Archive for the ‘Kiwiblog’ Category

Proposed comments policy

September 29th, 2014 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

In the past I have not been too detailed about what is and is not an acceptable comment as defining a line can encourage people to try and go right to the boundary. But I think it would now be useful to clarify the proposed comments policy, so that people can modify their comments appropriately.

This is a draft, and feedback is welcome. Of course the final call is mine.

Worth nothing that there will be more leniency in the General Debate, than other posts.

So what is a no go.

Defamation

Do not make comments that could get myself as publisher, or you, into a defamation suit.

Trolling

Trolling I define as an attempt to deliberately disrupt a conversation by being grossly offensive or massively off topic. Examples are turning a debate into a religious flame war, or stating all Catholics are complicit in child abuse or the like.

Personal Abuse

This is the area where things are going to get tighter. I want arguments attacked, not people. As an example it will be unacceptable to call someone a moron, but it will be acceptable to say their argument is moronic. That may seem a fine distinction, but an important one. However don’t try and push the distinction to breaking point. If you say that someone’s argument has the integrity of a pus filled prostitute (for example), then that would find you with a warning or strike.

Gratitious references to attributes people have no control over

People can not choose their gender, race, skin colour or sexual orientation. There will be times when those attributes about a public figure can be a legitimate discussion in relation to an political event. For example the media have just quoted Grant Robertson on whether his sexual orientation may be a factor in the leadership election.

But slagging off an MP, or non MP, on the basis of something they can’t control will get a strike or a warning.

Likewise grossly offensive generalisations are not acceptable either. Treat people as individuals. This is not to say one can’t discuss group characteristics (such as why certain races are over-represented in crime statistics), but it should be done in a way which is not derogatory of the entire group.

In terms of humour, I have a wide tolerance for humour which makes fund of generalisations, so long as the intent is to be humourous, not to be nasty. If you are not sure of the difference, then don’t do it. And generally keep that stuff to the general debate. I do not want Kiwiblog to be a politically correct blog, but I do want it to be a place where people wouldn’t say anything in the comments, they wouldn’t say to someone’s face.

Language

I swear. Too much, according to my parents. I have a fairly wide tolerance for swearing so long as it is not directed at someone. Calling someone a c**t is almost never acceptable, but the use of the word in other contexts may be. Telling someone to f**k off is never acceptable. I’m the only one who makes that call on this blog. Sometimes swear words can be an effective way of adding emphasis. But use them too much, and they lose the impact. I’m not going to be a language nazi, but I will deal with complaints when swear words are directed at individuals, or used in a way which is trolling or disruptive.

Personal Details

Give other commenters the courtesy of referring to them by the name or alias they use on this blog. Do not reveal personal details about them such as their name, address, phone number etc. unless it is somehow connected to a public issue. If in doubt, check.

 

As I said, feedback is welcome on the above. Generally they are not a huge change from the status quo except in the area of personal abuse. I want more people to feel safe to post on Kiwiblog, without being abused for their views. Their views can be attacked, but not them. Obviously there is a certain amount of latitude – if someone starts trolling or says something absolutely offensive or ridiculous such as they think the US faked 9/11, then they’ll get a robust reaction. But on most topics, you should be able to reasonably and robustly disagree.

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Consultation: Demerits and Suspensions

September 16th, 2014 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

The current demerits and suspension system works okay, but I think people get too many chances, and also it is rather complicated to keep track of all the demerits. Basically at the moment you get between 10 and 100 demerits for an unacceptable comment and everytime you make 100 you get suspended – initially for one week, and doubling each time you get to 100 again.

I’d like feedback on some possible changes.

Replace demerits with warnings and strikes

Rather than have a subjective number of demerit points, just have an unacceptable comment count as a strike, and one that verges on unacceptable count as a warning.

Three strikes and you’re out

If someone gets three strikes, then they are suspended.

Once suspended, all further strikes will lead to a suspension

After a suspension, then a further strike is a automatic further suspension. Warnings can still be given for borderline stuff, but clearly unacceptable content is an automatic suspension

Carry on current regime of doubling suspension periods

This would mean the following

  1. Strike 1 – no suspension
  2. Strike 2 – no suspension
  3. Strike 3 – one week suspension
  4. Strike 4 – two weeks suspension
  5. Strike 5 – one month suspension
  6. Strike 6 – two month suspension
  7. Strike 7 – three month suspension
  8. Strike 8 – six month suspension
  9. Strike 9 – one year suspension
  10. Strike 10 – permanent ban

An amnesty

As from 1 October there would be a new system, all current suspensions and demerits are wiped, and everyone starts with a blank slate.

Welcome feedback on the proposed changes. From my point of view it would be much easier to just record what strike someone is one, rather than the rather complicated demerit system. It is also less subjective.

Can I also say I’m really pleased with the report abusive comment usage. Readers have responded really well to this, reporting a couple of dozen abusive comments and hiding them from view quickly.  In only one case has there been an inappropriate reporting..

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An easier way to report comments

September 8th, 2014 at 4:57 pm by David Farrar

In the past, you needed to e-mail me to report comments that may fall outside the Kiwiblog’s Comments Policy. Now there is a plugin which means you can just click on a link to report a comment.

If 5 people report a comment, it will go into moderation to be reviewed.

Note that this feature should not be used on comments just because you disagree with them. If you continually report comments that are not abusive or trolling, then I’ll suspend your account. The up and down vote buttons are what you use for agreeing or disagreeing with a comment. This feature is for comments that are highly abusive.

UPDATE: It is working well. Only one comment has had five reports against it, moving it to moderation. The comment is or was:

Lurcher:

Just watched REAL NZs with their insurance problems in ChCh on TV3 campbell live then i thought of the crap like IGM and the other wankers on HATE KIWIBLOG saying LEECHER lefties.If i was Mr Farra i will say you are attached with the rightwing fuckers who hate real NZs Dipshit posters are still dipshit posters, but they are still your blog base you and slater, ME i dont give a fuck IM RETIRED YOU CUNTS SUPPORT ME WEEEEEEEEEEEEEE, work hard im RELAXED like key

A perfect example of what the plugin is designed for.

 

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Kiwiblog Moderation Discussion #1

September 2nd, 2014 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

As I previously indicated, I plan to make some changes around moderation of comments effective 1 October.  While I am firm in deciding to make change (and it is my blog) I am keen for feedback on various changes that may or may not be made. I plan to do this via a series of posts discussing some issues.

I still want this as a forum for robust debate, and knocking back of ill informed views. But I want it to be a place where more people are keen to engage.

The two initial issues are this

1. Should there be more moderation in posts on specific issues and a lesser standard of moderation in General Debate?

My thinking here is that people go to General Debate just to have a vigorous exchange of views on, well pretty much everything. Only hard core readers go into it, unlike other posts where people with an interest in the topic may want to go in and contribute.

So as a way to still allow people to vigorously debate issues and personalities, General Debate would have very light moderation (defamation, extreme abuse ruled out only). However all the other posts each day would have tighter moderation,  with comments that are disruptive to the discussion earning some sort of sanction (which I’ll discuss in a separate post) or being edited or deleted.

To me it seems this would still allow rather robust debate in one area (think of it as a quarantine), and more focused debate in the other posts.

2. Should greater leeway be given to people who post under their own names, or are clearly identifiable?

My default thinking is that if someone is willing to make comments under their own name, and accept the consequences of those comments being attributed to them, then they should get greater leeway to comment robustly (short of defamation or over the top abuse). The fact they have to “wear” their comments tends to act as a incentive to be less inflammatory.

However I am a strong believer that people should be able to post under a pseudonym here. Many people have a very valid reasons to not want to post under their name – for work or family reasons. However if you choose not to use your actual name, should there be less tolerance of comments where (for example) you may attack actual identified people. It is a bit unfair to those who do post publicly, to have comments made by those who won’t accept responsibility under their name for comments.

This would not be a black and white situation where those posting under their names can get away with saying anything at all, and those using a pseudonym can’t criticise others at all. It is more than in situations where the comments are marginal, those posting under their actual names would get the benefit of the doubt more.

Welcome feedback on these two issues. I’ve also got two polls in the sidebar so you can vote on them, if you don’t want to comment. I recognise again that some people may think there should be no change at all, but there will be change.

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Some changes for Kiwiblog

August 19th, 2014 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Over the last week or so I have seriously considered walking away from Kiwiblog. While some will take huge pleasure in what has happened, let me say that it is genuinely traumatic to have hacked e-mails to and from yourself (even if you were not the one hacked) floating around, and to also realise that because you are a blogger and pollster, it means you and your office is fair game. One of the worst moments was having a senior staff member of mine, who is also a very good friend, tell me that she had been worried that I might think she was the leak, as our politics are different. I hate the impact this is having on so many people.

Some of the revelations coming out, also do not show aspects of the blogosphere in a good light (to put it mildly) and I’ve thought quite a bit about how this impacts the wider blogosphere.

I don’t believe that the book shows me having acted in any way inappropriately. I have  gone out of my way to be open about my background and leanings and relationships, and I follow my own views when I blog – hence why I campaigned against the Government last year on the copper tax (despite being a Chorus shareholder!). I never have taken any form of money or kind for blog posts, and disclose even the mist minor gifts.

There is part of me that wants to walk away so I am no longer a target. Politics is far less important to me than family and friends. I’ve also considered whether to do what Cameron often calls me, and become a travel and arts blogger, and have less or almost no focus on politics. But the trouble is the blog for me is an outlet on what I think – what I like, what annoys me, what amuses me, what appals me. And I can’t imagine it can function as that, if I try and avoid politics. I do genuinely blog because I like having my say – that is my primary motivation.

Also I do like to think, without being immodest, that I do make good contributions to politics in NZ. I can data crunch, I have a 20+ year history of political knowledge which can put things in context, I have good relationships, and I generally get good feedback on my commentary in the mainstream media. I’m far far from irreplaceable, but there are not that many people who have the time, skills and employment situation that allows them to substantively blog.

So after some reflection, I have decided to carry on, but to make some changes. I want to improve trust in myself, Kiwiblog, and perhaps the wider blogosphere. So I’ve decided on the following.

  1. Kiwiblog is sending in an application today to join the Online Media Standards Authority. I’m not doing this so I can be called media. I don’t intend to label myself as media. I’m a blogger. I’m doing it so I can be held accountable to a public code of ethics and standards, and an independent complaint procedure. The code of ethics and standards will apply to both myself, and all guest bloggers here.
  2. I receive up to a dozen unsolicited e-mails a day, suggesting stories to me. Most are from people who are not politicians or staff – just ordinary readers. Some are just links to stories, some make some points on a topical issue. I sometimes quote these e-mails in posts. I have always been very careful to distinguish between content I write, and content people may send me (which I quote as coming from a reader). But I’m going to go a further step and if any content substantially comes from a parliamentary, or political party staffer, source I will state so when using it. I will not name individuals, but if I quote someone I will include information on their affiliations, when relevant. You will find this is very infrequently.
  3. There has been a culture of sharing stories in advance with others who may be interested in the story. Nothing wrong with sharing information. I don’t do it that often, but have when I think I have a particularly relevant story, that others may want to also blog on. This isn’t a conspiracy, it is simply information sharing. However I’m not going to do this in future. Generally no one will gets a heads up on my stories. The exception will be if it is an explicitly co-ordinated campaign such as happened in early 2009 over the pending changes to the Copyright Act, when I contacted blogs from the left and right to take part in the Black Out campaign.
  4. When I have disagreed in the past with stories Cam has run, I’ve tended to say so directly to try and influence him. The joke is my 1% success rate is higher than most.  On the recent case of Tania Billingsley, I said in a phone conversation that I didn’t think speculating on her motives was a wise thing to do. I made contact after a friend of Tania’s asked me to have a word. But I accept that having a direct conversation doesn’t mean I shouldn’t also publicly say when I think something is wrong. So in future I will more often. One can be friends, and say I think you are wrong with what you are doing. And yes we are friends. When I had some health issues a couple of years ago Cam was there for me in a big way, and on a personal note, I know he will remain there for me, and I will for him. But again, it doesn’t mean I can’t say I think you are wrong and shouldn’t do it, just as he regularly calls me out for being a pinko, or the such!
  5. After the election (ie when I have more time) I am going to consult on a tougher moderation policy for the comments. I want them to be robust and forceful, but focused more on issues than people. I have very limited time to read them myself, so probably will ask for some readers to step forward as moderators. We’ll have that discussion in October.

I hope people will appreciate the changes. I welcome feedback on them, and other suggestions. I believe political blogs can play a very valuable role in political discourse, and want to do what I can to be a constructive part of it.

UPDATE: The hone of mainly anonymous bloggers, The Standard, has a go at my decision to have even more transparency than I currently do. And what is hilarious, is the post is anonymous.

Also they print an extract from the book which is totally factually wrong. The party they cite was not organised by me, and I did not even invite anyone to attend. I went to a party in Palmerston North. Around 30 to 40 people attended the party, and they can all attest I was not the organiser. It’s just a smear.

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A Kiwiblog editorial policy

March 28th, 2014 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

I am considering the pros and cons of Kiwiblog joining the Press Council. If Kiwiblog does join, then I thought it would be useful to have a clear editorial policy that spells out how it operates. Below is a first draft. I welcome feedback from readers as to any changes they think are desirable.

The sections are based on the Press Council principles.

Accuracy

Kiwiblog will never publish anything the author knows to be untrue. If it does publish anything that is non-trivially factually inaccurate, it will correct it as soon as possible. The correction will generally be by way of strike-through on the incorrect text and bold on the new text so the changes are explicit. Alternatively updates may be done to a post, at the bottom of it.

Occasionally a post may be rewritten to reflect new information, when it is not desirable to keep the inaccurate original information in the post. However all versions of a post are archived.

Kiwiblog does not have the resources to double source all information it receives. It will sometimes publish information it receives from readers, if it deems the source credible.

Balance

Kiwiblog primarily reflects the views of its editor, David Farrar. However Kiwiblog is designed for debate and a balance of views can be achieved by contrary views being published in the comments section.

Kiwiblog is also generally amenable to running guest posts or a right of reply on a topic, even when those views do not reflect the editor’s.

However Kiwiblog will primarily be publishing stories that reflect the views of the editor on issues, and this will be the dominant view.

Kiwiblog also links to a number of other blogs, which promote a variety of different views on different issues. Kiwiblog believes that readers best achieve balance by reading different views on different sites, rather than one overall “balanced” view on all sites.

Fairness

Kiwiblog will link to quoted material (if available online), so that readers can easily follow through to see extracted material in its full context.

Kiwiblog generally allows a right of reply, both in comments or as a guest post – subject to overall editorial quality control.

Privacy

Kiwiblog has an internal privacy policy here. Kiwiblog asserts that as it makes observations on news, or current affairs, for the purposes of dissemination to the public or any section of the public, it is a news medium undertaking news activity and hence not an agency for the purposes of the Privacy Act.

In terms of publishing details of individuals, Kiwiblog will balance up the public interest against an individual’s desire for privacy. Whether such details are already in the public domain will be a key consideration.

Children and Young People

Kiwiblog will generally not report on children or young people (under 18) unless it is for positive achievements, or they are taking part in newsworthy activities.

Comment and Fact

A blog is a mixture of news reporting and opinion. Blog readers understand this. It will generally be clear by use of quotes and extracts what is news, and what is opinion. Most posts are reflecting the opinion of the author, but some will be reporting original news.

Comments are also made by some blog readers. These are not moderated in advance by the editor and do not reflect the opinion of anyone but the person making them, and should not be seen as news. A comments and demerits policy applies to these.

Complaints against comments should be made to kiwiblogabuse@gmail.com.

Headlines and Captions

The headlines on Kiwiblog are designed to either explain the substance of a story or make readers curious as to what a story is so they will read it.

Discrimination and Diversity

Kiwiblog agrees with the Press Council that issues of gender, religion, minority groups, sexual orientation, age, race, colour or physical or mental disability are legitimate subjects for discussion. Any coverage of these issues is based on public interest and is not gratuitous.

Confidentiality

Kiwiblog receives significant amounts of (generally unsolicited) information from sources. It will not name or reveal the sources, unless they agree. The exception will be if knowingly false information is provided.

Subterfuge

Kiwiblog does not use subterfuge or deceit to gain information.

Conflicts of Interests

Potential conflicts are disclosed here. Kiwiblog does not accept money for posts, unless they are marked as a paid advertisement. Posts reflect the views of the author.

Photographs and Graphics

Photographs are not digitally retouched by Kiwiblog, unless for humourous purposes in which case it will be apparent.

Corrections

See Accuracy

Complaints

If a reader wishes to complain about a post, or seek an amendment, they should contact the editor by e-mail, or if it is urgent, by text or call to his mobile phone. Note that Kiwiblog does not have fulltime staff, and the timeliness of a response can be affected by the work demand or travel of the editor.

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DPF away

March 14th, 2014 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Light blogging until probably Thursday as I am on the Milford Track from Saturday to Wednesday. Never done it before so looking forward to it, despite that pesky cyclone turning up at the same time! The third of the nine great walks.

Jadis may do the odd guest post, and I may get  few posts done on Saturday before we head out – but basically offline from Sat am to Wed am.

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Future timed posts

February 27th, 2014 at 7:01 pm by David Farrar

Someone mentioned to me a while back that they can see the titles (but not the content) of future timed posts from their user page, or similiar

As I sometimes time delay embargoed material, I want to close this “bug”. But having admin access myself, hard to see how it happens for others.

If anyone out there is able to see the title of the post timed for 10 pm today, can you comment below as to its title, and also post the URL you were on which allows you to see it.

Ta

DPF

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Blog Break

February 6th, 2014 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Around now I should be starting the four day, three night, Tongariro Northern Circuit. If things go well, will get out on Sunday afternoon.

I’ve pre-set a couple of posts per day. But generally expect blogging to be be light until Monday. Jadis is at the Sevens, so probably no guest posts from her either sorry!

Enjoy the long weekend – I will be!

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The 2013 Kiwiblog Award Winners

January 23rd, 2014 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Over 500 readers voted in the 2013 Kiwblog Awards. We have the results …. drum roll …

First the closest fought category – Press Gallery Journalist of the Year

The winner is Andrea Vance with 55%, just ahead of Hamish Rutherford on 45%.

Then we have the Minor Party MP of the Year.

With 46% of the vote, Clint of Hey Clint fame is the clear winner. He’s seen as having performed better than those who he advises! Runner up was Kevin Hague on 24% so Green Party figures clean up. Peter Dunne 3rd on 17%, Winston Peters on 11% and Hone Harawira on 35.

The Labour Party MP of the Year was a landslide.

Shane Jones may have got only 13% of Labour Party members voting for him, but he got the vote of 50% of Kiwiblog readers. Louisa Wall was a creditable second at 29% and new Leader David Cunliffe got 20%.

The National Party MP of the Year was an even bigger landslide.

Bill English cleans up with a huge surplus on 61%. Steven Joyce was favoured by 19%, Tony Ryall by 11% and Gerry Brownlee by 10%. Only MPs who received multiple nominations were included in the ballot.

Finally we have the overall MP of the Year.

This category included the Prime Minister, so was more closely fought. But once again the Finance Minister came up trumps with 48% support. PM Key was on 40% and Tony Ryall smooth handling of health had 12% pick him ahead of the PM and Deputy PM.

The list of winners over time are:

Press Gallery Journalist of the Year

  • 2013 – Andrea Vance
  • 2012 – Rodney Hide
  • 2010 – Guyon Espiner
  • 2009 – John Armstrong
  • 2008 – Audrey Young
  • 2007 – Fran O’Sullivan

Minor Party MP of the Year

  • 2013 – Clint
  • 2012 – Russel Norman
  • 2010 – John Boscawen
  • 2009 – Tariana Turia
  • 2008 – Rodney Hide
  • 2007 – Heather Roy

Labour Party MP of the Year

  • 2013 – Shane Jones
  • 2012 – David Cunliffe
  • 2010 – Grant Robertson
  • 2009 – John Key
  • 2008 – Winston Peters
  • 2007 – Phil Goff

National Party MP of the Year

  • 2013 – Bill English
  • 2012 – Chris Finlayson
  • 2010 – Steven Joyce
  • 2009 – Steven Joyce
  • 2008 – John Key
  • 2007 – Bill English

MP of the Year

  • 2013 – Bill English
  • 2012 – Russel Norman
  • 2010 – John Key
  • 2009 – Lockwood Smith
  • 2008 – Rodney Hide
  • 2007 – John Key
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2013 Kiwiblog Awards Voting

January 15th, 2014 at 3:21 pm by David Farrar

You can vote in the 2013 Kiwiblog Awards at SurveyMonkey.

The nominees are:

2013 National MP of the Year

  • Gerry Brownlee
  • Bill English
  • Steven Joyce
  • Tony Ryall

2013 Labour MP of the Year

  • David Cunliffe
  • Shane Jones
  • Louisa Wall

2013 Minor Party MP of the Year

  • Clint
  • Peter Dunne
  • Kevin Hague
  • Hone Harawira
  • Winston Peters

2013 MP of the Year

  • Bill English
  • John Key
  • Tony Ryall

2013 Press Gallery Journalist of the Year

  • Andrea Vance
  • Hamish Rutherford

Vote at the link above, and results will be declared later this month.

Note that you should only vote for one person in each category.  This isn’t restricted in some questions, and I can’t change it once voting has started. But if you vote for more than one choice, the vote won’t count.

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Kiwiblog in 2013

January 1st, 2014 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar
  • 3,458 posts (+4.8% from 2012)
  • 176,650 comments (+25.7%)
  • 4,175,380 visits (+21.2%)
  • 908,237 unique visitors (+19.3%)
  • 8,731,027 page views (+23.4%)

Countries

  1. NZ 3,486,733 visits
  2. Australia 221,505
  3. US 119,984
  4. UK 76,103
  5. Canada 22,649

Cities

  1. Auckland 1,575,043
  2. Wellington 880,594
  3. Christchurch 296,502
  4. Hamilton 110,252
  5. Dunedin 103,219
  6. Sydney 74,808
  7. Palm North 65,555
  8. Melbourne 57,374
  9. Tauranga 53,060
  10. Nelson 41,988

Browsers

  1. Chrome 25.9% (+6.0%)
  2. Safari 23.7% (+1.9%)
  3. IE 23.4% (-6.9%
  4. Firefox 17.6% (-3.6%)
  5. Android 4.8% (+1.2%)

Mobile Devices

Note that 26% (up 6%) of all visits were on a mobile or tablet.

  • iPad 399,574
  • iPhone 340,358
  • Samsung GT-I9100 Galaxy S II 27,761

Search Terms

  1. Cactus Kate 3,764
  2. Tim Carter 1,749
  3. Bruce Parkes 1,669
  4. Wallpaper Milford Sound 1,379
  5. Scott Guy murder motive 1,374
  6. Marines in NZ WW2 1,343
  7. Submission marriage definition bill 1,241
  8. Greg King 1,058
  9. Paul Staples 1,052
  10. Susan Couch charity 998

Thanks to all the readers who visited in 2013. Great to have a 21% increase in visits.

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DPF offline

November 28th, 2013 at 5:17 am by David Farrar

I’m tramping on the Heaphy Track with a group of friends from Thursday morning to Sunday afternoon. Will be outside phone and Internet coverage for 95% of that time so no blog posts from me for four days, except those I have pre-set. Jadis and possibly others will do the occasional guest posts.

If I’m not posting again by Monday morning, then some one let Search and Rescue know :-)

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Bad timing

August 28th, 2013 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

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Had a fun night last night celebrating Kiwiblog’s 10th birthday party. The Kiwiblog RTDs have become collector items! Thanks to all those who made it, and big thanks to Kensington Swan, Ideas Shop, Independent Liquor and Wine Seeker for sponsoring the event.

Was a pretty late night/morning so slow day today. The bad timing is that tonight is the final episode of Backbenches so will be two big nights in a row!

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Kiwiblog’s 10th birthday party

August 15th, 2013 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

My first post on Kiwiblog was on the 27th of July 2003, so Kiwiblog has just had its 10th birthday. Over the decade Kiwiblog has had:

  • 22 million visits
  • Almost 45 million page views
  • Around 30,000 posts on 5,000 different topics
  • Over one million comments made.

As I was in New Orleans on the 27th of July, I’ve delayed the 10th birthday party until this month. There are three parts to it.

Part 1

On Tuesday 27 August (10 years and 1 month) we’re having a cocktail party to celebrate the 10th birthday that evening. My thanks to sponsors Kensington Swan, Ideas Shop, Independent Liquor and Wineseeker for coming to the party (literally) and making it happen.

kiwiblogrtd

 

In what are bound to become collector items, we will have both a special Kiwiblog RTD at the party, and also special Kiwiblog label pinot noirs and sauvignon blancs (plus beer). It should be a great night.

Sadly the venue can only hold 120 or so people, so that function is invite only. But I am providing an opportunity for readers to come along.

Part 2

I’m also hosting a public party at the Backbencher on Wednesday 21 August. I’ll be there from 5 pm onwards, and any and all readers are warmly invited to pop in for a drink. I’m working on seeing if we can get some Kiwiblog RTDs and wine made available, but there are some issues with liquor laws which we are working through. But at worst, you’ll have all the other drinks available at the Backbencher to choose from (cash bar).

We’ll also have a jar there and if you bring along your business card (or write name on a piece of paper), we’ll have a draw just before 6.30 pm for half a dozen or so tickets to the cocktail party the following week.

Whether you’re a regular commenter, an occasional contributor or a lurking reader – all welcome.

Part 3

On the same night (Wed 21 August), there will be a special episode of Backbenches focusing on Parliament, politics and social media. The filing is delayed slightly (starting 6.30 pm) to allow more time for drinks before hand (and hopefully afterwards). I understand the MPs appearing are prominent tweeters Trevor Mallard, Tau Henare and Asenati Lole-Taylor – so it should be a provocative night. It’s the second to last Backbenches of 2013, so if you want to attend a show, come along.

It’s been a fun ten years of blogging. I blog because I enjoy it – that is my main motivation. Thanks to all those who have contributed over the years, and hopefully see some of you next Wednesday.

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The power, the power!

July 20th, 2013 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Audrey Young quotes Phil Goff in an article on David Shearer:

But Goff said that Shearer, like every Leader of the Opposition, was up against the combined resources of a Government machine with huge resources and of some powerful bloggers behind it, intent on discrediting him.

Powerful??

Influential one could argue, but powerful? Who exactly do we have power over?

Sure both Cam and I have had good stories that have damaged Labour. My rumbling of the Labour MPs at the Sky City box, and the leak to Cam of the Labour Party rule changes, including the man ban.

But to blame bloggers for the political incompetence that should have stopped both stories before they even gestated is making excuses. Likewise the inability to respond to the stories when they did emerge. Labour managed to drag the Sky City story out an entire week by trying to hide who actually attended. The was nothing to do with powerful bloggers, just stupidity.

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Stuff to go paywall?

June 10th, 2013 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

The Press reports:

Fairfax Media is looking at paywalls for its online publications in New Zealand, plans to cut staff and may close some publications as it faces the strains from falling advertising.

The Fairfax Media business in New Zealand includes newspapers such as The Press, magazines and online news websites, such as Stuff.

In Australia yesterday, parent company Fairfax announced plans to cut total group costs by A$60 million (NZ$72m), above the A$251m already promised to the market following a restructure of its print and digital operations.

As part of the update yesterday, Fairfax released details of digital subscription for its news websites in Australia with packages from A$15 to $44 a month.

In New Zealand, acting managing director Andrew Boyle said just when or how paywalls would be brought in here remained to be seen.

I’m sort of looking forward to the paywalls coming to New Zealand. I’d say it will lead to many more people coming to blogs, as they won’t be able to get their news from the main media websites.

It will be a good opportunity to boost resources at the blog, and try to fill the gap left by the newspaper sites.

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1 million comments

May 14th, 2013 at 9:30 pm by David Farrar

A few days ago Kiwiblog had its one millionth comment made. A nice wee milestone. The current stats are:

  • 25,748 posts
  • 1,004,072 comments
  • 4,856 tags
  • 11,633 registered commenters

 

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A 10th birthday party

February 19th, 2013 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Idiot/Savant at No Right Turn blogs:

A little over ten years ago, a blog was born. Two days later, on February 18 2003, I made my first post, having been lured aboard by my then-co-blogger Mike (who then wandered off and left me in charge, which may have been his cunning plan from the beginning).

Congrats to No Right Turn on the 10th birthday.

That reminds me that on 27 July 2013 Kiwiblog will be ten years old.

I’ve been thinking for a while that it would be nice to have a 10th birthday party to celebrate the blog, and the impact it has had in various ways.

To allow me to do something a bit more appealing than a function with water and carrot sticks only, I am wondering if there are any organisations or companies out there that would be interested in sponsoring the 10th birthday party. If you are interested, drop me an e-mail and we can discuss possibilities.  Not looking to do anything massively flashy but would be nice to be able to provide a bit of food and drink. In return of course would be some publicity.

The actual party would be in early August as I will be in the United States in July.

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Comment Karma

January 24th, 2013 at 8:49 pm by David Farrar

We have reactivated comment karma which allows you to vote up or down on comments you feel are especially good or especially bad. Don’t vote on every comment as that can cause load issues, and if you vote try and be fair – vote on what is being said, not on who is saying it.

No comments get hidden if they get negative ratings. The ratings are just a feedback device.

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For longer threads

January 20th, 2013 at 6:50 pm by David Farrar

Note that there is a new feature which may be useful on threads with lots of comments.

At the bottom of each main post is text which says “You can skip to the end and leave a response”.

If you click on this it will take you to the bottom of the comments for that thread.

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Kiwiblog in 2012

January 2nd, 2013 at 7:00 am by David Farrar
  • 3,300 posts
  • 140,548 comments
  • 3,444,831 visits
  • 761,016 unique visitors
  • 7,073,093 page views

Countries

  • NZ 2,882,850 visits
  • Australia 176,178
  • US 106,015
  • UK 71,559

Cities

  • Auckland 1,411,981
  • Wellington 754,635
  • Christchurch 272,428
  • Hamilton 84,753
  • Dunedin 68,343
  • Sydney 60,272
  • Melbourne 48,018
  • Palm North 45,243
  • London 38,660

Browsers

  • IE 30.3%
  • Safari 21.8%
  • Firefox 21.2%
  • Chrome 19.9%
  • Android 3.6%

Mobile Devices

Note that almost 20% of all visits were on a mobile or tablet.

  • iPad 244,551
  • iPhone 229,373
  • Samsung GT-I9100 Galaxy S II 23,745
  • iPod Touch 12,020
  • Motorola MB525 DEFY 7,044

Search Terms

  • Greg King 3,779
  • Malcolm Harbrow 3,671
  • Paul Staples 3,073
  • Kermadec crunchy-wasp 2,802
  • Owen McShane 2,762
  • Matthew Hooton 2,537
  • Teapot tape 1,764
  • Cactus Kate 1,666
  • Wheedle 1,652
  • Whale Oil 1,527
  • Kylie Fullerton 1,514

I’ve excluded searches on the name Kiwiblog and my name.

3,300 posts is a scary number!

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Some posts from the last year

December 21st, 2012 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

As an centre-right person it is no surprise I have supported most of what the Government has done. But that doesn’t mean there have not been issues where I disagree with them, or support something from other parties, or give an opinion that isn’t helpful to the Government. I’ve had a quick look through the archives, and below are a surprising large number of links:

I will use this post as a reference point for the next idiot who states that I always agree with National and never criticize them.

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2012 Kiwiblog Awards

December 17th, 2012 at 4:15 pm by David Farrar

Okay, have just closed voting in the 2012 Kiwiblog Awards. The winners are:

  • 2012 Press Gallery Journalist of the Year – Rodney Hide. An indication that many KB readers remain fond of Rodney – especially now he is free to write what he truly believes. Runner up is Patrick Gower.
  • 2012 Minor Party MP of the Year. Green Party leader Russel Norman takes this out, with Peter Dunne in second place.
  • 2012 National MP of the Year. Chris Finlayson takes first spot narrowly over Tony Ryall.
  • 2012 Labour MP of the Year. A lot of The Standard readers must have been voting as David Cunliffe wins this award. Readers show their sense of humour by having Rajen Prasad come second.
  • 2012 MP of the Year. Green Party leader Russel Norman beats out Steven Joyce. As many KB readers are not natural Green Party fans, that is a significant achievement. I’m sure Russel will include the award in his CV, and frame it to place on his office wall.

Thanks to all those who voted in the (unscientific) blog poll.

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Voting open for Kiwiblog Awards

December 11th, 2012 at 6:45 am by David Farrar

Voting is now open via the blog polls in the sidebar for the 2012 Kiwiblog Awards. Any names that got more than one nomination were included. As no person (except mikenmild) got nominated more than once for Public Servant of the Year, no voting for that category this year.

The nominees are:

Press Gallery Journalist of the Year

  • John Armstrong
  • Patrick Gower
  • Rodney Hide
  • Fran O’Sullivan

Rodney is not technically press gallery but he writes on politics so have allowed the nomination. Likewise Fran is a business columnist but again often writes on politics.

Minor Party MP of the Year

  • Peter Dunne
  • Kevine Hague
  • Julie-Anne Genter
  • Russel Norman
  • Winston Peters

National MP of the Year

  • Chris Finlayson
  • Steven Joyce
  • John Key
  • Tony Ryall

Labour MP of the Year

  • David Cunliffe
  • Chris Hipkins
  • Rajen Prasad
  • Louisa Wall

MP of the Year

  • Steven Joyce
  • Russel Norman
  • Tony Ryall
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