Long time no speak

Somebody said to me the other day that this blog was no longer of any interest as it was rarely updated. The reason for this, they said, was that I had been muzzled by my role as a government whip. You’ve never had a nine month old baby boy I thought to myself.

They went on to ask why I hadn’t bothered to lead with podcasting and suggested I was behind the times. Hmmm. I don’t know about you but I think the jury is out on podcasts. I have a couple of worries. Firstly, they’re one way traffic. If you think this blog is dull, you should hear my speeches. Secondly, you can produce podcasts very simply but I’m not sure if you can produce lively, entertaining and varied podcasts without giving up a lot of time for research and having to upskill on the technical stuff.

What I like about the blog format is that they give people the opportunity to hurl their ideas back at you.

To be effective, podcasts will have to be integrated with words, pictures and a comments section. To date, I don’t know if there are blogs with aural comments sections but that would liven the world up. I must dash to register the domain “speakers corner” before somebody invents the software.

I’d be intereted to read your thoughts on podcasts.

9 comments ↓

#1 martyn on 03.12.06 at 8:54 pm

I think the blog thing works well Tom, so you don’t update it as much as you’d like but that’s much more than we get from a lot of our MP’s. It is two way too, I’ve known blogs where the writer will never reply to comments – you do.

You’re right about the podcasting thing too, one the whole podcasts aren’t very good – if you look at the top podcasts in the UK over the last couple of months they’ve been edits from professional broadcasts (Gervais, Chris Moyles, Chris Evans) and not personal podcasts.

To make an entertaining programme is an effort in itself; but to make that a two way affair is very difficult.

I think people who’ve never done any broadcast or even podcasts don’t realise just how time consuming it really is.

One idea would be to have a live programme that has its content based on listener questions, thoughts and comments. Being live would give people the opportunity to listen live and comment in real time via email or whatever.

It could then be edited into a podcast and made available to anyone who missed it; perhaps one a month would be possible.

Stay Tuned ;-)

#2 Mike Ion on 03.12.06 at 10:48 pm

Welcome back – we have all missed you.

The podcasts that I have listened to so far have ranged from dull to mind-numbingly dull (apart from the one done by Ricky Gervais which was excellent).

#3 Stuart Bruce on 03.13.06 at 8:54 am

Tom with my professional hat on I’ve been speaking at a number of conferences on blogging and podcasting. Despite being lobbied by some of the business world’s leading podcasters I’m still one of the sceptics.

You’re right about it being too hard, compared to a blog, and although you can solicit comments it doesn’t have the same real-time lively buzz that a blog conversation does.

But time is the real killer. It takes far too long to listen to them let alone produce one!

#4 Joe S on 03.13.06 at 9:48 am

Your “somebody” is right, you should update more often, yours is/was one of the few political blogs actually worth reading.

In the podcast issue…

…part of me is convinced that this is a “London” thing – the south east is where most commuters by public transport live and therefore the area that most will have the time to listen to podcasts. It’s a bit like soduku, the only people I know who do them, do so on the train as they commute.

#5 joe higton on 03.14.06 at 9:39 am

90% of podcasts are awful, 10% are fantastic. What seems to make the difference is having something interesting to say, and putting time into thinking about it in advance and editing and whatnot.

Overall I’d say keeping a (good) podcast going is far higher maintainance task than keeping a blog alive!

#6 Bob Tidmarsh on 03.17.06 at 3:28 pm

If you think this blog is boring you should see Lib Dem Focus for Newton Ward Snooooooor

#7 kitty on 03.18.06 at 12:17 am

i haven’t got the hang of this podcast thingy, and now i’ve lost audio, so i can’t comment on the pod casts as ‘invited’. the blog format however…
your blog is not what it was…

undoubtedly, a baby keeps you busy, as if you weren’t busy enough… but can there be any doubt that being a whip has you muzzled?

you daren’t let people speak freely here anymore. i’m not talking about ‘crazies’ – just people who will say what you don’t want to hear, in a way that bursts the blairite bubble. it wasn’t always like that.

kitty

#8 tom on 03.19.06 at 5:47 pm

Interesting that existing bloggers, seem, on the whole, to be be reticent to buy the hype about podcasts.

Just a piece of my own whips rebuttal to Kitty – I hardly ever delete comments on this site other than the usual. Neo-nazis regularly get zapped, the ocassional stalker and sometimes, though very rarely, vulgar young liberals. But that’s about it. I’m sure some of the worst critics of my party (Peter Kenyon are you there?) get to make their point on this site.

#9 Bobby on 03.22.06 at 9:20 pm

David Miliband’s new blog is good :)

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