Does this first-generation hipster’s one-man blog get more readers than nouveau-arriviste-hipster David Torrance?


Kermit, how do you know I’ve been listening to Emmylou Harris more than Miles Davis? The shirt gives it away?

Only very serious and respectful readers should continue! (c)

I should say at the outset that I’m having a bit of fun with this. I don’t really have the data to really prove that the answer to my headline is definitely ‘yes’, but things are happening which suggest it may not be so far off and whacky an idea as it might have been even a few years ago.

The Herald’s daily average paper sales fell 10% to only 28 900 in the second half of 2017 with the website getting around 88 400 visitors.

There are perhaps around 100 other stories in the print edition and even the online version will have around 50. How many actually read the David Torrance piece? That photo must scare off thousands. How many just skim the headlines and pass him by? I don’t have the answer, but I’d guess it’s a lot less than the overall sales or visitors. According to research by Campaign, 8 out of 10 only read the headline.

Could David be getting only a few thousand readers? Five thousand? Does that seem harsh or generous?

Talking-up Scotland, on a good day, comes close to 10 000 visitors with the more controversial  reports getting around 4 to 5 000 actually opening the full text. On top of that, four or five bloggers will re-blog reports to an unknown number, some of whom may re-blog again, and so on. I’ve just heard (below) that one reblogs to another 5 000! In these cases, typically, 50% of my text can be seen without having to come to my blog for the full report. In addition, around 1 500 follow me on Twitter and Facebook and some of these people re-tweet or share the link to followers and friends, and so on. Many of these are, of course, in the first group of those who open the full text, but others will get the headline.

I know this is full of uncertainties but is my headline completely out of the question these days? Now, some readers may remember this from 2016:

Savaged by David Torrance is like being savaged by…..well, whatever, it was still a bit hurtful

and think I have a wee grudge. Well maybe I do but it’s just a wee one after watching the SNP broadcast allegedly spoofing him, twenty times.

Finally, I was a hipster back in the day when it was a real thing – full-beard, jazz collection, Kerouac novels and claiming to be an existentialist. Luckily all photographs have been lost or destroyed after Dylan told me ‘Ah but I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now’ and I got out from up my own arse.

Crimson flames tied through my ears, rollin’ high and mighty traps
Pounced with fire on flaming roads using ideas as my maps
“We’ll meet on edges, soon, ” said I, proud ‘neath heated brow
Ah, but I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now
Half-wracked prejudice leaped forth, “rip down all hate, ” I screamed
Lies that life is black and white spoke from my skull, I dreamed
Romantic facts of musketeers foundationed deep, somehow
Ah, but I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now
Girls’ faces formed the forward path from phony jealousy
To memorizing politics of ancient history
Flung down by corpse evangelists, unthought of, though somehow
Ah, but I was so much older then. I’m younger than that now
A self-ordained professor’s tongue too serious to fool
Spouted out that liberty is just equality in school
“Equality, ” I spoke the word as if a wedding vow
Ah, but I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now
In a soldier’s stance, I aimed my hand at the mongrel dogs who teach
Fearing not that I’d become my enemy in the instant that I preach
My existence led by confusion boats, mutiny from stern to bow
Ah, but I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now
Yes, my guard stood hard when abstract threats too noble to neglect
Deceived me into thinking I had something to protect
Good and bad, I define these terms quite clear, no doubt, somehow
Ah, but I was so much older then I’m younger than that now
Songwriters: Bob Dylan
My Back Pages lyrics © Bob Dylan Music Co.

24 thoughts on “Does this first-generation hipster’s one-man blog get more readers than nouveau-arriviste-hipster David Torrance?

  1. johnrobertson834 January 21, 2018 / 11:29 am

    Wee addition. Torrance comes from the old Celtic for ‘hillock’. I said ‘H….illock.’

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lollysmum January 21, 2018 / 11:54 am

    Why do you think Torrance isn’t complaining about the PPB? He needs the publicity- any publicity will do if it feeds his self esteem. Poor sad little manhis moment of fame was during indyref & that ship has sailed.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Ian Kirkwood January 21, 2018 / 12:20 pm

    From strength to strength John! You’re right about that face, seriously scary

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Brian January 21, 2018 / 12:27 pm

    I was accused of heresy by the sixties’ equivalent of the “right on” crowd… I preferred the Byrds’ version. The song is reflected too in the album title, ‘Younger Than Yesterday’. I played it to death. Then, after vinyl worn out, eventually bought the CD.
    Thanks for the memory.

    Liked by 1 person

    • johnrobertson834 January 21, 2018 / 12:52 pm

      I’m with you. All the Byrd’s covers are great. There’s room for at least two versions and Hendrix’s All along the watchtower is better than Bob’s?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Brian January 22, 2018 / 12:16 pm

        Yes, agreed. Pretty well anything Hendrix did became his own, I think. I loved ‘Hey Joe’, and that got me into Love, Arthur Lee and so on…what an era for music.
        Interesting fact (or not), Amnesty International was founded in the same year that A&R man, John Hammond signed Dylan to Columbia Records.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. bedelsten January 21, 2018 / 12:34 pm

    Well, I haven’t had so much since… the last time I had so much fun.

    Do half man, half Weetabix’s articles in the horridscotland only garner a few thousand readers, i.e. less than that of the solitary blogger? Quite possibly. More importantly, the readership of all the various blogs with a pro-Scottish slant will considerably exceed that few thousand, exceeds the listenership of goodmiserableScotland, exceeds the readership of the Hootsmon and so on.

    As of writing, the SNP PPB with Davey banging on about politics has been viewed over 5,600 times on Youtube, over 127,000 times on Facebook and has over 203,000 views on Twitter.

    So, we can see why the meeja is hurting, a state not helped, as the WGD’s minder nearly points out, by the meeja’s sensitivity to criticism and/or ridicule being thinner than a one molecule layer of graphene (or gold leaf).

    Ne’re a mention by the meeja on the amount of electricity Scotland exports, the price of oil, the work taking place in Stromness, developments at Nigg in Cromarty (to differentiate between Nigg Bay at Aberdeen where a new harbour is being developed), or that there is a plan to tow some wind turbines past the Menie Estate should Trump turn up (or so Eck from Strichen says).

    Keep up the good work and readership figures.

    Liked by 2 people

    • johnrobertson834 January 21, 2018 / 12:57 pm

      Thanks Bedelsten. Tempted to search for your name meaning and found:

      is machtighdehit der Son te verdzaghen / t wo2dt soo niet versenght/ als in de steenachtighe grondt. Äl?aer wat is dereden? CPm dat de dooznen dat selve bedelsten / ende Sonafschutten. En wat is deredendat Onse doornighe tjdlijke soo stoo – – OMsomtüdsteloopenindedooznen der verWolgingh/ anders/dan dat …

      so that’s clear

      Liked by 1 person

      • bedelsten January 21, 2018 / 1:30 pm

        The temptation to research the surname wears thin when confronted with Geoffrey Edelsten’s (no relation) various wives, especially the Brynne (not me).

        We take the, probably unfounded, view that Edelsten is a corruption of Edelstein, German and Norwegian for ‘gemstone’, and possibly reflected the career of some distance ancestor. However, a brother, hoping but failing to escape Brexit through ancestry, traced the lineage back to 16th Century Warrington where, even now, there is an Edelsten pin factory. And there is an Edelstone near Peebles, the only place I have ever been able to order a meal and, when asked for my name, not had to spell it out.

        Liked by 3 people

    • Brian January 21, 2018 / 4:17 pm

      Or the signing of new contract with Scotland’s doctors. If that was covered by the MSM, I missed it.
      Even Nicola’s appointment to Global Health task force got minimal coverage. Shocking.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Alasdair Macdonald January 21, 2018 / 7:40 pm

        It – GP pay deal – was on the BBC website and they even allowed comments, even though it was not about snow …. in Scotland … in January.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. David Braidwood January 21, 2018 / 1:27 pm

    Not sure although I suspect you are read by many more than him but, I can say for certain, you’re a damn sight more informed, interesting and enjoyable than the hillock. Keep up the great work.


  7. John January 21, 2018 / 1:59 pm

    I think you probably overtaken “Davey” , in the amount of readers you have now John , you are firing on all cylinders these days , long may it last .I know a lot of your articles get re-blogged and that also gives you an extended audience which is good , if fact I re-blogged your 38 degrees article today to a group that has 5000 members , so keep up the good work , your a star !


    • johnrobertson834 January 21, 2018 / 3:47 pm

      5 000? Brilliant, thanks indeed. What’s it called, can you tell me?


      • John January 21, 2018 / 4:05 pm

        The Nicola Sturgeon Appreciation Society , although we appreciate things Nicola does , it is also a platform to voice opinions of what is happening in the country on a daily (sometimes minute by minute ) basis , your articles are always well received and commented on .

        Liked by 1 person

  8. johnrobertson834 January 21, 2018 / 3:46 pm

    Thanks Bedelsten. I’m really into this kind of thing making me a bit of a bore I gather.


  9. Ian January 21, 2018 / 4:37 pm

    But John, you have a beard and wear glasses so according to Alex Cole-Hamilton you are David Torrance.

    Sorry to break this piece of difficult news to you. I feel I should buy you a pint sometime-somewhere to make up for doing this to you (actually it will probably take more than one for a more complete recovery).


  10. Clydebuilt January 21, 2018 / 5:18 pm

    The Yoon media are hurting do much the Herald ran with Labour campaigning 3 years before the next election . . . With Hunners of all stars out on the streets . . .

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s