blog review: warren kinsella

So the blog I have decided to review (finally) is This far from my favourite blog and it’s not even really a blog in the traditional sense (it doesn’t allow comments) but it does demonstrate quite clearly how the Internet is being used as a virtual public space.

I will assume that most of you have not heard of Kinsella; if I’m right, don’t worry. He is, however, quite well-known in incestuous Canadian political circles as a writer and a columnist with lots to say. He is a lawyer by training and used to be a senior strategist, advisor, and speech writer for Jean Chretien when he was prime minister. Kinsella also worked for the federal Liberals in a variety of other capacities. He has two other very different interests: the history of hate groups in Canada and punk rock. He has written one book on hate groups and neo-nazism in Canada and a book about the history of punk music is forthcoming.

His blog is mostly about Canadian politics. He posts almost every day, often including links to external media or pasted bits of news stories. He comments on news stories and provides his own thoughts and opinions on what’s going on. Obviously with all the sponsorship inquiry stuff going on, he’s been talking about that quite a lot. He also has quite an interesting past working for the Liberals and often bits of his past come up and he talks about it. He doesn’t get along well with the current Liberal leadership (Paul Martin and co.) – he much preferred Chretien. So he often talks about stuff related to that.

Anyway, Kinsella’s blog is pretty popular, thousands of unique visitors per day from what I can remember. He has created a virtual space — and a rather successful one at that — where he can spread information (or misinformation), campaign for people, complain, protest, etc. He doesn’t allow comments because he says they create a sticky legal issue where the blog owner can be held responsible for everything in the comments. This makes his blog considerably less interactive but it is still, I would argue, a public space.

[Edited to remove snarkiness]

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