Iain Dale has just published his guide to Britain’s political blogs and he kindly named ConservativeHome as Britain’s best Tory blog. Guido Fawkes won number one spot overall (ConservativeHome came second).
Iain’s guide has won lots of attention from the old media and deservedly so. Blogs are becoming a force in politics because they are faster than the mainstream press, often punchier and through their comments sections they are able to harness ‘the wisdom of the crowds‘.
Blogs have much smaller readerships than the mainstream press but they are read by – what Americans call – The Influentials. Most Tory MPs, party candidates and activists and most journalists, for example, read this site everyday. Advertisers like sites like these, too, because they can target their message to very specific audiences (advertisers should click here please!).
I’d like to emphasise a new advantage of subject-specific blogs… and this blog, in particular: comprehensiveness.
It’s amazing that this morning’s Telegraph has no mention of the Built to Last referendum result or the drop in Tory membership. The Torygraph is in danger of losing its status as the party’s house journal. If you really want a full account of what is happening inside the Conservative Party can I suggest – not very modestly – that this is the best place to come.
PS This was my contribution to Iain Dale’s guide to blogging:
"‘An Army of Davids’ – a recent book by Glenn Reynolds – is the perfect starting point for anyone wanting to understand the blogging revolution. The brilliant title of Mr Reynolds’ book neatly captures the blogosphere’s zeitgeist.
For many years power became increasingly centralised amongst a few media, business and political goliaths. The internet revolution is fast changing that.
No big business, media giant or political elite is safe from being blogged. The trade press is no longer the authority on the quality of a product. Consumer bloggers can trash a bad product or celebrate an innovation. Political bloggers are gatecrashing the cosy lunches between the politicians and Westminster journalists and they’re putting different topics on the agenda. My own ConservativeHome blog initiated opposition to Michael Howard’s unsuccessful attempt to take the vote away from grassroots members in the Tory leadership election. I also published the Alist after CCHQ tried to hide it from scrutiny.
Old media organizations like the BBC have most to fear from new technology. The blogosphere has already toppled leading journalists in America. The anchorman of CBS news had to resign after bloggers proved that his anti-Bush feature was forged. A senior CNN executive was forced to quit after he made unfounded allegations about US troops operating in Iraq. It won’t be long before alternative political programming is competing with the BBC on the internet. That’ll be good for democracy as the barely-accountable BBC has consistently used its poll-tax-form-of-funding to tilt the national conversation leftwards.
The principal advantage of the internet, in general, and blogging, in particular, are speed and interactivity. Television is a passive medium. It feeds pre-packaged reports to a largely docile audience. Homes in which television is dominant produce less civically-engaged citizens. Web-logs are a different form of media. They mobilise The Wisdom Of The Crowds (the other book that captures the internet phenomena)."