Tartan Tights 2014 My Year On The Blog

Hey everyone As it’s the first Monday of the new year it is I think time look to forward but to do that, there are occasions when we have to look back and in this post I want to take a look back at how WordPress saw tartantights in 2014.

I start by saying that my site was visited over 13,000 times during the last year This according to wordpress is enough to fill the Sydney Opera House which has a capacity of 2,700 for five sell out performances or if your Scottish like me, it is the equivalent of one Nicola Sturgeon tour show at the Glasgow Hydro.

So where did they come from? and who the devil are these people who read my thoughts rants and musings? Well I will attempt to answer these questions in reverse order. As for who reads my posts or indeed my occasional pages many of them are known to me as residents as facebook and twitter communities and indeed personally through my involvement in poetry, traditional music, and political communities. There are also fellow bloggers I have got to know through this wonderful if sometimes dark art.

As for where my readers came from well it is no great surprise to say that the vast majority were from Scotland. And though the United Kingdom is officially listed as the top country for visitors to tartantights, we are or at least so we are told part of a family of four nations or my opinion three nations and one occupied and partitioned province. However if we play along with the idea of it being four nations it is I think fair to say that of the four Scotland would be expected to come out on top and would probably do so by a considerable distance. As for the more global picture, the traffic came from 81 countries in total and apart from the UK most of it came from the United States, Ireland, Australia and Canada

As you may have noticed all of these nations are predominately English speaking, this is I believe very handy as my musings tend to be articulated in a very Scottish, very Glaswegian working class style and those who only understand a formal style of English which my former
boss would often refer to as the Queen’s English may not fully benefit from my words of wisdom. Having said that however I must admit to being slightly surprised that I got more views from readers in France than I did from English speaking New Zealand and that Italy, India and Brazil were amongst many nations where I received more traffic than I did from South Africa

Next I move on to my top posts for the year just ended and it is I think no great surprise to anyone least of all me that living in Scotland and being an avid supporter of the yes campaign for my country’s independence my top five posts were all in some way related to the Scottish Independence referendum. This I suppose only to be expected, indeed my top post for the year
Tales From The Fantasy Factory ( A Revisionist History Of Scotland) which was written on the 2nd of April helped me to set a new record for blog traffic the following day when 278 visitors came to tartantights. The second most popular post was Alex Salmond A Personal Appraisal which was written as my personal tribute to our former First Minister on the Monday following his resignation after losing the Independence referendum. This was followed by Invitation To A Better Land which was my personal and poetic reply to a letter I received and have got from a young Better Together supporter who was campaigning for women to vote no and remain within the United Kingdom. This was the only poem to make the top five.

The other two posts to their places in this group were See This Referendum It’s All About Alex Why Salmond Matters And Why Unionists Hate Him and the last of this selection Freedom’s Flame Burns For One Of The Good Guys Who Will Never Be Yesterday’s Man came in response to the Burning of an effigy of Alex Salmond by some Tories in the home counties of South East England. Apparently this was and I have it good authority not meant as an insult indeed quite possibly the reverse as those who selected Mr Salmond will lampoon another political leader or celebrity next year. I await with interest to see if the BBC and other media outlets report it with quite the same glee. If they do then that’s fine, if they don’t then it’s racism.
Though these were most widely read posts none of them received any comments and indeed my most commented posts was written in the aftermath of the unionist victory in our referendum on the morning after of their less socially enlightened supporters disgraced the cause they were supposed to believe in by ransacking Glasgow city centre and taunting yes supporters with Nazi salutes and the Anti-Irish Famine Song. The post was entitled This Isn’t A Land Of Hope And Glory It’s The Land Of The Union Jack Boot. Yes believe me I was in no mood to be gentle with my unionist opponents after the referendum and was looking to find their weaknesses in any way shape or form and pounce on every mistake I knew they were going to make. Fortunately with this lot having more donkeys than you would ever find at Blackpool Beach I didn’t have to wait very long before the first of many gifts started to arrive and this gift just keeps on giving. So with the referendum settled some people may have wondered what direction my blog would take in the new post referendum Scotland. The great thing was however that there are plenty of topical issues to discuss and this being the case it is I think safe to say I will have opinions on those issues. With both traffic and comments at a record high I think you could say I’ve had a very good year at tartantights and I hope that trend continues throughout the coming year.

With regards to consistency of posts my longest streak for posting on successive days was a ten day period between July 20th to 29th. This was at a time when the city was buzzing with the Merchant City Festival and The Commonwealth Games and I look through the posts I wrote at that time I have to say it does a show a blogger at her most diverse covering as it does posts on gender stereotypes, the commonwealth games, some new poetry, and an event to celebrate the new Glasgow poet laureate. Diversity it seems really is the spice of life.

Being reasonably at home with technology I find the best way to publicise tartantights is through facebook and twitter and in March 2014 I started a facebook page for the blog which so far has 62 likes and will I am sure continue to grow in the year ahead. My thanks go to everyone who has given a like so far and I will maintain it on an even more regular basis this year. Unlike last year there will be no summer breaks which stretch in to autumn. In my defence however I do have to say that last year was the first year of the page and there were exceptional circumstances in Scotland which will not apply this year.

Bearing in mind the fact that I have almost doubled my traffic since this post last year and quadrupling it since my first in 2012, It is think appropriate to name some people who have supported my blog during the last 12 hectic months. These include Graham Stewart of Political Tourist my most regular contributor in the last year Anne Kennedy aka Big Anne, Oneironaut, Lisa Marie Ferla who writes brilliantly under the title Last Year’s Girl and Annabel Marsh as they were my most regular contributors. Other commentators who were also not short of an opinion or two include the very talented John McGlade, the inspirational Maggie McCabe, the fearless Kirsty Lowndes, the ebullient force of nature that is was and ever shall be Bob Leslie, and the ever chatty and ever article voice of reason Heather Caldwell.

Also I must thank Alastair Gordon Rennie, Andy Fleming, Audrey Marshall, Caron Lindsay, Caron Lindsay, Chris Stephens. David MacGille-Mhuir, Gerry Diamond, Jim Monaghan, Stephen Watt, and Steve Allan for comments on posts and sharing them on facebook and twitter. I also add the names of my first guest columnist Iain Lawson, Paul Kavanagh at weegingerdug for asking me to write my first ever guest post and the brilliant Jenni Pascoe who has agreed to be my first regular contributor. So as you can see it has been a busy year on the blog and I hope that the coming year will be as busy as thought provoking, as stimulating and challenging as the last one and I for one don’t see any reason why that shouldn’t be the case.

As this post draws to a close all that’s left for me to say is that hope you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read on tartantights in 2014 and will continue to read my thoughts and ramblings be they poetic or political in the coming twelve months.

I wish you and all those who matter to you a happy, interesting eventful, and enjoyable new year.

Love And Best Wishes
Gayle X


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