Taking stock

Hello there! With the festive season in full swing this week, there have been fewer bloggers blogging and even fewer news stories to blog about. So the roundup is taking a week off, and there’ll be a two-week special next week.

For this post, though, I thought I would take a look at what Scottish Blogging Roundup has achieved so far, and what it still has to do.

Aptly enough, there happened to be a report about the state of Scottish blogging on Radio Scotland this week, which you can listen to here. It’s generated a bit of discussion. For instance, here is Will Paterson, who was interviewed for the piece. There is CuriousHamster. Mr Eugenides also threw his hat into the ring in an interesting post at Scottish Political News. Oh, and here are my thoughts on it aswell.

One of the main reasons that I wanted to re-start the Scottish Blogging Roundup that Stuart Dickson began last year was that I thought Scottish bloggers could and should be doing better. Why are there no real big guns in the Scottish blogosphere? And the ones that do attract attention usually aren’t writing about Scottish politics!

More than a few people have suggested that it is partly to do with the “local council” mentality of the politicians in the “wee pretendy parliament”. Maybe so. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t shine a spotlight on them. In fact, maybe it is all the more reason to shine a spotlight. I once attended a talk by Jamie Stone MSP. He told us that the Scottish Parliament makes 70% of the legislation that affects Scottish people.

Despite all the doom and gloom, there is reason to be optimistic about Scottish blogging. Although it feels as though there are only a few Scottish blogs, there are actually loads waiting to be discovered. I decided to have a look at the blogs that we have linked to on the roundup. To my surprise, I found that in those twelve roundups we have managed to fit in fifty-six different blogs. Not all of them are Scottish (i.e. they are other blogs writing about Scottish politics), but almost all of them are. And with the Scottish Parliament and local elections coming up in May, more are bound to join.

For the fun of it, here are the ten most frequently cited blogs of the roundup so far:

  1. Holyrood Chronicles (14)
  2. Freedom and Whisky (12)
  3. Shuggy’s Blog (12)
  4. Scottish Political News (11)
  5. Rhetorically Speaking.. (11)
  6. The Devil’s Kitchen (11) — no longer eligible because he’s moved back down to England?
  7. J. Arthur MacNumpty (10)
  8. Musings of a Reactionary Snob (9)
  9. Mr Eugenides (8) — Mr. Eugenides is also resposible for some of linked posts from Scottish Political News and The Devil’s Kitchen
  10. A Place To Stand (7)

As you can see, despite the relatively large number of blogs that we’ve linked to, the same few can crop up week after week. Holyrood Chronicles averages more than one link per week! While this is not necessarily a bad thing, it would be nice to get a bit more variety in the blogs that we cover.

As always, your submissions can help. Nominate a blog or a post that you’ve particularly enjoyed by emailing us at scottishroundup [at] gmail [dot] com. Also, if you use Delicious, it is dead easy to bring our attention to something. Simply bookmark a page as normal, but tag it as for:scottishroundup and we’ll get it. If you have a Delicious account, this is much easier than going to the hassle of using email.

But that’s old news. But there’ll be a couple of changes around here as well. In addition to me and Garry taking turns to post roundups, we will be bringing some guestbloggers on board in the run up to the elections. One per month sounds good to me — we can fit in five guestbloggers before the election. It will be much better to have a variety of perspectives on the Scottish blogosphere. I know I always discover something new when I read Garry’s roundups. Hopefully this will prevent the same old blogs appearing week after week.

Garry will be back on Sunday for next week’s roundup. Then I think we will bring in our first guestblogger, but there’ll be more on that when the time comes. In the meantime, I’ll just say thanks for reading and wish you all a Happy New Year!

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