Three Years in Bloggingportal


Back in January 2009, our little experiment called officially started and today, three years later, we are still here. Three years in the life of a social media project is long, especially with the world of social media rapidly developing over this time.

We are therefore grateful to celebrate our third anniversary in public today. During our third year, we have selected 1374 posts in about a dozen European languages for our Editors’ Choice out of a stream of now ~900 blogs which have published several 10k posts over the last year, many of which have also been tagged by us.

Twelve of our editors have published congratulations, personal experiences, criticism, statistics and further thoughts around our project and the state of the EU blogosphere. Here are some quotes from and the links to their anniversary blog posts:

Jon Worth in “Today marks 3 years of our little blogging project reminds you where the story of actually started:

It started as a conversation between StefanAndreas and I, and all the coding work was done by Stefan. The inspiration for it came from this blog post I wrote, and I still own the domain name. Beyond that I am a rather inactive partner in the enterprise these days – others have taken on the everyday work.

Kosmopolit in “ confirms Jon’s story and adds a mysterious table to the history of He continues to invite new people to our project, because the portal needs fresh blood:

 ”I remember sitting around a huge table in a flat in Brussels – with a certain Jon Worth and the (back then) mysterious Brusselsblogger – dreaming up something that is now known as bloggingportal.  […] Ironically I am blogging this while sitting at exactly the same (and now truly) legendary table in a flat in London… Well, in many ways I would not be here without bloggingportal and all the people I met through the project. So thanks a lot for all your help and support!

Eurocentrique in “Never waste a good (media) crisis tells that she has found through traditional media to our platform and gives an account of the state of the Greek blogosphere today:

The first time I saw any posts from the bloggingportal, was not online but in print. Suprisingly and by no movements of my own either. The then Editor of New Europe Newspaper Alexandros Coronakis had decided that what we needed was a page for blogs focusing on Europe in the newspaper. […] Bloggingportal should see more Greek blogs in 2012, I feel they will be even more powerful in this fourth year of the economic crisis and the bailouts hang in the balance.

Mathew Lowry in “Happy Birthday, BloggingPortal(?) puts his finger into our wounds by pointing to the rather grave deficiencies of our project, including a reminder to a heavy and painful debate about the future of the platform that didn’t make us move forward and instead left some darker traces in our collective memory:

BloggingPortal (should) offer something important to practically everyone who wants to contribute to debates on EU policy. […] it (should) have a structuring effect, flipping the EU Online public space out of its current chicken-and-egg situation into a virtuous spiral, where the network effect kicks in and makes growth exponential. […] There’s only one problem with this theory: It hasn’t happened. […] The reason is unchanged since I wrote that Bloggingportal2 post in mid-2010: there are no resources (BP editors are all volunteers), and we are absolutely unstructured, with no internal process for moving forward. Back then I made some suggestions to turn it into a social business, and was accused of wanting to ‘take it over to make money’ – the second time, incidentally, that I’ve been accused of having secret, evil plans vis a vis the Euroblogosphere (here’s the first).

Ralf Grahn in “Information Society, online media and chose to look into what the portal actually provides in a specific policy field. His account may be representative for other areas, too, namely that we cover some fields pretty well, but still miss out a lot that is out there:

If I look at the information society themes, such as copyright, e-commerce, piracy, entrepreneurship, data protection etc., as well as matters related to online media, I feel that you can keep fairly well up to date by following all new posts on, not only the editors’ choice (front page). However, many of the best European tech and policy blogs have not yet found their way to, even if the EU is an important hub for the ITC issues debated both at global and at national level.

André in “Here are the Eurobloggers portraits the five types of Eurobloggers that you may most likely come across on

I am a journalist working for a national newspaper or an audiovisual media.  I am caught between the political discussion in my member state and the discussions in the hallways of the European institutions in Brussels […] I am a professional working in the European institutions or a lobby group. […] I study the European Union. […] I don’t care about the European Union. […] My media team is handling my blog for me. They also handle my Twitter. Our media analysts told us that European citizens all start going online.

Michaël Malherbe in “BloggingPortal fête ses 3 ans : qui sont les Eurobloggeurs, ces indignés de l’UE ? asks not only who those famous Eurobloggers are but also goes one step further questioning the influences of this herd of cats that functions without any structure. He finds the answer in some concrete projects that took place over the last year:

Après que le chef du service de presse du Parlement européen ait soulevé la question en juin 2010 « Should serious EU bloggers get some sort of accreditation to EU institutions?But on what criteria? », c’est grâce aux porte-parole de la présidence hongroise du Conseil de l’UE en 2011, que la place des Eurobloggeurs est devenue plus sensible lorsque des accréditations aux réunions du Conseil ont été délivrées à quelques un d’entre nous. Dernièrement, c’est encore un Eurobloggeur qui, de manière totalement inédite, estinvité en janvier 2012 au voyage traditionnel de presse d’ouverture de la présidence semestrielle danoise.

Ronny Patz in “Happy birthday: turns 3 paints a mixed picture of the impact and relevance of He shows that growth in the EU blogosphere and in EU social media more broadly has not made the project to develop further, despite some positive ad hoc impact:

If you take the last weekly summary on, you can see that – much more than two years ago – EU blogs today speak about different EU-level policies, EU-level politicians, EU-level political debates, national politics with relevance beyond borders, general EU issues and the obligatory social media issues, both in very serious or more mocking styles. […] We … did not manage, except for a few times and topics, to bridge between different national spheres in EU matters and between the EU sphere and national blogospheres.

Andrew Burgess in “Happy Birthday @BloggingPortal: three years young takes a wider look at the role of blogs in EU affairs and the function that plays in this game. More than that, he also feels the personal advantages it may have to be involved in a project like ours:

Through BloggingPortal I have had the privilege of making some great friends, participating in discussions during the Hungarian Presidency about bloggers gettingaccreditation to attend and report on meetings of the European Council, attending an event hosted in London on EU-UK reporting, and even being invited by the European People’s Party to attend one of their leaders’ summits. And this is hopefully just the start.

Eurocentric (Conor) in “Happy Birthday!” tries to explain why we may not have managed to reach out as much as we could have and why, even though we are an online project, physical meetings are still important to keep a project like ours running:

The scope for positive engagement with the rest of the Euroblogosphere is extremely limited, as we try to remain neutral and to separate out what we do in our blogs (and what we might want to do in common through our blogs) and what is right for Bloggingportal’s independent position. (Do you think we’ve managed to maintain Bloggingportal as a neutral aggregation site for the Euroblogosphere?) But we’ve also hosted physical events (such as an event in London in December 2010), and represented Bloggingportal at other blogging events. I think these physical meetings are important, particularly given the diverse and geographically spread nature of Euroblogging (though a lot of editors tend to end up in the London-Brussels-Berlin triangle at some point)

Martin in “3 years make for a lot of blogging gathered some statistics on our activities and the activities of the platform:

A little over 200,000 individual blog posts went through the portal since 2009. (That makes for a lot of blogging if you ask me.) […]

5,203 individual blog posts were selected to be displayed on the homepage and more recently in our Twitter/Facebook feeds as well as our weekly summary  ”The Week in Bloggingportal”. That makes 4.8 per day.

Finally, Brusselsblogger calls out loud: “ needs your help!  and asks a number of questions on how the future of our portal could look like:

“It is unclear where the project is heading and whether it makes sense to aim for a multilingual aggregation model that is based on manual editorial selection. Would it be better if bloggingportal focusses on simply providing the best, most comprehensive and always up to date list of EU blogs – and bloggers? Or should it just call for more volunteers to join the project as editors, potentially covering more languages? Is there a future for EU blogging as such if most well known EU blogs have massively decreased the number of posts written over the past 2 years, with Twitter taking over as quick one-line-commenting-and-linking tool?

You see from all these contributions that we have good reasons to celebrate our third birthday, but that after three years of our existence a lot of questions remain open. Yet still, 12 of us have published an anniversary blog post yesterday, showing that the group as such is functioning quite well for what is just a bunch of EU bloggers running a volunteer platform. We may not have managed to develop the portal to a new level yet, but we still manage to blog and to coordinate if needed. This shows: We are!


Leon J. WilliamsJanuary 26th, 2012 at 8:51

Congratulations guys,

I’ve enjoyed reading the blogs and there are many I read regularly that I otherwise would never have come across.

Long may continue!

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Christophe LeclercqJanuary 27th, 2012 at 18:15

Three years sounds like a long time for Bloggingportal… but it is short for BlogActiv (ca 4 years) and all the more EurActiv (12 years if I count from the time we declared it ‘a policy portal’). It’s long by techno standards, but actually still the infancy in human terms.

IMHO, building on Mathew’s comments and others, you need to either:
- re-invent yourselves: seems to be the main route? But who leads?
- or join forces with others, which implies getting your own decision system
- or reconsider even more radically…if you see what I mean…
The latter would be a shame, as Bloggingportal really performs a role.
Shall we all depend on FaceBook, Twitter and GooglePlus? using them and cooperating, yes, depending on them, no!

Christophe Leclercq,

Co-Founder, and more recently:

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