LDV weekend meme: what is the state of the Lib Dem blogosphere?

by Stephen Tall on July 25, 2009

When Iain Dale asked if Lib Dem Voice would this year co-sponsor Total Politics’ Best Blog Poll 2009, he also set me some homework: to write c.1,000 words on ‘the State of the LibDem blogosphere’ by the end of the month? As you will see from the date, my deadline is fast approaching.

I’ve got a few ideas of what I intend to write, but I’d greatly appreciate the insistence of Lib Dem Voice readers – as well as Lib Dem bloggers – to ensure my analysis is suitably rounded and informed. I’ve come up with five questions I want to (try and) answer in my article:

  • What are the greatest successes of the Lib Dem blogosphere?
  • What are we, collectively as bloggers, failing to achieve?
  • How does the Lib Dem blogosphere compare with those of the Labour, Tories and other parties’?
  • How helpful is blogging as a campaigning tool (are there examples of it making a real impact)?
  • What do you think the next year holds in store for the Lib Dem blogosphere?

How would you answer them? If you have a blog, please feel free to address them there, and leave a link to your article in the comments thread. If you don’t have a blog, please feel free to address them directly in the comments thread.

Much obliged…

No comments

A sense of humour from you and especially your readership will be required. Not having a sense of humour means more people than usual will laugh at you.I bet you think im joking.

by stand still on July 25, 2009 at 4:43 pm. Reply #

My thoughts:

1. This might be controversial but I would say Lib Dem blogs tend to be much more substantive than Labour or Tory blogs. If you look at stuff like Cons Home, Tom Harris, Iain Dale it tends to be just tittle-tattle whereas Alix Mortimer, Alex Wilcock, Mark Reckons, Lynne Featherstone, Cicero’s Songs all focus on policy and important issues. I can only really think of Hopi Sen, Dan Hannan and John Redwood who actually seem to properly engage with the issues on the opposition side.

2. I think blogs can help to galvanise supporters (e.g. LD Voice could have done something similar to Cons Home where they organised a coach from London to Norwich North). But I think it’s usefulness as a campaigning tool is quite limited and the only people who are interested in blogs tend to be people who are already interested in politics.

by Alix Mortimer Fanboi on July 25, 2009 at 5:52 pm. Reply #

A thought to add: there are two Lib Dem (and indeed Conservative and Labour) blogospheres: those blogs whose primary audience are those interested in politics and those blogs whose primary audience are those in a particular electoral area.

The latter can (and often do) have an impact on who holds public office, but their stories and their impact gets talked about relatively little amongst the former group because of that geographic emphasis.

by Mark Pack on July 25, 2009 at 5:58 pm. Reply #


by Paul Walter on July 25, 2009 at 6:58 pm. Reply #

The Conservative blogers are in general far more nasty than the others, they are hugely opportunistic and thrive of the failure of the Labour Government. It would be really interesting to see the fall of the tory photosphere in the 12-18 months time and the rise of the Labour photosphere.

by Paul Harding on July 25, 2009 at 7:18 pm. Reply #

Well, one failing might be that we let a Tory dictate the things we should be discussing…

by Andy on July 25, 2009 at 10:46 pm. Reply #

My opinion, which I know many other disagree with, is that the Lib Dem blogosphere spends too much time navel gazing, going in to the minutiae of what is happening in the Lib Dems, therefore catering for its Lib Dem audience whilst forgetting that the rest of the world exists.

by Nich Starling - Norfolk Blogger on July 25, 2009 at 11:32 pm. Reply #

I agree with Nich. Most LD bloggers are far too inward-looking. Where I probably disagree with Nich is that he wants to reach out to Tories (as does LDV – does sponsorship mean you have actually HANDED MONEY OVER to Dale?) and I think we should be reaching out to people who aren’t interested in politics at all.

Talking to the Egregious Tory Tosser is just gazing at a bigger navel.

by Jennie on July 27, 2009 at 12:41 am. Reply #

“… does sponsorship mean you have actually HANDED MONEY OVER to Dale?”

No, we’re lending our name and, ahem, credibility to it 🙂 The financial value of that is incalculable, obvs.

Plus, let’s remember, however much Total Politics is identified with Iain Dale, TP is actually a neutral politics magazine that’s actually quite a good read.

by Stephen Tall on July 27, 2009 at 9:04 am. Reply #

“a neutral politics magazine”

* hollow laughter *

by Jennie on July 27, 2009 at 11:57 am. Reply #

I think that “neutral politics magazine” is less deserving of hollow laughter than “quite a good read” – personally I tend to find it dullsville.

I really don’t care if LDV is lending its name to TP for this poll so long as it is a total slut and jumps in bed with anyone else proposing to do something similar.

by James Graham on July 27, 2009 at 5:58 pm. Reply #

I should explain that I find TP dull BECAUSE it tends to be scrupulously neutral. I like my magazines to have agendas.

by James Graham on July 27, 2009 at 5:59 pm. Reply #

I also agree with Nich and I think he might be on to something. I try my best to write blog posts covering the whole gamut of political topics that interest me, including things with no Lib Dem relevance whatsoever.

Doesn’t mean other people want to read them though 🙂

by The Futility Monster on July 27, 2009 at 8:51 pm. Reply #

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