Is LabourList a new form of daytime TV?

I’ve been scratching my head trying to work out what Derek Draper is up to with the new LabourList site – and I think the answer lies with daytime TV.

I start from the view that (a) it is clearly a major part of Labour’s online strategy, and therefore of interest to anyone interested in politics and the internet, (b) some of the other people involved are people whose skills I rate, even if their political views are a little misguided (!), and (c) Derek Draper has plenty experience of politics and so, all in all, one should have an open mind about whether there’s a sensible strategy behind it all.

That open mind has taken a bit of a battering since Derek Draper has launched a sort of anti-charm offensive, berating other political bloggers in numerous comments around the place – and in terms which include other Labour Party bloggers in his criticisms.

Take, for example, this outing on Dizzy Think’s website:

Boy, the British blogosphere! What an introduction I have had. Never have I experienced such a self-important, self-regarding, self-obsessed group in my life. No wonder the British Blogosphere is such a tiny, tiny, tiny ghetto. Don’t any of you realise that I don’t care what you think? Why would I? Why should I?

“British blogosphere”? Ah, that’d be a bunch of Labour bloggers too who he is describing as “self-important, self-regarding, self-obsessed”. A curious approach to internet outreach, which I think I won’t be copying…

Derek Draper has also coined the phrase that he is building a site aimed at the 60 million people, not 60 bloggers. It’s a neat turn of phrase and I think it reveals perhaps a method to his apparent madness (winding up other people all over the place just after beta launch), but also a fundamental flaw that could sink the whole project.

The method? It reminds me of the Tony Blair media strategy, c.2005: fed up with political journalists, he and his team deliberately tried to side-step them and reach out to the public without having to go through the filter of political hacks and lobby correspondents. The answer? A media drive that saw Tony Blair more frequently interviewed on daytime TV than on heavy political shows.

So perhaps there is a deliberate attempt here to imitate that strategy, and by-pass political bloggers in a similar way. Which brings us to the flaw.

There are plenty of successful or large audience political blogs around the world, but I struggle to think of any which are based on this approach. The ones commonly quoted – such as ConservativeHome, DailyKos, MyDD, Guido Fawkes – all very much interact with at least parts of the wider blogging community rather than trying to cut themselves off from it. There is also a strain of blogs which do tend to be fairly isolated, usually hanging off the back of a traditional media outlet. But – despite the advantage of this media tie-up – they frequently have audiences smaller than those in the first group. And neither group reach audiences of the sort of mass Derek Draper is talking about.

So whilst there may be a method to this strategy of disdaining even Labour bloggers, it is a very tough call to try to achieve something that no-one has managed before. Especially when, as to be fair Derek Draper says himself, he’s rather new and inexperienced when it comes to all this blogging stuff.

That doesn’t exactly sound like a recipe for success. Far more likely is that somewhere along the line this strategy of antagonising other bloggers will quietly get dropped and instead LabourList will try to plough the conventional blogger outreach strategy that is a tried and tested route to a different sort of success.

Read more by or more about or .
This entry was posted in Online politics.
Advert

2 Comments

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarAndy Hinton 24th Aug - 5:51pm
    Paul Barker is right; the true argument for HS2 is nothing to do with journey times or "bridging the north-south divide", it is about freeing...
  • User AvatarTom Harney 24th Aug - 5:50pm
    As far as I can see from the links provided the plans for an alternative to HS2 are simply lines on a map. How about...
  • User AvatarTom Harney 24th Aug - 5:29pm
    The poll accurately reflects the current position in the country in my opinion. To translate it into votes at a General Election requires resources. There...
  • User AvatarPeter Wrigley 24th Aug - 5:27pm
    Our MPs are not delegates but representatives. Their duty is to use their judgement and vote for whatever they understand to be the long term...
  • User AvatarDavid Allen 24th Aug - 5:26pm
    Typo in my last paragraph - it should read "to put the first A50 on hold in a “temporary” way" - Sorry
  • User AvatarNonconformistradical 24th Aug - 5:25pm
    @Joseph Bourke "the Japanese, like the British, were city dwellers and had a similar seasonal climate to the UK, if a little hotter during the...
Sat 24th Aug 2019
Thu 29th Aug 2019
Mon 9th Sep 2019