Some thoughts on blogging

With the No 10 smear machine exposed by Guido, it was inevitable that this would thrust blogging itself under the media spotlight.

To many people, blogging is a bit like Twitter – or any new social networking and communication tool that can sweep the internet for a few months and then die a natural death. But whereas Twitter has been running a mere 3 years, blogging has a much longer history of 12 years making it better established and far more developed.

Creating a blog has never been simpler – no need for messy HTML (although it helps if you know a few tags so you can use the tools better) because templates and visual editors are provided if you go with Blogger, WordPress and the like, then almost any spec computer, internet access and your own writing ability are all you need – indeed, anyone can get a blog up and running in a matter of minutes and without any financial outlay if they have the equipment and access already.

Inevitably, given the human desire to leave one’s mark and their ease of creation, there are now millions of blogs covering every conceivable subject from every conceivable viewpoint.

Some blogs have become so widely-read that they’ve become accepted as part of the general media – along with TV, radio and newspapers or the MSM (MainStream Media) as these are known.

However, blogs have a great advantage over the MSM:

  • They’re immediate – no need to prepare a studio or get the presses rolling – you write, you upload and there’s your blog entry published for anyone to read (unless it’s moderated and not published)
  • They allow comment to be made easily – no readers letters or interviews with Joe Public to collate – you read, you comment, you upload and there’s your response
  • The content doesn’t rely on fitting into a certain agenda – the blogger is his or her own owner, publisher, editor and salesman – you can publish want you want

Of course, it’s inevitable with such ease of use and sheer number of blogs that there’s going to be a huge variation in blog quality but in my experience you start to patronise a certain type of blog that satisfies your individual requirements as a reader after you’ve sifted through them for a few weeks.

Equally inevitable is the threat that blogging poses to the MSM’s monopoly and the MSM’s response to this. So, we now have the MSM publishing its own blogs and inviting comment, although this is sometimes heavily moderated – unlike many independent blogs.

Like everything though, there’s a price to pay with virtually unfettered free speech and that is that sometimes someone writes something you don’t like in a manner which might offend you and expressing views with which you vehemently disagree.

Tough shit.

For the first time in human history anyone can say anything they like to a global audience and everyone has the right to reply. People in the MSM, and the political world it feeds off,  gnashing their teeth and wailing about declining standards in the expression of opinion  have realised this and after having it their own way for literally hundreds of years are now finding not only thousands of new competitors but also effective competitors.

To use a military analogy, a battle force with infantry, supporting vehicles and air cover can be very effective, but sometimes the lone sniper or a few resistance fighters can create a great deal of mayhem and sometimes influence the outcome of a conflict out of all proportion to their number. It might not conform to some lofty military principle but if it gets the job done – the supply train blown up or the enemy general picked off through your crosshairs – then why not hide in the bushes and wait for your opportunity?

This blog entry was inspired by the recent exposure of the smear campaign at No 10 mentioned at the beginning and also this in which the author makes such fatuous comments and draws such facile conclusions that it’s hard to know where to start.

I’m going to cut to the chase and just say that the sleaze he sees as a threat to the Labour party has only been outed through the efforts of those with whom he disagrees. He argues that blogging feeds off sleaze and that in order to perpetuate itself blogging will keep digging for sleaze.

Well, I don’t know about you, but I don’t like sleaze and if it’s there I want it to come out into the open so those who conduct themselves sleazily will be named, shamed and brought to task in some way – after all, I’m probably paying their fucking wages to some degree or another.

And what does Sunny Hundal want?

Only Labour bloggers to expose Labour sleaze?

Oh, like that’s going to work.

And whose fault is it if Labour bloggers aren’t as good at digging out the sleaze as more right-wing ones?

Well, Labour if you look at people like Derek Draper and forums like LabourList.

In fact, they’re so bloody bad at it that they had to invent some sleaze of their own…

Well, people can piss and moan as much as they like – blogging is here to stay. Fact.

My only wish is that if the Tories get into power in the next General Election then bloggers will remain as sceptical and determined to root out corruption as they currently are.

That’s when we’ll know for sure whether the future of blogging can include integrity and principle alongside opinion and intellect.

The art of using foul language – yes, it exists

Found here in the comments:

I rarely log on to Staines; his blog seems full of gossip and tittle -tattle accompanied by the most foul language in comments.

If his blog is thought to be the leader in political blogging, then I am a Labour supporter.

To use the form of quote found in his comments: his blog is a s–t. (smut – for the suspicious – I would never use foul language)

Posted by: D************** | April 13, 2009 at 10:01

Its puritanical and sanctimonious tone aside, this makes no sense –

his blog is a s–t. (smut – for the suspicious – I would never use foul language)

His blog is ‘a smut’…’a shit’…WTF?

But I see what he means – he would never use foul language and he shouldn’t – because he can’t.

Swearing is an artform.

For some reason, I’m reminded of the words of the late Frank Zappa here:

I have a message to deliver to the cute people of the world…if you’re cute, or maybe you’re beautiful…there’s MORE OF US UGLY MOTHERFUCKERS OUT THERE THAN YOU ARE!! So watch out.

Mr Shit…

Milli Vanilli

…meet Mr Fan

Eminent political blogger Paul Staines aka Guido Fawkes has obtained access to emails between our illustrious PM’s aide Damian McSnide McBride – from a .gov address – and Derek Draper, a Nu Labour ‘insider’.

These emails are said to contain the raw material for an anti-Tory smear campaign in which the totally fabricated details – described by Guido as ‘obscene’ – would appear on a blog site called Red Rag, a sort of anti-Guido blog.

It is rumoured that amongst these ‘imaginative’ details there are allegations of sexually transmitted disease and mental illness.

Guido insists that no money has changed hands between himself and the press and it is widely anticipated that the smear campaign details will emerge in tomorrow’s papers.

McBride has now apologised but I really don’t think that that’s going to cool this story down, particularly with some evidence that suggests that he was not acting alone, as No 10 is insisting.

As they say in all the best journalistic circles, this one will ‘run and run’…