I spent a few weeks visiting or looking at some notable Aussie websites. My conclusion? Large Australian blogs (with some exceptions) must be among the most parochial in the world. If one looks down the list of their posts on any one day they seem to concern themselves mainly with:
1. Australian political minutiae (like Happy Birthday to the Prime Minister or even The Government Gazette fights Back) or superficial posts about the quirky personalities of some Australian politicians, or
2. Trivia (like advertising grog sessions for blog authors or presenting endless pictures of their cats or discussing Harry Potter books or offering stimulating topics like 'What I did on my holidays' or 'Human waste for fertilizer?') or
3. Sleaze (like 'Should women happily embrace anal intercourse?' or uplifting posts which encourage respondents to out-swear the post author) or
4. Intellectualism (where a few elitist pointy-heads use their imagined literary or academic knowledge and skills combined with the liberal use of obscure words or theories to try to dazzle those who they consider to be mindless peasants).
Of course the people who miss out are the readers of these large blogs (large refers to those sites where comments often exceed fifty or more). They are being treated like mushrooms grown in a very small, rather stifling room. Some of them seem totally ignorant about world affairs or what is of real concern on overseas blogs. WW3 has probably already begun and nuclear warfare is probably only months away and Bush has assumed dictatorial powers but such issues are not even mentioned on some large Australian blogs. They are not considered to be important enough!
As well, some large Australian blogs tend to groom commenters. Words like 'verboten' are used. Edicts are issued. Commenters who expand on a post by thinking laterally or talk about things happening in the rest of the world (that is a big no-no) are given warnings (in language reminiscent of an authoritarian schoolmaster). Commenters who don't toe the line have belittling 'AWAITING MODERATION' signs attached to their comments. Then, if they persist, they are banned (of course, to be fair, occasionally there are a few obnoxious or deranged commenters who should be banned).
I would urge the publishers of large Australian blogs which are guilty of the above to lift their game, to take their blinkers off, to expand their tiny minds and to treat their readers with more respect.
Australia is merely a small part of a big world whether you like it or not!
And not all of your readers are fools! They deserve better.