Thursday, January 31, 2008

Blogpower Initiative for February

Now I am nowhere near the idea person that James was for Blogpower but I have been tossing around an idea that came to me recently. It was prompted by the concept of Delurker Day which was earlier on in January and it pertains to visiting and commenting.

We all know that the idea of BP is visiting each other's blogs but somehow I think we've let that slip away a little. The truth of the matter is everyone is very busy with their working lives, their families and their own blogs. Not only do we have the BP blogroll in our sidebars but we have other blogrolls with our personal favourites listed and whom we want to visit. This all takes time and spare time is something we don't have a lot of. My bloglines feed consists of 232 blogs which I check on a fairly regular basis but then I'm retired. I'm sure you have lots on your reader of choice too. I think lots of us only read blogs that way because clicking over takes precious time while the blog loads.

It's also very easy to make little circles in BP because you have more interest in some blogs over others. That's only natural and totally understandable. But I'd like to make a suggestion that each of us make just a tiny effort to visit some blogs in BP that we usually don't and delurk. Yes, leave a comment. It doesn't have to be a brilliant comment. Just the equivalent of a hi, fellow BP member, well you get the idea, you'll think of something. If, every few days we were to visit one extra blog on the list and leave a comment then it would not take too much time or trouble and I think it would make us all feel like more of a group again. Let's make a small effort to reconnect with each other and let's take special care to welcome the recent new members.

I hope you will join me in doing this, but in any event I'm going to start the ball rolling by visiting and commenting on some of the BP blogs that I've let slip under my radar. If you have another idea, feel free to suggest it.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

New Member -- Letters from a Tory

It gives me great pleasure to welcome A. Tory of Letters from a Tory as a new member in Blogpower. I know he has some blog friends already in this group but if you are not familiar with his site please go over and explore and introduce yourself in the comment section.

His site has now been added to the blogroll and I am sure he will be displaying it along with the BP banner very shortly, as a fully fledged member.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Blogroll Housekeeping

Our main and sleeping blogrolls need a little bit of tidying up.

Due notice is given that on February 1st, any Blogpower Blogs that have not made a 2008 posting will be moved over to the dormant list (Sleeping, Perchance dreaming). Conversely, any sleeping beauties that have woken up will be moved back. (Any that become 404 not found will be deleted).

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Letters from a Tory

We have a new application for membership in Blogpower from a relatively new blog in the blogosphere, Letters from a Tory. However he/she has been around for the required three months and a few of our members appear on the blogroll so some of you may be familiar with this blog already.

Please take a look at Letters from a Tory and make your feelings known in the comment section here. Any objection will move the discussion and voting to the mailing list, with comments subsequently being closed here.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

New Member --- The Poliblogs

It gives me great pleasure to welcome Garbo of The Poliblogs as a new member in Blogpower. I know he has many blog friends already in this group but if you are not familiar with his site please go over and explore and introduce yourself in the comment section.

His site has now been added to the blogroll and I am sure he will be displaying it along with the BP banner very shortly, as a fully fledged member.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Poliblogs

We have a new application for membership in Blogpower from someone with whom I think many of you are familiar. Garbo of The Poliblogs does a daily roundup of the best political posts in the blogosphere, along with his daily commentary on the big political issues. The blog is well established and in addition Garbo writes a column, Politics Decoded, on The Wardman Wire already a member of BP. He will also be giving his take on the US elections in a new column and his blog of the week awards add interest for his readers.

Please take a look at The Poliblogs and make your feelings known in the comment section here. Any objection will move the discussion and voting to the mailing list, with comments subsequently being closed here.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Best Posts of 2007 by Blogpower Members - Self Chosen

I'm not above lifting a brilliant idea when I see one and following some links one day recently I discovered Jon Swift's post, Best Blog Post of 2007 (Chosen by the Bloggers Themselves).

Jon invited all the bloggers on his blogroll to contribute their best posts of 2007 and was he ever overwhelmed.

Well a little light bulb popped on in my head. This would be perfect for the one year celebration of Blogpower, the group of very varied but very talented bloggers who run the banner you see here, Defending the Blogosphere. Not everyone is represented, no doubt due to real life commitments and time constraints, but those who are submitted what they considered a post to be proud of, along with their own words about the post or occasionally mine.

Thank you so much Jon Swift for the idea and thank you BP members for taking part. Enjoy!

George of Finding Life Hard? is raring to go so let's start, shall we?

Since this is my compilation effort I get to go first:

JMB of Nobody Important wants to introduce you to her mother-in-law who died two years ago, just shy of her 105th birthday in My Mother-in-Law, a Remarkable Woman which continues in The Perfect Mother-in-Law.

Gracchi of Westminster Wisdom offers us L'Argent: Robert Bresson in a Sinful World in which he shows that this film is a religious meditation on money and will and Catholicism- it's an argument with Dostoevsky and the book of Job. It is one of the defining pieces of art of the century and everyone should see it and try and understand it- whatever your opinion of Gracchi's thoughts on it, go and see the film now.

Calum Carr of CalumCarr's Take on....Whatever in British Identity responds to an article, by Jack Straw, about Britishness in which he suggests criteria which define "Britishness". Calum uses his Scottishness to highlight how difficult he, and others, would find it to meet those criteria.

Ellee Seymour of Ellee Seymour discusses divorce along with the most generous settlements in Europe being obtained in the English Courts in the post Is the Cost of Divorce to blame for Fewer Marriages?

Chris of The Russian Wolfhound says of his post Arriving on a Jet Plane, "If the government was really concerned about the environment, it would strive to emulate the budget airlines, rather than demonising them. At least I think that's the point I was making."

Liz of Finding Life Hard? says "When Uncle Horace died old memories came creeping back...." and so she wrote Stop the Clocks.

Louis of The People's Republic of Birmingham says of his post The Far-right to Offend, "Freedom of speech is not about the right to make fun of another religion - it is much more important than that."

Beaman of Beaman's World describes his post, Why I Strongly Support Israel, as an essay outlining the reasons why he supports and feel affection for the state of Israel during its times of peril and war with its neighbours. Why are so many people hostile to Israel, in the West? He explores such reasons.

Hetty raids the Beaman's World refrigerator for a snack before she can continue reading

The Incomparable Team of George Poles and Simon Littlefield of As a Dodo submit "Harry Potter July 1997- July 2007 "as our best post of the year, largely because it's the one that provoked the most comments. It's an obit for the boy wizard ostensibly taken from an exclusive preview of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" obtained by our reporter (despite the fact the "preview" seemed to be written in his hand on the back of several betting slips in his own name)."

Ian Grey of Shades of Grey says of his post, Newcastle's Theatre Royal, "I have chosen this post from May 2007 about the backstage visit to my favourite local theatre that I had the pleasure of working a panto season at in my formative years. There is nothing overly remarkable about the blogpost, however it is the first entry that resulted in a request to use one of my photos for non-Web purposes. (For the curious- it is the fourth photo)."
Ed: Ian is languishing in hospital with a broken leg at the moment, at the mercy of the dreaded NHS. All BP members wish him a speedy recovery.

Sackerson at Bearwatch in Real Cycles looks at how apparently objective markets may be skewed by the self-interest of the insiders and relates it to everyday experience, for example he says, riding a bus.

Grendel of well, Grendel says of his post Holy Cow!, "I thought that the arrest of school teacher Gillian Gibbons in the Sudan after pupils names a teddy bear Mohammed required a gentle mocking. I'm not sure the man building the new shed/Akhenaten joke quite came off though. Either too clever by half or not half clever enough. Probably the latter."

Ruthie of Zaftig says of her post, A bizarre (and infuriating) day: "It's an account of my encounter on campus with a small army of pro-life demonstrators and it's a post that resonated with readers and prompted a lot of subsequent debate."

Phil of Critical Faculty Dojo considers the rush to legislation to force the use of so-called low energy compact fluorescent (CF) bulbs in two posts, firstly in EU saves us from deadly barometer threat!! and in Nu Lab's campaign against 'traditional' light bulbs gathers pace.

Matt Wardman of The Wardman Wire offers some very interesting sets of "long lost twins" in Lookalikes as a continuation of his double trouble series.

Jams O'Donnell, of The Poor Mouth says, "Although I don't pretend to be particularly talented I do enjoy photography and I regularly post photos on the Poor Mouth. This post is a collection of a few of my favourites from 2007" Thus Wordless Wednesday - A Few Favourites.

Robyn, one of the felines at The Poor Mouth defends his snack from all comers

Tom Paine of The Last Ditch offers We Pay to have an Underclass -- Telegraph in which he "argues, from personal experience, that unskilled British workers are no better or worse than anyone else, but that they are badly served by our education and benefits systems, which draw them into idle, purposeless lives. Then we import workers to do their jobs..."

Matt Sinclair of Sinclair's Musings in Being globally aware is bad for your health, wealth and freedom makes a correlation between a nation being internationally aware and its economic situation, etc. Just what the title says in fact. ( Very lame summary by Ed. Go read it.)

Ordivicius of Ordovicius submitted his post Preserving the Kingdom, a link post directing the reader to his excellent six-part series considering the options facing the UK constitution regarding devolution, England and the West Lothian Question.

Colin Campbell of Adelaide Green Porridge Cafe seemed very taken with camels in 2007 for he wrote two posts on the topic. In Camel Burger Anyone? he discusses the whole camel story in Australia where they are considered to be in numbers of plague proportion. Then when horse racing was under threat due to horse flu he writes about Camel Racing to be trialled in Broken Hill.

jrd168 of Some Random Thoughts talks about his Gran who sadly had passed away earlier in the year in Political Influences --Mary Wragg.

Mutley of Mutleythedogsdayout decided that 2007 was the year to get in shape. Of course one has to have the right exercise kit, so in Getting Fit by Snowboarding he tells of his quest to choose the appropriate gear for Snowboarding. Snowboarding? In Devon, where there is no snow?

Harry Haddock of Nation of Shopkeepers puts forward Wrong, Wrong, Wrong, and, err, Wrong which he describes as one his usual rants against those who seek to steal our freedom by stealth, in this case health fascists.

Welshcakes Limoncello of Sicily Scene sorts out her ideas on feminism, love, chivalry and the whole darn lot in La Grande Illusion.

Miss Simi, who rules the roost at Sicily Scene says it's time for a nap after reading all those interesting posts.

Once again I would like to thank all the contributors who made this possible. 2007 was a very good year for the bloggers in Blogpower and let's hope that 2008 will be more of the same.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Reminder about the Best of 2007 Round-up

I would like to remind all Blogpower members of the loooming deadline for the nomination of your best post of 2007 for the "round-up" which will be hosted at this site on the coming weekend.

In this group we have some fabulous writers so choosing your best post of the year may be difficult for you but I am sure that you secretly favour one over the rest. So send its URL, along with your little one or two sentence summary of it, to me at nobodyimportantATshawDOTca , with the deadline being January 10th, midnight GMT.

I will post however many I get, probably Jan 12th or 13th, but I think this vibrant group of dedicated bloggers should be able to make a good showing so please take five minutes and do
this thing for me, as well as for the BP group.

I won't use the Picking with a Pin THREAT, instead I will rely on your goodwill, but you can pick with a pin yourself if the choice it too great for you.

Waiting in anticipation and thanking those who have already submitted,


Saturday, January 05, 2008


Dear James,

It is with the deepest regret that I have received, and now accept, your resignation. As the founder and spirit behind Blogpower you will be much missed.

I should clarify that the decision to put you on temporary moderated status in the mailing list was agreed by all three administrators. The reasons why we felt this was necessary have been well rehearsed and I will not repeat them here.

Thank you on behalf of everyone for all that you have done for Blogpower. Please come back and see us sometimes. We wish you every happiness in the future.

Yours sincerely,
Welshcakes Limoncello, Shades, jmb.

(Post edited to show today's date, rather than 1st May)

Friday, January 04, 2008

Goodbye BP - I loved you

It is with great regret that I must tender my resignation in BP to the administrator Welshcakes Limoncello. Regrettably, Ian Grey, who controls the mailing list, has revoked my status and reduced me to provisional status, a situation he knows full well I cannot accept.

In other words, I can only carry out my BP duties if I go through his approval and in this he has overstepped his authority within BP. Admins have always served the membership, not the other way around.

The issue, of course, is the man who should be now out of Blogpower [members know who] but as he has been able to prevail over the new admins, the result is me being squeezed out instead. One person e-mailed me just now and called it petty. Yes it is but that's life.

We move on.

I wish all of you in BP the very best and rest assured I would not have posted this here if it could have been posted at the mailing list. Take care.

Call for Nominations for Best Blog Post of 2007 by BP members

Well I am volunteering to do a collation post of the Best Blog Posts of 2007 in BP, one from each of the members, as I suggested before, idea lifted from Jon Swift who will get credit for it in the post.

So I am calling for nominations from each of you. What do you consider your best post of 2007? Send the URL and Title to me, along with your own little summary, one or two sentences long, at nobodyimportantATshawDOTca. It shouldn't take long for each of you. I'm sure you know just which one you felt most proud of and you can summarize it much better than I can. This also cuts down on my work.

The cut-off date will be January 10th, midnight GMT which will be Friday morning for me. I'll post it on DTB on the following weekend, either January 12th or 13th and hopefully we will all advertise it on our sites. So get to it people, I don't want to use the THREAT again. Remember that's me with a pin, picking any old post from your line-up. I'll post however many I get by the deadline but since it will be on DTB, let's make a really good showing.

Oh, submission on time is good, early is even better.