Joseph asks in a comment to this recent post:
"Why DO you blog, Julien? You have an amazingly high output - what's your motivation? Is it just pure geekiness (aka, passion for your subject)?"
Well, money is not my intention. It has never been. Although it would be funny living from a hobby.
"Passion" could be too strong, but it could be an appropriate term in comparative perspective. I suppose it has become geekiness, although it wasn't that way from the beginning.
When I started this blog, I thought about bringing discussions where there are not enough discussions and to give a perspective that looks at things from a different angle.
I've become engaged at the European level some years ago and I realised that the discussions I saw and I took part in were not really European. They were often conducted as if never done before - in a vacuum of arguments and perspectives that desperately asked to be filled with substance.
When you look at the output of this blog - its posts - you will realise that there are different concrete motivations behind all this writing:
Sometimes I just come across an issue, a text, a blog entry, I find interesting for me, or I think that a larger audience (if this term may be used in the context of EU blogging) could be interested in it. Then I reblog, I comment; sometimes I add a little detail. This is almost no extra work, besides linking and writing a short text on something I've just read. It's quickly done.
The second category are posts which are based on research. I'd say they are the result of educational and/or journalistic motivations, directed towards my readers but also towards me: I try to find something interesting - a document, a discussion, an event - that didn't get much attention so far. It's education for me, because I am learning about issues I didn't care about before, and it's also journalism for me, because if the topics were covered elsewhere I wouldn't need to research and write about them. But since I post it, this self-education and self-journalism can have some effect to the outside world. Usually this involves some time: A post of this category can be written over several hours or days, depending on my time and personal motivation.
Then there are more personal comments, reflections, analyses. I write them down - as I've told some days ago - as if I was writing on my own, for me, like in a diary, even if afterwards this might cause reactions that go beyond this internal motivation. These texts take more time than they may look like from the outside. I've even erased several of them because I couldn't finish them or because they became too personal.
The fourth category are political posts. I am a political person, and certain things get on my nerves and I feel (politically) obliged to criticise or at least to react. They are close to the first category, but more related to an internal agenda than to spontaneous interest.
I suppose that this explains to some extend the output of this blog:
There are several motivations behind writing, and the main element of geekiness or passion is writing all this down, taking the time for it, instead of keeping it for me.
But the main motivation to post all this remains the fact that most of the things we are writing about still lack a public, they still lack attention by the media and by citizens and professional political actors all over the continent.
As long as I feel that there is this lacuna, I think I will continue blogging: Until the day when I have the feeling to get almost everything I am interested in in Europe and in the European Union through other sources.
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