Is Whale Oil boring?

Most people find politics boring so yes, most people are likely to find Whale Oil boring (and Your NZ too).

But Cameron raises the question in a post that appears to be a mix of self sympathy and self promotion, not uncommon there these days.

Whaleoil is too boring, and its readers are getting shafted

That’s the gist of an email I received today.  The email essentially proposes that all the good stuff is now going into INCITE: Politics, and what’s left here is just the dregs.

More accurately perhaps – a lot of past readers (and commenters) were shafted and the dregs are left – and a few of them do their best to praise their web master.

But Slater has sounded jaded lately and that feeling continues in his post.

As for Whaleoil being boring.  After the mad heights of the last election with Kim Dotcom and then the Dirty Politics fallout, I hope you don’t mind if I say “thank goodness it is!”.   What’s the old saying?  May you live in interesting times.  I can assure you that something a little more sane and sensible is good for my health and general happiness.

However, I still live in interesting times.  The problem is that as I battle people through the courts, as I lay complaints with police, as I am a litigant and defendant in several court actions with Mr A, Colin Craig, Mr B and Mr C, I need to place my own needs ahead of those of my readers by not trying to waffle on in public about it.

That level of legal activity would wear anyone down. One could posit that he is reaping some of what he has sown. But he does waffle on a bit about it all.

And it is boring in the sense that this is a political blog and we’re going through an extremely bland period of politics.

It may be a relatively bland period for Slater as he seems to have been cast out into the political wilderness. Most of his exciting sources have deserted him. He is struggling in a period of significantly reduced importance, for him.

But politics continues beyond Whale Oil and I still see plenty of fascinating stuff around.

Slater asks:

Is the content in INCITE: Politics what you would normally find on Whaleoil?

A few people dutifully promote Incite for him, one of whom gets promoted as a ‘featured comment’.

From what I’ver seen of Incite (the first couple of editions) it’s different to Whale Oil, aimed at a different market – paying political customers. There was some interesting stuff but nothing compelling.

Greg M points out:

*Every issue has polls and analysis by Curia, this doesn’t come cheap, and as we all know Curia tends to be the most reliable and accurate of all political polls.
*Guest articles by respected commenters from all sides of the fence, Willie Jackson and Chris trotter, Carrick Graham and David Garrett have all contributed..
*Simon Lusk and Cam also do a detailed and in depth analysis of the latest events.

David Farrar’s polling and analyse is interesting enough.

But Jackson, Trotter, Graham and Garrett are hardly sought after heavy hitters in today’s world of politics.

And talking of heavy hitters Lusk and Slater, the editors of Incite, must have very limited credibility these days and are seen more as toxic. There’s unlikely to be many politicians who would want to be seen as associated with the Dirty Politics duo.

I suspect that the timing of this post, just after an edition of Incite was published, is trying to talk up some subscriptions, but the tears dripping into spilt milk are apparent.

So is Whale Oil boring?

It’s obviously popular with quite a few people, there are still active comments threads.

But it has become more boring from my perspective at least.

Slater has lost most of his sources so he doesn’t have anywhere near the number of scoops he used to post.

Since WO went to half hourly posts there’s a lot of padding and repetition.

And it’s become very predictable, Herald bashing, Little bashing, Green bashing, Goff bashing, McCone bashing, and until recently an incessant amount of Muslim bashing.

Many of the posts are predictable from the headings. Too much same old.

It’s hard to know how much moderating goes on because most of it is done silently but it’s still happening. But a lot of the damage was done when they purged a lot of commenters, the core of those left are friendly,  fake, or scared to step out of line because banning was done often for very little. Ironically they say they edit out comments that are too boring, and have become boring.

WO is a shadow of it’s heyday, and Slater sounds worn down too. Not surprising given the Dirty Politics exposure, his pariah status and  and all the court actions he has become embroiled in (and in some cases has chosen to get involved in and prolong).

Despite the lack of sources and scoops now Whale Oil does contributed something to the political blogosphere.

But as well as that it has become weighed down by financial necessity.  The number of posts – half hourly – and the number of click bait fillers are presumably seen as necessary to keep the ticks that pay the bills and the wages.

Less repetition and fewer fillers would make Whale Oil more interesting for a wider readership.

There is too much dross to wade through to be bothered. And there is limited appeal in the ‘poor me’ posts.

Whale Oil is obviously still ok for some but the gloss as worn off and Slater sounds worn out.

It’s actually bloody hard work keeping readers interested day after day, month after month, year after year.

And motivation must be especially hard for Slater after having fallen out of the political circles and excitement his was once in the centre of.

While I think Pete Belt is responsible for some of the fall in interest especially in the comments threads due to his fairly extreme ‘moderation’ methods he does seem to have pretty much held together what could have been a train wreck.

For a while it was the Flying Whale, but it has become more like a rickety old Thomas with not much energy left in the tank.

Still Whale Oil survives which is a major achievement in itself. It just isn’t what it briefly was in it’s heyday

I find it boring and mostly lacking in political relevance now. I only noticed this post because someone pointed it out to me. And even they said “I don’t bother looking into Whaleoil much at all these days”.

Perhaps Whale Oil will find a new lease of life some time but for now it is just another political blog that most people will find boring – if they ever find it. That’s a reality of politics and a reality of blogging.

Expert too boring

From the US: Actual Expert Too Boring For TV

Sad but true.

SECAUCUS, NJ—Dr. Gary Canton, a professor of applied nuclear physics and energy-development technologies at MIT and a leading expert in American nuclear-power applications, was rejected by MSNBC producers for being “too boring for TV” Monday.

“We could deal with Dr. Canton being so short,” said Cal Salters, a segment producer at MSNBC. “And we could’ve made him up so he didn’t look like he spends all day in front of a computer. We even considered cutting away to stock footage so our audience didn’t have to look at him for too long. But when it turned out that listening to him is about as interesting as picking the lint off his lapels—well, there was nothing we could do about that.”

Canton was brought in for a test interview based on a recent op-ed in the Boston Globe, in which he argued that increased reliance on nuclear power is “inevitable.” When asked to address nuclear power’s potentially disastrous consequences, however, Canton launched into a well-reasoned lecture that balanced modern energy demands against safety and environmental concerns.

Salters was not impressed.

“[Canton] went on like that for six… long… minutes,” Salters said. “Fact after mind-numbing fact. Then he started spewing all these statistics about megawatts and the nation’s current energy consumption and I don’t know what, because my mind just shut off. I tried to lead him in the right direction. I told him to address the fears that the average citizen might have about nuclear power, but he still utterly failed to mention meltdowns, radiation, or mushroom clouds.”

“I’m sure he knows what he’s talking about,” Salters added. “But we have a responsibility to educate and entertain our viewers. In the end, we had to go with someone else.”

MSNBC chose Skip Hammond, former Arizona State football player, MBA holder, and author of Imprison The Sun: America’s Coming Nuclear-Power Holocaust. Hammond is best known for his “atomic domino” theory of chained power-plant explosions and his signature lavender silk tie.

Hammond is scheduled to appear in all six parts of the upcoming Learning Channel series Frost Or Fire: America’s Coming Energy Tribulations.

If you peel off the layers of that Onion you see a major modern media malaise.

And there is no known cure.


Not just our politicians who are boring

Posted on Twitter by 

Boring map

Boring mapMotto: “The most exciting place to live.”

In June 2012, in a play on the town’s name, the Boring Community Planning Organization voted to “pair” with Dull, Scotland, for the purpose of promoting tourism in both towns. Dull is a tiny village of only 84 residents, while Boring has about 8,000. In 2013, a farm community and former gold prospecting site Bland Shire in West Wyalong, New South Wales, Australia was added to the mix to create not a “twinned town” relationship but a “League of Extraordinary Communities” grouping Dull, Boring and Bland as a means of encouraging travel, promoting all three communities. (Wikipedia)

KM – probably not going to become a regular feature.