A list of what has changed on this site, whether it is new features, blogs that have been added or removed, or just general news.
Several weeks of the long knives
10th Jul 2023It looks like Bella Caledonia is not much interested in having articles published on voices.scot. The new site is now hidden behind a Cloudflare security check which we fail for whatever reason. There must be a magic word to unlock access but we're just not that inclined to try and find out what it might be. Ah, well. Believe in Scotland no longer offer a feed to the articles they publish. We'll still keep an eye on the site from time to time in case something interesting shows up. At least Peter Bell is sort of back in business. The posts are fewer and farther between but definitely still worth a read.
30th Apr 2023Pleased to add Conter to the list of sites we follow. Normally our focus is on bloggers but since there are not many independent media / new media sites around, this is a welcome addition. The content is certainly a jump up from the sometimes interesting Bella Caledonia and the mostly dismal The Ferret, which nowadays seems to have magically transported itself to Montana and is fixated on right-wing militias.
Behind the scenes
16th Feb 2023There has been plenty of tinkering with the way this site is built. You might not have noticed but pages now load a lot faster - one of these little engineering details we finally found the time to do. The link to subscribe to the Daily Digest got a more prominent position at the top of the page - though that's yet to translate into a stampede of new sign-ups. The only other big visible change is that the "Editorial Policy" page got the boot. Describing why we carry some blogs and not others seemed reasonable, however, in reality it was a little pretentious / pompous and just not that important. Making the height of the page footer a little shorter seemed more useful.
256,000, and some change, now served
5th Dec 2022
In the first 10 months of Voices for Independence we managed to serve up 100,000 articles to discerning, independence supporters. In the following 10 months since February 2022 we served up another 156,000 articles. It's not exponential growth but still pretty solid given the still limited pool of bloggers featured on the site. Still this comes as a welcome surprise as, since you may have gathered with the lack of updates, we've just been focussing on keeping everything running.
The coming months should see another up-tick in the numbers now that the Rev. Stuart Campbell has come out of retirement. The general wails of discontent over the UK Supreme Court's recent decision that Scotland is not really a country is also likely to drive numbers up and we've already seen the number of guest posts, particularly on Yours For Scotland start to increase. The rise of Salvo and the recognition that Scotland needs to reassert her sovereignty is also like to drive traffic since the site, based on anecdotal data, is more likely to be visited by "Alba types" than the more progressive types favoured by the SNP. It will be interesting to see how this shift plays out, particularly with rumblings of changes from within the SNP.
Round-up for February
25th Feb 2022
Most of the month was taken up with making sure all 5911 posts from Wings Over Scotland were added to this site but more importantly were also archived over on archive.today. If you click the link, you'll only 2776 entries and some of them are higher resolution images of Chris Cairns' cartoons but all the posts are on the archive somewhere. We'll put together an index of some sort at some point so it will be easy to find each archived post. This is just an insurance policy in case something "bad" happens. Given the influence the Rev. Stuart Campbell has had on the commentary on Scottish politics it would be a shame if the site was lost.
Similarly we also added and archived all of Grouse Beater's posts - all 792. Gareth's writing is in a league of it's own. His posts on cars and film reviews are a bit off topic for this site but quite fun to read. Given the state of his health and the uncertain future of the site as a result it was vitally important that some form of backup was made. Thankfully the posts are now preserved for all to enjoy. It's the same story with the index of posts on archive.today only 2 are visible but the "archived" link for each post on voices will take you to the archived page.
In other news, we added Kenny MacAskill's personal/official web site, which I think is our first MP. We've mulled over the idea of adding more but then then we'd have to add them all. We might remove Kenny's blog at some point since we hear from him in plenty of other sources but no decision is planned yet. We removed Women for Independence which was on pause since the beginning as they were in the process of getting a new site built. Unfortunately it's member's only - probably because of their somewhat unpopular stance on Women's Rights, which is a bit of a pity.
Other than that there's not much else. Given the events in Ukraine I think that's enough to be going on with. We think we'll see the effects of the Russian invasion for a long time to come.
4th Feb 2022
Voices for Independence started out late last May. Since then we've featured over 4,800 blogs, videos and articles from bloggers and other supporters of independence. We reached a significant milestone at 9:31 pm Thursday - over 100,000 posts read. Not hugely important in the grand scheme of things, but we're pretty pleased with ourselves.
29th Jan 2022
27th Jan 2022
We've finally released the changes needs to show the list of blogs and sites ordered by the number of visits they get. The ranking is based on the number of views in the past four weeks and is updated nightly. If you head over there right now you can see Wings Over Scotland at #12, about to be overtaken by Bella Caledonia and Wee Ginger Dug. Truly, we live in interesting times.
20th Dec 2021
By the numbers
20th Dec 2021
Well the "Statistics" link didn't live long - all of 16 days. They got caught up in the general clean-up we made of the site over the weekend. The main problem is that tables of numbers aren't very compelling. After you've looked at couple it becomes a little dull. Fear not however, they're still around, except we've spread them around a little. First, every article shows a number of views which is the number of times that somebody has clicked on the link to read the article. There's no league table but if you scan through the list of article on the page it's pretty easy to see which are the popular ones. Also for a given day you can see which posts are attracting the most interesting. Next on the page for an individual blog, say, Grumpy Scottish Man, if you scroll down you can see the site rankings for the past week and the past month (30 days). Again, there's no league table, since this is not a competition, however it should be easy to see which are the most influential blogs and how they are faring.
16th Dec 2021
The latest gee-whizz feature is that we've added pages listing all the authors and wherever you see an article, the author's name is now clickable and that takes you to a page listing all the articles they've written. The motivation for this is to make it easy to find all the posts by guest-post powerhouses such as Mia, Lorna Campbell and the Dynamic-duo of Neale Hanvey and Kenny MacAskill. The rise of the "Guest Author" over the past few months, particularly on Grouse Beater and Yours for Scotland is a welcome development. Setting up your own blog is a bit of work and a big commitment. Not everybody wants to do that and guest posts give people a chance to make their voice heard.
16th Dec 2021
If you're a regular visitor you've no doubt noticed we've been monkeying around with the layout of the site and how things are organised. The aim is to tidy up the way things are presented and make the site generally easier to use, particularly if you are reading it on a mobile phone. Now the focus on the home page is purely on the latest posts. Information on the sources have been shunted down to the bottom of the page, where we think they are still easy to find.
We'll be doing a little bit more monkeying around but things are pretty well organised now (we'd love to hear if you think it isn't) so any disruption caused by things wandering around pages should be minimal from now on.
Cue gnashing of teeth and tearing of hair - Part 2
9th Dec 2021
We've finally figured out how to add news from the Alba Party. Many thanks to Brenda for poking Alba which lead to the accidental discovery of the link to the RSS feed buried in the code for their announcements page. By happy coincidence this also means that we can add the blog from Now Scotland but there's not much to see there, at least for now. No thanks to NationBuilder who don't seem to know much about syndicating content.
All in all, a good day.
Cue gnashing of teeth and tearing of hair
7th Dec 2021
Up to quite recently, you could not find The Alex Salmond Show officially on YouTube. Neither Russia Today who air the show, nor Sliante Media which produce the show each week, had a channel devoted to it. The only "copies" available were uploaded from Pilar Aymara*, who I presume is a supporter of Catalonian independence. That's all now changed. The videos are now available on the Alex Salmond YouTube channel. There are only videos for the past couple of months available in the channel. However the Videos page appears to have them all. We've add the channel to the site so you'll know as soon as a new video is released. We'll get around to adding the videos not available through the channel at some point.
*that's a slight exaggeration, you could find them all with a search or with the #AlexSalmond hashtag but that wasn't much use to us.
Forever and ever...
7th Dec 2021
No, not the Demis Roussos song (Google will help you if you are aged under 100). Instead, Voices has started adding all of Grouse Beater's posts to the site. More importantly, we are also making sure that all of the posts are archived on archive.today and eventually archive.org, for future generations to enjoy.
When it comes to politics, nobody can unleash a full broadside quite like Gareth.
2nd Dec 2021
If you have ever scrolled all the way down to the bottom of the page you will have seen a link to a blog. Originally the idea is that this sister site would contain all the things that did not really fit into this one - like a regular analysis of the state of Indy blogging and other things that real writers get up to. Well that ended being a lot more work than we were prepared for. With the Updates and the new Statistics sections we now have a lot of the content we intended to put on the blog on this site. As a result there is not much need for a separate blog site so we decided to remove the link and will soon shut it down.
Lies, damned lies and statistics
2nd Dec 2021
Every time someone clicks on a link to a post we record the event*. Now after several months worth of data collection we've added a Statistics section** where you can see which posts and sites are popular. The "Popular Posts" page is also probably useful if you need to catch up with what's been going on and you just want to read the more influential posts of the past few weeks.
We will add more in the future, particularly some shiny graphs for site traffic. That way you will be able to see how successful Voices for Independence is at increasing the readership of the 'Vile Cybernats'.
*for the privacy conscious - your computer's address is not recorded - what you read is your own business and most definitely not ours.
**to keep it handy, there is also a link to the Statistics section at the bottom of each page.
Lights, Camera, Contact!
29th Nov 2021Today sees the release of the feature you've all been waiting for. The Contact link at the bottom of the page now allows you to get in touch via a form and not directly through email. It's anonymous too, if you don't need or want a reply. We wait with bated breath to see the outcome.
Labels, guest posts and editorials
27th Oct 2021
The latest update to the site adds a little bit of polish. Now when an article gets reposted on the same site or cross-posted between sites it's given a "Repost" label so you can skip past it. We we'll add other labels when the need arises.
Next up is showing when a guest author writes a post. Normally we don't bother displaying the author every time as seeing "by Peter A. Bell on Peter A. Bell" is repetitive or "by Iain Lawson on Yours for Scotland" is tedious as we all know Yours for Scotland is Iain's blog. With a little tweaking behind the scenes the author is only shown when it's a guest post. Usually these are a must-read so credit where credit is due. Also the increasing number of guest posts from long time commenters with interesting things to say is a welcome development, particularly if they have specialist knowledge and insight on a given topic.
Finally, there are editorial comments. These are just short notes displayed below the link to an article. They are useful for various things and will probably be used most often to justify why a particular link is included. We think it will come in handy should we ever, in a moment of weakness, start posting articles from The Scotsman or Conservative Home.
Elements of Style
18th Oct 2021
The observant visitor will notice that the site colours and name have reverted to their original form. Voices for Independence still stands with Marion Millar, however it's time to be getting on with adding new things - the first of which is restyling the way the pages look. Things are exactly the way they were before except for looking slightly different and all links now show an underline when you go to click on them. Gripping stuff, we know.