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 ……………….