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Hello and Welcome to Electric Scotland and our Presentation on how to tell Scotland's story to the world.

Click here to download a video presentation in Real Media 4.2Mb
As I can't make it to Scotland figured this might give you some thinking I have on this project.

Hello, I'm Alastair McIntyre and welcome to my site which is mostly to do with the history of Scotland and the Scots.Above 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
Scottish Government
Local Government
Homecoming Scotland

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 companies.

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 business.

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 great story.

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.

In Summary...

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 is important.

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 well.

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 connection.

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 clan members.

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.

You can of course email me at or and my phone number is 519 351 7020 and I'm on EST which means I'm 5 hours behind you.


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