UK online politics seems to be in a period of transition this summer, and it’s not (yet?) due to the News of the World fallout. It is instead because of the launch of two new large scale blogs – Huffington Post UK, and Dale & Co.
The reputation of Huffington Post in the USA is well known, but I cannot yet work out how to position its UK edition. The homepage is ugly, rather retro, and very text-heavy. I also do not manage to work out what the different sections do, and how content from well known politicians (William Hague for example, on South Sudan) is combined with other people I’ve never heard of. There’s also the stench of Huffington Post, now owned by AOL, making cash on the basis of volunteer efforts of bloggers.
Dale & Co. is smart, clean, well structured and neat, and – at present – claims to be “a new blogging platform, showcasing 107 writers, each with editorial independence, providing some of the best political, media, social and sports commentary on the net”. The lineup of writers has a sprinkling from across the political spectrum, and some of them are known bloggers or journalists in their own right. The problem for me is the World Politics coverage features poorly researched anti-EU bile like this and this.
Not only is this a question of reading these blogs, but also a matter of contributing – Iain has already asked via Twitter whether I might like to write for his site. Whether I could have anything acceptable to contribute to Huffington Post I don’t know.
But that then leads to the vast array of places I do write. Where am I best to put my energy?
- LabourList – with a Labour Party / left of centre audience, the content of the site has developed strongly under Mark Ferguson‘s stewardship. I’m writing a weekly column on EU matters there (first column here), and have written about referendums about the EU, David Miliband and the European Left, Daniel Hannan and Ken Livingstone.
- LeftFootForward – with more of an analytical take than LabourList, I’ve penned pieces on Baroness Ashton, the coalition’s EU policy, and on net neutrality.
- Comment is Free (The Guardian) – with a much wider reach, but without the targeted audience or quality of debate of the big blogs. I’ve written about openness of the European Parliament, the True Finns, and gender balance in the European Commission.
- Public Service Europe – with a narrow, more public administration minded audience. I’ve written on EU referendums in the UK, and the Brussels blogging scene.
- Social Europe Journal blogs – with a EU-wide, academic and centre left focus. Here I’ve contributed pieces on the left in Germany, the left in the European Parliament and nomination of the Commission.
I have recently published a longer piece on Labour’s EU policy in the Pragmatic Radicalism pamphlet, and have also in the past written for Progress (on internet elections and Labour leadership online) and New Europe on David Cameron. Where next I wonder? There is of course the small matter of this blog, with more than 1300 posts over 6 years…