Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Tuesday 8 May 2007

They come and they go - blogs, that is

The recent Scottish elections (Parliament and Local Government) have high-lighted once again a phenomenon that I have come to recognise - just as one recognises the seasons by the migratory habits of birds such as swallows.

Six or so months before an election there is a flurry (collective noun) of new blogs - usually partisans of one or other of the political parties and with a definite agenda in mind.

A couple of weeks before the election a few of these new blogs will simply disappear or will cease to be updated.

Within a week of the election having taken place a few of the 'flurry' will announce they no longer plan to keep the blog going, or that if they do continue it will be in some different format or with a different theme; a few will ask for guidance or suggestions from readers as to what form the new blog (or continuing online presence) should take. I never give advice of this kind, but if I did decide to do so it'd be: "Do what YOU want for as long as YOU wish to do it. No-one else can tell you whether you should blog or what you should blog about. You must make these decisions for yourself."

Within three months of the election almost all of the 'flurry' will have disappeared or stopped updating completely.

I first observed this phenomenon during the last Scottish Parliament elections in 2003, there was a 'lesser flurry' surrounding the 2004 European Parliament elections, but for the General Election of 2005 the 'flurry' was much greater again and one of the bloggers from that 'flurry', after taking time out for almost a year after the election, has since transformed his blog to become one of the most popular political blogs in the UK. The 'flurry' of 2007 has been almost as great; I will be intrigued to see which, if any, are still around in six months (I have my private views on this matter, but they will remain strictly private - so don't bother asking).

I shall look forward to the next election 'flurries' coming along for the European Parliament elections (2009), the General Election (could be anytime upto 2010, most likely 2008 or 2009 I suppose) and of course for the next Scottish Parliament elections (2011, assuming the probable SNP [minority?] Executive lasts that long).

Meantime I will be continuing to observe (and in a small way participating in) the 'ways of Bloggers'.

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