The name of the blog is Nosemonkey’s EUtopia, which makes me Nosemonkey. And no, the name doesn’t mean a thing – it’s just a hang-on from the days when everyone on the internet had to have a stupid pseudonym, and it’s stuck.
I initially started the blog in March 2003, intending to use it for a combination of writing practice and a way to learn more about the EU, and began to get serious with it the following year. The major constant – bar constant frustration with just how boring the EU can be – has been its devotion to impartiality, happily taking apart wild claims by right, left and centre, eurosceptic and europhile alike. (Though I do occasionally indulge myself with a spot of UKIP-bashing, I’m be more than happy to praise even them on the rare occasions that they come up with something that’s not totally stupid.)
Nine years and hundreds (if not thousands) of posts later, it has been praised in publications ranging from The Economist to the Sun, been shortlisted for awards by Deutsche-Welle, the Guardian and Reuters, featured on television and radio, and led to me being interviewed by journalists from Canada, the US and Brazil (as well as most European countries).
To be honest, I’ve not been blogging as much as I should for the last couple of years – the blog’s success helped me to move from the laid-back world of print to the hectic, 24/7 land of online publishing, and this has meant that the day job has been increasingly hectic for the last few years.