One task for new SMH editor Alan
Oakley will be to address the alarming quality slump in the Herald’s blogging
panel. What once was a thriving online community has been replaced by a desert,
and surfers appear to be voting with their keyboards, staying away in
droves.

Since Margo Kingston departed to
greener pastures,
the decline in Herald blog quality has been
noticeable.

The lack of traffic and reader
postings on the blog site is telling. Readers are ignoring Julie Robotham’s
contribution, ‘Dissection’
in droves. So far this week, we’ve counted a grand total of one reader’s
response to her compelling copy.

Andrew West
is trying hard
in his new role replacing Margo as the contrarian leftie, and he’s attracting a
bit of traffic. As for the rest, it would be a triumph of style over substance.
Except the style isn’t that flash, either, with spelling and grammar at
times actually sub-blog standard.

It’s not hard to find the good bloggers. Start by checking out Crikey’s
regular best of the bloggers list. They’ve got their whole portfolio online –
and we know bloggers who’d trade ten years of their life to get paid to do
it.

Word is that some of previous management’s mates at the Herald are
getting paid top dollar for their burblings. With Oakley at the helm and ready
to make an impact, how long before the clean-up occurs?

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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