Thursday, January 04, 2007

Blogging a dead horse

The London Evening Standard's This Is London maintains five blogs - and you'd think that with its ABC1 readership of young and educated urban professionals (ie prematurely-aged and shat-on commuters) these emissions of opinion would draw a huge and lively response. Alas not.

First there's the blog of restaurant critic Charles Campion, a suitably plump testament to the metropolis' myriad eateries. This has managed to draw three comments since Dec 11.

Comedy critic Bruce Dessau drew his last reader's comment on Nov 27.

The pugnacious 10-year-old theatre critic Keiron Quirke has provoked one comment since Dec 13.

Art critic Tom Teodorczuk can scarcely justify his online existence with a paltry two comments since Nov 14

But music critic Richard Godwin excels in this dire company with a hefty six comments since Dec 19.

With a newspaper readership of about one million the blogs should be doing a lot better than this. But then blogging is a different craft from remunerated space-filling in a newspaper - which tends to sell on habit and headlines.

All these bloggers affect an off-putting Liz Jones-style form of first person self-absorption and a delusion that their very being is the subject of interest. Plainly not.


fanny hill said...

Well, I suppose you consider yourself very privileged. Do you have any explanation for your success ?

Andy said...

Could it be that such well written and insightful posts by these experts leave their readers... dumbfounded? Perhaps we feel more comfortable pitching our comments against more 'humble' blogs?

Arcati said...

Dear Fanny, I am privileged to the extent that I am not beholden to some editorial arsewipe constantly reminding me of my readership demographics.

However, if you look at some successful bloggers, such as Susan Hill or Grumpyoldbookman or Ms Baroque (and many others), they have something to say, say it vividly, and are passionate about their subject(s). They are also all natural diarists: they chronicle and comment as to people they know even if they don't.

Newspaper bloggers tend to mount a soapbox and then pretend they're still addressing a mass audience when in fact the tone should be as to a small circle even if the audience is actually large. A blog is a family thingy in nature, or a community thingy, something the papers can't get their heads round because editors only know about newspapers (which are big big big).

As to darling Andy: yours is a sweet thought even allowing for any possible irony; I have yet to encounter, but with the odd exception, either a "humble blog" or indeed a humble anyone. In any case one has only to pop over to Huffington to see how reactive and bold blog readers can be against big-name writers.

Quite possibly newspaper bloggers, with a few exceptions that don't include the hugely anaesthetic Roy Greenslade, are just dull. Discuss.

Ms Baroque said...

Dear Mme A, if you compared my reader stats to even the most turgid Evening Standard blogmeister, you might find mine disappointing. However, "natural diarist" might be one of the nicest things anyone has ever said about me. I'll hobnob in heaven with the rest of them.