What goes into blogging

I was glancing through the archives earlier just to see what month had turned out to be my busiest in terms of volume of posts. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised to find out that December 2007 was by far my most prolific time, with 27 posts in that period. January 2008 trailed behind in second place. Of course the main headlines featured the fierce local elections, proving that politics remains a popular discussion topic desipte its capability to frustrate people.

My blog was never intended to dive too deeply into politics; after all there were good Bermudian political blogs out there at the time such as politics.bm. So I could focus on keeping my blog's original purpose - provide commentary about anything or nothing, honing my web design skills and using it as a means to communicate with others without necessarily bombarding people with random e-mails.

But politics has a weird way of staying on the scene. It's not like religion, where one person can declare that Mary for instance never physically died and someone else argue strongly in the opposite fashion, and no physical or mathematical facts can be called upon as evidence. Here, we can look at policies and initiatives and campaign strategies, and analyse how effective they are, and yet still bring in issues of ethics and morality to the debate.

I like to think about how each of the individual blogs formed, evolved and operate today. 21 Square may be the closest to mine in terms of aim and intention although the author is more dedicated to research and providing stats to back up his thoughts. Devil Island may also be a bit of a kissing cousin as it's not geared to be a political blog.

Then you have Vexed, Longtail, Freshie and Catch-a-Fire which I'm pretty sure were intended to focus directly on political issues. I'll also include the on-hiatus New Onion and Imho.bm (which itself forms part of what I term the 4 Horsemen) for this purpose. Built with the initial purpose of presenting opinions and views primarily geared to political issues.

I think I want to include Bermuda Fables into this grouping as well, although it's probably more suited to the former group because there are some discussion items that don't fall into the political realm as much. Where Fables (and Longtail for that matter) differ from the rest of us is that the writing perspective is from a female, a demographic not represented with any significant volume in the online discussion arena. Simply put, local women don't post in the blogs and forums. You may be able to argue that men are more likely to be on a computer because of technical inclinations, but (a) creating a blog is as easy as setting up a hotmail account and (b) lots of local women go online - see Facebook and Myspace.

Prog Minds, which is also distinct in that it was a creation of a political party rather than an individual, is also strictly political. But it can't be considered to be in the same realm. That site had a defined strategy and served the additional purpose of being a promotional tool for the PLP.

Which brings us to the Jewel. The newest issues-oriented blog is aimed squarely at political discussion; with the input of the authors of established bloggers at CaF (male) and Fables (female) it has the capacity to emerge as the most popular of all. There's an additional element of this particular blog in that it aims to foster greater citizen input and involvement outside of the blogosphere. It's taken great care to explain that it's not its own political movement, but is willing to promote the formations of new 'grass-roots' movements that may be seen to have an impact on a new form of government that empowers the everyday person more than the current systems in place.

Can the political blogs, however, keep up their pace and resolve? We've seen quite a few storm on the scene but leave, citing a kind of mental exhaustion where they've put forward their opinions, had people comment on them, but seen the powers that be go in a direction totally opposite from what they believe is the right way to go. Only CaF and Jewel by extension have shown much activity in recent weeks; Vexed recently also taking a break from active posting. That said, politics.bm went on for over 5 years and so did Limey, although I don't think Limey started out as a political blog by any stretch. These two blogs, along with Imho.bm and the defunct BravoZulu.bm, formed my proverbial "Four Horsemen" and pretty much helped to launch the exploding growth of the Bermuda blogging community. Guess that the added publicity in the Gazette helped. But if you look at the blogging community, you'll see the changes. One may have scoffed and said, "oh 4 white fellas - clearly biased, yadda yadda yadda"; but hey now we have a couple black fellas, a few white fellas, a white female, a couple black females;... it's getting there.

Our blogoshpere continues to evolve.

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