A surfeit of opinions.

For the first time, it seemed that there really were more than enough opinions on this election. Not only did we have the political blogs and usual social media postings but those handy newsletters from major media are now routine. The first to sign off was Kady O’Malley of iPolitics from her daily opinion piece for the Toronto Star. It was called The Lead, for some unexplained reason.

As opinion newsletters go, O’Malley’s was not too bad. It was not as breezy and nonchalant as Vassy Kapelos’ CBC newsletters nor did she have the depth of her colleague at the Toronto Star, Jordan Himmelfarb, who did the weekly campaign wraps.

But newsletters have come a long way since they can be so easily distributed by e-mail. They are mostly being used as sales tools for the Internet newsletters with paywalls and pseudo newspapers that have cropped up covering most cities. The sales teaser promoting the Hill Times was probably too restrictive in what it was giving for free and might not have done the job intended.

I expect that this type of promotion has hurt the readership of many Canadian bloggers who talk about politics. The difference with blogs such as Babel-on-the-Bay is that we can understand what is happening in the inner sanctums of the politicians as well as or even better than the news media.

But it has been interesting to compare the pattern of readership of Babel in the last Ontario provincial election and this federal election. There is a bell curve that develops when a current campaign is of interest and you can find hundreds of new readers are checking your site. The peak of the bell curve was later this year. What I think happened was that people became frustrated by the admission of the new newsletters that they could not assess the situation. It was when we realized the frustration, that Babel-on-the-Bay decided to run the Morning Line. We might have been a bit late but the readership on the bell curve continued to grow past election day.

But it always pays to leave on a high note. After years of daily postings, this writer is taking a break. I am going to spend the time reassessing this hobby. If you have any suggestions, we welcome them. We will return in November.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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