Nosemonkey's EUtopia

In search of a European identity

“UK political blogs are rubbish”

So say some people who’ve just launched a pro blogging company with a UK political blog at its heart. Way to get linkage, guys! (Oh, wait… Damn…)

The thing is, it’s true and we all know it. But we’ve all known it for the best part of three years – where have these guys been?

And why are they seemingly ripping off the concept that was tried (and failed so badly the URL is now a generic directory site) with the last attempt at a “pro” UK political blog, Mink Media’s “The Honourable Fiend” (launched in November 2004, briefly entertaining, but soon barely updated or read)? Hell, even the name – “Westmonster” from Messy Media – is reminiscent… (Or have they been reading entertaining EU blog Berlaymonster? Or is it just a stupidly obvious semi-pun?)

Most importantly, though, why do they think that launching a garishly-designed pink blog full of short “witty”, gossipy entries is the way to make money with online political coverage?

“If we were to try and do Wonkettte over here, I think it would fall flat, because the voice is not something that a British audience would respond to… Wonkette is very much a Washington title. I think we would like Westmonster to be more about politics in the round… It’s about making these people [politicians] into personalities,” say the founders.

Hang on, did Tim Ireland have a point after all? Guido – if this is your fault… (Heh…)

Welcome to the world of UK political blogs, chaps – you’ve got some catching up to do…

(Word of advice, though – you’re not off to a bad start, but a decent proportion of blog readers – far more than the web average – use Firefox with AdAware, so your MPU, left-hand skyscraper and top banner aren’t going to show up. Your advertisers aren’t going to be best pleased if readers don’t see their ads, and as a commercial venture, that could be fatal… Know your audience…)


  1. I read Wonkette on a daily basis and , though quality has declined in the past year, enjoy it, but I don’t really think that that brand of satire and approach to event coverage would carry over well to the UK. I mean some of the stuff they say, stuff like that would never be said about politicians here. Also, the British public have an expectation of bloggers that is far above the expectations of Americans in their own blogosphere. Even Guido Fawkes at his worst (is he still around), takes the events he’s reporting on seriously.

  2. Jesus, that Westmonster makes Guido look like Seymour sodding Hersh. Apparently the secret to a successful blog is to work your way down Iain Dale’s link list first thing in a morning so you don’t have to write your own stuff. A UK instapundit anyone? If UK political blogs are rubbish then they just got a tiny bit more rubbisher.

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