Sunday, August 23, 2009

Are Lib Dem Voice Readers Headline Whores?

I called on Queen Caron of the house of Haggis, Neeps and Liberalism on Friday night. When I called at the Royal residence I said that I thought, correctly it turns out, that this would make it into the top seven of this week's Lib Dem Voice Golden Dozen. It is not in my opinion my best blog entry of the week, I'd say instead that these two about the release of Abdelbaset Ali al-Magrahi are far better pieces of blogging, and indeed got a far broader (geographical and political spectrum) selection of readers.

I was looking at my google analytics for the week and taking into account the Dale effect of a Daley Dozen mention the number five Lib Dem post on outlinks is not even my most popular read of the week. The former of the two al-Magrahi posts is, prior to Scottish Round Up and Golden Dozen Sunday night distortion. It's not just both Caron and Andrew wrote excellent takes on different aspects* of the biggest world-wide story of the week, yet it is my correction of that young blogger from Pendle that makes the Dozen because it used his name. Link

LDV readers may mock those of the Daily Fail, yet they are still dragged into the sensationalist headlines rather than the real meaty stories. Now I know that many LDV users, especially my fellow bloggers, link to my blog entries by other means so I know a lot of you did find the al-Magarhi stories. But maybe it is the casual user of Lib Dem Blogs that causes this trend. Looking at the recent Golden Ton I can think of many well written Lib Dem blog postings that are more worthy of being there, although there are many of the Dozen that are worthy.

Of course the Lib Dem Voice Best Blogpost of the Year is one category where even a one off piece of sensationally good writing can be rewarded. Many of us, even if we are being mentioned by the odd individuals as the best blog, are considering the Blog of the Year to be down to three serious contenders, which may mean the Pachyderm packs his trunk without the award again, but the Blogpost award is far harder to predict and I suspect to judge. Will it be one of those read heavily at the time, maybe it will be a nominated entry into the Dozen or maybe it won't even have been featured at all?

There are times that the statistician in me is upset that a good, well crafted post doesn't get the coverage I think it deserves, whereas by some quirk of fate, linkage or random pick up something soars to the heavens in hits. But I'll keep writing the way I do, it's clearly upset a few people this year from the lack of repeat votes for the Total Politics Poll of Blogs, where my relative ranking shocked a number of people including Her Majesty Queen Caron. But as Andrew said, 'Stephen didn't tout for votes and his daily readership is enormous, which is a way better result for him.'

Having a large readership often means you don't blog it safe, you take on the big issues, indeed the other big bloggers, head on, you're bound to upset people along the way. With an election year that is only bound to continue after all policy will be getting written about and I know I'm going to be challenging the other parties more not less, taking the debate in directions they may not want exposed, but that is what debate is all about. Besides after all you can only please all of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time but not all of the people all of the time.

I'm personally looking forward to a year of keeping up the quality, keeping up the debate, keeping up challenging ideas not just of the other parties, but illiberal thoughts from fellow liberals. How often or how long I can get to it when the election gets closer is something I've yet to see, but I will not duck out for political expediency of that dear reader you can be assured.

*Caron and I taking international abuse for our opinions.


Ryan said...

It's not the readers on LibDemVoice, but LibDemBlogs which are used to calculated the top 7 clicked-throughed blog posts of the week.

Paul said...

The awards and ratings system in blogging is over-the-top and insidious. It amounts to a mutual vanity publishing operation and is ultimately fatuous. The only reason to blog is for the fun of it. Once awards and ratings are introduced the whole thing gets stupidly egotistical.

Had it occurred to you that short posts are popular because people like reading short posts and that long wordy posts are not popular because people can't be bothered to trudge through them - by and large?

It is also worth bearing in mind that with some of these popular LibDem Blog click throughs containing the word "Irfan" in the title, people may click through, glance at the post, realise that the headline was misleading and move on. In that case, I am not sure what has been achieved apart from wasting a lot of time and electricity.

Stephen Glenn said...

Yikes Ryan sorry for mixing those up.

Paul all of the above does occur to me from time to time. I do blog for the love of it and to get a good message across, which I do admit cuts very close to the wire a lot of times.


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