The FIIA goes web 2.0

Tuesday, 10. November 2009     0 comment(s)

After the protests that followed the disputed Iranian presidential elections this summer, few people will not have heard of Twitter, the micro-blogging service. Gil Scott-Heron wrote in 1971 that “the revolution will not be televised”, but in 2009 the students of Iran instead tried to tweet their revolution. When the government barred all access to the traditional media of TV and press, the 140 character postings – or “tweets” – on Twitter became one of the most efficient ways of updating the world as to what was happening inside the country. Tweets often contained links to grainy YouTube clips shot on mobile phone cameras, and if YouTube made everyone with a phone a news cameraman, Twitter became one of the most important networks on which they could ‘broadcast’ their reports.

The European Programme of the FIIA will hopefully not be providing any news quite as important or serious via our new Twitter feed, but we do hope, in the best traditions of Web 2.0, that it will be a chance for friends and colleagues beyond the institute, and beyond Finland to become more involved in our work. In early December we are hosting a seminar entitled “Why the EU fails” here in Helsinki. We will have a collection of some the best and most prominent academics, analysts and commentators on the EU from around the world discussing the many things that the EU gets wrong and why, despite getting many things right, it is still seen as distant and irrelevant by so many Europeans. Budgets and venues of course limit how many people can be in the room for such an event, but through Twitter we hope to involve more people. We will both tweet during the conference the major points made by the speakers and we will also save time for questions sent via Twitter for the speakers to wrestle with.

If you are already a Twitter user you will find us at EUFailureConf and if you aren’t, why not sign up, follow our feed and get involved? More news about the conference topics and speakers will be released in the coming weeks, and if you are following us on Twitter you will hear about it first.

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