Rehumanize yourself

There’re always people who say that all this sitting behind computer screens to communicate is reducing our ability or willingness to intereact “in real life”. I’ve never agreed with that, and am being proved right this week and next.

Today I met and had a really interesting chat with Jon Worth, who writes a blog on European issues. Quite apart from it being really nice to have that face-to-face contact, he was a great source of EU-related stuff on the net that I didn’t now about. He has pointed me towards several useful sites:

eurotopics aggregates main stories from across Europe into a daily digest. It therefore makes coverage accessible that you wouldn’t otherwise get because of the language barrier. Not always of direct EU interest, but it’s always good to know what else is going on out there, and how different countries react to the same issues.

Votematch is a project of Unlock Democracy, which in the 2004 EP and 2008 London Mayoral elections developed a sort of quiz to help orient voters. Their 2009 version for the EP elections should be launched soon.

There are also a few blogs/sites on CAP issues, such as http://farmsubsidy.org and http://caphealthcheck.eu/. I really like the transparency league table, showing how much information governments are making available on CAP beneficiaries. The people behind farmsubsidy.org also do www.followthemoney.eu, looking at the budget.

My second encounter between cyberspace and real life will be with Nosemonkey at the Europe Day concert in Smith Square next week. Can’t write about that because I haven’t met him yet!

Jon mentioned that through his work on the bloggingportal.eu and other European-oriented activities, he’s made loads of new friends. Encouraging, non?

Update: hadn’t seen Rose22′s post when I wrote this. She seems to think getting to know each other is a bad thing, but surely in life we always gravitate to people who have the same interests as us, even if we don’t always agree? I’d say that the blogosphere is a great vehicle for finding those people. My first blog wasn’t anything to do with work, but about my main hobby, knitting, and through it, I connected with people around the world.

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2 Comments

Filed under European news, Media

2 responses to “Rehumanize yourself

  1. Good to meet you too! Happy that the links and discussions were useful…

    As for Rose22 – without giving away her cover let’s just say you and her actually have quite similar backgrounds when it comes to EU matters! :-)

  2. Thanks for the namecheck!
    No I’m all in favour of meeting new people with common interests through blogging. I just fear that it’s self-limiting.
    It’s not that I think it’s a problem for EU bloggers to become friends, more that I fear it that when everyone knows each other the discussion risks becoming exclusive, using specialist language that we assume everyone understands (and thereby discouraging new commenters etc.) or groupthink on issues can creep in…
    I’ve “met” a lot of interesting people c/o blogging, though admittedly most of mine are American christian/ atheist bloggers due to my non-EU subject coverage.
    Hope you are enjoying Europe day!

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