Independent Political Bloggers

Autonomous Mind wrote:

The importance of independent broadly political blogs cannot be overstated. The time invested and dedication shown by a number of devoted individuals – who strive to break news ignored or missed elsewhere, expose hypocrisy and idiocy and analyse the spin doled out to the public – is incredible. They should be cherished.

Recent months have seen something of an attempt to organise part of the blogosphere. While the content, voices and personalities of the independent bloggers is what will always matter, two initiatives are working to benefit a good number of relatively small or little known blogs. They are Orphans of Liberty and Independent Political Bloggers.

Richard North at Independent Political Bloggers hits the nail on the head:

Inexplicably, though, the independents often help the corporates out, linking freely to their parasitic clogs – who will never reciprocate – and ignoring their fellow independents. Thus does some fine writing in the independent blogosphere struggle for an audience, while the clogs prosper.

In what is a battle for survival, therefore, independents can help each other out, by favouring other independents in their links, and being extremely sparing in their links to the clogs, the claque and other parasites. Basically, the convention of reciprocation should be a guide, leaving the parasites to feed their own.

While it is easy to talk about this issue, all independent blogs have it within their gift to do something tangible help each other. For my part that effort starts this weekend.

I will be updating my blogroll to ensure it only contains good independents.

I myself used to do a thing called Blogfocus which attempted something similar though not primarily UK and not primarily political. I’ve done two of these recently and though they don’t appear to have grabbed people as much as Tomatofests and Dinner Parties, they give “haven’t seen that before, might give it a look” and I feel are worthwhile to remind people what independent blogs are out there.

If you don’t link to me, I shan’t link to you

Everyone wants visitors, everyone appreciates discussion at his or her site. Very few seem to be in it merely to deign to enlighten us with their wisdom, with no reciprocity. Yet there’s a certain unfairness going on, there are egos, there are fallings-out.

It seems to me that we should be promoting each other, irrespective of whether we’re currently happy with that person or not. The bigger picture is whether that blog is important to the sphere or not by its very presence. We have no obligation to visit anyone, we have no obligation to link reciprocally, we have no obligation to do anything anyone says. If I say “we should” do something, it’s just my opinion – yours may differ.

And yet – every bit helps, it really does. Things like little roundups of what you saw today on your travels, the occasional link to a minor blog where something valid was said – that means the world to a small blogger. Independent Bloggers tends to cover the medium blogs and is good for that, the big blogs take care of themselves, the little bloggers need a bit of promotion.

OK, there are no rules about it but still ……………….

9 comments for “Independent Political Bloggers

  1. September 1, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    I’m not a political blogger, but it annoys me that the MSM tries to ignore blogs of all types while trying to dominate the internet – like the MSM owns it or something.

  2. September 1, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    It’s an ongoing thing, Michael.

  3. September 2, 2011 at 9:23 am

    I do attempt to link to content from independent bloggers as much as possible. I tend to avoid MSM blogs, as they’re known, because many of them are crap. BBC reporters may well have news stories, but they sure as hell don’t know how to write them up in a way that bloggers will find informative and possibly entertaining. Some sections of the media are better than others when it comes to dealing with bloggers. The Guardian are fairly good at it, whereas the tabloids are worse than useless.

    That said, it would be churlish of me to say they’re of no use at all. When it came out that Andy Gray was suing the News of the World for allegedly hacking into his phone – this came out just after he’d been sacked by Sky Sports – I blogged about it, suspecting that higher forces were at work here. Someone working at Mail Online stumbled across that post within hours of me writing it, and wrote the name of the post down in their report, although no link was provided. It sent a hell of a lot of traffic in my direction, although I think it would have been even more with a link.

    My policy as far as linking to blogs is along the lines of – if you’re any good, I might link to you. It’s all about the quality of writing.

    • September 2, 2011 at 10:09 am

      It’s all about the quality of writing

      Yes it is and also about how much we do. I do too many posts but that’s because I’m catering to different fields. Therefore, at any one time, most posts will be c**p to others. But not to some. OoL is up and down too and that’s the nature of a free venue. I thought the abortion post just now was excellent.

      Then there are bloggers who do an excellent post, then die away. That’s a pity because that post deserves to be enshrined.

      • September 2, 2011 at 10:15 am

        I agree: it is very difficult to write excellent and exceptional blog-posts every day. In fact most blogs aren’t even online to produce works of literary art but to give their opinion and to share info, some are pure fun and frolics; some to let off steam. There are many many very good blogs but ALL of them vary in quality at some stage.

      • September 2, 2011 at 11:37 am

        Yep, keeping it consistent is very difficult. Thanks for the feedback on the abortion post, the next one will probably be garbage. 😆

  4. September 2, 2011 at 9:34 am

    I have 50 – 60 links but removed the only 3 that were to MSM (2 British & 1 Spanish) although I have noted more recently that many in the MSM ARE linking to individual blogs, even the BBC does if it suits their agenda. That said, still nowhere near enough to make it worth adding them.

    • September 2, 2011 at 10:10 am

      Perhaps they’ll start to get the message that we’re linking amongst ourselves and disseminating information that way.

  5. September 3, 2011 at 9:17 am

    The MSM ignore the independent political blogosphere because they won’t accept the modern division within media coverage. There is event news, and the MSM is trained to report and provide this as content. The coverage should be impartial. Then, there is opinion concerning the event. Most journalists will not accept that their monopolistic remit ends with the event. When it comes to opinion, the independent, non-corporate political blogger is just as well equipped to provide useful content. I’d argue that many of them were more qualified, having led less insular lives than many journalists.

Comments are closed.