I was having a little joust with James Mackenzie (aka Two Doctors) on Twitter last night, I mockingly said that I wasn't going to say the nice stuff I was planning to say about his, Jeff and Malc's new venture Better Nation.
I jest of course because I have enough in common with all three of them to make our disagreements just that, a disagreement, a point of contention and not full blown out warfare. It'll be interesting to see how their group dynamic develops as co-editors having seen them together over the odd pints. It would be a shame to lose any of the three of them from blogging and that was the danger that Malc and James were facing over recent months so this new impetus may be the boost to revitalise their creative juices.
Of course I'm also embarking on a new collaborative project, not as James thought with Caron and Andrew as he suggested; like Freedom Central is for the Welsh Lib Dems but for Scotland. No instead I'm getting together with Mícheál setting up the Lib Dems in Northern Ireland blog.
Not of course there hasn't been talk of setting up a Scottish equivalent of Freedom Central. Stephen Tall editor of Lib Dem Voice talked to me about it at conference last year and I talked to Alison Goldsworthy about it there too. So why haven't we got around to it in Scotland?
I think firstly and the three of us have talked about it at times. We are very strong as individual bloggers. By that we are all prolific, hard hitting and bring a personal slant to the issues even if all three of us post on the same subject you will get three very unique perspectives. Secondly such a tool would be to encourage the other Scottish Lib Dem Bloggers. With the notable exception of Fraser Macpherson one of the top 10 Councillor bloggers in the UK, that is in a constant state of embryonic flux. There are some good ones out there like James Taylor, and Paul Edie, but the youngsters Ruaraidh, Callum and Kieran have all given up.
Whereas with Mícheál and me there is a challenge to highlight the Lib Dem brand over here. With a wealth of experience gained in different areas and fields. There is also the obvious media face and the backroom organiser between the two of us. Yes the deal has been struck that if/when I stand in Northern Ireland we know who the agent will be. There are two different styles yet similarly to with Caron and Andrew compatible. I think the boost of my returning has got Mícheál's creative juices running which I hope Better Nation will also do for Malc and James. We'll see how both those projects pan out
As for the Scottish Lib Dem collaboration it remains loose Alliance, with interlinkage and retweeting of stories. Plus, and this is a little secret, occasionally feeding one of the others, in the big three, a story because they would do it more justice because of the way they write.