The US blogging site Huffington Post has its detractors, and it’s not hard to see why, but in its defense it is at least a direct and often intelligent attempt to engage with issues; where the HuffPo certainly covers all the personal stories and media froth of modern politics, it is also true that its writers post about substantive concerns in by and large reasonable ways. HuffPo is avowedly partisan, but very rarely is it peurile.
To wit, and expanding on yesterday’s fracas, it is a little sad that the most prominent sites in UK political blogosphere seem so often take the lower road. The relatively sedate Conservative Home is widely recognised as a success, but Guido Fawkes (itself modelled after US blog The Drudge Report, HuffPo’s evil muck-raking twin) remains the most (in)famous political blog in the UK, and Staines sets the pace. Via Bob Piper, this post at Next Left is essential reading, and details why the Fawkes-led blogging style is bad for UK politics: where is the UK’s more reasonable (if partisan) counterbalance to its own Drudge?
Much is made in the blogging community – and particularly by the ‘social media consultants’ who are increasingly advising on matters bloggy – of the idea of ‘authenticity’, the notion that blogs can be successful only if their readers believe the blogger is going to play straight with them. Where, though, is the UK’s political blog which will play better? Surely this sort of tawdry stuff isn’t the approach for which the UK’s Web 2.0 politics wants mostly to be known?