Category: Allgemein, Events     Comments (0)    

ignite in Chicago

ignite Logo

What is Ignite? Once again a new format for a social networking event in 1st life has been established. And once again it was done by the oreilly crew. They called it Ignite so lets see what it is all about. quote left If you had five minutes on stage what would you say? What if you only got 20 slides and they rotated automatically after 15 seconds? Around the world geeks have been putting together Ignite nights to show their answers. quote right With these speeker conditions 20/15=5 it ensures that talks won’t be boring at all.


More informations can be consumed on the ignite community site which gives you an overview on upcoming ignite sessions. The first one was held one year ago in Seattle here you’ll find some videos of these events. A good one is „hacking chocolate“. ;–)

Go ahead and register on upcomig for the ignite session in Chicago! I am looking forward to event will be good fun.


Category: Allgemein     Comments (0)    

Short Review of TECH cocktail 6 Chicago

Last Wednesday we visited TECH cocktail 6 in Chicago. I would like to tell you a short and funny story ahead. I am new to the US of A that’s why I am not used to carry my ID (passport) always by my side. Well, I figured out quite quickly that, that isn’t a good idea because you always get in trouble while entering pubs, clubs or events where beer and any other alcoholic drinks are served.

To get permission to enter this event I got a special wrist band which indicated that I was not allowed to drink any beer. Just to let you know not only the entry was for free the beer is as well-Thanks to the Sponsors at this point. Well I had a great time anyway I felt already drunk because of my jetlag. Now let’s go on with the important and interesting information.

One of my favorite services presented that evening was Songza. What is Songza? It is a music provider / platform / search engine. Like they exits in thousands on the web e. g., Bit Torrent, KaZaa, Rhapsody? No, Songza differs from all the others in a few ways. First of all Songza isn’t a platform rather than a music search engine. A special algorithm enables the user to find songs and artists available somewhere on the internet. Songza puts a user interface layer on top of the search results which provides the user the opportunity to create play lists very easily.

The usability and the design of this user interface layer is clear and very convenient. That’s why their inventors call it a “human interface” they want to indicate how user really use and navigate on websites or applications.

Songza screenshot

To listen to a certain artist just type the name into the search field press the search button and you will be offered a list of songs where you can choose from. They offer a few more opportunities what to do with the song. You can add it to a play list which isn’t storable right now. Or you can share the song with a friend while sending an email, further you can just link or embed the song into your blog and decide if it should start playing while opening the site or only on demand. You can also directly go and see the music video on youtube as far as it is available. Brilliant usability – just one click on the song title and hover the cursor over one of the four provided options and easily do what you want to do with the song.

A huge advantage is that Songza can be used without subscribing and doesn’t cost a penny. This way the very often criticized issue oft subsciption is avoided. I like it very much – you should go check it out!

Some more information on the company it self are available here. On altsearchengine blog you find different translations, the German one is my masterpiece. ;–)

Category: Allgemein     Comments (0)    

Web Comic

This has some funny slides in it, just go ahead and view it!

Category: Events     Comments (0)    

TECH cocktail Chicago calling

TECH cocktail

Yesterday the next TECH cocktail Chicago #6 was announced by its founders Eric Olsen and Frank Gruber . They invented this event because it appeared to them that there were not enough web events – to connect the community – happening in Chicago. They wanted to get the networking going, to get people meet other people, create new ideas and start new things. Maybe they also wanted to transfer all these networking communities out of 2nd life into 1st life.

What is TECH cocktail?

quote rightTECH cocktail is a series of mixer events with the mission to amplify the technology signal in under served markets and have fun doing it. quote right

It is called mixer because a wide bunch of people like bloggers, technology enthusiasts, coders, developers, marketing people, people in sales, entrepreneurs and sometimes venture capitalists are welcome to participate on TECH cocktail events. Also people that are just interested in photography that want to just post pictures of TECH Cocktail on their blog are there. So it’s definitely a mix.

I guess it is similar to our so beloved webmontag in Germany.  The only difference is that TECH cocktail people try to meet quaterly and the webmontag crowd almost once a month. That actually is the aim of Eric and Frank to give kind of a kick start, so that people organize smaller  meet-ups in between TECH cocktail events. I haven’t figured out yet how the agenda is set up for that event. Well some more work to do I’ll research that issue.

Sponors are still welcome to contact the founders ;-)

Frank Gruber: frank [at] techcocktail [dot] com

Eric Olson: eric [at] techcocktail [dot] com

There is also a nice interview with both founders recorded by Technology Evangelist at TECH cocktail 2 available. It provides some more information about what the event is all about.

Category: Allgemein     Comments (0)    

SearchCamp in Chennai

As far as my research goes it is the first SearchCamp happening. On october 6th & 7th people who are into the topic as well as interested in it will meet in Chennai India at Tidel Park. Which is the 2nd largest Technology Park in India regarding the Wikipedia entry.

SearchCamp Logo

The SearchCamp runs as an un-conference just as the BarCamp style. Though the same rules apply everyone is an organizer or speaker and there is supposed to be no passive audience. The sponsor are not fixed yet. But interesting to see some prices in the wiki they seem pretty reasonable for me, don’t they?

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend it. Such a pity, that they will it in Chennai instead of Bangalore. Thereby with a presentation on FAROO I would have such a good contribution to the part which discusses the alternative search engines. By looking at the suggested topic list it appears to me that the event might be a bit SEO overloaded. Although ROI and measuring success is important I am missing a bit the topics concerning social aspects and influences of search engines on the society. Besides I miss a topic on user and hies/her needs or user behavior on search engines.

Well, right it’s an un-conference even if I can’t be there I’ll add a social topic to the SearchCamp wiki. Let’s see maybe I find a blog post after the venue finished to gain an insight in the indian search engine market.

Category: Allgemein     Comments (0)    

40 startups # of the week

While observing my everyday walk-the-blogs in the morning I hit on this list of 38 german startups. I recognized 2-3 startups out of the list which I know from one of those web2.0 events. Actually I think some are missing and the certain services already complained about it by leaving comment on the blog post. What a wonderful transparent blogger world! That is the reason why my title say 40 # of the week instead of 38.

The second destination of my walk-the-blogs hit on TechCrunch as usual. Where they just thrilled announced that TechCrunch20 is converted into TechCrunch40.

After reviewing the 700+ applications that we received from 26 different countries, and after personally interviewing 175+ businesses, we decided that there were just too many strong start-ups to limit the conference format to 20 company presentations. So we […] determined that we could successfully break 40 companies at the conference and still leave room for interesting discussion and debate about new business models and verticals with our expert advisory panel.

T20 aeehhmm 40

Techcrunch2040 will be held on September 17-18 in San Francisco, CA. People from across the globe are attending this conference event. Since today forty out of 700 startups got the chance to announce, present and demo their products over a two day period at TechCrunch2040. The entire event is sponsored by a generous group of corporate sponsors and the startups do not have to pay a single cent for it. They had to pass through a row of interviews with a jury of twenty experts who judge the merit alone. The audience will be integrated into discussions – totally web2.0 like – afterwards until the final judge will be felt . The winner is offered a $50,000 cash award and other in-kind services and awards.

Though, I am really looking forward to T40. The most exiting moment will be when finally a list of the presenting startups will be public. And than compare which one out of the german startup list on blognation is mentioned on that agenda. Won’t be there but would like to – unfortunately i am to far away on the other end of the globe.

No better opportunity of rising attention ? !

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video review on barcampcologne2 & general notes

I liked the following video created by the “Elektrischer Reporter” so much that I decided to post it on my blog, ignoring the fact I didn’t attend this event. But also the facts and figures mentioned in it are quite overwhelming and interesting and amazing.



I summarized some of them for those who are lost with the German language!BarCamp | FooCamp (friends of Oreilly: Tim O’Reilly is the inventor) “foo” also is considered as a wild-card/placeholder within different programming languages.The informal and unforced get together characteristic of BarCamps make people just loving these type of un-conferences.Meeting very nice people who have the same intention to share KNOWLEDGE on a wide variety of political, social and technical internet aspects. There isn’t any stupid questions who can be asked. I talk on my own experience when I first started visiting the so called grassroot-events of the web 2.0 movement. Further, it amazes me how much you can learn from each other by having a nice weekend while listen to panels and discussions. Just dive into new internet issues get a hint what people do in their spare time, what people are amazed or just thinking about, get to meet new people become friends enjoy learning and just keep asking. It reminds me on the Seasam Street and its theme song. “wer, wie, was, – wieso, weshalb, warum – wer nicht fragt bleibt dumm!” (a bad translation: Who, how, why, wherefore and where – if you don’t ask you stay dumb!”) Here you get a taste of Seasam Street and how “people”help each other!



Ok let’s focus on the topic of this article again. People just get crazy about barcamps, that 8 hour after publishing the announcement of registration start already 150 people were registered. If you go to this events to are supposed to take part in an active way. Present or talk about a product, help with the organization, help with blogging about the event or recording panels in audio or video format. It is free of costs for you as a participant. Companies like Thoughtworks, QSC, O’Reilly and a lot of others are supporting the barcampings while are sponsoring the venue facilities, W-lan and other amenities like food & drinks. Thanks! So far, the concept and the intention of barcamps seem really to work out. One of the reasons those barcamps came up was the intention to find an alternative way of participation at conferences and and events. “Professional” conferences like T20, SES Chicago 07 or the Web2.0 EXPO in Berlin are not affordable for students and non-millionaire normal working people. Since barcamps came up they got an alternative and they don’t have to spend tremendously high registration or entry fees and additionally they get sponsored by the same companies like the “professionals” do. Well, I think with this achievement we can say: we fully hit the bull’s eye!9 month ago, the first barcamp in Germany was held. Nobody knew about that un-conferencing thing and the concept of it. The same progress happened with other networking and knowledge sharing events like webmontag, mobilemonday, plogbar, minibar, OpenCoffeeClub and all the meet-ups I don’t know about. They number of barcamps, which were already held exploded, now they take place all around the globe. I think the tipping point is reached – a very interesting book by Malcolm Gladwell by the way.

You really feel the need of people to network, the power of learning and sharing knowledge beside having a good informative time and a few beer together. Shit I missed the beer at barcampcologne2. So far – THE END for today!

Category: creative commons     Comments (2)    

zeitgeisty – a project of creative commons advocates

Regarding the last blog entry and the drawn distinction between Copyright, Creative Commons and the Public domain, I would like to introduce and arise awareness on a German bunch of people who work hard under the name of „zeitgeisty“ on spreading the message about Creative Commons Licenses and explaining their intention not only to the web affine nerdy kind of people also to „off-liner“ – creative people express creativity in paintings, sculptures or photographs.

Zeitgeisty - a creative commons project Zeitgeisty colour

“zeitgeisty” is used as an adjective in the English language and stands for „the spirit of the age“. Zeitgeisty as defined in the German Wiktionary describes the idea of an entire generation or era – the attitude of majority of a society.

Well, it is obvious that the pure restrict copyright isn’t appropriate to the digital age anymore – where copying and changing e.g. pictures and articles is made to quickly and easily. See above the zeitgeisty logo and what I did within 20 seconds to make it clear what i am talking about. The Creative Commons Licenses (CCL) loosen the restrictive boundaries of the copyright by making it directly visibly for the users (just those who already know about CC) what he is allowed to do with the certain ‚creative‘ work and what not. It must not necessarily be a art or creative work also applies to diploma theses, blogs and books. The new division od the CC-Organization is called ccLearn.

The „zeitgeisty“ crew is planning an event similar to the open music contest (unfortunately a German website). The open music contest was held in Marburg organized by a student organization, only for band which publish their songs under a CCL. Zeitgeisty focuses on activities, events and exhibitions where people are interacting in creativity. For example one person takes a photo which will be developed and another person develops it further while using a spay can. Not only photos also paintings and etc. lots of ideas are already popping up in their minds. One thing is important, because they try to reach the off-liner all activities we be detached from computer.

They are still seeking for exhibition premises and also people who share their philosophy of free content and open source lifestyle. It is again the matter of PARTICIPATION.

How the single copyright C can be converted into the more or less open CC license can be found here or here in German.

before_afterwards How C converts to CC

I already started using CCL for this blog, for my diploma thesis – I decided to go for a By- Noncommercial-Share Alike attribution. And wait, I also publish my flickr picture under a CCL.

Category: creative commons     Comments (0)    

free audio books …

LibriVox - the accoustical liberation of books in the public domain

… I just got a ‚for:tohuwabohu‘ hint on where to find free audio books which are recorded by volunteers. The platform is called LibriVox. The goal of the LibriVox community is to make all books which are available under the public domain available as free audio books. (So no lord of the rings or Harry potter) Therefore volunteers read and record chapters of books and upload them afterwards. The audio book recorded by LibriVox volunteers are also directly going into the public domain. They provide RSS feeds to stay tuned on New Releases and Latest News a inconvenient usability.

Their motto is: „We are a totally volunteer, open source, free content, public domain project.“ Regarding this statement the blog is under a creative commons license.

To give a short introduction I try to explain briefly copyright, public domain and creative commons. The copyright are a couple of „exclusive rights“ held by people for their own creative „work“ which can be a form of intellectual or artistic „work“, e. g. text, poems, theses, movies, paintings, music, lyrics, etc. … . Mostly it is limited for a certain period of time which depends on the different laws in the particular country. When the copyright expires after the certain time frame (can be between 70-95 years after the creators death) the „creative Works“ moves into the public domain“. The symbol for copyright is „©“ – i think well known. The copyright is supposed to protect the creator and its „intellectuell property“. So only the copyright holder has the right to copy, reproduce, built derivatives, import, export, display, perform and transmit the work. Also the opportunity to sell or assign the rights itself to other people or institutions is included into the set of exclusive rights.

If a creative work goes into a public domain that means it is free. Who ever wants to can do everything mentioned in the last paragraph above like copy, … . Public domain comprises the „creative works“ in relation to that NO person or other legal entity can establish or maintain proprietary interests. Information and creative works are considered to be part of a common cultural and intellectual heritage, which, in general, anyone may use or exploit, whether for commercial or non-commercial purposes.

Creative commons are something in between.  First they try to make people aware of the copyright and the restricted opportunities with creative works. Second they try to build a balance between the restrict copyright and the border less public domain.

I don’t know yet about the quality but according to a statement of a BBC person: „The list of titles is not as long as I would like, but it is growing all the time and the quality of the recordings is generally very good.“

Well, who is a great reader with a nice voice? Go ahead and participate, you might become famous voice. I’ll go and check out which books are available.

Category: Allgemein, memo     Comments (1)    

Skype outage

Interesting how an outage of the “little” internet service Skype, affects the entire world. Also interesting how I found out about it via another mobile internet push service. When I recognized that Skype isn’t working in Bangalore my first thoughts were that happens here once and a while in consequences of power cuts or internet cuts which are a part of everyday life. After two month India you are used to those circumstances and tough I was fine without Skype because getting angry isn’t worth it and fortunately I am not depended on it in a business manner. After a few minutes the first twitter messages about Skype and its non-connectivity in Germany reached my Indian cell phone. Wahuu, I am surprised in a positive way it isn’t Indians ‘underprivileged’ or better still in-developing-status infrastructures fault. And a few hours’ later also emails from the US with the message that Skype isn’t working – reached me. The internet and its impact in businesses on the entire world is sooooo amazing and fascinating at the same time. A blog posts on TechCrunch shows that other services like the gizmo project and Grand Central gain benefit out of the Skype outage. The Grand  Central Project was just acquired by Google at the beginning of July 07.

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