what you get here

This is not a blog which expresses instant opinions on current events. It rather uses incidents, books (old and new), links and papers as jumping-off points for some reflections about our social endeavours.
So old posts are as good as new! And lots of useful links!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

"Europeans can't blog"

It appears that Europeans can’t blog - or at least the economists can’t – which I find surprising in view of the number of such blogs I can find. The argument, however, is that
European blogs are still very much “unconnected”. That is, they use hyperlinks far less than their American counterparts - or do it but in a way that doesn’t create two-way debate. In brief, Europe has bloggers, but no blogosphere: it lacks a living ecosystem to exchange and debate
Linking to some newspaper article, even with a discussion section, does not create a two-way discussion (…) and linking to articles on your own blog is nice, but not really a sign of an interlinked blogosphere.
The article recognisese that the language barrier does make a European discussion more difficult – but makes two other interesting points. First that there are few European blogs dealing with economics which aggregate relevant blogs in the way this fascinting American one does . And that the culture of open discourse is underdeveloped in Europe. Especially the last aspect is problematic because it is hardest to change but arguably the most important. As they phrase it, "European economists seem to prefer to spread knowledge rather than stir debate".
The discussion sparked by the article led me to this excellent blog portal on European issues which actually links to 900 blogs on EU-related matters.
The new LSE blog on European politics and policy makes a point which I have made here myself -
I also do not see a relevant EU-focussed academic blogging community. There is so much EU research out there, so many specialists on a wide range of EU topics, but they are not out here debating their research and their specialist topics, neither with each other nor with the rest of the world. The don’t bring the academic debate on EU affairs to the digital public and they therefore miss the great chance of making academic research on EU matters more connected to reality and reality more connected to what we find out in often years long research process.
For me, the EUROPP blog is a chance to foster academic involvement online, in the EU blogosphere and beyond. This will only work if those writing here are aware what is written elsewhere in the digital sphere, if they react by linking and debating what was said by others, by going to other blogs, fora, Facebook discussion threads and if they involve in the discussions where they happen instead of just leaving self-sufficient texts here on this blog.
Good blogging is quite easy if one takes the time to do a little research and to understand the dynamics of these discussions In this sense, blogging is like academic work: Cite others, add your own thoughts and knowledge – and once you know roughly what you have found or what you want to say, go to fora where the debate is already going on.
The EU blogosphere is like one of the academic conferences you can go to, and the state of this conference is not bad at all – but I’d say it could be much better with the involvement of more academics.

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