One on one

One on one

: Britain’s Hansard Society studies weblogs but goes about it in a wacky way: assigning eight jurors to judge eight blogs. Too small on both ends. This isn’t a trend; this is a random exercise in chance. For what it’s worth, some of their conclusions:

: Blogging has the potential to significantly impact on political engagement and political processes as they provide an opportunity for alternative informal voices to enter into the political debate without a great deal of cost or effort.

: Blogging breaks down the barriers between public and privates spaces and allows elected representatives to put across their individuality and personality.

: The availability of low-cost, low maintenance authoring software means blogs are far easier to construct and update than conventional websites.

: The most appealing blogs are those which provide genuine debate between bloggers and visitors to the blog. Blogs that do not offer this facility give visitors little reason to return.

: At the moment, political blogging is still regarded as the pursuit of internet connoisseurs rather than ordinary members of the public. While our jury found blogs easy to navigate, they found the tone of content unappealing.

: Blogging has the potential to be of enormous benefit to MPs and other elected representatives who use it as a listening post rather than another tool to broadcast their ideas, achievements or party dogma.

The Guardian found the negatives in the report, among them that some posts could get long and boring. So I’ll end this post now.

  • The report also criticised bloggers for being “opinionated”. I’m not joking.
    Oh, and tell Instapundit, Andrew Sullivan, and the likes of Norm Geras how their blogs do not give people much reason to return.

  • At the moment, political blogging is still regarded as the pursuit of internet connoisseurs rather than ordinary members of the public.

    I think that Brit git just insulted a huge swath of the blogosphere.

  • Michael Zimmer

    LeatherPenguiun: I think that’s an accurate statement, and not insulting in the least. The general public barely has access to the Internet, let alone the awareness of or time to spend on political blogs. Something lost in all these discussions of blogs: there’s a significant digital divide between those who have access to and read blogs and those who don’t.

  • Also keep in mind that Britain is, as ever, about 18 months behind the US on all things blog. You would have to be here to appreciate the difference. I mean, only a few years ago, if you wanted to go online in the UK, you had to dial-up – and pay a 3.5 pence per minute charge to do so, unless it was after 6PM or a weekend. They will get there eventually with blogs, but in the meantime, it’s all a bit mysterious to too many people.

  • speaking of which have you seen the new michael badnarik for president blog? both instapundit and ed cone have added him to their blogroll…
    his blog and his website are getting quite a bit of traffic according to alexa……’s his website…..
    thanks for blogging jeff jarvis…….you da man……

  • {run Monty Python Snide Frenchman Voice}
    I mock your silly English excuses!
    {end MPSFV}
    I can’t buy the idea that the general public barely has access anymore. You can buy a beat up 386 laptop with a wifi card and walk into Starbucks, Barnes & Noble, an internet cafe in downtown Baghdad…. The digital divide now is between Luddites and everybody else.
    And politics in the New Entertainment, so net geeks aren’t the only folks generating the traffic numbers at the Big Hit sites like the Puppy Blender, BloggerBoy Jeff, or Drudgey-poo.