…and then the world

“where nothing we’ve actually seen has been mapped or outlined…”

into the eurosphere

with 2 comments

I’m still behind on all my RSS feeds after October, so rather than try and catch up, here’s something new(er). Over the weekend just gone, the Personal Democracy Forum – Europe (PDFEU/#pdfeu if you want to trawl the twitter archives) was held in Barcelona. Having only found out about it on Friday evening Brisbane time, as it was getting underway in Spain, I wasn’t attending the conference itself, but through the wonders of live streaming (run by Civico and containing audio, twitter, and CoverItLive live blogging), I was able to listen to the first few sessions on Friday. [The other sessions from Friday and Saturday are archived on the site at the moment if there’s anything that looks interesting]

There were several interesting discussions and topics, some of which were unfortunately missed due to sleep needs or being break-out sessions not streamed live, although information on those might be available on the live streaming site now. However, the most immediately impressive presentation coming out of PDFEU (certainly given my research interests) was that by Anthony Hamelle and Clémence Lerondeau of linkfluence (leaders in social network mapping and mentioned here several times previously). In their presentation, they unveiled a new linkfluence project, moving beyond their previous studies of French/U.S. political blogs or (French language discussion of) European topics on the internet. Instead, the latest study (visualisation below) looks at the ‘Eurosphere’ – blogs and websites run by commentators, parties, think tanks, activists, journalists, and so on, from France, the Netherlands, Germany, and Italy (the analysis also features a Europe affairs-specific cluster, drawing from all four nations). For specific information, I’d recommend going through the presentation itself (with audio available from the PDFEU streaming site), and also the accompanying linkfluence blog post. There’s more information to come, obviously, but a few findings are already particularly interesting: first, the varying bridging/gatekeeping population found in the different national spheres (the French having the most bridging bloggers), and indeed the very presence and function of bridge bloggers (Ethan Zuckerman has written about this subject previously, although not for as specific a context as European (political) topics). The comparative lack of interaction between national spheres is also interesting (bridging happening more between the EU-specific cluster and the national spheres), language could possibly be a factor, although the greater tendency of a particular group (Euro-sceptics and anti-federalists) to engage in conversations across the boundaries of the national spheres makes this finding a particularly fascinating topic for future research (well, maybe)!

There will be more coming out of this project from linkfluence, as the final slide shows, but the teaser material unveiled at pdfeu – and the topical case study used in the presentation, looking at the EU Presidency as a discussion topic over the previous month – suggests that the scope of this study will provide some interesting information on discussions and interactions at an international level:

Eurosphere (2009) by linkfluence

[Also, from a purely aesthetic perspective, how great (and clean) does the visualisation itself look?]


Written by Tim

23 November, 2009 at 8:26 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Thank you for this great review of our presentation at PDF EU – I am glad you could follow this all the way from Brisbane 😉 Just like you said, this was a first glance at the Eurosphere, there’s much more to come (additional countries, new topical analyses) in the coming months…
    Anthony (linkfluence)

    PS: by the way, thanks for including us in your blogroll, however you might want to update the url to http://us.linkfluence.net/blog/


    25 November, 2009 at 6:11 am

  2. Thanks Anthony! It’s a really interesting project, I’m looking forward to seeing the next research from the Eurosphere (and I’ve now updated the link 😉 ).


    25 November, 2009 at 10:22 am

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