The big change is that the blog is profitable and the advertising income will pay for a much needed intern/assistant allowing Guido to spend more time on lunch. Guido still enjoys blogging and mocking the pretensions of politicians and the world of Westminster. Wonks, lobbyists, SpAds, spin merchants, wannabees and the submissive political media still need to fear the smell of gunpowder. Guido loves his co-conspirators, the loony comment makers, the angry emailers, the irony free and the pompous with no sense of fun, because of them the mischief making will last at least another 2 years.
No cake for Guido, but looking back in the archive it seems some things never change. In September 2004 the blog was covering the new Tory logo to which, as now, traditionalists were objecting. The scoop of the month was that the Labour MP (at the time) Tony Clarke was a former West Ham Inter-City Firm football hooligan. The rumour was that Kinnock would get a peerage. Back then Guido got excited if he got a comment or a hundred hits in a day, now Guido often gets 100 comments on posts and between 10,000 to 30,000 hits a day.
The big difference in how the blog was written then and now is that like many bloggers Guido commented on the news much more, now if it is widely covered in the news Guido tries to avoid saying or reporting the same as everyone else. This is helped by Guido’s sources having expanded hugely as many of the tips come from readers.
The pressure has increased immensely, Guido aims to do three stories a day Monday to Friday, 300+ emails come in on an average day. The readership expect and the comment makers certainly demand a higher blog standard. Whenever Guido runs a story that wounds it is noticeable that concerted rubbishing begins in the comments (Mike Smithson at PoliticalBetting.com told Guido that he gets the same astro-turfing). The three things astro-turfers always say about a story they don’t like – “the blog has gone downhill, this is boring”, “it is an old story”, “is this the best you can do you amateur?” Straight out of the Mandelson/Campbell playbook. Designed to discourage the reading dead-tree-press journalists from taking up the story.