Friday, July 24, 2009

When Blogging Met Pickfords

A lot of people imagine that there's a very small group of people who read each other's political blogs and twitter to each other. I have always maintained that that's an increasingly wrong perception and that blogging is beginning to reach parts of the electorate the MSM and politicians don't always manage to get to. With more than 100,000 readers each month, I've always thought that figure contains an increasing number of people who aren't part of the political system or the Westminster village - people who have, for whatever reason, developed an interest in politics through blogs. Dan Hannan has provided me with a little anecdotal evidence. Here's an email he sent me this evening...

Iain, I am in the middle of moving house, and have just had this conversation with one of the removal men:

REMOVAL MAN: "You're Daniel Hannan. Brilliant. I know exactly who you are."

DH: "No, really?"

RM: " 'Course. I read Iain Dale. Doesn't everyone?"

If only.

PS I hope those who have been critical of the quantity and quality of recent blogging efforts may be satisfied by my efforts today :)

31 comments:

DMC said...

Great exclusive today.

I told some of my political friends about you a few months ago and they read now every day.

oh- Is the radio show on tonight?

Iain Dale said...

No, won't be back till September.

The Grim Reaper said...

There won't be a show in September. We'll all be dead because of swine flu by then - do keep up...

jailhouselawyer said...

8 out of 10. Good. Could do better;-)

Peter Thomas said...

"I've always thought that figure contains an increasing number of people who aren't part of the political system or the Westminster village - people who have, for whatever reason, developed an interest in politics through blogs."

I agree with that, Iain. I'm one of them. And it's about trying to get a balanced view and get at the truth. You can't get that from politicians or the media.

Doubting Richard said...

Is anyone else having problems with Dan Hannan's blog link? I don't seem to be able to get the Telegraph blogs at all.

Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells said...

No. no, not enough effort put in today, Iain. Not up to past standards, I fear. Indeed this blog continues to decline, day by day, week by week, month by month. It's just a symptom of the continuing degeneration in society as a whole, as I observed yesterday to my friend Lt.Col (retired) Ponsonby-Smithers, who heartily agreed. In fact I think it's DISGUSTING.

John of Enfield said...

...getting better again!

Now what I need is for you to give GB a really good slagging off - building upon the comments of David Cameron & LabourList!!

You know he deserves it.

Plato said...

Great scoop earlier today - another one of the Tories at the GE?

Unsworth said...

Iain,

Pay no attantion to these carping cretins. Your blog, do what the hell you feel like.....

Mr T said...

I personally think it remains to be seen with your efforts.
If I had to give you a score I think I would give you 4 out of 10 for effort mostly, not for the quality or quantity.

Your posts are too long, not interesting enough... and its seems more like a monotone rant.

I think you need to learn more about politics before you can start to think your blog has improved.

At times you just don't understand the wider picture.

microdave said...

100,000 visitors versus over 2 million YouTube hits, I bet he wasn't pleased!

Mike said...

Im not from 'the village'. I'm a poor old voter, tax payer (through the nose) and not from the political elite. But I read your blog and others, have them fed to my iGoogle so I can watch breaking news before the BBC sanatises it for mass consumption. I'm not particularly bothered about whether the blogger is left or right wing - the rawer the better! I just want to get to some facts, an inside edge on what the fuck is going on because I am sick of being manipulated and lied to by government and the MSM.

Thought you might like to know!

Thatsnews said...

That's such a nice story! It makes you feel good when this happens, doesn't it?

I was once approached by a very attractive woman in the street who said: "L like it!" I thought for one fleeting moment that my luck was in. No, she had recognised me as the author of a story in the paper I wrote for at that time. I thanked her and mentally chastised myself for not really being grateful!

Northampton Saint said...

Iain, I've been an avid reader of political blogs since Guido broke the McBride story. His blog lead me to yours (which is the first i visit each day), Tory Bear's, Cranmer and many others of all parties.

Keep up the good work.

Jack said...

Iain,

I wrote my undergrad dissertation on "the rise of the political blogosphere" as a politics student, back in 2005.

Uh huh, I hear you say. And looking back on it it's pretty mediocre stuff!

but what amazes me, whenever I think back on it, is that I had to explain to my supervisor (and give over almost half of the dissertation) to explaining what a blog was and what it does, let alone why it was going to be important.

I've been reading the usual suspects since then. I go to the blogs first, the MSM a distant second. It won't be long before it's all vanity publishing.

James Higham said...

The problem is that the larger bloggers do not bother with the smaller ones, out of whose posts some wisdom can occasionally come.

It's a bit soul destroying, so I've had conveyed to me, that a small blogger can visit countless times and not be acknowledged.

Communication is a word which implies a two way process.

Bernie said...

Iain, what would be an interesting post would be a breakdown of how many votes were polled at the ballot box and how many were postal votes in the North Norwich election. And of course how many of the postal votes went to the Labour candidate. I fear that you might find that the Labour party have been up to their Glenroes tricks again.

John Scirtton said...

Iain.

Your need to fuel your own arrogance through self congratulatory praise is getting tiresome.

Oh I was speaking to Dan Hannan and his builders read this site...who doesn't.

This site is losing impact as your desire for ingratiable praise increases. As your bloggers have told you. This site is getting lazy. Your posts are an endless succession of links and cut and paste jobs from letters to you.

My tone implies that I am not happy. You will say go elsewhere. I do now because your analysis of situations is tempered by your desire to be an MP. No criticism of meaningful analysis can take place if it jeopardises your chance to win a seat.

Lastly, ditch this comment moderation. Tsar of all comments is not a nice this. Dont veto our right to speak. If someone is rude, then the community will speak about it.

Shame. In your heart you know I am true. Search inside yourself. Dont just attack back or delete this comment.

Iain Dale said...

Give me a break. It was an amusing anecdote that' all.

Your criticism is very tired. You say what I write is tempered by my desire to be an MP. Bollocks. Do you not recall me calling for a Tory MP to be deselected? My criticism of Chris Grayling's phone confiscation last week? I could go on.

You think I am desperate to become an MP. Hmmm. I guess that's why I haven't applied for a single seat in nearly two years.

You're indulging in lazy analysis.

As for comment moderation, I too would prefer it to be unmoderated, but if you think I am going to let someone called ANAL TEAR bombard this site with posts about anal sex, you've got another thing coming. You don't see the stuff I have to moderate out. At the moment it is pretty disgusting.

bladerunner86 said...

Iain I think your blog is getting more variety and I particularly like the new features you have adopted with the telephone recordings.

I personally would like to see some more telephone recordings - not sure what the tech name is for it.

Have you got any more planned?

John Scirtton said...

Well you are right, we dont want to read the articles from Anal Tear. But free, fast moving debate is what blogging is all about. You are losing that as we wait for you to moderate, in between your tv, radio, newspaper interviews. Then we might get a look in.

You have a loyal following sir. There is software to block comments that are repeatedly used or blog users. Worst case we all pre register to make comments.

You fall into the trap of harming the majority because of the minority. Anal Tear is spoiling the site for the rest of us and that is not fair. Bullies dont win in the playground but they do on your site.

I suggest you put a blog post up today with a vote on pre registration. Your community will back it, instead of this half way house.

Regards (And I am not attacking you bitterly, just passionately making a point to help you get this site to being what it was...the best poltical blog out there)

bladerunner86 said...

Have you got any more youtube videos planned in the near future?

Iain Dale said...

I agree about debate and I try to authorise comments as quickly as possible. I have conducted votes on this before and they usually end up going the opposite to the current system. I am keeping to this for a while and will revert to open comments as soon as i feel confident the trolls have gone elsewhere. With Guido on holiday and not blogging they all seemed to end up here.

Anonymous said...

Iain calls people he disagrees with trolls.

How nice.

Elitism at its extreme

Everybody needs a holiday said...

Iain,

Please accept some well-meaning advice: TAKE A HOLIDAY!

Otherwise you will burn out; just look at GB as an exemplar.

Good result in Norwich. I think that the outcome of the next GE might be more uncertain than implied by the voting there - just see the number of votes going to UKIP and the Greens. Pity UKIP did not get more votes than the Lib-Dems.

Anonymous said...

Bring back open comments - let democracy reign on your blog once again

Sarah said...

Don't let Anal Tear spoil this great blog.

Stuart Saint said...

Good boy Iain, I came to political blogs through you

Unsworth said...

@ John Scirtton

How presumptuous. Speak for yourself. Who the hell are you to speak on my, or anyone else's behalf? Who are 'we' that you refer to?

bladerunner86 said...

bladerunner86 said...
Have you got any more youtube videos planned in the near future?

Iain you didn't answer my question.
Have you got any more youtube videos planned?