Well, if the Waagener Edstrom list of the most influential euroblogs was designed to provoke debate, it certainly has done amongst the eurobloggers.
Jon Worth, the fifth most influential according to the list, had to invite himself to the study’s launch.
Nosemonkey, whose authoritative, informative blog is regularly nominated for best blog awards finished outside the top 10.
Eurogoblin, Mathew’s Tagsmanian Devil(top 20!) and EURoman (a site I’ll admit I’d never heard of before today have all critiqued in a lot of detail.
For me, a few thoughts:
1) the USA is being held up as the model against which to judge how influential the EU blogosphere is – but is that a realistic comparison?
Is it actually what people writing euroblogs are aspiring to?
Importing a methodology used in the US and the comparisons with the US blogging scene as if this something that the Euroblogosphere should be aspired to become like may also have added to the distortionary effect.
The EU is not the USA, and I don’t think it’s right to say one if ahead of or more advance than the other. The US doesn’t have the multicultural, multilingual diversity of the EU at its federal level, so while an English-language blog in the US might have a widespread influence, one in Brussels might have a lesser impact, similarly one in French, German etc. as the potential audience reading in that language for interest and pleasure is smaller.
Plus with Jon Worth announcing he’s moving to London, Nosemonkey in London, ghost blogger Julien Frisch until recently in Germany, Joe Litobarski in Italy, is labelling it the “Brussels Blog” survey really getting the full EU blogging picture? I agree with EURoman Christian, local interpretation of EU stories is definitely an important factor.
I’m also not convinced that there has to be “a purpose”- the best euroblogs from my reading perspective are those where the author’s found something of interest and run with it because they are interested, not because they are paid to do so, or are single purpose.
Eurobloggers that are most interesting to me tend to be amateur rather than professional journalists – that’s why the alternative views can prevail.
While the excellent bloggingportal team tries to galvinise us into something more coherent, the actual effect has been a bit like trying to herd cats.
2) What are Eurobloggers writing about?
While in the US the Washington world is probably exciting enough to fully occupy bloggers, most EU blogs I read seem to also have interest in other things – whether that’s Jon Worth’s sportsblog or Joe Litobarski’s musings from Ethiopia.
I’m an occasional euroblogger, who, through a combination of not-covering-some-things-because-I-value-my-job and blogging on things other than the EU (primarily parenting, feminism, local issues and faith), is never going to make it high up the Euroblog rankings.
That’s fine by me – I was flattered to even be listed in Fleishman-Hillard’s citizen blogs list for just that reason-
4) Where did the blogs under consideration come from?
While I understand that my own blog’s too random to fit the primarily EU-focussed criteria, I’m a bit surprised that none of the blogs of the EU girl geeks appear even to have been in consideration: where was Europasionaria? Euonym? Lino the Rhino?
Or did I just miss the longlist of blogs that were considered?
3) Twitter is where it’s at…
While eurobloggers do try to take time to comment on each other’s blogs, as Eurogoblin points out, it’s Twitter where we really talk to each other, share information, views, debate and discuss. And all in 140 characters.
The last great Euroblogger meet-up online was hosted on Skype in the end, with Twitter and Googlewave elements.
So we have to ask – to shape debate in social media- whether our individual blogs are the place where that’s done most effectively is a debate for another day…