Friday, 28 September 2007

Iain Dale's Guide to Political Blogging in the UK 2007

Posted by Chris:

My eagerly awaited copy of Conservative Blogger Iain Dale's Guide to Political Blogging in the UK dropped through the letterbox yesterday morning and I read a good bit of it in bed last night.

Disregarding the obvious Tory slant to Iain's contributions and the fact that our blog is down to No 77, in this year's top 100 Lib Dem blogs (according to a "panel" of fellow Lib Dem Bloggers), from No 48 last year when Iain Dale choose the list, this excellent guide tells you almost everything you want to know about political blogging in the UK.

It doesn't tell you, however, who the panel of Lib Dem Bloggers were and what the criteria was they used. I suspect the huge increase in well written new Lib Dem Blogs, that have appeared over the past 12 months, our lack of interest in the national political scene, shown so far, and our low number of commenters, probably had something to do with our slide down the list. We will try our best to improve for next year.

Reading the book in bed with a low light made it hard to read. The type is very small and worst of all the text could not be closer to the centre fold. I found myself trying to force the book open to read the end of a line. The margin on the other side of the page is almost 4.5cms wide. This is obviously because there are pictures on some of the pages but it would have been better if these were on the centre fold side.

I read with interest the pen pictures of 50 top bloggers in the 'who's who' section and was very disappointed to find that almost all of these were bloggers from the south, as are most of the other contributors. This does not mean I think the guide is biased, it just means that I think Iain should cast his net further afield next year.

The 'Glossary' of blogging terms is a mine of information. There are many there that I have never heard of and some I have heard of but had no idea what they meant. Barking moonbat "a negative term for describing someone as being at the far edge of whatever ideology he or she is advocating," is one such term I had never heard before but will remember for future use.

It is useful to have a list of 1200 political blogs and their domain names but I am pretty sure that there are a lot more than 125 Lib Dem supporting blogs around.

The guide has a generous sprinkling of cartoon strips about a blogging dog by Hoby which makes it all the more a good read and well worth the £11.04 plus postage from Politico's.

1 comment:

Iain Dale said...

Thanks for the review. I take your point on the 50 biogs, but I really chose them as they are among the most popular blogs.

I didn;t set any criteria for the LibDem panel.I suggested they might follow my spreadsheet from last year by marking blogs for design, personality, frequenmcy of posting etc but I gave them free reign. All they had to do was rank blogs from 1 to 50. The panel included Stephen Tall, Mark Pack, Nich Starling, Will Howells, James Graham from memory.

Layout and typeface are always good to get right. I must admit we weren't planning for you to read it under the bed covers!

But glad you enjoyed it overall.