I’ve just launched “the european interest” (@EUinterest on twitter) – a new weekly EU politics newsletter featuring a (hopefully) eclectic mix of EU analysis . ‘the european interest’ is about bringing you the best / most thought-provoking content about the EU or European political issues/debates (ideally including opposing and diverging views). What can you expect? Anything really, from journalistic pieces (especially ‘longform’ or investigative journalism), think tank papers, podcasts, videos, academic journal papers, long explainers found on some obscure websites to messy discussions on Reddit or interesting blog posts. It should be full of things you should have read… The aim is that every week you find at least one piece that makes you ‘think again’. The idea was partly inspired by this post a few weeks ago and it is linked to my interest in finding out how people discover interesting content online (I blogged about this in a slightly different context here).
Some questions that were raised regarding this project (which is btw pretty much work in progress…) – so here is a quick FAQ:
Why a newsletter?
1. Shelf life of content shared via social media is rather short. Tweets disappear after 10 minutes, facebook only shows you selected content. If you are not well organised you might miss some interesting stuff. Newsletters can fill this gap by giving you a nice overview of things you should have read – and you’ll always know where to find it again (hint: it’s pink and somewhere in your inbox)!
2. Sadly, our professional lives still rely on email inboxes (and the integrated calendar function!) but I think we’ve reached a point where personal routines and expectations on when to read and reply to emails have matured. And after a decade of struggling to manage email many people now seem more comfortable organising their own inboxes. Simply put: we are more relaxed when it comes to email, we have become better using it as a tool. As a result many have rediscovered the usefulness of newsletters.
3. RSS is dead (unfortunately!) – at least for the casual internet user. After google reader was shut down only information junkies looked for alternative RSS readers. However, by relying on social media alone we may not only miss important and interesting content; there is also the danger to get trapped in the filter bubble. Can we really understand debates if we only rely on a handful of media outlets and a group of journalists we follow on twitter?
Will there be RSS?
Yes, maybe. (am I contradicting myself here?)
So, will there be a new website?
Yes – I am working on it!
Why should I use this #EUinterest hashtag?
We can’t possibly read everything. We need readers to recommend the pieces everyone should read, listen to – or watch. This sort of crowdsourcing can really improve the quality of such a project. So feel free and contribute (and yes – you will receive a mention in the newsletter!)
Are you featuring all #EUinterest recommendations?
No, we still make editorial choices.
Why is it called ‘the european interest’?
Well, that may be a separate blog post. Let’s explain it with a few questions: What’s in Europe’s interest? What’s NOT in Europe’s interest? Is there a European interest? Why European? Is it interesting? Well, then it must be worth reading… OK, that’s enough of ‘creative writing! Not sure that was helpful, maybe we can agree on the fact that it simply sounds good?
Why is it pink?
Why not? Better than having another boring blue/yellow/grey thingy in your inbox!
What day of the week can I expect to receive #EUinterest?
This is up for discussion. I thought close to the weekend as this is the time of the week we can actually read longer pieces. But I am open to suggestions.
Will it always be linked to the news cycle?
No, the idea is to also feature content that may be interesting but not pegged to any debate in the media. There will also be special issues that only focus on one topic – featuring content from the last 10 years (if necessary…)
What’s the business model?
Hmm, next questions please…
Is that the finished product?
No, it is work in progress. The format, length and topics of the newsletter may change frequently.
Are there any podcasts/youtube channels about EU affairs?
Well, not as many as you’d expect. If you find a good one please share it via #EUinterest on twitter (or via email/comment). Or why not start a podcast yourself?
How do you find content?
I still use RSS quite a lot, I read various newsletters, listen to a number of podcasts and follow loads of debates on twitter and reddit.
Were can I sign up?
Great, how can I help?
Share your favourite discoveries via #EUinterest on twitter. If you want to help curate the newsletter – please email me. If you have an idea for another (better) EU related newsletter – also email me!
Any other questions?
Fell free and use the comments below…