The world's most-read Scottish politics website

Wings Over Scotland

This is Numberwang

Posted on February 12, 2013 by

We’ve had quite a jolt this afternoon, readers. The New Statesman has just posted a story proclaiming itself “Britain’s biggest political website”, citing impressive figures of 1.15 million unique users per month and 3.35m pageviews.

We clicked on the story (from a tweet) because we thought there must have been a typo – 1.15m is close to 40 times as many readers as Wings Over Scotland, yet 3.35m pageviews is only about four times what we get. But the story backed up the numbers, and provided a few more for comparison:

New Statesman: 1.15m users, 3.35m views per month
Guido Fawkes: 468K users, 2.34m views
The Spectator: 350K users, 2.5m views
Iain Dale’s Diary: 235K users, 409K views

These are the sites suggested by TNS as the UK political blogosphere’s big hitters, along with some others it didn’t give figures for. But that wasn’t what had us rubbing our eyes and doing a double-take.


That was the realisation that despite being entirely about Scottish politics – a subject of interest to less than a tenth of the audience of these UK sites – we’re attracting a very healthy percentage of their viewership. Our stats have shot up even since the start of this month – we’re now only just shy of 900,000 pageviews in the last 30 days, more than a third of the Spectator’s stats with under 10% of the readers.

The Spectator has a colossal budget (compared to us, anyway) and high-profile writers like Rod Liddle, Martin Bright, Nick Cohen and Alex Massie, and whole football teams of other contributors. The New Statesman boasts a similar cast of dozens, including the likes of Laurie Penny (58,000 Twitter followers), Will Self, Helen Lewis, Mehdi Hassan and The Vagenda.

Both magazines sell tens of thousands of copies of their print editions to drive traffic every month, and along with Guido Fawkes all of them have far more content every day than we could dream of, as well as being years older. It’s ridiculous that a single-topic Scottish politics site mostly written by one bloke in a spare room as a hobby should be being read even remotely close to as much as any of them.

(And that’s on the actual numbers. If, just for a little bit of fun, you multiplied up the WingsLand readership and viewing figures pro rata for Scotland and the UK, on today’s numbers we’d have 401,387 readers a month, and a mindboggling 10.6m pageviews.)

We’re going to use some of our fundraising money to go out and buy a hat so we can take it off to you, viewers. Your incredible loyalty and willingness to spread the word has always been impressive, but with oddly few website readership statistics in the public domain we hadn’t fully grasped how impressive until today.

We’re reeling to think what might be achieved in the future, especially if we reach our fundraising target. No matter what else happens in the coming weeks and months, though, we absolutely promise not to sign Rod Liddle.


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    1. 06 06 13 23:16

      We Need To Talk Seriously About Losing. | Tychy

    22 to “This is Numberwang”

    1. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      (tl;dr version – we really need to hire an advertising guy.)

    2. thebunnyman says:

      i think that’s worth another couple of  £ smackeroonis, towards the cause.

    3. Doug Daniel says:

      “No matter what else happens in the coming weeks and months, though, we absolutely promise not to sign Rod Liddle.”
      *Donates again just to be on the safe side*

    4. Scott says:

      Well done keep up the good work. Scotland needs you!!!

    5. Dcanmore says:

      Yup, well done Rev Stu. i’ll be making another donation at the weekend when the wage comes in. Won’t belong before Mi5 pays attention to you (unless of course they already have a file) 😉

    6. muttley79 says:

      Rod Liddle is a horrible, horrible git…

    7. Gav says:

      Afraid I don’t know who Rod Liddle is,  Rev Stu on the other hand, legend!

    8. mutterings says:

      O/T: Assuming that some of Wingsland’s impressive readership are Yes campaigners, take a look at Increasing the Visibility of the Yes Campaign.
      We found it works great; a good few folk come up to us, enquire about the Yes Campaign and ask questions.

    9. Sunshine on Crieff says:

      Wings Over Scotland doing much better, pro rata, than the Spectator? Well, your readers are concerned with the rebirth of their sovereign state, and the exposure of those who would lie and cheat to prevent it happening.
      The readers of the Spectator, on the other hand? Perhaps articles on forcing sick and disabled people onto Job Seekers Allowance, taxing people out of their homes because they have a spare bedroom and forcing young people to work for nothing don’t fire the enthusiasm as much – even for right wing ****s who frequent the Spectator.

    10. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

      Your indigogo banner is not loading. Here is the error message:
      The page did not load correctly or in a reasonable time. Sorry for the inconvenience but please try restarting your browser and loading the page again.
      Tried several threads to see if it was just the one but its not.

    11. ianbrotherhood says:

      We demand an immediate statement from Fraser Nelson, and anyone else with interchangeable names.

    12. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Your indigogo banner is not loading.”

      Whole site’s been down for the last half an hour or so, hopefully back soon.

    13. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      Back now.

    14. turnip_ghost says:

      O/t and apologies but this is a beauty. For those on Twitter, and even if you’re not, have a look at this user!

      Working their way through the “14,000” treaties 😀

    15. tartanfever says:

      On the subject of readership numbers etc, I see this weeks BBC Scotland online interview is going to be with Jeremy Purvis of the ‘Devo Plus’ campaign.  Yes, I know, I didn’t think they were still going either.
      According to their website they haven’t held a talk since last September, haven’t even ‘tweeted’ since Nov 30th..
      Yet, BBC Scotland still finds them relevant enough to give them a free plug and air time, surely it’s only a matter of time before the invitation comes through the post Rev Stu ? Just think, you and flubber, face to face, mano a mano… 

    16. Doug Daniel says:

      It was only a matter of time before a UK Treaties Twitter account surfaced. Together with Asset Scotland, we can forget about 18 months to negotiate independence – it’ll be crowd-sourced before the referendum is even held!

    17. Megsmaw says:

      How many jobs will be lost at Faslane if Trident goes?
      3?  110?  E56?  7874?  Eleventyten?   9784.79? a millionty one?
      That’s Numberwang! (the unionists favourite game)

    18. Stuart Campbell: “. . all of them have far more content every day than we could dream of, as well as being years older.”
      Yes and I’ve read their content and the difference is that here there is some high quality investigative journalism that backs–up the opinion. In the offering of the others there’s only opinion, a great deal of which is ill informed.
      It is content that is driving traffic here as well as this site and others like it filling the vacuum in the marketplace left by a wholly ideologically-motivated Unionist media, who abandoned the lucrative territory of green fields and sunny uplands that comprise the nationalist cause. 
      In terms of output this site consistently delivers high value-added content. I have no doubt you could achieve the volume of others were you prepared to serve up pablum, or indeed descend to the level of horseshit offered by Scotland’s broadsheets.
      The chattering class are for the most part, judged solely on the basis of their offerings, incompetent, indolent, mendacious propagandists, who would not recognize due diligence if it jumped up and bit their pontificating assets. 
      “professional journalism” has become a right knee-slapper of an oxymoron, capable of causing fits of apoplexy-inducing gufawing in any higher primate with a functioning cerebral cortex.
      In general, the standard of reporting, analyses, and writing, evident in the output of serious amateur bloggers, is superior to that offered by most professional journalists and political commentators, the majority of whom have their heads firmly wedged up their asses.

    19. R Louis says:

      The BBC have just admitted they do not regard it as essential for them to be fair and unbiased regarding the referendum.
      A clear, clear, clear brach of their charter.  We are right to regard them as a unionista mouthpiece.

    20. Alastair Wright says:

      O/T last night’s Scotland tonight and Newsnight were rather strange yes? No political discussion at all – it wouldn’t be a result of their chosen news blowing up in their face and going into damage limitation would it?

    21. Morag says:

      Ooooh, should we be rehabilitating Macbeth?

      Jings, when I was at school, and we’re talking late 1960s here, and we were doing Shakespeare’s Macbeth for O Grade, the teacher spent the first period telling us all about what a good king Macbeth actually was, whole life story, Gruoch, Lulach, the lot.

      Then she spent the second period telling us how the play was written shortly after the accession of James VI to the throne of England, and how Shakespeare was trying to curry favour with the new monarch, so he tried to find some episode of history to show England and Scotland as co-operating allies.  The best he could do was the Macbeth/Malcolm Canmore thing, and he did it by reversing the roles and making Malcolm out to be the good guy and Macbeth the baddie, when in reality it had been the other way round.

      Third period, we actually got to read some Shakespeare.

      I notice the Newsnicht programme featured the first part of the above (as if it had never been said before, I mean Nigel Tranter, Dorothy Dunnett, eat your hearts out), but not a syllable about the second part.

    22. cynicalHighlander says:

      When is the next UK ministerial visit?

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