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Thinking allowed

This category contains 108 posts

What does Autocomplete tell us about Europe?

I was fascinated by a recent blog post about the way Google autocompletes searches for countries in Europe. You can certainly question how accurately the suggested word depicts a nation, but it still says something of the popular myths and (mis)perceptions in the English-speaking world about it. So I decided to go a bit further and […]

Communicating an Olympic Spain without defeatism

Unsatisfactory allocation of talent and human resources into politics and communication is one among many other problems Spain is suffering from. And sorting it out would indeed help to overcome this crisis. This has been showed once again as the Major of Madrid performed a very poor and broadly criticised presentation of the Capital of […]

Everyone’s a photographer

Here at Webcomm we work a great deal with social media to spread our news but also to interact with our readers and followers, the citizens of the EU (and hopefully a few outsiders who may be curious as well!). On Instagram, for example, you've had the chance to share your morning coffee with the […]

Sois belle et parle

"One beer, please" *And some pointers on body language wouldn't go amiss, either* The extremely warm temperature in the pub ensures people consume refreshing beverages from the moment they enter. This is not a bad thing, all things considered. Networking is a tense affair. Even with your inhibitions slightly lowered by liquid courage, it is […]

Put your brain on a healthy diet

In our 21st century, thinness is seen as the ultimate virtue. Every cover of magazines, posters at bus stops, adverts praise for slimness. Thousands of articles describe the latest miracle diet to get rid of unwanted kilos. It also applies to many other things: get rid of unwanted items in your house, toxic people in […]

Being an Organization – Online #03 – Opportunities and Threats

  Strengths and weaknesses belong to your organisation – there is something you can do about it (most of the time). The second part of the SWOT analysis aims at identifying external opportunities and threats. They happen to exist outside your organisation and are essential to consider in order to reach your objectives. Because you've […]

10 suggestions for your twitter account from the last Israeli – Palestinian conflict

The recent outbreak of conflict in and around the Gaza Strip has again illustrated the importance of social media in the battle for hearts and minds and in the wider communication actiities of the parties to the conflict. In this case, the use of Twitter by the Israeli Defence Force has attracted much attention.   So what […]

Are you am(e)used yet?

Statistics is a fascinating thing. No matter your field of interest; if you want to know how well the greens scored in your district in the last election, or the percentage of middle-aged couples who contemplate divorce – just Google it, and you’ll probably find more numbers and figures than you could possibly ask for. […]

Being an organization – online #01

For an institutional organization, the European Parliament online presence is not that bad. We're heading to greet our 500,000th fan on facebook, we're active on almost a dozen of social-media platforms, we've redesigned our main website with satisfactory results (less viewed pages meaning our visitors find faster what they're looking for). From all we've developed […]

Erasm us!

"Erasmus and investment in worst-hit countries at risk, warns Lamassoure" (European Parliament)  "Erasmus est-il menacé par les restrictions budgetaires?" (Le Monde) These are only a few examples of the articles that were being passed around between my friends on Facebook a few weeks ago. Captions usually read "Nooooo!" or ":-((((((".  This is not the part […]

Women, punk and freedom of speech

Have you ever heard of Russian Pussy Riot, the female punk singers who might be condemned for seven years in prison for anti-government songs in a church in Moscow? Or the Kiev journalist movement "Stop Censorship"? Freedom of speech still has its huge price and you can see it quite well in the Eastern Europe […]

The football, the union

"Tous contre l´Espagne!". Eight thirty in the morning, metro, line 1, destination Gare Central. A young man, around 20 years old, gests into the last coach. He has one hundred things in his hands: documents, an iPod, a huge bag and a magazine. He drops into a seat without even looking who is next to […]

The power of Twitter

IT consultant Sohaib Athar was just minding his own business in peaceful Abbottabad, when a sudden noise disrupted his peace. Annoyed he fired off a quick tweet to complain about the intrusion: "Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1am (is a rare event)." Little did he realise that by doing so, he was the first person […]

Twitter in Wonderland

We started Tweeting before June 2009 elections. We tweeted information about the election dates, which were not the same in all countries, about the results, during the electoral night. At that time the newborn Europarl_XX accounts (change XX for the 22 language codes) where just learning how to walk, taking the first steps in a […]

Killing Smartness… with Smartphones: the disenchantment of memory?

Do you remember the way you used to look at your grandfather? An old man with some leftover white hair, carefully combed to one side in order to disguise the bald spots on his head. Perhaps he would sit in his armchair, smoking an old pipe, blowing grey smoke into the air. Didn't he convey […]

It’s the quality, stupid

The keywords are “engage”, “inform” and “access”

The War of the Bubbles, or: 1999 Was a Bad Year

I never got her name but I will always think of her as 1999. 1999, the year I went to journalism school and the faculty told us students not to buy a computer, but to invest that money in a driver's license instead. The 15 computers the university had bought and kitted with this new […]

Discovering Europe through Erasmus

France might be one of the better places for meeting the French, but it also works a treat for making friends from outside the Hexagone. When I left Paris in 1999 after studying there for a year, I did so with an address book spanning the breadth of the European continent. It didn't involve me […]

Working with the system – A master class with Paul Boag

  I was lucky enough to be invited by our colleagues from the European Commission at a Master Class given by Paul Boag. Mr Boag is an expert in many things, including web design. The topic of the class was how to work with the system when you have a web-something job in a big organization. […]

Frankly about lingua franca

Out of different practical reasons EP’s Facebook page similarly to this blog is being updated only in English (apart from casual insertions in other languages). Our fan community is continuously and quickly growing but how long can we justify our monolingual existence in the main social network of the world? And should we at all? […]

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