I wrote the other day about how libertarian blogs seemed to be in decline; now the latest UK Wikio rankings appear to show that left blogs are on the rise, with the usual suspects toppled from top spot and Tories tumbling all over the place. And yes look, there's some fool with a monkey at No 15.
It may be tempting for us on the left to mutually backslap and go into a circlejerk of self-aggrandisement, but that would be hubris and probably quite wrong. We don't know if anything has really changed - those figures could be a blip, as Matt Wardman explains, or they could simply be the result of an adjustment to the algorithm. The figures always have been a bit of a circlejerk due to the incestuous linking between certain blogs and there's no reason to suppose that's stopped - or that people rather put out by being knocked off their perch won't figure out a new way to push themselves up.
All that said, though, it's not a surprise that there should be some adjustment in our view of political blogs after the election. The right must find it tough to get the same ire they did for New Labour. They're in power now, and it's the left who provide the counterpoint - Tories, Lib Dems and small-state right-wingers are very much the establishment. If you want to hear someone go on and on about the deficit, Labour's mess, £120m interest a day, cuts being tough choices because of Labour, and so on, you don't need to find it on a blog - it's there on the news from the Government, or from the Tory Party machine at Conservative Home. Genuine blogs need to either be entertaining, or well written, or provide something different, to keep interest going.
Maybe it's hard now that there's not the appetite for hilariously pretending on a daily basis that Gordon Brown is mentally ill, but there you are. It's harder to be a challenger than a cheerleader, but it's time to start trying; I don't think people look to political blogs to simply confirm that the Government is lovely and the last lot were a shower. We can get that in the mainstream.
As I've said, if there are ways to fiddle the figures, people will work it out. November might have provided a nice surprise for some of us, but I'd be surprised if it lasted. All the same, I think it's a bit of a correction or adjustment towards a more accurate picture of UK blogs. But we'll see. I'll wait and see for a couple of months before we can say anything approaching the idea that left blogging is on top.