17th in Iain Dale's List of top 500 blogs - Well someone likes my blog after all !

What can I say other than thank you to all those people who voted for my blog in Iain Dale's survey to find the top 500 blogs.

I have come 17th, ranking me as the highest Lib Dem blog. It appears that when votes from all bloggers are taken in to account, in particular Tory bloggers who often leave more comments on my blog than most, then my blog has some popularity. It's a strange contradiction in terms that I am am rated at 12th place in the top 50 Lib Dem blog's category, but am the highest placed Lib Dem on the overall top 500 chart.

In the same way as different parliamentary constituencies give very different results, it is clear that the two constituencies here, "the Lib Dems" and "the rest" have different tastes in blogs.
Someone suggested to me that the Lib Dems are less able to accept criticism than Tories. Perhaps this is true. After all, Conservative Home, one of the biggest Tory blogs is well know for its vocal criticism of the Tories at times, is still very popular with Tories. And in the case of my blog, let's be fair to the Tories here, my blog does attack them far more than any other political party, but it appears that Tories are prepared to debate the issues and listen to my views, even if they are critical of the Conservative Party. This is to be commended and speaks volumes about some of them as individuals, even though I cannot stand David Cameron's "New Blue Labour" Tory party.

I did wonder about asking fellow Lib Dems what I need to do to ensure a higher rating amongst Lib Dem bloggers next year. Coming 12th in the Lib Dem blogs category was a good start, but I am competitive and want to get higher next year. However, upon learning that I came 17th overall in the category voted for by all bloggers, I guess I will have to learn that I can't please all of the people all of the time, so whilst my blog is less popular with Lib Dems than with non Lib Dems, at least I am getting to other parts of the blogosphere and not just preaching to the converted.

The audience you reach seems to be based very much on the reasons why you start a blog. If it is to relentlessly toe the party line, to simply be a mouthpiece for a political party of your choice, never offering criticism, avoiding giving sensible and balanced advice, never being prepared to admit that other parties might have some good ideas, however rarely, then I am afraid I cannot see the point in doing it. You can get all that from the various party "official" websites.

I wanted this blog to be a way of drawing people in who are not just Liberal Democrats. Perhaps they are socialists, perhaps economic liberals with a small "l", perhaps they are civil libertarians , but whatever their allegiances, by getting them to come to my blog and read what I have to say perhaps, just one or two might think better of the Lib Dems. Perhaps they might consider voting Lib Dem and perhaps they might realise that Lib Dems are not all sandal wearing bearded middle aged men obsessed with proportional representation and Europe.

To those who suggest that I should be more loyal I say that blindly accepting the party without questioning its faults will serve no purpose at all and will not further the causes so many Lib Dems believe in. This is my personal blog, and I am a Liberal Democrat. This should not be confused with this being a Liberal Democrat blog. They are different things and people shouldn't mix them up them.

So again, thanks to everyone who reads my blog, thanks to everyone who voted for me, and in particular, thanks to all those people from across the political spectrum who have embraced this blog as being a worthwhile part of the UK political blogosphere. I know you don't all agree with me, but its part of the political process, a healthy political society that issues are debated and I will continue to do that in the future.


Paul Walter said...

This stuff about being low in the LD list for criticising the party (you have only written one post really that did this) is nonsense. James Graham has criticised the party a lot more than you. It might have something to do with some of your posts being "scattergun" and lacking in logical cohesion or literary merit.

There! I've said it. Sorry. You asked for it. I still like you and your blog but I think you need to get over yourself, Nich. It's only bloody blogging!

Norfolk Blogger said...

Paul, if only you knew.

climb every stairway said...

Nich, the quality of your blog is a vast improvement in recent months.

You maybe a more lonely voice of occasional dissention but you are just being realistic and honest.

If we do have a GE now the unmentioned subject for Liberal Democrats is where next? We put a brave face on scale of the meltdown and pretend that "a loss of 15 MPs" would be progress!

The reality is that this election could wipe out the political aspirations of around 80 MPs and PPCs. Most of them (I suggest about 60) are PPCs but the awful reality of losing out for maybe 8+ years will be as deep a change as that which hit the Tories in 97 to 05.

But where is the democratic debate on this?

Dan said...

I guess Paul it is a distinction between what people like and read, which this blog scores highly on, and other blogs that have great literary value, but nobody can be bothered to read.

Some Lib Dem bloggers write essays on how to change the world. If this style were popular then everyone would read newpapers like that too. But people want a tabloid style blog, something to dip in to, something that asks a few questions but does not work just for the ABC's in society.

If the LD's want to have only bogs that cater for the elites, then good luck to them. Their blgos may do well with the Islington set, but will passs the rest of us by.

JRD168 said...

Well done Nich. Thoroughly deserved.

Norfolk Blogger said...

Climb Every Stairway - Thanks. I can't think that I have changed anything, but I take the compliments.

Anonymous said...

You'd be very popular in the Conservatives, Nich. It's time to join us!

Congratulations, by the way - you even beat me.

Tristan said...

Personally I find your blog too sensationalist and conservative. I just don't enjoy reading it much.

I don't care about criticisms of the party (I do it enough...) but I do disagree with many of your criticisms. However your right to put forward your argument is essential for the party and I really don't think that that has much to do with it.

Congratulations on your ranking though, you must be doing something right :)