Tuesday 3 August 2010

How to miss a Euroblog endorsement in style: Writing for (y)EU (Twitter tag #bkaeb)

The Twitter tag #bkaeb stands for Better Know A EuroBlog, and it is meant for blog posts recommending a certain Euroblog to potential readers. The new tag has been described as a #followfriday (or #ff) for blogs related to EU affairs.

Despite holiday season for the EU institutions, the online world does not aestivate. For the Better Know A EuroBlog August 2010 challenge I decided to endorse blogs listed on Bloggingportal.eu and active during the last week. In addition to the objective Bloggingportal.eu criteria, I narrowed down the potential endorsements to Euroblogs I follow.

The criteria led to the exclusion of Writing for (y)EU, the collective blog of the web team of the European Parliament, which has not been active in almost two weeks (more than three, if you count only original writing). The archives are still worth a visit, because the entries deal with interesting online issues.

It is not exclusively my opinion that Writing for (y)EU, when active, is a star in the Euroblogosphere. It shared first place among the three most popular blogs for Bloggingportal.eu editors (with L’Europe en blogs and Grahnlaw), and it clearly won the reader poll.

Writing for (y)EU is one of the selection of top ten Euroblogs (all categories) by the public affairs consultancy Fleishman-Hillard Brussels.

The web editors have to underline that Writing for (y)EU is NOT an official European Parliament website, and that it DOES NOT reflect in any way the position of the EP.

The web team stays well clear of political issues, but the European Parliament deserves some credit for giving the editors a long enough leash to produce an interesting blog.

If the Prague Spring was about “socialism with a human face”, Writing for (y)EU manages to make the European Parliament seem almost human. Hopefully, similar experiments are allowed to grow and prosper in other EU institutions as well, without threats of normalization.

Writing for (y)EU can draw on the talents of a multinational team, with a variety of interests. I am going to mention only two recent posts as examples.

In When Luther came to Brussels... Hanna relates the Nordic influence on the long haul to improve transparency, openness, access to documents and clarity of EU communication.

Tayebot describes the successful editorial model of the online Huffington Post, and reflects on the possible lessons for EU communications more willing to experiment.

Writing for (y)EU fails to get my #bkaeb endorsement at this point in time, but at least the blog fails in style.

Ralf Grahn

P.S. It is easier to understand a language than to use it correctly. As Eurobloggers we should promote interaction among Europeans across borders and between linguistic communities. Grahnlaw has adopted a multilingual comment policy:

I do my best to read comments in Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish or Swedish, even if the Grahnlaw blog and my possible replies are in English.

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