Blogging births, deaths and marriages

Hello everyone and welcome to this week’s roundup.

First of all, I’d like to point out that I am having some thoughts about the future of this website, and part of that involves experimenting a bit with the format. I have begun to feel that Scottish Roundup has gone for quantity too much over quality, meaning that the truly great posts gets lost.

The new format I am considering will feature fewer posts, but more in-depth, with more of an emphasis on the editor’s personal take on a few issues that have caught bloggers’ attention. A short summary of the rest of the blogosphere can appear separately, or at the end of the post. I am experimenting with this format this week.

Like I say, it is an experiment and during the period between now and the new year I would greatly value any feedback anyone has on the future direction of Scottish Roundup. I am quite malleable at the moment as far as the roundup goes, so if something about it bugs you now is the time to let me know!

Perhaps somewhat regrettably, this week’s roundup will be a bit of a navel-gazer. But it does seem as though issues surrounding blogging have been occupying our thoughts. Evidently, it is not just Scottish Roundup that faces an uncertain future.

Blogging deaths

Jeff at SNP Tactical Voting has been considering the death of blogging.

One thing I have noticed through this addictive pastime is that for as long as the past year or so I have had very few hits from new sources. Don’t get me wrong, there have been some excellent new blogs which have kindly linked to me (and linkage has generally been reciprocated) but in my first year of blogging getting hits from new sources was a regular occurrence such was the rate of new blogs taking off and interest in blogs from numerous media sources…

The Scottish scene has already been hit by the hanging up of the Scottish Unionist and Malc in the Burgh keyboards with fellow Total Politics ‘top-tenner’ Caron significantly (and regrettably) scaling back her post rate (albeit due to ill health). Many other blogs are starting and stopping with activation energy seemingly in short supply.

A bit melodramatic? Perhaps. But I can’t help thinking that he may have a point. In addition to the list of blogs supplied by Jeff, at least two more major players in the Scottish blogosphere hung up their keyboards this week. Mike Cormack at Bucket of Tongues had begun to find it too time-consuming.

But the closure of another blog took place due to different reasons, raising eyebrows. Wardog’s blog is now nowhere to be seen.

Piecing together the puzzle, Jess the Dog probably has the most complete picture of what happened:

Apparently, blogger Wardog has packed up his soap-box after journalists have been in contact with his employer.

This has also been covered by George Laird, Bill Cameron and David Farrer who says, “We are Wardog”.

What do you think? Has Wardog been stitched up by the Labour establishment? Or is it right to think that you should expect better of bloggers than the sort of behaviour exhibited by Wardog?

One particular revelation about the increasing authority of Twitter sent me wondering about the future of my blog. Speaking of Twitter, John Connell has an interesting look at the demographics of Twitter users. No prizes for guessing — they’re particularly liberal, young and metropolitan.

Blogging births and marriages

I can hear you asking, now that I have moved on from blogging. I’ve done the blogging deaths, but where are the births and marriages? Fair enough. Just to prove I’m not such a misery guts, here is a new blog that was nominated this week.

Tattie Scones looked at the attempt of the Scottish Defence League to hold a rally in Glasgow last week. Good on those people of the Scotland United anti-fascists who vastly outnumbered them on the day.

As for marriages, well maybe I can’t quite come up with that. But a get-together is almost as good, right? Yesterday saw the first ever Liberal Democrat Voice Bloggers’ Unconference which was held in Edinburgh. Caron looked forward to it. I have not seen any reports on it yet, but no doubt they’ll trickle through today.

Threat to digital rights

Still on the subject of the internet (I promise I’ll move on in a minute), Cabalamat pledges not to vote for any MP who supports Lord Mandelson’s Digital Economy Bill:

The Digital Economy Bill plans to disconnect people from the internet if they’ve merely been accused of filesharing, or if anyone sharing their connection has been so accused. This is a breach of our human rights, and must be opposed.

No-one should be disconnected from the internet or otherwise punished for illegal filesharing unless they’ve been found guilty in a criminal court. Nor should anyone be punished merely for sharing a connection with an illegal filesharer; collective punishment is an infringement of human rights, and a war crime.

John Swinney: Politician of the Year?

Moving on, Munguin’s Republic congratulates John Swinney on winning The Herald’s Scottish Politician of the Year award:

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting John Swinney briefly in his office in parliament. Although he was busy, he took time to chat with me and make me feel welcome.

So, not only is John a consummate politician and a superb debater, he is also a really nice guy.

John Ault has a rather different take on Mr Swinney’s victory: “Well it is a bad year…!”

Climate research centre hacking

Neil Craig and Mr Eugenides both covered the alleged hacking of the email system of the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit.

Junior Eurovision

Finally, the Scottish blogosphere’s resident Eurovision expert Ewan Spence spent this week gearing up for the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. It’s not broadcast in the UK, so he handily provided a preview of potential highlights prior to the event itself.

Get your nominations in!

That’s your lot for this week — thanks for reading. I’m not sure if you can tell much difference between this and the traditional format of the roundup. But please do let me know if you think the new format should be firmed up and kept, or if you’d prefer a return to the old style.

Next week’s roundup will be left in the very capable hands of Lis Ferla. In the meantime, keep getting those nominations in. They all get featured (unless there is a really good reason not to), and we could always do with some more, particularly on blogs that are not to do with politics!

So please send them in, either by using the handy form in the top-right of the page, or by emailing us at scottishroundup@gmail.com. Don’t forget you can now also follow us on Twitter @ScottishRoundup.

4 comments

  1. I suppose the problem is trying to strike a balance between pitching it too narrowly – in which case it becomes a more subjective weekly ‘best of the blogs’ which will reflect the preferences of the author – and a comprehensive and more obective ’roundup’ approach, in which case it can become a bit unwieldy.

    There’s clearly merit in both approaches, but I suppose that if the roundup is to have influence then the narrow approach will tend to lead to disgruntlement since getting a mention would be regarded as more cliquey and elitist but then again a comprehensive list of weekly contributions perhaps wouldn’t add much value.

    Tricky one!

  2. Thanks for the input Stuart. I guess the problem is that even the longer ones were apparently cliquey. I think it would be better if Scottish Roundup focussed on:

    • The cream of the cream
    • New / unknown blogs
    • Issues surrounding blogging

    The trouble is, how to find the new / unknown blogs.

    But like I say, any feedback or thoughts from anyone would be a great help just now because I’m quite undecided on how to proceed with Scottish Roundup!

  3. Perhaps some kind of exclusively Scottish version of the Iain Dale/Total Politics approach, for example:

    – a comprehensive directory;
    – a comprehensive blogroll;
    – blogger profiles and suchlike (optional!);

    The blog element of the site could concentrate more on blogging issues and highlight the ‘best of’ rather than the more comprehensive roundup approach currently used.

    Of course, a ‘cream/best of’ approach might tend to look cliquey!