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Progressive social media

Written By: - Date published: 9:27 am, October 10th, 2014 - 70 comments
Categories: blogs, david cunliffe, election 2014, grant robertson, labour, Media, national - Tags: ,

Right now is an ideal time for the left to rethink our approach to social media and in this post I will outline a couple of examples showing why there has to be a better way.

This week I did something that should give me automatic entry to lefty heaven. I waded through the filth and debris on the site known as Whaleoil and counted the number of posts this year that have been posted with the David Cunliffe tag.

There were 973 of them. Nine hundred and seventy freaking three of them. Three point five posts every day, every single day including Sundays and holidays.  One could describe the obvious fixation as being somewhat obsessional.

There were basic all out assault type posts, silly cartoons, pictures with naff comments, amplification and regurgitation of rumours and claims about leaks within the labour party.  There was lots and lots of advice for the Labour Party which I suspect was not motivated by a desire to help.

The posts were all utterly negative. Cameron obviously has a terribly distressingly negative view of the world.  Of course he may not have written them all himself.  In fact from the disclosures in Dirty Politics it may be that the National Research Unit wrote most of them.

But really?  973 of them?  They must have had some effect on Cunliffe’s reputation.  Of course the actions of some within the party have also have had an effect.  But that is a story for another day.

It is not only progressive politicians who have felt the damaging effect of Slater’s particular form of blogging.  Yesterday David Fisher in the Herald reported about Matt Blomfield and his trials and tribulations with Slater.  The article starts off with this passage:

Matt Blomfield was beaten bloody. A shotgun blast ringing in his ears. Blows from the stock of the weapon splitting skin to send blood running down his face.

It was a horrifying attack at home. His children were watching. One stood at the window as her father grappled with the intruder. The other sought shelter in the house, seeking safety from the armed man who brought violence to their home.

Blomfield had fought off the attacker, fiercely enough that police later found blood from which they took DNA.

He struggled to think who might want him hurt, or worse. In the end, he came up with a suspect list of 285,000 people – the monthly readership of the Whaleoil blog, who he believed had been given every reason to think he was one of the worst people in New Zealand.

Blomfield obviously believes there to be a link between the treatment he has received on Slater’s blog and the physical treatment he received during the attack.  Dirty Politics has given many other examples of difficulties created for innocent individuals by Slater’s particular mode of blogging.

The really sad thing about the election result is that Dirty Politics seemed to have no effect on the result.  The system was detailed for us.  The collation of information using Beehive resources, the bundling of stories, the breaking of these stories on Slater’s site so the media could then report on them.  But nothing has changed.  Slater continues in his way posting multiple posts each day, attacking people, feeding stories to the media and continuing his media speaking slots with tame right wing media institutions.

There has to be a better way because the thought of the continuation of the status quo is somewhat disturbing.  For Labour if David Cunliffe retains the leadership these attacks will not stop.  And if he is replaced then there will be continuous attacks on the new leader in an attempt to undermine and suck confidence.  Slater already appears to be gearing up for a possible change.  For instance Grant Robertson has had 128 tagged posts this year but the rate is increasing with 45 since the election.  Andrew Little has had 44 in the past year with 13 since the election.

Progressives need to have a discussion about how we are going to handle social media over the next three years and counter the negative effect that the right is having on general media discourse.  I believe the Standard has an important role to play but the effectiveness of Nicky Hager’s particular form of journalism is impossible to ignore.  An enhanced blog presence with sufficient resources to allow for some research may be the solution because clearly currently there is a severe resource imbalance.  Whatever change is made allowing the current right wing dominance to continue should not be an option.

70 comments on “Progressive social media ”

  1. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 1

    I wonder how many posts there have been on the Standard this year on John Key? I wonder how many were complimentary?

    • mickysavage 1.1

      308 tagged “John Key”. But in terms of substance and approach they are totally different. But of course I would say this …

      • alwyn 1.1.1

        There are, of course many more posts on WO’s blog than there are here. I do not have the stomach to check any further but if yesterday was typical of both sites there were five times as many posts on WO (35) as there were here (7). That would imply, very roughly, that a 60% greater proportion of the posts on the Standard were about John Key than were the WO posts about Cunliffe.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1

          I think you’ll find that one day isn’t enough data to come to any useful conclusions.

          • phillip ure 1.1.1.1.1

            @ draco..

            “..I think you’ll find that one day isn’t enough data to come to any useful conclusions.,:

            if that ‘one day’ is an average day..you can..

            ..f.y.i..

            whoar.co.nz stories/links posted 10/10/14:

            8 international politics..

            9 local politics..

            10 entertainment. (reviews/music-links etc..)

            ..and 11 of what i called general..as they applied universally..

            ..that is a total of 38 stories/links..

            ..and that is the stats from one day..that print a pretty accurate picture..

            ..of what is there every day..

            (and as per slaters’ blog vs standard on number of stories posted..

            ..that comparison cited wd be pretty close to accurate..)

    • ankerawshark 1.2

      Oleolebiscuitbarrell. Yes many posts, but none picked up by msm.

      Also perhaps Mickey can cast some light on the criticism of DC in the attack posts. The one’s I am familiar with are things like DC eating lunch alone = “no friends Nigel”. Not policy.

      Key gets criticized on this site cause of his policies. WO attacks people who are opponants in an orchestrated way to bring them down. If you doubt this read DP’s the chapter on Mark Mitchell and the National Party.

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 1.2.1

        “Key gets criticized on this site cause of his policies.”

        Fuck me!

        • alwyn 1.2.1.1

          Having been rather critical of DotCom leading his idiot followers in the chant about Key, I’m afraid I will have to turn down your invitation.
          Please don’t feel rejected.

    • higherstandard 1.3

      I wonder how many posts there have been on the Standard this year on Slater/whaleoil ?

      This site seems to bounce between KDS (Key derangement syndrome) and SDS (Slater derangement syndrome) depending on the weather.

      • mickysavage 1.3.1

        58 tagged “Cameron Slater” and 21 tagged “whaleoil” although I suspect that he has had a lot more mentions especially since the publication of Dirty Politics.

  2. ankerawshark 2

    IMHO one of the problems is msm picking up stuff from Whale Oil (and probably using the tip line). This as someone has put it is the third track of the strategy. Jared Savage is a prime example of this, backed up and re-inforced by the likes of John Armstrong (e.g. “Cunliffe must quit”).

    One of the reasons I am supportive of DC staying is that it if he goes, it re-inforces the three track strategy.

    David Fisher in my book is a true journalist (including him detailing and outlining his contact with Whale Oil and why he refrained from continuing with it). He is one person in the msm who seems to be picking up and reporting the real story about WO.

    I have no good ideas about what to do about it. Unless someone such as Fisher could do an expose based on your truly heroic research about wtf is going on with all the attack posts on the Leader of the opposition.

  3. Tom Jackson 3

    Progressives need to have a discussion about how we are going to handle social media over the next three years and counter the negative effect that the right is having on general media discourse.

    I’m not sure myself how this will work. Slater et al. are piggybacking on the social changes of the last 30 years, most notably the diminished role of truth and evidence in public discourse. Facts are now for many private consumption goods, to be accepted or rejected depending on the consumer’s desires.

    The usual response of the left to a Slater smear is to point out that it is factually incorrect, but that doesn’t do much, because facts no longer matter so much in public discourse. Al Gore wrote a pretty decent book about this some years ago, but even he, bright as he is, didn’t have much in the way of a solution.

  4. BM 4

    There were 973 of them. Nine hundred and seventy freaking three of them. Three point five posts every day, every single day including Sundays and holidays.

    Which is around 13% of the posts whale oil has done this year, the guy does at least 20-30 posts a day.

    Compare that to The Standard, which does at a guess around 4-5 posts a day.
    308 posts tagged as John Key

    That works out at 21.8%.

    Hmmm, looks like a bit of an unhealthy fixation to me,

    • RedLogix 4.1

      On the other hand how many of those 20-30 posts a day are just links to trash videos?

      And frankly given that we know at least some of his posts are sourced from others, and Slater’s demonstrably slim ethics – I doubt he writes many of his posts at all.

    • Skinny 4.2

      I wouldn’t sweat it if I was Micky, DC’s high numbers will drop soon enough and be replaced by Andrew Little tags. Par for the territory I guess.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.3

      Once you take out the trash posts, videos and posts made by others under WO name then that 13% probably accounts for 90% of content produced by Slater himself.

    • Aaron 4.4

      Of course 21.8% of posts at The Standard are tagged ‘John Key’. This is a political blog and he is the Prime Minister! If you’ve got an idea about how we can keep John Key out of the news, there are a lot of people involved with this blog who would love to hear it .

  5. Bill 5

    I’m thinking you’re reaching for the wrong end of the stick there mickey. The problem isn’t Slater and Farrar promoting nonsense – all things being equal, who would care?

    The problem is that major newspapers and TV outlets go there to feed, and so amplify and legitimise the bullshit they publish.

    If ts or other blogs were to waste time fisking their posts (was that what you suggest?), then they’d get even more oxygen at the expense of ts and other blogs producing (sometimes) quality, thought provoking posts on important and relevant subjects.

    Somebody suggested to me that it would be a good idea if all the academics and others who were vilified by Slater/Farrar had a single outlet where their experiences were gathered. That would, I guess, be up to those vilified to pen/explain their experiences where such posts weren’t merely illustrative of the two tier mechanism employed by the right.

    Whatever, I’m picking that the best way to end the shit is to bombard the major newspapers and TV outlets when they uncritically use Farrar/Slater. Possibly initiate a growing campaign against their active part in it all?

    And get everyone petitioning against any outlet that uses any of the ‘usual suspects’ for commentary or opinion in a way that allows them to pretend neutrality. (Note: I’m not saying they should be barred completely, just that they should be outed and made honest with regards their angle/interest)

    • Tom Jackson 5.1

      Whatever, I’m picking that the best way to end the shit is to bombard the major newspapers and TV outlets when they uncritically use Farrar/Slater. Possibly initiate a growing campaign against their active part in it all?

      Mockery is the best medicine.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1.1

        Mockery is the best medicine.

        Nope, it only amuses the already converted, as the history of political satire amply demonstrates.

    • mickysavage 5.2

      Thanks Bill.

      I did not mean that we should fisk their posts continuously. I am not sure anyone would have the stamina …

      I am suggesting we should have a big rethink about things though. And I suspect you are right that TS would be better placed interacting with media rather than trying all the time to respond to Slater and Farrar.

      • BM 5.2.1

        How about some cat videos, they’re always amusing.

        Lol, Those crazy cats, what are they going to do next.

      • higherstandard 5.2.2

        TS is what it is, a little lefty site inhabited by trolls of the left and right who can spout mostly anonymous drivel.

      • Bill 5.2.3

        If more mainstream media were to interact with ‘ts’…or any other blog…they’d need to be supplied with a compelling reason to do so. Slater/Farrar provide a reason.

        The best ‘ts’ can aim for (bar, perhaps a very occasional post that would be exception proving the rule on mainstream interaction) is a sort of osmosis on the framing front.

        • mickysavage 5.2.3.1

          Agreed Bill. I think that the group think is an important function that on occasions works really well. It is a shame that some of the “go to” left commentators do not understand or want to give voice to this group think.

  6. Hot Potatoe 6

    This month’s bestseller in Germany called ‘Gekaufte Journalisten’ or ‘Bought Journalists’ in English uncovers the practice of journalists being paid money to distort particular news stories.

    #The book is now ranked seventh in the list of best sellers in Germany

    The MSM in NZ have been accused of using bloggers/social medai networks to get their message across.

    The recent election was evidence enough, even I feel RNZ have morphed into the beast.

    Below: https://ersjdamoo.wordpress.com/2014/09/27/bought-journalism-in-germany/

    This month’s bestseller in Germany called ‘Gekaufte Journalisten’ or ‘Bought Journalists’ in English uncovers the practice of journalists being paid money to distort particular news stories.

    #The book is now ranked seventh in the list of best sellers in Germany

    Talks of bribery, spies and cover-ups could easily be mistaken for a script from a Bourne movie. According to the book’s author, ex-journalist Udo Ulfkotte, journalists can be bought to put a specific twist on news stories.

    Druing Ulfkotte time working for a major German newspaper, explains how the United States intelligence service paid him to report a particular story in a certain light.

    other links here:

    German Journalist Describes How He and
    his Colleagues Were Controlled by Bribery by the CIA to
    Write US Propaganda, Instead of Actual News

    ForbiddenKnowledgeTV
    Alexandra Bruce
    October 8, 2014

    On October 1, I sent a short clip from this interview of German journalist, Dr. Udo Ulfkotte, author of the bestselling book in Germany, ‘Bought Journalism.’

    In the book, he describes how he and his colleagues were controlled through bribery by the CIA to write US propaganda, instead of reporting the actual news, throughout his 25+ year career, as a leading journalist in Germany, which he describes as “still a [postwar] colony of the USA.”

    • Hot Potatoe 6.1

      Note the MSM in NZ have not been referenced in the ‘Gekaufte Journalisten’ or ‘Bought Journalists’. Thought that should be clarified

      Just thought I should make that clear.

      The video makes you think though

    • RedLogix 6.2

      What we get in this country is journalists who are keenly aware on whom their continued salary depends on.

  7. Ad 7

    None of what I suggest below should imply criticism of any author, editor, or of Saint Lyn the All Seeing.

    But we are now in a competitive situation with Whaleoil and Kiwiblog.

    1. We need to go professional. That means full time staff. More advertising (not too much of the Karl’s Jr owners perhaps).

    2. We could do with more people who are prepared to comment onto tv and radio. We are immensely powerful in numbers, and the MSM needs to see that we are essentially a very powerful newspaper.

    3. We could do with some fundraiser events. To protect anonymity we will probably need a masked ball 😉 and a double-blind trust.

    4. We can be the beta test-bed of an alternative government. We can do that if regular posts are made by Labour, Green, and Nw Zealand First MPs. Moderated, but MPs present to make comments. We are undersold outside of Labour.

    5. We can link with other sites more powerfully. Eg next time some party does a transport policy, give it to TransportBlog and The Standard and Scoop well before the MSM. Let us break and shape how polity lands in real time and before the MSM gets it.

    Hmm I’ll stop now.

    But Mickey you are so right.
    I’ve been calling for it for a while, but it depends if there is a will to go bigger, or more a preference to stay about the same scale and effect as currently.

    • Aaron 7.1

      This:

      5. We can link with other sites more powerfully. Eg next time some party does a transport policy, give it to TransportBlog and The Standard and Scoop well before the MSM. Let us break and shape how polity lands in real time and before the MSM gets it.

      Shaping the narrative in this way and giving the MSM a few ready made angles can be done for free starting tomorrow. No need to fundraise, no need to re-envision the website. In fact I would hope savvy individuals are already using these blogs in this way when they want some left wing support.

  8. Ad 8

    We can mock the cat videos or whatever just so Whaleoil can trumpet his triumph as supreme site. But Whaleoil really does reign supreme.

    I am not suggesting that we turn this beautiful Citroen into a Toyota Corolla, but at the moment it’s walls of text, no videos, full of unattractive arguments, and can be as appealing as waking up to WeetBix every morning. Without milk. Or sugar. As the Four Yorkshiremen said.

    Hate to say it, but we are a major media outlet, and if we aspire to be more than our own little beltway, we need to respect that in the media, numbers reign supreme over all.

    • BM 8.1

      Which is why Slater puts up cartoons, videos, maps etc.

      Who the fuck wants to read about politics all day, you’ve got to have a bit of variety if you want to attract people, especially the people who aren’t that politically aware or have just started to show an interest in politics.

      As much as people hate the man, Cameron Slater has done a superb job in introducing people to politics.

      He’s one of Nationals best recruitment tools.

      • higherstandard 8.1.1

        Perhaps TS should have a daily Eve video show ?

        • BM 8.1.1.1

          Eve TV, sounds like a winner to me.

          Wall to wall flames, shape shifting reptiles and collapsing buildings, the punters will love it.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1.2

        Are you deliberately missing the point? Slater and Farrar’s death-threat factories are not the problem: they are the sewer pipes through which the problem flows, from the National Party to the media.

  9. Te Reo Putake 9

    I can recall thinking at the time Key was lying about the left having their own equivalent of WO that it was a shame we didn’t. But, then, it’s not in our nature, is it? I support Ad’s second point above, we need to have a media presence. Clearly the msm aren’t going to go to Bomber for pieces to camera, so we should look to find an alternative from the left blogosphere. If we don’t do it, then the go to spokespeople for the left are either vacuous and out of touch (Pagani) or sectarian and out of touch (Bryce Edwards).

    Thanks for putting this out there, MS. It’s a discussion well worth having.

    • RedLogix 9.1

      MS’s most important point is the second to last sentence:

      An enhanced blog presence with sufficient resources to allow for some research may be the solution because clearly currently there is a severe resource imbalance.

      Funding of course comes with it’s own strings – but we need an angel who can put up sufficient seed money to get TS to the point where it generates it’s own endogenous income.

      Those of us who can afford to support TS financially need to think about putting money where keyboard is.

  10. Once was Pete 10

    Well I for one would support the more rational approach, but the post is a little lopsided in its treatment of The Standard vs Whaleoil. I read Whaleoil, but I don’t particularly like the site. I read The Standard, more and would have to say that this site also falls a long way short.
    Apart form the number of posts re Cunliffe v Key (and I will take your word for this), there is very little to distinguish either the standard or whaleoil. Both are overly negative, use derogatory terms without cause and both ooze anger and vitriol.
    Both are also extremely one eyed, and neither can find a single good thing to say about their target.
    Many commenters here fall back on anger and invective rather than discussing the substance of matters.
    Most voters are just sick of this. I do not believe most voters see themselves as left or right any more. On some things they will be conservative and on others they will be liberal. In other words they are more interested in issues and where the parties stand on them. This is my big criticism of Labour – stuck in a time warp and forever looking backward.
    People bang on here about the nasty RWNJ’s but you only have to read the regulars here to see that there are just as many nasty people who comment on this blog on a daily basis.
    The moderators could help with this by being more even handed in their supervision of protocols, but then it is your blog not mine,

    • RedLogix 10.1

      This is my big criticism of Labour – stuck in a time warp and forever looking backward.

      So the future is what? More Business as Usual? More raping the planet so a tiny few can be even further enriched? Do you have any alternative vision?

      Or are you just too young to remember that before neo-liberalism there was a different ethic in play?

      Otherwise thank you for your concern.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.2

      Both are also extremely one eyed, and neither can find a single good thing to say about their target.

      Bollocks. There are posts and comments saying nice things about Key on this blog when he does something right. We don’t see a lot because Key just doesn’t do a lot right.

      Many commenters here fall back on anger and invective rather than discussing the substance of matters.

      Pointless abuse around here gets you banned.

      In other words they are more interested in issues and where the parties stand on them.

      If that were so why aren’t they all voting Greens?

      This is my big criticism of Labour – stuck in a time warp and forever looking backward.

      It’s the RWNJs that are still building roads despite knowing a) that there just isn’t enough cheap oil to run the economy the way it was in the 1950s and b) that continuing to run the economy as if it was still the 1950s will cause catastrophic climate change.

  11. Adrian Jumping the Rawshark 11

    You vaguely pondered Mickey on what sort of effect WO et al had had on the election result. I think the answer is in the Specials, presuming that the majority ( overseas etc ) were not influenced to the degree locals were by WO et al and the MSM, the outcome would have been about 55% leftish to 45% right.

    • alwyn 11.1

      Why would you make the assumption that people overseas are likely to be less influenced than people in New Zealand?
      WO is purely a website and can just as readily be read overseas as in New Zealand.
      The TV channels material is available on-line from overseas but you need at least a reasonable broadband connection to watch them. I’ve tried occasionally but often the bandwidth available (WiFi say) isn’t good enough to get a clear report. People overseas are more likely to have read websites or the hardcopy newspaper sites and are not likely to have seen things like the rather strident, over-bearing persona that Cunliffe displayed on TV.

      • Draco T Bastard 11.1.1

        He said WO et al which would include the negative campaigning that the MSM did for National.

      • Murray Rawshark 11.1.2

        What strident, overbearing persona? I watched quite a few clips with Cunliffe and never saw anything like that.
        What I did see was a prumstah of noozland who acts like a smug 14 year old class clown and is unable to say anything of substance.
        What people overseas miss out on is the continual radio and television cheerleading for the NAct party. Depending on where they live, they might also see where NAct type policies lead.

        PS Please ignore me as you promised. I’m not seeking another load of Key propaganda as a reply.

        • alwyn 11.1.2.1

          Oh, you are one of those people who post under multiple names are you?
          Pray tell us how many others you use in addition to the two I now know about?

          • Murray Rawshark 11.1.2.1.1

            Thanks for the laugh. Are you serious?

            • alwyn 11.1.2.1.1.1

              Well I would point out that the only person I have ever told that I would ignore their remarks in the future was someone who posted under the name “Murray Olsen”.

              Open mike 30/09/2014


              You are clearly claiming that you are that person, even though you now post as “Murray Rawshark”.
              That’s two names. How many others do you use?
              All clear now?

  12. Hot Potatoe 12

    Once was Pete,

    I like your comments, particularly,

    “Many commenters here fall back on anger and invective rather than discussing the substance of matters”

    However, do you think that the Party in Power advocates for dirty politics.

    What chance doth the unarmed prophet have against armed prophet except sticks & stones?

    But I take your point, if we spent time in analyzing the issues objectively discourse would be better. However, that means both sides have to play.

    All the best

    If you want to see the power imbalance just watch this vid

    This month’s bestseller in Germany called ‘Gekaufte Journalisten’ or ‘Bought Journalists’ in English uncovers the practice of journalists being paid money to distort particular news stories.

    #The book is now ranked seventh in the list of best sellers in Germany

    Talks of bribery, spies and cover-ups could easily be mistaken for a script from a Bourne movie. According to the book’s author, ex-journalist Udo Ulfkotte, journalists can be bought to put a specific twist on news stories.

  13. Tautoko Mangō Mata 13

    One of my favourite websites is Common Dreams which has this explanation in the About Us page.

    “Common Dreams is a non-profit independent newscenter created in 1997 as a new media model. By relying on our readers and tens of thousands of small donations to keep us moving forward — with no advertising, corporate underwriting or government funding — Common Dreams maintains an editorial independence our readers can count on.

    We are optimists. We believe real change is possible. But only if enough well-informed, well intentioned — and just plain fed up and fired-up — people demand it. We believe that together we can attain our common dreams.
    What we value.

    We share our readers’ progressive values of social justice, human rights, equality and peace. Common Dreams is committed to not only being your trusted news source, but to encouraging critical thinking and civic action on a diverse range of social, economic, and civil rights issues affecting individuals and their communities.”

    I don’t know whether we are large enough to financially support a similar model to Common Dreams in NZ. The Standard is more of a forum for discussion. We do need to do something, however. The fact that the Herald has had a couple of decent articles in the last couple of days just gives us the sense of what it would be like if our media dealt with the issues in a fair and reasonable way. However I am cynical of the chance of this continuing when I consider the disgraceful biased articles written over the last few years.

  14. Once was Pete 14

    Red Logix above. Your response is a fine illustration of the comments I was making. Firstly, I am nearly 70, and that means I have probably voted Labour more times than 90% of the people on this site.
    Second, what does raping the planet have to do with anything I said above? Nothing. But instead of discussing you fall back on tired old scare mongering. If you don’t like what is said lets find something bad to say about the person who said it. I didn’t share any of my overall views because this wasn’t the place or the post for it. This was about how we conduct ourselves on social media.
    Your nappreciation is noted, and you are welcome.

    • RedLogix 14.1

      So you are old enough to recall life before Rogernomics.

      Yes the good old days were not always so very good – but my view is that life is a balance of personal self-interest and social good. And that 35 years of neo-liberal madness has tilted the balance away from the latter – towards the former.

      And that if wanting to restore that balance looks like “stuck in a time warp and forever looking backward” to you – then I have no answer for you.

      Besides I note you present no alternative vision. Without which you will just get more of the same – call that scaremongering if you wish.

  15. Clemgeopin 15

    @mickysavage
    In the last paragraph did you mean Nicky Hager’s or Cameron slater’s, in this sentence:

    ‘ I believe the Standard has an important role to play but the effectiveness of Nicky Hager’s particular form of journalism is impossible to ignore.

    • mickysavage 15.1

      Hi Clemgeopin. I was referring to Hager. TS is good for comment and framing but does not have the investigative resources or ability that Hager has. It would be a very helpful addition.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 15.1.1

        What would it require?

        1. A tipline 😈
        2. The time and resources to diligently verify information received.
        3. The resources to withstand inevitable legal challenges from the usual suspects.

  16. Once was Pete 16

    Hot Potatoe above. Actually, to a certain extent I think all parties in power are excessive to a greater or lesser extent. I think that is a cricism that couls be levelled at the last term Clarke Clark government equally as well as the current one. I don’t like either.
    But thanks for your comment – that is the sort of dialogue that is meaningful. As an aside there are other blogs out there that express a wide range of views and where the commenters are a whole lot more rational than at WO or TS. But like it or not these two are the heavy hitters in terms of readership on each side.
    Cheers.

    [lprent: There are various traps for misspellings of peoples names. I use them as traps for trolls. ]

  17. wonderpup 17

    Do we want to just create a slightly glossier echo-chamber? One of the problems of being on the left is that you generally take things a tad more seriously than the right. When empathy leaves the room, you can have all sorts of fun that those that take things like poverty seriously can’t. Humour, as John Cleese said, is about bad things happening to people: you can make a funny movie about St Francis of Assisi, but a bird would have to shit on him.

    I think there is a role for a left media source, and it isn’t the Daily Blog. Or the Standard. Both of these are great things, and I even turn my ad-block off for them. I wish I had the answer.

  18. SHG 18

    The only thing we can be assured of is that whatever it is the progressive users of social media do, Clare Curran will publicly criticise them and demand that they stop.

  19. Pawsharkial 19

    WO is a wall to wall fraud, with actual visitor numbers under 15000/ day:

    http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2014/08/17/are-whaleoils-traffic-stats-a-bloated-illusion/#!prettyPhoto

    If TS wanted to play the same game of paying a botnet to inflate the visitor numbers, then all that would achieve would be to cost more server time. The artificially boosted numbers that ensure WOBH’s top ranking in political blog traffic are not what lets Slater &co implant stories in the MSM. It is the complicity of the media that allows this to happen.

    Cat videos are not going to help the site’s mission of being being the voice of the NZ labour movement. We should concentrate on what we do well and not let the disingenuous deflect us.

    • SHG 19.1

      The Dailyblog repost of Dimpost’s stats doesn’t prove anything. The conclusion is “when Whaleoil refers to me in a post not as many people visit my site as when Kiwiblog refers to me”. Says nothing about Whaleoil’s traffic volume.

  20. RedBaronCV 20

    Good Thinking MS
    Well if we can’t get rid of Key then we need him doing what suits us?
    So what do we know
    – there is a level of response from the RW to the social media – the malayasian diplomat row ( sometimes I think the pressure needs to be kept on – roastbusters so it doesn’t slide)
    -sometimes I get the feeling that MSM reads sites like this and picks up on facts that they use to follow up the story and the the story shuts off.
    – comments on many MSM stories counter the main spin but that is only online. This isn’t organised by the left so we can rely on a degree of crowd sourcing. So much so that none of the Hager stories that I saw could be commented on. (Wreck the server country I suspect)

    – the focus groups matter – read the tea leaves but JK going on about “how they would not be arrogant” implies focus group concern that they may. Now he won’t do anything different but a site like this could put up tea leaf insight posting of the week so that the crowd can form around that as they blog.
    – items get dropped if focus groups don’t care – the flag debate for the election died pretty quickly. Again solid social media trashing contrasting this to poverty did the trick.
    – look at some way of grouping the left media better. There is plenty of good commentary out there. A link is never as powerful as a teaser so use the RSS feeds with greater ordering. Some people like me go through and open every item of interest and then sit down and read the lot.

    -Play then at their own game.
    Mount a crowd takeover bid. Later this year APN wants to float 60% of the herald and other bits and pieces. A lot of these shares will go to pension funds and the like but tactical buying of small parcels by left inclined individuals ( disclaimer this is not investment advice as I am not suggesting that anyone will make money out of this) gives a bunch of shareholders who can file motions that have to go to the stock exchange and make waves about poor performance, salary caps etc. Serious individual shareholders don’t like this much as it pushes price down but oddly enough pension funds may not be so negative. Maybe we can get at least part of the MSM responding to a wider range of public views which over time may bring up readers, profits and maybe it could be a giveaway.

    Dribble driiblle…

  21. Ron 21

    Seems to me if we want to rethink social media a good place would be to encourage Labour to improve its use of Social Media. The use of such media over the last year has been dismal compared with say the Greens.
    There are no doubt many Labour people that could do a better job of managing the media than whoever is currently managing it. Have a look at Red Alert last posting was Darien in July.

  22. The Lone Haranguer 22

    285,000 folk a month read WO?

    Thats a massive amount of people, and the few times I have been there, the whole deal just seemed to be trash.

    So perhaps the bigger question for the Left, is how/why does that site get so much traffic when theirs dont get those sorts of numbers?

    Is it because:
    The Right all congregate pretty much in one space (sort of like the Nats)
    The Left arent very collegial so everyone has their own blog (sort of like how it takes 4 leftish parties to equal the Nat party vote numbers)

    • “..The Left arent very collegial..”

      i’m going with that ‘b’-answer..

      ..i am..in fact..astounded by just how un-‘collegial’ the left are..

      ..with examples far too many to cite..

      ..no outside forces need to divide and rule them..

      ..they do it to/for themselves..

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