TPQ Change Of Tack

For quite some time TPQ has published around four items a day. Much of what has featured previously appeared on other blogs and websites. The increasing volume of material we try to cover has resulted in endlessly having to play catch up but never quite making it. Such has been the prodigious output from some sites that TPQ has resorted to offering a round-up of their content via links rather than feature the articles per se.

From today TPQ will be changing tack, restricting itself to a maximum of two daily slots. Priority will be given to original pieces specifically penned for TPQ. Writing that has already been published elsewhere will generally only be considered on request from the author. It can no longer be guaranteed that every such request will be followed by publication. If there is space within the 14 slots available each week, the request should be accommodated. However, preference will be given to pieces with no history in the public domain, to new blogs trying to establish themselves and also to those writers who have no other outlet.  The writing of prisoners, regardless of the cause of their imprisonment, will always find a home in TPQ. 

From the requests for re-publication that might come, TPQ will seek to pluck those articles that have a particular resonance with the central themes this blog has become known for. Focus will invariably settle on articles addressing issues of the freedom to express, write and inquire. Opposition to censorship, which in many ways has come to define TPQ, will remain as central to ever.

There will be occasions when an article from another source for some reason catches our eye and which we would like to see getting a wider airing. In that situation, where TPQ has not been directly requested by the author of the piece to reproduce, we will ask the writer for their permission to run it. That is the only occasion TPQ will run a feature from elsewhere in the absence of a request to do so. 

TPQ welcomes suggestions from all its readers as to how the blog should be developed.


  1. “TPQ welcomes suggestions from all its readers as to how the blog should be developed.”

    A video section where the sites author does daredevil/jackass stunts like jumping out of second floor windows or hitting themselves in the face with a hot iron. And maybe undercover stuff like joining ISIS and blogging the realities of life in the caliphate. Ive got alot of ideas AM.

  2. Davey,

    All AM needs to do is go North to get lifted!

    How about banning anyone for ever asking basic questions regarding OIOV?

  3. I can understand the reason for the change. I'll be sorry to see less alternative media because I'm totally pathetic at finding it myself. Perhaps some interesting links from alternative media could be available on the site? TPQ has offered an abundance of other media, that might not always bring about debate, or might be a few days behind, but it is a site that many people will use as their first port of call to catch-up particularly on Irish affairs.

  4. Was my writing THAT bad!?? lol

  5. Makes sense to me - been hard to keep up with the volume of content plus I think sometimes the comments debate isn't as robust because the blog has moved on so quickly to new content.

    Love the Pensive Quill

  6. I think the footie corner wold be a great idea even if just for the Euros coming up.

  7. AM

    Come on, both me and Larry reckon a footy corner would be a good idea. With that kind of cross community support you can hardly say no!! lol

  8. I guess the challenge is summed up in the span between the view of Amonrosier and jgr33n, who both have valid positions. There is no size fits all model. We will endeavour to provide the outlet that we have sought to offer for some time. I have a view that some of the articles need a longer run that the few hours provided by the four a day model. The pieces we reproduced from other sites have flagged up those sites sufficiently for people to visit themselves if they find the material interesting. We will continue to find articles from those sites of such interest that we will want to run them here with their own standing. Uri Avnery's this morning is the type of piece we have in mind. But ultimately, other sites are now well established entities, have their own platform and do not need TPQ to get their material out. We hope to prioritise those writers with no outlet and those who write specifically for TPQ rather than have their time restricted by pieces that have already had exposure elsewhere.

    If the current model does not work well then we will consider alternatives to it.

  9. AM, is there a way to add a dropdown on the site that orders articles in terms of views, rather than chronology, so that hot articles remain at the top? Also id make the donate button easier to find, and more prominent so that new readers here for a specific article can donate that much easier if they feel so inclined.

  10. DaithiD,

    my apprehension is that if the most viewed are pushed to the top they will stay the most viewed and the others will not get a fair crack.

  11. Could you create a page with those links on it? But really have no problem with it as is, or if you change, I'll be reading. Think the work you two put in is impressive, considering what you have on your mind with the tapes issue and a small family. I don't think I could do it.

  12. Which links in particular Gerard?

    We could do a page, even two a week, within the 14 day slot pulling a lot of links together if that is what people think is better for them.

  13. I wrote this and afterwards noticed it mirrors much earlier comment but what the hell..

    I haven't commented in a while but I am a keen reader. I curtailed my commenting as it was becoming a little insular.

    I like the idea of two articles a day as the current model risks spreading the debate too thinly. Although there are plenty of comments and much debate, if the slots were restricted it may aid debate through focus.

    I like the idea of links as Anthony could put a rolling list of links to articles elsewhere which would otherwise have been published on the quill. So that they are available in any case. It would be a good experiment as readers can usually comment elsewhere on the other blogs if needs be. Having too many published articles risks the site becoming like where you can't see the wood for the trees.

    I think Daithi's idea of being able to list or sort "hot" articles is excellent. However, maybe the option to "favourite" or rate the linked articles would be useful instead or as well as that. I find "hot" articles may have attention-grabbing titles and lack substance even if they have many "hits" whereas a rating system would be a more scientific way of sorting the wheat from the chaff.

    You could have an ever rolling list of would-have-been published links listed by most recent but with the ability to sort it into that weeks articles by popularity, the last rolling month in popularity and the years most popular. Maybe most popular ever too? It would need a few algorithms I am sure but it'd be worth it.

    The potential of an article-vault like this would mean the vault itself could be as useful and as powerful as the part of the site which has articles which get comments and debate.

    You'd need a score of volunteer web-testers to test it for bugs and maybe have the new and revamped sites running in tandem for a while.

    The quill is easily the best blog site out there but talk of improvements had me eager to give my tuppence worth. I hope I am not treading on anyone's toes since I haven't commented in a while.

  14. Simon,

    a very thoughtful contribution that will have some of us on our toes rather than you standing on them.

    Great suggestions but as you know the audience is out on it. Was talking to a friend last night who follows the blog closely and he felt a list of links to pieces from elsewhere would be losing space.

    We'll have a look at the possibilities in terms of technical requirements in respect of your other suggestions. They are fine in themselves but in terms of working algorithms, the type of tweaking involved has in the past put the site out of kilter - there is a knock on effect which at first is not visible until somebody tells us that they can no longer do this or that. We still have problems with the tweet facility over changes we made a good time back.

    But thanks for thnking about the matter for us

  15. AM,

    I guess you could just put the links in your twitter feed as even those who don't have a twitter account can read them. It would save a lot of expensive and fancy programming.