(Picture by Harold Tor)
At a glittering (well, actually somewhat overheated) ceremony on Thursday night, the list of the top forty EU Digital Influencers, as calculated by a rigorous and scientifically determined algorithm, was announced by EurActiv and ZN Consulting. The list was selectively drawn from Anglophone Twitter users, excluded sitting MEPs and Commissioners, but included their spokespeople, and also other EU officials and journalists, and former Commissioners and MEPs. Slightly to my surprise I scraped into the list at #37.
My glory was slightly muted by the fact that the official infographic illustrated me with a picture of former Swedish prime minister Carl Bildt (who came in at #17). But I still said a few words when invited to do so by the organisers (from 37:40 here). Only two other people who work for consultancies made it - a former MEP at #13, and another chap at #40.
I don't think many people would dispute or begrudge the top spot being awarded to Australian journalist Ryan Heath, whose POLITICO Playbook morning briefing has established itself as the essential start to the day for most of us working in EU politics. I'm a bit more dubious about the fact that the next two places were taken by European Commission spokespeople, who actually tweet as part of their job. Fourth and fifth palce went to gadfly parody account @Berlaymonster (whose response was characteristically splenetic) and Jon Worth (who was more gracious).
These things are really just a bit of fun. Back in my young days I took the Diplomacy Zine Poll awfully seriously, and more recently it's been the Hugo Awards (whose ceremony had roughly twenty times the attendance of Thursday night, and whose reults will probably be remembered for a bit longer). Still, I'm putting it on my professional creds, and I shall wear my commemorative hashtag pin with a smidgeon of pride.