Tomorrow (Thursday 26th) marks three years since the launch of BloggingPortal
- a website ran by volunteers that now aggregates more than 900 blogs
written in an array of European languages and each discussing European affairs and political activity.
As many will testify, a week is a long time in politics (all the more so in current times of European crises) but over the last three years, blogging as a communication tool has come on leaps and bounds; it has become more and more established and is now recognised as an important extension of the media landscape no longer just the employ of passionate citizens 'with time on their hands in the evenings'.
Not only platforms for expressing ones opinion, I believe blogs exist to fill holes left vacant by traditional print media and the success of one's blog is dependant on finding a niche interest, establishing a readership, and ultimately the writer enjoying the process of maintaining it. There are currently some incredible and informative blogs that focus solely on particular aspects of European affairs and these have become terrifically influential and essential reading as a result, all of which can be found via Bloggingportal.
I do not for one minute qualify my blog in those glowing terms, but I would like to think that mine fills a gap left vacant by the traditional media. My blog
seeks to answer a question my mother once asked me, namely: "what does the EU do for me?
" Since this is virtually neglected by the Westcountry's eurosceptic regional press, my blog covers the work that the six elected MEPs and the EU institutions do that affects my home constituency of the South West of England and Gibraltar - that is my 'niche', my mother (anyone else is a bonus
) is my readership, and I enjoy maintaining my blog.
My blog is just one of many threads in the rich tapestry of discussion and debate that is the European 'blogosphere'. BloggingPortal currently numbers more than 900 blogs (not all active it must be said and regrettably not all that I am able to read for reasons of language inability) and a selection of must-read articles is promoted by a small team of co-editors that since June 2011 I have been fortunate enough to be one of.
Through BloggingPortal I have had the privilege of making some great friends
, participating in discussions during the Hungarian Presidency about bloggers getting accreditation to attend and report on meetings of the European Council
, attending an event hosted in London on EU-UK reporting
, and even being invited by the European People's Party to attend one of their leaders' summits
. And this is hopefully just the start.Happy Birthday BloggingPortal.
For those interested (and I hope you are), BloggingPortal produces both a daily and a weekly newsletter (subscribe via the website
) and posts links to articles continuously via RSS feeds
and its Twitter account