Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Is Liberal Democrat Voice eating the Lib Dem blogosphere?
With the Lib Dem Blog of the Year Awards upon us again, it is time to see how the former winners are getting on.
In 2006 the main award was won by Stephen Tall's A Liberal Goes a Long Way. Looking at it today we find a posting from February telling 25 random things about the author, but otherwise nothing since June last year.
In 2007 it was won by James Graham's Quaequam Blog! Although I suggested last September that James was suffering an existential crisis, his blog is still going strong. You could say it is in rude health.
In 2008 it was won by Alix Mortimer's The People's Republic of Mortimer. Earlier this evening, weeding out blogs from blogroll that have not been updated for over a month, I found it had fallen into that category for the second time this year.
So is there a curse attached to being Blog of the Year?
There is more to it than that, of course. Stephen was one of the group who took over Lib Dem Voice when it was in danger of closing and turned it into the success it is today (no. 5 in the current Wikio rankings for British political blogs).
Latterly, Alix has devoted most of her attention to Lib Dem Voice too, though I notice she has contributed nothing there a few weeks.
Is there a problem with Lib Dem Voice attracting all the best bloggers? That is putting it too strongly, but I do believe we need to maintain a diversity of strong voices among Liberal Democrat bloggers.
It's a bit like British tennis: it's great having Andy Murray up at the top, but the real need is to see some other British players in the top 100.
For my own part I have contributed very occasionally to Lib Dem Voice, but a regular feature I started for them dwindled embarrassingly quickly. My defence is that there is a limit to what even I can write and I do my bit for the common Lib Dem good through the party newspaper. So Liberal England has remained the focus of my blogging effort.
There are a number of bright Lib Dem bloggers rising up the rankings: no doubt one of them will win the award this year.
I hope whoever it is will treat the accolade as an encouragement to continue and develop their blog rather than as the culmination of their independent blogging career.