The changing nature of blogging

Mike Rouse is the technical man behind many top level political blogs. Today he muses on the changing nature of blogging.

Mike writes:

In the past few weeks alone we’ve said goodbye to Iain Dale, Tom Harris and Tory Bear from the UK political blogging scene. As somebody who runs a business in this area I would be lying if I said this trend wasn’t worrying.
Is it merely a change of figures and plenty of new blood coming forward? Is it because of the change of government? No. Individual circumstances are behind all of the decisions and each with its own motivational factors and opportunities too.

You can read the whole article by following the link.

Anyway, here is my reply:

Blogging is changing I think. There is evidence that the first generation of major bloggers are going on to something else, but that also gives people like me an opportunity to do something I have wanted to do for years: write longer more considered posts that stand a chance of some kind of longevity. Twitter suits chatterers. I am not a chatterer I am a thinker and for too long the chatterers have led the pack and now they have a medium, Twitter, which is tailor made.
Iain Dale never saw blogging as discourse but I do. It is a fact that people we think of as intellectuals, such as Roger Scruton or politicians like Tony Wright MP either could not relate to the ephemeral nature of it or just never attempted it.
As for Guido, he is rather in a class of his own and appears impervious to influence. Other political bloggers get less interesting as they become more influential because they find themselves wedded to the establishment or wishing they were. Consequently they have too many people not to piss off and to some extent lose their edge. Political aspiration is the death of political blogging. cf Tom Harris. Ditto commercial interests. cf Iain Dale. I do not aspire to do anything other than get more out of the platform and see how far I can improve what I do.
There will be a new generation of bloggers but it will change its nature for sure.


Katabasis said...

"Political aspiration is the death of political blogging"

Well said sir!

Richard said...

I think you've hit the nail on the head re Twitter - it's for chatter, which is something I can't do. Very few posts on my blog are short and snappy - I tend to write more at length, and I'm probably too wordy. However, it pleases me to have my say, and the blog format suits me perfectly for that.

To be a serious political blogger, you need to devote masses of time to it, and I can't do that: too busy. The one time I was up very early (on the net by 7 am) and caught a breaking story (the 10:10 thing), my stats went mental, but I'd have to spend all my time at the keyboard if I wanted to repeat that.

As political blogging becomes mainstream, it loses its edge. Guido seems to have his own spot and shows no sign of softening, but the others you mentioned have first lost their edge and then become parodies of themselves. I suspect that the blog, being an individual enterprise, suits the outsider and the critic: I would imagine it's harder to stay fresh and entertaining when you are a member of a Select Committee. Like my favourite people, Bono and Geldof - when you are a radical outsider, you're interesting; when you become mainstream, you're just sad.

Sorry for the 'wordy' comment.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Katabasis. Now I come to reflect, it is about right. (modesty is not one of my strong points, and the desperate must take comfort wherever they can)

Richard, re Bono and Geldof: they were interesting once upon a time. People are beguiled by fame and success, not something that has troubled me so far. You have to be hungry, hurt and a bit angry to do anything good. Dickens, Kenneth Grahame, Knut Hamsun, Peter Tatchell, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King come to mind. Musically, as you well know, first and second albums are normally the best. By album three they are too distracted, snorting coke off the heads of dwarfs and hookers.

Jim Baxter said...

Dale and Harris began trimming to their own interests some time ago. They should have quit then. Instead, each headed up his own narrowly closing outlook. As a result, each was left only one point in space from which to speak.

Richard said...

"first and second albums are normally the best. By album three they are too distracted"

Mr Chairman, I submit exhibit A, the musical compilation "Fire and Water" by the popular music ensemble 'The Free'. This built on their first and second albums, and was a proper belter. Led Zeppelin III was hardly weak, either.

Sniffing coke out of a groupie's navel, though - smashes a man's creativity, fer sherr.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Not fair Richard, you are citing "The Greats". They are great because you can pick any album, almost any track except Revolution Number 9". The Zeps chemistry ensured they kept it up to the mark. I don't know much about Free, except that Paul Kossoff died of a drug overdose.

Jim, I didn't read the gushing tribs to Dale but anyone would think he was dead. The conveniently forget how downhill his blog went over the last couple of years. He was cashing in his reputation and coasting. Harris was too deseperate to get back into government and as we know, stealth censored perfectly reasonable posts.

Richard said...

OK, not fair, but I was feeling disputatious :)

If you're not familiar with Free, try to have a listen to their first album 'Tons of Sobs' (1968) - one of the earliest blues-rock bands, carving the way for every band who ever relied on a heavy bass riff, and then remember that when they recorded it they were aged between 16 and 19. The vocalist, Paul Rogers, was said to have the best blues voice to come out of a white man, and the album is astonishingly fresh and energetic. Paul Kossof was the only rock guitarist of the era (that I remember) who relied on melody and tone rather then sheer technique and speed, and his early death was a great shame. Well worth a listen.

Sorry, back to the topic ...

Jim said...

I was always a bit suspicious of Ian Dale because he had excatly the same voice as Guido. Were they ever spotted or photographed together ?
I see Captain Beefheart has passed away at 69. Ooh err missus. Outrageous to the end ;)

Anonymous said...

Since I started up again I've found it a handy outlet for my own musings, daily life and opinions on weight loss, etc. Previously I wanted to use it as a tool to get ahead, but now I don't particularly care if few people read it.