FinancialGuy Writes!

Five Years Later…

If you can believe it, the first post on this blog was five years ago today! I’m amazed.

At the time, I had been in my new position as Director of Blogactiv for a few weeks and felt that it was about time that I learned what a new blogger to the platform went through to sign up. It was not easy. On top of that, the platform was just a few months old and on some days (usually a Friday) we didn’t have a single blog post to publish in the homepage feed. I signed up so that I could write on the days when needs must.

As it turned out I only ever wrote a handful of posts because we needed them. The rest were written because I felt compelled to. By meeting and talking to lots of people I was able to sign up more and more bloggers to the extent that a few months later finding content was not an issue. To the best of my knowledge, the only active blogger on the platform that started before me is Eberhard Rhein – now that is heroic.

I took it upon myself to push a few boundaries with this blog. I was the first person to have a guest interview with a Vice President of an EU institution (here) and then the first person to interview an institution President (here). Believe me I tried repeatedly to be the first blogger to interview a Commissioner, but I still have not managed that (though I sort of did by accident here). While working with EurActiv I was also (as best as I can tell) the only blogger to officially attend COP15 in Copenhagen (here).

Though these are obviously very small steps, I believe that they (and others still unmade) are vital to the progression and growth of an online EU public space. As the man in charge of a platform like Blogactiv I occupied a central role in the growth of eurosphere for some time. I still feel a little responsible for it to this day.

It was the end of 2010 that I left Brussels and that slowed my writing down substantially. By then the platform often had over eighty bloggers writing each month. I began to write less because I was attending far fewer events and also partly because I was working more and more on other things. These days I aim to simply write one or two posts each month.

Despite that, they add up. Looking at the stats for my blog, there are now over 170 posts online. Some have taken a few minutes to write, others have taken hours. Some were insightful pieces of genius, others were complete dross (especially the first one). That is the nature of blogging, politics and policy!

At this point it is unclear to me how long I will continue for. As I perform less and less EU policy related work I am in less of a position to comment sensibly. Additionally, as I work on other things (mostly internet marketing related), there is less and less time for me to write. For now though, I plan to continue and see what happens.

Until next time…

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  1. Congratualations to you Stuart, for continuing to be part of the BlogActiv success story !

    I’m happy to confirm that – 5 years after its launch, and also because of your efforts – BlogActiv is now the established blogging platform on EU affairs that it set out to become.

    More than 400 bloggers now use the platform to share their latest thoughts and analysis on the EU policymaking process, and indeed on much more ! has highlighted over 12.000 blog posts over the last 5 years and receives multiple guest blog posts and new blog requests on a weekly basis.

    Do keep the blog posts coming, even ad hoc. I look forward to reading your 10th anniversary blog post with an interview of the next President of the European Commission ! Or will it be the ‘President of Europe’ by then ?!

    Dominique Ostyn

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