If you type the word 'European' in the Facebook search box, the first result is the "European Parliament", followed by....."European Pornstars" (obviously very sought after! Quite relieved though that it is not the other way round!) and then by "Europeans against the Political System" (good luck to them, I say)! It could not have been a more disparate mix.
If your search is a bit more specific and, let's say, you are trying to assess the number of groups, associations, blogs, movements, publications dealing with Europe - with the EU directly but also with issues that would interest the "European Public" - you are likely to find a myriad of different results, and you might soon get lost and probably give up.
There are kind souls attempting to give some sort of order and to structure this huge amount of European material.
Blogs such as mine, for example, (i.e. blogs that talk about the EU, in all its facets, or that are written by European officials and by journalists based in Brussels) are all (probably not all actually!) collected in a BIG web portal (bloggingportal.eu). Do you know how many they have so far? 1033!!!!! Granted, not all of them are still active but, my Goodness, more than one thousand blogs talking about EU politics? How is anyone supposed to select what to read or have a clue of what to look for? To be fair, the portal does divide the blogs in different categories, to make it easier to find the one/s you might be interested in, but still....1033?
Of course if you are fascinated by all that is European, reading all the new posts on this web portal every morning must be marvellous; but this is, as usual, the problem. If you are NOT fascinated, if you are a bit wary, bordering sceptic; if you just don't know much and want to know more; if you actually are not that interested but would read something if it were interesting, well written and you stumbled upon it; then, would you go through this immense portal - if (and that is a big if) you had found it - to see what is on offer?
I know that by saying it looks as if I were, how can I put it?, pushing some sort of 'self-destruction' button: the fact of the matter is that this portal contains a lot of good stuff - little moment of self publicity before the self-destruction: 'OBVIOUSLY THIS INCLUDES MY BLOG!' ok, done - but the sheer volume of content is simply frightening and will inevitably put people off.
On the other hand, I tell myself that this represents a small vignette of what the Net is all about; if you let yourself be scared by the size of the content, you will never use it at all and what a great loss that would be. So I guess the answer - I have only mentioned blogs but this applies to all the different formats of 'European' material - is not to give up, but to learn selecting (another self publicity moment - read sentence in capital letters above!), which is exactly what everyone of us does online every day.
Talking of selection and self-destruction, as we are approaching the long awaited speech on Europe by the UK Prime Minister Cameron - as I write, there has been a new postponement so who knows when he will actually deliver it! - here is a Taiwanese animated take on it, that I have selected for you! European policy like Tantric Sex? Baby Clegg! Need I say more? Enjoy. I will postpone self-destruction for a while, what do you think?