Surely think-tanks should be ideal forums for political blogging.  But there are none*. Why?

Our attempt, http://www.freethink.org, only ever received comments from people trying to sell me Ugg boots.  Or Viagra.  This is despite me writing some 100 excellent posts about all sorts of things, none of them footwear related or much connected to erectile malfunction. (Maybe that was my mistake).

My reasoning: ‘institutional’ blogs look and feel terrible.  You need individual personality.  And the software for Freethink.org was terrible – hard to enter comments, feel up to date.  And it looks a bit like the gym locker of the Death Star.

*yes, I like this link for being nice to me.

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3 thoughts on “Stephen Tall asks a great question

  1. Agree re institutional blogs. And I think it’s almost subconcious. I did know about the Freethink blog, and I suspect it was purely the presence of the Centre Forum logo that put me off reading it properly. Which is mad, because in three lines I could have discovered that the writing/ideas etc were engaging.

    It just shows what a lot of background processing I do when browsing that I’m not aware of. I suppose because there is so much choice on the internet and so little time to sift it properly, people get attuned to even the tiniest offputting signals.

  2. The reason I came to your blog rather than the excellent 100 post one is that you engaged in comments at another site and I felt engaged enough in what you had to say to track you down. It’s doubtful whether thinktanks can/want to do that, but it’s essential in a crammed blogosphere to do so or no-one will ever pick up on you; the Iain Dale days, when the blogosphere was less populated and he could gain a folllowing simply by writing stuff are gone.

  3. I should have mentioned that factor. Trackback/pingback is huge – particular for those big sites like LibCon and Liberal Vision. A really great idea. Or a total pain, depending on whether you want to know what everyone is saying about you

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