Late, as I’ve been out of the country for a while – and not that anyone’s reading this as my RSS feed is still screwed (and the site is still highly compromised by those bastard spammers) – but…
Once I’ve got that all sorted and moved to a new host (Sonnet UK, who used to be pretty efficient, have still not even acknowledged my pleas for help after more than a month of waiting), here’s what I’m planning:
1) A name-change. March 2008 will mark the 5th anniversary of Europhobia’s initial birth. The name was chosen because I originally intended the blog to be an exploration of anti-EU sentiment. I rapidly gave up on that idea. I’m pondering EUtopia as the new name – reflecting my unrealistic hopes for the EU, in the original Thomas Moore sense of Utopia as “No place”, a perfect polity/society that doesn’t actually exist. It’s hardly the most original name going, but seems entirely appropriate. And, most importantly, I don’t think any other blog’s taken it yet.
2) More considered analysis, less lazy rubbish put up purely to keep up readership numbers and/or because I feel I really ought to comment on some new development while it’s still fresh. Something I’ve been pondering a while, now that I’ve got so little free time, and confirmed via three articles all bloggers should read:
- Micro Persuasion: The Lazysphere and the decline of deep blogging: “The Lazysphere – a working definition – is a group of bloggers who… Rather than create new ideas or pen thoughtful essays… simply glom on to the latest news with another ‘me too’ blog post… People who used to work hard creating and spreading big ideas resorted to simply regurgitating the same old news over and over again, often with very little value add. It’s almost like we stopped the real work of reading, thinking and writing in favor of going all herd, all the time.”
- The Wardman Wire: Columnists and reporters are the new ‘bloggers’: “one of the biggest threats to the accuracy and reputation of news-based blogs is when bloggers quote â€œmainstreamâ€ newspapers and websites verbatim without doing the necessary fact checking to make sure the newspaper reports are accurate… I think it comes down to bloggers adopting the traditional habits of serious newspapers. Check facts, separate news from comment (or at least flag which is which) and shoot from the hip a bit less”.
- Obsolete: Churnalism, getting it wrong and the US primaries: “We’ve gotten all too used to demanding instant opinion and supposed expert comment, when the very best of it usually takes the best part of a day or longer to emerge… We don’t expect to know the immediate details of a news event the second it happens, so why do we want the ‘commentariat’ to provide exactly that[/] …This isn’t to be Luddite about it in the way that some resisting online publishing do, but to acknowledge that journalists ought to be above making instant judgements based as Martin Kettle writes, on assumptions and prejudices.”
Comments are still screwed thanks to those spammers, but feedback welcome as always via nosemonkey [at] gmail [dot] com… Happy New Year, and that.