Thursday 15 July 2010

I've an influence of 49.17 and I'm not afraid to use it!

According to the Waggener Edstrom report, I'm the 22nd most influential blogger (15th in the EU General section) with an influence of 49.17 (PDF via Jon Worth, the 5th most influential). It's flattering, in a way, but I'm not entirely sure what it's supposed to mean - I honestly doubt that I influence the opinion of other bloggers that much and insiders of the Brussels Bubble less so, so it's hard to escape the feeling that the sums have gone wrong somewhere. Especially since it only included English language blogs (an seemingly not even those which blog in several languages, including English...).

Eurogoblin has torn into the report and has raised serious questions over the methodology of the report. A key symptom of the is the placing of "The Digger" in third place, despite the low number of posts. Mathew Lowry is a bit more gentle - citing it as at least an attempt to understand the Euroblogosphere more - though still critical. I think Waggener Edstrom deserve some credit for trying to create a ranking system (measuring influence is probably a hard thing to get right in an overall sense given the wide range of issues and audiences that the EU is composed of), but I agree with Eurogoblin's critical analysis of the methodology.

Meanwhile, Europasionaria is picking up on the French Euroblogosphere's debate on its reach and influence, and I think she's right when she approaches the question of influence (or appeal of the Euroblogosphere) as a need to be more broad in outlook to draw in more people and to spark more interest in the EU and the political side of Europe (meaning the day-to-day issues rather than solely the integration question). I know that I tend to be drawn to blogs that have broader ranges of topics (though I do have a specialist interest in the law and Blawgs as well), and I think this hits on a fundamental rule of the internet: people generally just look up what they're interested in. So for the European institutions this means that accessibility of information is the key (so it can be useful and "on hand" for people who need it, and is more likely to be examined and picked up on by the media and bloggers), while for bloggers, a broadness of touch is an advantage unless you want to focus on more specialised blogging.

In the end, though, blogging is a personal hobby, and the way the Euroblogosphere is now probably accurately reflects the people behind it. Finding new blogs, promoting them and encouraging a wider and broader 'sphere is key, and a big part of the mission of Europaeum has come up with a new hashtag to help the promotion and discovery of new Euroblogs: #bkae "Better Know a Euroblog". It'd be great to get this hashtag up and running and promote new Euroblogs and submit them to so they can reach a wider audience.

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