Monday, 4 January 2010

What is Euroblogging?

Nobody knows what Euroblogging is, and nobody ever asks because if one asked there would be a risk to get an answer like this Euroblogging post (or this one).

Euroblogging is the fine art of creating debate where there is no debate, it is the fine art of writing a blog for a tiny multilingual audience that you try to make grow one by one with every article you write.

Euroblogging usually is, as Falk has put it yesterday, extremely "crypotgraphic-technocratic" and the reason is that when you deal with European issues they are usually technical by nature and generally uninteresting. Nevertheless, Euroblogging needs to become "less institutional, less geeky, less boring, more personal, more imaginative, more visionary" as nonformality demands.

Euroblogging is keeping track of a European issue for a year that no one in the tradition media notices during that time, seeing this issue boost for 1-2 days almost by accident, and witnessing the renewed ignorance of what comes afterwards.

Euroblogging is following over 500 blogs in various languages united in the European bloggingportal as well as several European and national news and document sources, trying to connect the various articles, texts, comments, and sub-debates to a public sphere of European politics that does not yet exist.

Euroblogging is the craft of combining passion for politics and writing with frustration, having too much and too little to write about. Too much because 90% of the important things the EU and other European institutions do are not covered in the daily news and you could write for weeks just to cover the news of a day. Too little because most of the issues are so complex that writing about them would not make a difference because you cannot tell an unknown and overly long story in a blog posts or even a series of blog posts.

Euroblogging usually means to take little snippets you find on the net or elsewhere and to write about them in a way that does at least interest an audience trying to understand what is happening on the European level or in the transnational and pan-European space.

Euroblogging is everyone leaving the purely national perspectives in blogging and relating to blogs in other European countries, writing about topics of common concern and bridging language barriers that are not that high with many web users speaking at least one foreign language and with translation software that helps to understand texts in totally unknown languages.

Euroblogging is being an idealist in a world of bureaucrats and ignorance, Euroblogging is often time-consuming and mostly self-referential, Euroblogging is something you shouldn't start unless you are willing to follow the 10 steps to becoming a Euroblogger.

And naturally, nothing of this really characterises Euroblogging, but writing it down to revise it in a month is also part of Euroblogging.


Grahnlaw said...


Without actually questioning your personal views, let me note a few of mine.

The web offers experts and citizens unprecedented opportunities to follow debates, participate and create in practically all areas of life.

European affairs, or more narrowly EU matters, are important enough to merit attention outside the circle of government representatives, Commission officials and the European Parliament. offers the possibility to join different interests and views at one convenient address. is like the hub of a wheel.

Potentially the spokes grow into every major aspect of EU politics and all EU policies, covering much of what mainstream media deals cursorily with or not at all, as well as participation in debate on major issues.

I imagine that there are at least two categories of Europeans practically ready to join

There are professional networks, public servants, business interests etc. in all policy areas of the European Union.

They or their individual members only have to turn to blogging, in order to gain visibility and the opportunity to engage with the public at large.

There are national bloggers (including European movements) who blog on EU issues, but haven't joined yet.

Because is multilingual, they can continue blogging in their own language, but gain visibility through

It would also make it easier for them to reach their expat populations, not to be underestimated.

Finally, some of these national bloggers might want to join the European conversation by posting in one of the most frequently used languages, either occasionally or regularly (a separate blog?).

Nearly 500 listed blogs is a good beginning, but the EU is active in enough areas to merit the attention of a far greater number, especially given the variety of viewpoints.

What we as eurobloggers can do - besides writing our own blogs - is to be active in inviting others to join and to offer their perspectives and knowledge to others, including citizens' views on the need for reform and improvements.

A vibrant community of eurobloggers does not have to fall into (too much of) introspection.

The general level of knowledge about the EU and interest in EU affairs are patchy, but each euroblog sheds a little light on issues which objectively are of common interest.

Reforming the EU and how it works is another important aspect.

Each blogger makes her or his choices what to deal with, and how. But even a small blog has a few readers, just as a teacher has a few (interested) students.

That is enough to go on.