Total Politics Best Blog Poll 2009: vote now!

by Stephen Tall on July 16, 2009

It’s that time of year again, when Total Politics asks blog-readers to vote for your Top 10 favourite blogs. This year the poll is being co-promoted/sponsored by Lib Dem Voice in conjunction with LabourList and Iain Dale’s Diary.

Click here to vote in the Total Politics Best Blogs Poll 2009

The rules are simple.

1. You must vote for your ten favourite blogs and rank them from 1 (your favourite) to 10 (your tenth favourite).
2. Your votes must be ranked from 1 to 10. Any votes which do not have rankings will not be counted.
3. You MUST include ten blogs. If you include fewer than ten your vote will not count.
2. Email your vote to toptenblogs@totalpolitics.com
3. Only vote once.
4. Only blogs based in the UK, run by UK residents, or based on UK politics, are eligible.
5. Anonymous votes left in the comments will not count. You must give a name.
6. All votes must be received by midnight on 31 July 2009. Any votes received after that date will not count.

If you have your own blog, please do encourage your readers to take part. Last year, more than 80 blogs did so. It is hoped this year it will be far more than that. BUT, DO NOT list ten blogs you think your readers should vote for. Any duplicate voting of this nature will be disallowed. If you do not wish for your blog to be voted for please email katy.scholes@totalpolitics.com.

Is Lib Dem Voice right to lend its name to the awards? Well, we considered long and hard (I spent at least 5 seconds deliberating) before opting in.

First, there’s the ‘negative’ reason: the list is going to happen anyway, so why not at least try and ensure that Lib Dem blogs get a fair crack of the whip?

Secondly, though I know many Lib Dems regard Iain Dale with varying degrees of suspicion, it’s worth remembering that the Total Politics editorial board includes two Lib Dems (Paddy Ashdown and Chris Huhne).

And, thirdly, at the end of the day it’s just a list, one of many which appear featuring the current ‘top blogs’, aggregating the mass subjectivity of political blog-readers.

Blog-lists are a useful way of promoting and recognising talent, passion and dedication across political blogs. You and I will disagree with many of the choices that make the cut; that will be true of everybody else, too. No list is perfect – nor is Wikio’s or Google Analytics – and this one won’t be either. It’s a flawed bit of fun which will hopefully increase the readership of well-written, sparky blogs, both within and without the Lib Dems: no more, no less.

The results of the poll will be published in the forthcoming book the TOTAL POLITICS GUIDE TO POLITICAL BLOGGING IN THE UK which will be published in mid September in association with APCO Worldwide.

So, go to it. Email your Top Ten Favourite Blogs to toptenblogs@totalpolitics.com

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So Iain Dale finally recognises that last year’s ‘Total Politics’ poll conducted on his website (with 70% Tory voters) might have been just a wee bit biased. But is he going to finally come out and say it? Somehow, I doubt it.

by Tim Ireland on July 16, 2009 at 3:05 pm. Reply #

It was conducted on my blog, and 79 others.

by Iain Dale on July 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm. Reply #

Oh, spare me. Are you really going to claim that 12 months after the fact?

Note, Iain, how important you thought it – this time – to discourage other bloggers from posting their own lists of preferences. This measure of influence from bloggers ‘conducting’ the poll (i.e. linking to it) is just the tip of the iceberg, but you refused time and again to admit it.

The voting was primarily promoted by and conducted on your site – a site with an audience boasting 70% Tory voters (as revealed by a later poll). You then slapped a ‘Total Politic’ label on the results, implying that the poll was as balanced as your magazine’s coverage claims to be.

When asked to show referral data that backed up your assertions that your poll was not biased to the right, you refused. (You still have access to this data via Google Analytics, BTW. All you need is the referral data to your site and/or ‘vote now’ post(s) from the relevant time period.)

There’s also the small matter of you forcing people to be included against their wishes while insisting that it was ‘just a bit of fun’ – oh, and you refusing to acknowledge the full extent of boycott(s) on your blog or in print. Those that you did list were downplayed or misrepresented. Short version here is that you could have avoided a lot of fuss just by leaving me out of it as I asked – but, no, you had to have your way and make out that it was me being difficult when all I wanted was to be left out of it.

This year, by incorporating a LibDem and Labour site in the core endorsement/promotion, you show that you recognise the bias of previous polls… but you’re just too stubborn and pigheaded to come out and say it.
And, once again, you totally fail to recognise that you shouldn’t compete in a poll that you conduct.

by Tim Ireland on July 16, 2009 at 4:47 pm. Reply #

PS – You’re a liar and a cheat…
http://www.bloggerheads.com/archives/2008/04/this_is_spinal.asp
… and I wouldn’t trust you to count Dracula.

by Tim Ireland on July 16, 2009 at 4:52 pm. Reply #

I understand your thinking Stephen and it is good to see up and coming blogs recognised. But I find the whole blog awards industry to be a complete pile of poo which brings out the very worst and pettiest vanity and preening in otherwise humble and sane people. I wish I could “mute” any mention of sodding blog awards from my computer. They disgust me. I don’t know any other area of life which is so intensely awarded for such pathetically small readership. Last year I asked to be excluded from any consideration for the Total Politics and LibDem Blog Awards and I will do the same again this year. I am glad TP are allowing people to opt out this year. Last year I wrote to Iain asking to be excluded but he wrote back saying it wasn’t possible.

by Paul Walter on July 17, 2009 at 1:29 pm. Reply #

“First, there’s the ‘negative’ reason: the list is going to happen anyway, so why not at least try and ensure that Lib Dem blogs get a fair crack of the whip?”

I think you need to be careful advancing this sort of argument. Obviously the TP awards are relatively benign and I am not suggesting for a second there is a paralell here. But your argument brings to mind the situation of cricket tours of South Africa during the apartheid regime and the sort of argument advanced then. “The games are going to happen anyway, so why not make sure England has a good chance of winning by making sure our best players go?”

by Paul Walter on July 17, 2009 at 2:05 pm. Reply #

“Last year I wrote to Iain asking to be excluded but he wrote back saying it wasn’t possible.”

He played a different game with me; he claimed to be unaware(!) of my wish to be left out. After all, I’d only blogged about it and emailed him. Perhaps I should also have paid for a short notice in the back pages of his magazine.

Anyway, I was also constantly reminded that it was ‘just a bit of fun’… so why anyone simply HAD to be included is still a bit of a mystery.

Iain’s self-serving poll also does less to promote up-and-coming blogs and more to cement the perceived position of ‘leading’ blogs (i.e. those run by Iain and his mates).

by Tim Ireland on July 17, 2009 at 3:05 pm. Reply #

Agreed Tim. I also feel that this awards climate skews the output from blogs so that people go overboard on certain things they normally wouldn’t bother with. Far from being a “bit of fun”, it actually leaves a lot of people frustrated and disappointed.

Like you, I find it completely staggering that Iain Dale includes himself in this awards poll. Has the man got no shame? It’s totally unBritish.

by Paul Walter on July 17, 2009 at 4:07 pm. Reply #

I don’t know 10 blogs – political or otherwise. I would certainly vote for one which explianed how they are supposed to work. The few blogs I have found have all assumed that I fully understand how they work. Never could do the Guardian Crossword either. Perhaps I should stick to producing Focuses.

by fdp100 on July 24, 2009 at 4:34 pm. Reply #

I’m taking my bat home.

by burkesworks on September 1, 2009 at 11:55 am. Reply #

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