Talking blogs at Westminster

If you’re in London on July 17th.. the Hansard Society is hosting an event titled – “Is Westminster ready for the age of participatory media?”

Blogs are very much the hot topic in Westminster this week, as you’ll probably have seen – so this public event should be a high-profile outing for some of the recent debate.

You’ll need to register to attend, but I suspect it will be worth it.

  • Henry94

    I wonder have blogs peaked? Most of them just regurgitate the same opinions and interpret everything in the light of their preconceptions.

    Anyone who is any good will be recruited to the mainstream media which like a punk band getting a record contract is probably their dream come true.

    The obsessives will continue to preach to the converted but rarely to more than a handful.

    Podcasting is already dead and blogging may be seen as Thu CB radio of this generation. No doubt CB radio is still used by some people but it is not mainstream.

    As a politican reminded me recently, a single letter published in a regional newspaper has more reach than a years worth of contributions to a blog.

  • Henry Old chap

    Cannot agree with you, old boy. Even though this event, in keeping with the wigged nature of the Mother of Parliaments, is about participatory media rather than blogs, methinks blogs or something akin to them will win out. Different forms of networks and platforms are evolving.
    Blogs might be more akin to graffiti than the letters page of the Times but they do impinge, as is evidenced here by the talk of murals and flags.
    While The Guardian and BBC will continue to spread their tentacles, other networks will open up. Even if this site is only a talking shop, politicians have to be aware of all talking shops. So, if people are communicating, that is good and, for politicians, interesting.
    In this regard, it is interesting Sinn Fein (etc) no longer do their own site. Young voters are coming through all the time and all parties have to entice them. The Times of the Cheshire cat is not necessarily the best place to do it.

  • Mick Fealty

    Master of the sweeping statement Henry. This is a cut out and keep if ever I saw one:

    “Podcasting is already dead and blogging may be seen as Thu CB radio of this generation”.

    You are getting form and content mixed. When I wrote this piece for the Irish Times last December, the total number of blogs was 21.4 million. Now, six months later it is 47.5 million.

    I would encourage any of our MPs (sitting or non sitting) to try to get along to this. If you have been using Slugger as a single template for blogging this might shed a different light on how politicos are utilising what is after all only a piece of technology.

    Blogs have changed the way people talk politics, and sooner or later our politicians are going to tumble to that, and get on board!

    The secret is in the power of networks Henry. Personally I think Slugger perhaps has not been to fore in demonstrating that as much as others, but its why so many politicians (outside Northern Ireland that is) are starting to ‘get it’.

  • Henry94

    Now, six months later it is 47.5 million.

    “never mind the quality feel the width”

    But setting up a blog is easy. Maintaining it and drawing readers is the real test.

    Even then the likelihood is that people drawn to particular blogs share the obsessions of the blogger.

    The great thing about Slugger is that you keep two sets of obsessives from either side of the same issue coming back to the same blog.

    But ATW (which I also enjoy)seems to me more typical of the blogsphere driven by the strong convictions of an individual (or two).



    I was surprised to see you pronouce the death of Podcasting.In reality, it hasn’t even started, but when it does, the big media are going to have to do something to cope with it.
    I speak as someone who listens to nothing but podcasts, having given up radio altogether.
    Howard Stern has abandoned terrestrial radio completely in favour of satellite broadcasting and a station that brings podcasts to a mass audience.
    Now I’m no great fan of Mr Stern, but I do think he is someone who can see which way the wind is blowing when it comes to this particular media.

    And let’s factor in something else.

    Video blogs are just around the corner.Techonolgy is fast approaching the point where high quality shows can be produced and distributed for little to no cost.

    Things are changing,and once changed they wont go back.

  • Aaron_Scullion

    Video podcasts and podcasts actually have very little to do with blogging, except that they represent a democratisation of the distribution of content, in the same way blogs did for text, and are likely to be taken up by the same people.

    Making a good vodcast/podcast is a very different skill to making a good blog.