Monday, July 30, 2007

Iain Dale and the Top 100 UK Blogs 2007

The Scenario

Iain Dale has been kind enough to include Blogpower in his notification that that time of year is here again.

To U.S. and other non-UK bloggers and readers, I think there's a place for you here too. At least read this through. Even though you have to be UK or blogging about UK matters to actually be on the list, that doesn't stop you submitting your vote.

To all UK bloggers and readers, you'll most likely already know this but here's a recap:

Last year, Iain brought out a 32 page guide to the Top 100 UK Political Blogs [you'll see banners displayed on the sidebars of all the top bloggers] and very quickly it spread like wildfire across the UK.

Make no mistake, indulge in no sour grapes as this blogger did. These lists are hugely influential with the wider public, as well as with the blogosphere itself, 18 Doughty Street only confirms their importance and it avails us to get into this and get in quickly.

The Rules

In September Harriman House will publish the 2007 Guide to Political Blogging in the UK. It will contain articles on blogging by some of Britain's leading bloggers, together with a directory of UK political blogs, and a series of Top 20s and Top 10s.

Instead of me picking my Top 100 UK political blogs (as I did last year) I'd like fellow bloggers and blog readers to send me their Top 20 UK Political Blogs by email. I'll then compile the Top 100 from those that you send in. Just order them from 1 to 20. Your top blog gets 20 points and your twentieth gets 1 point.

The deadline for submitting your Top 20 to me is August 15th. Please email me your list to iain AT iaindale DOT com and type Top 20 in the subject line. You don't have to send 20, but try to do 10 as a minimum.

Personal Note

Let's make no mistake here - to be included in this list with the heavyweights of the sphere like Devil's Kitchen, Mr Eugenides, The Englishman, Dizzy Thinks, Croydonian and so on would be a great honour. If you feel you're not really all that political, no matter - there is the non-aligned section, which I have my eye on.

Nominate twenty UK blogs which take your fancy and you've done your job! This is important to Blogpower!


This is NOT Iain's personal list, as it was last year but nominated from all over the UK:

2007 Guide to Political Blogging in the UK

How Do I Assess a Blog

Here are Iain's criteria [embedded in the second paragraph].

And here is my reply and my 10 modified criteria.

Last Year's Lists



Lib Dem



Sunday, July 29, 2007

Question for BP about BP

I got a major question for everyone. What is BP? Why are we a part of it?

Not to sound like I'm complaining :) but my last 100 visitors, 10 were from BP; 3 from this website, 3 from Havering and 4 from others.

One of the purposes (I thought) of BP was to visit each other, comment (although not required) and to help each other. It seems that this is not happening (granted I had 4 unknown visitors that could have been BP but...).

My visits are down from 180 or so a day to 40-50 so the 100 last visits were 2 days worth and that was roughly 4 BP visitors (this is normal, not an anomoly). So I ask, why? I can simply visit you guys to my heart's content without being a member of BP if BP itself means nothing to you.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Blogger Break

I'm going to be taking a posting break during August as I have holidays to fit in and need to concentrate my efforts on some other things I'm involved in, both at work and as hobbies. Knocking up a Blog post is far too handy as a method of procrastination!

Rather than have a dormant Blog, I'm keen to "Do a James Higham" and encourage Guest Posting to Shades of Grey in my absence. No obligation for style, content or quantity, but any offers welcome.

Friday, July 27, 2007

BP Profiles; Ruthie Zaftig

Find about more about the girl from Minnesota here...

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Visions of Bradford Testimonial Department





Jeremy Jacobs

Today, 25th July is the date provided by Jeremy Jacobs!! As his blog birthday

So Happy birthday to Him!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Nominated by Pommygranate, seconded by many, would you give Kizzie's blog the once over please and state your opinion vis a vis membership?

Monday, July 23, 2007

Blogpower Round-up

The inaugural Blogpower Round-up will be held (all things going to plan) over at my blog in the first week of August, so send your nominations to the following email address:

I'm sure most of you are familiar with the various round-ups and carnivals which pop up all over the blogworld, but just in case:

The Blogpower Round-up is intended to highlight the best and the brightest comment that our group has to offer. If any post on a BP blog has caught your eye in recent weeks then just send the link to the above email address, whoever is in charge of the round-up (initially me, obviously) will then publish a list of these posts along with a brief and witty (well... brief at least) commentary on his or her blog. (We're hoping that this will happene about once every couple of weeks).

The idea behind all this is two-fold: One, to highlight posts you might otherwise have missed, and two, to raise awareness of Bklogpower among casual visitors to the blogs involved.

So get nominating!

Visions of Bradford Testimonials

Visions of Bradford tells it as he sees it and he's already stirring things up. Personally, he can say what he likes about me and it goes straight in the testimonials. Have a look at them on my sidebar.

Some might not be too happy though.

At least he's doing testimonials and here are three:




If you've also recently posted some, please tell us where they are. Welshcakes?

Thoughts from Crushed By Ingsoc on Blogpower

This is the comment Crushed By Ingsoc left at Nourishing Obscurity. I think it is good to have it in the open, rather than buried in comments.

Read the opening objectives of BP.

You want to stand there and pull the rug up from a blog organisation that helped you?
If it didn't fulfill your ideological needs, then go!.


We are not a politically slanted organisation.

I want to be part of BP. I think we have a great, positive role to play.
One beyond the role envisaged at the start.

A much greater thing.
Most of you can see what I mean.

The discussion that is happening now, is the discussion we all came here for.
The way we are all dealing with it it is the best bit of it.
Without getting nasty.
None of us need to.
We all like and respect each other, but want to show each other the way we think.
And get some feedback.
So we can all move on and get the next level of discussion going.
To me, that's BLOGPOWER.

That's what I joined for.

We all came to talk.
Are we all selling that vision?
It's an amazing vision!

Open it up!

Every Voice Counts!'

I WILL FIGHT FOR THIS. What we are doing here is very important.

Everybody else, do you want to be heard?

Let's make the most of this.
Talk between people.

These are the thoughts of one Blogpower Member.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Carnival of Cities July 30


I am currently hosting Carnival of Australia and managed to sneak in myself and Onyx Stone this time. Take a look. Last time Crushed By Ingsoc surprised with his knowledge of Australian History.

I also recently guest hosted a non political Scottish Blog Roundup
which featured Blogpower Members Richard Havers, myself and Lady McLeod.

Next up Carnival of Cities, which I am hosting on 30 July. If you are interested in submitting a blog article from your part of the world, you can send me the link by email or use the Carnival Submission Form. We cover the globe and no local issue is too mundane to be considered. Last time I hosted this in May, Ian Grey, James, Tom and Welshcakes graced the stage.

I need any submissions by next Sunday. Any questions, you can post on the Yahoo Site, leave a comment, or if you really want to be sure that I will read it,

Blog Carnivals can appear a bit canned, but they can be a way to publicise your blog, with virtually no effort on your part, especially if you have a relevant post. You are guaranteed at least one additional visitor (me) as I write up the post.

Thank you for your support.

Colin Campbell

Blogpower Testimonials to Date

I am currently putting together the history of Blogpower for our sidebar and part of this is the testimonial writing which Pommygranate has now taken up again. As he writes them, so we'll add them to this post.

Testimonials do have a history with us though and this summarizes that history:

The call to write testimonials for our fellow members

The CityUnslicker first mentions it.

Tom Paine supplies his ten:

Bel is Thinking

The CityUnslicker

The Pub Philosopher

James Higham

Colin Campbell

The Tin Drummer


Tony Sharp

The Thunderdragon

As a Dodo [mini-testimonial]

Ellee Seymour

Tiberius Gracchus' Testimonials

James Higham supplies his first ten:

The Tin Drummer then does ten:

James Higham supplies his second ten:

James Higham supplies his third ten:

James possibly lost the plot a bit here, with his characteristic overkill, writing about non-BPers as well.

Then Shades [Ian Grey] chipped in with:

Matt Murrell

Cynical Chatter from the Underworld

Unfortunately, we couldn't prevail on any of the others to write some until Pommygranate recently came to the rescue with:

Crushed by Ingsoc

Thursday, July 19, 2007

New Blogger - Kizzie

May i recommend an excellent blogger to join BP.

Her name is Kizzie and she is a Sudanese Muslim currently living in Cairo. She brings a completely different perspective on events to our rather Anglo-centric world. She recently guest posted a piece for me on female genital mutilation (yes, i know it's a slightly heavy subject) following a visit by Ayaan Hirsi Ali to Australia.

Her blog is here.

You will notice that she hasn't posted for a while but that's because she is currently in L.A. researching a paper on Spanish immigration into California. She will recommence posting once she returns home.

Check it out.

BP Profiles; Crushed By Ingsoc

The first BlogPower profile victim is Crushed By Ingsoc. Find out more about the man behind DoubleThink here.

If you would like to be profiled, please shoot me an email at and i'll send you back some questions. Otherwise i shall hunt you down..

Tom Paine and Pageflakes

If you haven't been into Tom's latest handiwork, you really should. He's so modest he would never push it but I would. Here's a review so far:

I must say I am really enjoying the pageflakes page that Tom Paine has set up. It is amazing and makes it easy to check out the other members posts to see if they interest me and to see if the blogs are updated. An excellent tool. [JMB]

Please click on the orange link in the sidebar and have a look.

Closer to Nirvana

1 Recent ideas to come from members

a. Some sort of probationary period of 3 or 6 months for new members;

b. A committee of some kind to look after the BP ethos;

c. Very mixed feeling about limiting size - no consensus;

d. No admins without portfolios - any portfolio is better;

e. Our own internal Awards in the autumn;

f. Some set of BP rules to incorporate all we've said.

2] There are 11 admins

# Ian Allenby [Blogfather and Lord Keeper of the Rolls - the one with the dsicretion to give the initial look over a new member and to decide whom to contact, whether to add etc;

# Ian Grey [Blogfather and Lord Keeper of the Mailing List, overseer of the dissemination of info to all members, Annual Awards Organizer, 2008;

# James Higham [Blogfather, Ambassador-at-Large, Reader of all BP utterances at least twice a week, Overseer of the mechanics of the main site, Secretary - writing up policy as it's formed [as I'm doing now], Secretary to the Blogfathers;

# Tom Paine [Blogfather, Lord Keeper of the Profiles Page, Annual Awards Ceremony MC, 2008;

# Mutley the Dog [Committee, Birthdays Officer];

# Pommygranate [Committee, Blogpower Member Profiler];

# Colin Campbell [Committee, Blogpower Awards [Internal] MC];

# Welshcakes Limoncello [Committee, Member of The Gang of Four];

# Liz Hinds [Committee, Member of The Gang of Four];

# Lady Macleod [Committee, Member of The Gang of Four];

# Matt Muttrell [Committee, Member of The Gang of Four];

3] Policy or urgent matters

Whenever something arises in the messageboard or elsewhere, it is dealt with by the Blogfathers initially. If necessary, it goes to the whole Committee. If really important, it is floated to the whole membership.

4] Blogpower Ethos

Initially already written up by James but added to and chopped and changed around as the Committee sees fit.

5] Fora

a. The DTB site - for profiles, general announcements, summary of discussions;

b. Pageflakes site - all permanent updated profiles and RSS feeds;

c. Mailing list and Messageboard - where we thrash out ideas.

6] Committee

a. The Eleven is pretty wide ranging in view, geographically, gender wise and so on. It also represents political/non-political, techie/non-yechie and looks very healthy - what do you think?

b. It also solves the problem of whom the committee would be. Let's leave it to Ian and Ian to come up with grandiose names for the Committee and each member because they're more creative than I on these matters.

7] The Gang of Four

They would split the BP roll between them [about a dozen each] and write up, at DTB once a week, a one or two line review of what, of interest, each of their dozen has been saying during the week. This does not cut across Pommygranate, who has his own two profiles a week. It's like four Blogfocuses for our membership.

8] My Current Task

To write up a document to submit to you, incorporating all these ideas, esp. probation period and to report back maybe this Sunday afternoon.

9] Your Task

a. Get your birthday to Mutley. I believe Will, of Young Conservative, just had one and it wasn't celebrated. The birthdays thing isn't working just now;

b. Please get around to as many blogs as you can.

Monday, July 16, 2007

So, members, any problem with these?

Lord Keeper of the Rolls - Ian Appleby

Lord Keeper of the Lists - Ian Grey

Lord Keeper of the Profiles - Tom Paine

Birthdays Plenipotentiary - Mutley the Dog

Weekly Profiles Comptroller - Pommygranate

Admins-without-Portfolio - Colin Campbell, Welshcakes Limoncello, Liz Hinds

Admin-in-Waiting - Matt Murrell and whoever else you'd like to suggest.

Grand Poobah - James Higham

July 17th: There've been blogroll changes, members.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Open letter to Blogpower

Members, we have had many situations on our hands and this is the latest.

Membership has suddenly split into two parts - the 19 or so people who have joined Yahoo and the 30 or so members who are not in Yahoo.

I always knew this would happen which is why I opposed a closed mailing list as a second discussion venue - not because the mailing list is a problem in itself but because I knew that it would become a second forum and from fora inevitably comes policy.

This in fact is what has been happening in these last two days.

Ideas such as new members being on 6 months probation before approval by the older members and other fundamental issues, even those the members have already thrashed out by due process and have a policy on, seem to have reached the consensus stage with about seven members taking part in the discussion.

Only one of these was an admin.

Meanwhile, the wider membership has no idea this is going on. This is why this blog has been to date the accepted forum for policy formulation. A glance through the archives will show that everyone has had a chance to comment.

Admissions Policy - it was agreed that any person wishing to join us contacts Ian Appleby [look at our sidebar]. Members have enough faith in him to use judgement in putting the name to the Pending List. If he feels there's a problem, it's put to the admins and then to the membership if it seems to be an issue.

In all this, Ian Appleby only ever acts with the interests of Blogpower overall in mind. It doesn't need regulations and policy documents and the like. We are a small, homely club. It was accepted by members by virtue of no opposition being expressed to it.

If noone expresses any objections to the new member, that person is in. That was what was decided and settled but now, it seems, is up for discussion yet again in certain quarters.

So the real issue this Sunday is who formulates policy in BP?

I state strongly that the membership does. Members express ideas on our forum here and if there seems to be some support for an idea, the admins take it up, formulate a proposal and put it back to the membership. Any problem with that?

Which membership?

The full list - every last one of them, not just a small group of political bloggers of a certain bent.

Where should policy be formulated?

In a place to which ALL members have unfettered access [including for technical reasons].

If the wish of members is that the policy forum shifts from this blog to the mailing list, [thereby making this blog moribund], then it's an all or nothing proposition. All members need to be in that mailing list or else they've been disenfranchised.

Therefore there are two clear choices:

1] The policy formation remains here, where it always has been until this weekend; or

2] All members should join Ian Grey's Yahoo mailing list and do it soon, within the next week.

Absolutely no policy formation should take place in a closed forum away from the Blogpower site until such time as all members are:

a. in one place;

b. au fait with how to go in and out of that place freely.

Discussion is fine, debate is better but deciding that something will be policy is another animal altogether.

As one of the founding members, I hereby recommend that all members get themselves into the Yahoo group as soon as possible, by clicking on this url:

and going through the signing up procedure which I did yesterday. It's really not arduous. If it's a current member, Ian Grey will immediately approve the person.

Saturday, July 14, 2007


Just to inform all members that Nobody Important has been added to the Full Roll, Two Wolves and Sally in Norfolk added to the Pending Roll and two others moved from the rolls for a shade under three months.

Please take a look at Two Wolves unless you've already done so. Sally in Norfolk is the anomaly here. Already in the messageboard as a member, she hasn't appeared yet on the full roll. Presume this is a formality.

On to the Next Issues

1 The question of Blogpower size limit - should there be a limit? Should there not? How to organize it?

2 Spoke with the other admins about this - we need Female Admins. I didn't mention it to the boys but will add it here - possibly we need non-Brits as well. We have Colin and Pommygranate, we had Lord Nazh. If you feel you could lend your name to this [duties nominal, we assure you] and you feel you're the gal [or guy] we need, there are two places going begging. So far we have:

Lord Keeper of the Rolls - Ian Appleby
Lord Keeper of the Lists - Ian Grey
Lord Keeper of the Profiles - Tom Paine
Birthdays Plenipotentiary - Mutley the Dog
Weekly Profiles Comptroller - Pommygranate
Grand Poobah - Colin Campbell
Admin-without-Portfolio - James Higham

If you would like to make up The Nine, please either write to James or post a comment here. I hereby nominate Welshcakes, Liz who finds life hard and maybe Lady MacLeod. As a quick check, this person would need to have voted this week, would have come to this or other BP sites and would be on our mailing list. In other words - interested and involved.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Decision on the Matter voted on this Week

Dear Members,

Your administrators are just that - we can administer but not make the rules. The most we can do is to recommend a course to you and allow you to speak.

On this matter you have spoken.

The issue failed to become clearcut in that the optimistic requirement of 25 votes for a decision one way or the other fell short and then the requirement of 19 votes also fell just short.

On the other hand, the opinion is pretty clearcut if you view the results.

Solely on the grounds that the BNP represents a threat to the Blogpower ethos in its manner of operation and that the majority of the members voting do not wish to be associated with an organization which uses the tactics it does, a 4-1 majority of administrators recommends to the membership that Central News and UKN&P be excluded from Blogpower rolls for a period of three months, after which they may reapply as they wish and would go through the same process as any other propective member.

We also recommend that Nobody Important, also on the Pending Roll, be admitted to Full Membership henceforth.

This constitutes the first such suspension and the Administrators are well aware that it sets a precedent and that Blogpower is now navigating its way through uncharted territory.

Blogpower insists that any such banning may only be made after exhaustive process, canvassing the opinion of members and solely on the grounds that continued membership would put Blogpower itself at either some risk or at a distinct disadvantage.

The Administrators are also aware that we may well lose valuable members by this decision and that is regrettable but we also feel that it is the correct decision and that Blogpower will now be more accessible for many others who were prevented from joining.

This is the end of the matter now until the last day of September although naturally there will be comment on this post for the foreseeable future. We would ask that comment on this matter be kept to this comment thread and not spill over into others.

Thank you.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Mailing list

The blogpower mailing list is open for business. There are now 25 of us signed up. I'll list who is on at the end of this posting and update it when needed.

It is easy to join:

Technophobes: Send an email to (Put who you are in the message if it isn't obvious). I'll then activate you and you will get a confirmation back. Anything anyone sends to the mailing list arrives in your mailbox (and everyone elses).

Technophiles Register with YahooGroups and then you can make it sing and dance. To sign up and sign in, go to


Andrew Allison
Hell's Handmaiden
Crushed by Ingsoc
Shades of Grey
Visions of Bradford
Imagined Community
Nourising Obscurity
An Insomniac
Wardman Wire
As a Dodo
Mutley the Dog
Nobody Important
Sally in Norfolk
Sempiternal Horizons
Adelaide Green Porridge Cafe
Theo Spark
The Last Ditch
Lord Nazh
Heather Yaxley Green Banana
Finding Life Hard?

(This is in the order YahooGroups shows them)

Missing in action: Lady MacLeod

UPDATE: With 25 now joined, I will now stop updating this list for every straggler. There is a database at the list website- only open to registered members to prevent email harvesting.

Progressive Vote Tallies

E-mail with the name of the person below and your vote. Current tally:


Retain [10]
Exclude [17]


Retain [9]
Exclude [18]



The way this thing is being done is that people e-mail me as they did in the nominations phase of the Awards, only with the person's name and one of two words - Retain or Exclude. Four things now happen:

1] I progressively add throughout the week to the closed Vote Tally post so everyone can see what's happening at any time;

2] I add names to a separate list as votes come in, listing the member and how he/she voted. This is kept as the final confidential record. At the end of the poll, at 21:00, Friday, London time, this one page list is sent to Colin Campbell, as an attachment, for confirmation that members' names do indeed match the final tallies;

3] I preserve all e-mails.

4] I assure all members who voted that their names and how they voted will only ever be seen by Colin Campbell and myself and under no circumstances will ever be divulged to a third party.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Blogpower AGM

We have a time consideration in this matter and three admins felt that this could be presented as our concrete proposal:

1] New administrative roles

Lord Keeper of the Blogrolls - Ian Appleby with James Higham deputizing when Ian is away;

Lord Keeper of the Mailing List - Ian Grey, who will put a post up about this tomorrow;

Blogpower Profiles and Events MC - Tom Paine [assisted in the profiles by Pommygranate];

Weekly Profiles and Testimonials Officer - Pommygranate;

Birthdays Officer - Mutley;

Admins without Portfolio - Colin Campbell, James Higham.

2] Blogrolls

a. Pending - including prospective members and those on the way out;

b. Full list in three forms:

[i] Automatic;

[ii] Automatic in a box;

[iii] HTML;

c. Currently resting list.

3] Blogpower Ethos: what is Blogpower?

a] Blogpower is more like an international extended family than any other model;

b] It began as a reaction against the closed selection procedures in blogosphere awards and exhorted Blogpowerers to get around and support other small and medium blogs with a view to upping traffic and creating a friendly atmosphere;

c] As a family, it includes the technically sophisticated, the untechnical, the political and apolitical, the able and the not so able;

d] As a family, it looks after its own but where we differ from a RL family is that we are open and welcoming to new members of any persuasion;

e] Also as a family, its members roam far and wide and bring people home as well. It's somwhere to come home to once you're done out there;

f] As a family there is a certain decency required when you visit, take your shoes off and come inside to someone's nice clean blog. This is not to say we can't express our views even heatedly - we do. Very strongly;

g] We don't love all that our brothers and sisters get up to in the real family and neither do we in Blogpower. However, when one member severely rocks the boat, the family closes ranks and makes its feelings known;

h] We have no political, religious, national or any other ties as a family and reject any suggestion that we do. Others may call us what they will. We know what we are;

i] We have few rules - only as many as are absolutely needed and no official structure - none of us has the time to prop up some sort of expanding bureaucracy. If one member wants to take on the burden of a new idea, say a mailing list, well and good. If not, well and good;

j] Our ethos is tolerance and egality in that the admins are there to serve and administer, not to rule. The real power resides in each and every member who, for practical reasons, allow the admins to do the spade work. You want to be an admin? Fine - we'll find you a role;

k] Sometimes an admin will seize the agenda and run with it, e.g. the Awards and the Awards Ceremony but this is always subject to comment from the members;

l] This page, the original page, is the forum where feelings are made known and new ideas are put. If anything private needs deciding, the mailing list is utilized;

m] We are not a hi-tech organization and this is an important principle - a substantial proportion of our membership is quite low-tech and doesn't appreciate newfangled technica which forces them to do things they neither understand nor need;

n] In this, as in all matters, some wisdom is called for to keep us on the middle course;

o] Naturally, a certain loyalty builds up amongst people who have known one another for quite some time and we respond to calls for help and sometimes make suggestions unsolicited;

p] We do not tolerate disloyalty, where one member is trying to push his parochial barrow at the expense of the rest of us or where he sees himself as one of "them" instead of one of "us" or uses his affiliation with us as legitimacy for his RL organizational membership;

q] Almost our only a sanction is relegation to the Provisional Roll;

r] We can't be pinned down. If you ask: "What is Blogpower?", you'll get a dozen answers. Like G-d and electricity, there are numerous explanations.

4] E-mail list with Yahoo

Now a goer with Ian Grey and he'll post on it tomorrow.

5] Limiting size

50/50 inconclusive result and this can become a poll to determine member views after the polls in N6 are concluded.

6] Admissions and exclusions

Inconclusive so far:

a. Wayne [Central News] is moved to the Pending Roll whilst a secret poll by e-mail is conducted. Please send to the subject Wayne and then either Yes - exclude or No - retain. Poll closes this coming Friday evening. Only Full Members may vote.

b. UKN&P remains on the Pending Roll whilst a secret poll by e-mail is conducted. Please send to the subject UKN&P and then either Yes - exclude or No - retain. Poll closes this coming Friday evening. Only Full Members may vote.


All other pending members immediately moved to the full list, including Tuscan Tony.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Issues to be decided this weekend


UPDATE: An hour and a half to go, as agreed, BPers and others. Then we'll close the comments thread and I'll collate the responses and draft the proposal which will go to the admins for approval and then come to you tomorrow morning around 12:00, London time.

1] E-mailing lists [continued from the Communication post];

2] Parting of the ways with Central News;

3] Refusal of admission to UKN&P;

4] Limiting Blogpower's size;

5] What blogrolls should we have;

6] New admin [all from the Burning Issues post].

Of 42 Comments on the BI and C posts, all bar one were made by 7 members. People, that is not good enough on important issues. I'm going to leave the following message on the sites of members who have not commented and also shut off the comments on the Burning Issues and Communication posts now [they're getting unwieldy and fragmented] and transfer all discussion here. Any objections? The text:

[Name], Blogpower is trying to decide some vital issues at this moment but only 7 or 33 members have commented. Clearly, that's no basis for a decision. Could you see spare a little time making your point of view known on the issues currently being discussed at Blogpower? James

This is the commenting record so far:

A Conservative's Blog
A View from the Right
A Young Conservative
Adelaide Green Porridge Cafe
An Insomniac
Andrew Allison
As a dodo
Bel is thinking
Central News [14]
Chicken Yoghurt
Corporate Presenter
Crushed By Ingsoc [1]
defending the blog
Ellee Seymour
Finding life hard?
Havering On
Heather Yaxley - Greenbanana
Hell's Handmaiden
Imagined Community [8]
In Search of High Places
Looking For a Voice
Lord Nazh [3]
Morag The Mindbender
Not Saussure
nourishing obscurity [8]
Observations from the Hillside
Onyx Stone
Pub Philosopher
Russian Wolfhound
Sempiternal Horizons
Shades of Grey [1]
Sicily Scene [1]
The Cityunslicker
The Conscious Earth
The Last Ditch
The ThunderDragon
Theo Spark
Westminster Wisdom [5]

Update: Certain sites were not accepting comments, unfortunately, so the message was not posted there.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Communicating more effectively

I'm not a great fan of conveying information amongst groups through the medium of blog comments. Being a "pull" technology it requires conscious effort to visit and it is far too easy to miss stuff along the way, especially if fragmented over several blog entries. Online forums are better, but are still "pull" based.

Instead, I'd like to propose a "push" technology- a web based/accessible mailing list, specifically the Yahoogroups offering which I have been comfortable with for many years as admin for various lists.

It is fairly flexible, with regular email based posting/distribution but also offering web access and digest/announcement only options. The list home site would be a handy place to store files, photos and useful data.

I don't see it replacing the Blogpower blog, but being more of a place slightly out of the public gaze where we can discuss policy, admin and issues in a more coherent manner (never missing a message).

It is actually open for business already- you can vote with your feet by signing up at Joining approval is turned off so you are straight in rather than having to wait for me to work out who you are and approve you.

If you wish to retain anonymity and don't have a suitable private email then I'd suggest use of a Hotmail type account. You don't need to register with YahooGroups but it adds a lot more functionality if you do.

I can also invite or enrol people manually on request, as well as attend to personal settings (e.g. daily digest, individual messages, announcements only, no email). If you'd like me to do this for you, drop me a line at ian dot grey at iangrey dot org dot uk.

I'm also happy to give admin rights to others as appropriate.

Ian Grey (First volunteer keeper of the mailing list).

The Burning Issues

To bring everyone up to speed on matters, I've republished the Housekeeping post below this one. We have an urgency to the matter now because one of our admins is going away for a trip on the 10th. Essential issues for resolution are:

1] Admission or rejection of UKN&P, should he feel his application is still live;
2] Expulsion of the BNP on the grounds that they are demonstrably not at one with the Blogpower ethos;
3] Appointing new admins:
a. Lord Keeper of the Rolls [currently occupied by Ian Appleby]
b. Birthdays Officer [currently occupied by Mutley]
c. Events and Profiles Blogmeister [currently occupied by Tom Paine]
d. General Dogsbody [currently occupied by yours truly]
[Think we need a woman in here somewhere]
4] Decision on limiting the membership size or categorizing it.

Final date for comments or e-mails Sunday, July 8th, at 21:00. I have a free[ish] Monday and so will draft a resolution based on all your comments and it will be posted that day for your approval. Any matters not commmented on - we'll assume they're OK by you.

Housekeeping - things we need to do

Rather than rewrite this, I've taken the original post and removed references to the Awards and Awards Ceremony, retaining those issues relating to the AGM

1] Sorry to rain on our parade so soon but we need to hold our first AGM - and issues to discuss include:

a] Automatic spill of all positions and election of new administrators in the possible categories:

[i] Keeper of the Codes [blogrolls and banners together]

[ii] Resident Techie

[iii] Birthdays Officer

[iv] Pageflakes Profiles Coordinator [think this is obvious]

[v] General Rouseabout [founding grandfather - this is almost obvious]

[vi] Anything else you can think of.

b] Creation of three blogrolls, kept by the keeper of the rolls and categories of membership:

[i] Provisional [new members awaiting membership approval - usually a formality]

[ii] Current membership

[iii] Resting roll [the Istanbultories of the world].

c] Formulation of the policy on membership. This is up for discussion because sufficient members e-mailed me about it and want it discussed:

[i] Elimination or blocking of undesirables as a policy or not

[ii] Ejection of members [specific person mentioned] - discussion only at this point.

[iii] How to stop us from becoming unwieldy

[iv] How to recognize "friends of BP" who are not actually members but stay close to us. This is especially important now because of people like Bag who had a lot to do with us during the awards, plus many others.

2] I suggest we now take suggestions from all of you via e-mail to either me or in comments on this post on any or all of these matters. Our fallback position is that the current admins will do it all themselves but it's better we include your ideas.

Therefore, would you either e-mail or comment until Sunday, July 8th on any or all of the above issues or any others you may consider need discussion. Then the current admins will draw up and agenda.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


I would respectfully ask that my name be taken from any administrative duties to Blogpower for now.

There are things I need to do badly, the most important is to right my ship of life as I havn't been able to do since my divorce. I don't post much at my blog and even less here and I feel BP will be growing soon and need someone that is attentive to its needs in my place.

If and when I get my life turned around, I'll come back full force; until that time, I will still be here but not the same. I've avoided taking a look at myself long enough, it's time to fix it (sh$t or get off the pot eh?).

Thanks for the trust and be strong.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Blogpower supports thought experiments

Strictly speaking, Bryan Appleyard is not a Blogpowerer and you might wonder why this post then. It's because of his appeal for help. Chip explains it better here.

I strongly believe that if we do not support fellow bloggers, not just our own members, we are going against the spirit of Blogpower. I hope the majority agree with these sentiments.

So can anyone suggest anything about this matter.

The Awards Ceremony - Inevitable Post-Mortem

Awards about to begin - people taking up position. Tom Paine at the awards table, yours truly near the podium, Welshcakes in the foreground and Chipendale in the background coming to grips with himself

Higham's take on the scenario

Picture a large cyber-city community in which Tom Paine has steadily bought up property ["the money's real, the reality's not", as one American told me yesterday].

A group of bloggers called Blogpower, who began as an angry response to glitzy closed awards competitions, together with their friends and colleagues and others who dropped by, having an awards ceremony of their own.

The Second Life programme as the engine, which required us to "build" and edit our own bodies, down to cheek bone position and "love handles", floating around, Matrix like, in a new reality which looked awfully like the real world and yet was a painted backdrop, a canvas which was lost when one stepped too far over the edge [a la Twilight Zone].

IM, Chat, Teleporting and the arrows keys on the keyboard the main means of communicating and getting around.

LtoR: Free Jersey, Ordovicius Kidd, Yours truly [foreground], Devil's Kitchen [typing at the bar], Delicolor and the resplendent Mutley the Dog

What happened

As it turned out, the Ceremony itself was swept up in a flood of visits over many days, even weeks, from all colour of guests - much of my blogroll in all categories turning up at one time or another but fewer at the actual ceremony at the actual time and we need to possibly think of a new way to present these things.

My own speech lost in a technical nightmare where the slow dial-up connection meant my body was still building and the Awards Deck had not painted itself at the moment I was required to "speak".

This gave the appearance of being "tongue-tied" when I was actually furiously typing in the speech. By the time it was delivered, the ceremony had already moved on. I noticed Chipendale shooting past a few times too, as he tried to master his locomotion.


Hugely successful for reasons other than the actual Awards, which were just one part of the weekend. Tom Paine's meticulous cyber-organizing which had everything dovetailed to beam people to this location or that had everyone dancing, drinking, eating, visiting shops and swimming at the pool and it became like a giant fiesta.

The bringing together in a Chat situation of bloggers from everywhere - Jon Swift, Devil's Kitchen, the Englishman, JMB from Vancouver, Jocko from South Australia and the estimated 40 others - their avatars standing at ease besides one another at the bar, chatting about anything under the sun - this was the real plus of the affair. Not possible in a blog or e-mail situation.

Late into the night, we were still shooting the breeze at the bar - you can just see DK typing something in ...


The way Blogpower and so many from outside were there for the beano. Bag was there busily teleporting people and serving them with conscious altering drinks, Jocko was the life of the party, yours truly played the aging satyr with large biceps and a penchant for taking his clothes off and falling through floors, Welshcakes, Ruthie and the other ladies were Hot to Trot, Tom was the suave, tuxedo-bedecked ubiquitous host, aided by a team of cyber-experts and security men and women and a fun atmosphere pervaded.


Those very close to us who didn't visit. Very sad.

Do it again?

You bet! Please put your hands together now, Ladies and Gentlemen, in a warm show of appreciation for Tom and all his efforts and hope he'll have us again.