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Left-wing political blog Liberal Conspiracy closes
Editor Sunny Hundal, who ran the blog for the last six years, said the opinion blogging market has become 'over-saturated'
Since its launch in November 2007, the blog has published content produced by between 200 and 300 contributors, with the aim of becoming a "strong left-wing hub for left-wing politics". Editor Sunny Hundal wrote about the reasons behind the launch on the Guardian's Comment is Free (CiF) platform at the time.
Working with others, Hundal set up the blog with opinion-focused content in mind, but in time began producing news-style posts as well.
"That's what really made it much bigger and popular," he told Journalism.co.uk, adding that it appeared this content was "more interesting to people than opinion".
The blog was never profit-making, he said. Advertising revenue only "covered hosting costs" and the blog was "always a labour of love", he added.
"I didn't think it was going to take up that much effort," he said, but it "turned into a full-time job the last few years", with the blog at times publishing around 10 posts a day.
Its highest traffic was recorded around the time of the closure of the News of the World in 2011. That July the blog recorded 180,000 unique visitors, Hundal said, adding that today it records between 80,000 and 100,000 uniques a month.
But now "the market for opinion is over-saturated", he told Journalism.co.uk, a point he also referred to in a post on the blog announcing its closure.
"The enduring success of Guardian CiF, and more recently the New Statesman and Huffington Post, have made other general opinion-blogs redundant," he said on the Liberal Conspiracy blog today. "Frankly, there is just too much opinion out there."
He adds that the website "will become an occasionally updated personal blog, with the odd guest-post'.
He advised other bloggers to "focus on news and try and generate news in a new way", referring to sites such as BuzzFeed as a great example of innovation in online publishing.
And he plans to take his own advice. "I want to do some of that," he said, "I do want to try something new in politics, maybe news-related."
As well as other projects he is working on, Hundal is planning to continue work on his Rippla platform, which looks at stories in terms of their social performance, with a phone app next on the to-do-list.
"I don't have time to do programming while blogging," he added.
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