Friday, July 27, 2007


"Some typical Australian blog readers!"

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.


Anonymous said...


I agree with you that LP is a very strange group blog. It is all the things you describe with the addition that I think some of the bloggers are deranged and live in some sort of cuckoo-land in academia mostly it seems. Also I note the authoritarian, bullying tone too if a poster, quelle horreur, strays off topic. This is derailing it seems, like a train wreck presumably. Very odd culture.

Daniel said...

They're not the only ones, Anony!

ninglun said...

I have moderation on my comments to prevent things going to air which just might get me sued, such as inappropriate remarks about an ongoing court case -- as happened some time ago. I also get impatient if comments deviate too far from what the post is about.

As for blog content, I don't think that matters as much as you say. Some parochial blogs have other qualities that make them worth reading. Of course I don't actually have to read them, do I? It is my choice, and my taste...

Live and let live, I say.

Daniel said...

What worries me, Ninglun, is the fact that so many Aussie bloggers obviously have absolutely no idea about what is happening overseas.

They seem to live in a vacuum, one created in part by the parochial large blogs they frequent!

No said...

I've noticed that you've taken off your comment moderation...

Daniel said...

It's been off for some time, No.

betmo said...

it has to be tempting- seeing where you are located- to bury your heads in the sands of bondi beach, no? i hear what you are saying loud and clear- and it is a problem here too- but since we are causing most of the problems, we have a unique access to the world stage.

Anonymous said...

As a representative of the little fella ....I say, to hell with parochial blogs.
Isn't it large scale views that got us into this mess into the first place? The internet mass media in all it's apects is P*ing me off at present.

A disgruntled Zoe, but still with much love XXX

Daniel said...

Blogging parochialism is a problem worldwide, Betmo, but it seems to be worse here. I think too that big blogs, once they get a captive readership, tend to become rather arrogant and self-serving.

Hey, Neo, thanks for adding your voice to mine. XXXXXXXXXX


Confrontatrian said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Nancy said...

I loved visiting Australia and was fortunate enough to be able to work and live there for six months.
Curiously enough people were constantly asking me how "I liked it" and did not seem to be satisifed with my response "Very much". I noted that the word "Australian" was used dozens of times a day, and that products in the markets would have 'AUSTRALIAN MADE' stamped proudly on the front.
There is nothing wrong with a little pride, but Australia seemed to have an inferiority complex...which was totally unjustified. Australians had the highest standard of living in any country that I'd visited. Even the street people were doing all right in Sydney. The food and climate and scenery were top notch. Perhaps this inferiority complex leads to parochalism in the blogosphere; but I think really, you are simply reading the wrong blogs. There are some forwardthinking politically motivated Aussie bloggers out there. How many blogs in any country are readable by anyone other than close friends?

Daniel said...

Interesting comment, Nancy. I think our isolation has something to do with it. And America's too!

Nancy said...

I was a little surprised that Australia was not working more with the nearby Asian countries.
When I asked why people did not protest the Iraq involvement (which is universally unpopular) I was told "If we don't support the USA, they won't support us when we are invaded."
"Who is going to invade you?"
"Malaysia. They see all this land here."
"Well, LET THEM HAVE THE OUTBACK THEN. They are just looking for a way to make a living, the same as you. And if you are so worried about Asian intervention, why does every other Australian man I meet have a Korean wife?
P.S. NO ONE is going to invade you."

That was an actual conversation in 2003. I hope that things have changed a bit since then.

Daniel said...

Nancy, Australians did protest the Iraq involvement. In large numbers.

The invasion by Asian hordes was a fear once. Now they just emigrate here. Cheers!

Nancy said...

Oh yes, I was in some of the protests, and the war is not popular...but I still did have that conversation, and more than once, with people who appeared to be afraid of their neighbours.
Mr. Howard was referred to as the 'little bush' but I note that he is still in office.

Daniel said...

Not much longer, Nancy! Cheers.

phil kendall said...

G'day Daniel,

I presume you are this Daniel:

I remain unconvinced!
Submitted on August 6, 2007 - 8:35am.

My response to that problem, not to be submitted 'there,' may be seen here.

regards, Phil.

Daniel said...

Phil, I have long been an admirer of your work and your beliefs which tend to mirror some of my own. Welcome to my blog one that includes thinking folk from all over the world (which helps to prevent incestuousness and mono-diversity).

I did read your 'here' and confirm I am still in a state of shock over recent happenings over 'there' and I'm still trying to catch up with some of the background (not that it's any of my business I suppose).

I am sorry to hear of the schisms however and that some good people have been hurt!

phil kendall said...

G'day Daniel,

The history is looong; searching will be difficult. I've changed my blogger-profile to expose my email @, if you eml me I can switch it off again.

To give you some idea of the magnitude of the problem, here is a mini-time-line; the numbers are yymmdd wd_seq#:

070702 1897 David Davis: It was in the Age as well in Wedging

070612 1837 Eliot Ramsey arrives

070610 1884 C Parsons 'leaves' (ID disabled by DR)

070609 1901 David Davis 'drops in' - 7:41pm
070609 1901 Margo Kingston returns - 11:44am.

070607 1901 David Roffey announces implosion, Richard Tonkin resigns

070605 -eml Craig Rowley resigns

070605 1837 David Roffey closes 'meme'

070520 1891 Paul Morrella arrives

Perhaps I can help on specific questions?

regards, Phil.