Ignore the bluster about SimilarWeb "understating" the number of visits to Wings, because as I pointed out, "visits" are including the same people over and over again in the same month. The key figure is the number of unique visitors, which shows an average of just 58,747 people visiting Wings per month between January and June of this year. I say "just", because those are obviously extremely healthy numbers by any normal political blogging standards - it's simply that they fall well short of the boasts. A few weeks ago, Stuart was not only claiming that he had the most popular pro-independence website, but that it was slightly more popular than all of the other leading sites combined - which he painted as an unmitigated disaster for the Yes-supporting New Media, because it would mean the only site that is really visited is one that is "closed" (ahem). I can now say with confidence that the second claim was untrue (the other leading sites in combination almost certainly exceed Wings by some distance), and I'm not even totally convinced about the first. I wouldn't wholly rule out the possibility that either Craig Murray or Wee Ginger Dug average more than 60,000 unique visitors per month - they probably don't, but they may not be a ridiculously long way behind.
Scot Goes Pop itself has actually been in that ballpark at times - during particularly busy periods like elections and referendums, it has occasionally exceeded 40,000 unique visitors in individual months, especially between around 2015 and 2017. In recent months, leaving aside August which was an extreme outlier on the low side, 10-15,000 per month has been typical (which is actually a significant dip on the average figures for 2021 - I have various theories about the reasons for that slippage). So, again, as I suspected, the claims repeatedly made by Stuart have given a significantly false impression - Wings seems to currently have approximately five times as many readers as Scot Goes Pop, not ten or twelve times. I would guess that Stuart may have also overstated the disparity between Wings and other middle-ranking sites such as Bella Caledonia and Believe in Scotland by similar degrees.
To try to make these numbers more meaningful, the average monthly readership of Wings equates to just over 1% of the population of Scotland. However, in practice this means that the site almost certainly reaches less than 1%, because a significant portion of readers are sure to be based outwith Scotland. And remember that many people will just be casual visitors who drop by maybe once, twice, or three times a month. The true core of committed readers is bound to be much lower - I can only speculate, but let's say it might plausibly be around 0.1% of the Scottish population. That tells us a lot about why the "Wings Party" idea proved to be such a non-starter. You might remember that Campbell was at one point dazzling his disciples with fantastical projections about how easy it would be for a Wings Party to take 10-20% of the Holyrood list vote, because the Wings website supposedly already had that kind of reach into the general population. Simply not true. Anecdotally, I do find that a lot of ordinary people are aware of the existence of Wings, but in terms of actual regular readers, it's much more of a 'cult' pursuit. (I use that word in the sense that it's typically used about TV shows or films with a very passionate niche audience.)
Lastly, could I just thank Stuart for the superb comedy spectacle in the second half of his post, in which he explains at some length that the website he's posting on, and which he has just boasted about the immense popularity of, does not in fact exist, and has not existed since May 2021. The space-time continuum may never recover from a contradiction like that. As evidence of the non-existence of Wings Over Scotland, he cites the fact that he's only posted 95 blogposts on it since it "closed", which works out at just over one article every six days. Well, say no more, Stu, clearly there is but a shapeless void where your website used to be.
(But actually, let's dispense with the straw man - the point I made was not about the last eighteen months, but about the first eleven days of November 2022, in which Stuart posted no fewer than *nine* times. That looks very much like he's back to full-time blogging for the time being, possibly due in part to his boyish excitement at Elon Musk indirectly enabling his return to Twitter.)
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