Sunday, 10 May 2009

My Welsh Blogosphere – David Raybould

There are many words you can use to describe the Welsh blogosphere but there’s one that certainly shouldn't be used. That word is boring. Despite some naysayers, the Welsh blogosphere is full of incident. Whether it’s the ongoing, seemingly one man campaign against anonymous bloggers, the attack blogs, the name calling, the genuine humorous banter or the just plain bizarre. It's constantly interesting.

My place within this ‘scene’ is definitely within the political area, although I’m one of the few that are truly independent of a political party. I use my blog as a personal rant sheet. It’s a chance for me to get things off my chest and to share news stories, humorous thoughts and curiosities with the world.

I’m not one of those bloggers who thinks he’s challenging the mainstream media. Even though I’m critical of it I value the work and professionalism of journalists no matter what paper or media company they write for. Blogging isn’t the new journalism, much in the same way trainspotters aren’t the new train drivers.

I’m proud of my blog. I write and maintain it for my own pleasure. Whilst praise, awards, comments and increased visitor numbers are always welcome they’re not the be all and end all. I take more pride in the friends I’ve made through the process of blogging. Through his medium I’ve spoken to people I would never have thought to communicate with before. I speak to Tory, Labourite, Lib Dem and non-affiliated constantly and have made some really good acquaintances in the process. Hopefully, Welsh Bloggers In The Pub will help develop this more.

All is not rosy within blogging of course; there are many negatives and problems associated with this ‘scene’. The inspiration for the Welsh Bloggers In The Pub was the shameful treatment of Cllr. Luke Ellis by both anonymous bloggers and professional journalists, all willing to go to town on a man for writing a tongue-in-cheek article for his own personal blog.

The ‘anon’ blogs were especially distasteful. I’ve never witnessed such venom from Welsh based blogs and I hope I never have to again. We can all be catty, sarcastic and generally a bit nasty when covering topics we don’t like but the language and the threats aimed at Luke were so past the line of decency seeing them made me feel physically sick. Fortunately the blog which published these vile posts has now been deleted.

It was testament to the good within the Welsh blogosphere however, that the majority of Welsh bloggers backed Cllr. Ellis against these attacks. Even if some of them didn’t agree with what he said or his personal politics they all saw what was happening and spoke out. It’s that community spirit within the Welsh Blogosphere that I think will limit and neutralise attack blogs and encouraging that spirit is what I’m trying to do with ‘Welsh Bloggers In The Pub’. I may come across as a naive fool, and I probably am, but I think it’s worth a try.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank a couple of people who have been instrumental in my blogging experience. Marcus Warner, despite our obvious political differences, has been a constant source of support and constructive criticism. Valleys Mam and Alwyn ap Huw as two of my favourite bloggers have been a reason for me to keep on blogging. Al Iguana as a regular comments section denizen has argued his points with grace and intelligence and made me laugh. Simon Dyda has been a rock for the Welsh blogosphere and an example of how Welsh political blogging should be done.

Of course there are others, many others in the Welsh blogosphere that have also been supportive of my blog and inspired me to continue when things have ground to a halt. I thank them all.

On July 15th, if the Vulcan Hotel is still there, mine’s a pint of Brains S.A.

(Written by David Raybould, Welsh blogger, creator and author of and

This is the fifth in a series of posts giving a chance for Welsh bloggers to have their say on the state of the blogosphere and where it's going. If you're interested in contributing place feel free to contact me at

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