Thursday, April 03, 2008

The politics of blog envy

I am not going to take sides in the current willy waving contest serious and important debate about blog stats over at Devil's Kitchen - basically because I am not enough of an expert in these things to know whose definition of unique visitors is actually correct.

But one thing I would like to say on the matter - and I have already said it on his blog - is that I am glad Tim Ireland has taken this opportunity to refute the oft-made accusation that his campaigns against Iain Dale and Guido Fawkes are driven by envy of their "success." They are not.

I have had some dealings with Tim down the years and I am as convinced as I can be that, whether or not you agree with him, his motivation is the greater good of the British blogosphere rather than the greater glory of Tim Ireland.

Mat Bowles, who himself ran one of the best medium-sized blogs before opting out of the stats race, has put it rather well on the DK thread and I can't improve on his summary.

I have said before that the blogosphere owes Iain and Guido a great deal for "popularising" the medium and forcing not just the MSM but also the government to sit up and take notice of us. But it also owes Tim a great deal for demonstrating its potential power as a campaigning tool - witness this example from only last week.

Oh, and for the record, my own willy is currently about a fifth of the size of Iain's (by Tim's conservative assessment) and around half the size of Tim's - but I'm not bothered about that any more than he is.

free web site hit counter

38 comments:

Quiet_Man said...

You could have fooled me about Tim Ireland, his obsession with Dale and Guido borders on the very creepy, hardly a day goes by without some sort of rant about either one of them.
Time he found himself another hobbyhorse to ride methinks.

Iain Dale said...

More than 250 posts about me on his blog in the space of twelve months. Not that I am saying he is obsessed or anything.

Tom said...

Having met Tim and Guido, I can honestly say I'd much rather be stuck in a lift with the former than the latter. He's a thoroughly good bloke and, despite (or possibly because of) not being a professional politician, has actually demonstrably helped make the country a better place, not just the blogosphere.

Iain Dale said...

Tom, I'll have to take your word for it. My only contact, apart from hundreds of wacko emails, has been two phone calls initiated by him where he screamed at me and then put the phone down. Your experience is clearly rather different.

lettersfromatory said...

Everyone in the blogosphere should be willing to accept criticism, but for Tim Ireland to devote so much of his life to spying on / badmouthing Iain Dale is at best childish and at worst disturbing.

Kate said...

Instead of spending your time trying to badmouth Tim, perhaps you should be researching the difference between 'visits' and 'unique visitors', Iain ...

Iain Dale said...

So 250 blogposts about me wouldn't count as being obsessed then. I have made my blog figures transparent for all to see. He hasn't. Wonder why.

Tim said...

Iain: I blog about blogging and political blogging. I've done so since long before you came along. Lately, your name comes up a lot, but you seem to be under the delusion that you are only worthy of positive attention, thus your tendency to cry 'obsessive' or 'stalker' when a critical eye is cast your way. On stats, it has also been made clear that I do not need to show you my penis to prove that you have been massively overstating the size of yours. My emails may seem terse at times, because you have a bad habit of pretending that I don't exist when I've caught you being naughty. Finally, I had very good reasons for both calls, as you well know, and I did not scream at you, as you are also aware. And, if you recall, the second call was about some mate of yours publishing my ex-directory number... calling me four times and actually genuinely not-making-it-up-like-Iain screaming down the phone at me. At the top of his bloody lungs. (Is that creepy enough for you, 'quiet man'? It was creepy enough for me.) Now show some manners and address the issue or go away and do what you have so far failed to do about this since you dumped yourself in it; Blog it. Let your readers decide.

Paul: Sorry about the row. Thank you for an informed and even-handed post. (PS - If you add a 'c' just after the '#' in the DK comment permalink, it will work just fine.)

The Tin Drummer said...

Well, for what it's worth, my willy is extremely small. But, I am told, its quality is ok.

The Daily Pundit said...

At the end of the day all that matters is sperm count. That's my excuse and....

Anonymous said...

The responses are typical Iain Dale.The man has been caught out & is not the big beast in the blogging world he claims he is.

With Dale it's all image & no substance,spin & spin again,publicity stunts rather than hard facts.

Paul Linford said...

Anonymous

If you're going to play the man and not the ball, name please.

The same rules apply on here for people attacking Iain Dale as those that apply for people attacking yours truly.

Tim said...

"
If you're going to play the man and not the ball, name please."


Well said, Paul. Emphasis on the *if*....

dizzy said...

It's true, I rang you, and yes I did scream at you. So what? There was a very good reason for it that is contained within the title of a Pink Floyd album which is ironic given the pharmaceutical link with said band. That's your cue to run off and figure out what I am referencing and post a long essay Tim. That's what you do right?

I was however greatly amused whilst sitting in a hotel in Bulgaria to read your post when you noted I had gone on holiday in an "Epilogue". Not that you were trying to make a link between the incident and my sudden vacation of course. You wouldn't do that because you're a pure "no spin zone" - oooo I got an O'Reilly reference in, Go me!.

Truth is, you're just like just like the rest of us. Insinuation and inference masquerading as reality. The hilarious thing is that you're favourite word is "projection", the irony is delicious don't you think? Of course the main difference between you and I is that I'll happily I'm biased. You on the other hand are a self-righteous hypocritical lying prat that makes a serial pickpocket look honest.

Now, I know you __love__ asking questions. So how about you answer some for once you morbidly obese antipodean tosspot. How did you pay for Backing Blair exactly? I think you should publish a list of all the donations you accepted, cash and non-cash benefits in kind. Come on Tim, in the name of transparency and declaring ones interests I think your readers deserve to know who has been stuffing _your_ wallet with cash for _your_ campaigns for once. All's fair in love and anally retentive blogging after all!

Clive said...

Dizzy,

"How did you pay for Backing Blair exactly? I think you should publish a list of all the donations you accepted, cash and non-cash benefits in kind. Come on Tim, in the name of transparency and declaring ones interests I think your readers deserve to know who has been stuffing _your_ wallet with cash for _your_ campaigns for once."

Dizzy, I could tell you. The thing is, would you believe me if I did? Just as a taster, we spent less than the largest limit imposed by the PPERA (2000).

dizzy said...

"Dizzy, I could tell you. The thing is, would you believe me if I did?"

Hahaha are you being deliberately ironic with that comment given we're talking about Tim, or are you just a bit thick and unaware of it?

Clive said...

Potty-mouthed little cove, aren't you. Irony (if you must know).

Anyway, what are you looking for with regard to detail? Lower threshold for single expense? Come on, tell us what you want to know, good requirements mind, GIGO and all that. Wouldn't want you thinking we were hiding anything just because you made a poorly worded request.

Tim said...

Dizzy: "It's true, I rang you, and yes I did scream at you."

After I left a comment on your website that upset you.

Dizzy: "How did you pay for Backing Blair exactly?"

The answer to that will only upset you.

Speak to Clive if you like. You're lucky get this small response from me after what you pulled.

dizzy said...

Potty-mouthed? Such a lame response for teh Interweb Clive. I mean come on, falling back on the rather quaint and amusing "oh look he's swearing he's lowered the tone" line? Next you'll be complaining that I have low level of the vernacular.

And then we have the delights of the "poorly worded request". But oh no, never play the man, only ever the ball! Aren't we a clever little pseudo-nerd! (that was the man not the ball, did you notice?) So quick to fall back on argumentation techniques that you accuse of others of using so readily. Again the irony is delicious. Actually I'm in heaven that you would be so universally stupid as to post a comment not once, but twice, which deployed the same shitty reasoning that your friend Tim deploys daily. I mean..... it's so good I might go and masturbate in a sock to celebrate.

I already told you what I want to know though.... _everything_. Every last penny. A full audit. I don't care about what you're legally obliged to declare, I want to know _everything_ Clive. I want to know who paid for your pot to piss in (assuming you had one). As I said to "Angry of Guildford" maybe you should start answering questions put to you for once. I want to know who gave you money - however small - for your piss poor campaign to oust Blair with tactical voting (and let's be honest, it was piss poor right!m it was on a par with Botswana in the Olympics medal table when it comes to the success stakes).

Fat Bloke: After I left a comment on your website that upset you.

Yep, And your point is what exactly? Oh.. .wait.. you were trying to cause me embarrassment then weren't you! You thought that if you posted and said "I upset dizzy and he went crazy" it would put you in a better position. I see now! I consider myself chastised fr gettung annoyed with you - because it is so difficult - and profusely apologise for my actions. *grovel/beg/steal* (can you sense the sarcasm ladies and gentleman?)

Fat Bloke:
The answer to that will only upset you.


I don't really give a shit Bruce. You don't mind me calling you Bruce do you? You look like a Bruce and I thought I would just throw some stereotypes in for fun... hang on a second my wallet's missing! Tiiiim! Was that you?? Truth is, you bang on constantly demanding answers, so now it's _your_ turn. Unlike you I won't email you constantly all day demanding, (you already know that you're blacklisted from sending mail to me unless I decide to turn it off), like you have constantly emailed others. After all, that would be a tad obsessive I think. Far better to leave such battles to comment threads on neutral ground where I can pummel your decidedly weak intellect into the ground.... and then kick it a bit. But it's purely recreational and not a serious habit should anyone be concerned. I have to have sex after all so give me a break!

Fat Bloke: You're lucky get this small response from me after what you pulled.

Oh bless you sweetie. You think that linking to your post about me is going to make me quiver in fear that people might think less of me because I encrypted your phone number and posted it on every page of my website for months without you noticing?

Frankly, and I mean this from the bottom of my heart, I think it just goes to show how technically inept you _really_ are. You play the big web guru expert bollocks, but really, you're just one of the many tossers from a marketing department.

All I did was screw you over by posting your phone number. Get a new one! It's not difficult. Of course, we did have our conversation where you asked me to prove a negative. But then that sort of shitty reasoning (see comments to Clive above) is par for the course with you right.

The most jovial thing in that conversation is that you were demanding to know my source. This from the man that wrote a huge long post attacking Guido and saying that he couldn't be trusted because he disclosed a source. Well guess what sunshine. I won't disclose mine, you will have to assume that it was Iain, but I know the truth is very different. As I thought I implied to you quite sufficiently in email, ex-directory numbers are not _really_ ex-directory if you know (which evidently you don't) what you're doing.

Paul Linford said...

Apologies for attempting to inject a bit of serious political debate into the thread, but ...

your piss poor campaign to oust Blair with tactical voting (and let's be honest, it was piss poor right! it was on a par with Botswana in the Olympics medal table when it comes to the success stakes)

Well, yes and no Dizzy. The essence of the campaign, from where I'm sitting, was not to elect a Tory or Lib Dem government, it was to cut Blair's majority to an extent that a leadership challenge to him became inevitable. In a roundabout way, this is exactly what happened. No-one pretended that the 2005 result was a ringing endorsement of Nu Lab. It was very much seen (even within the Blairite camp) as a Phyrric victory. The end result of the process was that Blair went. Whether the change in leadership brought about the change in policies that the creators of Blairwatch might have wanted is another story, of course.

Clive said...

Thanks for the support Paul. Backing Blair's slogan was Labour In, Blair Out and that was the eventual result. 2005 signified the beginning of the end for Tony Blair, even if it took another 2 years for him to go. Now I wouldn't be so bold as to make any claims regarding Backing Blair's role , but as a campaign it got national visibility and contributed in some degree to the whole tactical voting issue.

At the end of the day though, whether or not Backing Blair was a failure, a major success or somewhere in between, at least the participants can hold their head's in the knowledge that they tried to make a difference.

Equally interesting was just how cheap the campaign was to run. Apart from Paypal donations for the Poster Van and the loan (gratis) of a web server by a London-based provider, everything else came out of our own pockets. For example, the data used to build the constituency pages was derived from a couple of books purchased from Amazon.co.uk (got the titles at home if anyone is interested), along with data purchased from the ONS.

The biggest expenditure was in "sweat equity", the number of late nights and weekends spent working on the campaign got to be a stupid towards the end.

I never expected a Brown administration to be anything spectacular, but I had higher hopes of regeneration. When the Party lost its bottle and annointed Brown as Blair's successor, I put my head in my hands in disgust. Not the result I ever expected.

dizzy said...

Have to say I love Tim's response on his blog to my comment. Only two leaps of complete conjecture with insinuation and inference masquerading as some sort of reality. I suppose the only thing that pisses me off in betweent he laughing at his right royal thickoness is that he suggested that I am a cracker. I don't crack, I hack, and as I expleined to you many times before there is a very big difference. Leaping to the conclusion that I hacve "changed my story" is rather cute though,. considering I didn't say where or who I got your number from and merely pointed out a statement of fact about the non-ex-directory nature of ex-directory numbers. Do try harder dear boy, I know you like to think that my interjections are part of some distraction from your crusade, but frankly I couldn't give a shit about Messagespace... the reality is that I just like flaming you.

dizzy said...

I shall of couse be nice now and apologise to Paul as he seemed a pretty decent bloke when we met. Until the next flame Tim and your next response where you manfacture reality to suit your needs.

tom p said...

Dizzy - I think that I chucked BackingBlair £10 or £20 by paypal, but then again perhaps I just intended to and never got round to it. I'm afraid that I simply can't remember.

scotch said...

Phil:
It was, no matter how you spin it, fundamentally wrong of you to post someone's home phone number.
For you to suggest that he just gets another one is obtuse and cruel.

Your anger is frightening. I am genuinely concerned about you.
Please get help.

Bob Piper said...

I love the bit (from the little balding bloke) about Backing Blair being so-piss poor because it didn't get rid of Blair.

What does that tell us about the Conservative party, do you think? Anyone got any idea where they finish on the Botswana scale?

Paul Linford said...

(sighs)

I declare an interest...but I'm not sure references to "little balding blokes" are any more relevant than references to "morbidly obese antipodeans."

scotch said...

Paul: perhaps we can hear about about tall Scottish blokes as well.

Bob Piper said...

I agree with you entirely, Paul. I was just pointing out that those who are rude about the appearance of others have their own hang-ups about their appearance.... except tall Scots geezers who always seem supremely self-confident.

scotch said...

erm Bob - that was supposed to be self-deprecating and a wee bit funny and used to highlight Phil's quite scary use of physical appearance as a tool to diss people. I'm not in the least bit self-confident if that helps.
Well hopefully that's all cleared up.

Bob Piper said...

scotch... I know it was, I was just covering all bases to avoid appearing aggressive to tall celtic folk... don't get upsetting yourself, you might have one of yourturns.

scotch said...

Now, Bob you're making me go 'erm' twice. One of [my] turns? Explain please.

Tim said...

I did enjoy being called 'Bruce', as I am actually in charge of the sheep dip.

It hurt a bit when Iain called me 'Timmy' a few times during all of this, though. I'm glad he didn't call me 'Timmy Wimmy' or I might have been utterly devastated.

dizzy said...

Self-confidence issues? Moi? The 32 year old single man that has pulled girls in their 20s more than once in the last three months? I think not. I just have to look in the mirror to realise that. Incidentally Bob, you don't really think that saying to a ginger guy that he is balding is going to bother him do you? The sooner it is all gone the better, then you can call me a skinhead, I will even wear my Dr Martins and bomber jacket if you want whilst listening to ska.

Scotch, what I did would have been fundamentally wrong if I had posted "This is Tim Ireland's home phone number..." But I didn't. Tim knows that. I posted a random striong of numbers that only he would have known was his number, along with anyone else who knew it already. It was as meaningless to anyone else as me posting 02086452812. I have no idea if that is a real number or not its just a string of characters.

As for anger, there is no anger, it's called flaming. Tim has been around the block for quite a while like me, he knows the score. Manic has a reputation as do I (albeit in a different guise), this is just the cut and thrust of the Internet, a place of freedom for punker type likes me, and place to be regulated by anal mods like him.

I did however very much enjoy the way he wrapped my comments up with his Messagespace meme as if my decision to post something was somehow linked, rather than the much more mundane truth that I found the thread and saw the opportunity for a good rant at someone online that I think is a prize tit.

revolutionpete said...

The 32 year old single man that has pulled girls in their 20s more than once in the last three months? I think not.

hahahahaha, that is possibly the single most pathetic thing you've ever written Diz me old china.

Yeah, I can see why girls in their twenties might be attracted to your mad skillz.

;-)

dizzy said...

No, the single most pathetic thing is when one see the unintelligent fail to grasp sarcarsm when it placed in front of them.

Tim said...

Amusingly enough, what Phil ('Dizzy') is doing here is taking one thing and mixing it up with or presenting it as another.

Yes, there was an encrypted version of my number on his site for quite some time, but what we are discussing here is the day when Phil (a self-confessed sock-puppeteer) was implying that 'tory boys never grow up' was a sock-puppet profile of Tom Watson's....

Phil did NOT appreciate my pointing out that 'tory boys never grow up' had actually left a comment on his site while Phil - and everybody else - could see Tom Watson live on television (during the budget), as this p'ed all over his consrpracy theory and made him look a teeny bit silly.

So in response, he published the first half of my phone number, obviously an area code, and told me to 'f**k off'. When I attempted a reply, he deleted it and published the other half of my ex-directory number and told me to "f**k off" again.

(Now, 'Dizzy', if this is nothing to do with MessageSpace, kindly naff off. Off-topic comments are bad enough, but to use someone else's site for a failed troll/flame and then carry on to brag about it afterwards is the height of poor taste.)

lobby said...

"Hahaha are you being deliberately ironic with that comment given we're talking about Tim, or are you just a bit thick and unaware of it?"

"I suppose the only thing that pisses me off in betweent he laughing at his right royal thickoness..."

"Incidentally Bob, you don't really think that saying to a ginger guy that he is balding is going to bother him do you?"

"You play the big web guru expert bollocks, but really, you're just one of the many tossers from a marketing department."

Contrast with:
"Far better to leave such battles to comment threads on neutral ground where I can pummel your decidedly weak intellect into the ground.... and then kick it a bit."

Dizzy, your pseudo-intellectual posturing would carry a tad more weight if you chose to engage rather than call everyone a tosser. You tosser.