Sunday, September 30, 2007

Let's Get Technical Here

Comment from one of our newer members, Sackerson, of Bearwatch on my site:
I tried to email Blogpower but I'm so untechno that it seems even that didn't work.

What I wanted to say was that some techno-whiz at Blogpower might be able to create a donwloadable sidebar widget to trawl for recent BP posts (say anything in the last 48 hours) and display the titles in a reel, similar to the Newsreel feature. Then we could click on anything we hadn't read - ideally, the post would appear in a new window, so you don't have to lose your own page and remake it (which takes a minute or two in my case).

This might help with the problem that BP members commented on recently, that even BP members don't read much of each others' stuff. I expect it would also attract more visits from the blogosphere generally. especially if the widget itself were made available to everyone, not just BP members.

Could you please forward this idea to the relevant underappreciated genius?
So, Matt Wardman, Ian Appleby, Shades, Thunderdragon, Two Wolves or Tom Paine - anything we can do? Any other genii out there?

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Top 500 in Terms of Blogpower

Remember that these aren't the top blogs - they are the top UK political blogs only. So if your blog is not particularly political or you're not a Brit, of course you won't be here.

Blogpower would like to publish results from other parts of the world too, once they become available. Anyway, here are our girls and boys in the Top 200:

10 Ellee Seymour
Norfolk Blogger

Chicken Yoghurt [ex mbr]
Theo Spark

47 Waendel Journal
50 The Last Ditch

59 Daily Referendum
Bel is Thinking
City Unslicker
As a Dodo
Westminster Wisdom
Matt Wardman


Nourishing Obscurity
Looking for a Voice
Thunder Dragon

158 Pub Philosopher
Not Saussure
Istanbul Tory
Crushed by Ingsoc
A Conservative's Blog
Nation of Shopkeepers
Corporate Presenter

266 Grendel
Mutley the Dog

If it's fair to group them as above, then Ellee and Nich Starling are major blogging forces in the UK today, part of the super-league.

Theo and Chicken Yoghurt, on this showing, are clearly two of the greatest political bloggers in the UK.

Tony's and Tom's places would be challenged by no one I should think.

The 59-76 list is heartening and also quite understandable, containing bloggers we know to be top flight.

Ordo seems out on his own there and then we come down to the lesser lights as bloggers, including yours truly but still in the Top 200.

Grendel and Mutley are still clearly top bloggers with their position. In fact anyone in the Top 500 should take a bow and well done to you!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Lord Nazh needs your help

Please get over to Nazh's site a.s.a.p. Address in this sidebar.

Three Matters, if You Would

1. Cllr. Tony Sharp, of Waendel Journal, is applying to rejoin Blogpower and I don't think the 12th highest Conservative blogger on the Dale List needs any introduction. Any problems, anyone?

I am personally delighted that we're attracting this calibre of blogger and I don't give a toss about his politics - seriously. We have Justin in our sights too right now [but don't tell anyone].

2. Please, we really urge you, don't leave it too late to send your Blog Roundup nomination urls to:

blogpowerroundup AT googlemail DOT com

Having said that, I'm planning to send a raft of them to Ian on Sunday morning.

3. Members - please join the Mailing List now and Ian Grey is poised, ready to help you out in getting you in.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Political Blogging Guide 2007 - Other Sections

In these Blogpower members are a bit thinner on the ground, which is a statement of sorts but here's what I could find - Blogpowerers or ex-BPers are coloured maroon and in bold, as usual:

Guide to Blogging 2007 Top 100 Left of Centre Blogs

Big formatting problems on Iain's site with these:

4-2BobPiper12--ChickenYoghurt [ex-BP and I hope future]17-9MarsHill19Ministry of Truth 24-14Tygerland29-19General Theory of Rubbish[whose testimonial I carry in my "About"]30 Stumbling&Mumbling48-12Normblog98SomeDayIWillTreatYouGood

Guide to Blogging 2007 Top 100 Liberal Democrat Blogs

12 NEW Norfolk Blogger

Guide to Blogging Top 30 Media Blogs

4 Paul Linford 7 Melanie Phillips 8 18 Doughty Street 10 Oliver Kamm 12 Stephen Pollard 17 Bryan Appleyard 22 Clive Davis

Guide to Blogging 2007: Top Twenty Scottish Blogs

7. Freedom and Whisky (CON) 8. 1820: Rise Like Lions (SNP) 9. J Arthur MacNumpty (NON) 12. Havering On (NON)

Guide to Blogging 2007: Top Twenty Welsh Blogs

Today we have the TOP TEN WELSH BLOGS, chosen by Sandeff Rhyferys, who writes the Ordovicius Blog. So Ordo selected it but where is he himself?

Guide to Blogging 2007: Top Ten Newcomers

3. Matt Wardman (Tech) 5. Grendel (Con)

Guide to Blogging 2007: Top Ten Underrated Blogs

4. Waendel Journal (Conservative) [I count him as one] 5. Little Man in a Toque (Right wing) 8. Tygerland (Labour)

Blogging Guide 2007: Top 10 Medical Blogs

1. NHS Blog Doctor 2. The Psychiatrist Blog 3) Dr Grumble

Guide to Blogging 2007: Top Ten Religious Blogs

1. Archbishop Cranmer

Well done to all those who made these lists and to the BPers who graced them as well. Have I left any out?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Political Blogging Guide 2007 - Non-Aligned

Here is the Blogpower representation in the Non-Aligned list. Remember the other lists are still to come:

1 Political Betting 2 NHS Blog Doctor 3 Slugger O'Toole 4 Pickled Politics 5 Craig Murray 6 Rachel From North London 7 Our Kingdom 8 Spyblog 9 As a Dodo 10 Westminster Wisdom 11 Blair Watch 12 Little Man in a Toque 13 Policeman's Blog 14 Rolled Up Trousers 15 Bishop Hill 16 Campaign for an English Parliament
17 UK Polling Report 18 The Green Ribbon 19 Chase me Ladies 20 The Sharpener 21 Barry Beelzebub 22 Pub Philosopher 23 Not Saussure 24 England Project 25 Nosemonkey Europhobia 26 Miserable Old Fart 27 Dr Rant 28 Waking Hereward 29 S J Howard 30 Open Europe

Congratulations to all of these and to Iain Dale for the hard work. Thanks to Matt for the tip off.

Political Blogging Guide 2007 - Centre Right

Here is the Blogpower representation [and I hope Tony Sharp forgives us for this] in the Centre-Right list. Remember the other lists are still to come:

1 2 Iain Dale’s Diary 2 5 Dizzy Thinks 3 NEW Guido Fawkes 4 1 ConservativeHome 5 14 Croydonian 6 8 Archbishop Cranmer 7 3 Burning our Money 8 NEW Devil's Kitchen 9 NEW Tim Worstall 10 7 James Cleverly 11 23 Mr Eugenides 12 NEW Waendel Journal [the one we lost and hope to get back] 13 NEW Nadine Dorries MP 14 NEW Adam Smith Institute 15 NEW Donal Blaney 16 64 Prague Tory 17 11 Tory Radio 18 4 Boris Johnson 19 9 Ellee Seymour 20 56 Caroline Hunt 21 NEW Daily Referendum 22 NEW EU Referendum 23 NEW Sinclair's Musings 24 NEW An Englishman's Castle 25 52 Theo Spark 26 NEW John Redwood MP 27 NEW Daniel Hannan MEP 28 36 UK Daily Pundit 29 58 Freedom & Whiskey 30 NEW Mike Rouse 31 NEW Roger Helmer MEP 32 NEW Islington Newmania 33 NEW City Unslicker 34 NEW Matt Wardman 35 48 Man in a Shed 36 18 Dodgeblogium 37 NEW Nourishing Obscurity 38 NEW Samizdata 39 NEW Taxpayers' Alliance 40 50 Martine Martin's Lebwog 41 NEW Daily Propaganda 42 NEW Musings of a Reactionary Snob 43 22 Bel is Thinking 44 NEW Prodicus 45 65 A Very British Dude 46 NEW WebCameron 47 NEW Priti Patel 48 NEW Richard Spring MP 49 28 A Tangled Web 50 NEW Edland 51 NEW Nation of Shopkeepers 52 NEW Not Proud of Britain 53 NEW The Bristow Blog 54 79 Thunder Dragon 55 NEW Glyn Davies 56 NEW Little Man in a Toque 57 NEW Globalisation Institute 58 NEW Britain & America 59 NEW Last Ditch 60 31 Gavin Ayling 61 NEW Vicky Ford 62 NEW Birmingham University CF 63 27 Ed Vaizey MP 64 NEW Is there more to life than shoes? 65 72 Conservative Party Reptile 66 41 A Conservative's Blog 67 57 Last Boy Scout 68 NEW Tory Reform Group 69 NEW Ghost of the Hitch 70 NEW John Moorcraft 71 NEW Blognor Regis 72 NEW England Expects 73 NEW Rachel Joyce 74 NEW PJC Journal 75 NEW David Gold 76 37 Tim Roll Pickering 77 46 Remittance Man 78 NEW Tapestry Talks 79 NEW Platform 10 80 89 Curly's Corner Shop 81 24 Road to EU Serfdom 82 13 West Brom Blog 83 NEW David Jones MP 84 NEW Istanbul Tory 85 NEW Neue Arbeit Macht Frei 86 NEW Pub Philosopher 87 17 Trevor Ivory 88 NEW Brussels Journal 89 NEW The Crossed Pond 90 NEW Not a Sheep Maybe a Goat 91 NEW YBF Activists 92 38 Contra Tory 93 NEW Scottish Tory Boy 94 NEW Hunter & Shooter 95 49 Civitas 96 NEW Cross of St George 97 NEW Nicolas Webb 98 NEW Martin Kelly 99 NEW Cornerstone 100 71 Laban Tall

Congratulations to all of these and to Iain Dale for the hard work.


I have had the pleasure of a very erudite request to join us from Sackerson of Bearwatch, which implies the pleasure of asking you, my fellow members, to cast a discerning eye over his thoughts. He concentrates mainly on financial matters, and so should complement the City Unslicker's output. He and James have both touched recently on the potential of valuable metals, although they draw different conclusions. Still, if informed disagreement is not within our uncodified ethos, I am not sure what is. Your remarks in the comments, please. There seems to be an emerging idea that 72 hours is the appropriate time-scale for these matters to be decided, so you have until Friday evening.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Join our mailing list, please

TUESDAY PLUG: Please, please push Ian's Blogpower Roundup on your site. Feel free to just lift my text if you have no time. Remember, any of your readers may nominate but the post must be BP. That address again:

blogpowerroundup AT googlemail DOT com

We urgently need to streamline our procedures.

It's generally worked out that on any major issue, the admins talk it out [usually the two Ians, Tom and I and often Colin and Welshcakes] or else someone in the membership brings the issue up and it goes to vote.

The admins have just been talking about all this and have come up with two firm policies for your perusal:

1. Whilst initial application for membership comes through this HQ page [coming from the outside] and comments show very quickly if most agree and the person is fast-tracked to membership, nevertheless, if any member objects to a newcomer or returnee, then the discussion immediately shifts to our Mailing List. [See the sidebar].

There is then no need for a separate secret vote through me any more - we simply put a reasonable time limit on the discussion then tot up the comments yea and nay and there it is for all members to see.

The down side is twofold:

a] that some members don't like their vote to be known outside of the admins and I'm not sure how to resolve that one. Perhaps if these people still send votes by e-mail, this can be verified by another admin in order to be counted;

b] what if the discussion was about one of the members who has access to the list [this latter will have to be resolved later]?

The implication of shifting all major issues onto the mailing list [mooted by many members some time ago] is that people still not on the list, whilst not being compelled to join it, must realize that decisions are only being made there on difficult topics and matters of future policy.

I know this is a shift on my part but I must concede my fellow admins are right on this and it seems the only way to go.

It is not a technical matter to join - it's as simple as joining anything on the net these days and we're all here to help you. But you'll need to do it soon to have a say. [See the sidebar].

2. The second policy is that a two thirds majority of votes cast inside the Mailing List [clearly understandable comments count as votes] and within a clearly stated and reasonable time frame, will constitute passing of any resolution. Again - two thirds of votes cast, not two thirds of total membership.

The thing is, we have a bad record of getting members to vote on anything and have to accept that it will always be an active fifteen or so who will vote. The admins feel that two thirds of these is fair and that members who don't choose to vote - it's their choice.

Therefore: we urge you to go to the sidebar and join the Blogpower Mailing List now or sometime this week. Ian Grey will take care of the process, being our admin in charge of the list.

Admins: I've tried to get resolution on this matter and at one stage proposed an expanded admin list. Some members suggested Senior Admins and New Admins or Long Term Members and Newer Members. We should discuss this - but inside the Mailing List please, not here.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Blogpower Roundup #2 - Nominations Open

Matt Murrell came up with and co-ordinated the first Blogpower roundup back in August. Despite his sterling efforts, we have let the idea languish somewhat, but now a few of us are hoping to run it on approximately a monthly basis. So, with that in mind, I would like to invite your nominations for Roundup #2: I'm looking for the Blogpower members' posts that you have most enjoyed during September, not least because I didn't have chance to do much visiting while I was away, so there's a lot of bloggy goodness I will have missed over the month. You don't have to be a BP member to nominate a BP post.

Please send your chosen URLs to blogpowerroundup AT gmail DOT com by 5pm, London time, next Sunday, ie September 30. I hope to bring you the results at the start of October.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Freedom of speech under threat (again)

I know that many of you have already done so, but this is just a quick plea to all Blogpower members to bring the Usmanov situation to the attention of your readers.

Basically, a number of blogs have been taken down and others threatened with legal action by an Uzbek millionaire after they repeated allegations made against him by Craig Murray, former British ambassador to Uzbekistan.

These allegations have been around for years, yet Usmanov has failed to take Murray to court over them. Instead he's put pressure on a small web-hosting company he knows lack the resources to fight him.

The British libel laws have become, in the words of our very own Gracchi: "a tool of the powerful to abuse, not a tool to protect innocent people against press intrusion"

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Quality Street

And another one steps this way. Next for your appraisal and entertainment comes Jams O'Donnell and his blog The Poor Mouth. I've known Jams' blogging for a while now, and it's further testament to the quality we are attracting that he should want to join us. As usual, ayes or noes in the comments, please, with the weekend being a good time to take stock.

Roundups and Autumn Blogpower Awards

Now, Laze and Gem, I'm a bit sheepish about this because I just haven't ... well, we haven't ... got right behind the Blogpower Roundup after Matt Murrell's great inaugural effort and we should get onto this.

The other thing which has been in the pipeline since the last Awards is our own internal awards for us. Now ... how can I put this delicately? Since my ... er ... little disgrace ... well ... er ... perhaps someone else can carry the can and run with it on the Autumn Awards?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Quality members

If you glance down our Blogroll, I'm sure you'll see just how high quality are the members we've been very fortunate to attract. I, for one, feel honoured to be in ther company.

Now we have another who has graciously agreed to run the gamut of membership scrutiny:

So, lads and lasses, get scrutinizing and let's have your verdict soon.


Monday, September 10, 2007

New and Returning Members

UPDATED: Wednesday, September 12th

Dear Members,

I have done the template things to put these four onto the main roll:

If anyone would like to take issue with my action, please indicate now. Otherwise a very warm welcome to Beaman and a very warm welcome back to Norfolk Blogger and Daily Referendum.

Yours, James

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Bloggers return from their deep sleep

Most remiss to mention that Tin Drummer was back and not also mention the estimable Calum Carr and the incomparable Istanbultory, now proudly blogging as Stan. If you haven't yet checked these gentlemen out, then what on earth have you been doing? :)

NEXT ISSUE [as if you needed it]

We put Tin Drummer, Calum and Stan back straight away and I'm sure if any of the others in the sleeping list come back it will be the same. So where does that leave the Norfolk Blogger, who is returning as well?

My attitude is "the prodigal son returned" but I understand you might not share my view on this. The calibre we already have on our roll is pretty impressive but NS is one top blogger and we need not only his calibre but his "centre-left" balance as well.

If I'm already treading on thin ice with the Phishez issue [and hope she returns later] then I might as well dance in saying I'll add Nich to the main roll on Monday unless there's any objection.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Time to Vote

UPDATED POST: Friday - it's over this evening!

In the original manifesto, it said:

1] adopt the motto: ‘do unto other blogs as you would have them do unto you.’

In the Blogpower ethos, it said:

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.

Many opinions have been expressed here in the comments that the thing over Phishez is not interesting to them but that's hardly helpful. It comes down to whether or not she did this:

1. Took over someone else's blog but retained the url and header of the former blogger so that any reader thinks they're coming to the former blogger's site;

2. Readers see the former blogger's name "in lights" but then the posts are signed by Phishez. The logical thought is that she is a guest poster;

3. When they read these posts, they find the "guest poster" attacking the blogger whose header is still being used.

Until recently it was clearly verifiable, sorry, Lord Nazh, that this is what Phishez was doing. This is not opinion but a simple "was she" or "wasn't she". So the only question after that is whether this breaches 1] and f] above.

Do you think for one second that I'm personally interested in any of this stuff - I have much better and more necessary things to be doing in RL and on my own blog.

However, BP procedures on new members demand we conduct a vote on controversial pending members. We did this on UKN&P and we're doing it now.

So we need interested parties to e-mail jameshighamatmaildotcom until 21:00, Friday, London time and he then sends names and votes to Colin Campbell for verification:

Yes - Phishez gets in;

No - Phishez must wait three months.

If two thirds of those voting say yes, she's in. If less than that, she waits three months, assuming she'd still be interested.


Yes, admit now: 2

No, she waits three months: 7

Wrote to abstain: 2

Comments made in the comments section are welcome but are not counted as votes. Closes Friday evening at 21:00 London time but unless there's a late surge, it's pretty well over now.

My statement, for what it's worth, is here:

OK people - time to wind this thing up. As promised, I'll send the names and votes to Colin [not that he wants them but that's what comes of being a senior admin]but I'll do that tomorrow morning now.

No changes to the tallies and one of the "no"s might have been an abstain but I'll check tomorrow morning. Either way, it's pretty clear and certain things came out of it:

1] There is a certain pride in BP now and many feel we should move beyond the mud slinging and laundry airing and I'm quite sure there are those, even among the admins, who blame me for letting it happen.

And yet we had to have the matter out. When I put a spanner in the works for Phishez, I didn't do it lightly and it was as much for my reputation as hers [to show it was not done through any antipathy] that we had to hear a certain amount of it.

But not this much.

So yes, I agree with you we need to find a better way and I'm open to suggestions if you are. But it must remain fair, which this was, even if it was not enjoyable.

2] I think we're always going to disagree about ethics but there are some base levels below which we can't sink. Quite a few BPers seem to agree with that and I can tell you we've had some enquiries about membership out of this process we've gone through - detractors please bear that in mind.

3] So to Phishez. If you look at a recent Blogfocus, you'll see her little cats featured so there is absolutely no personal "stick" in this. You might not be aware either that she and I have had some correspondence on other matters - blogger to blogger.

On the BP entry though, it was another matter and the results are such that she'll have to, if she's willing, wait three months and I have to now reveal that there was pressure on me via e-mail to eliminate her altogether.

Everyone makes mistakes and some of us would defend the three month rule - it gives people a chance to get the head together, see where things went wrong and to regroup. Or not. Surely this is healthier.

I don't know how relevant the late entry of Crushed into the fray is and I suspect everyone just wants the whole thing to stop here and now without any other implosions and suicides.

I think everyone wants it to get back to BP Blogroundup and the like and don't forget that we have the Autumn internal awards coming up [handled by someone other than me.

So over to you everyone.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Blogrolling and welcome back

He's back!

Also, in my role as Chief Cook and Bottle Washing Grand Poobah, I'll take on the blogrolling whilst Ian's away. My e-mail is in the sidebar.