Posts tagged ‘Blog’
After nearly eight years in our Brussels office and coming up to three years posting on this blog I’m off to our Washington D.C. office for a couple of years at the end of the month.
Before I leave I thought it not a bad idea to indulge myself just a tad, forgive me folks, and point to some of the blog posts I’ve enjoyed writing or reading on this blog. I say enjoyed because, as my wife (sorry, my luv) will testify, relaxation of an evening has become me on the laptop tinkering with this blog, the twitter feed or various other websites that are in some way work related.
Which MEPs use Twitter?
Part of our hypothesis when we started the blog was that digital communications was changing how policy-makers were interacting with voters and stakeholders. To support our view we created a long list of MEPs, the good folks at Europatweets aggregated them a couple of months later on their nice website, Digimahti had another go at listing them and finally we’ve now created our own Twitter lists to categorise them by Committee on our twitterfeed in recent weeks.
Spotting MEPs that tweet was one thing, but we wanted to go a little deeper in understanding how they use the internet and how we may be able to use it to communicate to them. Our EP Digital Trends study sought to do this in 2009. The results led to three conclusions on how our results influence our thinking on public affairs here. It also turned out that MEPs aren’t the only ones who rely on Wikipedia – seemingly the Commission services have a penchant for it too…
Grayling’s EU office starts it’s own blog
We are known to say that to be a thoughtleader one has to have thoughts and they have to be leading ones. Well one measure of thoughtleadership may well be that others follow where you have gone. Grayling’s team has a super blog. We wish more agencies in town would join them (and us).
Helen’s views on how ECPA was using its blog in Brussels was enlightening and uplifting. It underlined that there are organisations out there who do recognise the value of using digital tools in Brussels.
Wordle is a great tool. Never more so than when reminding us of the fact that the Bubble likes to talk about the Bubble. The outgoing EP President’s speech was a classic.
Sometimes it’s just been fun writing. No more so than one Sunday morning over coffee when I delighted in the fact that the nomination of the President of the European Council was like a seen from a 1980s US action film.
The great thing about being a bit of a political junkie is there is always an election going on somewhere. According to the all-knowing Wikipedia there are 123 democracies in the world. They may not all be perfectly formed, but as Churchill said…
Happily we have people on the ground in an increasing number of them. In an effort to harness this network in one place our Public Affairs website has now grown to include “Global Vote”. It seeks to list forthcoming elections, provide some key background and most importantly some local insight from our people on the ground. Currently, we’ve contributions on everywhere from Germany, Czech republic and Portugal to the Virginian governor’s race.
It’s still developing, but is worth a look even at this infant stage. Comments on how it could grow are most welcome on this blog.
P.S. A blog post is somewhat overdue on how to keep a blog going in the summer period when two thirds of the office is not in the office and the other third is experiencing one of the busiest Augusts in living memory. Who says Brussels shuts in August. Apologies for those readers who await our every meandering with baited breath.
European lawmakers underuse the internet according to new research. The findings show that while three quarters of MEPs use their personal websites to reach the electorate, only a minority understands the potential of using online technologies to help them interract with people. Only half visit blogs once a week or more, and two thirds have never heard of the social networking tool Twitter.
Admittedly this was not the type of award that led to long blubbering acceptance speeches (or in fact had an award ceremony), but it was accompanied by a gold medal (the digital variety). Enviro.aero, a cross-industry aviation and environment web resource, won Best New Aviation Website in the Flightglobal Webbies 2008.
Enviro.aero is the website of FH client ATAG, The Air Transport Action Group, a global association that represents all sectors of the air transport industry. It was launched with the purpose of providing clear information on the many projects and cutting-edge innovations that make up the aviation industry’s response to climate change. Enviro.aero has engaged in the latest social media in order to spread their message to a wider audience, gathering followers and fans on Twitter and Facebook. The Plane Talking blog has also been a valuable medium through which to engage the flying public. The judges praised enviro.aero for providing “a long-overdue industry-wide response to the aviation environment topic” and a “clear user interface that allows quick access to interesting information.”
Finally, I’d like to thank my Mum, my Dad, my team……
Our eagled eyed ICT team member Magnus Norman spots that EICTA, “the voice of digital technology in Europe” has decided to join the growing ranks of the Brussels trade association blogging community. Given their sector; about time some may say.
Announced on the EICTA website, Digital Advocacy Europe was launched earlier today. Unlike the pesticides information blog, it appears that the blog’s purpose is has an internal objective of cutting down on the large number of emails Director General Mark MacGann generates. In any case, it may have been wise to get into the groove of making a few posts before heraldling it to the prying eyes of Brussels’ ever vigilant consultants.
Having said this, we like Mark’s tone and the fact that in one day and one post he’s already managed to gather a number of comments from his membership. In itself, not a bad start to any blog – we are still trying to get our own posts/comments strike rate up – please comment readers, please….just say anything…it need not be intelligent (look at our posts…)
We look forward to seeing the Digital Advocacy Europe blog grow. It seems a natural place for an association such as EICTA to drive their message on all issues affecting their industry. As the blog grows, we hope Magnus and team will do the decent thing and update their top 7 blogs from the sector to include it. Perhaps with a few more from the sector, they could make it to ten.
We recently read on BadScience about the Dore miracle cure for dyslexia, a £2000 treatment which has been associated with NASA space technology (denied) and a research study that ended with the resignation of five members of the editorial board of the journal Dyslexia. Additionally both academics who have spoken out against the treatment and patients who merely said it didn’t work for them have been threatened with libel action.
However, the rights and wrongs of this situation are not the point of this blog posting, but rather the way in which traditional media have blindly supported the cure as a miracle treatment whilst ignoring any evidence to the contrary. The blogging community on the other hand have covered the other side of the coin and analysed the situation using science over ratings.
Proper representation of scientific fact is one of the challenges we often find ourselves faced with in public affairs. Blogs and social media may be the answer to having our clients messages communicated, objectively and supported by factual evidence over sensationalisation.
Despite the amateur nature and lack of control on blog reporting, the blogosphere often proves to be more reliable in many ways. Blog authors have no higher authority telling them what (or what not) to write and many of them have the insight which no journalist could have – some of the bloggers who revealed the Dore case were not only Phd researchers but also had personal experience with dyslexia and autism. Put in contrast, the mainstream media may be trained journalists, but often have no scientific background, and work towards viewing and sales figures.
Hats off to Ben Goldacre of BadScience for highlighting this victory of the blogosphere, and to the science bloggers out there pursuing the truth, based on hard science.