Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The rise and fall of Liberal Democrat blogging - it isn't getting any better...

This time last year, I was idly browsing Lib Dem Blogs and found myself thinking, "it's all gone a bit quiet in here". So, I had a look through the archives and produced a table showing the number of active blogs, taken on 26 January in each year as follows;
  • 2006 - 55 (I joined the next day...)
  • 2007 - 107
  • 2008 - 222
  • 2009 - 186
  • 2010 - 231
  • 2011 - 235
  • 2012 - 230
  • 2013 - 177
  • 2014 - 127
So, with a General Election just 101 days away, you might expect the greater interest in politics to create a bit more of a buzz. And, the number of Liberal Democrat bloggers on the aggregator yesterday was (drum roll, please)...

** 109 **

That isn't encouraging, I must say. Yes, Twitter and Facebook are easier and more immediate, but they perhaps don't offer the same platform for ideas that a blog does.

And then I wondered, perhaps there might be fewer bloggers, but they're more active. So I checked;
  • 2006 - 55 blogs produced 48 posts; 0.87 posts per blog
  • 2007 - 107 blogs produced 63 posts; 0.59 posts per blog
  • 2008 - 222 blogs produced 46 posts; 0.21 posts per blog
  • 2009 - 186 blogs produced 87 posts; 0.47 posts per blog
  • 2010 231 blogs produced 105 posts; 0.45 posts per blog
  • 2011 - 235 blogs produced 91 posts; 0.39 posts per blog
  • 2012 - 230 blogs produced 97 posts; 0.42 posts per blog
  • 2013 - 177 blogs produced 51 posts; 0.29 posts per blog
  • 2014 - 127 blogs produced 40 posts; 0.31 posts per blog
  • 2015 - 109 blogs produced 44 posts; 0.4 posts per blog
So, there are less of us, and we're quieter than we once were, which feels to me to be an accurate reflection of the Party generally, a bit loathe to put its head above the parapet for fear of being shot at.

But, at a time when there are more noises, coming from more directions, it is a little disappointing that we appear to be conceding the field...


Anonymous said...

I think you are absolutely correct to say that this is a reflection of the party as a whole. There are now only a small fraction of the number of Liberal Democrat members remaining. The decline in the number of activists may have been even steeper. The decline in the morale of those that remain results in a preference to keep their heads down and hope that the current era comes to an end soon.

Mark Valladares said...

I think that the morale issue is part of the explanation, and that it also reflects the fact that attacking your opponents from opposition is far easier than defending yourself in government.

You do exaggerate your case a little though - the Party's membership is done by about a quarter, in truth a rather better performance than that of the Conservatives, and far better than Labour's catastrophic decline when they were in power. Perhaps it is true that people join political parties increasingly for negative reasons.

felche_dor said...

The above analysis is a helpful summary of the state of some of the key facts and figures for blogging amongst the liberal community.

100 days is not very long to turn that around.

Yet there are plenty of policies to promote and be enthusiastic about.

A summary of five key achievements and five bright, popular policies for the election may help to rally the troops.