When is a blog not a blog?
A while ago we pondered the merits of Euractiv’s blogactiv platform as it boldly sought to change the face of the EU blogosphere. The intention seemed, and still seems, good. Now and again, when we get the time to read, there seems to be some decent posts from some interesting people. One could of course say the same of this blog (with the exception of us being interesting as people), we know.
However, a post of late January in preparation for today’s “Greening the Economy” European Business Summit worries us somewhat (we just found it as we are attending the event tomorrow). It’s a basic introduction to the topic of greening the economy, with links to other actors and a possibility for comment. Sound familiar? Is it just us, or could the post just as easily be a page on the main section of the Euractiv site (such as this one)?
If Euractiv is already a filter of information (one type of blog) and a diary (another type of blog) on the travails of organising the event wasn’t deemed interesting enough, then an expert insight/reflection on the issue is all that is left. Perhaps the journalist quoted by Euractiv editor Christophe Leclercq in his comment should have been asked to write it. The overview/filter could have been left where it belongs, on the main Euractiv pages.
Just as worryingly, at least one blog posting (“European Business Summit a success”) from today on the same event seems to have more of than a tad of self-promotion about it. Hopefully, they will get back to the noble aim of posts of”Europeans challenging Europe” soon enough. There is surely enough good material to go around.
February 26, 2008 | 3:38 PM
At around the same time as the EBS blog, we helped the European Movement set up <a href="http://speakup-europe.blogactiv.eu/" rel="nofollow">"60 ideas for Europe" </a> on the same Blogactiv platform. This shows what an event blog can really be like. Created "<i>as a platform for discussion in the run up to the Congress of Europe, organised in The Hague (Netherlands), from the 23 - 24 May</i>", iIt has seen over 100 ideas posted (so far), many of them commented and rated. The key differences seem to be that the EMI really has a community to leverage, and that the event is less commercial.
February 22, 2008 | 4:59 PM
Andreas, thanks for the comment as well as your brutal honesty as to the aims of the people attending the European Business Summit. While some of the interventions today at Tour & Taxis were the standard set piece affairs we expect of Brussels' conferences, there were a number of genuinely interesting interventions at the event. Indeed, there was enough to suggest that given the right brief a few of these people could have written interesting insights on specific topics that may have promoted the debate you were looking to engender on the blogactiv platform. Perhaps it was simply a case of trying to do too much with this one tool and in doing so downgrading its value? A blog is after all only one tool in the communications toolkit. If the subject matter and contributors been tighter and the general conference information left to the main EBS website, perhaps more attention could have been spent by the organisers promoting an insightful and engaging blog discussion? In any case, the videoing " the panelists as they leave the room" idea was a neat way to fill a lack of written content...
February 22, 2008 | 12:05 PM
It's normal for an event organiser to promote the event when being asked, but take a look at the next post, which is a critical comment form <a href="http://greeneconomy.blogactiv.eu/2008/02/21/greening-or-greenwashing-the-economy/" rel="nofollow">Friends of the Earth on the EBS theme</a>. There are <a href="http://greeneconomy.blogactiv.eu/2008/02/22/greenpeace-director-on-the-energy-revolution" rel="nofollow">other posts which are fairly critical</a> besides some more self promotion<a href="http://greeneconomy.blogactiv.eu/2008/02/22/didier-malherbe-a-win-win-situation/" rel="nofollow">. Overall, it's mainly people promoting their, respectively their organisation's issue - which is pretty much what EBS is about, independently of its theme.
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