I have not been online for about 24 hours, but I know there are people saying I should go - but I think LabourList is a good idea and I hope to leave it for a week before deciding whether to try to soldier on, which is what I think at the moment."
LabourList has just about kept going, including guest editorships such as the unions theme today for May Day. MPs have stayed off it entirely (excepting one piece from Glenis Wilmot MEP) since the scandal broke. Fewer Parliamentary pieces in 'broadcast' mode could be a good thing, but the site can not seek to link office holders and grassroots voices if the former stay away entirely.
Clearly, whether LabourList sorts itself out or not is not the be-all and end-all of the Labour blogosphere. The idea of one authorised space was always a mistake. There is much to be said for 'let a thousand flowers bloom'. But the Labour blogosphere could do with a few good hub sites around which broader networks develop and LabourList might still try to become one of them.
I have already set out my view - as have many others - that Derek Draper needs to quit to give the website a second chance, and salvage something constructive from the work he has put in.
But that won't be enough in itself. Rather than simply replacing the editor and carrying on, I think that LabourList could use the moment to substantively demonstrate an intention to operate differently.
These are not the only, or necessarily the right ways, to do that. And getting some of these things right in But what might some ideas for a turnaround strategy include?
1. Advertise openly for a new editor.
Whatever the model of editorship might be in future, why not go so far as to follow basic good practice in filling a role: publish a person specification, ask candidates for ideas about the site, advertise it openly, and pick the best candidate?
LabourList could also build trust through transparency in how that is done and who is involved. For example, they could invite a Labour big beast who has the blogging bug (John Prescott or Tom Harris), perhaps teaming them up with a less inside voice with expertise on the potential of online politics - such as an academic with practical nous such as Nick Anstead, who co-edited the Fabian Change We Need collection, or a non-party voice like Ben Brandzel, who was Advocacy Director at MoveOn and has played a key role in launching the 38degrees progressive movement.
2. Become a more effective pluralist hub for Labour blogging
One of the more questionable strategies of the site was to make a virtue of antagonising other bloggers, while often claiming to speak for Labour blogging. The claim that the site was aimed at 60 million people, not a few blogging anoraks, entirely misunderstood the nature of online networks, and naturally played into suspicions that rumours of the death of command and control were much exaggerated.
An outreach strategy within the Labour and progressive blogosphere could help to restore trust, and develop some useful ideas about LabourList could best add value as part of a range of efforts.
While it is not a magic bullet, one possible tool might be some kind of editorial network which is not jam-packed with office holders, think-tankers from the party great and good, but which involves some of the more successful bloggers from different parts of the country. That could work if there was a clear sense of what they were being asked to contribute, such as helping to talent-spot of new voices who LabourList could help to project.
3. Build the community
It needs to work out how to deal with and draw a line under the crisis. The most effective way to do that would be to engage its own readership and community substantively, for example in shaping a new public editorial mission and policy and contributing ideas about the future of the site.
The recent ethic of progressive blogging statement could provide one possible jumping off point for a discussion.
As Rowenna Davis noted in writing about it on LabourList itself, these need to be turned into "practical, tangible changes" beyond the general principles, and to find out how people think the site could develop.
Of course, not every idea could be adopted, but being seen to respond to and experiment with some of these would be a good sign, and could help the site shift away from a 'broadcast' mode of communication through op-ed pieces, and work out how to make engagement and interactivity work. Being seen to be committed to taking good contributions seriously might also help to break through the issue of conversations being dominated by trolls and anti-Labour voices attracted by the site's high profile and notoreity.