I was just reading the RG online and came across the article on the Anguillan blogger Don Mitchell of the blog ‘Corruption-free Anguilla’ concerning his thoughts on Limey’s decision to cease blogging.
I’ve already commented on this state of affairs on the recent post ‘State of the Bermy Blogosphere’ and don’t see the need here to repeat myself. What caught my eye though was the ‘related stories’ bit which had the title ‘The Bermuda Blogosphere Pt. 2: Where is the PLP?’
This article was written almost exactly one year ago, on January 13th, 2007. It involves a brief discussion of how the Bdian blogosphere is dominated by pro-UBPers and, at that, white males.
The blogs that it refers to, and were indeed the predominant blogs at that time were Limey’s, IMHO, BravoZulu and Politics.bm. At that time I considered Limey’s site a neutral-liberal blog; when he came back after a hiatus he publically declared his site as anti-PLP and pro-UBP. Politics.bm is an avowedly pro-UBP site, as is IMHO.bm (albeit to a lsightly lesser extent than Politics.bm). I am not so sure of the allegiances of BravoZulu, I have always considered it a neutral-liberal blog.
One important quote of the article was:
“In the Bermuda blogosphere theres apparently no website with a pro-Government, pro-PLP message.”
Indeed, this was the main focus of that article. It is true that both this blog and a fore-runner of the existing Progressive Minds site was in existence at that time, however both blogs were in the midst of working out some serious bugs, with this site not really making a public splash until February, and the Progressive Minds site was similarly made public shortly therafter. The PLP website was relaunched later that year, and also included a blog component on it. Within a month then of that article the Bda blogosphere went from no pro-government pro-PLP blogs to two, and soon after to three. A third blog Bda Str8 No Chaser formed towards the end of last year and brought that total of pro-PLP blogs to four.
So today, almost exactly one year since that article one sees quite a change in the structure of the Bda blogosphere. Of the four blogs referred to in that article, one has officially ceased activity, two others have been dormant at least since the election and show no intention of reactivating to date, and only Politics.bm continues. I personally include New Onion as a UBP blog, and see the Vexed Bermoothes blog as at least anti-PLP and possibly pro-UBP (but I admit its hard to make the distinction between anti-PLP and pro-UBP). There is also the extremist blogs of Sal’s and the conservative spin-off of the BdaSucks forum.
This brings the total of active pro-UBP blogs (if including Vexed) to four.
The total of active pro-PLP blogs today is now four as well. Of these two are directly under the control of the Party or its Youth Wing.
I cannot speak for Vanz (and he is certainly more than able to speak for himself), but when I set out to really get this blog going, my intention was that it remain pro-PLP (to the principles of progressive labour as I understand them at least) but INDEPENDENT of the Party and the Party Line itself. I chose to do this for various reasons, mostly due to my own ideological libertarian socialism/Marxism. I did not beleive I could blog if I was subject to Party Line control. Besides, I feel that blind allegiance to the Party Line is a recipe for political disaster, and that the Party is not always right and needs to be challenged with constructive criticism, and thought that an independent blog such as this would allow me to do so; and it has to date.
Of the other political blogs out there you have Denis’ 21 Square and Tryangles’ Beach Lime. I had catergorised both as neutral liberal blogs in light of the existing PLP/UBP dichotomy. Both have indicated their preference of being seen as Green blogs ideologically.
This leaves two more political blogs.
So the Bdian blogosphere roughly falls into the following categories:
Four UBP blogs balanced by four PLP blogs.
Two Liberal/Green blogs.
One Neutral forum (Bda Sucks – albeit dominated by anti-PLPers).
Two race-extremist blogs (there is an overlap of with the UBP here).
Two libertarian socialist blogs (there is an overlap with the PLP here).
As a whole the UBP and PLP blogs are roughly complimentary, and the remaining blogs demonstrate quite a good political diversity for the size of our country.
It is a bit harder to do a racial break-down of the blogs, and this is of course quite an emotional area. In the article from one year ago it spoke of how the Bda blogosphere remained dominated by white males. I would roughly say that of the blogs listed above the race ratio is something like six white males, one mixed race male, one native american male, and four black males. Its particularly hard with the collective blogs (the two forums, the PLP blog, the PM blog and Onion Patch) to quantify, but I have put them at two white males, and three black males based on the dominant admins of those sites. I totally admit that this isn’t exactly scientific here, but I think it does show that in general the blogopshere has become more racially diversified than it was one year ago, based on the admins of the respective sites. There is a general perception though that blog users and lurkers remain white majority dominated, but this is almost impossible to confirm.
It should be highlighted however that while racially the blogosphere has improved in its diversity, on the basis of gender the blogs remain male controlled. There are female posters, users and lurkers, but even there one has the perception that this category is overwhelmingly dominated by males. Hopefully a year from now will find this situation better addressed, just as one year has seen a poltical balance and increased ideological and racial diversity in blogs (if not users and lurkers) from the situation when that article was written. What can be done to increase female participation/control of the blogosphere?
Anyway, just some general reflections.