by Frank Schnittger
Sat Aug 30th, 2008 at 09:00:10 AM EST
My Letter to the Editor - giving some free publicity to The European Tribune has been published in the Irish Independent - the largest circulation daily in Ireland - even if they did mis-type the exact web address - meaning a non-net-savvy user will get an "Address not found" error message which might end their search. Is there any way Eurotrib URLs can be simplified?
A new user would have a hard time finding my diary if it isn't on the Recommended list unless they knew how to find their way around blogs - and many have told me they find The European Tribune very off-putting and confusing.
We need to create better "points of entry" into The European Tribune for users who do not understand web addresses, HTML, the structure of community blogs, and the way navigation around these sites works - particularly for unregistered users.
That is what the front page should really be for in the first place - featuring content of interest to new or casual users who may have stumbled here by way of a Google search or external link. Or are we not serious about opening up The European Tribune to a wider community?
For the record - my Letter to the Editor read as follows:
Russian actions belie democracy - Letters, Opinion - Independent.ie
'Yes' voters must listen to 'No' side
I am excoriated by A Leavy from Sutton (Letters, August 29), for wanting to "underline the perceived elitist and undemocratic nature of the European project", whereas in fact I was criticising Minister Dick Roche for running the risk of doing so.
Far from opposing Lisbon, as she alleges, I argued strongly for the Treaty as any perusal of my website, http://wwweurotrib.com/user/Frank%20Schnittger/diary, will confirm.
However, if the 'Yes' side doesn't learn from the mistakes of the Referendum campaign and the manner in which the Treaty was presented, there is no prospect of any positive outcome to this debacle.
'Yes' voters would be well advised to listen and read more carefully what 'No' voters and others are saying, before adopting a hectoring tone and misrepresenting what they are saying.
The rest of my letter (Letters, August 27) set out what needed to be done if the concerns of 'No' voters and abstainers were to be taken on board and if there was to be any prospect of a successful outcome to our current stand-off with the other EU governments.
The EU is a political union and power-sharing arrangement, run in partnership with 26 other democratically elected governments, and for Libertas, Coir, and Sinn Fein to seek to undermine their democratic legitimacy by claiming to better represent their peoples' views on the future of Europe is hardly the best way to maintain friendships and influence people.
The Letter was written in response to the following LTE:
Lisbon not 'elitist or undemocratic' - Letters, Opinion - Independent.ie
Frank SchnittGer's demands (Letters, August 27) in relation to the Lisbon Treaty epitomise the self-contradictory attitude of much of the opposition to Lisbon.
On the one hand he says he wants to underline "the perceived elitist and undemocratic nature of the European project".
On the other hand he wants "increased powers for the directly elected European Parliament".
Does he not realise that by increasing the power of "the directly elected European Parliament" he is taking power away from the equally directly elected Irish Dail and is weakening the influence of the parliaments of other small countries?
Frank Schnittger should realise that when 27 democratically elected governments spend seven years negotiating a treaty it is neither "elitist nor undemocratic".
SUTTON, DUBLIN 13
You can read my original LTE and a discussion of same at From NO to maybe on Lisbon