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    September 26th, 2010EuropasionariaEurope, Girl Power, Web 2.0

    Icelandic volcano ash cloud simulation © Pietro Zanarini/Flickr

    Berlin, April 15, 2010: I’m at the social media conference re:publica 2010 where we are organising a workshop with friends from the Blogging Portal. Little by little, I realize something’s wrong with the airlines. It seems an Icelandic volcano is causing a giant ash cloud, paralysing most European airports. We’re told it could last a few days… I start worrying about not being able to get back home. In this mess, we all try and find as much information as we can. I check Twitter on my BlackBerry. I discover the hashtag #ashtag, and through that, the Eurocontrol Twitter account. From then on, it became my primary source of information as it was the most up-to-date and the most reliable.

    The Eurocontrol Twitter account went from a few hundred followers to a few thousand within a few days. All that thanks to the talent and determination of a lady, Aurélie Valtat, who is now nominated at the SimpliFlying-Airline Business Awards for Social Media Excellence for Airlines, category SimpliFlying Hero of the Year.

    Back then, I was absolutely amazed by the way Eurocontrol handled the situation through Twitter. How Aurélie used Twitter during this crisis should be an example for all institutions trying to get into the social media world. She was informative, responsive, human, funny, genuine… she got it, I thought.

    Aurélie has now become a friend and a member of the EU Girl Geeks. Please vote for her now! Not because she’s my friend but because she deserves to win. Go on this page, scroll down, it’s the last box at the end.

    You can also read Aurélie on her blog Content Bit(e)s, and follow her on Twitter.

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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 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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