Datamonitor founder Mike Danson, who bought half of left-leaning current affairs mag New Statesman from Labour MP Geoffrey Robinson in April, has invested a five-figure sum to buy a majority of unofficial Labour party blog LabourHome. New Direction, a fellow Labour blog, reported the news, saying co-founder Jag Singh and editor Alex Hilton will stay on board: “Views from the bottom, cash and editorial from the top. Excellent.” Guardian.co.uk adds Danson “will be merging some parts of the site with the New Statesman, including sharing editorial … joining the New Statesman team at their offices in London’s Victoria.”
It’s not so much a media deal as a political campaign. Conservatives have mobilised the web and blogs far better than their rivals in the last couple of years, with several online outlets and communities around which to debate. But neither side has proved as popular as those blogging politics on the other side of the Atlantic. The “sale” of small blogs to larger sites is often more about attracting writing talent than out-and-out acquisition. This came after upstart blog publisher MessyMedia, which ran the Westmonster politics blog, closed down yesterday, citing lack of ads and writers.