We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Airbrushed out like Trotsky

Now, we have to be doing something right! The Guardian has written many articles about blogs – arguably they are the most clued up newspaper in the UK on the subject, however much it pains me to admit it – and so far not once they mentioned Samizdata.net. The latest omission occurred in their article on political blogs, a day after the VoxPolitics seminar in the House of Commons. We were there, in force, and made ourselves heard. To our surprise, we learnt that many people who are not our natural fellow-travellers (to put it mildly) apparently read us quite regularly. So it can hardly be said that we are unknown among the statist left and right.

  1. The Guardian have heard of us, in fact, maybe even read us but given our dislike for their ideology cannot bring themselves to mention us. Perhaps, the Guardian blog crew who have studiously been ignoring our existence hope that if they shut their eyes long enough we will have disappeared like a bad vision. Ain’t gonna happen, guys. If this is the case, the Guardian is biased and their reporting is poor.
  2. It is just possible they have never heard of us – stranger things have happened. However, we do get around and it is no mean feat to miss us in the blogosphere… Out of eighteen bloggers they mention in the article we know personally, in the flesh, seven of them and further three certainly know about us. So, if it is the case of the Guardian missing us, well, they did not do their homework right and their reporting is poor.

It’s a win-win situation.

The Guardian do not need to like us or our writing, agree with us or even rate us particularly highly. But to write about the British blogosphere as if we do not exist, means that they really do not understand what they are writing about as we are almost certainly the most visited British political blog. We know from our comments and emails that a goodly chunk of our readers do not always agree with us. We take their custom as a compliment since they obviously find us interesting enough to return regardless.

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13 comments to Airbrushed out like Trotsky

  • Well, the Times mentions us, but are incapable of getting a URL right. The Guardian are perfectly capable of getting a URL right, but are doing their best to pretend that we do not exist. Neither of these things are very impressive.

  • Cydonia

    I see that Natalie Solent’s blog comes under the category of “Centrist”.

  • Ockam

    Yeah, of course, that’s why the Guardian haven’t mentioned you: fear – no other possible reason, oh no, surely not!

  • Guy Herbert

    What on earth would be the point of only reading things one agreed with? It would be terribly boring, as well as a poor preparation for the outside world.

    Someone with strong opinions who reads only what they disagree with is going to succumb to apoplexy or depression, to be sure. But even if you’re determined never to change your mind, countering other points of view must involve knowing what they are.

    Or am I being too literal-minded again?

  • As someone who was mentioned in the article, my opinion is that it was just a poor article (and that’s not just because they called me ‘fairly innocuous’, though I do like the similarity to ‘mostly harmless’). My guess would be they just grabbed someone and said ‘quick, do an article on political blogs’ and it was done in about five minutes by someone who doesn’t really read any political blogs. Certainly, there’s a close correlation between the people featured and Harry’s blogroll. Bobbie of PolitX (who writes for the Guardian) seemed quite ashamed of it – I’m not really sure why they didn’t ask him to do it, to be honest.

  • MayDay72

    “…though I do like the similarity to ‘mostly harmless‘…” -Nick

    “Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral Arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun.
    Orbitting this at a distance of roughly ninety-eight million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea…” -The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy

    …Sorry…I just couldn’t resist the opportunity for a gratuitous Douglas Adams quote after you gave me an opening…

  • Take it like a man. Leave the paranoia to me.

  • We are not moaning about The Grauniad not mentioning us, we are laughing about it… they have two blogs themselves (see our sidebar) and like us or loath us, we are kinda hard to miss in the UK blogosphere… and as the ever engaging and terminally grumpy old git Emmanuel Goldstein of AirStripOne rightly points on on this own blog, his is certainly the longest established political UK blogs, so to fail to mention both the oldest (Air Strip One) and highest traffic/most linked (samizdata.net) blogs in Britain does rather suggest the Guardian’s journalists do not know jack shit about the British blogosphere.

  • Phil Bradley

    If BlogStreet’s Most Important Blog
    rating means anything then then Samizdata looks like the most ‘important’ blog outside the USA.

    Their methodology is based on weighted links (a link gets more weight if it itself has more links – Google ranks like this). Could’nt find any data for Samizdata using traffic.

  • Phil Bradley

    Perry, et al: Any reason you don’t use SiteMeter to measure traffic?

    Given the challenge on the internet is to rise above the ‘noise’, promoting your traffic numbers would make your political message harder to ignore/dismiss.

  • Phil: We don’t use it because our server traffic numbers have shown that the SiteMeter underestimates the hits by a huge margin (about 25% or more compared to the server figures, which have to be right).

  • Phil Bradley

    Thanks Gabriel, my point about promoting your traffic numbers still stands and notwithstanding SiteMeters flaws (I suspect they will argue they are features) they represent an independent measure ment of traffic. And as big media well understands circulation/viewship is the primary determinant of how influential you.

    Relating back to Perry’s original point. Having independently derived traffic numbers that are higher than other blogs that were mentioned gives you a convincing argument of deliberate bias and generally makes you harder to ignore (which big meia would love to do). Also don’t underestimate the network effect of getting noticed causing you to get noticed even more.