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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Comments

BristleKRS

Luton's Finest Kezza McCazza a "must read"? You have to be kidding! She's a drab hack who says everything and nothing, and she can't deal with the Libertarian Party mentalists fo shit :D

El Barlow on the other hand is always worth a read, if only to marvel at his phat phorensic statz skillz. Boy gives good graph!

Politics-wise I'd also recommend The Bristol Blogger and Chris Hutt's Green Bristol Blog - lots of tenacious scooping there.

BristleKRS
Technorati Authority: 32
Technorati Rank: 174,882

;-P

PhilC

That Barlow is stat porn king is undoubtedly true.
However I think Kerry, unlike many other Labour bloggers, doesn't take herself too seriously, and that's to her credit.
You're right about about BB and GBG too - read it there long before you get elsewhere.
In fact I specifically mentioned to Dickon your research on the Tomlinson death as example of that kind of effort.
I just wish we could see similarly forensic skills employed by Bath & Wiltshire blogs (if you'll forgive the parochialism).
And well done on the technorati willy waving - I know my place.

BristleKRS

Apologies for the willywaving, couldn't resist :-D

As for building a better local blog scene or community or whatnot, I think that once you've found other sites locally, the linking up and cross-fertilising comes naturally. The Bristol blog scene is after all as atomised and at times as discrete as any other grouping of people or organisations linked only by geography.

The intersecting interests of the Bristol bloggers (often in relation to the shared aspects of their blogging - a sense of place, and from that, issues such as local government and politics, planning issues, an incorrigible disdain for career politicians at all levels tempered by a willingness to enter into discussion with them, and so on) I think is simply an example of the way strangers on the internet come to interact with each other after the initial dance. Every blog post heralds a negotiation, a negotiation over agreement and disagreement; whether blogger A agreed with blogger B in the past over issue C is neither here nor there once they're onto issue D. The style and grace with which each blogger addresses the issue is as individual as is possible, and will be seasoned with all manner of variables - mood, timing, off-stage and unstated motivations (a family crisis, perhaps, or a lack of time to spend blogging in detail due to problems at work), personal beliefs, political alignment, an open goal for a cheap one-liner...

Of course, all of these things are to a greater or lesser extent applicable in the 'real world' too; it's just that this being a written medium, it lends itself more concretely to form and structure.

Erm, rambling a bit there.

Some practical suggestions for kickstarting a Bath/Wilts blog scene:

# Put together a long list of Bath & Wilts keywords - places, people, issues - and methodically search for blogs writing about them - use the blog-specific Google search, as well as searching individual blog platforms like Wordpress, Typepad, Blogger, LiveJournal etc. Don't forget to search through tags and categories too.

# Use the same keywords to search through the microblogging & tumblelogging platforms and RSS management social networks - Twitter, Jaiku, Blip.fm, FriendFeed, HelloTxt, Plurk, Tumblr etc - this should harvest a few more local or local interest bloggers via their profiles.

# Use a blog reader like NetNewsWireLite (free) to manage subscriptions to all these blogs so you can keep abreast of what's being written without having to methodically visit each one directly.

# Make sure you cross-comment and cross-link in comments on local issues across as many of these blogs as possible (in a way that can't be construed as spam!)

# Maintain a thorough blogroll covering local and local interest blogs, and encourage your fellow bloggers in Bath/Wilts to do the same - and contact your local dead tree media and get them to publish a local blogroll on their website (a la Evening Post: http://www.thisisbristol.co.uk/news/Bristol-bloggers/article-769023-detail/article.html )

# Create catchy local memes that grab your fellow bloggers - like TBB's Red Trouser Gate, which, you might say, definitely had legs...

# Blog in a manner which lends itself to crowdsourcing, and invite input from readers and other bloggers.

# Plug other blogs when they're writing good stuff, as well as your own - especially when commenting on big hitter non-local blogs, or forums etc.

# Tag your own blog entries methodically!

I'm sure this is all stuff you're already doing, but maybe not. Best of luck!

Freelance Unbound (Simon Clarke)

Your Technorati stats are much better than mine, clearly - but actually I have no idea what that's worth at all. The web gives us huge wads of data about our sites, but maybe not the understanding of what that actually means.

Perhaps a better metric is actual user activity - visits and, especially, comments. On that measure, you are doing pretty well I think.

And I'm a "him" by the way...

PhilC

I read in The New Statesman this week that 99% of blogs have no readers.
So I'm happy to be in the one percent club.
But seriously - I think you're right Simon about comments being a guide. It's like the final validation. First people know you exist (although they might not visit), then they visit and hopefully loiter - and finally they engage.
I'm still struggling with stage two and haven't properly nailed stage one yet.

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