Showing posts with label blogging about blogging. Show all posts
Showing posts with label blogging about blogging. Show all posts

Sunday, 31 May 2009

Don't fight it...

executive editor
Mark Hanson
has an
interesting little piece
on LabourList about the fact that Labour have started inviting bloggers to their lobby and press briefings. Now granted ConservativeHome have had a presence at pretty much every political speech or event TB has been to, this is, however, a bigger step in embracing the fact that new meeja is actually where it's at.

"There have been ripples of curiosity in the blogosphere about the decision by Labour’s press team to include bloggers in the daily briefings being given to journalists in advance of the Euro elections.

Jack Straw did one on crime and constitutional affairs on Wednesday with Ed Balls on Children, Schools and Families the following day.

I went along to the Straw session, held at 39 Victoria Street and this is how it went:
It was billed at 10:45 for 11am start but Straw was late, keeping everyone waiting in the holding room for about twenty minutes!

He then did a 5 minute summary of the choice facing the electorate on law and order. We’d all been handed an A4 document beforehand with Labour’s achievements on crime down one side and the Tories shortcomings on the other and his talk was a summary of that.

Unlike on the West Wing or at the PM’s monthly press conference, it isn’t a free-for-all in terms of asking questions. Basically Labour’s press team have a list of attendees and each one is called out and offered the chance to ask one question plus one follow up. I couldn’t work out what order people journalists were asked.

There were about 20 press from the lobby/home affairs beat, so that meant 40 questions about law and order… no, about 6 questions about crime and the rest about MPs expenses.

Without wanting to sound like a complete geek and waffle on about blogging and bloggers own self importance, TB would just like to say that the Tories really need to up their game and get involved in this sort of thing. Without the slow process of cutting down trees, making paper, printing on said paper and then driving these bits of paper around the country, bloggers can get a story out in seconds. Surly this is something that any party media machine needs to realise and whether they like it or not, should attempt to embrace. In other words... any chance of a lobby pass?

Oh go on... TB promises he will be good.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

May the battle commence...

There are 17 people in the blogsphere who matter and

Derek Draper
isn't one of them. A while back there was talk of Mandy's former assistant and lobbying sleazebag-in-chief leading
Labour's assault
against the right-wing bloggers. Well Tory Bear can't help but think this assault might well have begun. There was talk
this week
of a meeting of Draper's attack squad that included some lefty bloggers.

Draper and an unknown female blogger.

The papers today were full of little snippets from comments left on
, especially in the Mail's piece on George Osborne (which sadly isn't available online.) TB couldn't help notice a certain Tory hater used exactly the same quote from ConHome on
his blog

Is there some sort of Labour press officer pushing this quote around in the last 24 hours?

Is the Draper attack team up and running?

The crap Conservative and Unionist attack blog, hosted at
emerged in late September at exactly the same time it emerged that disgraced Draper was being bought back. Whoever is behind it seems to be very good at picking up irrelevant stories from minor local papers - just the sort of thing the Labour party press office would have to monitor.

Of course this is all speculation on the part of Tory Bear but he wouldn't be the least bit surprised if the blog was linked to this supposed fightback by Labour on the blogsphere. Have a read of it for yourself and see if you agree, it just doesn't flow like an independent and free-thinking blogger but instead reads as the work of someone having a party line whispered in their ear.

Only time will tell, but TB is confident that the first shots of the Labour blog coup may well have been fired this week.

Friday, 7 November 2008

CF blog stat porn...

TB often wondered if anyone actually reads the Conservative Future Executive

...and now he knows.

Monday, 3 November 2008

Covering it live?

TB will be blogging through the night tomorrow but is anyone up for a liveblog chat from about midnight?

Happy to host one but only if there are people up for it...

Let yourself be known in the comments if you are interested.

Monday, 20 October 2008

New Bear

As you will see Tory Bear has undergone an overnight makeover. TB is very grateful for the services of

Mike Rouse
who has done a fantastic job.

For those of you who might be interested Mike explains some of the technical aspects to the redesign:

"One of the many freelance things I’ve been busy on recently is a new template for Tory Bear. I had the great honour of going to the Bear’s party at conference after being commissioned and it was a great insight into the potential future that lies ahead for this blog. The bear understands branding - hence the heavy use of the blue teddy bear graphic through the blog.

The colour scheme we agreed on was, naturally, blue with white, and few shades of grey. This keeps the blog looking simple and spacious, yet the blue is the dominant colour. It’s designed for resolutions 1024×768 and higher running on Firefox 3, Internet Explorer 7 and/or Google Chrome/Safari. I’ve tried to accomodate Internet Explorer 6 users as much as I can, but ultimately you guys are going to have to

upgrade your browser
sooner or later.

This job also required me to work with Google AdSense and ensure good placements for adverts. There’s a 768 Leaderboard at the top of the blog and a 300 x 250 Rectangle underneath the video player, which itself is a YouTube video embedded in a DIV that’s got a background image of an old TV-video combi with some minor modifications. The downside, however, is that the YouTube video has to be resized in the HTML, but this is made easy with’s “Page Elements” editor. My customer doesn’t have to touch the raw HTML at any point.

There are two sidebars underneath ToryBearTV and the advert. One is big enough to accomodate a standard Skyscraper banner and is better suited to things like archives and small videos as well as a few widgets. The other can contain some small adverts and is suited to links and buttons.

The main post area uses some bold text for headlines and is plenty big enough for images and videos to be included in posts. Comments pop up in a new window, so no real work has been needed there.

In all, I am pleased with the outcome thus far, but warn that the job is not yet 100% finished. When is a website ever finished?! I’m hoping to spend some time over coming weeks tweaking the sidebars and other elements, but need to see what feedback comes in first.

I hope you enjoy reading the blog and like the new design. Your comments are very welcome."

TB is well chuffed with the new design and hope you all like it...

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Who's bitchy now?

City of London and Westminster's CF chairman and co-editor of
The Young Conservative
blog has had quite a go at Tory Bear in his interview with the weekly
YBF activist profiling
. Ed Hallam claims that the likes of TB don't back up their stories with fact or proof and are a danger to the whole movement blah blah.

TB would like to counter this however and asks Ed exactly which story on this blog "isn’t backed up supporting evidence - it’s conjecture and, at times, verges on libel"? TB considers these things before he publishes stories, because lets face it this blog is not anonymous and can confidently say that everything published on here would stand up in court. He claims that TB etc put people off joining the party but Tory Bear knows this to be bullshit, this blog has been read by over 35,ooo people across the country and some of those people have got in touch to say has heightened the interest in the movement. CF needs a critical friend from time to time and people need to be shown that we are not just a movement of desperate, ambitious, jumped up young hacks and some of us have a sense of humour. Yes TB is sure it can be embarrassing to be caught or called out for dubious behaviour but he's glad that Ed has realised that if you can't beat them, join them...

The Young Conservative can be an interesting read and TB is sure that it will develop soon to more than regurgitation of CF press releases...

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Wrong city, wrong party, wrong year...

Now TB is a big fan of SkyNews and isn't one to talk about blogging pissed - some of his finest moments have come after the best part of a crate, but did Adam Boulton had a couple of glasses too many at lunch before Gordo's speech?

He seems to be a
little confused
to where he is...

Manchester mate.

UPDATE: Having spotted this story on the SkyNews website TB then went on Guido and seems he beat TB to it. Is there a word like hat-tip where you acknowledge the fact that you got a similar story unintentionally?

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Bunny Girls

TB is a little worried about this blog... He's a well behaved bear but uh oh...

Who are the bunnies?

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

YCs are back...

TB has been checking out

The Young Conservative
- the lastest CF focused blog to emerge.

Not really got going yet but it aims to;

"give a platform to the next generation of small-c conservative activists across the United Kingdom - regardless of which party, organisation or ideological strand they belong to - from which to promote their cause, explain what they’re doing and encourage others to become involved. We define young arbitrarily as being up to and including 30 years of age."

And who is behind this little movement?

None other than Ed Hallam with the help of Tarasyn Whitehead-Patey.

Thanks for the link in the friends and fellow bloggers guys... oh wait.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

How odd...

The relationship between the chiefs of conhome and the YBF hasn't exactly been the smoothest but it seems the feud has extended to censorship...


click to enlarge


Surely not?

Friday, 5 September 2008

Busy little bear

Another busy weekend for TB so blogging will be light to non-existant...

Will get the the NME ratings index up in the next few days if you're lucky...

Seems it all got a little heated in the last 24 hours if the amount of emails and texts TB got last night are anything to go by. Here's a little song to lighten up your Friday...

If that doesn't calm things down nothing will!

Wednesday, 3 September 2008


Thank you very much to everyone who, after just three months, voted Tory Bear to the giddy heights of 35th in

Iain Dale's 2008 Top 100 Right of Centre Blogs

TB is looking forward to meeting lots of you in Birmingham.

Friday, 22 August 2008

Conservative Liberty launches...

A few weeks ago TB discovered the beginnings of the relaunched Conservative Liberty blog...

The site has now gone live it seems.

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Freedom isn't Free...

A tip-off from someone who has been asked to contribute led TB to Conservative Liberty - a website very much under construction.

Apparently it's the relaunch of a blog once run by Patrick Sullivan nearly five years ago. A little googling turned up very little content of this old blog but TB did find this on Samizdata:

Why Eastenders leads to Big Government

It's a great little article and hopefully Con-Lib will follow a similar path.

Just a week ago TB was calling for more for more factionalism and discussions about ideology amongst CFers, this alone would have been a welcome addition to the blog networks. However in what appears could be a double whammy, click on the picture below to see what else has recently been registered:

Are two libertarian blogs set to go head-to-head? This is a fantastic development if it is the case... nothing like a bit of competition to ensure high quality.

OK so the tables are turned on the Thatcherites, Pro-NUS folk and the Cameroons... where are your blogs?

Friday, 1 August 2008

+++Jonathan Isaby quits Telegraph for ConHome+++

Announcement is apparently imminent but word on the street is that Three Line Whip editor and former CFer Jonathan Isaby has quit his post at the Telegraph to go work for ConHome.

More when it is announced.

UPDATE 12.37:

are playing this as quite a coup for Shakespeare and co. Isaby has been appointed co-editor. It's an excellent appointment and will be a huge boost to the site.

Now TB realises why he didn't get the job...

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

+++ Should have been TB's moment +++

Seems TB's post about the Martine/Harperson analogy has been picked up by Iain Dale, not only on his
but he even talked about it on Sky News...

Cheers for the acknowledgment Iain!

Oh wait...

Mr Dale promises TB that he hadn't read the earlier post... Great minds think alike... or just two rather sad bloggers who remember MM's very short music career.

Want Beer?

TB is looking for a web designer who can help him with a few changes to the blog... Nothing too major - just some tinkering with the layout etc...

Please email if you think you can help.

Will pay in beer and lashings of gratitude...

Monday, 28 July 2008

CF diary no more..

The new look
is missing something...

Monday, 21 July 2008

Finally got a real job...

Another busy week for Tory Bear- will be at work without the internet so blogging will be light.

Normal service resumes soon.

Upcoming posts will be something on the NME meeting when the minutes are finally released and TB will be getting lashed at the Boris "Thank You CF party" tomorrow night...

In the mean time send any goss, stories or pics to

Sunday, 20 July 2008

Vote early, Vote often!

Iain Dale is putting together his Guide to Political Blogs 2008/09. This year it's for
Total Politics

Please vote for Tory Bear!

Details of how to submit your vote can be found