Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Manchester Blogging Awards: That Political Category

If the Best Writing on a Manchester blog category was rather depressing I can only say that the best Politics Blog category is simply shocking. Was it the nomination process? Was it the shortlisting by a single (very brave) blogger? Have stuffed brown envelopes changed hands? Has there been some political skullduggery with the postals?

For whatever reason this category does not do the Craney City [(c) manchizzle] any favours. It may be time to review the format and perhaps hand the thing over with love, kisses and a sad farewell? Perhaps to MDDA?

Skipper must surely win this category hands down? Regular, intelligent and comment- and link-inspiring posts. Not too many of them about Manchester politics, but then that is not a criterion. And at least Manchester is clearly influential and name-checked.

Normblog I wouldn't have allowed in at all. Not about Manchester politics which is still not a criterion, but not based in Manchester as far as I know and clearly based in the area, though he could be anywhere in the world. No comments are allowed.

This is the ex-Cathedra blog of the far far right of the "Labour Left".

The Asparagus is a Foreign Affairs Blog by a working journalist. Well written and with the sort of mainstream left opinions to be found in many a MSM newsfeed. No reference to Manchester. No Mancunian influence on the analysis. But most problematic at all - almost no visitors. Two visitors per day on average. This is a secret blog. Should that count?

Finally there's Politaholic which is a blog I like and link to. But also neither particularly covers nor is evidently informed by Manchester. And also sadly a near secret blog with perhaps a dozen hits a day.

Both of these last two could do with the publicity and may rise to the occasion if and when they have more readers. But is that the point?

Reading the nominations in this category one might think Manchester-based and Manchester-influenced political bloggers must be very thin on the ground indeed.

That simply is not true. There are nationally recognised and connected Blogs across all the political parties, though naturally as a Labour city in a predominantly Labour region the people's party holds the overwhelming balance of blog power.

The Manchester Evening News too has a political blog. And at a stretch Manchester Confidential's Sleuth is a political blog. It certainly could be.

CEREMONY: The can't-stay-away Awards Ceremony is tomorrow Wednesday 10 November from 7pm at Matt and Phred's on Oldham Street.

See you there? It is completely FREE! There will be readings! Litter-rat-chewer.


Stephen Newton said...

Reader numbers aren't everything, this is a niche medium after all. But given that one of the Asparagus's two readers is most likely the author and you have greatly overestimated Politiholic's fan base (currently claiming 6,485 readers over two and half years, so about seven a day, including the author?) it would look a little strange if they won.

Norm is certainly based in Manchester even though he doesn't write about the city's politics (but does Skipper, out there in Stockport?). Nevertheless, it should be Skipper by a mile.

I haven't taken part in the process, so I guess I shouldn't knock it. Nobody ever nominates me, so fuck 'em all.

Chris Paul said...

Is Norm really based in Manchester? Ex Manchester University, yes. But lives somewhere in very faraway hills I thought? Could be anywhere on the planet however.

You're right that Skipper is mostly not writing about Manchester but he does say where he lives and still does work in Manchester and says so.

I thought Politaholic was doing about 4,000 a year so one of us is a year out on the calculation. March 06 was it the counter started? I was absolutely gobsmacked at the other one.

The best writing ones were a right lot also. Very intermittent posting. Very low interactivity.

If a blog in a forest falls and no-one sees it fall does it make a sound?

I thought I might have an outside chance of a listing in the Newbies but those are all hep and cool.

Richard said...

I must admit I was pretty surprised to get nominated for this award, seeing as not only did I not know about nor enter it, but nobody reads my blog... It's basically just an outlet so I can practice writing stuff and make sure I keep up with reading about various stories I'm interested in but can't cover at work because of the way the media works. It's purposely not about Manchester, or even Britain, at all, and I've made no real effort to publicise it. Obviously somebody likes it somewhere, although they're keeping pretty quiet...

Stephen Newton said...

I'm pretty confident that Norm lives in Didsbury and he does occassionally make reference to his surroundings.

But this shouldn't be about slagging anyone off. What Richard and Norm are doing is perfectly reasonable.

It's the awards that are nonsense.

Chris Paul said...

I agree Stephen. The awards are all over the place and should be passed on triumphantly to an organisation that can make them work.

I was trying to avoid slagging anyone off. The Adele Geras wiki states clearly that the family live in South Manchester so I'll correct that.