Saturday, January 10, 2009

Labour Blogosphere: Does Derek Draper Have the Elusive X Factor?

Has Derek Draper got the X Factor needed to found and nurture a mass readership Labour enthusiast blog? Tap Dancing, check. Gift of gab, check. Self importance, check. Comrades in arms, check. Commitment to cause, check. Technology, via Jag Singh, check. We'll soon find out if the package adds up to more than the sum of its parts.

Ken Livingstone's former Chief of Staff - Simon Fletcher - has provided the first words over the parapet at the "dummy" for Derek Draper's proud organ LabourList.

Blogging expert Iain Dale gets all anal on Derek Draper's ass with unsolicited and pretty miserable words of discouragement.

All ready for the "told you so" follow up. And describing Gaby Hinsliff's online exclusive as an Observer piece. That he was in effect spoiling. Which it may well be tomorrow of course. But it's already a Guardian Online scoop, so sorry Iain.

Here, with my useful annotations, is Iain's anthology of the five other early blog comments:

At Spectator Coffee House James Forsyth thinks it may be more like the official Tory Party Blue Blog than the lazy comparator of Truth is it could rise up somewhere in between. More like Lib Dem Voice in that respect. Semi-detached.

Guido Fawkes is pretty encouraging actually. Look forward to opening a new front in the blog wars. Continuing his Hate-Hate relationship with Dolly.

ConservativeHome too is encouraging. Pointing out that they formed and developed under a low budget scenario. Thereby correcting one of the three bleated strands of Dale's misery memo.

Cllr Bob Piper teases the Labour Party's Favourite Tory Blogger over his premature raining on Derek's parade, pointing out that Luke already has the Number 10 line sewn up.

And Jon Worth's EU Blog makes some good points about both the technology choices and the danger of aloofness and consequent disappointing market penetration.

What about LOL? Couple or three points for now:

Danger! Danger! Potential Progress Version of Compass Online.

Opportunity! Opportunity! Rather than spelling end of Labour Home experience I can see a huge synergy and possible coopertition; even formal links.

Danger! Danger! As Amadeus was told with no justification: "Too many notes" may be the cry. Vide Compass papers, and the three legged mutual masturbation machine of the Clarke/Milburn Project (now Toten Hosen - not even cached).

Why does everything have to be termed the New X anyway? This should not be seen as either the New ConservativeHome or the Improved LabourHome. This should surely be seen as the one and only LabourList?


Blob Plopper said...

Don't know why you weren't given the job on a plate, Chris. You are obviously the number one Labour blogger with all your inside information and stuff. I'm sure Derek will coming to you for advice in the near future.

Bob Piper said...

Oh, sorry! I must have been down the pub and got all beery. Easy mistake to make. (Anyone who comments on your blog after midnight must be drunk and senseless, mustn't they?)

Derek Draper said...

you are actually dead right, LOL. we need to work hard to show the doubters wrong and make the most of what this could be. if i don't get this right, i'll hold my hand up, and its pretty clear i'll be held accountable. but thanks for giving us the benefit of the doubt - at least initially!

Chris Paul said...

Cheers Derek, good luck with this project.

In my view the ConservativeHome model is the best out there in terms of how the publication is put together to exploit the medium. Lots of sections. Lots of routes through the site. Lots of self-reference links. All well indexed and trailed and searchable from home-home as well as having coherent section-homes. Lots of grain.

Some policing of comments including partial publication ... but the trashcan idea is a good one, as is the one that your team may have next to rate the authority - Labour-wise - of comments. The lack of tracking of authority and indeed authenticity is a huge problem at LH in both comments and posts.

There are some extended, but not very extended, essays at ConservativeHome put for the most part bite sized chunks leading to modest meat and two veg meals.

One further comment. The gallery of contributors not only reveals a penchant for white males of a certain age but is just too much information. Ten founder contributors would perhaps be enough to display?

Chris Paul said...

As for Plopper/Piper ... we're watching you. And are you really saying you haven't just got home from the pub? What other excuse can you offer? Back to Rochdale/Heywood content soon ... worry not mate.

Mark Hanson said...

Fair comments Chris and its right that we have lots to do in order to prove the doubters wrong.

re your points about Lablist/Lab Home synergies - being that I have a foot in both camps I would echo your sentiments that the two can co-exist! LabHome is a community, despite the name its not supposed to be an equivalent of LabourHome

Chris Paul said...

Or even ConservativeHome?! Though LabourHome might benefit from a name change as the expectation of parity with or at least likeness to CH has been a bit of an albatross?

Perhaps LH could be put into the pot as umbrella and transmute into say LF (Labour Forum) with much the same ground rules as now. i.e. fairly unmediated, except in extremis. Though I like the idea of some comments more equal than others etc.

LL could be the commissioned/more coiffed/stalinised by Derek section.

(CO and LC are comment streams that could also perhaps be included in some form).

And B4L could also get under the umber-umber-umberella with the link feeds from the rest of us rank and filers.

Anonymous said...

It's a desperate throw of the dice.

He's all washed up on the psychotherapy biz - who the fuck would lie on a couch with that fat bastard hanging around.

He's fucked on Labour politics - who the fuck wants to do PR with that loser Brown when you've been playing Premier with Blair.

He's fucked too with his wife - just clock the size of fat bastard Draper and think "Not tonight, Napoleon, I don't think I need five minutes of reverberating sofa."

Anonymous said...

Does Draper have Poland syndrome or something? Something funky is going on with his face.