Here we are seven months on from the site launch and things are looking good. New sections have been added and people are beginning to see the value in contributing intelligent and well researched articles for publication.
Traffic to the site is being maintained with the site continuing to attract over 2000 unique visitors per day.
However with such a ‘unique’ visits being counted every hour many of these visitors will be repeat visits, therefore we will be using monthly visits from now on as an indication of how traffic is progressing.
Monthly site visits are unique, a PC is counted only once in that entire month. Of course there will be a few people who visit the site from work and from home, however these numbers will be small and we believe our stats will be as accurate a reflection as it is possible to obtain of site popularity.
Our unique visits for last month was 17,462.
Our total since we went live is now 95,588.
20% of site traffic now comes courtesy of the facebook page – so thanks for that whoever is behind it.
Also a huge thank you to the guys who are now contributing regular articles on political and non political subjects. Alan Barbour, Alex Porter, ‘The Panda’, Colin Laing and David Lyon. You may also have noticed the new ‘football’ section added this weekend. Football has a huge following in Scotland and football content is a must for any Scottish site hoping to attract the non political reader.
As usual, a big thanks to Gerry Hassan and Kenneth Roy for allowing us to reproduce their work.
Now for the drum roll ……….. Donations:
Donations paid into Newsnet Scotland’s PayPal account totalled £2500. Quite an achievement and a testimony to the strength of feeling at what many see as a journalistic drop in standards in some of Scotland’s more traditional news outlets.
A total of £850 has been used in order to maintain the site (£650 spent and £200 held as a contingency). Payments have covered hosting the site and other expenses incurred as a direct result of maintaining the site.
This means that Newsnet Scotland now has a balance of £1650 in order to help develop and promote the site. The money will be held in the Airdrie Savings Bank, the last independent bank in the whole of the UK.
And there’s more good news with regards to site hosting. We have received notification that our Scandinavian hosts have been following the site with interest and are so impressed that they have now offered to host the site for free!!
So, how best to dispose of these funds?
Newsnet Scotland will be setting up a small private team who will be asked to put forward suggestions as to the best way to spend this cash. The reason for the privacy is that it is simply not possible to engage with everyone who posts ideas and suggestions. The other is that the team will be made up of people who can actively contribute to the site in some fashion.
So, if you feel that you have something to offer then why not contact us and explain clearly how you can help the site. Those that we feel can indeed make a contribution will have their account upgraded that they may access an area set up for discussion. Once a decision has been taken on how best to dispose of the funds it will be announced in a public area of the site.
We would like to get the discussion group together as soon as possible therefore we would ask anyone interested to contact us before next Sunday (17th Oct).
BBC ‘Blether with Brian’
Many of our regular visitors will be aware that the BBC are currently operating a censorship policy against this site; the site cannot be mentioned or linked to on any BBC online blogs. You may also be aware that recently the BBC allowed comments to be posted on their blogs that made false allegations against the site and also allowed site content to be re-produced and misrepresented. Our request to respond to the allegations and to point out very clear lies contained therein was denied and our comment censored by BBC moderators.
After taking advice on the best course of action to take we were instructed that it would be better to complain to the BBC in writing and explain clearly that the claims published on their blog were defamatory. We were also advised to seek an explanation from the BBC as to why Newsnet Scotland is being singled out.
A letter was sent last week and we are awaiting a response from the BBC.
So, the site appears to be secure for the foreseeable future and with funds to spend on promotion it is hoped that visits can be increased.
As ever though, please remember that the site is run by unpaid volunteers who can only do so much. With that in mind we would urge people to ask themselves what they can do to help the site. We would argue that 1 well researched article on this site is worth 50 individual comments posted to a BBC blog.
Apologies to those who take the time to post articles that do not appear. We read all articles but cannot publish everything regardless, some will require spelling errors to be addressed and others perhaps required a bit more work in the construction. A few we have discovered are actually direct lifts from other news sources and we cannot publish those.
If people wish a series of articles to be published they must have a very clear theme and be sent in as a complete unit in order to be evaluated. We have improved the ‘submit article’ section to now allow people to send in their submissions as an attachment, thereby maintaining their formatting.
So, apologies of you weren’t published but please keep submitting and please keep promoting the site through word of mouth or the odd comment on discussion boards.
And of course, thanks for making the site what is is and thanks to all those who donated hard earned cash and to those who, had their financial situation allowed, would have done the same.
2011 is fast approaching ….. let’s hope that in the ensuing war of words the truth is not collateral damage.