Thursday, May 31, 2012

Not a bad month for blogging

Disney's Cheshire Cat isn't quite
as sinister as Lewis Carroll's
I think May 2012 has probably been this blog's most successful month in terms of visitors.

I certainly haven't noticed getting over 3000 pageviews in a month before. (The total is 3042 as I write)


About a third of those pageviews were for the results of the Exeter local elections (941), making this the most read post on the blog.

Related posts include:

Craig Oliver and Norman Smith

There has been much media comment this week about the accidentally-recorded row between Downing Street's Communications Director (Craig Oliver) and the BBC's Chief Political Correspondent (Norman Smith).

Most of the comments have focused on the body language, the subtext, the strategy and the parallels of Craig Oliver's complaint. But not the actual complaint.

My post "It's not BBC bias: It's an unbalanced view of 'balance'" was able to draw on a transcript I'd made of a dodgy report made by Smith 18 months ago when the Cabinet minister whose position was under threat because of the News Corp bid for BSkyB was Vince Cable rather than Jeremy Hunt.

I had thought the post was a fairly unique focus on the substance of the row rather than the froth, and a bit of form on Norman Smith. But it received just 53 pageviews. Meanwhile my post from December 2010 "BBC journalist gets Cable the wrong way round" got an extra 79 views this month, making 186 views altogether.

I'm clearly no journalist then!

Liberal Democrats

Two of my LibDem posts attracted some interest:

"The LibDem local election campaign was not LibDem, local or a campaign" (96 pageviews) was certainly negative, but I make no apologies. The signs do not look good that the national party has learned from the mistakes of the 2010 General Election campaign or the 2011 AV referendum.

"What do Liberal Democrats want?" (224) was my attempt to provide a positive way forward in terms of political narrative. LibDem blogger Andrew Emmerson said some very nice things about this post, and brought it to the attention of the party's President, which undoubtedly led to such high readership. It's the 8th most read post on the blog. Sadly no placing in the Lib Dem Golden Dozen!
Incidentally, I don't want to give the impression that LibDem campaign staff have an easy task: in another post I drew attention to the huge communications challenges (61) facing the LibDems at the next General Election.

Other politics

I had a first go at mapping out the Political Narrative Battlegrounds for 2015 (80) for the Conservatives, Labour and LibDems. I have a lousy reputation for crystal ball gazing, so it'll be useful to look at this post again in a year or two.

Continuing the development of my "Evil Liberal Masterplan" (perhaps "Localism-Plus" is a more saleable name!), I explained "How to get growth" by fostering more local decision-making about big developments and public services. I genuinely think this is an original contribution to the debate, even if perhaps unlikely to happen. But sadly this post got just 39 pageviews, despite my increasingly desperate attempts to plug it on Twitter. Just a bad title I suppose.

So I was convinced the title of the tongue-in-cheek "Why Scottish independence will lead to a new Dark Ages" would have outraged Scots beating a path to my door. But again, just 40 pageviews. Oh well...


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