Perhaps one of the most effective ways of dealing with your critics is to try and incorporate them. The news I have today is that the Today programme has invited me to be one of three British bloggers taking turns to blog on their website on a poll they're going to be running between Monday 12th December and Christmas.
The other two bloggers are Oliver Kamm and Tim Ireland. Compared with stellar bloggers like that, I feel a bit like the dustcart that follows the Lord Mayor's Show. But I have to say I'm very pleased, and I hope I'm really going to enjoy doing it.
The poll they'll be running is on the theme "Who runs Britain?" Each day, they'll take a centre of power, like the media, religion etc, and bring on a few commentators who debate whether that powerbase actually rules Britain. They will be nominating powerful individuals from within them. The listeners will be invited to vote for whichever one of them they think really runs Britain. As if you really could put it down to any one of those power centres or individuals. You know, I'm not even sure they're going to include the elected government of the day or Tony Blair in their list. I've only been given the list for the first week so far. But to be fair, I know they see it as rather a tongue-in-cheek exercise.
Now, here's the really amusing thing. It seems the BBC, that mighty organization which takes a chunky compulsory tax of £126.50 annually off each and every UK household with a TV, and which is supposed to be the cutting edge of broadcasting, hasn't got real online blogging software. You know, like Typepad, which I use, and which costs me as an individual less than £40 a year.
So it's going to be a kludge, where I send them emails and they convert them into what looks like a real blog entry on their web site. And then instead of the normal comments facility for each post, they'll use their message board facility to allow listeners to dialogue either with each blogger's entry or to raise their own topics, which the blogger of the day can respond to. Should be interesting to see how it works.
I think I might try to see if I can live blog on Adloyada simultaneously.
The days that I'm the duty blogger are: Tuesday 13th (topic: media), Friday 16th (topic: America), 20th & 24th (topics so far unannounced).
And then there are the live broadcasts. They will have a slot featuring all three of us bloggers on Monday 19th, and then a round up broadcast on 2nd January, when they announce the results of the poll. You should be able to listen to our contributions for the rest of that day using the Listen Again facility on their site.
The slot they aim to broadcast on every day is 8:30am. But that may change, and the slot may not run if there's some mega-story breaking that needs rolling coverage.
So if you have a favourite blog post or web link that you think is relevant to any of the topics I'm doing, or to the whole agenda of "Who runs Britain?", you're welcome to comment or email me. I'll hat tip you if I use your suggestion.
I'll be interested to see if it has any impact on my readership. Well, the Today programme does have a peak audience of six million. But I doubt it's as big as that at 8:30am.