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Monday, 12 January 2009


Iain Dale makes an extremely good point in, of all places, The Guardian today about Labour's latest web effort:
ConservativeHome isn't a success because it can get leading Tories to write for it. It succeeds because it is a genuine grassroots site, which thrives in publishing articles from complete unknowns. Indeed, several stars have emerged – the likes of Graeme Archer, Andrew Lilico, Simon Chapman and Alex Deane. They have a following on the site far wider than its more well-known contributors
This is exactly why the US liberal blog HuffPost has succeeded - not because of the numerous stars its well-connected founder has attracted but the sorts of contributors Iain cites. These people were responsible for a number of major breaking stories during the US primaries and election campaign.

My first reaction to LabourList? Looks boring. Far too much text, not visual enough. And it's a sign of the undeveloped nature of the UK left online that the videos quietly (text, right column) linked to (rather than front and centre) comprise of plain childish digs at the Tories - with associated tiny view numbers.

This isn't because the UK online video debate isn't thriving, just that LabourList isn't yet connected to it.

As Dale also says, three days a week to manage it plain ain't going to work:
It's his [Derek Draper's] baby and it is his efforts that will make it succeed or fail. He's got to be the inspirational driving force behind it. It needs to be updated many times a day. Just posting the odd new article will not be enough.
It really says something, as well, that Dale could end by saying:
I wish them well and genuinely hope they make it. It would be good for the rightwing blogosphere to have some real competition for a change.
Indeed it would.

Referring back to HuffPost, there are a whole host of American models ( see TPM for example) which social democrats could adopt. LabourList appears at first blush to be rejecting them all.

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