Eulogy for the Blog on The New Republic is to be believed. From my point of view, political blogging in Manchester was reasonably active back in, say, 2005, but has gone very quiet these days, apart from a few stalwarts like the excellent Norman Geras, on whose Normblog I actually read about this piece. I think it's a reach to say that blogging in general is over because a few cash-strapped newspapers are consolidating their media portfolios. But there's no doubt that things are changing.
We are seeing less of the all-rounder personal blog than we once did. Nowadays most bloggers recognise that you have to focus strongly on a niche if you want to develop an audience. I think bloggers on the whole are becoming increasingly professional and serious, as blogging itself becomes commodified. And what we have, increasingly, is what Marc Tracy describes as the post-blog blog: a sophisticated group-written and edited website that publishes blog posts. A bit like our latest addition to Manchester Media and other stuff: Northern Soul. Former Times journalist Helen Nugent has marshalled a wide-ranging group of
contributors including Ex-Guardian journalist Helen Carter, Manchester
Salon organiser Simon Belt and theatre director Lucia Cox to cover Northern happenings, attractions and cultural events. It joins just-launched NW listings mag The Skinny; terrific to see our cultural press growing. And it's also good to see Nick Jaspan's NW media industry website Prolific North filling the gap left by the closure of How-Do.
Writing and Literature: Andrew Simpson is
the author of a history of Chorlton, and maintains a blog packed with
interesting history and photographs, mainly Manchester-related. There are also new blogs from Manchester-based writers Rosie Garland and Michelle Green.
Personal: A nice range of new ones this go-round:
Manchester Flick Chick
Bitten by the Dog
Music: Silent Radio is a well-organised music blog with a monthly Manchester gig guide. And tenuto sempre is a pleasingly eclectic music and found-sound blog with plenty of interesting audio files to listen to.
Food and Drink: Enough with the food and drink blogs already, this is getting ridiculous. Honestly, they just keep coming. The latest batch, fresh from the oven:
Where to Feed
Bacon on the beech
Here's another thing: The Manchizzle's Manchester Blogroll isn't the Manchester
Blogroll anymore. Well, it mostly still is, but in my latest update I've
sneakily added in a smattering of great blogs from the wider Northwest,
Liverpool and possibly even as far away as (gasp) Leeds. This is an indirect
result of the Manchester Blog Awards' expansion into the Blog North Awards last year. In the course of running the competition I've made the
acquaintance of some Northwest blogs so good I can't bear not actually
linking to them myself. I've also weeded out links
to blogs that were not being regularly updated, exquisite corpses
though they may be. Happy reading.
Image courtesy of newly Turner-Prize nominated (and Macclesfield-born) artist David Shrigley. Yeah!