Jon Worth, a “web political communicator” friend of mine, wrote a couple of weeks ago about the ecosystem of political Euroblogs’. What’s an Euroblog? It is a blog about the EU, so a political euroblog is, obviously, about EU politics.
He basically divided all EU politics blogs in three existing levels:
What is the question mark at the top of this system? For Jon, this could be filled by a combination or a derivation of three types of sites: the PolitikPortal.eu type – a free daily news roundup – , the EuroBrussels type – having the information the people want – , the Bloggers4Labour type – bringing together several people writing about the same. He then asks…
is there anyone out there who wants to give me a hand to turn any of that into reality?
Jon places Euractiv’s Blogactiv in the category of Blog Platform, so putting it under the top-of-the-pyramid question mark, but the combination of Euractiv & Blogactiv is in fact the combination of those three websites – free daily news, information people wants (e.g. dossiers) and the gathering of people around a blog discussion on EU issues (look at the top “create your blog”). So, I am not completely sure there is a question mark there, I think he is making an artificial disaggregation of the Euractiv platform to fill the categories.
Is there a void to fill in? Perhaps not in categorical terms, but in quality terms, more websites doing it better with better integration of the information. I would even dare to say, that the void is not in Web 2.0, but in Web 3.0 (the semantic web), that is, in giving a meaning to the information aggregated. What is the point of having hundreds of contributors, thousands of news items that people are potentially interested in, if you are only using a tiny part of it, because the rest doesn’t have any meaning beyond a small contextual space. A website that gives meaning and broad context to all this information on EU politics and policy-making will indeed fill a very, very empty space.
My two cents.
UPDATE: If you are interested, follow the comments section of Jon’s post, the discussion is quite interesting.
Alejandro Ribo-Labastida, DPhil student, Oxford Internet Institute