A message from our chief website editor, Ken Sweeney on the future of Europa United and the effects of recent changes by Facebook on our project. Ken also wishes to outline Europa United’s exciting times ahead which will involve us moving beyond our website and into the live sphere.
Dear fellow friends, colleagues and followers,
As many of you already know Europa United has been flourishing for the last 18 months with considerable success and recognition. When we started the project, we had no idea just how popular the concept of providing a writers’ platform on European issues would be. We now have over 20 contributors and a regular publishing of two to three articles per week. Our current readership is in the regions of 10 to 15 thousand per month. This has been mainly down to our extensive work sharing each publication on social media, in particular, on Facebook. The process has been very successful, resulting in many hits on our website and, more importantly, many readers for our articles and our hardworking authors.
We now need your help
Recently, Facebook has introduced new protocols on sharing third party content, in particular, media based articles. This move has been in reaction to recent criticism of Facebook’s inability to counteract fake news and media being spread across its massive platform. The result is that new algorithms have been introduced that scan posts and determine if they are spam, and the threshold level of spam alert is quite low. I must confess that I am no expert on this issue, but we have experienced it first hand. It seems that if you share an article over different groups on Facebook, once you do this over two to three times, the article gets flagged as spam and Facebook not only prevents your article from being shared further, but also may ban you from posting from twenty four hours up to an entire week. Our team has fallen foul of this and the result is that we are greatly restricted from using the platform.
Facebook’s new algorithms have impacted greatly on our ability to share our work
So how can you help?
If possible, we would be very grateful if you could regularly share our work on your network, be it Facebook or elsewhere – the more shares we get, the more exposure our writers’ work gets, which is paramount to us. I understand that some of you are not on Facebook, etc., but you could also help us by following our work on the website directly. It’s simply a matter of subscribing to our website and receiving our articles in your email once they are published. You could also visit our Facebook page and like or share directly from there. For those who help administer or moderate some Facebook groups, it would be very helpful to us if you could share articles directly on your group page. Regards other pages or groups you are on, we would be delighted if you could do the same, but not too much of course, as this would cause you to fall foul of the same problem we experienced, so even one or two groups a week would benefit us greatly. If you are a contributor to Europa United, we’d appreciate it if you would do the same and also consider clicking on as a follower if you have not done so already. By also sharing other contributors’ articles, you are helping to expand your own work through added clicks when people visit our site, which is one of the major success we have. When people visit Europa United, they tend to stay, which a plus point that we would like to encourage.
More than anything else, this is the best compliment you can give us
2018 is a big year for us at Europa United – our is plan to become a non-profit organisation based in Ireland and we have already set this in motion. Once this has been finalised, we will be recruiting volunteers to help directly expand the project beyond its original website concept through podcasts, workshops, live events and seminars. We will also be looking to develop pan-European partnerships with like-minded organisations and businesses, so please feel free to contact me directly if you have any suggestions, proposals, or if you would like to volunteer your services or expertise to help enhance our organisation. While Europa United will hopefully flourish further, we will not lose focus on our original concept – to give ordinary citizens a platform to talk about Europe. I hope that you will all be in agreement that Europa United is an interesting and exciting project and that you would be willing to help us get to the next stage. I also want to sincerely thank all of you who have already helped us, be in small advice or collaborative work with the project – without you, we wouldn’t be where we are now. Lastly, I know that that some of you have already given us great ideas on how to develop Europa United and I will always welcome further suggestions, be they small or large, so please feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and I look forward to your comments or feedback.