Back in 2005 I was coming towards the end of my term as President of JEF-Europe but I still had ideas. No one will ever invite me to speak at conferences again I thought, so I better try writing things instead. Some friends of mine in Swedish politics were blogging at that time and they inspired me. I thought I would have a go at writing about the European Union, British politics, and whatever else caught my imagination. The blog post that started the whole thing off is here, and my first serious post was about why passengers are so inept at boarding planes.
The odd thing is that back then – and even now as well – I still do not consider myself a writer. But after 1900 blog posts, and a total of 591000 words (enough to fill 5 books), and 11000 comments left by readers, this blog has somehow come to define who I am. While blogs like Nosemonkey and Fistful of Euros started before I did, and Kosmopolit and Julien Frisch shortly after me, I have nevertheless – through stubbornness and persistence – churned out more blog posts about European Union politics (and plenty of other things besides) in the last decade than any other individual. The rise of Twitter, and my intensive use of it (63000 tweets so far) from the autumn of 2008 onwards has proven to be a tremendous complement to the blog.
The blog has had a few successes over the years – it ranked high on Iain Dale’s old blog lists back in the early days, was the launch pad for the atheist bus campaign, became the place for the most intense debate about to pass the Commission entrance exams, and was one of the blogs at the start of BloggingPortal. Writing this blog has allowed me to meet hundreds of people in real life that I would never otherwise ever meet, play some sort of role in the political debate I would never otherwise have, and has remained my favoured place to express my thoughts. I was living in London when I started it, and it has accompanied me to Brussels, back to London, to Copenhagen and now to Berlin. It has been an ever present through whatever other tumult I have been facing in my life.
Anyway, to celebrate the first 10 years of the blog (the exact anniversary is 19th July 2015), you are invited to the 10 Year Anniversary on Saturday 18th July in Berlin. If you are reading this, consider yourself invited. There will be a barbecue (or blogbecue if you like) at Tempelhofer Feld grilling area on the Columbiadamm side from 1800 onwards. Food will be provided, but bring your own drinks. I’d simply ask you to confirm your attendance by e-mail, by DM on Twitter, or by commenting below, so I can have an idea of numbers.
Here’s to the next 10 years!
Congratulations on the 10 years. I will not be able to join in Berlin, but do have a great party to celebrate the beginning of the next 10!
Congratulations… I wish I could come celebrate at a party in Berlin. Met you at the Geneva Graduate Institute a few years ago — still read & love your writings.
All the best wishes from across the pond!
Congrats! Go for the next 10 years!
Never been to Tempelhofer Feld – my social life in Berlin has always centred around Moabit (and still does, though I now live in the Utopian splendour that is Marzahn) . I’ll swing by if I can..
Heard of another 10th anniversary? At the end of next year, DSB and DB will celebrate the 10th anniversary of using ICE TD trains between Denmark and Germany, and they will celebrate this by discontinuing the services. Instead, regular DSB IC3 trains will be used, and the Fugleflugtslinje might be dropped, requiring passengers to travel via Funen and Jutland, or taking slower domestic regional trains and changing between train and ferry at Rødby and Puttgarden. DSB’s IC3 trains are currently used for most domestic IC and LYN services (some use the electric IR4 variant) and also for international IC and EC services, and if IC3 now also is to replace the international ICE services, then I guess that DSB will have to drop some services as there won’t be enough trains available for this.
Have read you down the years, and enjoyed it, as you know.
Need a holiday. Never been to Berlin.
Congratulations Jon on your 10 years! I always enjoy reading your blog, which is consistently interesting and thoughtful. When I first came to Brussels in 2006, it was one of the first things I was recommended to read. And today it is still an education about how the EU works, or how to blog. You don’t need me to tell you this… but I wanted to wish you all the best for the next 10 years.
I discovered your blog some years ago when I was trying to find a job with the EU and came across the ‘So I won’t be a Commission official’ discussion. In the meantime, I have indeed become a Commission official.
I just want to say: keep up the good work, I will always favour an ol’ classic blog which can offer some substantial reading over hopefully short-lived fads like Twitter…:))
I wish I could bbq at Tempelhofer Feld with you.
Big congrats from New York and a toast to the next 10 years!