Great Minds?

Iain Dale, yes, he, writes in the Guardian. Apparently, he no longer looks at blogs now that he has quit.

I was amused at the comment  that his decision to quit might mark the demise of political blogging. Look, peeps, Iain Dale may have been a high profile blogger, but he wasn’t the only one and by no means the best read out there. Iain recognises this:

I protested that no, it didn’t, and that there were many excellent blogs out there and plenty of talented people who would replace me and several other leading blogging lights, like Labour MP Tom Harris, who had also decided to quit.

I don’t miss Tom Harris either. Although he was one of the few Labour politicians to brave the reality of public ire, he remained a party animal, and, therefore, a part of the problem.

Moving back to Ian’s analysis, I am bemused by his suggestion that we have been eaten up by the MSM (where’s my cheque?).

Why? I have come to the conclusion that it’s because the mainstream media has eaten up the independent political blogosphere.

I don’t think so, Iain. Many of us continue to write and retain our disdain for the MSM and its churnalism, fact-free reporting and general ignorance of their subject matter –  not to mention peddling the Labour Party line (mentioning no names, Aunty).

For whatever reason, the political blogosphere in this country has not met the expectations of many. It has created media careers for a small group of the chosen few – me among them. But apart from Guido’s several scalps, what has the political blogosphere really achieved beyond giving the voiceless a voice?

Precisely that, I would suggest. When I set out, it was to voice my concerns –  primarily regarding the Labour government’s assault on civil liberties. If someone was reading, that was a bonus. I wasn’t seeking fame and fortune and expected nothing much other than the occasional comment. I certainly wasn’t looking for a career in the media and I’m not sure that many others who do this are. It looks as if Dale has become somewhat insulated from what it was he left behind. I barely noticed his passing and am still trawling around the usual suspects for comment and entertainment. Most of them are still here –  even if their readership is small. Better a small band of interested readers than the mass of trolls found on CiF or the Telegraph’s blogs. I can engage with people who comment. On the mainstream sites, we often see no engagement below the line or there is just so much vitriol, that engagement would be pointless anyway.

So what of the future? I think the way forward for mass audience blogs is with group blogs.

Well, I’ll be blowed. Whodathunkit?

To that effect in a few weeks I am launching a new multi-authored site called The Daley: Iain Dale & Friends.

Oh, you don’t mean us? Shame.

I’ve recruited 40 or 50 friends to write for the site. Some are well known, others aren’t. The thing they have in common in that they’re all great writers. And I’m giving a second life to some of the best bloggers who’ve stopped blogging over the last year. Will it work? No idea. But it’s costing nothing and if it fails the only red face will be mine.

Well, here it is working so far. The early signs are encouraging. If it does fail, well, at least we tried. Oh, yeah, and we got it off the ground in a couple of weeks with nothing more than emails to possible interested folk without a plug in the Groan.

7 comments for “Great Minds?

  1. May 16, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    “Well, here it is working so far. The early signs are encouraging. If it does fail, well, at least we tried.”

    ‘And even if my troop fell thence vanquished, yet to have attempted a lofty enterprise is still a trophy…”


  2. May 16, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    I’d rather read the diversity of thought on OOL than read the PC drivel that will come out of the new Dale Blog site. I lost interest very fast on his self serving blog.

  3. May 16, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    I never rated Dale’s blog – didn’t even bookmark it and won’t bother with his new venture. What I enjoy about blogs such as this one is the tone, the sharpness you don’t see in the MSM. Many professional journalists write very well, but many don’t. Those who write well often lapse into a formulaic style you soon get to know too well.

    Bloggers seem closer to real life because, I suspect, they are and it shows. The MSM hasn’t come to terms with blogging because it can’t. Bloggers have something they lost a long time ago and don’t know how to rediscover.

    • May 16, 2011 at 11:31 pm

      I agree. Most journalism seems tame/lame compared to blogs, even if some of it is well-written. Also, a lot of bloggers are experts in their fields and so journalists must find it hard to keep up.

  4. May 16, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    I always got on well with Iain but he did know how to overdo it and frankly, I prefer this blog. It’s developed its own character [we didn’t really know what would happen] and people basically say exactly as they feel, with no beg pardons. That’s the way it should be in my book.

    The theme we are using also makes a statement. We could have bought a professional, slick affair with bells and whistles but it just didn’t suit the tone and I said a few times – this has got to be no frills, seat-of-the-pants writing. It’s driven by the writers and commenters.

    Such a simple concept.

  5. Chuckles
    May 16, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

  6. May 16, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    The amusing thing is that most of the MSM haven’t an effing clue what blogs or blogging are…as I explained to him (4th comment) last year when he brought this up re some blogging awards:

    “No, more evidence that they are moving the goalposts about what a weblog is or at least what they consider a blog is.

    Iain, last year you won ‘Online Commentator (independent blogger)’…the MSM have pulled a fast one by changing the categories”

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