Skip to main content

Co-Captain @Armada Digital (goal: coop)
| Love to promote #Indieweb #CivicTech #Dataviz #RSS Curious about #Blockchain and the future of work by enabling #platformcoop

Should appear as "Live" when I'm broadcasting Live with @periscope @RickMendes











Ricardo Mendes

I need to find a replacement for once and for all, already experimented various self-hosted systems but none is actually giving me the results I'm expecting. time to really move on !

Ricardo Mendes

Ricardo Mendes

Ricardo Mendes

@ShoebridgeC @Merlin_Norbury @medialens I should add : if our bias (western) loose influence against another bias (Russia or non-alligned) what does it tell about the state of journalism in 2016? (Internet, social media, cyberspace) I did a research on the subject and found very interesting to compare the newsbeat between countries based on (left) global Mainstream media (RT being included) and on the (right) Alternative news media composed by user generated content, so called indie media, collective accounts running on the field citizens reporting, activism citizens journalism 2.0, livestream from the local real time situations. the stream is blunt Twitter list activity displayed by @RebelMouse with no editing and in many cases it's like displaying two realities and so many interpretations of events.

And the dissonance is proverbial. of course partly because of the selection itself is biased by the curation of accounts and limited to Twitter made by @intoxvsinfo. (your suggestion of accounts to add to the system are welcome)

This mass of information It naturally leads to and the urgent need to build & to translate facts and impacts in society much better if we want to guarantee the good health of our democracies.

And right now it's bad, 2001 to 2016 have been the worse decades in foreign policy literally diving way to close red lines that once worked to maintain statusquo.

The so called West is neighbors to Russia, China is projecting itself way beyond & stronger than Atlanticism ever did, even during colonial times. India is becoming a giant, so does Brazil and I'm short the World is changing and it seems that the institutions that were created after WWII are not adapted to the real life dashboard of the planet today.

We urgently need to reclaim, reinvent, reshape global foreign policy, we need to empower UN more than NATO, empower Education instead of Military spending, we need more tangible stable inte connection between all the different power entities of this system and this can only be achieved through real cooperation, Cooperativism, sustainability, renewables etc... digital currencies and what not but all of this, all the amazing possibilities that emerge today in all the fields of study and prototyping can only form the base of stable, secure, inclusive system IF there is a working information system coupled with fundamental rights, economic stability, security, well democracy.

And we're not having that because our current system deteriorated in too many directions, decades of violent, often illegal and belicose strategies were put in place to controll ressources, power, wealth in to many areas of the world, the so called not Western world. third world for some, infra world for some others if things keep going on the way they do for example in the US domestically or France or Spain but also and above all Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan and so many other places of the world today that are obviously impacted, sometimes created by previous incursions, military adventures that are really questionable regarding the respect of sovereignty, fundamental rights and the environment.

The decay of the West is rooted in its own actions.

The very reason RT and others manage to penetrate the global consciousness is rooted in our own drift into a security nightmare that we created in reaction to a brutal attack (9/11) but countless other episodes of history also lead to this degeneration of the Western monopoly on the interpretation of reality and unbiased journalism.

RT penetrate because as a society we left the path of common sense long ago, as a human society the global impact of the Assad/Putin in Syria in many other ways or Bush and Blair in Iraq or Sarkozy in Libya and all this confrontational ideology of the West against an enemy, from one to another during the last 2 decades to the point now Taliban are nice compared to the Alqaeda , ISIS and other so called rebels all of them getting weapons from Western interests even if channeled through a myriad of proxies that make it look like whatever villain is on the map. it all leads back to us : even Belgium sell weapons to Saudi Arabia or the US and its all a charade and completely healthy to NOT fall for this societal drift and make everything to return to a minimum of decency in the international stage.

We create our reality. our past make our present and our present influence our future, it's not a religion, it's common sense, without healthy information how are going to make informed choices?

if you have any comments I would love to read your comments, you can reply using twitter and your comments should appear under this status way over 140 characters.

Thanks for reading

Ricardo Mendes

A few "free" alternatives to @rebelmouse (there isn't really one as a service)

mature level (more or less):

imature level :

abandoned or not alternative even if partially

not free :

The only solution that interest me right now is self-hosted solutions.
but I still have to find a replacement for EUwatch & PolBegov or in their care a WP plugins for aggregation of generated content.

self-hosted : (curious about this one)

Ricardo Mendes

shutting down its free product. Sadly, this day was always on my mind.
I have been using @rebelmouse to aggregate & display a fragmented social media activity for dozens and dozens of people, friends, clients and what not. I have helped to create & aggregate value content from different sources using Rebelmouse on no less than 400+ topics. I still have to read this post : but it's very likely that this is the last time I use a third party solution so long without having found the possibility to create an open source alternative to display activity stream like content from different providers. In fact I'm thinking about it everyday since at least 3 or 4 years and this open source alternative is now pretty well schematized on my mind. I would love to find more rebelmouse fans out there getting together to find a solution to individualize this feature into a self-hosted open source solution that everyone can contribute, audit and fork. If you're reading this and have some ideas, feel free to comment below or send a reply from your own site.

Ricardo Mendes

How do you measure the value of a geeky ? @EUWatchers + = automated European News bot powered by @inoreader + @twibbleio + @RoundTeam + @rebelmouse

Ricardo Mendes

My mobile NewsRoom about #Europe #Automation #RSS #Monitoring #Aggregation #makingEUwatch

7 min read

When I started EUwatch in 2013 it was motivated by a mix of technical ideas and politically driven opinions worth trying to insuflate in the very homogenous EU Brussel Bubble information landscape.

a few points :

  • The idea was to trigger higher social media & real life participation in the (at the time) incoming European Election of 2014. 
  • Another idea was to try to cover European issues from different EU states by normal citizens like you and me with the goal to foster more participation in the way the EU is heading.
  • This was motiavated after a year monitoring EU information landscape both on the wide web and on social media. (twitter, facebook, linkedin, google+)  
  • At the time in 2013 my feeling was that European Information was scatered among different websites covering the different institutions but it wasn't easy to KNOW right now what is being discussed, what are the new projects (TTIP or new policies being drafted up)
    How can citizens in Europe have more power to put elected officials in front of their own responsibility ? How can we use the European level to put pressure on members states actively delaying the implementations of reforms that were good for European Citizens ? 
    How can we stop members states level to apply measures (such as TSCG or ESM) that would ultimately be a disaster for citizens all across Europe after years of demonstrations & "good lobbying" to allow the civil society key arguments to land in the isolated Brussels Bubble. ?
  • How can I get all the information I want without all the noise & the interpretations of several media/news outlets sometimes organs of propaganda more than a rightful service to decrypt the issues at stakes with the goal to inform citizens instead of merely be a propaganda service without putting anything, any policy into question.
  • I wanted to have only the information I wanted to have in one single news feed & I wanted to be able to control the flow, the speed, the sources of these informations and the timing/frequency it would update me.
  • Ultimately I also wanted to get better at knowing how Europe works and how citizens should be able to use their voice to impact on policies and the direction Europe is heading. 

So I started to wonder how I could do this and the answer was pretty easy to figure out. 

First I explored the EU information landscape from its institutional structure. 
I collected all the RSS feeds from the topics or policy area I would like to stay up to date with and used a simple RSS reader (think Inoreader or Feedly) to organize all this information by Institutional body. 

Second I separated all this information in 2 folders :

One for what I would want to read/share anyway, because the source is 100% trusted or because the policy area or the topic would always be of public interests

a second folder for what might be interesting or good to keep an eye on but without knowing if all the items from that source was interesting & useful 100% of the time: this is my watch list. 

Then I went after MEP's blogs, Officials or assistants keeping a blog about Europe or a particular key policy area. 

Then I went after pressure groups, think thank, NGO's and other interesting civil society efforts already using the EU public sphere to scrutinize the different EU bodies & push toward reforms or push for debates etc...

after a while I had plenty of information :

EUwatch Inoreader

Once I had the information I might want to publish (monitoring) and the information I would always publish (no matter if that would interest me personally) I wanted to automatize one part of the job. after all I'm just a citizen without much time, my motivation was that I wanted to really understand how Europe vs the Members States was working and for that I had to get better information on my pocket. I couldn't be available to monitor the EU information sphere 24h/24h, So how to do this without having too much work alone?

Enters - Twibble Dashboard :


Editing/Publishing from a RSS feed : 

My EUwatch "Tweet everything" is populated by 50+ RSS feeds : from the EU section at the Guardian or DerSpiegel or LeMonde to Politico and ViEUws.

My Watch folder is populated by hundreds of RSS feeds from official EU institutions websites to journalist-bloggers on EU matters to EuroNews to whatever Blog or Website with a "Europe" section dedicated to the matter.

But I wanted to have a manual trigger to push anything I wanted from the watch folder to the main Twitter feed, and this is where Inoreader comes handy : the broadcast to channel feature creates a RSS feed of all the things I broadcast or Star or InoReader. So I connected this RSS feed : to Twibble and it goes like this :


The resulst is I can check my InoReader App on mobile or on the Desktop and I can tweet + images in 2 clicks/touch : 

Broadcast from Inoreader

and 12 minutes later (could be 5 min if I wanted to queue new articles manually broadcasted)

the next step was to aggregate all this information in one place : using Rebelmouse as a service to aggregate content from twitter/rss feeds and twitter list but I wanted to still retain control over the structure and look of the website more than what Rebelmouse allow, hence I integrated rebelmouse with Wordpress and this is the (in construction) website.

But I wanted on more level of engagement and I wanted this level to based on a "web-of-trust" of citizens across Europe tweeting crucial information missing in the EU Bubble information landscape. 

this is when enters RoundTeam 

Twitter amplification made easy

Roundteam amplify content based on filters/rules/hashtags. EUwatch is amplifying content from 3 different Twitter list : EUdebate is filled by twitter accounts that ask inputs or questions directly to their twitter community about Europe, the monitoring-greece Twitter list is filled by a original group of 30 greeks citizens from different background that where actively tweeting about the last Greek Elections and now morphed into tweeting about the in Greece. the amplifyRT twitter list tweets content from different citizen initiative trying to bring more participative democracy in Europe either at states or European level. 

Conclusion : 

in december 2012 @EUwatchers started with zero followers on twitter and is now in 2016 reaching 11K
precisely 10.9K without Ads, funding, or any type of subsidies. at the peak of it's success our Twitter stats showed 2M impressions per month, reguarly reaching 1M impressions per month. since 2014 I have had much less time to manually engage (on top of automated engagement) and take care of this baby twitter bot and now our stats are well under 1M. 

I have learned a lot by building this little tool and since then have applied a few of these technics to bring monitoring capabilities to some citizen group, NGO's and grassroots movements. 

Recentry I have played with Slack, I'm thinking on making a participative system inspired my the current EUwatch setup where people in the Slack channel would be able to influence what gets published and have their say on what should be registered as a source etc..this is pretty much are early stage ideas but if you're interested by similar ideas feel free to contact me and/or comment below.


The ultimate goal for me would be to create a similar monitoring setup completely Open-Source and completely free from using third party (paid) services but this is ideas for another blog post. 

ps: I have a similar tool tweaked to do the same but about Belgian Politics check out @PolBegov on Twitter.

Update with some more stats : EUwatch Stats

Ricardo Mendes

Ha! @EUwatchers with 10K followers, I could not be more happy thanks to @twibbleio & @rebelmouse & @RoundTeam management tools

Ricardo Mendes

Time to launch V2 of - planning to move to wordpress install + indieweb + rebelmouse aggregation

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.