Increasing the strength of the independent blogs

The importance of independent broadly political blogs cannot be overstated. The time invested and dedication shown by a number of devoted individuals – who strive to break news ignored or missed elsewhere, expose hypocrisy and idiocy and analyse the spin doled out to the public – is incredible. They should be cherished.

Recent months have seen something of an attempt to organise part of the blogosphere. While the content, voices and personalities of the independent bloggers is what will always matter, two initiatives are working to benefit a good number of relatively small or little known blogs. They are Orphans of Liberty and Independent Political Bloggers.

One seasoned blogger I have spoken with has correctly identified that: ‘the essence of blogging is the individuality… people will do it for their own diverse reasons and the people who are any good will not be marshalled. Readers go for the person.  That being so, the greatest value of Orphans of Liberty and Independent Political Bloggers is that they provide a bigger stage for independent bloggers, the opportunity for them to be supportive of each other and offer encouragement and referrals by cross linking to each other.

It is the willingness to link to each other, helping to drive traffic to each others’ content and enhancing search results in engines such as Google, that is key to increasing audience share.

Mutual cooperation is the only way to build a greater profile as independent bloggers cannot rely on the likes of the so called uberbloggers or hacks in the mainstream media to provide credit where it’s due for good or informative content or add links to excellent content. Richard North at Independent Political Bloggers hits the nail on the head:

Inexplicably, though, the independents often help the corporates out, linking freely to their parasitic clogs – who will never reciprocate – and ignoring their fellow independents. Thus does some fine writing in the independent blogosphere struggle for an audience, while the clogs prosper.

In what is a battle for survival, therefore, independents can help each other out, by favouring other independents in their links, and being extremely sparing in their links to the clogs, the claque and other parasites. Basically, the convention of reciprocation should be a guide, leaving the parasites to feed their own.

While it is easy to talk about this issue, all independent blogs have it within their gift to do something tangible help each other.  For my part that effort starts this weekend.

I will be updating my blogroll to ensure it only contains good independents and those who do actually link to ‘Division 2’ blogs (done). I will also make an effort at least twice per week (hopefully more) to link to good content on blogs I’ve rarely or never linked to before to bring to your attention informative or entertaining content that is worth reading. As someone with posting rights to both multi-author blogs I will also make an effort to at least cross post to them once per week. Hopefully other independent blogs will do something similar.

It isn’t a new idea, many have done this before. But hopefully it will become part of a more concerted effort by a good number of independent bloggers to make a lasting difference and prevent themselves being subsumed by the claque and the clogs which, in order to stay in with the movers and shakers, rarely deviate from the ‘approved’ narrative.

9 Responses to “Increasing the strength of the independent blogs”


  1. 1 Edward 04/06/2011 at 3:56 pm

    Verily, tis true, this is a blog of great merit and deep, someday anguished musings and suffused with inspired insight.

    You are cherished, I must bookmark you, cos I sometimes forget to look you up – so sorry.

  2. 2 Peter Whale 04/06/2011 at 4:00 pm

    I have always found the most entertaining and informed blogs from the blogrolls of the blogs that I like. I would like to think that freedom of expression, of contrary opinions is sacred to civilized society. But power corrupts when all parties and MSM agree their own sustaining agenda (EU comes to mind). With a loose union for maintaining freedom of speech, I think maybe an attempt to get an international flavor to this is essential for maintaining that freedom.

  3. 3 Edward 04/06/2011 at 4:33 pm

    A very good point Peter, there seems to be little interaction with independent blogs and bloggers ‘over the channel’, there must be some surely?
    Holland maybe a good place to start and I know the Irish are pretty hacked off about the EU at the moment.

    The EU does not want this, it is anathema to them, the cross fertilisation of ideas and knowledge: is poison in the veins of the EU-Hydra – it has always been thus with totalitarian regimes.

  4. 4 Liz Elliot-Pyle 04/06/2011 at 4:43 pm

    Oh goody, does this mean the return of ‘5-star blogging’? I have really missed that (but didnt want to give you a hard time because of your new job and travelling etc).
    You are the first site I look at each day, and it is always a worthwhile exercise. Keep up the good work.

  5. 5 Autonomous Mind 04/06/2011 at 5:04 pm

    Yes Liz, it does. And thanks for the kind words!

  6. 6 Katabasis 04/06/2011 at 7:40 pm

    Edward you make a good point – and it reminded me of something described in this blog:

    http://hat4uk.wordpress.com/2011/06/04/greek-bailout-terms-anger-around-the-eu-as-more-austerity-demanded-for-second-bailout/

    Namely that the PIIGS’ media are starting to notice common cause between them…

  7. 7 Brian H 05/06/2011 at 8:27 am

    One caution: the “wisdom of crowds” works to the extent that each member forms his/her opinion independently; the more members are aware of each others’ ideas, the wronger they get.

  8. 8 Span Ows 05/06/2011 at 12:23 pm

    I agree however I am guilty of linking to clogs. I have always linked to other independent blogs but also always link to sources, something I’ve done for 6 years now (in fact in my post yesterday I did one of each!) Unfortunately NOT linking to clogs can seem wrong but given that, as you/Richard rightly write, they NEVER reciprocate and we meekly think “why should they?”…but they should; not doing so higlights their vanity and weakness, they have managed over the last few years to subtly change what the ‘definition’ of blogs is; I like the “clogs” name and definition, very apt.


  1. 1 Independent Political Bloggers | Orphans of Liberty Trackback on 02/09/2011 at 6:01 am
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