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A forum to discuss new ideas and perspectives on Unionism…

End of Week Two

A slightly later than planned weekly review … but here goes.

In order to illustrate how life has been in the early phase of this blog, as of today we have 22 posts published and 74 comments have been made in response. We’ve also achieved over 2,700 views. Things are going well and I hope the momentum (and comments) continue. (I’ll stop calling out those stats from now on.)      

Here’s what I’ve learned over the past two weeks:

Firstly off, the quality of the material going up on the site is far, far superior to the visual quality of the blog. In short, the contributions being made here deserve better – so we’re looking into how to make this site more striking, neater and better organised. That may require some finance, free time and planning… so I’m afraid any cataclysmic change in appearance is some way off. But bear with us, we are aware of this blog’s short-comings and we are setting about improving things as quickly as we possibly can.

Secondly, I had hoped to be able to select a theme for a week and to invite contributions – initially from political parties – to tie in with the theme (kind of like how a magazine works with its ‘features list’). But this hasn’t been possible to do. Party press offices are either under-resourced or are focused on lots of other things. So we’re going to have to adapt our approach (but we’ll continue to seek the maximum level of contribution from political parties here). At the moment, we have made requests for material from all the main unionist parties (UUP / DUP / TUV / PUP) – we’ll post these up as soon as they arrive with us.

Thirdly, one of the major goals of this blog is to create the highest quality of engagement possible by inviting the greatest range of contributions .  One layer of engagement is political, but I’d really like to see voluntary and community sector people involved here. As stated elsewhere, this site isn’t for unionists to talk to each other – it’s hopefully an opportunity to take part in a much bigger conversation. We’ll make direct contacts where we can, but if you are involved in the voluntary and communtiy sector please do contact us with suggestions for topics to cover, or suggested material to post up.

The week ahead…

  • Pint of Unionist Lite is planning a piece for Wednesday based around an interesting speech that was made to the Lib Dem conference.
  • DividedLoyalites is hoping to produce a piece on Europe.
  • WB Maginnis is toying with the idea of tackling unionist confidence (following on Turgon’s great piece previously)
  • A second piece from Turgon is going up later today
  • We have our first piece online from new blogger thefreshthinking

There’s more to come in addition to the above. As ever, leave a comment or drop us a line on openunionism at googlemail dot com

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