Australian millionaire merchant banker turned politician Malcolm Turnbull is seen by many as a very tough political operator, having secured his seat in the Federal Parliament by running and winning a divisive pre-selection campaign against the then sitting member from his conservative government party (a tactic regarded by many in his party as very poor form). Quite a few people in this country, and no doubt pre-eminently Malcolm himself, would regard him as a plausible prospect to one day be Prime Minister.
And what does this nano-profile of a conservative (Australian ‘Liberal’ Party) politician (or ‘pollie’ in the Australian, less than complimentary abbreviation) have to do with home based business? Nothing that I can think of. But with blogging, yes, because Malcolm is getting some coverage in the media with his new ‘dog blogs’ section on his Parliamentary website.
What’s a good way for a rich, powerful, politically tough pollie to project his warm, caring side? Why, a dog blog, of course!
There’s a catch, though, because what Malcolm has launched as his dog blogs do not have a few minimum features of a blog – there is no commenting facility and there is no sign of permalinks, just regular web links, and no RSS feed. OK, some blogs elsewhere may not have comments on (and how would other dog bloggers leave comments anyway?), but from what I can see Malcolm’s ‘dog blogs’ are really just web pages with dates. So is Malcolm’s own blog any more like what the rest of us see as a blog? No, it too is a set of ‘articles’ with dates. A cut above the usual boring Parliament House website, admittedly.
Nice try, Malcolm, but no cigar. You need to get those Parliament House web people to study up on blog design.
A much more impressive effort is the blog maintained by Senator Andrew Bartlett of the small but often influential Australian Democrats party. Seriously thoughtful content, no fluffy dogs here.
In the interest of political balance, I went googling for blogs from the parliamentary wing of the Australian Labor Party (ALP), constituting as it does Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition. Not much luck, which might simply mean there are Labor bloggers out there who are just not showing up on the search engines – or not. I did however find that Aussie blogger Trevor Cook has some posts on ALP bloggers.
What price an up and coming ALP blogger with a cat blog?