Blog Deathmatch!

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49 will enter… 49 will leave. But in a slightly different order. Keep filling in the survey folks!

On a related note, while this initiative is rooted out of a scepticism that Iain Dale’s list is particularly representative, I really don’t understand Tim Ireland’s vendetta against Dale sometimes. This latest post is a typical example. He is attacking Dale’s refusal to list the “60+” blogs that linked to his latest top blogs project, yet Google Blogs quite clearly shows that 95 blogs linked to it. Not exactly Earth shattering is it?

UPDATE: To all flying monkeys – where do I call anyone a ‘bitch’ on this thread? Answers on a postcard.

68 thoughts on “Blog Deathmatch!

  1. It’s a fair request. I made it quietly and politely via email, and I was ignored. Tried it via a public comment, and that was deleted.

    Only then did I blog about it… and the only person making this into something needlessly big and complicated is Iain Dale (most probably because he doesn’t want the world to see how far his blog poll leans tgo the right).

    And drawing up my own list leaves me vulnerable to a claim from Dale that my data doesn’t match the (unseen) data behind his claim of support from 60+ blogs.

  2. Jo’s Jottings (Jo Anglezarke)

    is no more, as I’m sure you know. Further to my post yesterday, how about doing another survey allowing people to choose 4 blogs from the list and rank them in order of preference?

    /jest>

  3. Tim – seriously – why do you care? You don’t like Iain, he doesn’t like you. It’s a non-issue.

    theChristophe – preferential voting is tricky with so many contestants. Iain’s original poll already allowed people to rank their top ten favourites, which is why at the bottom end of the list it is so random.

  4. Iain’s very good at covering his tracks, rewriting history and presenting himself as an expert on blogging, so an alarming number of people take him seriously.

    He is presenting his latest guide as a fair and balanced poll of blogs (Ok, so it’s an improvemnet on the first one, where he his mate were the only two voting) but it appears to use a sample that favours the right heavily.

    I would seek to explore, clarify and publicise that aspect, even if the exercise had no impact on my reputation.

  5. Dude, seriously: no-one takes Iain Dale as seriously as you do. If you want a better mousetrap, build a better mousetrap. Don’t grouse about the existing one.

  6. Please quote where I have ever said that the poll is fair and balanced. All I have said is that it is more representative than last year as far more left inclined blogs publicised it. No poll like this could ever be completely scientific and nowhere have I pretended it is. What you really object to is Liberal Conspiracy called for a boycott, but everyone ignored it.

    By the way, I was wrong. It wasn’t 60 blogs who encouraged their readers to vote. At the last count it was 79.

    No doubt you believe that 78 of them were all ranting right wing blogs.

  7. “Please quote where I have ever said that the poll is fair and balanced. ”

    Are you saying that it’s skewed to the right? Did you bother to measure by how much and take this into account before finalising your rankings?

    “What you really object to is Liberal Conspiracy called for a boycott, but everyone ignored it. ”

    This is a lie, and a clumsy one at that.

    “No doubt you believe that 78 of them were all ranting right wing blogs.”

    Not that I said this, but provide me with a list that shows otherwise. It really is very simple. All I want is a list of blogs who sent you readers that we can agree on.

  8. This is a lie, and a clumsy one at that.

    It isn’t exactly a lie though is it? It is a jibe combined with rhetorical flourish. This is what I mean about a lack of perspective.

    Not that I said this, but provide me with a list that shows otherwise. It really is very simple.

    …erm, didn’t I already do this?

  9. Typical Ireland. Makes an assertion. Can’t back it up. Then hides behind several more questions.

    I didn’t fianlise the rankings. The 1,142 who voted did. Would you, in your role, as policeman of all I do, like a list of those too. No doubt you’ll accuse me of making them up next. You really are making a fool of yourself. Not half as big a fool as you will look if I ever publish the list of blogs who took part.

    But then, as James has said, all you have to do is click on the link he provided you with, and which I suggested you look at days ago. But for a self styled internet guru you seem remarkably unfamiliar with the delights of Google link searches.

    I suspect you have already done it, but the results don’t match your agenda.

  10. James:

    No, it’s a lie. And I made it clear that it was important that Iain provide (or least verify) the list himself.

    Iain:

    Hahahaha! You’re accusing me of being evasive?

    My apologies, Iain. I should have said here as I did on my weblog that these blogs represent “the sample that Dale appears to be passing off as balanced”. Now it would appear that you acknowledge that your sample is not balanced. Is this the case and does the print version contain *any* indication of this?

    I know how Google works, BTW. You know what the issue is regarding the list, so please stop pretending otherwise. As with your accusation of regular evasiveness, you are projecting.

    If you’re happy for me to form my list via the Google Blog Search link above, then please say so and we can move on.

    “Not half as big a fool as you will look if I ever publish the list of blogs who took part.”

    So why hesitate? It’s not as if you’ve ever held back from kicking me before.

  11. I just enjoy watching you dig an ever bigger hole for yourself.

    The ‘issue’ in your eyes is that this list is skewed to the right and therefore the results will be skewed to the right. I refer you to what I said above: “All I have said is that it is more representative than last year as far more left inclined blogs publicised it. No poll like this could ever be completely scientific and nowhere have I pretended it is.” Perhaps you would like to point out anything I have ever said to the contrary. You can’t, because I haven’t.

    Go through that Google list and you will quite clearly see that there is a very good spread of blogs who encouraged their readers to take part. But that doesn’t fit your agenda does it?

    You have got this one badly wrong, and sooner or later you will have to admit it.

  12. Will you two stop it. Its borrowing as hell hearing you two carp on at each other. If you want to, then do it privately (email, telephone call, arm wrestling). Please don’t fill up comment sections with this needless moaning. Just ignore each other.

  13. No, it’s a lie.

    Well, clearly not everyone did not “boycott” the poll, but 1,142 people didn’t so how effective it was is a matter of open debate and ultimately opinion. Presumably you can supply me with a list of boycotters so we can assess how effective it was?

    And I made it clear that it was important that Iain provide (or least verify) the list himself.

    Yeah, you certainly did do that. But that doesn’t change the fact that it isn’t important. Do I need to draw you a diagram?

  14. “The ‘issue’ in your eyes is that this list is skewed to the right”

    One aspect is that I suspect it might be, but a major issue is that you have frustrated my every reasonable effort to investigate it in a way that you won’t be able to dismiss out of hand.

    “You have got this one badly wrong, and sooner or later you will have to admit it.”

    I haven’t even started, thanks to your nonsense.

    If you’re happy for me to form my list via the Google Blog Search link above, then please say so and we can move on.

  15. Happy to answer your comment in a mo, James. For now I’d like to focus on the response Iain could and sholuld have delivered when (hello, other James) I emailed him privately about this days ago.

  16. Since when have you required my permission to do a Google search? Your idiocy reaches new boundaries. You must have an awful lot of time on your hands to waste.

  17. Iain, all you have to do is say ‘yes’, but you contiunue with this silly game.

    Do I really have to remind you that *this* guide carries the brand of Total Politics on the cover? You have insisted time and again that TP is a ‘politically neutral’ magazine, so naturally people would expect a poll published by TP to be at least balanced, yes?

    All I want is a list of blogs who sent you readers THAT WE CAN AGREE ON.

    If you’re happy for me to form my list via the Google Blog Search link above, then please say so and we can move on.

  18. Yes, I could have, but I chose not to. Mainly because I know from previous experience you will twist any information or answers you are given. It’s in your DNA. You’ve demonstrated it amply on this thread.

    Yes, you emailed me privately. And I do what I always do with all of the hundreds of other emails which you hassle me with. I put it straight in the Junk box. And then I did the same with the next one. And the next. Not that you are obsessed or anything.

    Oops, that will no doubt set him off again.

  19. So, speaking as the publisher of Total Politics magazine, you are refusing to cooperate with any attempt to conduct a surface-level audit of your polling sample?

  20. Dare I take that lonnnnnng silence and your prior refusal of every other request for this data from a number of web users as a ‘yes’?

    James, to answer your question, Iain is a man who happily plays games that undermine polite, efficient and effective political discussion. He is also a proficient liar and he projects shamelessly.

    Well he is, after all, a born politician.

    (Not meant to be a compliment. Just in case there’s any confusion.)

    Example: He falsely states that I habitually “twist any information or answers” and does this very thing to me again and again in the same damn thread. (If you can’t spot any examples, James, you just let me know.)

    Meanwhile he is trying to upset me by phrasing his responses in a way that suggests I am already in an emotional state.

    He really is quite cheeky, but not in a nice way.

    He really is quite clever, but not in a way that most of us would be proud of.

    Iain’s sneaky and selfish methods cripple debate and lead to a misinformed electorate. I won’t stand for it, especially when he promotes himself as the champion of the very thing he’s sucking dry. That’s why I care and that’s why I’d be just as happy for someone else (outside of the Dale/Staines circle) to take a close look at the relevant data.

    Let’s have a record of the size and nature of the sample behind this poll. In fact, let’s have a close look at it while the data is fresh and the participating weblogs are all still live.

    Why should we?

    Because this is a poll that many bloggers will be measuring themselves against over the next 12 months… that many journalists and editors will be measuring blogs against. It is in this way that wild fantasies become real and media myths are created.

    Have you really forgotten Spinal Stats so quickly? Iain earned himself added readers and influence by pretending to be more popular/influential than he actually was:
    http://www.bloggerheads.com/archives/2008/04/this_is_spinal.asp

    Short version (at last):

    I say we need to look at these numbers, and I am unlikely to be deterred by Iain’s tricks.

    If anything, they contribute to my wider case.

  21. I would point out that Liberal Conspiracy most emphatically did not call for a boycott; one of the the writers thereon may have done, but not all of us did, and in fact, those of us who didn’t call for a boycott ended up getting the link re-instated. And also linked the beauty contests on our own blogs.

    Just, you know, for clarity.

  22. Tim, you need to let go of your hate, this campaign of trying-to-get-everyone-else-to-see-what-you-see isn’t working, never will work and all you’re doing is causing yourself mental anguish, stress and making yourself look like some kind of obsessive stalker.

    You should try looking into the future to imagine where this path you’re on actually leads. Is it:

    A) Everyone suddenly stops reading Iain Dale’s blog because you’ve made everyone realise he’s the World’s Most Evil Man?
    B) Iain gets an injunction taken out against you, which you breach, and you get yourself banged up in jail?
    C) You find yourself in a mental institution?
    D) You waste the next 20 years of your life ranting about Iain and Guido and discover, on your death bed, that your entire life was devoted to a pursuit completely without point, meaning, use or purpose?

    There’s only one way you’re going to get a positive outcome for yourself and that’s by just letting go.

    Let go, Tim! Move on! Learn to let go of things that don’t matter…

    Speaking of which, I must try to remember the golden rule of the internet… everyone’s right, everyone else is wrong… hmm.

  23. So Charlotte, when you are confronted by lying bastards, your response is to, erm, believe the lies, because it is easier to “let go of things that don’t matter”?

  24. Hi Charlotte.
    I see ‘obssesive’ and ‘stalker’ in the first paragraph.
    I see exhortation about mental health a little later.
    I’m thinking you really need to do a little more background reading before you go in these directions.

  25. Iain Dale is well known for falsifying facts, statistics etc to suit himself,his Wikipedia page has been edited & redited(mostly by him) to suit the image he would like to portray to the world. He claims to be the first openly gay Tory candidate for example, but he is not ;he is second after Derek Laud.

    Tim merely seeks to expose this shameless, lying self publicist for what he is.Incapable of posting any information or statistics without manipulating them to put him in or portray him in a light which is entirely undeserved.And he decries New Labour for spin, at least they were professional about it! He’s strictly minor league in that respect!

    Dale is a lightweight fraud who relies on publicity stuntage rather than serious endeavour & should be exposed as such.

  26. Fact is whoever hosts a blog contest like Iain’s will find it open to bias. For example, if I or one of my comrades hosted it on Socialist Unity you would find a greater preponderance of left blogs than will be the case in Iain’s top 100. The only way to make it more representative is getting more people to participate, simple as.

  27. Tim,

    My advice was sincerely given and meant and I still stand by it. You should take it in the spirit it was intended: Advice freely given by a stranger for you to take or leave as you wish.

    If you’re asking people to take sides between you and Iain/Guido then you’re inviting people to form an opinion. This is not a private battle, this is something very very public – I mean, I’ve known about this feud for years and I don’t even read the blogs involved.

    In the end I decided that the feud itself is the problem, and so that’s the angle I took.

    I understand you feel that I have slighted or insulted you in some way, and that you want an apology. I can’t do that, because I have done nothing wrong. Your right is to simply ignore me, to say that I am wrong, which is fine. You have done so, and you’ve made it clear that I am, if nothing else, rude and discriminatory towards the mentally ill and possibly a hypocrite.

    Which is fine, and your right, and I’m not offended or bothered or concerned that you hold those opinions.

    But please, Tim, I’m asking you not to escalate this any further. I sincerely regret getting involved and you can be certain I have absolutely nothing further to say publically on this subject, nor do I ever intend to write about you or ‘the feud’ again. Is that enough?

  28. What Charlotte said. I’m never going to read Iain’s blog anyway, because what he writes is of no interest to me, but this ongoing feud is the one thing that puts me off reading yours, Tim.

  29. You’ve made a judgement on my intentions, methods and state of mind without being fully aware of the facts, Charlotte. You admit it yourself in this very thread.

    “I’ve known about this feud for years and I don’t even read the blogs involved.”

    Easy enough to move on from, I suppose (yet another opinion formed on the basis of a cursory inspection) but a central point of this issue has to do with the clouding of facts and the use of shameless outright lies. Time and again, Iain states things that simply aren’t so. Often they are the opposite of the truth.

    Can you tell me what you think happened with the Tory bloggers in Guildford and why Iain refused to report it or condemn it? Was Grant Shapps’ password really ‘1234’? Did Iain simply make an honest mistake when he claimed 250,000 unique visitors a month, when in reality it was closer to 50,000?

    Am I wrong to be concerned about this man passing judgement on other bloggers via a biased poll that far too many people are going to take seriously?

    (Jennie: It is not a feud just because Iain says it is. It has only ever become personal because of the underhanded methods that Iain and his bullies have used to cloud the issue and avoid accountability.)

  30. Tim, whatever it is, it’s BORING. You’ve won, as far as I am concerned. I believe what you say about Iain’s selective truthness. I am WITH YOU on the idea that it’s ridiculous that he paints himself as centre of the blogosphere when the vast majority of it hasn’t even heard of him, and the mainstream media are being very lazy in the way they aid him in his self-publicity… The thing is, by going on and on and on about it, you are not exactly starving him of the oxygen of publicity, are you?

    The best thing you can do – the best thing we ALL can do – is ignore him.

    The more people talk about him, the more he becomes interesting. If we all stop talking about him (and yeah, I know, I’ve been guilty of that myself the past few days) then he ceases to be relevant.

  31. I agree on that point – and Iain makes more of the attention he receives of me than he actually gets – but I will be addressing this latest blog poll of his.

    I repeat:

    I say we need to look at these numbers, and I am unlikely to be deterred by Iain’s tricks.

    PS – If you truly stand by your words here, why delete the comment at your website that linked to them?

  32. I tend not to follow this argument, though my usual feeling from reading both sides is that Tim’s right but it won’t do him much good, though – notably – he does write about other things. But I can sympathise with the ‘grr, if I don’t do then no-one else will’ mindset’; isn’t that what a huge number of us involved in politics use to get up in the morning?

    Charlotte… How about just letting go of your uninformed slanging about mental illness? It’s deeply unpleasant, and presumably you neither know either of the gentlemen involved or have access to their psychiatric reports. Besides which, isn’t ‘You’re never going to win, ner ner ner ner ner, so you must be insane for working so hard exactly what Mr Dale and his Tory associates (who in the blunt refusal to say otherwise may consist of 99% of Mr Dale’s alleged ‘votes’) say to any Liberal Democrat? Thin ice, eh?

  33. Sorry, Jennie. In my haste I mistook your comment for Charlotte’s.

    It is Charlotte who claims not to be “offended or bothered” by what I have to say in response to her judgement, and yet has deleted the comment at her website that links to this conversation.

    It is also Charlotte who does not like being judged in this way…
    http://www.theliberati.net/quaequamblog/2008/08/28/just-a-bit-of-fun/#comment-198790

    …but seems perfectly happy to judge others. In lurid and imaginative detail.

    Thank you, Alex, for pointing out that if you don’t care about the final outcome or what the records shows, then politics may not be your thing.

  34. PS – Having just read your linked post in full, Jennie, I’d like to add that it is not just Iain I am concerned about, but the ‘blogging’ bullshit artists like him. and those that grow like bindweed around him.

    My posts on this often go into detail because I have documented *technique* along the way.

  35. Feel free to step in at any time, James. Not everyone reading this conversation will be aware of Charlotte and her views on being judged (by some polls and not others), your own concerns with Iain’s poll, and your views on use of the ‘mental’ tag.

    Gosh! If I didn’t know any better I’d assume that was a pretty blatant troll. But that’s the sort of thing that Iain Dale does, not Tim Ireland, so clearly it can’t be the case. 😛

    I haven’t intervened, partly because I’ve been PC-free and visiting my parents in an area with very little mobile cover, and partly because I’ve written pretty much all I intend to write on the subject. I will however stick up for Charlotte for a second here. She made a few lighthearted comments about “obsession” and landed herself into this silly nonsense (started by Guido) about Brown’s/Staines’/Thatcher’s/everyone’s mental health. She’s under no obligation to know the context around which others choose to frame her remarks and I really don’t see why she is being abused on this thread to the extent that she is.

  36. Thank you, Alex, for pointing out that if you don’t care about the final outcome or what the records shows, then politics may not be your thing.

    Oh, and that isn’t what Alex said. He said:

    I can sympathise with the ‘grr, if I don’t do then no-one else will’ mindset’; isn’t that what a huge number of us involved in politics use to get up in the morning?

    And for the record, I can too. But one of the most important political skills is knowing which fights are worth fighting and which ones you should simply walk away from. I simply don’t accept there is political gold to be had digging around them thar Dales.

  37. James, I hold a candle for neither Charlotte nor Tim – I think I’ve met Tim once, and exchanged about two e-mails with him over about two years – and Tim’s invitation for you to pile in is indeed a bit of trolling, but I’m astounded that you defend Charlotte’s against ‘abuse’. I’ve read down the thread, not with any great enthusiasm, and I can’t see any. The nearest I can find is me saying her post was deeply unpleasant. She may not have meant it that way, but really, saying if she disagrees with someone he will inevitably end up either in prison or in a mental hospital. I think my reply was pretty damn mild to something that horrible.

    And I don’t know the whole ‘context’, either. I just read some really vile remarks and objected to them. If that’s abuse, what on Earth was she doing, and why are you defending such bullying?

    I don’t think what Tim summarised me as saying was exactly what I said (in my somewhat eccentric use of quote marks, oops), but I don’t disagree with it, and it’s a reasonable match not for the bit of mine you quoted but for the bit I closed with…

  38. Oh! A penny drops.

    landed herself into this silly nonsense (started by Guido) about Brown’s/Staines’/Thatcher’s/everyone’s mental health.

    Oh dear. I really did walk into that one didn’t I? That comment about “you Master Criminal You” I couldn’t understand, not one bit, so I thought it was some lackey of Tim’s accusing Iain of posting under under my name, which triggered my, “Paranoid, much?” post.

    In this context then yes, it sort of makes a lot more sense.

    For the record I do not believe that Tim, or Brown, or anyone is actually “mental” and I’m sorry for any offense caused.

    Sheesh epic trying to keep a low profile FAIL.

  39. Alex, I agree, I shouldn’t have added, “end up in a mental institution” as a possible outcome. People end up being committed for all sorts of reasons and it’s a shame that there’s so much stigma attached to it that even mentioning it as something that might happen to someone is considered abusive, horrible or offensive.

    I do not happen to attach any negativity or stigma or anything to mental illness, it is something that happens, like a cold, or flu, or anything else. This is why I’m a lot more casual and flippant about these things than other people are, I suppose.

    But it’s lesson learned, okay?

  40. “I thought it was some lackey of Tim’s accusing Iain of posting under under my name, which triggered my, “Paranoid, much?” post.”

    (laughs. with you.)

    If it’s any consolation, IMO the “Paranoid, much?” headline only *just* nudges you over the qualifying distance for EPIC FAIL.

    “For the record I do not believe that Tim, or Brown, or anyone is actually “mental” and I’m sorry for any offense caused.”

    Thank you.

  41. Tell you what Tim, since you are clearly not going to let go, why don’t you start answering my questions before demanding answers to yours? You said that claims that the Total Politics poll boycott was ineffective was a ‘lie’ and I asked you to substantiate that. For it to be effective you must have a list of boycotters running to four figures. Where is it?

    Answer me that and then I’ll continue down this line of pointless semantics.

  42. Pointless semantics? You accused me of abusing a woman!

    But if you insist…

    Iain claimed:

    “What you really object to is Liberal Conspiracy called for a boycott, but everyone ignored it. “

    I said this was a lie. Iain’s opinion of what I ‘really’ object to is pure speculation (I deny it, BTW) and the objection raised by Sunny was not ignored by ‘everyone’, as you noted yourself:

    “Well, clearly not everyone did not “boycott” the poll”

    But – and here’s the most important part – Liberal Conspiracy did not call for a boycott!

    As Jennie points out in this very thread:

    “I would point out that Liberal Conspiracy most emphatically did not call for a boycott; one of the the writers thereon may have done, but not all of us did…”

    Was Iain lying?

    Well, there was no truth in what he said, but perhaps he merely accidentally miss-spoke in a manner that was favourable to him.

    Now can we get back to the part(s) where you’ve seen me abusing Charlotte?

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