July 21st, 2010Euroblogosphere
This week it’s been a pleasure to see enthusiasm mounting around the French-born idea of founding a collective European blog. On Monday, a few French Eurobloggers and sympathisers met for drinks in Paris to discuss the idea further (read minutes here, here and there).
Along the initial idea of a collective European blog, another one emerged, that of using the Blogging Portal as a basis for creating a sort of intranet for European bloggers. The blog Se former à la communication européenne makes detailed proposals on how to transform the platform into “Blogging Portal 2.0”.
As I am part of the Blogging Portal’s team of editors, I’ve been intrigued by this developement. I’m surprised to see that my fellow-countrymen consider the Blogging Portal to be hardly more than a Euroblog aggregator. Blogging Portal is in fact much more than that. The initial editors’ mission -making a daily selection of the best posts amongst over 600 listed blogs- has led to creating very strong bonds between the bloggers who are part of the team. A dozen of some of the most active Eurobloggers have daily online exchanges about how to develop the European public sphere. Together we design and carry out different initiatives during our free time, and without any financing at all. However it’s true that these exchanges and initiatives have been taking place in English so far as this is the only language we all share.
Interestingly these discussions among French Eurobloggers are emerging at a time when Blogging Portal editors are going through intense discussions about the future of the platform. It’s perfect timing. So, dear Frenchies… would you like to join us in the Blogging Portal? You’d be more than welcome!
July 15th, 2010Euroblogosphere
Since I started blogging a year ago, it’s the first time I witness a blog chain in the French Euroblogosphere. Even though I’m French, I’m much better integrated in the English-speaking Euroblogosphere where interactions between blogs happen all the time. One starts blogging about something, another one picks it up, then another writes about both articles, and so on, and so forth.
A couple of days ago, as a response to the closing of two emblematic blogs, Samuel Faure called for the creation of a common European blog to which different bloggers would contribute with diverging opinions on Europe. Then Jean-Sébastien Lefebvre, Greg Henning and Michael Malherbe replied to him. If you can’t read French, you can still use Google Translate to get an idea of these exchanges. As Samuel kindly asked me to jump in, here is my contribution.
I’m one of the strongest advocates of the fact that politicising Europe -confronting different points of views and projects- is what will make the interest for Europe grow. In my opinion, this is the positive side of the debate we had in France on the constitutional treaty for Europe. For the first time in France, we had a real debate on Europe! Everybody was talking about it! This is why I find Samuel’s idea interesting.
However I am not sure that it is the solution we are looking for, simply because the people who would read or contribute to this collective European blog would be people who already have an interest in Europe.
One of the main issues of the European Union is that it is of interest to very few people who usually gather up in tiny closed in communities, such as that of the Eurobloggers. The Blogging Portal community, which I am part of, was created in order to promote blogs that deal with European affairs. The Blogging Portal has been a tremendous tool for networking the English-speaking Euroblogging community. However, this community rather hardly interacts with Eurobloggers who write in other languages, and does not interact much with the national blogospheres either. Fair enough, it’s difficult to be in different places at the same time. It’s a good thing to develop a network of bloggers who care about Europe but on the other hand, we should avoid the self-referential tendency that sometimes leads us to talk about ourselves among each other.
The more I think about it, the more I believe we should probably not write only about Europe in our blogs. Let’s write about Europe of course, but let’s also write about other things too. If our blogs only talk about Europe, we will only attract people who are already interested in Europe. If we want to get people interested in European affairs, wouldn’t it be a better strategy to deal with Europe as one topic among others? Let me explain… If we talk about life and generally all kinds of stuff on our blogs, we will certainly attract a wider public. And if that public keeps on reading us, it’s probably because they like our style and the way we think, no matter what we talk about. Although they might not be interested in European issues at first, they might one day find one of our posts on Europe interesting. So if we write about Europe among other stuff, there is a chance that we actually get more people interested in Europe in the end, isn’t there?
Update on 19 July: Samuel has responded to the various reactions on his idea. Click here to read it.
June 30th, 2010Euroblogosphere
There must be some weird planet conjunction at the moment as some of the most renowned Eurobloggers are either calling it quits or moving to pastures new. Yesterday Julien Frisch announced he was stopping his blog. Today Charlemagne announced he would stop blogging under this pseudonym, would move back to London, and start blogging about UK politics. Jon Worth announced a couple of weeks ago that he would move back to London too.
As a Euroblogger and a Blogging Portal editor, I feel like an orphan. What will happen to the Euroblogosphere without some of its most emblematic bloggers? I hope new Eurobloggers will emerge. Kosmopolit already spotted a new one today called Ooh, Brussels! Time for a new generation I guess. So come on people, do you like to write? Do you want to have your views heard? Do you want to shake up EU affairs? Don’t hesitate! Open a blog! Now.Tags: Blogging Portal, Euroblogosphere, Euroblogs