I'm a relative newcomer to the blogosphere. It's only in the last two years that I've been taking it seriously and posting on a regular basis.
But I think I've been out in the blogosphere long enough to draw some conclusions about the local scene.
One of my fundamental disappointments is the paucity of blogs that are written from a consistent socialist perspective.
While there are several blogs run by various small parties and groups (eg Socialist Aotearoa Workers Party) there are few explicitly socialist and anti-capitalist bloggers.
In fact we could all comfortably meet in a very small room. Quite possibly, if illness struck, the room would be empty.
There's your truly of course and then, well,...I'm struggling to come up with any sort of reasonable list.
Bryce Edwards would be joining me in the small room for coffee and biscuits. A political science lecturer at the University of Otago, his Liberation blog is a must read if you want a solid and well researched left wing perspective on New Zealand politics.
This year Bryce was bloggng about MPs and their travel and accommodation expenses fiddles long before it made the news in the mainstream media.
You should bookmark his blog for 2010 if you haven't already done so.
Oliver Woods also used to have interesting perspectives on New Zealand politics but his last post was in June - a kind of downbeat post about the failure of the left wing in New Zealand. I'm hoping its his university studies rather than a general disillusionment with left wing politics that has prevented him from blogging.
I'm now struggling to come up with anything else that comes close to being a socialist blog. I'd like to be proved wrong but I don't think I will be - the cupboard is mostly bare when it comes to local blogs written by socialist writers.
At this point though I would also like to mention Letters from Wetville.
While its not an explicitly socialist blog, Sandra interweaves some political comment in between in her posts about her life, her garden and her family. This is a warm-hearted blog that I've enjoyed reading throughout the year.
Overall the New Zealand blogosphere isn't as 'out there' as its often assumed. In fact it isn't 'out there' at all.
The general assumption is that blogosphere is more radical than the local mainstream media (which wouldn't be hard anyway) but the truth is that the blogosphere generally mirrors the conventionalities of the New Zealand political scene.
Essentially the debate occurs within that dreary neoliberal consensual framework that many of us are heartedly sick of.
Two of the more widely read blogs Tumeke! and The Standard, devote most of their time to firing buckshot at the National Government.
Some of the writing is okay and hits the target, but both blogs always leave me underwhelmed with their conclusion - either explicit or implicit, - which is that the way forward is to support Labour and its brand of neoliberalism. I'll pass on that invitation.
After nearly a quarter of a century of solid neoliberalism, the Labour Party of 2009 bears little resemblance to what might be considered to be a traditional social democratic party. Unfortunately we're stuck with a a lot of bloggers who aren't anti-capitalist - just anti-National.
Chris Trotter on his Bowalley Road blog offers a thoughtful analysis of the New Zealand political scene but his blog is marred by his support for Labour - which can lead to Trotter wildly contradicting himself within a few weeks. His love-hate relationship with Phil Goff is a good example of this.
Chris should just come out and admit that he is a right wing social democrat.
I'm still hoping the New Zealand blogosphere might tilt in a more left wing direction in 2010 but I'm not holding my breath. What we have now is, realistically, what we will have come 2011 and the next general election.