PEP-NET have been running an online dialogue on the issues facing e-participation in Europe over at www.internet-discourse.eu. Take some time to browse, and see if you can find my contribution.
One item (by I think by Oliver Maerker of Zebralog) linked to an item he’d written touching on on area that’s been tweaking my interest: How can you have a political sphere in Europe when there are so many languages to contend with?
Overview of constructive ways for constucting a political discourse across the EU’s diverse languages. The issue:A lot of pan-European projects try to evade this problem and offer their content either in English only or in some other “big” European languages like French, German, and Spanish. Online-Forums as “Debate Europe” are even available in all 27 national languages of the European Member States – but the users comment just in their own language, only a few texts are transferred into all languages by professional EU-translator. Participants capable of speaking and writing English use the English-language forum to discuss topics with members from other nations.”
Currently, the EC seems to be ducking the issue and waiting for English to take over. It’s already the de facto language for debates such as this…
And on a completely different subject:
The Guardian’s Open Platform was officially launched yesterday. The Open Platform is the suite of services that makes it possible to build applications with the Guardian – it’s run off Google spreadsheets.
Simon Dickson has a good take on the implications for the official guardians of the data like the ONS.