Crexit

A warm welcome to the new and, hopefully, improved Poll Bludger.

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.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

124 comments on “Crexit”

  1. William can you put links to recent posts in your sidebar to make navigation between posts a bit easier.

    Done.

    The main reason tends to be the same – i.e. unless you log in every day, and follow the thread closely, it can be hard to quickly find the “latest” general thread – especially when a new thread is started and people keep commenting on the old thread until they realize.

    I suspect a lot of these problems arose from Crikey’s glitch that the site didn’t properly update unless you were logged in, which is no longer an issue. I’ll take it on notice though.

  2. There’s some understandable confusion arising around logging in. Basically, I no longer have the “Users must be registered and logged in to comment” box checked in the WordPress admin. If you’re new here, you just leave a comment and your email address, the comment goes into moderation, and once I’ve cleared it, Bob’s your uncle.

    However, registration survives as a legacy thing for people who had accounts in the Crikey era, i.e. almost everybody. So you can log in if you like. As far as I can tell though, doing so confers no advantage, except that the user name and email fields don’t appear. I thought maybe it spared you having to fill out your user name and email every time you entered a comment, but I see now that the form is pre-completed after the first time you use it.

    If anyone who’s wiser in the ways of WordPress thinks I’m wrong about any of these, please let me know.

  3. One potential concern with unauthenticated comments (particularly without the use of a CAPTCHA) is that it can leave the site more vulnerable to spam bots. But akismet is usually pretty okay at filtering those out.

  4. William,

    My Crikey username and password certainly arent working on the new site. In fact says my email address isnt registered. I was only wanting to log in as some one said they were seeing a box to say there were new posts available which I dont have when not logged in.

    Also, per you comments about the username and email being retained, if they are left there and you click on refresh, you get a popup box every time saying:

    The page that you’re looking for used information that you entered. Returning to that page might cause any action you took to be repeated. Do you want to continue?

  5. Just checking in …. echoing and approving of all the comments about the improvements and applauding William’s commitment to political debate. Would like to contribute using paypal, if not available, I’ll try and find my credit card. If thwarted, I’ll send a cheque!

  6. Hi William
    Good to have the old site back, looking forward to seeing Gough in the header again .

    Will donate some next week and try regularly, it is a great site that needs to be supported.

    Last donation was for ratsak so have been a bit slack.

    Edit function works on android

  7. Hi all and especially hi to WB. Thank you for your patience I have now finally managed to get into the site, ensure my membership is up and runny and also make a small contribution to the site.

    Happy days and good luck with the site.
    Cheers

  8. Another possible concern with anonymous posts is that if you have people who tend to be at each other’s throats then being able to post without logging in allows makes it easier for them to do things like create an army of aliases to assault the other person with, or impersonate their adversary’s account(s), or engage in other childish behavior.

    I don’t believe that’s an issue for most of the participants here, however.

  9. William,

    I remember when Crikey changed to Word Press, Zeh posted a link to a muck around version with different features.

    There were format buttons like the “ABC” above the comment box, for things like blockquotes, bold, italics, etc.

    If you have access to them they would be great to help format comments more clearly.

  10. Look forward to your new venture William.
    As a regular reader although infrequent contributor I love coming here for my political fix.
    Long may you reign

  11. Congratulations on the move William, and my hopes it works well for you.

    I do about 90% of my bludging on a phone or iPad, so my comments are related to usability with touch devices.

    1. Could you add a go to bottom link near the top page nav links?
    When catching up on missed posts it is helpful to be able to get to the bottom and scroll up form there to see the posts you want.

    2. Blockquote shortcut. Entering the opening and closing blockquote tags is a pain on a tablet/phone, the previous square brackets were good – [ ] .

  12. With C+ added in Chrome on Window 7 i have comment numbers, edit, preview, quotes, and the odd smiley face. 🙂

    Many thanks AR. William congrats, seems to me the site works well.

  13. yes, it seems crowdfunding is the future of niche journalism and research. One question, why does the PressPatron webpage show no Australian content? I can’t seem to get to you from their webpage.

  14. Here’s a thing, William. I use Firefox and, since the change, with “never remember history” selected in the Firefox “privacy & security” options, I cannot see most of the cartoons in BK’s Dawn Patrol round-up, or other links which don’t include the URL.

    However, if I change the security preference to “remember history”, I can then see that formerly hidden content. What’s going on?

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