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.