Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Green Blogs

Iain Dale, Tory ambassador to the blogosphere, recently published his top political blogs. [1]

But one of things that worried me about his lists, comprehensive though they are, is they appear to have a very narrow view of what a political blog actually is. When you realise they are divided into Tory, LibDem and Labour blogs you'll immediately see why I say this.

What about the anarchist blogs? The feminists? The Greens and the left of Labour blogs? Well, I suppose you can't expect a Tory to include them, but that's no reason to let him define what blogs are and are not political.

So, I've taken it on myself to compile the top 100 Green Blogs, and I hope others will take up the challenge to cover the other bases. To this end I've begun compiling a list of all the *UK* Green blogs I can find - and I'm already up to 50 but clearly I'd like your help to get any I've missed.

My criteria for inclusion are the blog must be focused on the environment or written by someone who is active in Green Politics (so there are quite a few Green Party councilors with blogs - I'm not going to check them for how much they talk about windfarms) they must be reasonably upto date (if the last post was in July you ain't getting in the best 100) they should qualify as a blog rather than a website or PR for a company, although obviously group blogs are acceptable.

Iain marked the blogs as follows "each blog out of ten on the following 10 areas: design; frequency of posting; writing ability; personality; comment; humour; range; interaction; popularity; independence of thought. This generated a mark out of 100" and I think the only way to be fair is to stick to this (pretty reasonable) format and do it properly. So, for example, if your blog looks terrible you will get zero for design (he said having looked at some of the 50 in utter disbelief and despair!)

If you go down the right hand column you'll find a list of green blogs - if you know of anyone missing from this who is from the UK, still posting to their blog and identifiably in the green spectrum let me know either in the comments box or by email. I'm quite looking forward to this.

24 comments:

stroppybird said...

More lists...

I think Stroppyblog should have its own category ...sex,shooting people and socialsim blogs :-)

AN said...

I am very impressed, that must have taken a lot of work

Jim Jay said...

tell me about it! I wonder if there are 100 Green blogs in the UK?

AN said...

More to the point is there one really really good one?

Jim Jay said...

There certainly are a few very very good green (with small g) blogs.

There are also a surprising number of green blogs who's content is very good but who's design renders them quite difficult to read - I'm almost thinking of writing an ABC on how to use blogger / how to lay out your site so people don't spontaneously vomit whilst reading - but that's yet more work so i probably wont - but it surprises me that people will go to the effort of having and writing for a blog but not spent a minute or two ensuring the post isn't totally fucked up and difficult to read... oh well

Lobster Blogster said...

My blog has the awful distinction of appearing between Peter Hitchens' and Jeffery Archer's blogs on Iain's non-aligned list. I am however a Green, having twice stood as a paper candidate in Watford.

I'm afraid Iain didn't even do the most basic of research when compiling his list and so produced an entirely crap list. If you're going to have a stab at something half-decent you are very welcome to add Lobster Blogster :o)

Jim Jay said...

Well I hope it may even be three quarters decent - thanks for the link and my regards to the future Mrs Lobster

Richard said...

Basically, Iain has constructed a faux listing based on nothing other than the subjectivity of "what he likes" and then dressed it up as some form of objective ranking.

In the final analysis, as with elections, there is only one real criterion - the number of people who cast their vote which, in blogging terms is the hit rate.

This actually reflects all (and more) of the criteria Iain specifies, multiplied by the number of people who visit (or don't visit) the site.

Anything else is simply the opinion of one person and, therefore, quite valueless (in the opinion of this one person) other than as an expression of that person's opinion.

Ellee said...

I often write on environmental issues and wanted to find some good greed blogs, so I shall look forward to seeing your list.

insatiable yucca said...

i have no attachment to the green party, but i guess mine should be a green blog by your standards. its even got a green name!

leon said...

Good stuff, and agreed political blogs other than party orientated once need more attention. Diversity is king!

sonia said...

I agree whole-heartedly that considering political blogs by 'party affiliation' is ridiculous and extremely narrow. in fact i'd go as far to say that as a large chunk of us can see that the big problemm with politics is the party system - we might be actually more political than some of these 'party' conformists.

sonia said...

i'll email you with some links - but again a lot of my suggestions may fall into the 'problem' of not being easily classified into one group or the other- which i think is the key to precisely why they're interesting! trying to classify people is patently ridiculous - a lot of these bloggers anarchist/green/liberal types some more of one than the other etc. I'll let you 'decide' if you want to include them in your list. but it does become problematic when so many interesting thinkers and writers who are not easily classified are 'left out'

Cheers!

Jim Jay said...

Richard: hit rate may be a useful indicator but it is not the only indicator of what a good blog is.

There are funny, well written blogs out there that haven't done the self publicity and there are blogs who are well read and much commented on but are just a bear pit and a place for people to argue.

Iain's list is not 'what he likes', for a start I don't believe he has time to regularly read hundreds and hundreds of blogs every week.

Also he does not pretend it's objective, he says on a number of occasions it's his subjective opinion - so you're criticising him for something he has already accepted.

So if you think "the opinion of one person... [is] quite valueless " then we're on different wave lengths altogether because, in my view, people's opinions *are* interesting.

Jim Jay said...

Others: good links there, keep 'um coming. I should clarify - I can remain consistent with Iain Dale (which I'm going to try to do) and not insist on party affiliation.

For instance Dave Osler's blog went under Labour even though he's not a member but a lefty journo (who spends most of his time criticising Labour)

So to qualify as a green blog you could be a green party member or an active member of another green group like FoE or GreenPeace or just blog on environmental issues - among other things.

I've had a couple of suggestions of blogs for Tory councillors because they are environmentally minded. I have to draw the line somewhere so that's where it will be - I'm only going to allow people to be on one list so if you obviously 'belong' elsewhere you wont get on.

I hope everyone agrees that's fair ;)

Peter said...

Good idea this. I'm glad I stumbled across your blog - I also thought Iain Dale had neglected greens in his guide.

Good luck with a daunting task - I'm sceptical though over whether there are in fact 100 green blogs in the UK

Jim Jay said...

Well come again, anytime.

Yes, I'd spotted your blog early on, in fact I think I may have pinched a couple of your links... I may even see you ay conference!

the void said...

green but anarchist as well, dont forget me the void

i wonder if there are 100 anarchist bloggers in the uk

steve said...

Green readers may be interested to read about Ian Dale's blog report sponsor - APCO in George Monbiot's article Guardian yesterday, no wonder they didn't want a green list!

scott redding said...

we ran an election blog in coventry for the 2006 local elections, and we're going to try and continue it between elections at this other blog ...

Lobster Blogster said...

I tried posting your list of blogs at Lobster Blogster, to see if I got any suggsetions etc. I have had one or two suggestions but I have just noticed a slight hitch.

Ellee who asked to join the list above, is a PR for a Tory MEP, and has other Tory candidates and MPs amongst her clients.

Should we tactfully drop her from this list? Your comments would be welcome.

Jim Jay said...

thanks for that lobster.

I think the rule should be if the blog fits more clearly into labour, lib dem or tory blog then it doesn't get on.

if it's someone who happens to be a tory but only, or mainly, posts on the environment that would probably be a allowable.

i'll take a look at it, maybe tommorrow, and if its obviously a Tory blog (capital T) we'll just drop it - but I don't want to be too dogmatic about these things.

Caractacus said...

I've only just started a blog called 'Fundamentalist Druid', although I've been posting on these issues for many years on Urban75.

I definitely fall into the Green Blog category, albeit probably on the extreme left of the green blogs.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Interesting List. Crafty Green Poet is definitely green, active and in the UK. Another good green blog in the Uk that seems to be missing from your list is Green Fingered Photographer.