End of LP the end of a blogging era

Back in October, I wrote here about the decline or re-defining of blogs, at least in the Australian political arena.  The relatively few posts I’ve done on this blog since then shows how much less useful I find it to do my own blog than I used to, and as I mentioned back then, a big reason why I don’t read many of the blogs I used to is because the valuable links to many interesting stories, ideas and pieces of information can be found more easily through Twitter or Facebook, sometimes with comment threads which are also at least as good.

The recent announcement by the Larvatus Prodeo blog that they are ceasing to operate is quite a significant one. I don’t suggest it means the end of independent commentary online – as the last post on LP indicates, many of those involved will continue to do similar things in other ways. But, whilst not quite the end of an era, it is a significant signpost in the evolution of independent political blogs.

(I know my headline to this post does say it’s the end of an era –  was going to say it’s the end of a blogging phase, which is probably more accurate but frankly makes a pretty lame looking headline)

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  1. Blogs such as Catallaxy and Andrew Bolts blog seem to be going strong. There is also Tim Blair and John Quiggin. I think Facebook has sucked up a lot of people’s discretionary discussion time, mine included, but there are still blogs about.

  2. Yes, I suspect the timesuck is a bit part of it too Terje.

    Bolt and Blair get paid to do their blogging, which would help (although maybe Blair is self-funded these days? it’s a while since I thought it worth my while to check him out). But they both get the medium – tho I think they have both wasted their talents to a degree by taking the easier tabloid route (although also the more popular/populist, so understandable in many ways). And though there is plenty I don’t admire about Andrew Bolt, I do admire his workrate.

    John Quiggin also amazes me with his rate of output – not just that finds the time but even more so that he maintains the motivation.

    But I suppose one the specific aspects of LP was that it was a group blog – which was a trend itself for a while – rather than a single one. I’d probably prefer to do that as well, but I started this one out on my own when I was in Parliament – when it sort of had to be an individual one – so I’ve just stuck with that. Many of those group blogs have gone too, though Catallaxy is still there (personally I feel it’s gone downhill a lot from its earlier days – especially its comments threads, but perhaps another consequence of having had so much time consumed reading in other places, I have less patience for wading through things in the bit of time I have left.)

    All of which reminds me that I really must go through my blogroll. I suspect at least half of them don’t exist anymore, and there are very few I visit anymore so it’s a bit misleading having them all there in any case.

  3. Bolt, etc are “easy” and the simplistic tabloid style works actively against the sort of argument by logic and evidence demanded at a site like LP.
    LP, to quote Herman Hesse, was “not for everyone”.
    Other more plausible reasons for the demise of LP are extent.
    Technology has bypassed it- the very same technology that made it attractive as an alternative, has rendered it only one alternative among many.
    For downmarket, there is still Alan Jones and the Tele, also ACA and TDT, as well as Bolt and co online.
    But for more sophisticated readers there is now also the Drum, a mezzanine for both news and commentary. More conservative than LP, it is still rational to the point where it is tolerable for genuine inquiry and conversation rather than exclusively, infantile Hansonish soundings-off based on ignorance and prejudice. And there are still some reasonable progressive sites going: Quiggin, of course, Sauer Thompson, Political Sword, Club Troppo, No Place for Sheep, and several more whose names escape me for the moment.
    Then there is Facebook. Large numbers of small LP type locations informally coalesce at FB and a wealth of information is garnered from media and presented there for discussion and comment.
    You could ask if LP was in fact genuinely “finished” in the sense that many other blogs have become “finished”.
    It could have kept going for a while longer, it was relatively trusted and still a place for good information and discussion.
    It survived for as long as did because it was collegiate, but after seven years they had likely grown weary of the grind of producing a constant flow of intelligible and informative thread starters and then sorting the chaff from the wheat as to replies, through moderation.
    If a person hadn’t learnt what they needed to know as to how approach media, public affairs info and enriching analysis and discussion of issues after this amount of time, there was probably very little more they could do for you.
    In a sense, the semester was completed.

  4. I’m glad you’re still blogging.

    I notice many people feel like they should stop once they’re no longer blogging frequently, but I don’t think that’s necessary at all. No reason why someone shouldn’t keep their blog open just to post occasionally.

  5. Maybe blogging is becoming the domain of the older person?

    Facebook and other social media are not for me! Perhaps I’m not egocentric enough?

    But I still enjoy blogging – though blogging seems to be becoming far less popular than it used to be!

  6. I can’t accept that “comment threads which are also at least as good” can be conducted in segments of 140 characters or less, this comment notwithstanding ;) The trend away from blogs to Twitter and Facebook is retrograde.

  7. The Blog is the shopfront – it is the core of your presence to the outside world on the Internet.

    Facebook, Twitter et al – are your roadside notice boards, your 15 second radio ads and your magazine advertisements – to attract punters to your blog.
    Your tweets, FB and forum comments – each one should have a short, sharp message with a tinyurl back to the relevant article on your blog.

    Don’t give up on blogging yet Andrew.

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