Posts Tagged "twitter"

Time to launch a new blog, but without closing this one!

Come fly with me at Lobbynomics

Come fly with me at Lobbynomics

It’s funny how once you start blogging (even if I am the first to admit that I am a very sporadic blogger), the limits you have set yourself in terms of blogging initially soon start to become burdensome.

Now in all fairness, I put very few limits on myself when I started blogging on LobbyPlanet, except for the fact that each of my posts should remain (1) light and possibly funny (2) about my job as a lobbyists but not about the dossiers I deal with.

Not too constraining you would think…except it’s very difficult not to feel that tingling to write about a subject you are working and breathing most of your waking hours about..and yes you work on it for clients but also because you happen to be interested in that matter…or worse, care about a dossier (I know, caring and lobbyists without a chequebook involved seems extremely counter-intuitive to most).

So to make a long story short, I have decided to launch a second blog in parallel to this one, that talks about the subject matters I deal with on a daily basis, i.e. the wonderful world of the Internet and telecoms.

Yet again, I have set myself the following limits: (1) funny might be aiming too high but let’s try to at least not be depressing (2) if it’s not thought provocative, I shouldn’t write about it (3) being unbiased is a fallacy, as I am clearly biased by the fact that I am a woman, mother of three, rather a dog person than a cat person, born and raised and Africa, thankful for the fact that we live in a free and democratic society in Europe, lover of the early Internet without necessarily grasping on to the past, etc.

As to why it’s called Lobbynomics? Go find the explanation here.

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That Euroblog discussion from the perspective of a lobbyist

As always, I am a bit late at reacting to a discussion (well actually, i usually stay out of discussions in the blogging world ’cause that’s what I do as a living), but it has been a fascinating thing to look at two parallel and complementary discussions in the Euroblogosphere this week: on the one hand, the epidermic reaction by eurobloggers to the ivory tower report by Waggener Edstrom ranking the influence of euroblogs in what was quickly referred to as #bbs10 (depending who you ask, this refers to the acronym of the title of the study “Brussels Blogger Study 2010″ or “Brussels Bull S***”) in some lively Twitter exchanges and blog posts (by Jon Worth, Blogactiv, Mathew Lowry, Open Europe, The European Citizen, Bit More Complicated, Lacomeuropeenne (FR), and Ralf Grahn for the ultimate summary); on the other, the discussions initiated by the French blogger @samuelbhfaure regarding the need for a new/better collective European blog, and which is neatly summarized by @europasionaria here.

Good advice

Good advice

All of this lead also to the nomination of the top 30 Euroblogs by the team of editors at Bloggingportal, with your not very humble servant’s own blog being included in the list.

OK: so now I’ve summarized it all, what is my point you will think? My point is that I am not even sure what a “euroblog” is, and am slightly worried at the idea of “organising” and “specialising” things…dear I say it: “professionalising” it?

I blog as a cheap means of therapy. I don’t have time for a shrink, I am too polite too shout my frustration or worries in front of my kids, so WordPress and my PC are my two sanity vents when used in combination. I write in a not very professional way, with as little research as possible, and with no intention to influence anyone, because that is what I do as my day job and it’s the last thing I want to do when I write. I write to get things off my chest. And I self-censor myself by not writing about the dossiers I handle and the subject matters I deal with professionally just because my blog is not a lobbying tool to me. Except if you consider that a lobbyist writing about lobbying is actually lobbying for lobbyists (I know: I had a headache too when re-reading this).

Ranking blogs, discussing influence…why not…if it creates a buzz, that’s fine. But should we truly care about the “influence” of euroblogs? Is the whole purpose not to create an image of EU stuff that removes a bit of the dust and shows it can be fun, interesting, important, a source of a job, etc? Or is that influence and is my definition of that concept too tied to my professional perspective where influence = power = uses and abuses = egoland? Bloggingportal provocatively titled its post “My Euroblog is Better Than Yours“…hmmm:  mine is bigger than yours? Let’s hope the Euroblog does not become the Egoblog cause then I will have to find a new place to do my therapy :)

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Meeting with MEP Hennis-Plasschaert, aka @jeaninehennis

Screenshat of @JeanineHennis Twitter page

Screenshot of @JeanineHennis Twitter page

I have been following @jeaninehennis for several months now, both on Twitter and Facebook, and I must say she has definitely rekindled my faith that yes, web 2.0 tools (or whatever you want to call those new tools aimed at making communication on the net two-way rather than one-way) are definitely an excellent manner for EU politicians and civil servants to communicate about Europe and, more importantly, to create a bridge between the rather cold looking EU institutions and people in the street. Meeting her this week in the European Parliament for a short interview on her use of Twitter namely, she certainly confirmed in person all of the impressions she conveys over the net: “closeness to the people”, “straightforward”, “involved and concerned about what she does”…all of that, and fun too! And believe me, I have been around Parliament for long enough to know that, if there are people with great qualities in that glass and steel building, “exceptional” is not as common!

So what did we talk about, once introductions were done (and for those worried about transparency and lobbyists: yes;, I’m in all the registers and yes, I start off rambling out the full list of my clients so there’s no mystery about who pays my living)?

Well, basically, about @JeanineHennis’ enthusiasm about Twitter and Facebook. On the positive side, she notably quoted the fact that it allowed her to have an immediate contact with people she would not have the time to interact with otherwise, to feel challenged by people, to have them convey their concerns…@JeanineHennis strongly believes Twitter and other social networking tools will help bridge the gap that exists between people in the street and the EU, and that it contributes to more direct democracy...and what I liked most is when she summarised it all by saying “…and it’s really fun! Some people just call me “my dear” and I like it when I have a spare minute to let people know what I’m doing and what I’m concerned about…For me, it is absolutely not a burden, but something I do spontaneously”. In over a year of using Facebook first and Twitter second, she did not find any negative aspects to it, even if she did recognise that sometimes people could be somewhat aggressive in their replies…but that is part of a dialogue and she did not see it as a deterring point. She had tried to convey her enthusiasm to colleagues over the past months and considered some did “get it”, whilst others seemed to treat it as a channel to issue press releases or worse, just a burden.

We also discussed the “Woman @ EU Top” twibbon initiative, and the fact that when Ms Hennis adopted and supported this initiative, she received quite some criticism about people considering this meant she was pro-affirmative action. She jokingly quoted Ms Neelie Kroes who once said the biggest cartel in Europe is probably the “old boys’ club” at the top…

Funnily, just when we were wondering if Twitter was maybe something more for our generation then the younger ones, @WimvandeCamp , another fervent Dutch MEP-twitterer, intervened to state that it was obviously for all ages: the young like Ms Hennis, and the less young like him!

Julien Frisch, one of the key eurobloggers, once wrote a post about the fact that bloggers rarely write positive posts (see here). I guess today I am the exception that confirms the rule!

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