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Blogs and election fatigue

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, August 18th, 2020 - 28 comments
Categories: election 2020, jacinda ardern, Media, The Standard - Tags:

One of the characteristics of a political blog in New Zealand is the way that our operations reflect the political cycle. Coming into an election after mid-year, we have a steadily increasing level of traffic, posts, and comments. Moderators, commenters and even authors start showing a more cranky disposition.

This is hardly surprising, in election month we will at least nearly triple our page views by humans compared to the average of a mid term year. As it is this year, a month out from the previous election date, we’d already doubled traffic over two months previously.

The really stupid trolls come out from their sewers with their poor abilities to distinguish between what is their opinion and what is a false assertion of fact.

From my personal view at the system level, the machines that plague our sites will have increased their ceaseless probing of the site by closer to ten fold. Bots attracted by the rapidly rising page views zero in and try to crack into the site. Googlebot and bingbot start reading the site at an increased frequency. And the fans on the CPU coolers and case start whining at a increased rate.

This tends to irritate my partner and I because there are limited ways to moderate the rising whine of the computer fans in our apartment. That is because The Standard runs on the back of one of our home servers. On the other hand it provides a great space heater during the cold weather we have been having. It is almost a pity that the weather is getting lot better by October 17th.

But as you can imagine that I’m not that enthralled by the prospect of an extra month of the election. More cranky commenters. Moderators starting to do the triennial resolutions to drop this voluntary shit after the election and start having a real life. Authors running out of the ideas for their voluntary musing of their opinions and pulling in of links to substantiate them.

Now I’m not so sure that Jacinda was thinking of us or for that matter the same kinds of issues with the mass media (who at least get paid for the task) when the election moved forward a month. But while the election cycle this year hasn’t been too bad on the site. I foresee fatigue problems from the extra month.

But I’d reiterate her advice. Be kind.

It doesn’t get in the way of having a robust debate.

There is an incentive to do so. Please also remember that when I get cranky and irritated, then I am not kind. I release my lurking tendencies to be a bastard operator from hell. This is your warning.

28 comments on “Blogs and election fatigue ”

  1. Tricledrown 1

    New Zealanders are OK with the delays we know this pandemic is causing massive disruption and it's not going away anytime soon.

    We have so much more access to news of what's happening around the World most of us have close relatives living abroad .

    As Fred Dagg would say we don't know how lucky we are.We know how lucky we are and having to put up with a few inconveniences is not a big Deal.Every time Trump opens his mouth we are glad we live here not their!

  2. weka 2

    Lol, why didn't they think of the bloggers! I'm sure it's the same sentiment for many MPs, staff and journos. I was agnostic on the extension until I saw it in black and white 30 days to go becomes 60, and I already want it to be over. I'm not sure I've felt like that about an election before.

    I'm ok with the moderating, but finding it hard to put up posts. Mostly I suspect because the energy is with the whole Nat bullshit and I can't be bothered with trying to write something to compete with that. We get the kind of election we focus on I guess and it's been disappointing to see so many lefties think this election is about the failing of National. Not that that is unimportant (and I think Micky's been right to document what happened), but on twitter too it seems like National is all anyone has wanted to talk about.

    Meanwhile, there's a small number of climate activists and scientists still tweeting out, throughout covid pointing out that we ain't seen nothing yet. Can't help but feel we've taken our eye off the ball.

    I guess I should have made this comment a post.

    • Andre 2.1

      Well, at least the shitshow in the US can't change dates since it's fixed by law and only Congress can change it. Although it may drag out a bit longer with slow counting of postal votes and lawsuits etc etc.

    • lprent 2.2

      Meanwhile, there's a small number of climate activists and scientists still tweeting out, throughout covid pointing out that we ain't seen nothing yet. Can't help but feel we've taken our eye off the ball.

      Yeah I know. I looked at that Death Valley peak temp of 54.4C – highest recorded since a confluence of weather factors in 1913 in Death Valley that gave the worlds highest recorded temperature of 56.7C (although there are some issues with measurement). I was going to write something about that – but I have had Climate Change writing fatigue for a quite a few years now.

      There is nothing strange about Californian weather patterns right now. This is a just a simple dry summer. Not an extreme one. It is just that the ambient temperature is hotter. There are hell of lot of people in California… In a few years I suspect that they'll find out what a real hot summer brings these days.

      • aj 2.2.1

        There is nothing strange about Californian weather patterns right now. This is a just a simple dry summer.

        Are you sure?

        Earlier this week, I wrote about a “sustained warming trend and long-duration inland heatwave” that would develop this week in California. Well, that’s still true…but that language turns out to have been more than a little understated. A very intense and prolonged heatwave now appears likely for a large portion of California over the next 7-10 days, and this event will likely have wide-ranging impacts from human health, wildfire, and electricity demand perspectives. I suspect this event will probably end up being one of the most significant widespread California extreme heat events in the past decade, if not longer.


        • lprent

          Yep. It is a matter of time scale

          They have always had some very bad heatwaves and cyclic multi-year droughts within historic times.

          But they were dwarfs compared to what shows up in tree ring climatic proxies. This is a reasonably accessible piece – but they’re only looking at the last 1k years. I think that the title says what it is about.
          California drought: Past dry periods have lasted more than 200 years, scientists say

          I’d like to find something about the paleo history over the last 10k years of relative climatic stability n California. There are a lot of pollen, salt and other climatic proxy studies that go a long way back. But I’d have to dig into the earth science archives somewhere. It doesn’t look there is a lot of it online.

          Suffice it to say, that there is a pretty strong cycle of the Californian climates oscillating in a rather extreme way and usually across most of its area. Both in mega centuries long cycles, and in decade cycles. Sometimes way too wet, and often way too dry. The last two centuries have been a cool damp and stable period by comparison.

    • Incognito 2.3

      I'm ok with the moderating, but finding it hard to put up posts.

      For me it is the other way round and I feel an urge to escape (!) into writing posts (rants) rather than moderating. It drains my energy to try be patient, balanced, moderate, impartial (non-partisan), respectful, et cetera, and not stifle robust debate by stomping around in my Moderator boots.

      • RedLogix 2.3.1

        Totally get it. It's made only worse when others get confused about when you are moderating and when you are commenting. The convention that moderation is always done in bold type should make the distinction obvious, but all too often someone fails to spot the difference.

        In some forums moderators just don't participate in the debate at all in order to avoid this problem, but in my view that's an unreasonable demand to make here.

        But for our system to work it's essential for moderators to ensure they're keeping clear blue sky between their views when commenting and their actions when moderating, and that isn't always easy. It would be good if all of us, who all benefit from competent moderation, recognised this and were respectful of the fact that being a moderator is much less of a privilege, and much more of a selfless duty.

        • lprent

          …were respectful of the fact that being a moderator is much less of a privilege, and much more of a selfless duty.

          It sure is. Bloody hard to maintain the kind of focus on the educative objectives of moderation when it becomes repetitive slog.

  3. bwaghorn 3

    I'm just wrapped the the loathing of all things rural has so far not raised its ugly head ,not like last election.

    Much nicer thanks

    • lprent 3.1

      The dairy side? It got the desired result as far as I am concerned.

      Farmers are leaning on farmers and councils are running prosecutions. There is far less push back from the usual arsehole farmers about how no-one who lives in this country apart from those owning the land has any right to get upset about polluted waterways.

      Right now I'm observing to see if the farming community and their regional councils pay more than lip service to their obligations.

      Stories like this give me hope that it is happening.

      Do you think that any of that would have happened without the farming community and councils being spiked by a good dose of visible outrage on public forums? Because I don't . They'd have just gone on feeling victimised when told that it was a bad idea to defecate all over our common landscape.

      The question now is if it results in measurable improvements in water quality in rivers and aquifers. That I'm not so sure on – each farmer thinks that their little bit shouldn't be a problem – then of course the cumulative effect of a lot of small bits of overflows and drainage is disastrous.

      Of course there are separate questions about sheer volume water take from aquifers and rivers. And the greenhouse gas emissions.

      • bwaghorn 3.1.1

        I have no problem with pushing for positive change ,but you go back three years and it was a frenzied hatred being stoked by wedge politics from the left.

        The left is ment to have a higher standard.

        • solkta

          I thought it was just people getting really fucked off after decades of going backwards. Farmers need to be held accountable.

        • Drowsy M. Kram

          Was it the "frenzied hatred being stoked by wedge politics from the left" that prompted a farmer to raise his SHE’S A PRETTY COMMUNIST placard?

          Is it possible to unpick cause and effect here? The farming sector went down in my estimation after the protests against the "Fart Tax" that was to fund research into GHG emission reductions, and yes, I'm sure there were responsible farmers around even then, and a lot more now.

          Tbh I'd forgotten (now Sir) Bill English brandishing a placard reading "THE MAD COW SHOULDN'T HAVE SIGNED" during those 2003 protests. I hope attitudes have changed – those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

        • Draco T Bastard

          The Left does have a higher standard. The problem was, and is, the lack of standards of the farmers.

  4. As I heard Judith Collins with her cries about "failure"……. Him indoors said "That woman and her bully boy should come up with some policy!"

    I spluttered into my coffee, having the self same thought.

    Judith has been to Charm School we learned in a TV interview. We also learned she believes "You don't get angry you pay it back".

    She makes a mean cheese cake, and talked about herself most of the interview.

    There was no policy, just slagging off the efforts against covid, and how she would do it better. Huge hubris and entitlement evident.
    “I would not tolerate covid in the country” she said…..Who does she think tolerates it ????

    • bwaghorn 4.1

      ""“I would not tolerate covid in the country” she said…."""

      I'm sure covid is quaking in its boots.

  5. Election fatigue is easily caught when the msm will not stop chattering about it.

    Why cannot we wait until election day and vote?

    The extension of the date just gives "pollsters" more time to b……t .

    No doubt several participants on this blog site will be in ecstasy.

  6. Election fatigue is easily caught when the msm will not stop chattering about elections.

    Now that would be an interesting ( the msm finding something worth chattering about

    Why cannot we wait until election day and vote?

    The extension of the date just gives "pollster" more time to b……t .

    No doubt several participants on this blog site will be in ecstasy.

    I strongly suspect the electorate has already made its mind up, mind you, jamie lee and his favoured well informed co party leader could surprise us.

    his idiot mate could win. trumpiania could arrive.

    Collins is wishing for enough time for people to forget what she built her reputation on.

  7. sumsuch 7

    More and more the conductors here appear as brothers, when I really want fathers — I'm 54 so I have no right to that.

    As long as you are fair.

  8. gsays 8

    As I have said in the past, I really appreciate this space as a place to engage, debate, have beliefs challenged, learn and grow. (although I do struggle with the views of the more ardent practitioners of identity politics..)

    Thank-you lprent for the mahi and expertise in keeping this site running.

    Cheers too, to Weka, Incognito and any other mods for moderating/bouncing the day to day rigmarole.

    I figure the seperate thread for the US election is coming up, as that bickering can get fairly tedious and quickly descends into name calling and negativity.

    Especially as the style seems to be more about throwing shit at the 'other' candidate rather than showing the good their candidate can/has done. Having said that, it is probably a reflection of the state of the US empire as it flails about in it's sunset years.

    The kindness being asked for here and in the Beehive is a sign of new politics emerging and offers a stark contrast to the way Crushed and The Tin Foil Man are choosing to behave.

  9. I think this second outbreak of the virus has shaken our confidence, and left us feeling emotionally bruised. It is a great relief to realise the death rate has actually dropped according to published stats.

    Anyone out there with mortgage problems, please seek help. We are fortunate our banks and businesses and their customers/workers are being helped. NAB in Australia not so much according to friends.

    The whole unemployment system needs a revamp as there are too many rabbit holes showing. Holes people fall into which block actual help. It is time people were treated as individuals with worth, not appendages of another worker. This really impacts women.

    Our Acc system should cover health pitfalls in the same way as accident pitfalls. Some like my husband have good general health and do 45 years of work before the heart problems arrive. I had 4 hospital stays, 5 bouts of pneumonia and asthma, so the other end of the scale. We say together we are "Normal" whatever normal is.

    The stresses of income food housing schooling and job hunting do not leave some with much time to consider more than the next month, let alone an election in two months. In this climate that feels a long way into the uncertain future.

    We are all watching the tragic scenes over seas of mass burials economic fallout and social dislocation with growing trepidation. Our return to L1 confidence might not be as rapid this time, and 2 months of haranguing by Judith and c/o doesn't delight, so yes election and covid fatigue.

    Thanks to the moderators bloggers and posters here. You company is appreciated and anticipated. Always a new word or two, new ideas slants and info. Often a great laugh or enjoyable sharing. Keep on keeping on please.

  10. I'm sure Jacinda gave no thought whatsoever to those of us whose mental health has suffered under Covid and is now being detrimentally affected by the election.

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