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Taking Scotzine to the next level – crowdfund?

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In the ten years since Scotzine began life, we have went from a fans website of a few hundred visitors a day to one of the biggest [if not the biggest]independent Scottish football websites on the internet averaging up to 80,000 unique visitors a month during the season.

Our contributors include ordinary fans, bloggers, journalists, players, coaches and managers. Some have went on to bigger and better things – writing for the likes of STV, Four Four Two, When Saturday Comes, Marca and many more top media outlets.

We are pleased that those contributors have went on to pastures new, while resigned to the fact that by doing so they no longer write for the website. The main reason for this is financial remuneration as many are now looking to make a living out of their writing. And that is one reason why we are now considering crowdfunding.

In the ten years we have been operating, we have had over 50 contributors, 5000-plus articles produced, roughly 20000 comments made and built up a significant following on social media.

We have partnered up with some of the biggest and best companies in their respective fields through commercial deals and regularly raise funds for the Glasgow Children’s Hospital – formerly Yorkhill Hospital – after they helped editor Andy Muirhead’s 20-week old son when he contracted viral meningitis.

tfwfootballrockshowOur work has ranged from the obligatory match previews and reports to league round-ups, player and manager interviews, opinion pieces and enlisting the services of experts in their field to discuss the latest issues relevant to the Scottish game.

On top of the website, we have produced a football magazine over the years but have never managed to keep it a regular monthly addition to our coverage of the game. We also published The Final Whistle Scottish football show and will be revamping it into more of an interview based show rather than weekly chats.

This summer, we looked at our coverage over the past season and what lay in store for the season ahead and we felt that we were merely treading water in the year gone by and were disappointed with it in general.

jimcraigWhile we added a number of quality columnists like Alex O’Henley [Gaelic-language], Lisbon Lion Jim Craig and Ally Begg – the rest of our coverage did not match up to our own goals and aspirations. That is why we are now endeavouring to crowdfund to purchase equipment to help take our coverage to the next level – and by hiring quality contributors.

For ten years, editor Andy Muirhead has personally covered the cost of the website – from the domain name, hosting fees, travelling expenses and other general costs, supplemented by advertising revenue. We now need to strive forward to improve upon the work we have already produced and add more quality to the team, to secure equipment so that we can produce new and engaging content.

The mainstream media – especially the newspaper industry – is in decline, there is no denying that. Job losses are a regular occurrence now and yet digital media is on the rise and in my opinion the future of Scottish football coverage. With no commercial interference and giving a platform to those who want to have their say, no matter their opinions or allegiances, Scotzine can be the platform that Scottish football fans turn to when they want to hear the latest views on the game – but we cannot do all of this and more without the help of our readers, social media followers and Scottish football fans as a whole. This is what we are aspiring to become.

All financial contributions will be put back into the website and allow us to produce the content that we all want and need for the Scottish game. Funding will allow us to produce regular reports, interviews, our monthly magazine and video features to name but a few of the proposed ideas we have planned.

The more people who contribute to the website, the more time we will be able to dedicate to the game and not just focus on football in the central belt and areas where our contributors live.

Do you think that you deserve the best coverage possible? Do you think that you get that coverage currently in the mainstream or online? Do you want an outlet that gives every fan a voice rather than picking and choosing versions to publicise?

We have not finalised an amount to raise as yet, but our key aims are:

  • Give Scottish football fans a platform to share their views and opinions.
  • To be the best place for comment, analysis and opinions within the Scottish game.
  • To sift through all the PR guff and propaganda to tell the real stories rather than spin them.
  • A platform that Scottish football fans deserve.

What the funds will be used for:

  • Contributors fees
  • Video equipment costs
  • Travelling expenses for contributors
  • Advertising for Scotzine

Scotzine will continue our coverage of the Scottish game no matter how much or little we raise through crowdfunding – but you as our readers, and football fans in general can have a huge part to play in taking us to the next level of our coverage and turning our ideas into reality.

We have not launched our crowdfunding page yet, but we are looking to hear your thoughts.

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About Author

scotzine

Andy Muirhead is the Editor of Scotzine and the Scottish Football fanzine FITBA. He is the Scottish Football columnist for The Morning Star and has written for a number of other publications including ESPN, Huffington Post UK, BT Life's a Pitch and has had his work featured in the Daily Record, The Scotsman and the Daily Mail.

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