Cricket Scotland Website Re-launch
The official website for cricket in Scotland faces an historic new year, as Ben Fox and his predecessor as web editor, Mike Stanger, who has now developed QuipuTV, recall some of the landmarks.
As a National Governing Body, Cricket Scotland has been expanding its online presence since the start 2009. In 2012, the website received over 6 million page impressions, a new record, with the emergence of social media having had an important part to play in distributing fresh content awareness.
Quite soon, in the early weeks of 2013, the website will be reincarnated as CS.com and, with such an exciting calendar ahead, a radical website re-design was produced over the winter months.
Last season saw a year of continuous and steady traffic. Coverage of the ICC T20 Global Qualifying event in Dubai in March was followed by a rather dreich summer season, ending with a month-long uncapped Scotland tour to South Africa. The website also experienced peaks during the U19 World Cup and the ICC Women’s T20 Qualifiers.
What has remained constant throughout has been the interest in the domestic game in Scotland, and the restructured league demonstrated this. The new Cricket Scotland League pages showed impressive figures, along with the revamped Scottish Cup format, attracting interest with over 58,000 impressions.
Cricket Scotland has now also agreed a partnership with one of the world’s biggest cricket databases, CricketArchive, to look after Scotland's domestic and international stats from now on. Previously, since these went online in 2009, they were kept up-to-date by David Potter and Neil Leitch.
On behalf of all of us, Cricket Scotland thanks David, who is taking a step back, for his magnificent work over the years to make the CricketStatz database such a precise and effective tool. Without his many hours of dedication, many interesting statistics would never have been recorded for the history books!
The rise of Twitter has seen the Cricket Scotland account approach 5,000 followers. But it’s not all about the numbers; one of the main aims of the account is to promote the Scottish game and, with an ever-increasing number of people joining the conversation, we are looking forward to even more in 2013.
Another online favourite, Cricket Scotland TV, is four years old this month, and is celebrating with a milestone: a total of 500,000 minutes of viewing have been recorded by YouTube, from 190,000 viewings of the 175 posted videos.
If precedent is anything to go by, these archival video records frequently pass the 1,000-viewer mark. CSTV viewers have shown a particular liking for 'action' videos, and the YouTube analytics reveal 52 of the videos reached the four-figure mark, of which just half a dozen were of the more documentary, interview-led kind.
The most-watched video of all is the World Cup qualifying final between Scotland and Afghanistan in the World Cricket League in South Africa 2009. An incredible 20,000 viewings of this video is more than double the next best, the 8,000 viewings for the first-ever Scottish cricket action video, 'Gordon Greenidge's Windies Wonders', and the 7,000 for the Scotland v Bangladesh warm-up game before the World T20 tournament in England in 2009.
And, if you thought that most of the viewings of the top video might be from people in Afghanistan, you would be much mistaken... the largest number is around 5,000 from locations in Britain, with viewings in Pakistan 1,000 or so fewer. Add in 1,100+ viewings from the United States, and nearly 900 from more than 20 other countries to get a fuller picture, and it's a fair bet that the viewers are mostly Afghans, wherever they are located.
Which simply goes to prove again that the internet is the ultimate 'democratic' medium, and an amazing means of promoting our sport.
That, of course, is what has been driving QuipuTV, which was spawned by CSTV following the live-streamed coverage of the Scotland-Ireland match in Edinburgh in July 2011, watched by 10,000 viewers. QTV has now covered more than 70 hours of live cricket, and 50 hours of other live sport, in the space of 18 months, with cricket coverage alone reaching 200,000 viewers in 150 countries.
In 2012, QuipuTV also covered live the men's European Trophy hockey tournament - 21 matches in three days! - from Napier College, Edinburgh, and five outdoor women's pre-Olympic hockey Test matches between Scotland and South Africa from Titwood in May.
Its most recent work involved involved another sport, netball, live from the new Emirates Arena in Glasgow, when full high-definition was broadcast for the first time. The coverage registered more than 85,000 viewings!
This year, QuipuTV hope to feature a considerable number of top cricket matches during the course of the year, and all of Scotland's games that are covered will be shown on CS.com.