media, web 2.0

Besser spät als nie.

Kaum dreieinhalb Jahre nachdem ich meiner Schwester, die damals am Journalistischen Seminar der Uni Mainz einen Masterstudiengang absolvierte, den Vorschlag machte, doch zumindest im Rahmen ihres “online-publishing”-Seminars zu bloggen (oder den Vorschlag zumindest weiterzureichen), und fast zwei Jahre nach Lyssas Blog-Vorlesung am Gutenbergplatz hat nun auch das Journalistische Seminar der Uni Mainz ein Blog

Naja, besser spät als nie. Sollte sich jemand von dort hier her verirren – ein paar einleitende Worte zu Blogs und der journalistischen Ausbildung finden sich hier.

media, web 2.0

Nieman Report Winter 2006: “Goodbye Gutenberg”

The Nieman Center for Journalism at Harvard University recently published the Nieman report Winter 2006 edition . and it’s called Goodbye Gutenberg.

This is a must read, of course, not least because their treatment on blogging and journalism in the fall of 2003 was the first serious take on the issue and that, hailing from Mainz like Gutenberg himself, I can’t exactly agree with the title…

Interestingly, they have also renounced to a pdf-version of the current report, while all back issues are available as such.

media, US Politics

Try to say it fast: Iranian Uranium…


(27/01/2007) Of course, Jon Stewart did not let this go through without commenting. Check the videos on

Supposedly, CNN stands for cable NEWS network. That of course is not just a slight euphemism in the case of the video linked to below, which Edward Hugh just sent to the afoe mailing list: Wolf Blitzer manages to spend almost 9 minutes with US vice president Dick Cheney without getting *any* answer. I think by now we can all agree that Cheney is a phenomenon – he may have stopped just doing the Rove thing, you know, creating a reality for everyone else to believe in. He may have actually started to live in his own world. On the other hand, he may just know very well that he can shoot a man in the face without any consequence, so shooting down a lonely Wolf doesn’t seem too big a deal.

But the Wold tried to bite back: Mary, Cheney’s lesbian daughter is apparently pregnant, and I think that Cheney managed to largely keep her out of politics and the “family values” faction of his constituency off his back throughout Bush’s presidency, throughout all the “gay marriage” shebang, is remarkable from a communications point of view, and likely one of the few things he could be congratulated for. So when Wolf Blitzer called Cheney on his “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy by asking him to comment on a “familiy values” group’s statement regarding the upbringing of children out of heterosexual wedlock, he lost his cool – but only a little.

It’s an interesting document to watch though, not least because we learn that Iranian Uranium isn’t just a complicated foreign policy issue: Try to say it fast, it’s not that easy – “Iranian Uranium Iranian Uranium Iranian Uranium Iranian Uranium Iranian Uranium…”

compulsory reading, media, web 2.0

Deutsche Journalisten und das Internet…

Bei Fabian Mohr (Notebook | Online Journalismus) findet sich eine überaus interessante Diskussion über das Verhältnis von – sich selbst offenbar als angehende Elitejournalisten wahrnehmenden – Studenten der Deutschen Journalistenschule zu Onlinemedien im allgemeinen und zu Blogs im speziellen. Eine Diskussion, die das Verhätnis von – deutschen – Journalisten und Verlagen zu Onlinemedien vielleicht besser charakterisiert, als so manche quantitative Erhebung. Sieh da – Blogs, eine Quelle für schwache, aber bedeutende Signale. Fabian Mohr berichtet aus erster Hand –

“Sie lesen eigentlich keine Blogs. Blogs finden sie Scheiße. Mit Blogs verdient man kein Geld. Im Internet ist 99 Prozent Dreck. …”

Mal sehen, wie lange diese Einstellung sich noch hält – denn einer von denen, bei denen die zukünftige schreibende Elite vermutlich gerne arbeiten würde (ja, auch ein Praktikum wäre toll…), Bernd Kundrun, seines Zeichens Vorstandsvorsitzender der Gruner + Jahr AG, dürfte, zumindest offiziell, nicht mehr so begeistert sein von solchen Ansichten. Laut Branchenblog sagte Kundrun am vergangenen Donnerstag der Werbe- und PR-Fachzeitschrift W&V

“Es wird notwendig sein, in den nächsten zehn Jahren das Berufsbild des Journalisten schrittweise neu zu definieren. Die bisherige Vorgehensweise ‘Ich besitze den Content und Du konsumierst ihn’ wird sich ändern in Richtung “Ich lenke, strukturiere und produziere, aber Du bist eingeladen, mir dabei behilflich zu sein.”

Auch wenn das eigentlich eine Debatte ist, die zumindest theoretisch schon mal Mitte der neunziger Jahre abgehandelt wurde (“daily me”, irgendwer?), erscheint die Aussage angesichts der erkennbaren Resistenz dysfunktionaler Rationalitätsmythen irgendwie revolutionär.

Glücklicherweise ist das Erkenntnisziel gar nicht so schwer erreichbar – wie Wolfgang Harrer mit seinem Kommentar beweist.

“Die Trennlinie ist also nicht Old Media vs. New Media oder gar Blogger vs. Journalist. Die Trennlinie ist Qualität vs. Schrott; und diese Trennlinie hat erstaunlich wenig damit zu tun, ob ein Autor für seine Arbeit bezahlt wird oder nicht.”

Und was fehlt noch an dieser Stelle? Ganz klar – der Link zum Qualitätsblog. Und der schücherne Hinweis auf die Tatsache, daß der Tausendkontaktpreis dort gerade mal ein sechzigstel dessen beträgt, was bei Spiegel Online International zu zahlen ist…

media, web 2.0

Yesterday’s news today…

Sure, search engines are a great tool to prestructure the ever increasing amount of information available out there. But if you ever wondered if there will always be humans involved in selecting and presenting news, here’s a preliminary answer – yesterday’s news became news again:

The SEO Blog: Google News Credibility Foiled By 15-Year Old

“Reading through SEO focused blog entries, Vandetta found an article that explained how to fool Google’s news system by writing fake press releases. Sensing an opportunity to experiment and play a joke on his friends, the self-described “Google fanboy” decided to see what would happen if he submitted a fake Google press release claiming the 15-year old New Jersey student was Google’s youngest employee.

The press release was issued through the free service I-Newswire and contained a number of spelling mistakes. Short and to the point, the release, which appeared to have been sent by a Google spokesperson Sonya Johnson (who’s actually existence is unconfirmed and is assumed to be imaginary), read:

“(I-Newswire) – 15 year old student, Tom Vendetta has been hired by search engine giant Google Inc. The student will receive a lowered salary, which will be placed into a bank account for future education, said Google CEO Larry Page. When asked what role Vendetta will play at the Tech Giant’s offices, Page said he wouldnt have a role at the Main Offices. Instead he would work from his home in the New Jersey suburbs. Vendetta will be incharge of working with recent security flaw’s in Google’s beta e-mail service, “Gmail”. Google said they first found out about him when they discovered the student’s blog, at The media giant said they looked forward to working with Vendetta’s expertise in JavaScript and AJAX.”

A few hours after posting the fake press release, Vandetta logged into the news search tool Digg after receiving an automated email from MAKEBot (Digg’s Spider), to find his practical joke had become a credible international tech story. Google was even displaying reference to the press release in Google News and at in the news results placed above search results relating to Google employment or hiring.

almost a diary, media, photoblogging

Maillot Jaune

Alright, it was a strange thing to do on a Sunday – get up at seven in the morning only to make a fool of oneself in a strangely popular “family oriented” tv programme – the “ZDF Fernsehgarten” (literally “tv garden”).

The Fernsehgarten is a show that has been running for 19 years, essentially without any format changes, and it is thus one of the very few programmes to weather the effect of audience fragmentation. They still show it all: In today’s show there was the latest German Idol, Dante Thomas (Miss California), Luka, a Brazilian singer who had a surprise hit single last year, and whose manager and I somehow thought we attended the same party on New Year’s Eve 1999, as well as Kristina Bach, a German Schlager singer, Riverdance, and an army big band. Maybe that is all just fine – given that Sunday morning may well be the only time that families are having a relaxed breakfast together. Therefore, on any given Sunday between May and September about two million people switch the telly on to watch Andrea Kiewel announce a line up very similar to the one above.

The key to understanding today’s show’s theme was the current major sports event on this continent, Le Tour de France. Given the now epic struggle between Lance Armstrong and Jan Ullrich for the Maillot Jaune, the show’s producers deemed it appropriate to organise a tribute by having their very own “Tour de Fernsehgarten”.

As usual with these things, the casting process was a bit more more random than anyone would imagine, and so it came that I wound up as part of the “Team Ullrich” in this Sunday’s show.

Maybe it bodes well for Mr Ullrich that we beat the team Armstrong by a margin of 300m over a distance of almost 55km. So, courtesy of the ZDF web site, I present you with a few photos of my Sunday morning effort…

media, oddly enough


The world is full of strange people. Sometimes even stranger ones. And then some who have no moral standards at all, like, say, Mr Dutroux, currently on trial in Belgium for the kidnapping, raping, and killing of several young girls.

Sad as this is, I think it is important to realize that the word in-human is actually an oxymoron when it comes to malice – for every human beauty there is a human beast, for every Dr. Jekyll, a Mr Hyde lurks behind the corner.

But however much a realistic view of humanity can help deal with the usually sad reality – how on earth could CNN classify a report about the seemingly serious attempt by an evidently as ill-natured as stupid German couple to sell the woman’s eight year old daughter as a ‘technology’ story simply because the man put a photograph of the child on ebay?

In my book, that in itself is so strange it warrants a report.

compulsory reading, intellectual property rights, media, web 2.0

Blogs are really different.

To those who haven’t yet had the opportunity to read about Loic LeMeur’s efforts in bringing together the loose ends of the Germanic blogosphere, I say – do so.

When I went to meet him and some other bloggers I had never seen or even heard of before, I was not too sure what to expect beyond a pint of wheat beer. But what developed were indeed very intristing debates about the future -as we develop it.


Happy Birthday. And Godspeed.

What did Baz Luhrman sing back in 1999? “… in twenty years from now, you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked.”

Well, actually, today’s birthday kid, the Apple MacIntosh has been holding up pretty well despite having seen some stormy weather.

Age wise, people are far more likely to suffer from malign geriatric symptoms. I guess that’s why it’s probably a good thing that most of the “Friends” will finally move out the Central Perk an get on with their lives. Now their fans will finally have time to think of their own future on Tursday evenings. Well, maybe…

The last episode was shot on Friday under heightenend security to avoid plot leaks. But guess what – as CNN reports naively, entirely disregarding the incentives of strategic PR – “if Washington can leak, so can Hollywood.”

So what’s it all about? In the end, it seems like it’s Ross and Rachel, and twins for Chandler and Monica, no word about Phoebe but Joey will get his shot to become the friends’ “Frasier”. His spin-off “Joey” will initially get the Friends slot on NBC next autumn. I’m not sure about Joey “How you doin'” Tribbiani’s ability to carry an entire show, especially since his roel in friends was far more prominent than Frasier’s in “Cheers”. But then again, what else could Matt LeBlanc ever play again???

Oh wait, he could play Joey in the next part of “Charlie’s Angels”

Iraq, media, US Politics

Civilisation? What’s going on at the Economist…?

I can’t read Economist premium content online these days, so I have to rely on Brad Delong’s quote from this week’s Lexington (US politics) column –

“Bush-hatred is now something that civilised people wear as a badge of honour…”

Who would have thought that the day would come where a common adversary would make the Economist write talking points for Michael Moore. Maybe unusual times do require unusual measures – I wonder if anyone from the Economist helped topple the W effigy on Trafalgar Square today…