you are seeing our header which is on all of the tens of thousands of
pages of our site. As an example of what I am proposing you will
see a mock up of a graphic that can be used to tell a story of Scotland
to the world. This would be the introduction to this series
of 52 weekly stories that we'll present to our visitors.
You'll note that this
graphic is large enough to tell a wee story on its own but when clicked
on it will go to special page on the site where all of those graphics
will be featured. For example the page would look like this...
and so two graphics side by side going down
the page. Each box when clicked on would go to the full article.
We'd send you a template such as...
... and you'd simply drop in the text and
pictures to create the graphic and email it over to me each week along
with the article. In the event you are unable to create this graphic I
can likely do that for you from the information you send with the
article. The size is 294 x 246 pixels. You can of course design your own
template to the same size.
The idea is that all of
the graphics you send over would be featured on this special page and
when clicked on will go to a full article that you'll send in each week.
On the actual article page you should give me a chapter of a book as we
want to give people loads of information on that weeks article.
You can thus also send in 50 pictures, videos, links to other web sites,
etc. There is no practical limit to the amount of information you can
send. In fact if you just did 5 or 6 paragraphs I believe that
would be a total waste of this opportunity.
There are various ways
you can use this project but perhaps one way would be to feature all 32
council areas and get each one to make up a story of their council area.
It could even be funded as each advert is costing £500 but as the advert
will remain on the site for ever this becomes a really good promotional
tool. It's likely that even in troubled times that each council area
could find one or more businesses in their area to fund the cost in
return for a wee plug in the article.
I believe council areas
should cover all aspects of their area and perhaps use it as a pitch to
possible immigrants. These immigrants would obviously be wanting
to know about the area, what is housing like and how much does it cost?
What are the health services like? What are job opportunities
like? What is the school system like? What can they do in
the area for entertainment, sports facilities, etc. And what does the
area look like? What is the history of the area and even clan and family
associations. Each area could also highlight Homecoming Scotland events
in their area.
It would also be useful
to highlight the main businesses in the area as people reading this
might well find out about a company that they could do business with.
It also serves to show the rich business life of Scotland.
In addition to these 32
articles you can then add one each on subjects like...
Agriculture and forestry
Oil and gas
Research and our Universities
Investment, Insurance and Asset Servicing
That would make 52 full
articles. Of course you can decide to do this however you like as this
is merely one suggestion. And if you have more to talk about why
not continue for a second year :-)
Of course this is just
one suggestion. You can decide on your own priorities so say you
wanted just to focus on Homecoming Scotland then you could send in a
powerful article each week on a single event or you could profile a few
high profile events and then give a bunch of events with smaller
descriptions for each council area.
You may decide that
you've got enough exposure for Homecoming Scotland and thus use this to
profile Scottish Enterprise and thus talk about Scotland's industries as
well as research and development.
You could also ditch all
these ideas and just do a summary of what happened in Scotland that week
to show people how diverse Scotland is.
Electric Scotland gets
millions of unique visitors in the course of the year. In the year
2000 I was receiving lots of email such as "your site has persuaded us
to look at a holiday in Scotland". I saved all those emails and
then in the later part of 2001 I emailed them all to ask (1) If they had
indeed taken a holiday in Scotland and (2) If they had would they might
telling me what they spent on their holiday excluding airfare. The total
sum came to some $21 million and that was new tourism revenue.
Way back I spent a couple
of days with VisitScotland helping them to decide on how their ancestry
site might look. They themselves told me that Electric Scotland
turned people with a casual interest in Scotland into Scots Aficionados.
When I was the official
guest of the Jacksonville Highland Games in Florida the then chairman of
the games took me aside to have a chat. As he put it... he was a
multi-millionaire with his own business and apart from running the
Highland Games each year he also read my weekly newsletter when he got
the time. He said that he would be interested in knowing more
about Scottish businesses as he'd be interested in purchasing products
or services from them. He really didn't have time to search them
out but if I could do a regular business section in my newsletter he'd
make a point of reading that.
He went on to say that
there were many Scots in American businesses and while they might not be
the CEO they were often in positions to put Scots companies onto tender
lists and also to purchase products and services from Scottish
After I returned to
Scotland I wrote to 100 Scottish companies asking them to provide me
with a profile of their companies. I only got one reply and that was to
suggest I add a link to their web site. Only the Wood Group has
ever sent in a history of their company and that was some years later.
And over the years I've been asked many times to supply information on
Scottish companies but only a deafening silence comes from Scottish
The wife of the then
Governor of Virginia was interested in creating online projects between
their school children and children in Scotland. After some 70
phone calls to all kinds of people in Scottish education I couldn't get
anyone to discuss this opportunity.
I myself have tried to
get people in Scotland interested in a meaningful project that would
tell the story of Scotland and have totally failed to get anything of
the ground. The only reason that I am the largest Scottish history
site is that I have unlimited resources all out of copyright. This
simply means I don't have to rely on anyone else for my content.
The reason I am making
this sales pitch to you is only because Dennis MacLeod in Vancouver
urged me to do so as I told him of my pitch to the Northern Ireland
office who have tabled my proposal as a case study and are considering
the opportunity. I also am in conversation with New Zealand, 2
provinces in Canada and 2 states in the USA. He asked why I hadn't
included Scotland and I simply said that I can get nowhere with
Scotland. He then urged me to contact Jim Mather before proceeding
further and thus the reason for this communication.
With going into all this
detail about the Scotland of Today it can't help but deliver millions in
new income streams for Scotland. This is not your traditional web
advertising. This is having an educational advert that virtually
all my visitors will be interested in. Marketing people are so
locked into static banner adverts and links which are of little use
today. I mean if I get millions of visitors all interested in
reading about the history of Scotland surely you can see that they must
also be interested in reading and learning about the Scotland of Today.
As I put content up daily on the site there is always something new to
read and thus the reason that a high percentage of my visitors come
daily or at least weekly to the site.
This is like having a
conversation with my visitors and many of them use items on my site for
their own newsletters. I have Royalty visiting, billionaires,
millionaires, Members of Parliaments from around the world, Governors,
Senators, and of course many more ordinary and extra-ordinary people
like "Joe the Plumber" :-)
So why wouldn't you want
to have a conversation with my visitors and tell them all about the
Scotland of Today?
All of the information
that you send will stay on my site for ever as an historical archive.
This means all this information will be a kind of timeline of Scotland
and thus available to future generations to study and learn from.
The advertising cost for
this is £2,000 a month on annual contracts. I might also add that
this money goes right back into the site and will likely encourage even
more people to visit the site and thus read your stories. I might add
that the site will be down for up to 24 hours this Sunday lunch time to
Monday morning. I am re-locating the site from Kentucky to Michigan as
we've run out of bandwidth for the site. In Michigan I am able to double
our bandwidth for just a 50% increase in cost.
I often wonder at the old
attitudes in Scotland. Like if I wanted to reach deep into the
Scots Diaspora I'd be asking sites like mine how I could help to make
them even better so I can reach even more people.
I would finish by
admitting that this is not an easy project as you are going to have to
build considerable information for each weekly article. That said
there are many people that can put this together for you. Surely the
marketing department of each council area can come up with tons of
information from information they currently hold? All of the other
mainstream agencies have their own staff that can come up with the
material. You may need to appoint someone to take charge of the project
as there are time constraints and also to overview the presentations.
If they don't consider the presentation is good enough they need to get
back to those people to tell them to enlarge and improve it. Now
if I was given an opportunity to tell a large story of my area of
expertise I'd be delighted to do so and I would thus hope the people
that make up the articles would also be sufficiently motivated to tell a
I keep telling Jim Lynch
of the Scots Independent Newspaper to tell us the good stories coming
out of Scotland as so many of the Scots Diaspora don't in fact keep in
touch with what is going on in Scotland of Today and there are some
really good stories of what the Government is achieving for Scotland
right now. And so I hope you can find people of passion to write these
articles and make them a really interesting and informative read.
We post up a teaser
advert each week on the site to get people's interest. The teaser advert
should present something of interest so if people don't click on the box
they'll still learn something. You create the graphic or I could do it
for you if needed but it's not that difficult... only what you say in it
When they click on the
box they go to a page where all the adverts will be presented in two
columns on the page (as I showed you above). By clicking on the
appropriate advert they'll be taken to a page on my site that will
present the complete article.
That article should be
large, informative and interesting to read and should come with pictures
with the option to have video and web links within it. I will format the
article to meet the standards of my web site for fonts and font sizes.
Each weekly article will
be featured in my weekly email newsletter with links to it. If you can
provide a 5 paragraph summary of the article I would include that as
All of the articles
submitted will stay on the site forever. This would become a most
informative historic look at Scotland for this time period.
These articles will be
included in our new site search engine that will be available in the
next few days and so will be fully searchable. As we're regularly
spidered by other search engines like Google this will give them
additional exposure. We anticipate that our new site search engine will
see increasing use as all the results must have some Scottish
While this is a project
with Electric Scotland you may of course use these in any way you wish
but suggest they should not be copyrighted so that anyone can make use
of them on their own sites or in their newsletters. For example, where
there is a clan that is based in a council area a clan society may also
wish to use the material on that council area for the education of their
While Homecoming Scotland
is important there are many other aspects of Scotland that are of equal
interest and by highlighting businesses within all this I believe you
can make a special impact on the business community. The more business
done with Scottish companies or those operating in Scotland will of
course help Scotland. As you also wish to attract the Scots Diaspora to
come home and settle in Scotland it is incumbent on us to get them up to
date on what Scotland is like today. This means they will need to know
likely salaries, household costs, education system, banking, social
activities, house prices, etc.
And yes, this is a very
substantial project but by being so it can't help but deliver
considerable benefits to Scotland. I've illustrated above how Electric
Scotland already delivers many millions in tourism revenue for Scotland
but that's only through featuring the history of the country. Were
we to do a better job on informing our visitors about the Scotland of
Today surely a lot more tourism and business revenue would result.
Who is going to produce
these articles? Well as I mentioned above council have their own
marketing teams and there are many agencies that focus on various
aspects of Scottish life and business. As you fund most of them you
should likely be able to arrange that they supply you with the
appropriate information in a timely manner.
And finally, this a the
new way of advertising on the web. As people are increasingly switching
off their televisions as they simply can't stand the horrendous amount
of advertising, people are moving to the web for information and
entertainment. Fact is the links and banner adverts are
increasingly being ignored. People aren't stupid and they know when an
advert is being presented and so just ignore it. This new method
of advertising provides information without needing to be clicked on.
However, with compelling adverts like the ones proposed here, and
especially to our target audience, it is most likely that they will be
clicked on and visitors will increasingly make a habit of clicking on
each new advert due to the sheer information being offered. I am certain
that most of my site visitors will look forward to each new weekly
advert and make a point of reading it.
And so there you have the
proposal. The cost is £2,000 a month on an annual contract and
should you wish to continue the contract after this you would need to
give me notice of your intent as I'll be in the process of selling it to
another country, province or state.
Statistics for the site
are that we get millions of unique visitors in the course of a year and
around 1.2 million page impressions a month. Visitors come from USA 51%,
UK 21%, Canada 9% with the next most visiting countries being Australia,
Germany, Ireland, New Zealand and France.