No, not because we’ve overtaken Kiwiblog in readership just yet (although ours is growing at a healthy 10% a month) but because I don’t think we can call Kiwiblog a political blog any more.
1) A blog is meant to be writers giving their views on issues; a web-based log of their thoughts, if you will. If you read Kiwiblog, you’ll have noticed there a lot of cut and paste jobs. I did some of my own cutting and pasting – Kiwiblog’s front page into Word – and learned that 74% of the words were quoted from another source. Entire posts have no words from DPF apart from “The Herald reports”. So, rather than a blog, Kiwiblog might be described as a news aggregator.
2) Just 6 of 25 posts on the front page contained any political analysis beyond the level of quoting someone else and saying “indeed”. It’s normal to see the occasional political post in a non-political blog. So if we’re still to consider Kiwiblog a blog, we shouldn’t think of it as a political one.
3) There are 3 posts that are actually just ads for David Farrar’s business interests – one each on Ffunnell, ipredict*, and Powershop. Each of them talks about the companies but fails to mention that Farrar has a financial interest in them. So, rather than being a blog, it’s more an exercise in embedded advertising.
Thus, we can now consider The Standard to be New Zealand’s most-read political blog. With our growth rate we were going to get there soon enough anyway, so it’s a little bit of a shame to take the crown by default. Still a win’s a win and they all look the same in the book.
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Gentle ribbing aside, did you see the fast one DPF pulled last week?
He put up a post noting that the ipredict stock on Jim Anderton announcing his retirement this year had been increasing and strongly suggesting that someone was buying with inside knowledge (which is all well and good). The stock rose further on that news. A couple of hours later DPF put up an update purporting to be an email from Jim Anderton saying he was not retiring. The stock crashed but, as he wrote, DPF had been able to get out first.
Deciding how to realise information to the market and when allowed DPF to make a tidy sum of money in a couple of hours. It seems that goes beyond the mere use of insider information, which is good in a predictions market, to actively manipulating the market, which is at least unethical.
You have to wonder too, who had pushed the stock up in the first place to lay the grounds for the bait and switch if there was no underlying truth to it. It could be that DPF pulled a pump and dump.
ipredict is DPF’s company If DPF wants to use his power as an information distributor to rip people off that’s his business but I’ve closed my ipredict account.
– Marty G