Blog Awards, Blogging MPs in The Bulletin, Blog Conference.

This post contains a few different pieces of information dealing with blogging and webdiaries, namely: (a) the Australian Blog Awards (voting closes tomorrow), (b) a piece in last week’s Bulleting on politicians who blog, and (c) details of a blog conference being held in New Zealand.

Voting closes tomorrow in the 2006 Australian Blog Awards. If you read any blogs, go over to this site and cast some votes (you have to register first, but that’s free and pretty painless). There’s heaps of different categories, (including Best Political Blog, for anyone who feels like voting for me). If you don’t read many blogs, here’s your chance to find some good ones, so go over there and have a look at some of them.

Speaking of political blogs, I managed to get some coverage in last week’s Bulletin magazine, along with Malcolm Turnbull, in a small piece looking at Australian politicians with blogs. I don’t intend it as a criticism, but I’d have to say I don’t think Malcolm Turnbull’s blog really looks much like a blog. His website is a very good one, and from what is in The Bulletin article he responds to a lot of emails he gets through the site, which is also good. However, what he labels his ‘blog’ only has intermittent entries and doesn’t have a comment facility. He has a blog for his dogs too, which is cute, and they seem to put up posts more frequently than Malcolm.

This is the first time I can recall a mainstream media piece mentioning my blog that hasn’t just been for the purpose of taking a cheap shot, so I shouldn’t be critical, but the author seems to have misunderstood when he wrote I was “rethinking my blog” and was “drafting a new policy for postings to my blog”. I presume he got this from this post I did when I sought reader input in what limits (if any) I should put on comments. I see this much more as ‘fine tuning’ than ‘rethinking’, enabling readers to be able to now see at a glance what general principles are followed for comments on this site – which can be read here. In any case, I think it was made out to be a bigger issue than it is.

I’m still not aware of any other Australian federal politicians with a blog, and only know of one State MP – Carlo Carli in Victoria – who does so. This contrasts with large numbers in the UK (especially when you include people on Councils or in the Welsh and Scottish Assemblies). I’d say there’d be at least 10 elected Liberal Democrats with blogs (some examples listed on this site), along with plenty from Labour (like this example) and the Conservatives (including the well-known Boris Johnson, or for a lesser-known person, try this one). There’s plenty of examples in Canada and the USA too.

In news for real blogging aficionados, there is a blogging conference coming up in Wellington, New Zealand, on March 17 and 18. It’s called Blog Hui and is being held just near the Beehive. The Blogtalk Downunder conference I spoke at last year was very interesting and well worth attending and this one looks like it will also be good value (assuming you’re interested in the topic obviously)

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  1. Andrew, at the start of a new year (how many sleeps now before the Senate sits again?) let me wish you all the best as Australia’s only blogging federal politician.

    Sure, you could blog in the voice of your pets to keep up with Malcolm Turnbull (… or are his dogs actually feeding him ideas on tax policy and Israel’s security barrier?) but until you share the burden with domesticated animals, it is on on your shoulders alone that rests the responsbility to engage ordinary Australians in the political process at a personal level online.


  2. Andrew,

    I’m a die hard Greens member. Assuming I lived in your state, I would vote for you simply on the basis of your work on this blog. You’re doing something important for democracy in this country, and I can only hope that more politicians, (especially the ones in my party!) will follow in your footsteps.


    Kieran Bennett.

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  4. Hey – I only just found out my blog was nominated in the 2006 Blog Awards… I had no idea! And now they’re over so… where can I find out who won?

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