Friday Post: my twitter use – it is not about bathing your dog

August 14, 2009 Leave a comment

Dave Winer over at wrote today an interesting article about posting on a Friday and transferring the twitter tradition “follow fridays” (link to the article). In combination with his blog post “Scoble, your blog still loves you”, the idea is very appealing to me and made me think about this goal of a weekly blog post. Originally posting once a week was my minimum goal, but when I look into my posting history I am far away from that. There are always reasons to not write a few lines and there is not always a link or a topic at hand to write about or maybe there is, but as it is the same with other tasks, the priority and the space to think and write is not part of my schedule. So lets change this and start now.

Three days ago, I talked with my mum about twitter and facebook and social networking in general, because she stumbled upon the terms and read in the news about and remembered that I am kind of using them. This discussion made me reconsider about my usage of twitter.

Twitter is for me definitely not the person posting about what I am having for lunch, or when I am bathing my dog. Sometimes I do these ego-stuff like hello twitterworld, but very seldom and I am not interested to read such information from others. So what is the sense of using twitter for me?

It is acquiring information and gaining access to knowledge and ideas of others. Twitter is a source of inspiration. Some people post a line for example regarding innovation and this makes me think and point to a certain aspect, that I did not look into so far. As I am currently engaged in innovation policy research, this is an important task for me.

Second I use twitter search extensively and thanks to my seesmic desktop application I can really make use of it. Each search topic gets its own column and I am always up to date on each of the topics. This is my main use of twitter.
It is a information aggregator on topics I am interested.

The third thing I am using twitter to be informed about topics and what others think about it. This is the case with electronic democracy and innovation. I am working in this area and therefore, it is important to me to find people talking and writing about it and again with multiple columns and search I am aware of new post, comments and opinions on various topic.

The fourth application of twitter is posting links and sharing, even my own blog or posterous posts. I am not this publish it on every platform at once type of person, because there is a separation between my facebook, my twitter, my blog and my posterous.

In conclusion, there are various reason why twitter should be there and I am enjoying the four explained applications very much, acquiring knowledge, searching for news and information, searching for people and sharing knowledge and information.


Innovation Policy in Crisis Times

April 7, 2009 Leave a comment

Today I got to know about an interesting initiative of the xprize foundation, because I am subscribed to Jason Calacanis email list. The foundation launched a competition for developing a vehicle that is able to drive a hundred miles with one gallon of gaz. That is approximately 160 kilometers with 3,8 liters of gaz. A few years the vision was to go 100 kilometers with 3 liters. That was the famous 3-Liter Lupo from Volkswagen. The car made it to the streets, but was never sold in proper numbers.

The foundation will award the winner with $10 Million for the development of this car. The interesting point is made by Jason in the email. If you award the top 50 of the proposed solutions with $20 million you provide them with the funds, that are currently used to save the american automobile industry. Of course this argument has downside like all the employees, that could loose their jobs when GM or other are getting bankrupt etc. But the point is remarkable.

What could be done to change the direction of the economy and technological developments, if a government decides to change its investment strategy and focus on innovation and new technology only. The automotive industry is a great example to show the real matter of the crisis. The companies with some environmental friendly and lower consuming cars are the winners. The ones able to meet customer requirements are more likely to survive. The ones not are suffering and asking governments for financial support.

If the government would use the money invested in automotive companies and banks to steer innovation and technological development, it could tremendously fuel innovations and new technology. Economies could gain a new technological momentum and especially the established big western economies could again lead with technological developments.

Competitions and awards are a strong driver for innovations. On the one hand successful developments get money to start the market entrance after the development prooved to be convincing, on the other side there is enough freedom for developers and entrepreneurs to be creative and think out of the box. This is the big difference to control of technological development through the government after receiving government aid. There is less flexibility and a clear focus for direction. Innovation instead needs the freedom and the chaos and the accident as research in all our various research projects on innovation policy at the University of Munich indicates.

Consequently this means, that innovation policy should be inspired by competitions like the xprize foundation offers and provide the entrepreneurs and innovators with freedom and creativity. These awards should have a topic or theme and not only provide money with watering-can, which seems to be often the leading scheme of government innovation policy. The Munich Business Plan Competition is one very successful example. But these initiatives are in the right direction. The money from the several economy recovery and support programs should be more invested in such competitions. The example of the xprize foundation for the future car is showing the way for a creativity fostering approach of innovation policy.

Categories: politics Tags: , ,

New Gmail Interface for iPhone and Android

April 7, 2009 Leave a comment

A few minutes ago Google published through the official Google Mac Blog and the Google Mobile Blog the interface update for iPhone and Android. I m an iPhone user, so the following is only valid for an iphone.

The updated interface looks great, but i did not recognize so much change since the last visit of my gmail account through the iPhone’s browser.In general it looks very good, very slim, reduced to the max and is fast and easy to use. Nothing less than what Google provided me so far with Gmail. Most of the functionality you are used from the gmail-web-interface is now available through the iPhone interface. The only missing function for me so far is “labels”. I can not assign a new label to an email. I can star it, archive it and mark it as read etc. But there is not a function to label emails. Which is important for me.

The new update includes now the handling of Google calendar through the same interface. The switch between calendar and mail is easy and fast, too. You can switch to Documents and more, too. It seems to me, that with the new interface Google launched a substitute for the Google app, which was available for the iPhone before.

As gmail is working with the in-built mail application very well, too, there is no need for me to switch so far. A proper calendar functionality could be interesting, but still the in-built interfaces are more appreciated from my side. With the software BusySync from BusyMac I can connect my google calendar to ical and then sync it over mobile me with the iphone over the air. Which is a pretty decent setup so far.

Categories: blog Tags:

Jetzt hat es uns voll erwischt – wir sind im Wahlkampf

April 6, 2009 Leave a comment

Deutschland steht ein Superwahljahr bevor. Im Juni die Wahlen zum Europaparlament, teilweise sind Kommunalwahlen sowie Landtagswahlen angesetzt und dann im September der Höhepunkt mit der Bundestagswahl. Und wir Bürgerinnen und Bürger sind jetzt nun nicht nur mit den Auswirkungen der Krise beschäftigt, sondern dürfen uns auch noch als Adressaten der wahlkämpfenden Politikerinnen und Politiker fühlen, die sich unsere Stimme bei einer der kommenden Wahlen sichern wollen. Und dieser Wahlkampf hat uns jetzt ebenso voll erwischt, wie die Krise. Gott sei Dank gibt es die Krise, weil jetzt sind wir alle so beschäftigt, dass wir keine Zeit haben uns über die Wahlversprechungen und Ideen für die kommende Wahlperiode Gedanken zu machen und eine kritische Debatte über die Inhalte unsere Repräsentantinnen und Repräsentanten zu führen.

Woran wir erkennen, dass wir uns mitten im Wahlkampf befinden? Unsere Politikerinnen und Politiker beginnen sich um jeden Preis mit äußerst interessanten Ideen und Aussagen, sowie Publikationen in der Öffentlichkeit hervorzutun. Da ist unsere Übermutter, Supernanny der Nation und Schutzpatronin aller Kinder und Familien Ursula von der Leyen, die durch die Unterbindung von Sozialen Netzwerken und Microbloggingplattformen versucht der Kinderpornografie den Garaus zu machen und durch ein Verbot von Killerspielen Amokläufe unterbinden möchte. Eigentlich muss Frau von der Leyen richtig dankbar für den Amoklauf von Winnenden und die Kinderpornografievorwürfe gegen den Bundestagsabgeordneten Tauss sein. Das ist besser als jeder Spindoktor und Kommunikationsberater es hätte planen können. Beides sind Themen, die sich über Schlagzeilen einfach vermitteln lassen und die in der Öffentlichkeit Aufmerksamkeit bekommen. Ich möchte hier nicht die Schlechtigkeit des einen sowie des anderen in Abrede stellen und bin der Meinung, dass beide Verbrechertypen verachtenswert und mit aller Härte zu verfolgen sind. Diese Themen jedoch zu missbrauchen und vor den Wahlkampfkarren zu spannen, ist genauso verachtenswert.

Die neuesten Vorschläge der letzten Woche beinhalteten unter anderem ein Verbot von Microbloggingdienste wie Twitter in Deutschland, denn sie sind angeblich die Hauptkommunikationskanäle für diverse Verbrecher und Gewalttäter. Und außerdem sind diese Dienste für einen Großteil der Bevölkerung nutzlos und reine Zeitverschwendung. Kinder vom Computer fernhalten ist also die Devise unserer Familienministerin. So verhindern wir Verbrechen, wie sie in Winnenden begangen worden sind und stellen sicher, dass Kinder nicht selbst gewaltätig oder Opfer von Gewalt werden, ebenso stellen wir aber sicher, dass die jüngeren Generationen gegen ihre internationalen Wettbewerber aus anderen Ländern im Bereich Informations- und Kommunikationstechnologie nachstehen werden. Sehr weitsichtig und nachhaltig und nebenbei beerdigen wir auch die deutsche Informations- und Kommunikationstechnologieindustrie, wie das Beispiel Quimonda deutlich veranschaulicht.

Interessant ist es, dass keinerlei Vorschläge und Ideen wie Eltern, Lehrer und Kinder selbst mit neuen Medien umgehen sollen, auf die Tagesordnung kommen. Es ist also besser zu verbieten, als einen geschulten und nachhaltigen Umgang der Kinder mit neuen Medien sicherzustellen. Wozu auch. Das sollen sie dann selbst lernen, denn Lehrer und Eltern sind überfordert und selten in der Lage, den Umgang beispielsweise mit sozialen Netzwerken und anderen Diensten adäquat und umfassend zu erklären sowie Kinder darüber aufzuklären, wie sie sich in den virtuellen Welten verhalten sollen und dass es möglicherweise nicht sinnvoll ist, gewisse Fotos und Informationen der Öffentlichkeit zu zeigen. Teilweise reicht es schon, einfach mal diese Tatsache anzusprechen, wie ich aus eigener Erfahrung weiß.

Genau an dieser Stelle wird deutlich: wir sind mitten im Wahlkampf angekommen. Die Nachhaltigkeit der Konzepte ist nicht mehr von Bedeutung, es geht um die Aufmerksamkeit der Bevölkerung. Diese erhalten unsere werten Repräsentanten und Repräsentantinnen durch simplifizierende Aussagen, die in der Lage sind Massen zu bewegen, weil sowohl die Massen als auch ihre Verteterinnen und Vertreter keine Ahnung über die technischen, rechtlichen, gesellschaftlichen und politischen Möglichkeiten und Herausforderungen der neuen Medien haben. Es fehlt an den Grundlagen, aber darüber reden kann Mann oder Frau ja auch ohne Kenntnisse. Die wirklich wichtigen Themen werden nicht angesprochen. Welche schlüssigen Konzepte für den Weg aus der Krise wurden bisher vorgestellt? Eines war die Abwrackprämie, ein anderes die Mittelstandsinnovationsinitiative ZiM, aber das größte und finanzkräftigste war die Stützung der Banken und der Autoindustrie. Beide sind ausgewiesene Zukunftsindustrien, die unsere nachfolgenden Generationen und unseren Planeten in den nächsten 50-100 Jahren prägen werden. Wo sind die Konzepte und Ideen für ein geeintes, kulturell vielfältiges Europa und wo die Ideen für die Sicherheitspolitik des 21. Jahrhunderts? Es gäbe viel zu tun für unsere gewählten Vertreterinnen und Vertreter, aber lieber fordern diese die Sperrung des Dienstes Twitter, der gerade sich gerade erst in Deutschland ausbreitet.

Wir sind also mittendrin im Wahlkampf und das geht nun die nächsten 5 Monate so.

A handy guide to prepare for conferences (Chris Brogan)

March 16, 2009 Leave a comment

Chris Brogan is providing a handy guide on how to prepare for a conference. The 27 points include some new stuff and some obvious things. The obvious things are the ones more often forgotten and the experience with my students prooves this.

Check out the list @Chris blog:

Categories: blog Tags: ,

Eddie Izzard on Genocide – avery different perspective

March 15, 2009 Leave a comment, a great blog on international law and politics, posted this video from Eddie Izzard (Original post on by Michelle from Stop Genozide).

As Kevin said: Watch it!

Information, Knowledge and politics of technological development

March 15, 2009 Leave a comment

In a recent article of Miriam Meckel commenting on the information and communication behaviour of the pope in the williamson affair I found a great quote of Marice Curie: “Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.”

On March 12th the Internet celebrated its 20th birthday and Tim Berners-Lee, the founder of the Internet, gave a speech at the TED conference 2009 in February about the future development of the Internet and the way it is used. He sees the web of the future as a web of data, that is connected and combined by the users in the way he/she needs it. Data is the source of the web. But the usage of data has two pre-conditions.

  1. The data must be made available and
  2. Users have to able to make use of the information.

These two requirements share one common fundament. Knowledge about the use of data and information about what is happening with the provided data. Especially the last point is creating a lot of negative and denying opinions about the web and the stored data. One current example is the public information about the introduction of internet voting in Austria. The same is repeatedly valid regarding the services of Google and other service providers on the internet. Most of these opinions are relying on wrong or missing information.

This brings me back to the quote of Marie Curie. To understand technology information is required, but we must be able to attain information and generate knowledge out of it. The internet allows us, the users, to get information by ourselfs. Consequently it could increase the independence of each individual and could change the public sphere (as Habermas described it). The vision of the internet should still be the self-informing individual accessing various information and knowledge. But information and knowledge in the internet are some sort of data, that was made available by other individuals.

Therefore we first have to make data available. There is not a single source of information, each participants is one. Each word in blogs, each presentation, each piece of music is a part of the this data web, that Tim Berners-Lee envisions as the future. The users ask questions about security of personal and business data, its usage and the control of it. Most mistakes with information on the web results of lacking knowledge about these important question. Data needs to be secured and available at the same time. This is the challenge of the collaborative web. One possible solution for bridging this gap of knowledge seems for me the political or public institutions. The task is information and certain common rules. This solution has three cornerstones.

  1. Education and information of citizens, especially the following young generations
  2. Common accepted and implemented regulations on copyright and re-use of provided data
  3. A political environment capable of early adopting technology and willing to shape its development

A global system of minimal copyrights could be the first step to open and secure data exchange, but this should not require a user to consult a copyright lawyer. Creative Commons is one great solution for this challenge and it should be used for any data provided on the internet.

Education is in most countries a task of national or regional authorities. Todays education must include media education. Helping yound people to deal with new technology and make use of it instead of not understanding and fearing it. This also requires teachers capable of providing this information.

A political symbol could be the installation of a high-ranked representative for media and information and communication technology. Almost every government has a member responsible for agriculture or education, but in many administration an authority for information and communication technology is missing. This could enable the providing of information and knowledge on new technology, reduce the fear through understanding and shape the development of technology according to social, civil and political requirements.