It's the time of year when most Brits are looking forward to their holidays, the summer takes a torrential turn ... and the King of Blogging hosts his annual top 100 poll of political blogs.
As lists go this has never been without controversy. The method of compilation has always come in for criticism. Before last year's poll voting was done through a straw poll of existing notable bloggers. And then in 2008 the polling was mainly conducted from Iain Dale's blog, a blog that is one of the main congregation points for Tories and sundry right wingers. Unsurprisingly this replicated the bias from previous years, one that heavily tilts toward the right. (see for yourself). So this time the poll is now officially organised under the auspices of Iain's Total Politics magazine and is being run simultaneously from there, Iain's blog, Labour List and LibDem Voice. By covering the main haunts of mainstream political blogging that bias such be bleached out as more take part in the voting.
But that causes far left bloggers a bit of a problem. We will be squeezed. Last year there were only seven far left bloggers who made the top 100. This year there will be fewer who make the grade, unless our collective readership vote for them. The seven in last years list were Lenin's Tomb, The Daily (Maybe), Obsolete, A Very Public Sociologist (who?), Socialist Unity, Dave's Part, and Stumbling and Mumbling.
There are of course loads of other excellent far left blogs. There is Madam Miaow, Though Cowards Flinch, The Third Estate, Stroppyblog, Splintered Sunrise, Shiraz Socialist, The Commune, Another Green World, Boffy's Blog, Directionless Bones, Excuse Me Whilst I Step Outside, Harpymarx, Organised Rage, and Penny Red to name but 14.
How to vote and make sure genuine socialist voices are represented in this year's top 100? Here are the rules:
1. You must vote for your ten favourite blogs and rank them from 1 (your favourite) to 10 (your tenth favourite).Email your top ten blogs now to firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Your votes must be ranked from 1 to 10. Any votes which do not have rankings will not be counted.
3. You MUST include ten blogs. If you include fewer than ten your vote will not count.
4. Email your vote to email@example.com
5. Only vote once.
6. Only blogs based in the UK, run by UK residents are eligible or based on UK politics are eligible.
7. Anonymous votes left in the comments will not count. You must give a name
8. All votes must be received by midnight on 31 July 2009. Any votes received after that date will not count.
Obviously I'd be chuffed to bits if everyone of my 300 or so daily visitors put A Very Public Sociologist as their number one :P