Hi everyone. I’ve been having a think about the direction of this website, as I do from time to time. I want to put my thoughts to the readers because ultimately it’s not my website, it’s the Scottish blogosphere’s so the choice is up to you.
I am wondering about the separation of political and non-political roundups, which has been running for about a year. Originally I decided to separate them in an attempt to ramp up coverage of the wider blogosphere. In that, I think it has worked. But the flipside of that is that it has been ghettoised into its own corner. Perhaps it is time to go back to having one roundup per week, covering the whole blogosphere.
I can think of some advantages and disadvantages.
The separation between political and non-political is artificial in many ways, and it is difficult to know where to draw the line. Moreover, I feel that leaving a month between non-political roundups is too long. Sometimes great posts get nominated when the next roundup is not due for four weeks, which is quite a long time.
On the other hand, when a roundup has to be produced every week and only a few nominations come in, it usually falls to me and whoever is editing that week’s roundup to find interesting material to feature. I only have a limited amount of time to do this, which is why the roundup ended up often focussing on the same few blogs over and over again (something I promised I wouldn’t let happen when I set up Scottish Roundup).
It is so easy to fall into the trap of covering mainly politics. The news cycle normally provides a major focal point or a couple of major topics to cover. That allows the roundup to demonstrate the thinking of bloggers and the connections between blogs, contrasting different viewpoints with one another. That is a lot more difficult to achieve with non-political writing, because few writers will tackle the same subject in a week.
But I think these days we get enough nominations to help avoid that. Plus, it seems to me as though we have made good traction in reaching out to the wider Scottish blogosphere, not just political bloggers.
The idea behind Scottish Roundup was never to focus exclusively on politics, although that was always going to be a major part of it. But, by accident, it started to fall into a trap of covering just politics. Now I am worried that it is falling into a trap of a different kind.
That is why I am thinking about moving back to having one weekly roundup covering the whole blogosphere, but with a more conscious attempt at integrating issues outside of politics. Perhaps one idea would be to have a special roundup when there is a major news event (such as the recent release of Megrahi).
What do you all think?
Another idea I am thinking about is to bring in more features, so that the website is not just about roundups. (Obviously the name of the website is a bit of an issue, but we can think about that later.) I am considering making this a website about Scottish blogging (and podcasting / citizen journalism / etc) in general, perhaps with articles about issues affecting bloggers, profiles of bloggers and so on. Is that a good idea?
As you can probably tell, I am quite confused about what to do. But that is why I wrote this post. So please let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment or by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you prefer. Thanks!