Stephen Tall, Head Boy of the LibDem blogosphere, has asked for thoughts on the state of our little corner of the interweb. Here goes:
What are the greatest successes of the Lib Dem blogosphere?
1. The LibDem aggregator. It's simple and very effective and I am yet to see anything even approaching it from the other parties. In particular, the democratic egalitarian nature of it is a wonderful re-statement of the spirit of our party.
2. LibDemVoice is excellent
3. Lots of new blogs are starting all the time. Some go quiet, some suddenly have a growth spurt, but it all gets reflected in the aggregator. I see lots of youngish people blogging, which is good.
4. I think the greatest success of the LibDem blogosphere is to give like-minded people, scattered all over the country, and the world, a sense of community and identity. It is marvellously identity-reinforcing to be able to share views with people you know will broadly agree but also take issue as necessary.
What are we, collectively as bloggers, failing to achieve?
Well nothing really. It's crazy to see this as some sort of competition. We all have busy lives and families/partners. We shouldn't beat ourselves up about something which, in its proper place, is just a hobby.
How does the Lib Dem blogosphere compare with those of the Labour, Tories and other parties’?
I can't really say. I don't read them in large quantities.
How helpful is blogging as a campaigning tool (are there examples of it making a real impact)?
Unless you get up to the DailyKos levels, I don't think it has a great impact but it is important that it is there. It is a supplement to other forms of campaigning and can often spearhead campaigns.
What do you think the next year holds in store for the Lib Dem blogosphere?
More blogging. Very often blogging tends to get more exciting when there are exciting events happening - e.g the expenses scandal. With the election coming up, things should get interesting. I hope we can dissect the vacuum at the heart of the Tory party (if it is technically possible to dissect a vacuum, which I doubt) and display the truth of what is there (again, if that is possible). Cameron's statement that he would like to clear Parliament Square of protestors to make it look tidy suggests that a Tory government will be the opposite of liberal and allow plenty of mileage for exposure.