Towards a civil society online?

I couldn’t get to the Organise, Activate, Influence conference in Dublin this morning, but I have sent this ad hoc ‘soapbox’ piece in which I argue that we need more Irish bloggers who take the whole business of mainstream politics more seriously if citizens are to be able exert more influence on the way politics is done between elections. Outside a handful of sites, like Politics.ie and Irish Election that’s far from the norm.

Our excellent recent recruit Brian Walker has greatly enhanced Slugger’s coverage of politics in Britain, Slugger’s focus is still remains Northern Ireland. But my own pitch on the video ends with a pitch for new bloggers from the south. So if you’d like to join the Slugger Fest and you have something to say about politics in the Republic, {encode=”mick.fealty@gmail.com” title=”drop me a line”} with some of your ideas and we’ll see if we can get you a start!

You can follow today’s seminar live, just below the fold:

Send your questions for the various panelists in from here.

, , , ,

  • runciter

    Slugger would be a much better site if its technical problems were addressed – e.g., the ‘max views’ messages and broken RSS links.

  • Mick Fealty

    I completely agree. And I think in the aftermath of the Slugger Awards we’ll be looking for a sponsor to allow us to get a lot of that work done.

    I’m not a techie. Those things I’ve learned to do, I’ve done out of dire necessity. Slugger needs a proper re-build, not just the kind of re-skin we had last year. And, at this stage, that will cost serious dosh.

  • As good a place as any to second your remarks about Brian Walker being an excellent recruit. Since he started he’s been posting with admirable consistency and acuity.

  • [aside]”exert more influence on the way politics is done”

    Can Murphy and Robinson walk on water?

  • Mick

    I am very happy to see you ‘coming out’ with your plans for Slugger. This is the best collective blog on this island and deserves good, issues based and evidentially driven argument from every province.

    I can’t help but notice that posts on the ‘old politics’ of the North draw much more comment then those on so called bread and butter issues.

    Widening the base across Ireland will help address this.

    On a personal note I would love to see more cultural debate on Slugger.

    Conall

  • Mick Fealty

    I really do think Brian has helped push the envelope with Slugger. And not just with the British stuff. The extent of globalisation process must be pretty obvious now with the crisis in the global markets.

    ON culture, it is probably the most under delivered part of Slugger’s promise. So yeah. There is room for a few more on that score. I’m hoping people who could be pursuaded into blogging for us on that and other areas will make an approach on Tuesday evening at the Awards.

    It would improve things greatly too if we had a few more women involved!

  • techkensei

    I’m not a techie. Those things I’ve learned to do, I’ve done out of dire necessity. Slugger needs a proper re-build, not just the kind of re-skin we had last year. And, at this stage, that will cost serious dosh.

    I’m not sure I buy the sense in rolling your own blogging engine, unless you are a techie or have some pressing need to have features or control of the source. I don’t keep particularly abreast of this but there are a number of engines out there, of which I think WordPress is the most wildly used:

    http://wordpress.org/

    You get a number of advantages from using a community based effort — the best of which is essentially free bug fixes and new features. Plus probably a on of plugins and community support.

    If you are getting someone to do it, have them look into it. If it needs adapted, they could maybe pass things back to that community to. Very blog-ethos friendly.

  • NP

    Sorry Mick, but you look well rough in that video.
    Get some treatment man 😉

  • Greenflag

    mick ,

    ‘I really do think Brian has helped push the envelope with Slugger. And not just with the British stuff.

    That he has .

    ‘ The extent of globalisation process must be pretty obvious now with the crisis in the global markets.’

    While the focus on NI has to be central and primary, some have yet to ‘learn ‘ that NI is not an island , even if many of those of us outside it wished it were .

    As to the longer term future of blogging as a political tool that would enhance democratic involvement in the ‘serious ‘ sense in modern politics -it’s early days yet although the end of the beginning phase may be seen in the upcoming USA election . Good luck with your efforts .

  • NP,

    The varifocals account for some of the squinting (honest!).

    Kensei,

    That was a turn in the road taken over 5 years ago. We are considering going to WP (that’s the platform behind sluggerawards.com and fealty.net).