And other questions about Scottish Roundup
This week Scottish Roundup has come in for criticism from Slutty McWhore, who has basically accused the website of being sexist. There were other comments on last week’s roundup, which was written by Anne McLaughlin (aka Indygal).
The Devil’s Kitchen added his thoughts on his blog. The other main editor of Scottish Roundup, Will P, responded to the comments on his blog. Slutty McWhore added more comments on Will P’s blog.
Coincidentally, there were some other comments about different aspects. As I am the person who started Scottish Roundup a year ago, I feel as though I should offer an explanation.
It all started a few months ago when Indygal sent us an email asking why her blog wasn’t featured often. The email included a tongue-in-cheek comment about how few female bloggers are featured in Scottish Roundup.
Will and I discussed the email. While we thought it wasn’t a fair criticism, we decided it would be a good idea to to ask Indygal if she would like to be a guest editor. We suggested that, if she wanted, she could do a special roundup focussing on woman bloggers.
Indygal fully intended to do that. But despite having plenty of time to prepare for it, and having spent the entire day writing the post, she decided that there simply wasn’t enough material to justify it. Instead, Indygal wrote a normal roundup followed by a comparison of the styles of female and male bloggers.
I am not sure that Slutty McWhore’s criticisms are justified. It is true that Scottish Roundup tends to contain more posts from males than females. But this is because more males than females blog, so this is inevitable.
Incidentally, contrary to Indygal’s claim, there has not been any week where no females were featured — not as far as I know anyway (it’s hardly as if I keep count). The week Indygal sent the email the roundup in fact contained one post by a female. Is that enough? Probably not.
But posts are included on merit only. We are not interested in box ticking. Scottish Roundup is designed to highlight the best of Scottish blogging. This is what we try to do every week. No other factor is taken into account, and that is the way it should be.
I don’t care about the gender of the blogger, just as long as the post is good. If, one week, not so many women are featured in the roundup, it is simply because their posts haven’t caught our eye. And — this is an important point — it means that they haven’t caught anyone else’s eye either.
It should also be remembered that there is the opportunity for people to nominate their own posts. Indeed, we are constantly begging people to nominate posts, because we cannot reasonably expected to keep on top of the entire Scottish blogosphere.
While I can’t speak for the other editors, when I am in the hot seat any nominated posts are guaranteed to make it into the roundup (unless the site’s contents are utterly abhorrent). Guest editors are always encouraged to include any nominations.
I have gone out of my way to make sure that it is as easy as possible to nominate posts via a variety of methods: email, Delicious or via the very simple form that appears on every page at the Scottish Roundup blog. I did not do all of this for fun.
At the end of the day, if you think we are not featuring enough of X, Y or Z, we can not be to blame for that if you didn’t nominate it. Slutty McWhore accuses this of being us taking a “passive stance”. But speaking for myself I could hardly be more active in this regard. I spend hours every week trawling the blogosphere deciding what to include in the Roundup. I can’t be expected to do even more, particularly if you are intent on not doing anything to make my job easier.
Slutty McWhore tries to make suggestions as to how to make Scottish Roundup
“attractive” to women. But I am not interested in making Scottish Roundup more “attractive” to women. I am only interested in highlighting the best of the blogosphere. The only audience we are hoping for is an audience of people interested in Scottish blogs, whether they be female, male, or whatever.
Incidentally, there is some irony in the fact that Slutty McWhore’s suggestion was to have a “Women’s week”. This is precisely what was attempted on Sunday, and it blew up in our faces. So, thanks for the suggestion, but no, not again. Not after the way you reacted to it.
Slutty McWhore also suggests that we should broaden our definition of what is “political”. But we already have a very open policy as to what can be included. Scottish Roundup is mainly focused on politics, but not exclusively. Posts of all kinds are accepted. Sure, there is a slant towards politics. But if you think we have the balance wrong, the answer comes back to the nomination form. If you see something good, nominate it! Then it will be included.
I am always worried that it looks as though Scottish Roundup includes the same blogs over and over again. I am sorry that Slutty McWhore was left with the false impression that the vast majority of bloggers featured in Scottish Roundup know each other in the real world. This isn’t true. I have never met a single other blogger in my life.
But there are only so many blogs that I can keep up with (I am already subscribed to around 100 Scottish blogs — all are in with a shout of being featured). If you think Scottish Roundup looks too cliquey or something like that, I once again have to point you in the direction of the nomination form.
One of the reasons why we have guest bloggers is to ensure that a variety of viewpoints and styles are featured in Scottish Roundup. We invite bloggers of all stripes to be a guest editor. Slutty McWhore was under the impression that Indygal was the first female guest editor, but this is not true. In fact, our second ever guest editor was a woman, so there has been a female presence on Scottish Roundup since the earliest days.
Once again, this isn’t a box ticking exercise. There have only been so many weeks since Scottish Roundup began. Inevitably, some “types” of bloggers have not been invited yet, including some very popular ones. But we will get round to it. Once again, we welcome suggestions for guest editors, but of course we will only choose people if we think they will do a good job at it.
As I said above, we are really liberal about what can be included. In fact, you only have to meet one of the following three criteria:
- Live in Scotland
- Come from Scotland
- Blog about Scotland
There are no other criteria. It doesn’t have to be about politics, you don’t have to be a male and it doesn’t even have to be a blog.
Whenever I say “blog” in relation to Scottish Roundup, I am using the word loosely to capture the entire concept of Web 2.0 and citizen journalism. We are eager to incorporate all sorts of content — YouTube videos, podcasts, community sites, message boards, wikis, whatever.
That is part of the reason why the word “Blogging” was removed from the name of the site. “Scottish Roundup” is not a very descriptive name, so I’ve always wondered if it was a mistake or if the name should be changed back. As usual, feedback on that is very welcome.
Once again, we can only do this if you nominate things. Please do let us know any old way you want about anything that you find interesting and fulfils the really loose criteria.