Future of Lib Dem Voice

Over the last couple of months I’ve been advertising for someone to take over the running of Lib Dem Voice, as unfortunately I’m unable to continue for various reasons – not least of which the amount of time running a site of this nature takes up (Iain Dale may well pop up now and tell me he warned me… and he did!).

I had discussions with a couple of people, and after some investigation it’s been decided that the Lib Dem Voice blog will close to new contributions and comments on June 19th, and the forum will close on the same day. The blog will continue to be available as an archive for some time thereafter, forum posts will not – please ensure you take a copy of any posts that are valuable to you (maybe someone could create a private wiki ‘campaign manual’ out of the useful stuff?).

Running this blog has been a great project – lots of ups, tempered by the occasional down. I hope it’s been valuable to its target audience, Lib Dem activists. If any group (and I do suggest you have a group around you) starts up a similar project / successor blog, let me know and I’ll give you some prominent links to aid you in your site growth. For the moment, for discussion I commend to you the LDYS forum (irrespective of your age), and for blogs the ever excellent Lib Dem Blogs.

LDV will continue to operate until June 19th, but will wind down gradually in the week running up to that date (because I’ll be on holiday!).

Particular thanks to the team who regularly contributed content: Alex Foster (star Podcaster!), Richard Huzzey, Stephen Tall, Mark Pack. Thanks to Ryan Cullen for keeping an eagle eye on the forums, and to Will Howells who made a huge contribution before giving in to the lure of Cowley St!

Thanks to everyone who contributed content (in vaguely chronological order):

Alex Cole-Hamilton
Hywel Morgan
James Graham
Gavin Whenman
Alex Wilcock
Alison Goldsworthy
Chris Keating
Colin Ross
Colin Walklin
Greg Simpson
John Thomson
Paul Walter
Chris Huhne
Mark Valladeres
Martin Hoscik
Charles Anglin
Steve Cooke
Tim Gordon
Adrian Sanders
Serena Hennesy
John Stevens
Nick Harvey
Bridget Fox
Duncan Brack
Grace Goodlad
Carl Quilliam
Geoffrey Payne
Laurence Boyce
Kerry Hutchinson
Ed Maxfield

And of course, thanks to the commenters. As I say, I hope this has been a useful (and sometimes fun) blog to have around.

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55 Comments

  • Rob Blackie 28th May '07 - 1:20pm

    Laurence – please do it! LDV is my must read daily…

  • simon wilson 28th May '07 - 3:34pm

    Rob
    Thanks for all you’ve done. LDV will be missed.

  • Rob,
    LDV is an excellent place and we, as Lib Dems, need such a place to be – especially the Forum. Why not see if there are enough people willing and available to run it as a “collective” along the Liberator model?
    I, for one, would offer some time to such a project but do not have sufficient time to run the whole bang shoot, nor the experience! Good luck with the future and I hope to meet face-to-face,with you, in Brighton at Fed. Conf. Thanks for what you have enabled.

  • If other people can be found to take over most of the editorial side, I’ll be happy to sort out things technically. I’m WordPress proficient I’ll have you know…

  • Tony Greaves 28th May '07 - 10:03pm

    Oh well, seems that LD Cix will have to soldier on a bit longer…(which as it happens is still better for discussion).

    But the loss of a (more or less) independent place for debate amongst Liberal Democrats is another blow to autonomous debate and democracy within the party.

  • I’ve been talking to some of the other regular LDV contributors, and we’re hoping to put together a successor. We’ll see how the intentions turn out when the details are crunched through this week… but regardless, many thanks for all your work on LDV Rob. I don’t think there are many things that would get such a diverse group of people agreeing as those on this thread :-)

  • Justin Hinchcliffe 28th May '07 - 11:27pm

    Rejoice! Rejoice!

  • What is cix?

  • The rather annoying thing for me is that I have never even been able to get into the private forums. I can login, but then there are no forums there. I e-mailed Rob weeks ago, but got no answer. Maybe he really was too busy to open his inbox.

    Will be sorry to see the site go if this happens.

  • NO!!! The biggest laugh on the net is going! Rob- try and develop your sense of humour! It needs some work!

  • Sorry to hear this.

    Of course, it means that if you treat ConHome, LabourHome, and LDVoice as the “main” three “activist” websites, the LibDems have just lost theirs.

    Rather sad to think we supporters may not have an independent forum anymore.

  • Cix will still exist and it is certainly an independent forum which still has the largest amount of independent info and discussion of any LD forum – though much less than when it was a virtual monopoly in the party.

    As Duncan said it costs money to join. A very small amount in my view (less than the price of a pint a week) but one of the extraordinary things about the internet is that people have come to expect it all for free. This has distorted values and is part of the reason for the decline in circulation of newspapers which is a dreadful threat to a free and democratic society.

    Tony Greaves

  • My Summer holiday’s coming up and I’m about to finish my exams I’d be glad to help out if anyone wants to take over!

  • Tony Greaves 30th May '07 - 1:40pm

    “It was, at one time, really the only place to find Lib Dems on the internet, now we are everywhere.”

    Isn’t this the problem? Most people do not have the time or inclination to search around “everywhere”. The whole this is hopelessly fragmented and getting worse by the day.

    A second problme now is the way that so many people use anonymous names such as “Norfolk Blogger” which frankly makes me reluctant to take part in any discussion them them. If in a political community we are not real people we are nowhere people with no legitimacy of any kind.

  • Now that’s a good idea!

  • Laurance – I think that’s both inaccurate and unfair. The reason the party hasn’t funded something like LDV is not because we wouldn’t want to, but because something funded by “the party” ends up being a very different creature.

    That’s a pragmatic reason, rather than conspiracy or cowardice :-)

  • Greg Simpson 30th May '07 - 4:15pm

    In fact the party has been putting togther more official discussion/debating forums such as the manifesto website and the policy consultation web sites – these are of course work in progress, but they could never replace an ‘independent’ forum for members to initiate, post and discuss issues that may be hostages to fortune on ‘official’ site.

    All power to your elbows

    Greg

  • Laurence – I think you are genuinely misguided on this point. Our party is more than happy to tolerate all sorts of dissent – in fact Liberals by their nature are awkward buggers and proud of it!

    But Mark, Greg, Chris & co are absolutely right: if we want this site to be representative of the rich tapestry of opinion within the party, it can’t be ‘run’ by a member of staff. Try and put yourself in the shoes of that staff member – it wouldn’t be a lot of fun knowing when to ‘moderate’ discussions on here.

    Oh, and a peripheral point perhaps, but our money hasn’t exactly got masses of cash or resources to spare. I’d rather a staff member were employed in campaigning (preferably outside Cowley St) than to run a site that can & should be run by volunteers.

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