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Saturday, July 22, 2006

On blogging

The appearance of a blog written by the Chief Constable for North Wales continues to attract interest. I have just done an interview with Good Morning Wales on the phenomenon of blogging. What they seemed to want to know above everything else is how we think of things to write about. Clearly, they have not read many blogs, least of all the political ones.

Blogging has moved beyond the realms of a personal on-line diary, though thousands of people still use it in that way. In many ways blogs are setting the agenda, as well as reacting to news elsewhere. They will not replace radio, television and newspapers, but they have added an extra dimension to the news media that is allowing many more people to interact with current affairs.

On the way out I bumped into Lord Anderson, the former Chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee and immediate past MP for Swansea East. He told me that since 'retiring' to the House of Lords he has become BBC Wales' unofficial foreign correspondent. I suggested to him that we needed more blogs from the House of Lords but he did not seem keen. He believes that he is too old for this new-fangled internet stuff, I think he is too modest. Perhaps he should look at Lord Tim Garden's blog, which deals with a lot of the subject matter he specialises in.

What is missing from the blogosphere is more MPs, AMs, MSPs, GLAMS, Lords and other elected people using it to interact with their constituents. If the Chief Constable of North Wales can see the benefits then why cannot others?
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