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    July 26th, 2010EuropasionariaEuroblogosphere, Girl Power

    Rosie the blogger - CC Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com, after J. Howard Miller

    With the folks at the Blogging Portal, we ran a funny experiment last week. Editors nominated their favourite Euroblogs and ended up with a list of 30. Then Blogging Portal users could cast a vote online for their top 5 Euroblogs. The results were announced yesterday.

    I’m happy to see that at least one female Euroblogger made it to the final top 5. Congratulations to Lobby Planet‘s author for her continuous quest for trying and making the EU look funny. We need more light-toned Euroblogs, and we also need more female Eurobloggers.

    I’ve analysed the top 30 through a gender lens (see full list below). If you leave out the collectively written blogs, which have both male and female authors, there are 6 female bloggers in the list as opposed to 18 male bloggers. That’s right, just one quarter of the nominated blogs are written by ladies, this is even lower than the gender balance ratio of the current European Commission. This is not too bad but it could be much better. As French feminist blogger Olympe points it in a reaction to the Wikio classification of top political blogs, women are as underrepresented in the blogs that are deemed influential as they are in high positions in politics and at work.

    Generally women are not as comfortable voicing their political opinions as men are. I see this at every conference I go to, when it’s question time, only men dare speak. Surely not because they have more to say but because they are more confident that what they think is of interest to others. Ladies, your opinion matters. Whatever you write, you will find an audience, your very own audience. So, get blogging!

    I’m still surprised each time I publish a blogpost to see that people read what I write and that they are not my family and friends. I’m flattered that my fellow Blogging Portal editors nominated my blog as one of their favourites, and even more so that I actually made it to the top 10 of the readers’ favourites! See, just like many ladies, I still lack confidence in the value of what I do.

    I don’t think I’ve mentioned it on this blog before but in the same spirit, with my Twitter friends Kattebel and Linotherino, we launched the EU Girl Geeks network last year. EU Girl Geeks is a group of women who combine a geekiness that is both linked to techie stuff and to the EU bubble. Thanks to the genius IT skills of Linotherino we have now a website where we list blogs about Europe that are written by women. Have a look and feel free to suggest other blogs we might not yet know of! We are also on Facebook and Twitter. By the way, we are meeting this week for drinks and dinner so if you are geekie and girly, feel free to join!

    Results of the Blogging Portal's poll on your favourite Euroblogs

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    July 24th, 2010EuropasionariaEuroblogosphere, France

    Thanks to the European blog search engine Wikio, there is now no need anymore to speak 5 languages to discover the best European blogs. Each day on e-blogs, blogposts from the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain are selected and translated into 5 languages. What a fantastic initiative! Bravo Wikio!

    As far as translation is concerned, there is a novelty on this blog too. As a matter of principle, this blog is already bilingual. Almost all articles are available in English here and in French there. I took that decision right from the beginning in order to present a French view on European affairs to English speakers on one hand, and to build bridges between the Euroblogosphere and the French blogosphere on the other hand. However the fact that Spanish Eurobloggers such as Encarna of Más Europa, Emilio of europe@s and Jorge Juan of Cuidadano Morante have recently started to comment in Spanish on this blog pushed me to do more for multilinguism. This is why below the language button you can now see a Google translate button for all the people who are not comfortable with either English or French. This button can also be used to translate comments you don’t understand the language of, and even to reply in a language you can’t speak! Amazing, isn’t it?

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    July 24th, 2010EuropasionariaQuote of the week

    You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.

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    July 23rd, 2010EuropasionariaWeb 2.0

    As social media is now integrated in everything we do, the question is not anymore what is social media, but where is social media now? Great presentation by Marta Kagan.

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    July 23rd, 2010EuropasionariaEurope, Quote of the week

    In Brussels there are days when you feel the European Union is a magnificent creation, one of the most inspired experiments in mankind’s history. Then there are days when you feel disgusted by the pettiness, the short-sightedness, the incoherence of it all.

    Farewell to Brussels, FT Brussels Blog

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    July 21st, 2010EuropasionariaEuroblogosphere

    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 herehere 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!

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    July 15th, 2010EuropasionariaEurope

    Although I’m a fan and user of the .eu domain name, I can’t help but be bothered by this ad. I’m sure the ones who’ve read me for a while, and know my tendency to advocate for gender equality, will think: “What? There are more women than men in the picture, for once she should be happy?!”

    But my problem with this ad is that it says that adopting a .eu domain name shows that you are European, and then it shows 5 white people. Do you see where I’m getting with this? To me, being European is being in a multicultural open society, hardly something this ad conveys…

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    July 15th, 2010EuropasionariaEuroblogosphere

    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 blogsSamuel Faure called for the creation of a common European blog to which different bloggers would contribute with diverging opinions on Europe. Then Jean-Sébastien LefebvreGreg 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.

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    July 14th, 2010EuropasionariaQuote of the week

    Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion.

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    July 13th, 2010EuropasionariaBrussels, Girl Power

    My daily journey to work makes me pass by two billboards that I can’t help but notice.

    This one:

    And that one:

    In each case, we see women almost completely naked -not completely, of course, as that would be truly shocking, sic- in situations where one is usally not naked: biking on one hand, walking in an urban environment on the other hand.

    As there is really no reason for these women to be naked in such circumstances, I can’t help but wonder: why are they naked, actually? Probably because it catches attention… I guess. That might be naive of me but I can’t help but wonder: why is it that advertisers still think that showing super photo-shopped abnormally skinny naked women will actually make women want to buy a product? Is it true what some say that there is no such thing as bad publicity? Or is this simply the result of a lack of creativity?

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