October 05, 2008

Blogpower- the pious roundup

A couple of years ago I joined a group of small bloggers called blogpower. What is Blogpower? When it was started I remember that it was about the smaller blogger and attempting to get him or her a bit of the limelight and to be supportive of each other. Going round Blogpower this evening I learnt a hell of a lot- and perhaps the most important lesson I learnt was how good the blogs in Blogpower are. This roundup was pretty easy- and if I missed you off it was because I didn't have to look hard for posts at all and so being a lazy blogger, didn't. Anyway to business.

When thinking about the high profile bloggers- lots of them from Iain Dale to Andrew Sullivan have become minor celebrities- as David Hadley writesthis concept of the celebrity is something that we all should be thinking about, it dominates our landscape (and renders me suspicious that larger bloggers can ever provide the change in perspective that the Tin Drummer wants to see). The thing you miss with celebrity bloggers though is that they only take on celebrated issues- smaller bloggers are often more interesting- just take a look for example at the Fake Consultant's post on Egyptian elections- its an issue which will never make the tabloids but which we need to understand. On a similar theme, the Cornish Democrat posts a fascinating essay from Tom Nairn on the concept of nationalism- this is exactly the kind of thing that small blogs do well, disseminate academic work which often gets lost. If you stray from the mainstream, you also think about new and interesting issues- like why for example there are so few famous female artists, whether a sexual orientation really can have a duty to vote one way or another, why national symbols can be counter-productive (this is a long and exceptionally interesting article), whether assisted suicide should be made legal, whether cricket can conquer America- small bloggers do this whilst also providing concise and thoughtful reformations of current issues (like this summary of the arguments against the bailout and David Keen's guide to the British conferences is essential reading for those who weren't there). Coming out of the party conferences- Louis shows the Tories the way forward, Bob marvels at Gordon's gamble of a reshuffle, Mike questions Cameron's links to the hedge funds and Andrew praises the Libdems.

Away from such stuff- politics is not life and bloggers do not just blog about politics. Tom puts politics in perspective this week. My own recent post on Cincinnatus attempts to go back into Roman history and reinterpret this figure's place within that history. Others are also in the business of reading stuff, so you don't have to- Heather has been reading Esure press releases about cars and comes to some interesting conclusions. I like Crushed's unconstrained enthusiasm for the film, the Libertine, he also compliments one of my favourite actresses Samantha Morton which is a mark of good taste, and prompts me to want to see the film. If Crushed is ecstatic, perhaps he needs to listen to this piece of music whose sad movement is the perfect audio post. JMB doesn't need sad music, she has computer shops to contend with. But at least she doesn't live in Rabat, where sexism in Ramadan seems to thrive nor face the gloom of British adverts- bah humbug. Morning star just keeps the gloom going by discussing pain during diabetic eye tests. But even in dark times, we need humour- I loved this post of bad spellings and misplaced sentences. Jams helps by bringing us news of British triumphs at the IG Nobels. Just to surprise everyone Welshcakes has yet again posted some pictures of a pure cullinary delight (he says feeling his stomach rumbling). On a serious note, Liz posts about support in the blogosphere and how important it can be: Callum suggests the very act of blogging can be helpful in bad times. We should never lose sight of the fact that its humans writing blogs- and humans get ill, have bad times and good times: one who hasn't been having it so well recently is Mutley who's been to hospital- here's to him getting well again.

This may seem all a bit ideological but I think there is a point here- whether you agree or disagree with the posts above (and I agree with some and disagree with others) you can find a lot there to make you think. As the Pub Philosopher notes, we face at the moment a gap in information about things that are important to our live- he is talking about politics but could be talking about any number of things- I beleive that good blogs can help shrink that gap. I'm sure I've missed good posts- but this is what I saw this week and this reassures me that there is a hell of a lot of good thinking and writing going on- and that's without even including some of my favourite blogpower blogs that didn't post over the last couple of days.

And with that pious paean to the small blogger, that's all folks till next week's roundup!

3 comments:

Andrew Allison said...

Excellent! I will enjoy navigating to those links later today.

I bet you would never hear me praising the LibDems!

James Higham said...

Perhaps the most important lesson I learnt was how good the blogs in Blogpower are.

Except for the ones in there which aren't and that was basically our fault all those months ago in our eagerness to expand.

Gracchi said...

Thanks Andrew- I thought it was worth including for rarity value- like the sight of a unicorn or something.

I agree James- you are missed a lot by most of us but having said that, I think what your comment here and good relations generally between most of Blogpower and your good self demonstrates is that groups come and go whereas friendships last longer.