Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Lib Dem Blogosphere and Me

Was drawn by this blog entry from Lynne Featherstone our MP for Hornsey and Wood Green regarding this piece by Pickled Politics. Lynne also referred to another piece of hers where she wrote:

Liberal Democrat bloggers tend to be either fairly inward or local looking. There are many blogs that really talk all about what is happening in the party, along with a smaller number of – often excellent – blogs which are clearly aimed at a particular local audience (e.g. a councillor’s blog such as Mary Reid’s, which seems to be largely aimed at her constituents – understandably enough!).

What we seem to be missing are those combative, outward looking souls who spot a story and want to help spread or extend the message or the point or the attack, as opposed to inwardly looking expressing their own views on it. So you tend to get stories not spreading, and where they are commented on, they are only commented on by those who have reservations to express.

Maybe having taken a bit of a sabbatical from blogging I have noticed some of that which she is talking about. Now taking all that on board I take a look at my blog.

Yes there are items there that are based on West Lothian, but there are also elements that look at Scotland, or the UK, or Europe or further afield. The readership I have indicates that I have readership which is anything but parochial. In fact I take delight in the the rare occasions when I am actually hit more often from West Lothian than outwith for a particular story. The diaspora of what I cover can hardly be confined as looking inwardly to the Liberal Democrats or locally to West Lothian. There have been times like the Livingston by election when obviously that was what the blog mainly featured on but by in large that is the not the thread nor train of this blog.

Lynne says what the Liberal Democrat blogosphere is missing are combative, outward looking souls. If you look to the left you will see a list of blogs that I read, the Lib Dem ones may need to be updated, but the other party ones are where I take umbridge that I'm not combative or outward looking. Many of the writers and readers of those blogs come here. They do post comments not always supportive but at the same time many of them have realised that I am even handed. Until recently many of them did not list one Scottish Lib Dem blog in their blogroll, that has changed. I do not think it would have changed if this blog was as insular, non-controveral, non-combative as those that Lynne seems to think are in the ascendancy in the Lib Dem Blogosphere. I may not be as outspoken as Nich Starling but at the same time I don't hold back.

I think I've found a reasonable balance. I attack what needs attacking and praise what needs praising that goes for all parties including my own. Sometimes it does stir up a hornet's nest of interest sometimes the world seems to merely pass by. But I will continue to be me.


Lynne Featherstone MP said...

I'm glad to hear it!

Jeff said...

Yes, I'd say you've found the balance naturally well.

Of course you have to defend the party line from time to time but you also clearly state your own thoughts without fear of reprisal from fellow Lib Dems if it happens to contradict it.

And I can persionally vouch that you're not afraid to be combative and go on the attack if you see something you disagree with!

But always with respect, perhaps even too much respect if I may say so, but isn't that always the Lib Dem way ;)

Darrell G said...

Lol I would like to think I am a combative soul (but am not sure), I like to keep things different and would really like to balance my political content out in the long term with cultural asides ...

Having said that I did feel some of the narrowness in the response when I wrote a piece on Battlestar Galactica (I think, it's because it wasnt Doctor Who)...for LDV...there is a world outside politics and in order to relate to it a constant diet of politics is not always the best way forward....

Having said that I have seen some encouraging contributions since i joined Lib Dem blogs with football and films making an apperance....

Norfolk Blogger said...

Believe me, being outspoken does not win you friends or readers on Lib Dem blogs. Since I criticised other Lib Dem bloggers I have not been on the "Best of the blogs" once, to my knowledge, so if it is readers you want, don't go too negative.

There is a questions though as to why you blog. That's a question I ask repeatedly. Is it to gain new readers and people from other parties to look at what you write and they might find themselves agreeing with you or is it to preach to the converted.

Personally, I would rather win over new people and I know a number of people who tell me they despise Lib Dems but they read my blog and don't think so bad of us because they agree with some of what I say.

I will add you to my blogroll so as to have a Scottish link !

Stephen Glenn said...

Nice ecclectic mix of comments.

I agree with you Nich being against the norm doesn't always guarantee readers from within the party. But with Jeff's comment above you will also see it does attact viewers and readers with other view points. In fact I don't think I've ever featured on the "Best of the Blogs" and to be honest I don't care, I do however regularly feature on the Scottish Blog Round Up, which has a far more diverse readership.

Darrell there's nothing wrong with football and film entries either. Somethimes these sort of entries draw in a diverse readershiop who sometimes leave via a differnt page which may well mention part of your political stance I love in the entry/exit page comparison sometimes especially when the referring search randomly lands on my blog.

And Lynne you can trust me i'll keep on doing what I've been doing. Good to have an MP actually drop comment.

Waves at all the Scottish Parliament and Westminster readership out there.


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