I was eating with a former study colleague of mine yesterday evening, someone deeply acquainted with modern technologies and social media, discussing about life and web.
This person has inspired my early blogging - before "Watching Europe". He is also the one who proved to me the political use of Twitter by reporting about a real-life discussion meeting (where we both participated) on the use of the web for politics live on Twitter and asking questions coming from Twitter followers to the speaker on the panel - this was 1 1/2 years ago. He also knows the German blogger and social media scene pretty well.
One of the things he raised in our discussion about what he would like to see in the Euroblogging scene is a transnational discourse on European topics. He proposed that a group of European bloggers from different European countries should pick a current EU-topic and report about the coverage and opinions in their respective countries, including a personal account.
The articles should be in English, but the summaries could be translated into other EU languages. By cross-linking these articles it might be possible to create bits of European discourses that could be a good read.
He also proposed that we use the BOBs, the Deutsche Welle Blog Awards at next years re:publica conference, to bring together a bunch of active European bloggers to get this thing bigger.
Reflecting on this idea, I was thinking about a possible technical/ organisational solution for this exercise:
It would be a wiki-like blog with a bunch of bloggers from different countries writing collectively. Someone puts up an article on a current EU topic summarising the press and blog discussions in her/his country, using hyperlinks to fill the story with life and to keep the article relatively short. Any other contributor can later edit the post by adding his own country's perspective. Step by step, the article would grow bigger, with every new contribution getting closer to a complete overview.
The advantage would be twofold:
First, this individual starting approach (compared to a collective agreement on which topic to choose) will ease the initiation of new posts. And second, the collective editing of a single post will keep together the discourse on the same topic in a single place, easing it for the reader to get an overview over the actual discourse.
And even if a post on one topic will just encompass the perspective(s) of two different countries on the same issue, this could be an inspiration for further debate or a way to see how different issues are perceived in different (or very similar) ways.
What do you think about it - regarding both the substance of the proposal, and the technical side on how to implement it?