Blogging in a leftward direction

Last time I mentioned this I earned a bit of flack from Jeff Sparrow at Leftwrites. So I guess I should be a bit more circumspect this time.

I do indeed have a left blogging project in the works which seeks to supplement the discussion that is already in play on the web among us lefties. It nonetheless seeks not to be in competition with anyone's share of cyberspace traffic.

I had in the past been engaged in a more formally constituted GreenLeft Bloggers project which was being engineered as an adjunct to that publication. But, you know, blogging is a long way from newspapery. It is closer -- it is true --to the work of newspaper columnists, but blogging has a certain audacious spontaneity that is not contained by a sub edit or a word limit.

So blog words aren't always weighed words. That may seem to be a bit of a problem in way of articulating a POV. But a blog post is an open business. It cannot help but lead with its chin. If someone doesn't like what you have to say then they are just as likely as not to say so.

And before you know it it's quid pro quo defending yourself.

So it is a very different presentation of the written word. There is ready feedback and ready brickbat. So you are waving your arse in cyberspace with the off chance that someone will kick it.

It's the politics of the"Nah! Nah! Nah!"

So I reckon there should be more of it. Am I wrong to think so?

Anyway, I have this notion in my head(which is no longer just a notion nor just in my head) for a particular package that will appeal, if at all (there's always that chance), to a particular audience. So far, my discussions have been fruitful with these others I hope to engage.

I have, in fact, decided on a name and am currently tweaking the blog template. I really like the name though. But I'm not sharing that for the moment.

I'm still in beta.

Like all enterprises like this, you start somewhere and you "build". But I've grown out of that fixation that marks a blogging newbie that is so precious about questions of reach and readership.

Since I'm not signed up to an Adsense franchise I can afford to ignore such statistical terrors.

But in way of explanation here's a bit of pontification on my part:
Well. The GLW list , which I have been on for all of its existence is very useful. But because of its nature it is hard to format discussions as they are so easily highjacked by trolls and the like.

Blogs are different as I'm not interested in simply retailing viewpoints but in registering particular points of view that open up a broad wide ranging discussion within the very free format of blogging.

There are some blogs on the left that seem to work well in that regard -- Stan Goff's blog has for a time, the Socialist Unity Network blog has really taken off in that regard...there is a buoyancy available to blogs that isn't accessible through the sort of formalities required in elists, where introducing topics usually has to ride upon a cut and paste posting.

And this is not an exercise in competition but one I guess of nourishment. where we try to prove -- touch wood -- that the left can have a focused discussion about what to do with what we have by drawing on the experience of a few activists from all over. The problem with elists in that regard is that thread and discourses are easily lost -- buried by day's end, in some cases, so that they are hard to sustain and enrich. They get jumbled up and displaced by fresh content and distractability.

This happens in blogs but there is a longer potency -- a longer shelf life..

Nor is this a blog like some which are a sort of reference hub(as I have done with GreenLefts:LeftGreens ). I'm hoping to get some chit chat going as much between bloggers as blog visitors. I've learnt a lot from the GLW elist exercise which is along with Marxmail the most successful of the far left elists but it is becoming clearer to me that there has been a discussional focus and preference away from the enclosed framework of elists to the openness of blogging and the sort of engagement offered there --where you can as easily respond to a topic as create your own.

And any traffic doesn't have to subscribe to post -- so you can involve many more and different voices.

So I'm thinking -- and it's all schematic, I grant you -- about sharing views among those who want to share them for the sake of discussing them.Lenin's Tomb, while a very useful blog and news resource, houses the most shallow discussions it seems to me as one liner commentaries pick at each other and take the exchange no where special.

I can proceed this as a purely Australian exercise, but I think we've learnt that through the GLW list we can involve off shore POVs which serve to enrich the exchange greatly. That's hasn't been done before that I know off in a socialist left blog*.

The other angle I'm keen on is to use this to service a sort of broader community of left blogs by encouraging traffic to go visit you or Bob or whatever in the course of their blog surfing. Thats' important. It's a very broad package in that sense: a hub thing -- go do the tour.

The other part of the story is that I'm wearing this and it is not a project formally adhered to something else (aside from my Ratbag Radio Network activities).

I fear blogs won't work outside the entrepreneurial & passionate touch of engaged administrators/owners. They are very different from journals or the standard left newspaper. Very personalised excercises akin more to the newspaper columnist.

So a lot of my experiences blogging and such is being invested in my rather rough approach to this exercise which is so fresh I've haven't gone very far yet since I grappled with the core hurdle of a name.
*However, Bob Morris has signed me & a few others from hither and yon to his excellent Politics in the Zeroes blog.

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