day was internationalism an multi-culturalism. This wis unner-lined bi oor main message oan the day – ‘we’re aw Jock Tamson’s bairns’. The message wis gey popular oan baith main social media sites wi jist twa creetical posts oan Facebook.

“Oor Christmas an New Year images wir baith shared tae the mast-heid. The Hogmanay message – Lang may yer lum reek – wis a bittie mair popular an wis shared hunners o times on Twitter an Facebook.We haed a guid online programme ower the festive holiday season wi auld and new features fir veesitors tae enjoy. This included audio an video material, stories, poetry, short wee films, photaes an airticles connectit wi the season.Unlike maist ither cultural an language organisations, SLC postit aa throu the holiday includin aa the big festive days theirsels. The Lorimer vairsion o the Christmas story is aye popular an wis enhanced this year wi NE an Shetland dialect liturgical readins.

“In Janwar we promoted features oan time, seasons, Burns an poetry. An in February we postit a reinge o features connectit wi luve an romance. Oor image fir Valentine’s Day – a red rose wi a quote fae the Burns poem — wis shared mair often as ony ither item we’ve postit on social media. On 14 February it raxed til ower 76 thoosan fowk on Twitter!

“In Mairch 2017 we hae featured content on birds, words connectit wi spring, an oor usual series o readins fae the New Testament on Scots for Lent and Easter. Follaers oan Twitter an ‘likes’ oan Facebook haes baith increased significantly ower the last fower month.

“As weel as oor ain page oan Facebook, the centre administers twa ither pages – the Scots Language Forum discussion group wi ower 4500 memmers - an the smaa but active New Testament in Scots facebook group whaur we post regular readins fae the Lorimer translation.

“Oor next project on social media will involve sharin a series o Scots language maps o Scotland. This will stert in late summer wi a map o the Borders an cairry oan ower the next twa year wi maps o aa the country’s regions.

“Traffic tae the SLC web site haes hauden up tae the levels we’ve seen in previous years. The ae notable chynge haes been in the nummer o pages fowk veesit whan they’re there. This is doon fae previous years an nae doot reflects new weys o accessin information wi fowk comin direct tae content fae social media sites an then gaun back tae thae sites efter veesiting jist the ae page. We’ve alsae taen oan the job o re-housin Scots language material fae the auld Education Scotland web site. We expect this material will be available later this year.

WWe hae new content an aa oan the subject o the languages o Mary Queen o Scots. This comprises a series o airticles lookin at the languages Mary spak, whit languages wis spaken in Scotland at the time an hou Mary’s speech haes been represented in film and ither media. We believe this series o airticles will attract new audiences tae the Centre. We’ve alsae biggit a new mini feature oan the site tae link tae the National Library o Scotland’s Wee Windaes web site giein access tae this excellent new resource.

“The centre’s web site conteenues tae be the main access pynt tae information aboot Scots an resources connectit tae the language an culture. It represents aroon ten years o continuous development an cuid accurately be descrived as the maist important an accessible Scots language resource ivver developed!”

Lik maist ither charities in Scotland income stream an funding are constant challenges tae ensure oor culture, leid an language are aye-an-oan presairved fir the nation. Michael is in regular contact wi the Scottish Government wi regairds tae finance an here’s whit he hus tae say anent the current financial situation fir the SLC; “Ah met oor ceevil servants at the Scots Government in mid Mairch tae discuss funding for the centre ower the neist year. The Government has agreed tae gie us £65k fir the neist year wi an additional £1200 tae pey fir social media projects. The government gied us an extra £2500 last year tae pey for the expenses connectit wi re-housin material fae Education Scotland.”

Sae, aa in aa, oor poseetion is secure fir the near future an howpfully ayont! Neist week ah’ll luik at some o the ither fowk wha help rin the SLC, an whit kindae ither projects an wark they are daein tae keep the Scots leid alive an verra much kickin!