Kevin has a blog – and other thoughts on blogs

17 Jul

You can check the Prime Ministerial blog here. I haven’t joined yet.


I wonder if it will get through the Great Firewall of China. Perhaps too Kevin from Louisiana might subscribe so that he can make his comments directly. 😉

See today’s Sydney Morning Herald: Blog standard approach brings PM to the people.

NINE months after taking the Twitterverse by storm, the Prime Minister has turned his hand to blogging. But Kevin Rudd’s cautious approach to accepting comments from readers has led to a cool response from some of Australia’s leading bloggers…

The blog won qualified support from one of Australia’s most prominent bloggers, the "Girl With a Satchel", Erica Bartel, who argued it was a way for Mr Rudd to bypass traditional media and talk directly to his constituents.

"A Prime Minister interacting with his public can only be a good thing," she said.

"If the blog is to resonate, and not be written off as a gimmick, it will have to be authentic and genuine, by no means an obvious ploy to pimp party politics."

Other bloggers were sceptical of Mr Rudd’s commitment to the medium, pointing to the strict limitations he was imposing on comments left by users, usually the lifeblood of blogs.

In addition to the common prohibitions on defamatory and abusive content, the rules for Mr Rudd’s blog say that comments will be accepted for only "five business days" from the time the post is published, be moderated by his staff strictly during business hours, cannot include links to other websites, and are limited to 300 words…

I suppose the limitations are unsurprising; one can imagine there might otherwise be more comments than anyone could reasonably handle.

My own comment policy

I don’t over-encourage comments here either, closing posts (when I remember to) after around two weeks. This is partly to limit all the spam I have to check, because while Akismet catches 99.9% of the spam you still have to read them all in case some are mistakes. The About page and the What’s New? sticky post are always open, however, and I have a Contact page, so I don’t think I am being too mean. I do reserve the right to edit or delete – the first sometimes for the sake of the commenter, the second for legal and/or ethical reasons.

Learning from other blogs

One of the benefits of surfing lots of blogs on BlogExplosion is seeing what works and what doesn’t work.

Now I know my photoblogs take a while to download because I display decent size photos rather than thumbnails – but I like the look better that way and apologise to any for whom the download time is a problem. Same applies sometimes to this blog, but there is a graphics-free version as well. On the other hand I have noticed some blogs that have lots of third-party widgets and ads, not to mention flash and so on, which simply don’t download in the 30 seconds given by BlogExplosion. This seems to me rather self-defeating. What do you think?

1 Comment

Posted by on July 17, 2009 in Australia, blogging, Kevin Rudd, other blogs, web stuff


One response to “Kevin has a blog – and other thoughts on blogs

  1. Benjamin Solah

    July 17, 2009 at 11:07 am

    I think Rudd’s biggest problem is you have to subscribe to even read, even if you don’t want to comment. That’s a massive shame.

    I’ve struggled with trolls and right-wingers constantly on my blog, but need to get a stronger backbone it seems and just delete comments without having to justify it or feel like I have to respond to everything.


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