You very rarely get useful stats about online newspaper readership, so we were quite intrigued by this snippet on tonight’s BBC2 Scotland documentary “Paper Thistle”, about the 200th anniversary of The Scotsman.
We don’t know what the numbers are or how brief the period was, but Wings’ average traffic is higher now than it was in 2014, while we suspect The Scotsman is moving in the opposite direction. For a single-issue website to be anywhere even in the same ballpark as a two-centuries-old broadsheet news brand with scores of full-time writers and production staff and a daily newsstand presence is a remarkable thing indeed.
We might start doing classifieds and sport just to see what happens.
Just a brief update on some legal shenanigans. Having received no response to TWO lawyers’ letters, I’ve filed a court claim against Express Newspapers over false and defamatory claims made in an article by Siobhan McFadyen (sourced by JK Rowling) on the Sunday Express website of 30 October, as detailed in this Wings article.
The court fee was partly funded by popular politics pundit John McTernan.
I wasn’t going to mention this on the site because it’s basically a personal matter, but as most readers don’t use Twitter or Facebook it probably ought to be briefly filed for the record, given the amount of media coverage there’s been.
And since we don’t generally do stat posts any more (the last proper one was a year ago), we hope you’ll forgive us a small indulgence to mark the milestone with a light sprinkling of facts and figures.
The popular children’s author and litigious bully JK Rowling, whose personal wealth is measured in hundreds of millions of pounds, has been devoting her time to the tricky task of finding people being rude on Twitter again.
One of the comments (visible in the top-right corner of Rowling’s composite image) came from the Twitter account of this site. And we thought it sounded a bit off, so we had a quick check to see if we’d really said something so mean.
As several alert readers have already spotted, our Twitter account was suspended at some point in the early hours of this morning. We’ve had no email from Twitter offering any sort of explanation, but it seems most likely to have been at the behest of a Daily Express hack called Siobhan McFadyen who’s been huffily bleating to the company’s executives over the weekend about this tweet:
The reason we tweeted that comment is detailed here and here. But apparently it’s an opinion that you’re no longer allowed to have.
We rarely do stat posts now, because readership has settled to a pretty steady level (generally bobbing between around 250,000 and 300,000 users a month) and we’ve run out of ways to blow our own trumpet. But we’re making an exception this month.
The snide, arrogant, pompous and casually factually-inaccurate comment above was made by a founder/editor of a rather less popular Scottish political website. And in the (statistically unlikely) event that you happened to read it and became concerned, we thought you’d like a little more information about our “ever-decreasing readership”.
Below is a very interesting 13-minute chat from this afternoon’s John Beattie Show on Radio Scotland, also featuring Stuart Cosgrove (presenter of the excellent footy prog Off The Ball) and Eamonn O’Neill, who we presume is this Eamonn O’Neill.
Naturally we like it because there’s mention of Wings, which – for just about the first time we can recall on broadcast media in our four-year life – isn’t about how vile and awful we are, but the whole thing is much more wide-ranging and well worth a listen.
(The line “The media the media doesn’t like to talk about” is Beattie’s, not ours.)
So, it’s our birthday. It was exactly four years ago today, on the 7th of November 2011, that Wings Over Scotland published the first post of what was supposed to be a pretty insignificant spare-time blog picking out interesting politics stories in the day’s Scottish media and challenging any inaccuracies in them.
Another three months have come and gone – where does the time get to, eh? – so it’s time for a quick Wings readership-stats update. There’s nothing particularly interesting or dramatic about them, so we’ll just give you the numbers and move on.
UNIQUE VISITORS IN OCTOBER 2015: 293,793
PAGE VIEWS: 4,616,334
In what’s been mostly a very sleepy time for politics, we’re thrilled with that.
Alert readers of The National will have noticed an article by me in it today. It reads slightly weirdly, jumping from subject to subject, because it was originally done as an interview but they then decided to cut the questions out to get more text in.
That’s all absolutely fine – they okayed it with me first – but some readers may be interested in seeing the full original piece, which is about twice as long. If you are, you can read it below. If you’re not, um, do what you like. I’m not your mum.