// author archive


Steve has written 96 posts for Writing for (y)EU

The Last Post?

A wise older friend, now something terribly important in the EU, once observed to me: “All of us had at some point to give up the job we loved to move on.” True, I suppose, you have to move on, don’t you? But it doesn’t make it much easier for me to leave WebCom.

A room with a view: part II

So you heard about the editorial room. What you didn’t hear about was the epic story of its (non-)decoration. We gave up waiting for the men with the official paintbrushes three years ago. But then…

A room with a view: part I

Did we ever mention that we think that the working environment matters? Sure we did! Did we mention that we believe in talent and creativity? Methinks yes. Does a modicum of fun at work make a difference? Well, yes! Did we actually do something about it? A few things, but there is one easy-difficult, unremarkable-extraordinary thing which reliably causes moments of surprise for our increasingly frequent visitors. The editorial room. And it just got much, much better.

Sometimes, just try it!

Sometimes we agonise about whether we should try something. What if we can’t cope with the traffic? What if the server crashes? What if the language cover is not enough? What about Linux users? What if… what if … someone doesn’t like it? Then, sometimes, unaccountably, we stop worrying and just try it.

What would Steve Jobs do?

iPad thinking Actually, one answer to the question is known: Steve Jobs generally did what his instinct, intuition and insight told him to do. And the results were pretty impressive.  This thought crossed my mind when reading a review a few days ago of one of the plethora of tablet computers now available in stores. […]

School Trip to the New World of Work

Cynical old fonx, not without cause, smell a rat the instant you start talking about “open plan” offices. It’s a trick, they aver, to squeeze us into ever smaller spaces, take away our personal domains and generally reduce us to Dilbert-esque cubicle wage-slaves. So what will they make of the “New World of Work”?

All is revealed: the 15 shows in the Christmas video.

Our latest Christmas video, as afficionados of this blog, and indeed many others, know, is based on the title sequences of 15 well-known TV shows. Well-known? Well, yes. But so far, no-one has been able to recognise them all, with age and nationality playing a clear role in determining which ones are familiar and which […]

Is it uncool to say I love my job? WebCom in 2011

What is it that really matters to most people about their jobs, once they have one that can keep body and soul together in a satisfactory manner, that is? I suppose it’s about two things: (i) whether you actually believe you are achieving something, and (ii) who you work with. Simple really.

The Christmas video

This video is worth weeks of expensive team-building courses sitting in front of flipcharts or building rafts to cross muddy ponds – not that our employer has ever offered us anything like that – and is huge fun into the bargain. It has become part of the collective self-image.

New website: so that was the easy bit…

It’s blue, it’s new and it’s online – the redesigned official institutional website of the EU’s directly elected democratic lawmaking institution! And, speaking personally, I now know why you don’t do this kind of thing too often.

Unlocking your inner teenager

A lesson in the power of a little harmless silliness being learned in WebCom right now. It’s all to do with some very serious research into the potential of the Foursquare social network.

When is a birthday cake not a birthday cake?

Do you rely on Facebook to remind you of your friends’ birthdays? What exactly do you think you are being reminded of?

From the Tunisian camps

An experiment in WebCom this week. Parliamentary delegations are frequently accompanied by a press officer, but thus far we have had little success in arguing the case for a web editor to go along. Until now.

From Tahir Square to Brussels

Just a quick note to point to the presence in Brussels of a multi-party group of Egyptian activists, all involved in the revolution. Amongst them, of great interest to us, Waleed Ahmed of the 6 April Youth Movement whose Facebook group/page (English page also exists) were central to the organisation of the protests which led […]

The (Flemish) Art of Politics

Though this was in part about getting to know the quirks and (generally hidden) wonders of our host country a bit better and indulging in a little inter-parliamentary liaison, it was really about doing something together and having the opportunity to marvel at something genuinely interesting, even inspiring. For whatever you think of all the constitutional contortions and political chicanery, the Flemish Parliament is undoubtedly the coolest parliament any of us had ever visited

Lessons from the Danish suburbs: Après Aarhus

Do Danish journalists get jobs? Why are Danish trainees so hard to find? Why do students still want to work for newspapers? Are media and journalism the same thing? Are Danes really the happiest people in the world? All this and more in these brief post-Aarhus thoughts.

Syrian Spam Attacks

Yesterday, 23 May, saw a resumption of massive spam attacks on our Facebook page by pro-regime forces in Syria. Thousands of “we love Bashir al-Assad” style comments posted to anything we post. We seem to have been identified as a “foreign site promoting hostilty to the government of Syria” (the phrase was something like that).  For […]

Two decades and lovin’ it…

I’m not big on anniversaries, but something about today’s date prompted me to notice an interesting fact. Interesting for me, that is. Today is the last day of my first twenty years in the employ of the European Parliament.

Yes, Facebook matters. Bahrainis show the way

It’s been a big week on Facebook for WebCom. You know how we’ve been obsessing about what happens to all those comments we get on our Facebook page? Well, this week provided one answer.

Taking a photo

Sometimes the office routine is broken by people bearing orange juice, photographic equipment and crawling under the table. Another day chez WebComm. All in the interests of art, naturally.

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