“Svetla, what is a blog?” asked recently my mother in law. She is one of those who possess an always switched off mobile phone. She doesn’t write e-mails and uses the laptop for typing her own translations of French poetry. The fact that I work as an online editor makes me look in her eyes as something between a web master and a software engineer.
I heard that in the modern virtual world they call people like my mother in law “digital immigrants”. This is the opposite of “digital natives” – for whom digital technologies already existed in the time they were born. In this sense I am maybe a sort of “digital non-citizen”, or better “digital asylum-seeker”. Let us take the social media. By the time our team started using them in the election campaign I was the last person among my colleagues without Facebook account and who thought that Twitter is a sort of Belgian beer.
And look at me now, two months later! I am administrating widgets on MySpace, publishing posts on Facebook and cannot imagine a day without Twittering. With the same enthusiasm my Danish colleague uploads videos on Youtube every day. It is a special flame! That flame you can also see in the eyes of my Portuguese colleague, when she is inviting friends on MySpace. But nothing can compare with the flame in the eyes of our coordinator announcing almost daily new records of visits on our web pages.
It is amazing how quick it happens – our diving in the social media, and at the same time the change in the European Parliament – from web scepticism to web enthusiasm. (Please, see also the post by Steve). Yes, our work became more, (does Steve see that also?), but I think we enjoy this very much. We’re on YouTube and thousands are our friends in Facebook and MySpace. Yes, we dared to start direct communication with the citizens of Europe and it makes us feel satisfied, it makes us feel real. (See also Tibo’s and Kristiina’s posts.)
And look at me now, two months later! I am administrating widgets on MySpace, publishing posts on Facebook and cannot imagine a day without Twittering.
The best thing is that we really got in touch with our readers. We see how many people react and comment on our articles and are interested in European issues. It is satisfactory to see hundred thousands have watched the viral videos online.
Therefore I tried to answer the question of my mother in law about the blog in a way that makes her like it. I wanted to translate it in her language. “To blog is to write in the Internet about things you have experienced, about things you are interested in. It is something like an online diary“, I said. “Oh really?” she replied. Didn’t I see that flame in her eyes?