Sunday, October 07, 2007

The EU is now branching out into blog hosting, apparently. No doubt they will approach the whole thing with their usual level of professionalism, integrity and competence (that is to say, none at all).
It is these "independent and neutral" actors who are now offering the Euro equivalent of Blogger, under the domain name Through this means, they aim to, "build on EurActiv's readership to become the premier source for opinions, discussions and views on EU affairs."

To attract bloggers, they will provide free hosting to anyone who wants to open up a site (or migrate from an existing host). And, as a carrot, its recruiting leaflet (pictured, top) states:
... popular and noteworthy blogs will receive exposure on and its CrossLingual Network of sites across Europe, which between them receive 475,000 unique visitors every month.

Technically speaking, moreover, Blogactiv is tailored specifically to European affairs. There are myriads of blogging technologies, add-ins and extensions available to today's bloggers. We have examined them all, and adapted those best suited to discussing Europe.

Similarly, Blogactiv will be multilingual, and will launch with major Sections on the main EU issues of the day, featuring background briefings and relevant news. There will also be technical support, community-building activities, and a very active marketing campaign.

As an added "incentive" Euractiv is also offering free indoctrination training sessions in Brussels, prior to launching its "community of bloggers". Invitations are being focused on:
... people who can contribute to a roundtable discussion on how blogging and similar tools will affect EU affairs in the short and medium (i.e., until the EP elections) term.

Amusingly, EU Referendum were invited!

Anyway, EU Referendum even quote Jon Worth's Euroblog at one point.
More recently, we got another clue on a site run by Jon Worth, former president of the Young European Federalists, who applauded the resumption of blogging by our Europhile foreign secretary, David Miliband, then commenting:
More generally it's good that government departments are making efforts to use the internet in interesting ways, although my main fear is this: who is actually going to believe what's on the FCO blogs any more than they believe anything on any other government website? If we are to manage to start to dispel the myths about the EU pumped out online by EU Referendum and others then some more viral communications methods are going to have to be found.

And, you know, something struck me: we have a new EU blogging organisation that is also running training sessions. And then we have Jon Worth, who announced in August that he would be moving to Brussels. [Emphasis mine.]
I’ve known for a while that I’ll be working as a freelance website designer and EU politics trainer from the autumn of 2007. The main question outstanding was where I would be based. I’m now quite relieved to be able to confirm that Brussels will be my main place of residence from 16th October 2007.

And, more recently...
While in London I’m sorting out all the loose ends in my current job (last day is effectively Tuesday 9th October) and also madly preparing the ground for the freelance website work this autumn, and a fair bit of freelance professional training too.

Hmmm, I wonder if any of that training includes "a roundtable discussion on how blogging and similar tools will affect EU affairs in the short and medium term"...?

Wouldn't that be hilarious...?


Longrider said...

I think I can probably stretch myself to pass on this one...

Dr Xavier Ray said...

Good news in a roundabout way. It shows that the uncontrolled political bloggers are becoming a sufficient worry to the politicians and MSM for them to try and regain the initiative. Didn't I read somewhere that UK politicians are being paid a blogging allowance as well as "expenses" for their website. I had better go and sit down. I see another gravy train coming down the line and someone pulling at my wallet.

Henry North London 2.0 said...

Oh and there I was thinking that no one read my blog...:P

Anonymous said...

Just a few quick thoughts. Much as I can tell, the company behind this initiative claims to be a proper ("independent and neutral") media venture, but in reality it looks more like a plain vanilla lobbying outfit which draws massively on corporate money to elbow its way onto the screens of the EU decision-makers. It's mind-boggling to see how apparently "easy" it is for such a venture to continue disguising itself as a media and to legitimize its hidden agenda (disseminating particular and specific policy messages coming from diverse corporate corners) by claiming to "facilitate" discussion and debate. The EU institutions may want to think twice before siding in any form or fashion with these guys. Also, has anyone bothered to actually check the real number and the actual content of the said company's "network partners"? May be an eye-opener.

Dr Grumble said...

There are similar things going on in the NHS but, as Dr Ray says, this may be a good thing.

NHS Fail Wail

I think that we can all agree that the UK's response to coronavirus has been somewhat lacking. In fact, many people asserted that our de...