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The future of blogging in Aotearoa New Zealand

Written By: - Date published: 11:25 am, August 19th, 2018 - 54 comments
Categories: blogroll, blogs, clickbait, David Farrar, dpf, journalism, Media, The Standard, video - Tags:

Morgan Godfery is the writer of the excellent Maui Street blog which gave a real inside view into Maori politics. He has resurrected the blog and made it subscriber based. For the modest amount of $60 per year his analysis will go straight to your inbox as well as being available online.

His example of seeking financial recompense is not unusual. Blogging is a rather intense hobby, demanding that you are on top of current events but also understand the history of issues. Good bloggers are concise but also comprehensive, and able to describe complicated events simply. Morgan is one of the best bloggers in my view and is also able to offer an insight into Maori politics that few are capable of providing.

His skill at describing current events and also providing historical perspective and the absolutely vital whakapapa background is elegantly captured in the first paragraph of his latest post:

For students of Māori politics, this is worth remembering: land reforms end even the best careers. “Toitū he kāinga, whatu ngarongaro he tangata.” The land remains when the people disappear. Criticism over Āpirana Ngata’s land reforms forced his resignation from the ministry in 1934, the end of an otherwise glittering career in law and politics. Matiu Rata walked away from Labour over compromises his leader, the so-so Bill Rowling, sought in Māori policy, including compromises over the Waitangi Tribunal’s power to return stolen land. The mere act of proposing changes to the Māori Land Act helped put Te Ururoa Flavell out of the job at the last election, and the so-called #ArdernConfiscation could make Flavell’s successor, Labour’s Tāmati Coffey, a one-termer.

Or so the Māori Party thinking goes. The party’s national executive is meeting next week and some of the big chiefs are keen to confirm Rawiri Waititi, an ex-Labour candidate, as their man in Waiariki in 2020. This is inspired. Waititi is a leader in Te Whānau-ā-Apanui, a ‘tūturu’ iwi at Waiariki’s edges, and a politician in the best tradition of Dame Tariana Turia. In other words, he left Labour on a principle. In his words, “mana motuhake”. There are very few theoretical candidates who could defeat a Labour incumbent – could Flavell do it again, or even Annette Sykes? – except Waititi, a bloke who learned at the foot of Dame June Mariu. Former MPs Tuku Morgan and Tau Henare were his neighbours. Former Labour Minister John Tamihere is his father-in-law.

His description of Lauren Southern in an earlier post is also exquisite:

Southern’s world tour arrives in Auckland this evening, an “alt-lite” treat for the country’s exceedingly small fascist scene. We can expect Southern’s greatest hits. In the UK she marched through Luton handing out leaflets reading, among other things, “Allah is gay,” the adult equivalent of drawing a dick in the school toilets. In Australia she turned up in Lakemba, a supposedly “sharia-ruled” suburb in Sydney, asking “do you see many British pubs?”

The locals pointed her across the road to the Lakemba Hotel, where VB’s Aussie green is plastered over the front wall…

His blogging model is an interesting one, indicative that blogging is not for the faint hearted and to make a proper go of it you have to have some way to at least replace income otherwise lost. I hope he succeeds and that it provides him with the head space to write more often.

Various models already exist in New Zealand’s blogosphere. Richard Harman’s Politic provides timely insider analysis of recent events and is also on a subscriber basis. Russell Brown’s Publicaddress and Stephanie Rogers Bootstheory (haven’t seen any recent posts) both rely on Presspatron crowd funding.  I am not aware how this is working out.

Of the big political blogs Kiwiblog has this appalling mess of advertising which push such relevant merchandise as introductions to potential brides from the Ukraine.  Whaleoil is one awful mess of clickbait. Neither site strike the sense of fear that used to be caused in the past.  And the Daily Blog, which relies on financial support from various unions, is getting into some weird places although they did show sense in not posting this particularly weird piece by Chris Trotter about how multiculturalism is bad.

And here at the Standard we are trucking along, thanks mainly to the generosity and commitment of lprent.  Unlike the other blogs it is a very low cost model and provides a sense of freedom no other blogs have.

We could use a couple of more writers.  I suspect that a new theme and a refresh would be helpful.  And it might be time to consider a Paetron model and a possible use for the resources.  Perhaps the occasional video interview, something that Bradbury was not too bad at but which has since disappeared.

Looking forward to reading your thoughts.

54 comments on “The future of blogging in Aotearoa New Zealand”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    The amount of bullshit Morgan Godfrey manages to tweet everyday makes me skeptical he’ll have anytime whatsoever for blogging.

    But snark aside, if his tweets are any guide I doubt that unless you have an interest in the forensic dissection of Maori Party grievances you would bother.

    The model that seems to work (if twitch and youtube are any guide) is to offer a multi-platform model with as many convenient micro-transactions options as possible and push them shamelessly. Thus, push your posts to FB, have an instagram connection to your images, run a youtube channel, etc etc.

    patreon, likes, cheers, merchandise, etc etc etc and either an unbounding enthusiasm or the mindset of the shameless hustler seems to be what works.

    Also, I have noticed youtube channels where attractive girls try on bikinis have high numbers of subscribers. Not sure if that is immediately applicable to politics though.

    • Ad 1.1

      Yes more bikini jams, more labrador puppies, and some new car adverts, before we get to Hipkins explaining the House for the week – yes please.

      Sometimes this place is like eating four dry Weetbix.

      Mickey if LPrent is really busy could we not get some volunteers to do some redesign on it?

      • greywarshark 1.1.1

        Oh come off it Ad. And stick your bikinis up your earhole sanctuary. If people can’t think through stuff then don’t bother. Fuck it it is one place not serving up women’s pages or entertainment stuff. Jonathan Pie and so on are light, and have a point. If you want kitties go to reddit, they have whole sectors of their site catering for those lighter moments.

        We get poems, music lyrics, we get music links, youtube links, quotes from people who put in five words what others like me need 50 for. It is interesting and I don’t want the place diluted by the candy floss in life; or ways of not following the dramas of real life, more scary than horror movies. Watching, reading, fiction is always comfortable, a glad I am not there, or wish I was, and a way of going off piste to get pissed. (We get jokes too, often bad ones.) If your weetix are too dry, pour some liquid of your taste on it, and watch it sog into a mass good for toothless old people. (I’m in that category but don’t wish to join you.l)

      • lprent 1.1.2

        I’d be happy to have other help. But basically it is a matter of wrapping a wordpress theme over the wordpress base. And getting enough time to point out all of the hacks that don’t need breaking.

        But fortunately (because I am starting to get frigging tired after 3 years of straight learning curve) my work commitments will largely die off at year end.

        I have one more round in Singapore soonish for up to another two months and then I think mostly becomes largely maintenance – a process that is going to surprise the hell out of me I suspect. It’d be the first time since about 1994 that I haven’t been doing projects.

        Have to get another car. My 20yo Caldina died on the way back from Rotorua last week and I suspect that at 260k km it isn’t that recoverable. While I have an ebike for commuting, I don’t think that will get me to Rotorua to see my dad.

        Oh and I have to finish bankrupting the dimwitted arsehole Dermot Nottingham for the $47k in court judgements. I figure that will help to educate the technical illiterate run a private prosecution against me for a post on the site that I didn’t write and that wasn’t actionable.

        I can see why that dipshit and Cameron Slater spend so much time plotting together. They are both legally idiots.

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    Morgan Godfrey

    It’s Godfery. I think that’s the second or third time seen you get it wrong.

    [Feck. Corrected – MS]

  3. Ad 3

    I’d like to know who reads my stuff, not just comments on it.

    • greywarshark 3.1

      Yes how many people are you reaching is a question? If nobody comments on one’s stuff, is anyone bothering with all the info and links and reasoning and history, and future scenarios being carefully presented?

      Weka and Tracey trained me to put resource links etc and helped us set a tone for a lively, not denigrating, but robust and not ingratiating tone. Having achieved that how do we find the size of our observer numbers?

      • greywarshark 3.1.1

        Ad
        I am wondering if you would now like to add a likes or not likes button for each comment? There were reasons advanced against it before but it if a way of encouraging feedback, and perhaps people might think there are too many negatives or positives and feel inclined to make a comment on that.

        I like the ideas of all comments still being made on the same post though – some seem to be filtered off as feedback under a comment that have to be clicked on to be seen. If there were too many sub-comments like that perhaps there could be room for a minor post away from the original?

      • lprent 3.1.2

        It shows up in the google analytics.

        • greywarshark 3.1.2.1

          Okay
          But I had the feeling that Ad was referring to a way of identifying interest immediately, who is, how many are, reading and watching today’s, this present offering. Ad could you comment.

          And the google analytics – are you saying that they will show the number of views, time, etc spent on individual posts? I did one a few years ago I think in karol’s time which was on the supermarket chains in Australia and here and the various nefarious ways they behaved. It didn’t seem to get much comment and I was uneasily reminded of how many comments flow in on personalities of our pollies and their fabled follies and foibles. With a bit more encouragement that I had some effect from my offerings I might get to and rattle my dags. At least I know that bwaghorn would know what I meant in using that term even if no-one else looked at the post.

          • greywarshark 3.1.2.1.1

            @lprent
            And by the way Lynn while you are here, is there a way to get back the function of being able to search for a word, or even just to scan one’s own comments through the search function at the top? I only get some post written in 2014. I don’t imagine that it is only me that can’t access search and i can’t bear to have replies showing up on my email. I have to try and keep my life a bit compartmented before i end up in a home for the bewildered.

    • bwaghorn 3.2

      I read most of yours . Barely comment due to being at risk.pf making a fool of myself.

      • greywarshark 3.2.1

        Bollocks bwaghorn. I have heard you say the same before and honestly you don’t make a fool of yourself, and I know all about being a fool! You are honest and have worthwhile opinions.

        I reckon you would agree that if people back their opinions up with an anecdote or say well that’s how it seemed to me, and others can explain to me why I’m wrong, then that is the way to go to be able to see round a situation.
        And people aren’t too rude to others here so it’s a big enough pool for us all to jump in as long as we don’t mind getting a bit of backwash.

        • bwaghorn 3.2.1.1

          It’s more that ads posts tend to cover things I know little about . I tend to see them partly was brain stretchers as Ad rights complex posts .

          • greywarshark 3.2.1.1.1

            Just remember that no-one is right all the time. Ad is business oriented and thinks practically on those lines. DTB knows that capitalism has put a twist on everything and wishes we could go in a new direction. Everyone has a perspective formed by their own experience, observation and education. Together we could hammer out something worthy.

          • Anne 3.2.1.1.2

            bwaghorn, you have the ability to cut to the chase when everyone around you [including me] is rabbiting on with complicated analysis that are barely relevant to the issue at hand but which we imagine sound awfully clever. 😉

            • bwaghorn 3.2.1.1.2.1

              Thanks although i can her my ego rattling it’s cage wanting to break out and run amok.

    • marty mars 3.3

      I mostly read your posts and sometimes even agree. Diversity is important and I’d rather have posts to disagree with than no posts, so keep at it.

    • swordfish 3.4

      Ad

      I’d like to know who reads my stuff, not just comments on it.

      Here’s the full list:

      Paul Donaldson 42 MacAndrew St, Maori Hill, Dunedin
      Beth Tauroa 12a Rangitou Rd, Gisborne
      Ernest C Montgomery 127b Thornley Drive, Merivale, Christchurch
      Mike Papadopulous, 14 The Grange, Khandallah, Wellington
      Vernon F du Plessis, 55 Basin Rd, Rangiora
      Jennifer Weston-Farquarsson, 1 Owhiti St, Flat Bush, Auckland
      Ernst Wagenheneim, 77b Credibility St, Thames
      Mary C Smith, 119a Wagston Rd, Glenbervie, Whangarei
      Siaosi Pulepule, 12 Chichester Rd, Mangere South, Auckland
      Brian MacDonnell, 101 Zimmerman St, Invercargill
      Ethel Hannover-Brown, 61a Resolution Rd, Torbay, Auckland
      Stig O’Tracey, 99 Dunkelsbussen Ave, Pahiatua
      Peter Dodds, 7a Hitler Square, Gore

      • greywarshark 3.4.1

        What interesting non-kiwi sounding names and places.
        Though Beth and Siaosi could be real. Love Dunkelsbussen Ave and Hitler Square, Credibility Square.

  4. greywarshark 4

    I think we need to support the standard. It has a fresh openness – through open mike – welcomes people to have a go, start thinking and justifying what you think if you can. And read other people going through the same process. This is still new territory for the vast majority of NZs. And participating in the discussion can take a lot of time, especiallly if you are trying to be well informed about the different sides, and put relevant links so others can access the current founts of wisdom, and decide for themselves how reliable a picture they paint.

    I already pay to TS the small sum of $20 per month on auto payment. I can’t afford much and am trying to support a number of important platforms, have done to wikipedia, etc. If you want better, then you have to encourage people who are carrying the banner and doing good work I say. Otherwise you’re part of the decline. It’s black and white. You can feel better about yourself if you are doing something, knowing how big a lot of somethings can amount to!

    As one of the triers I am learning all the time. For those who don’t know what micky was talking about with paetron or whatever here it is:

    What is Patreon? – Types of questions – Zendesk
    https://patreon.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/204606315-What-is-Patreon-
    For creators, Patreon is a way to get paid for creating the things you’re already creating (webcomics, videos, songs, whatevs). Fans pay a few bucks per month OR per post you release, and then you get paid every month, or every time you release something new.

  5. Sacha 5

    Quite a few blogs and sites are now using the NZ-developed PressPatron funding platform – see list: https://www.presspatron.com/discover.html

    • greywarshark 5.1

      Cripes seems like every man, woman and her dog are registered with this crowd.

    • lprent 5.2

      Literally the only reason that I haven’t bothered with the various contribution platforms and the like is the low operational cost of the site outside of my occasional code work. The overall collection costs look higher in terms of my time than they are worth in terms of any returns or against the costs of the system.

      After I got back from Singapore in June (?), it now lives on a virtual machine inside my 16 core workstation. I’m a programmer who spend sa hell of a lot of time writing code in virtual machines (and my lonely Mac Mini) for work. TS has its own dedicated RAID SSD array but apart from that bit of dedicated hardware, it is just another ghost in the machine. Just like the various debian VMs, windoze VMs (CE, XP, 7, 10), and even an antique Redhat 9 VM on my work laptop.

      The only real cost is the $130 per month for a 100/100 fibre line. But I need the download part for netflix. Contributions are welcome. But really the hardest part is finding and retaining people to do the posts.

      • JC 5.2.1

        Tumeke Lynne!

        Yes more Posts/contributers would be ideal!

        But can handle “The Standard” aswi …

        kia ora!

        • greywarshark 5.2.1.1

          aswi anyone? If it/s rude you can still tell me.

          • greywarshark 5.2.1.1.1

            Thanks anyone (ironically). I didn’t understand aswi – it may be a typo or part of the condensed acronym language that the in people on the internet use because the internet is so helpful in spreading information and keeping us all in touch. /sarc

      • Sacha 5.2.2

        I thought the idea of PressPatron was to remove the overhead effort for you?

  6. marty mars 6

    Good luck to Morgan.

    Personally this monetize model doesn’t sit well with me due to the $. Certain progressive types have money and enjoy Morgan’s analysis. More useful to those wanting some understanding of Māori worldviews. Not so useful for radical leftie uppity smarty pants not worried about whether you like it or not Māori like me.

  7. Morrissey 7

    …this particularly weird piece by Chris Trotter about how multiculturalism is bad.

    When he speaks, he’s even worse….

    Open mike 14/06/2013

    Open mike 15/06/2013

    • greywarshark 7.1

      648511 etc
      I think that Trotter is lightly talking about political matters with people who are only capable of lightness. He presumably gets some payment and keeps himself current in the public eye and saves his deep thought for putting in his media releases that go onto his blog.

      He is probably not making as much as a junior MP. But he has to know what is going on and keep his contacts bright and shiny. Are you on the right post anyway?
      I think you are too censorious Morrissey.

      Those two links you supplied are more about Julian Assange not multiculturalism. Here is an excerpt from Chris Trotter where he explores the memes going around that often the left doesn’t agree with. Here he looks at the multi aspect of culturalism and how it is what is frequently heard about, not the biculturalism with Maori and pakeha as drivers of NZ together, or as much as Maori can get us to move over. Maori over some years have commented on the multi replacing the bi and noted that it is another wave of colonialism from people who are not emotionally or morally involved in supporting their tangata whenua rights.

      Chris Trotter’s Checkmate in Two Years?:
      https://bowalleyroad.blogspot.com/2018/08/checkmate-in-two-years.html
      There’s a saying, often attributed to Voltaire, which declares: “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticise.” The free speech controversy, by identifying multiculturalism as the concept Kiwis are not allowed to critique without drawing down the unrelenting wrath of its state-sanctioned and supported defenders, has caused many citizens to wonder when and how “nationalism” and “biculturalism” became dirty words.

      • in Vino 7.1.1

        + 1 Greywarshark. Trotter has more depth than some of his detractors appear to comprehend. A passionate stance is no substitute for an informed, dispassionate stance. Trotter often criticises the Left because he sees things to criticise. Passionate people leap in to revile him.

        • greywarshark 7.1.1.1

          so pleased to hear you say so In Vino. I have not liked some of the things he says but I like to hear different viewpoints so I can judge whether I should be changing my ideas – slightly? His ideas I think come from a desire to test current memes or check historical ones and refresh held opinions.

        • Morrissey 7.1.1.2

          I revile him because he mocks the suffering of political prisoners and windily defends the perversion passing for “justice” in the Deep South.

          He contributed nothing considered or intelligent to either of those discussions, he merely joined in the group expression of contempt in the first, and scolded anyone who dared to criticize Florida’s notorious court system in the other.

      • Morrissey 7.1.2

        Those two links you supplied are more about Julian Assange not multiculturalism.

        Fair comment, but my point was that Trotter is actually far from the progressive or compassionate person some people imagine he is. Even worse than his guffawing at and mockery of the suffering of Julian Assange was his defence of the Deep South jury that acquitted the murderer of Trayvon Martin….

        https://morrisseybreen.blogspot.com/2018/01/chris-trotter-reckons-zimmerman-jury.html

        • greywarshark 7.1.2.1

          Your such a hanging judge Morrissey.

          I looked up the 2013 Standard link you gave and read that and it seemed to
          that it was the sort of thing you would ned to do and say to appear to be having a conversation on radio. Making a sound of agreement or doiunt etc.

          Down below was a comment from felix who has not been read by many but I thought felix pretty good when around. And I would go with felix every time.

          felix 6.2.2
          20 July 2013 at 4:16 am
          Murray, that shouldn’t confirm anything for you for the simple reason that none of it actually happened.
          It’s not a transcript. It’s Morrissey’s “impressions”.

          Go listen for yourself before you take his word for it as his impressions, while frequently funny and well crafted, are notoriously inaccurate. In this example barely a word of it was actually spoken and what was is stripped of context.

          • Morrissey 7.1.2.1.1

            Your [sic] such a hanging judge Morrissey.

            ???!?!?!? That comment is ironic as well as wrong. I was criticizing Trotter for his endorsement of a Deep South jury’s acquittal of a brutal vigilante, and yet you call me a “hanging judge”???!!?

            it seemed that it was the sort of thing you would ned to do and say to appear to be having a conversation on radio. Making a sound of agreement or doiunt etc.

            I have taken part in many conversations with people whose views I radically differ from and occasionally abhor. Never have I felt the need to “make a sound of agreement” by mocking the suffering of a political dissident like Trotter did on this infamous occasion in 2013….

            Open mike 15/06/2013

            Down below was a comment from felix who has not been read by many but I thought felix pretty good when around. And I would go with felix every time.

            Ha! “I would go with Felix every time.” I’m sure people on this site are familiar with the rhetorical device of Arguing from Authority, but this is perhaps the first time we’ve met someone who has chosen to Argue from No Authority Whatsoever.

            • greywarshark 7.1.2.1.1.1

              Morrissey
              You are consistent, that is one assessment of you that can’t be denied surely. You think you are always right. That is another assessment that you would agree with.

              And really that is all there is to say about you. Better people than muself have pointed out ways you could improve but you being always right, know better.

              • Professor Longhair

                Breen is right in this instance, it seems to me.

                In what way could he be “improved”? Surely not by listening to that hopeless little tick Felix.

                • greywarshark

                  We get lots of hopeless little ticks here Prof so sorry if we don’t rise to your academic standard.

              • Morrissey

                You are consistent, that is one assessment of you that can’t be denied surely.

                Well, I am consistent in sticking up for the little guy/gal against the depredations of the state and its various agencies, including verbal assassination squads like Mora, Trotter, Scott and Baldacci.

                You think you are always right. That is another assessment that you would agree with.

                No, that’s not correct. I often own up to making fundamental errors, and I have changed and modified my views on many issues.

                And really that is all there is to say about you. Better people than muself [sic] have pointed out ways you could improve but you being always right, know better.

                Felix’s claims were firmly refuted and shown to be fantastical in that long and fractious exchange on June 15, 2013.

  8. Carolyn_Nth 8

    The TS point of difference from other major left wing blogs is it’s real time, fairly open, real time discussion forum.

    The Daily Blog focuses more on the posts by authors, and the discussion seems to be dominated by Bradbury cheerleaders, which gets boring.

    Public Address is somewhere in between – but it tends to attract MOR middleclass commenters.

    Bradbury, Trotter, Godfery and , I think, Rodgers, all want to make a living out of their posts/writing.

    Online forums and social media generally have become something of a problem in recent times because of the amount of abusive trolling. And there’s research showing women tend to be the most abused online, by a long way.

    But, all that means that, if TS is to maintain it’s point of difference, any user funding needs to be on a voluntary basis, so as not to exclude those with little money to spare.

    • greywarshark 8.1

      Women can always write under a pseudonym. Some of our feisty NZ feminists have done this in the 1800-1900s. Having had feminist fighters in the past working for better conditions doesn’t mean that today’s women can get an easy, perfect equality they seem to want. If women try to remain objective and let others have the right to differing opinions which can then be discussed, they would enjoy the experience.

      Feminists in England had to chain themselves to railings in the past, in more recent times in NZ they have chained up a man. Tit for tat. I don’t think that a forward move to better equality. In Britain they chose to go to jail and were force fed with a tube to the stomach when they went on a fast. One invaded the arena of the privileged and threw herself under the royal racehorse and was killed, and probably the horse too.

      Not getting a patronising space for the female opinion which must be treated delicately and respectfully would seem small problem to the doughty women of the past. So I suggest that the small amount of disagreement or abuse today that women receive here can be countered easily. On social media however, there is a very bad problem and something about it just this morning on Radionz.

    • Morrissey 8.2

      Public Address is somewhere in between – but it tends to attract MOR middleclass commenters.

      Outside of the bewildered pro-Hillary “liberals” in the U.S. it would be difficult to find a more credulous and easily manipulated group of people than the sad folk at Public Address. They were at their most abject after the death of Nelson Mandela….

      Open mike 30/12/2013

      Open mike 31/12/2013

    • Bill 8.3

      Bradbury, Trotter, Godfery and , I think, Rodgers, all want to make a living out of their posts/writing.

      Yup. And like any money earning venture, that chews up time and headspace. Plus, being a blog, a steady stream of posts is kinda crucial.

      And that’s a big point of difference with here. More or less anyone with a voice can be heard if they want to be heard – by submitting posts and/or becoming an contributor/author, or just through comments if that’s all the voice they want.

      And, of course, no-one here is trying to make a living off of writing here.

      If only more people felt inclined to take advantage of the unique opportunity that’s “ts” ….

  9. Incognito 9

    I believe the main reason why there haven’t been any posts on Boots Theory is because she became Press Secretary to Jan Logie.

  10. Incognito 10

    Hmmm, blogging is indeed not for the faint-hearted, speaking from my own experiences.

    Some blogs are a one-person show unlike TS.

    Some bloggers don’t bother with comments, which hugely simplifies life but makes it impossible to build a relationship with their readers (and other bloggers).

    Some bloggers are into monologues or streams of consciousness while others are quite interested in starting a dialogue/debate.

    Some blog because they have something to say and others because they are keen to hear/listen/learn …

    Given that MSM and social media are also vying for attention (and $$) I think you have to offer something extraordinary special to make a living from blogging or even earn just a few $$.

  11. millsy 11

    Blogging isn’t as easy as it looks. Having to keep content fresh every day and juggle it with other responsibilities really is an art. The internet is littered with blogs that have been started only to run out of steam after only a few months.

    Back in the old times, from 2000-2002 I had a blog that I posted to several times a day, on the old Open Diary website. It wasnt solely about politics, I was a bit of an incel/MRA/hard core social conservative back then *shudder* In my part of the country, we pioneered a lot of trends that are common in the late 2010’s. Unfortunately I was hacked and my entries were wiped. I never got the steam to maintain a blog like that again,

    Kudos to every blogger out there, regardless of party affiliation.

  12. Dennis Frank 12

    The future of political blogging hinges on whether participants really want to co-create our future via discourse or not. Sideline commentary is much easier than participation in the democratic process, but how much difference does it really make?

    If the commentator just want to mouth off, the status quo will persist. If the commentator wants to influence the political culture of Aotearoa, the option of becoming an active agent delivers the commentator from impotence, but how? In a party, personal autonomy gets constrained by conformity with consensus decision-making. Social and political progress only ever happens when participants agree.

    On a political blog that includes commentators with opinion-leaders, all you ever get is consciousness raising via the exchange of opinions. Political blogs can, in principle, be designed to apply more leverage than that on the process of democracy. I put one such radical collaborative design online in 2011 (still there). But working together for the common good is too hard for most players, and idiosyncratic individualism is rampant nowadays, so maybe impotent sideline commentary will remain the norm.

    • greywarshark 12.1

      Dennis Frank
      I think you state the position clearly. Yet it is important to present a range of opinions that the politically interested can survey, and those inclined to make necessary changes can find ways of introducing commenters ideas into their tightly controlled discourse (and even consensus can be controlled though it is a buzzword for participation of all.)

      Your final sentence, But working together for the common good is too hard for most players, and idiosyncratic individualism is rampant nowadays, so maybe impotent sideline commentary will remain the norm. is a major point. Ideas for doing something in a concerted manner just don’t fly, for various reasons.
      There was talk of a little radio platform, I have thought of policy preparation groups. I find in society that people who profess concern about the environment can have poor respect for others in working together as community. People can cover their lack of citizenship commitment and goodwill to others with a greenwash, and that showed up with Metiria’s case of trying to get her education and be a parent with inadequate income.

      How to burrow under the false beliefs of how good and moral we are and return to citizen commitment to each other which is needed to coalesce in disastrous climate change and disastrous lack of true community spirit in citizens and callous, seat-warming government, I don’t know. Bloody government sit around making 30 year plans, and concentrate on an uncertain future, instead of doing as well the immediate things that are possible and not greatly expensive, with exponential benefits in that uncertain future.

  13. Pablo 13

    At our niche minnow blog we decided early on not to try and monetarize it. That was because all of the original posters had other “real” jobs and the blog offered an opportunity to engage in more personal and ideological reflections about subjects that did not necessarily dovetail with our “real” work. Plus, we felt that as democratic socialists the appeal to money was distasteful. Nowadays it is down to me to hold the fort, something for which KP has been criticised but which is simply the result of my blogging colleagues being busy with other aspects of their lives. The original thrust of KP remains the same in spite of the lack of diversity in authorship.

    The decision to monetarise a blog likely reflects an attempt to make a living off of it or at least cover the costs of running it. At +/- 750 reads per week KP certainly cannot do that. So there is no point in giving up the day job to try to engage in full time for-profit blogging even for people like me who are self-employed. So we basically pay for the hosting and server charges (both WordPress) and write as we/I please about what we/I please. It may not be profitable but it can be cathartic at times.

    I also think that Twitter has absorbed much of the free political-focused writing as well as debased a lot of the commentary. Being a 140 character Twitterati snarkmeister is not quite the same as putting 800-1000 word posts together, which itself is nowhere like academic or other types of professional writing. Having said that, I enjoy reading the Twitterati’s quarrels, threads, memes and jokes as well as the news that is often provided on that platform, so in spite of its downside it has utlity in the pantheon of social media writing.

    KP allows comments but if someone clearly engages in trolling or just offers nonsense then they get the boot (not permanently at first). Characters such as Redbaiter and lolitasbrother/Paul Scott appear from time to time to inject some troglodyte opinion into the mix, but by and large the commentators are respectful and erudite. There have been a few occasions when I have lost it and railed at particularly annoying people but by and large KP tries to keep things civil. In fact, politely rebutting right-wingers seems to be the best means of driving them away. As Anita, one of the original KP founders, mentions in the about section of the blog, it is about coming in and having a discussion over a cup of tea. Not sure if that analogy still applies, but we try to be neither an echo chamber or a troll fest.

    Good luck to Morgan if he can make his subscription base work. His views are valuable and worth as broad a readership as he deems fir to serve.

Recent Comments

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