For the better part of a decade now, The Poll Bludger has proudly been part of the Crikey Blogs network. However, all good things must come to an end, and that now applies to Crikey’s interest in funding a psephology blog that has ceased to contribute much to its business model. If you’re a follower of Poll Bludger specifically, and the media environment more generally, you will be aware that this has nothing to do with the vitality of this particular corner of the blogosphere, and everything to do with the fact that mere web traffic now generates a tiny fraction of the revenue it did in the good old days. So while I will continue contributing to Crikey’s subscriber email, the blog is on its own.
I am somewhere between hopeful and optimistic that Poll Bludger can remain viable in this new form. For reasons just noted, advertising revenue will be of limited help (though if you do use an ad blocker, you can do a small amount for the cause by adding pollbludger.net to your whitelist). What I’ll be relying on is the support of the blog’s faithful and, in some ways, long-suffering readership. To this end you will find, courtesy of the good people at PressPatron, a facility at the top of the page through which you can do your bit for the Poll Bludger cause. Needless to say, donations will be very gratefully received in whatever form, including the one-off variety. However, it’s the recurring, monthly variety that stands the best chance of keeping the shop open.
The upside of all this is that Poll Bludger is, as Brexiteers like to say, back in charge of its own destiny. Regular readers will know all too well that the blog architecture provided by Crikey was not designed with Poll Bludger in mind, and contained a number of bugs-not-features. With the first of these shackles removed, everything can be arranged with no other end in mind than giving the blog community with what it wants from a comments facility, leavened just a little by my own judicious perspective on what it needs. For starters, what you will find below the fold is a return to the beloved old regime of chronologically ordered comments broken down into pages of 50. As for bugs, it would perhaps be going too far to say they will be a thing of the past, but I believe I can state with confidence that they will be less bothersome than they have been.
So welcome to Poll Bludger Mark 3, and thank you one and all for making the site what it is, and hopefully will continue to be.