During January and early February we have been subjected to a festival of political Satirical Statistics, as blogs reviewed 2009, Tweetminster reviewed political twitter, and commentators reviewed all of these numbers.
Most of it has been fluff and fury, but amongst the noise these are the statistics which I think are worth noting with care.
Labourlist’s lunchtime email newsletter goes to 3500 people:
3,500 people now subscribe to the LunchtimeList daily email update, which gives a quick but comprehensive overview of all the day’s news and views in the Labour Party
That’s after a year of solid plugging, and simply highlights how tough it can be to build email lists from scratch. In my opinion, a focus on email was one of the priorities that Derek Draper got right from day one on Labour List as it is still the most reliable way of building a community. Kudos to Alex Smith for publishing the email numbers; as far as I know no one else has done so and tend to just say ” we have thousands of subscribers”. Usually “thousands” can be taken to mean “two thousand and a bit”.
On an obliquely related note, I received my “free trial” to the Editorial Intelligence “Daily Digest” email today, and – bearing in mind that excellent free media summaries are available from several thinktanks (such as Reform and Ekklesia) and elsewhere – I don’t see that these are sustainable as a paid-for product, unless they facilitate real added value somewhere else in an integrated service (in EI’s case, this is the EI Club).
Comment summary may go (perhaps has gone already) the same way as much reporting and photography – it will slide down the value chain and will become an engagement (rather than value adding) tool.
Most of the traffic to Liberal Conspiracy comes from Comment is Free, Twitter and Facebook:
Most of our referrals now come from Twitter, Facebook and the Guardian website (primarily from CIF writers and commenters).
I’m still reflecting on this. Is this an illustration that Liberal Conspiracy is reaching into the wider media, or is it an indication that writers for Comment is Free can direct traffic to blogs when they try?
The online political niche has not grown *very* significantly in the UK.
In their recent report Tweetminster reported around a hundred thousand people following Members of Parliament on Twitter. That is not significantly different to the 50 to 100 thousand people following political blogs quoted to me in 2007 by people associated with the 18 Doughty Street project.
Anecdotal, but interesting. How will real political engagement be built?
I’d welcome further comments and insights.