Saturday, September 1, 2007

Don’t Call Guido, Call Ben

About once a month or so an ad agency, PR or public affairs shop, academic department or such like, calls Guido to do a guru talk on blogging. Mostly Guido turns them down on the basis that “some Guru, some do”. In future Guido will direct them towards Ben Goldacre. He says a lot of what should be said here.

Don’t agree with him or his comment makers about video ads and suchlike – they pay the rent. If you ain’t going to pay for content, somebody has to, if you block out the ads, sooner or later the content will disappear. Starving idealistic geeks forget that detail. Soon all devices will be connected at high speed all the time, so don’t worry about bandwith sucking videos on your Blackberry.

Hat-tip : Martin Stabe

Friday, August 17, 2007

Telegraph Political Team in Meltdown

As reported here three weeks ago, it seems that the Little and Large blog is dead, it is an ex-blog. Jonathan Isaby and Brendan Carlin seem to have abandoned the idea. Look around some of the other blogs and they are also pretty dead. Ben Brogan at the Daily Mail and Danny Finkelstein at The Times are really the only serious Dead-Tree-Press political bloggers going now.

Elsewhere at the Telegraph the experienced George Jones has apparently been given the push in such a cack-handed way that he’s suing and expected to get a six-figure pay-off. His job is being given to the silent-but-deadly Andrew Porter, of the Sun, formerly on the Sunday Times who is an old chum of Telegraph editor Will Lewis. Key qualities: won’t tell Lewis not to be such a silly boy; won’t be a member of Telegraph ancien regime.

Porter’s place on the Sun (keep up) is being taken by Graeme Wilson of the Telegraph. Wilson’s place on the Telegraph is being taken by James Kirkup from the Scotsman. Toby Helm is rumoured to have wanted to get out of the Lobby – if you’d been passed over for the top job you might conclude there was little point in hanging around to see if you got it next time. One of the things the imported Mailograph newsdesk didn’t realise about him – his sister is married to Jonathan Powell, although that is not such an asset nowadays. The new Mailograph is obsessed with getting scoops, a-la Andrew Pierce. But a lot of Pierce’s scoops stay exclusive, and with good reason.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Miliblog is Back…

And this time it is Ed. Guido understands that David wanted to continue blogging but the FCO mandarins explained that whilst it was fine to pontificate about green wonkery on his blog when he was at Defra, blogging about the negotiating strategy with the North Koreans was more problematic.

Never mind, his brother Ed is going to continue the family tradition of wasting the taxpayers money writing the blogging equivalent of drying paint. This is a screenshot of the prototype site. Stop monging on the web Miliband minor and do some work…

Wonder how many thousands this will cost the taxpayers?

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Blogs Drove Iraqi Interpreters Issue on to Agenda

The left-wing blogosphere has scored a rare victory. Taking time out from pledging not to buy Alastair Campbell’s book, obssessing about Guido being a baby-eating Nazi and Iain Dale being a Tory media-tart, they actually did something productive.

They drove the disgraceful treatment (by the government) of Iraqi military interpreters up the political agenda. It was not an exclusively left-wing blogosphere affair, on the right Donal Blaney isn’t happy about their treatment. He is also not happy about the government “posturing” over non-British citizens locked up in Gitmo. Can’t say that Guido agrees with him on that. British governments should protest violations of human rights wherever they occur. Would it be “posturing” to call for the release of Chinese political prisoners?

UPDATE : Thursday morning the Tories are calling for action. Doc Fox says the UK has a clear moral duty to protect the interpreters, William Hague says it is a matter of honour, and Damian Green is protesting at the official bureaucracy surrounding their case.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Stat Porn – Neck & Neck with Dale

In July 250,654 unique visitors made 321,734 pageloads. So slightly more people came here than to Dale’s, but fewer times – an indication perhaps that he had a more active comments section lately.

The most popular posting of the month was the Alastair Campbell cartoon on July 9.

UPDATE : PoliticalBetting had 3/4 million hits last month.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Silly Season Service

Guido is now at a secure undisclosed location. The output to the blog will be reduced – am amazed at the angry complaints whenever Guido does this, “your blog is finished” etc. Then when blogging resumes, back comes the traffic as before. To all those who are unhappy about this, please accept a full refund.

The service in truth has been much reduced since the recent arrival of Caoimhe Priya (say Kweey-vah Pree-ya, the name reflects her Indo-Irish heritage). She’ll be getting christened here in Ireland and then her father will be taking her nearer to the vineyards of Margaux.

We do have broadband and will be checking in daily, but things will be at an easy pace. Comment moderation and Guido’s sunglasses are on.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Guido’s Top Political Blogs

Dale is looking for your list of Top 20 blogs for his 2007 Guide to Political Blogging in the UK. He wants a more objective means of ordering of them. Don’t know why, last year the result seemed right to Guido.
I don’t have an order of preference, but the blogs Guido reads every day tend to serve up new information rather than commentary. Iain is in there, da Fink’s Comment Central, the Speccie’s CoffeeHouse, Recess Monkey, the unmissable Political Betting, ConservativeHome, LabourHome and LibDemVoice. Dizzy is reliable, SpyBlog is authoritative. Kevin Maguire often talks down to his readers, but has the odd gem of (sometimes unintended) insight, Benedict Brogan is fast and from the frontline.

My favourite blog overall is probably Mike Smithson’s Political Betting.

Email your list to Iain by clicking here and you could win a pile of DVDs and stuff.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

CameroonHome

Last week Guido reflected on Fiona Melville’s planned rival to ConservativeHome.com known as Platform 10. Guido jokingly described it as potentially CameroonHome.com. So it was with some amusement that Guido learnt from a co-conspirator that Fiona had taken note of the suggestion and registered the name.

Domain Name: CAMEROONHOME.ORG
Created On: 17-Jul-2007 22:18:07 UTC
Last Updated On: 18-Jul-2007 00:37:28 UTC
Expiration Date: 17-Jul-2008 22:18:07 UTC
Registrant Name: Fiona Melville

Coincidence? Get in touch Fiona…

Friday, July 13, 2007

CameroonHome.Com Coming Soon

In Westminster political blogging there are three unofficial party affiliated sites which try to be the public voice of the grassroots. ConservativeHome is the daddy of them all, LabourHome is a technically superior site with far inferior content and a lack of editorial direction. LibDemVoice is a bit too much of an outlet for Cowley Street stuff that could be put in press releases.
Guido has been hearing rumours about a new CameroonHome site which Fraser Nelson has outed as going under the title Platform 10. Ex-Dave-Babe Fiona Melville is the motivating force behind it, backed by a 15-strong editorial team of mainly ex-CCHQ staffers lined up as contributors, but apparently with no full time editor. Steve Hilton has, it is believed, wanted an alternative Conservative grassroots voice to counter-balance the critical but friendly voice of Tim Montgomerie. Guido guesses it won’t work unless it is honest about issues. That is the strength of ConservativeHome, it explores the issues critically, and in doing so has improved the Tory internal debate. If CameroonHome becomes just a platform for “Dave is Great” stories in the same way that LibDemVoice ignores the “Ming Problem” it will be just another boring e-Pravda adjunct of the official party site. We shall see…

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Stat Porn for June

346,444 pageloads from 255,504 unique visitors, Oh, F**K” – Who’s That Girl?” was the most popular story. Iain Dale remains the top referrer and the top search term is still Gordon Brown rocking horse“.

UPDATE : As someone pointed out in the comments, congratulations are due to Iain on winning more traffic than Guido last month. Guido has, to be fair, been distracted of late with two books* in the pipeline, overseeing Polish builders finishing off a new house, business pressures and just the tedium of Blair’s long goodbye sapping his enthusiasm for blogging.

Iain has beaten Guido some months in the past, competition is healthy and imminent developments in the Loans for Lordships scandal should see traffic explode. Guido will be all over it…

*The Big Red Book of New Labour Sleaze is out, the forthcoming Levy book is still some time from publication.


Seen Elsewhere

What Farage, Boris and Rob Ford Have in Common | William Walter
Labour Spell New Adviser’s Name Wrong | ITV
Dave Stung by Jellyfish | Sun
City Minister’s Inheritance Tax Dodging Trusts | Indy
What I Would Have Done if I was Sarah Wollaston | Iain Dale
Boris is an Epic Europhile | Louise Mensch
Warsi Got PM to Confront “Secular Fundamentalism” | Fraser Nelson
Guardian April Fools Apology | Press Gazette
Jenni Russell and Her Child’s Godfather, Ed Miliband | Breitbart
Labour’s Left and Right are Growing Restive | Staggers
Corrupt, Incompetent UN Has No Right to Lecture Us | Dan Hannan


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Rod Liddle on the loony UN sexism special rapporteur:

“There is more sexism in Britain than in any other country in the world, according to a mad woman who has been sent here by the United Nations.

Rashida Manjoo is a part-time professor of law at Cape Town University in the totally non-sexist country of South Africa (otherwise known as Rape Capital Of The World).

Mrs Magoo has been wandering around with her notebook and is appalled by the sexist “boys’ club” culture here, apparently.

I don’t doubt we still have sexism in the UK. But is it worse than in, say, Saudi Arabia, d’you think, honey-lamb? Or about 175 other countries? Get a grip, you doolally old bat.”



orkneylad says:

What’s he been doing FFS, mining bitcoins?


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