Conservative Commentary
"the blogger whose youthful effusions have won him bookmarks all over Whitehall ... horribly compelling" - The Guardian
Great Weblogs
The Enemy Within

Most recent posts ...

Friday, February 25, 2005
Help this site climb the ranks

Tim Worstall's Top Ten British Blogs (and its rankings from 11 to 50 further down) has restored in me a concern about my hitcount that I've not had for a long time. Seeing this blog ranked so low is depressing given how well I was once doing.

The Sitemeter chart below shows my monthly visits for the last year.

It's immediately obvious what killed me off - pausing for exam work in May and then for my three weeks on the Deva campaign for the European Parliament. I don't regret the time I then spent at all, but I've plainly never recovered from that moratorium.

I hope to do so, however. So what I want to hear from my current readers is sensible advice on how to pull in more people. Writing more often is one I hope to work on, by posting at least once per weekday. I notice I've been criticised by a few people for not being personal enough in my blogging and not injecting humanity into what I write. It's not a very good argument against someone's views, but I do notice a lot of the blogs above me in the rankings are very personal in just this way, often only tangentially political.

The main reason I have long avoided this more personal route is that I just don't like the navel-gazing blogs. I subscribe to the theory that language evolved not as a means for the transmission of truth so much as to enable people to promote themselves and gain advantages over their neighbour by suasion. If language is there as a tool for making ourselves look good, then one would expect to find that personal blogs are devoted less to warts-and-all accounts of life than to making the writer look extremely witty and clever. And surprise, surprise, that is indeed how the navel-gazing blogs read: what one gets is a picture of people who effortlessly sail through a life of one exciting moment after another, any problems emerging only through the well-catalogued idiocy of others.

The pretence is always that they'"don't give a s**t' about the way they present themselves, and are only cathartically getting things off their chest, but you don't have to know much about evolutionary theory to be suspicious about the sincerity of such a pose. Hence the phenomenon of bloggers 'posting while drunk', just to show that this time there really couldn't be any deeper calculation here: the blogger is way past that this time. Hmmmm ...

So if Nye Bevan disliked political autobiography because he preferred his fiction straight, I dislike autobiographical blogging because I prefer my suasian straight. Yes, I damn well am trying to talk people around - but let it be towards conservatism, and let my blogging not be about myself.

Should I change this policy? Well, I deliberately deviated a little from it yesterday, and I may do again. I'll see how it goes. But I was much more successful a couple of years ago without being personal, so I don't think this is key.

So what else should I do? What would you like to see more of? I have considered getting other people to form a group blog, but I've never found anyone who would quite fit what I think this site currently gets very right - the distinct voice and views. I've encouraged a lot of others to blog, but I've asked no one to blog for me, and for the moment I have no plans to.

So tell me please in the comments why you come back to this site, and what you think would make others do the same. All good ideas will be taken on board and hopefully put to good use in making this a better weblog.

Great Sites
Tory Party
Reading ...