Happy Birthday, bloggingportal!
Three years of bloggingportal. And what a journey it has been. I remember sitting around a huge table in a flat in Brussels – with a certain Jon Worth and the (back then) mysterious Brusselsblogger – dreaming up something that is now known as bloggingportal. Well, resources were scarce and it took us only another year to launch the actual website in January 2009. As I said at a conference a few years ago: “Three people, one idea, no money” (hey – I always wanted to quote myself in a blog post!)
Ironically I am blogging this while sitting at exactly the same (and now truly) legendary table in a flat in London… Well, in many ways I would not be here without bloggingportal and all the people I met through the project. So thanks a lot for all your help and support!
We have learnt a lot over the last three years – especially how not to do things. But I guess this is how it has to be. The problem is still the same: We are a bunch of enthusiastic people without a real structure, without money and without much time on our hands. It is a bit like herding anarchist and hungry cats…
So what does the future hold for bloggingportal? I blogged about our problems in the past and called for a bigger EU blogosphere. As you can imagine not much has been solved – although EU blogging has arguably grown somehwat. To get an idea about the debate on the future of bloggingportal head over to Brusselsblogger, Ronny Patz and Mathew Lowry’s Tagsmanian Devil who all have written more substantial blog posts on the issue.
If you are reading this and you are thinking “well this blogginportal stuff may be a fun thing to do…” – why not get in touch ? I think we do need people with fresh ideas who are motivated to invest some time in developing the website as well as the bloggingportal concept (whatever that is…). Because it is simple: The media landscape has changed, blogging has changed – even the EU has changed (well, ok this is debatable!). So maybe bloggingportal needs to change too!
PS. I am not dead – honest. Pseudo-regular blogging resumes as soon as possible… (Reason: new job in London & flat-hunting)
Yes, this was the question. And after several months of contemplation I decided to give it a try! So, what is this flattr thingy you might ask – apart from all these little buttons? Well, it is a newish social micro payment system and provides an easy way to share money and make small donations. Check flattr.com or watch the video below for a better explanation. Basically, if you have a flattr account you can click on one of the buttons on this blog to give a small amount of money.
Although I find the idea behind flattr fascinating I doubt that it will be a huge success on this blog because of various reasons. First of all I don’t think I have enough readers (a common problem among eurobloggers!). I also suspect that most of my readers do not have a flattr account. The second problem is that flattr is not yet popular enough. It seems to me that only few blogs (mainly tech related), add-ons and several NGOs (wikileaks being the most prominent) use it actively. Only in Germany flattr seems to be a known service. This situation is a problem for thus blog. Very few readers have even fewer flattr accounts… So I suppose the main aim for your blogger – to re-finance the server/hosting costs – cannot be achieved. Nevertheless, I would greatly appreciate your flattr love…
So the main reason why I am using flattr now is twofold. It gives me the opportunity to flattr others and I hope to get to know the system better. Maybe I can use it in other projects more successfully!
I know this post comes a bit late but in my attempt to adapt to living in the UK I can always blame it on the “wrong kind of snow” that somehow prevented me from doing something…
Anyway, the big story for the EU blogosphere this week is the “successful hijacking” (in a positive sense!) of New Europe, a weekly newspaper that is seen as the main rival to European Voice. Your humble author played a little role in this and this blog was also mentioned in the editorial. The complete print version of New Europe can be found as an pdf file here.
The buzz around the EU blogosphere last week inspired New Europe to publish the editorial on The future of the EU blogosphere which is worth reading. Of course the launch of our bloggingportal was covered as well as with a full page article Political EU Blogs at your fingertips, Bloggingportal.eu launched. (with pictures in the print edition). And that is not all, Jon managed to get the strategically important last page of the paper with the Anyone but Barroso campaign and an article on David Cameron and the EPP issue.
On a different note: We are very pleased with the launch of bloggingportal.eu and we are looking forward to your suggestions how to improve the portal. We also have a facebook group, so feel free to join and make it even more popular by inviting your friends! Since it is quite a grassroot initative with only a handful of people involved and without any sponsers or institutions, things can take a bit longer but we try to be as efficient as possible. And of course we are still looking for editors in order to cover as many languages as possible! In case you have not noticed I also integrated the editors’ choice in the sidebar of this blog!
Th!nk about it has launched as well, the EJC powered EU blogging competition. The kick-off event in Brussels last week was quite a success and there was a lot of enthusiasm about blogging about the EU and the EP elections (sounds stange but it is true!). It is an interesting mix of new and experienced bloggers which should make it a good read. So make sure you check it regularly!
As some of you know, I am involved in the organisation/develpment of both projects (bloggingportal & thinkaboutit) so I am a bit biased here
Finally! We launched Bloggingportal.eu! The new place to read EU blogs and keep yourself updated on the EU blogosphere.
We have been working on it for almost one year in our free time. At the moment we are aggregating almost 300 blogs and we are publishing a daily editors choice selection! Check it out!
It is beta, totally independent, without any sponsorship and we do welcome any comments and hints how to improve the site! So get in contact with us!
Are you interested in getting into the EU blogging scene? Would you like to write journalistic pieces on the European elections next year? Maybe you even want to become a EU blogger? In any case: if you want to share your thoughts on the EU and the upcoming European elections in an online environment you should read on!
Think about it! – The (first!) European Blogging Competition 2009 is a new blogging competition (some nice gadgets up for grabs) organised by the European Journalism Centre! The competition will start in February and will last until the EP elections. The exciting thing is that there will be a training component for all participants (after all it is run by a professional journalism organisation;-) You do not necessarily be a journalist or blogger, however you should be interested in EU affairs and the EP elections and you should feel enthusiastic about tryinig out blogging for a few months! If that sounds like a good idea to you can join the official facebook group and you can sign up here:
A dynamic community of bloggers, journalists and journalism students, a forum alive with debate and discussion, a creative portal to inspire youth involvement with the 2009 Parliamentary Elections, brought to you by the European Journalism Centre (EJC).
The goal is to get Europeans to THINK ABOUT IT and to express their views on Europe through an online blogging competition. The invited bloggers will cover, report, critique and debate on campaign issues and candidates. EJC editors will give feedback on the journalistic standards of the blog posts.
The EJC invites three bloggers from each EU member state for a two-day THINK ABOUT IT launch event in Brussels 25-27.1.2009. At the kick-off invitees are briefed on the European blogsphere, European Parliament, elections and on understanding the EU from a journalist’s perspective. The event also launches the blog contest, which invitees participate in throughout the official campaign season.
Disclaimer: The author of this blog has been involved in the development of the project.