Read about the future plans for Slugger…

Eagle eyed readers might notice the banner at the top now says over 75,000 readers a month. Since the revamp a few months ago Slugger has been revitalised and is going from strength to strength. We have added over 20,000 new readers since the revamp! Slugger is also leading the way in breaking stories. This week alone several of our posts have been the top story on TalkBack, UTV News Etc..

Contributors

Slugger is a team effort and we are extremely grateful to all our contributors. We know it is very time consuming writing posts and we really appreciate all your efforts. We have added lots of new voices to the team recently and we welcome the diversity of opinion this has brought to the site.

We are always looking for new writers so if you are interesting please drop any of us an email:

Commenters

Maybe it is just me but the comments seem to be a lot more civilised these days. There are some great discussions going on and I have been impressed with the knowledge and insight from some of the commenters. If you are not keen to become a regular contributors we are more that willing to accept one off posts on a topic of interest to you. Send any posts to any of the emails above. Ping us too if you think a comment merits ‘featuring’ at the top of its thread.

Future plans – Slugger Live!

We think there is a demand out their for live political debates and events. We would like to run a series of live events but we need to gauge the interest level out their and more importantly see if people willing to pay to attend. The format will be a live debate or discussion in a relaxed atmosphere (bar, cafe etc). We are also looking at running a Festival of Politics AND/OR History, this would be based along similar lines to the Irish History Festival. We are also thinking of resurrecting the Slugger Awards. With live events we need to pay for venues, speakers etc so it is important to make sure they are financially viable.

Help us keep the Good Ship Slugger afloat…

As you might notice Slugger has no ads any more. We are loath to introduce generic ads again as they bring in very little money and tend to annoy the readers. The model we are hoping to develop is user supported alongside limited and time bound sponsorship and partnership opportunities like the OpenGovNI project. We have a lot of regular readers and would be fantastic if you could spare a fiver or tenner a year to keep us going. I know people are loath to pay for anything online but look at it as buying Slugger a pint. At the moment we only get an average donation of only £15 a month in total, as you can imagine this is not much at all. So go on click here and give us a donation…

To help us with our plans would you mind take taking this short reader survey below:

  • SaffronDuck

    I’m sure you realise this and are understandably ignoring it to self promote but I seriously doubt you have any/many additional readers. The website recently became mobile/tablet friendly and I expect the vast majority of additional hits are merely the same readers accessing on devices not previously supported

  • Brian O’Neill

    We actually under report the figures. The figures for the last month is actually 80,816 readers.

    Also that figure is only the website, once you factor in the social media stuff, it adds a lot more users. 2,668 likes on Facebook and 17,300 followers on twitter.

    Sure there might some duplication but even with it we are adding a lot of new readers.

    For reference 50% of readers read slugger from a computer, 30% from a mobile, and 20% from a tablet. It was 60%, 24%, 16% before the new site launch.

  • Brian O’Neill

    Freudian slip 😉

  • SaffronDuck

    Your figures for last month are skewed as much of the Civil Service had the site blocked and reduced your PC access percentage. Your stats jumped twice. Once as a result of becaming compatible with non PC platforms and again when you stopped being temporarily blocked by NICS servers. Though you are right to spin it.

  • Bryan Magee

    Who are you?

  • SaffronDuck

    Someone that couldn’t access via mobile until the rebuild and experienced the block in access who reckons both explain a 2 month jump in traffic that now should stabilise. If there’s a similar jump next month I’m wrong. If not its just the working out of both factors

  • Brian O’Neill

    According to the stats only 3500 sessions in the past month are from the civil service.

  • Bryan Magee

    Why does the civil service let people read Slugger? It seems inappropriate. How could it be relevant to their work?

  • SaffronDuck

    You need to compare like periods. Now (when you are mobile accessible) with a similar working period pre -summer. Then I expect you’ll see the jump is mainly explained by being accessible on new platforms. Similarly you’ll see a comment jump when disqus stops being blocked by many public sector IT systems. Of course the numbers nearly doubled after the site didn’t become usable on anything but a PC or laptop. Of course that’s easy and rightly spun as a sudden huge increase in numbers. Any spinner would do the same.

  • Bryan Magee

    Thank you. Certainly Slugger has improved (got even better) over the last while, with a fantastic interface great team and great content, so to be honest I wouldn’t be that surprised if have been more popular.

  • SaffronDuck

    Bryan, totally agree. Much better platform. I’m just talking stats not being great. I’d also point out disqus is currently blocked in much of the public sector and other private IT systems – the old comments system wasn’t. Resolving that with the previous block in public sector after rebuild would also drive up visits per user and engagement.

  • Peter O’Neill

    Great to hear of these plans. Just to note a local festival of ideas & politics is taking place during 9-15 March. Mick has been involved in the planning of this and hopefully Slugger will be involved

  • Robin Keogh

    I cant say i dont get a bit frustrated with you guys from time to time. There seems to be an anti GA/SF agenda with some of you that is played out on a daily basis shamelessly. But, having said that, i think the blog is very professionally managed with great topics and very interesting comments in the main. You also cover a broad range of subjects and the pieces are always well researched and easy to read. Keep up the good work.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Hey, Robin, you’ve been around long enough now to have seen some of the postings claim that Slugger is a preserve of Rampant Nationalism, where no one posting in support of “the other, other kind” can safely say his piece without being savaged! You can’t debate anything without differing just a wee bit!

    GAs record has left him open to many directional attacks by the hyenas, like me, on Slugger, trying to separate him from the SF herd, but I honestly think that the score on every person with apolitical vulnerability is pretty even. But yes, hey, I agree, none of the sacred cows are even slightly safe………and a very good thing too….

  • Robin Keogh

    Bah humbug

  • Robin Keogh

    Too much emphasis on scandal and sensation which appears to be having zero impact on SF support. Ironically SF opponents would probably do more damage if they engaged the party on issues that are currently politically and economically relevant which is where i am far more interested.

  • Bryan Magee

    Many people are very concerned about Gerry Adams and the type of politics he represents, its natural that those concerns should be expressed.

  • Robin Keogh

    I do agree, and i am not suggesting they should be ignored. But, i think a lot of it is over the top. Those that are genuinely seeking the truth get drowned out by opportunistic sensationalists. No other contemporary politician would have survived the level of scandal that has beset Adams in the recent times. Clearly this shows that adams will not be dislodged anytime soon. So, along with exploring the issues you alude to, i think its time that we focus more on party policy issues that have a broader social impact.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Robin, under all the sensationalism and pushing for political advantage, there are those of us genuinely concerned about the actual issues, as I hope I’ve made pretty clear. You say:

    “No other contemporary politician would have survived the level of scandal that has beset Adams in the recent times.”

    I’ve been saying this over the weeks also, but asking exactly why? Sometimes with levity, sometimes angrily, but always with a real concern for how SF continues to support GA in a manner no other European party would even think of doing, given the substance of his record with Áine. As Bryan says:

    “Many people are very concerned about Gerry Adams and the type of politics he represents”

    For me it is the contradiction of what he actually does and what he says in public, and which his record blatently contradicts. This is not SF bashing on my part, I honestly feel, its about asking questions that should not arrogantly be simply brassnecked away in any self respecting democracy. This is not about Sinn Féin alone, its about the woefully poor quality of leadership we are all too willing to accept in all quarters of the community, and I am just as angry with the record the DUP, etc, as anyone can see looking back over some years of posts.

    But I’ve really valued your postings, and look forward to others.

  • Brian O’Neill

    One of the survey responses said that we are a cold house for unionism. If we are annoying everyone it must mean we are doing something right 😉

    But seriously we are more than happy to run posts from any viewpoints just email them to any of us.

  • mickfealty

    Brian, for the record, when was the re-build? Interesting hear about the block for NICS readers. I’d no idea. Any idea why it was removed SD?

    Back in the day when I used to occasionally read the stats NICS made up a 1/3 of all our readers. So if they’ve been let back in that could be a reason for the jump.

    Might explain some duplication. Honestly, I’d guess the jump is 1 part technical; 1 part editorial; and 1 part newsflow.

    As for spinning, ha!

    Not sure that if we start dropping we’ll make it front page news, but we are certainly watching it much more than we used to.

    Keep an eye on the banner! 😉

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Educational? A break from computer games?