Is the political blogsphere landscape changing?
Matt Wardman sees the tectonic plates of the political blogsphere shifting pre the General Election. I think you will have to wait until after and the changed political landscape to see significant changes though what will certainly be of interest (and no doubt will in subsequent years prompt numerous studies) is how the political blogsphere both reports on and shapes the campaigns of all the parties.
Wardman is certainly right when he observes;
However, the expected electoral revival of the Conservatives should see that small piece of ground become bigger so it is not necessarily true that ‘one will fall off’. Labour List will become vibrant to my mind as it reflects the post-mortem debate within the Labour Party; Left Foot Forward has the potential to fulfil Wardman’s criteria of being ‘as ‘authoritative as the FT’ but the price paid for that is it fails to really reflect a diversity of views and a debate. Much the same critique applies to Liberal Conspiracy which is struggling to reflect any kind of diversity and plurality on the left and has the feel of a ‘Labour exiles’ site. Also, (expects hate-mail from editors) the layout is looking a little dated, bland and ‘long’.
His tip is this;
if Sunder Katwala managed to turn the Next Left blog into a full group blog (with a design that let us see more articles without scrolling 28 feet down) while maintaining its current level of editorial consistency, he could achieve something quite significant.
His criticism of Next Left’s very cumbersome layout is on-the-mark as is his perception that Katwala’s site has alot of untapped potential. Katwala and the Fabians have shown themselves willing and able to engage with Liberal Democrats; especially those around the Social Liberal Forum and this is something that could give it a unique ‘pitch’.
Turning to the right, Wardman argues;
on the right there seems to be a hole where a non-party aligned policy-type group blog needs to be.
This is certainly true; Guido Fawkes and Iain Dale are individual starlets and Conservative Home will continue to draw an audience as people look for the growth of the ‘enemy within’ Cameron’s ranks but it is certainly not non-alinged. All the famous right-wing blogs I can bring to my mind are one way or another linked to the Conservative Party.
We are certainly living in interesting times in the political blogsphere which can be seen either as a blessing or a curse depending on your point of view….
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