Sun Mar 1st, 2009 at 04:14:33 PM EST
The pan-European blogosphere is among the more self-conscious. We have been aware of one another's existence for some time. I tried to create an overview back in 2006. And there were more successful efforts to that end by Nosemonkey. Euractiv has a running feature on euroblogs and started its own initiative with blogactiv. Jon Worth has a good post that brings all of this together. But the spark for more purposeful cooperation may also have been the research by Myra von Ondarza.
Myra's study analysed the euroblogosphere from the perspective of social movement research. She used a dual-pathway model, which holds that there is an element of identification and an element of calculation to social movement action. Her conclusion was basically that we eurobloggers aren't a social movement, but just a set of wonks who like to write about the EU and who have little more in common than a desire to see a better discourse.
Since then, eurobloggers are undertaking what I see as three broad strategies to become more active and relevant. We're trying to bring bloggers together, we're trying to grow the blogosphere and we're trying to improve our presentation. An example of the second is our involvement in the th!nk about it competition. But the main effort is the bloggingportal.
The bloggingportal was developed between Stefan Happer, Jon Worth and Andreas Müllerleile. I was involved in early discussions along with a number of other people and am on board as an editor. For the German speakers among us, Stefan Happer also runs the politikportal, which is a very useful overview of newspaper information on the EU.
So how does it work? The bloggingportal is a collection of feeds with editorial input. The items on the portal only show the headline and the first few sentences, much like google news. There's a frontpage which shows the best content. The frontpage provides a great overview for people who want to read analyses and keep a tab on European politics.
The editors decide which posts to frontpage, much like on the European Tribune. We can frontpage an item by voting for it. Aside of that, editors decide which new feeds to add. We can also add and then frontpage single items. This is useful, as some things don't have feeds (like, say, eurotrib diaries) and some blogs rarely write about Europe or the EU. For the sake of making the portal searchable, we also add tags to the posts.
Currently the bloggingportal is in beta. Things to work on from my perspective would be design and a weekly newletter. But it's already a great resource.