Changes at Independence Captured
Stay tuned in the coming weeks
There are some big pieces in the pipeline for Independence Captured, and no shortage of topics. In the next couple of weeks I have some interesting interviews to publish, a column on Scotland and Europe to circulate and some analysis of the latest developments around the SNP and the Scottish government.
But in this edition I want to take stock of the project as a whole. As a valued subscriber, I want to keep you updated with my thinking. Because some changes are afoot.
These have, in part, been prompted by a Big Tech stand-off between Substack and Twitter. The long and short of it is the two platforms have had a fairly major falling out. In practical terms, it means that Substack links are being throttled by the Twitter algorithm. Reach and engagement is vastly diminished, and social media previews (the images that generate when you share a link) are locked for any Substack url. As a non-descript hyperlink often goes unnoticed, this again decreases engagement and shares.
This poses a challenge. Independence Captured has built up a good following and has made a bit of an impact over the last year. But the Twitter issue is a real one as the platform provides the bulk of the traffic to the newsletter. In addition, despite my personal misgivings about Twitter, it remains the major hub where journalists, politicians, commentators and other networks congregate. As things stand, it means that the writing on the newsletter - which takes a huge amount of time and effort - will become less visible and leave less of an imprint on the Scottish political scene.
So I have come to a conclusion. Rather than let this be a block in the road, it will instead act as a catalyst to upgrade the project as a whole. To that end, Independence Captured will have its own website. This will allow for the widest possible social media reach. At the same time, it will be integrated with the Substack and readers of the site will be encouraged to subscribe. As you are already a subscriber, nothing will change. You will continue to receive your weekly newsletter, which I hope many of you have come to look forward to. Indeed, I plan to keep some material especially for Substack subscribers. It’s just that editions of Independence Captured published here will also be posted on the website, so that Twitter and other audiences will have easy and uninhibited access to the content.
This will be up and running in the next 6-8 weeks. It will come alongside a refresh of the branding and logo. It will all be geared towards raising the profile of the analysis presented here, and with it debates over key issues around the national question, the SNP and the Scottish left.
On top of that, for a while now I’ve been working on the concept for a podcast. After going back and forward on it, it feels like the launch of the website will offer an ideal opportunity to make some headway on this element. I think you will like the idea behind it, and especially the format. Look out for details in coming instalments of the newsletter.
I hope you will appreciate these changes and additions. Subscribers will get every new development e-mailed directly, and you will be the first to know about the new site and some of the extra features being rolled out. At the same time is worth noting that the core of the project will remain focussed on the kind of detailed, longform analysis which has been published up to this point.
All of this is carried out in my free time because I am passionate about the topics we have journeyed through together so far. But it is only because of you this work has been sustained over the last year and a bit. Thank you, for your encouragement to keep the show on the road. And stay tuned over the coming weeks.
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