Tue Jan 24th, 2006 at 05:21:07 AM EST
Update: I think the sage advice of our community (thank you afew, DoDo, and others) that it is perhaps best to let this topic lay for now, and take a cooling down break is wise (myself included). Thank you all for your excellent contributions on this topic. Peace - whataboutbob
There has been an ongoing discussion in various threads for awhile now about whether or how to become a multi-lingual blog here at European Tribune. The other day there was our first (as far as I know) non-English diary, written and commented on in French, and apparently well recieved. But it left me feeling very uncomfortable...and yes, I will admit it, upset...that a converstaion is going on that I don't understand and don't feel included in. So this has been cooking in me...and I responded in last night's open thread about this...and finally, I'm just saying "screw it, I don't agree with this new direction" and will say why. I've cut and pasted my response in that thread below:
I've been thinking about this a lot...and I'm just expressing my own opinions here, not that of the European Tribune or the other people who administer it. But as I said above, I think the European Tribune will be making a big mistake to try to be all things for all people. Ain't gonna happen. I believe it will only weaken as a community if it tries. And I personally even feel more strongly now that ET should pick a common language and stick with it...which ever language...if that's another language than English, so be it. But my feeling is that if there begins to be several discussions in several languages, what's the connection? Where's the communication between people? Where's the community? I have a strong feeling the result will be a breaking down and a dilution of the community feel. There's a parallel process to the EU process...the National vs the Pan-European. And I personally don't feel comfortable with conversations going on where I don't understand the discussion...it feels excluding and exclusive. (And I have a hard enough time with understanding a number of the converstations going on here in English, due to the technical or highly specific intellectual content).
I recall when Daily Kos started getting bigger, and many people started spinning off new blogs, because either they felt Dkos was too big, or there was disagreement with the direction, etc. But ultimately it was a good thing, as there are many more and excellent spin off blogs in the US as a result, where a person of a left persuasion can find their niche, and where their are ore voives. Perhaps we are getting to that point in our evolution here...I think if a person wants to have a Spanish, or a Greek , or a German, or a Dutch European Tribune (etc), they should go for it, we can link to them here, and we can expand our community in that way. Really...The more voices the better.
But frankly speaking, I originally came here because of Jerome, who writes in English, who is quite positive and supportive of Americans and left American politics (though not Bush, thank gawd), and who was (and is) supported by an American in getting ET running. And since I moved to Europe, the community that has developed and the information that is shared has been integral in my integration into Europe. I have felt super included, welcomed and informed. (So perhaps I have developed an emotional attachment to the community and the process here...is that good or bad?).
And to me, the European Tribune has a brand, and part of that brand is that it discusses European and international issues in the chosen common language: English. Heck, we are...even now...on the Koufax Lefty Blog Awards nomination list for "Best New Blog", which I believe is and will bring in more traffic (yes, English speakers...). To start now changing it now...my feeling...would be a mistake, and even potentially destructive of all the energy that has thus far gone into developing it. AND...I see ET growing quite nicely, as it is...and fully expect it to continue to.
But, hey, we are all here of our free will, and we can always try to influence the community in ways we see fit, or go find/start another community that fits better.
Anyway, as I said, these are just my feelings, no one elses...but I don't agree with the trying to be multi-lingual here, as I believe it leads us off the path.
Agree with me, disagree we me, flame me...whatever...this is how I'm feeling. Und du?