The Troppo blogroll was getting far too long and intimidating for comfortable use. Accordingly I’ve decided to revert to a previous organisational principle, namely listing blogs in rough ideological sub-divisions. Along with the individual description tags attached to each hyperlink, I hope it might help casual readers to find blogs within their “comfort zone”.
Mind you, I reckon one of the more enjoyable aspects of surfing the blogosphere lies in reading bloggers outside your comfort zone. Exposing yourself to the thoughts of people with different ideological viewpoints sometimes sheds new light on an issue. If not, outraged indignation is often a spur to creative outpouring.
Interesting to note that the RWDBs are still the largest political blog grouping by some distance. However, I’ve included people under that category who are only moderately right-wing and don’t really deserve the RWDB badge of honour (e.g. Scott Wickstein or Al Bundy).
Update – Mike Jericho displays a fine, light-hearted sense of humour (not) about the whole exercise. He doesn’t seem to realise that “Right Wing Death Beast” is a self-conferred badge of honour (coined by Tim Blair if I remember rightly), or that most RWDBs wear it with pride. I’ve adopted it as a heading in precisely that spirit. Mike thinks I should differentiate between extreme lefties and moderate ones. Well, there are limits to how many subdivisions you can usefully have. Moreover, within each blogroll tag I have differentiated. Niall, for instance, is described as a “Left Wing Death Beast”.
I suspect the real reason for Mike’s dummy spit is not so much my ideological categorising, but the fact that I described his writing as unoriginal (both in subject matter and style). But that’s my honest personal evaluation; there wouldn’t be much point in descriptive blog tags if they were just anodyne ego strokes. My descriptions certainly aren’t ideologically skewed IMO. I say very positive things about Professor Bunyip, for instance, and Mike’s mate Al Bundy. That’s because both are very good writers to my taste, even though I often strongly disagree with their opinions. There are plenty of people who think my writing is turgid, unoriginal and even pretentious (Pretentious? Moi?). Niall for one. I can live with it. I can’t please everyone, and nor can Mike. Anyway, he might profitably take the view that any publicity is good publicity.
Mike also seems to think I’m being a bit churlish in labelling Tim Blair as only “arguably” the “father” of Australian political blogging. But again, my own personal experience requires that qualification. Like many other bloggers, Tim has been generous with linking my posts (when he agrees with them), and he’s also helped me in a couple of other ways too. But he’s never linked Troppo from his blogroll, a privilege he reserves for ideological mates. I don’t have a particular problem with that, but some other long-time bloggers have more generous blogroll policies, and therefore arguably better merit the “father” tag.
The long-time bloggers who have really mentored my own blogging are Tim Dunlop (who first introduced me to blogging
almost 3 a bit over 2 years ago), Scott Wickstein (my current blog host/landlord), and Mark Gallagher (my previous landlord and still very generous with technical assistance). I couldn’t possibly credit Tim Blair as the sole father of ozplogging without also crediting these blokes, and I’m sure Tim B wouldn’t want that.
Lastly, Mike says:
I disagree with this linkage practice myself, and find a need only to group my main links into two categories, based on merit. The exceptional and the excellent.
In other words, he only links blogs he personally likes on his blogroll. That’s fine, and it’s what the majority of bloggers do. I have a different philosophy. Like Tim Dunlop, I attempt to list all Australian blogs with any significant political or legal content, irrespective of their ideological slant or whether I think they’re any good. My hope is that this site might serve as a “portal” blog for readers new to the blogosphere, enabling them more easily to find other blogs they might be interested in reading. There are quite a few readers who do use Troppo in precisely that way. I have no doubt it’s a worthwhile exercise, and I intend to keep doing it (even though it can be time-consuming). Ultimately readers will make up their own minds which blogs they prefer, irrespective of how I rate them. But readers have to find them first, and I think the Troppo policy serves a useful function in that regard, for Mike Jericho as much as anyone else.
When I first started blogging
3 a bit over 2 years ago, there were less than 30 Australian blogs listed on my blogroll. Currently there are 89 96. They need to be categorised in some way to remain useful and accessible. The current arrangement is the best I can come up with for the moment, but I’m always open to suggestions for improvement.