As we all know I invented political blogging. I was blogging before computers were around. I used to scribble my opinions down and leave them next to my abacus. I am the expert on political blogs. I write the rules. Therefore I am asking people to vote for their top 10 favourite blogs. By carefully controlling this competition within my parameters I can keep myself firmly at the centre of political bloggery and add credibility to my self-styled expertise. I might even win it. Some people wouldn't trust me to count sheep accurately when trying to get to sleep but you can trust me on this. I won't exclude anyone just because I don't like them.
The rules are far from simple and that is deliberate.
1. You must (MUST, mind. It is illegal not to) vote for your ten favourite blogs and rank them from 1 (your favourite) to 10 (your tenth favourite). Obviously I could use a simple FPTP method of determining a winner where people vote for their favourite blog but for once I am favouring a complicated PR type system which I will adapt according to achieving the desired outcome.
2. Your votes must be ranked from 1 to 10. Any votes which do not have rankings will not be counted.
3. You MUST include at least FIVE blogs in your list, (even if you don't think 5 are worthy) but please list ten if you can. If you include fewer than five, your vote will not count. This is designed to stop "orchestrated campaigns" (when is a campaign not orchestrated?) encouraging people to vote for silly blogs such as that of my spoofer Iain Dale.
4. Email your vote to firstname.lastname@example.org
5. Only vote once. Unless you are voting for me in which case it is fine but at least try and use different email addresses.
6. Only blogs based in the UK, run by UK residents or based on UK politics are eligible. We don't want no foreign rubbish.
7. No blog will be excluded from voting unless it suits me to exclude it.
8. All votes must be received by midnight on 31 July 2010. Any votes received after that date will not count but you may still be charged.
There are many ways of measuring a blog's popularity. Google Analytics does it by measuring how many people visit a blog over a period of time ie. how popular it is. But this poll gives blog readers the opportunity to vote for the ones they like without me resorting to actual proper statistics and visitor numbers that I would then only have to alter to make my own blog seem more popular and attractive to advertisers.
Much better to run an entirely unbiased, independent competition that I can plug through my blog which automatically has a bias of readers favouring my views (and those of other right wing bloggers).
It's not scientific and that's the fucking beauty of it. It's impossible to achieve 100% balance, especially if you don't try, and no one pretends it's perfect. Though I will be publicising it as the definitive poll of blogs when it is published despite the obvious flaws in the voting system.
As a champion of the accountability and transparency that the internet affords I will be bringing in independent vote assessors from Zimbabwe and Iran to ensure fair play.
PS I note that my spoofer Iain Dale is running a parody competition parallel to mine. It would really annoy him if you could vote for me in that (click here) though remember you'll need to vote for at least 4 others as well. I could suggest some other blogs but Dale would probably exclude them as being against the rules. You could always watch out for things I plug in the Faley Four...