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Last Updated: Monday, 17 September 2007, 10:50 GMT 11:50 UK
Lib Dem blog award winners named
Hug a Hoodie blogspot
Jonny Wright's Hug a Hoodie blogspot won best new blog
Lib Dem activist James Graham has won the party's blog of the year award.

His Quaequam Blog also scooped best posting and was praised for its humour and opinions by judges, including blogging MP Lynne Featherstone.

Mr Graham and five blog of the year runners-up were given the chance to interview leader Sir Menzies Campbell at the party's conference in Brighton.

Kingston-upon-Thames councillor Mary Reid won best designed and best blog from a Lib Dem elected representative.

Mr Graham, who works for non-governmental organisation Unlock Democracy, said he was "delighted" to scoop the top prize.

'Community' spirit

"It's a real honour," he said, describing his blog as a combination of "humour with political rantings".

"Generally I try to be independent but not unnecessarily critical of the party.

"The Liberal Democrat blogging community is very much a community.

"It's much more a sense of people getting together through their dialogue and the debate can be quite exciting at times."

LIB DEM BLOG WINNERS:
Blog of the year - James Graham
Best blog from elected representative - Mary Reid
Best new blog - Jonny Wright, Hug a Hoodie
Best posting - James Graham
Most humorous blog - Liberal Mafia
Best designed blog - Mary Reid

Mr Graham, 32, of North London, won a glass globe. Winners of the other five categories received "Oscar" style statues at a ceremony in Brighton on Sunday.

Mr Graham said he enjoyed interviewing Sir Menzies, who he described as "very personable".

"He was very engaged and engaging. I still have concerns that we're not thinking strategically enough as a party and are rather too concerned about what's happening in target seats, rather than looking at the big issues," he said.

Will Howells, Liberal Democrat internet campaigns officer, said Mr Graham's blog was "a very good mix of a bit of humour, while writing seriously about detailed policy issues in a very readable way.

"He's not afraid of being independent from the party and he will slag off policy if he doesn't agree with it. It's the best example of Lib Dem blogging."

It is so easy to do and so easy to set up - you don't have to be particularly computer literate, so it doesn't alienate anyone
Will Howells
on blogging

Mr Howells said there were now more than 130 Lib Dem blogs.

"It's a really good way of getting the views of members, activists and MPs across to other people in the party," he said.

"You can tell if there is a controversial announcement in the party because you get an immediate reaction from the blogs.

"MPs are seen as normal human beings, rather than away in Westminster going on junkets. We know what they are up to."

Mr Howells said age need not be a barrier to setting up a blog either.

"It is so easy to do and so easy to set up - you don't have to be particularly computer literate, so it doesn't alienate anyone," he said.


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