Facebook to grant TV and news access to demographic data and analytics


The Verge talks about how Facebook grants TV networks and news sites access to better demographic data on postings.

"Specifically, the Public Feed API lets you see a real-time firehose of public posts mentioning a specific word. The Keyword Insights API, on the other hand, aggregates all the public posts mentioning a specific word and spits out anonymous stats about the age, location, and gender of the users posting updates. The tools are designed to help news networks capitalize on responses to current events, but also to understand audience metrics and engagement for their own primetime programming."
Facebook grants TV networks and news sites backdoor access to its audience data

Given how much effort Twitter has put into TV with its media relation program, Facebook might be late to the game but will at least give Twitter a run for the ad dollars. Up until now, TV shows always where talking about hashtags, tweets or “seen on twitter” but rarely about “I put it on facebook”. Maybe because tweeting is a word and facebooking is not?

We should not forget the third in the bunch, Google Plus. The updates may not be there, making some people believe it is a failure, but these people forget that Google runs Youtube, Android and Google Analytics. This does not only mean they have much better data all round, but also way more experience than both Twitter and Facebook in data mining such results. In any case, this will be interesting to watch.

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Leweb’12 – a few more of my favorite things …


LeWeb - Register Now!For the last few years, Leweb marks the end of the year for many, and is a great way to meet tons of internationally minded Europeans in one Spot. Some quick links to help you prepare.


I am very happy to be on board again with the official blogger program which this year has more diversity than ever before. As much as I really don’t like Paris, I am always very keen on meeting other Europeans. Which is the main reason to make this trip: If I just would be interested in the sessions, I could watch the live stream and participate through Twitter. But meeting people IRL is what this is all about. And for that I even take Paris. ;)

In the past I have done preconf interviews with mainly speakers, but this year I decided to have a closer look at this year’s “Internet of things” theme. I’ll be looking around to connect with startups from that sphere to get some input on what they are doing, and will try to record some ideas from the audience about what this means for them.

Besides that I am more than happy to talk about Berlin, the city I finally managed to move to this year. ;) A vibrant city, with lots of international visitors and residents, tons of startups and people who want to build stuff. Well worth a coffee to talk about it!

Get started and meeting people

  • Use the right twitter search: if you use the mobile app, you might use the search term leweb OR leweb12 to catch all infos for this event. Problem is: you will only see the top tweets through the mobile application or mobile web site. Better use this search on the web site to see all results for this specific search.
  • Make sure to get the Leweb App: For iphone / ipad and for Android it provides the agenda, link to speakers and simple access to the twitter feed for leweb.
  • Get to know the place: As soon as you are on site, familiarize yourself with the different areas so you know where to go when you want to meet people.
  • Mobile Presdo: Leweb is using Presdo again to connect attendees, and you should bookmark their mobile site m.presdo.com.I am not sure if this is just the people at Leweb this year or also last years data in it (my profile was prefilled but that just might be good thinking). This will also be helpful to follow up with folks, so remember to add an option to contact you there.
  • Follow them on twitter: If you find somebody interesting, follow them on twitter so they can DM you back.
  • Have look at the list of official bloggers. Coming from all over the continent, these are typical connectors into their respective countries. And head by the blogger lounge to meet some of them. Be careful though not to just come with a bad pitch. ;)
  • Probably a nice app, let’s you check who of your twitter friends is going: http://whosatleweb.com/
    (cannot tell you if that works, it crashed on my number of connections)
  • What else is happening? Check the siliconstudents overview of events.

More quick tips

  • Don’t know where to go and eat something?
    My distaste for french cusine is probably well known, but that does not mean that I cannot enjoy seeing others have some of that. To help you out, Madleen over at the SalesForce blog has put together a nice Guide LeWeb 2012: A Paris Restaurant Guide from Social Media Crowdsourcing”
  • Android only: Save a local version of Google Maps for Paris
    Given that most people will be coming from outside without a data plan, this is a neat trick to figure out where you have to go. Open up the Google Maps app, go setting and say ‘download for offline use’
  • Sync the program offline: Save it to your pda because chances are, the wifi will be problematic.
  • Have coins: If you are coming to and from CDG via public transport, make sure to have several credit cards with you or just take coins (coins, not bills) to get your ticket for the train. If you don’t have that, go directly to the office of transportation close to the machines.
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Wondering what “Team Radian” is counting at the #olympics …


Supposedly the Americans are crushing it when it comes to using social media during the Olympics. As Mashable reports:

The United States so far is winning the Olympics in both the physical and digital worlds, according to Radian6′s findings, with 43 total medals and more than 15 million social mentions. Great Britain is second in social mentions at about 3 million, exceeding its fourth-place medal performance to date. The chart below shows the top 10 countries for Olympic-themed social mentions so far.

While I do believe that the Americans go more crazy about the Olympics than other nations, I would have a simple question for ‘team radian’:

What are actually the hash tags and words you are researching?

This one probably being one of the first problems:
(One quick disclaimer: the data monitors mostly English-language shares, with obviously has impacts results.)

I would be fine if the titles would have included that “English speaking” but of course that is not as sexy a message. But it explains why Americans athletes are top of the list with
“600,000 social mentions that also included Olympic keywords” – Germans for example do not use Olympics with or without hash tag, but f.e. Olympia, London, London2012, Spiele.

(Interesting: searching for the word Olympia on twitter gives results like Olympics – good job on twitters side. )

The number for UK alone should make you think twice

As to the report, the UK ‘only’ has about 3 million mentions. Hm. The UK currently goes absolutely bonkers about their home games. They even cause problems in the mobile networks “Olympics 2012: Twitter users blamed for disrupting BBC’s cycling coverage”

The BBC blamed the Olympic Broadcasting Service (OBS) for the lack of information which left commentator Chris Boardman using his own watch to estimate timings. But the International Olympic Committee said fans sending updates to Twitter while watching the race had in effect jammed transmissions of race information.

(Tip: You can prioritize messages on the mobile networks …)

Despite those failures, the BBC pushes Twitter heavily in their broadcasts and even more the Term “Team GB”. Search for “Team GB” on twitter and you will notice that most people do not use a hash tag but just the words. Next have a look at the TeamGB twitter account:


Half a million followers – but we are to believe that UK people ‘only’ tweeted and mentioned ~3 mio times in total? That linked Youtube account above with predominantly GB oriented content has a million views alone.

Oh and the most favorite athlete to make it even to the list of all time? Tom Daley, a UK diver from the 10 meter board has ~175K mentions, that would be about 6% of the overall UK traffic. Cycler and 5x Gold winner Chris Hoy has 200k followers. Tennis pro Andy Murray has a million.

Do Americans tweet more?

I absolutely believe that in total the US does more tweeting, youtubing, facebooking in general. But even just looking at these imo flawed numbers, let’s compare it to total population:

Country Amount of Traffic % of population
US 15 million 4,81%
UK 3 million 5,10%


According to this report, there are 10 million twitter users in the UK. Come to think of it, radian6 collects this data:

Its data takes into account a total of more than 150 million sources including Twitter, Facebook, blogs, YouTube and message boards.

With this amount of data collection and that amount of crazyness through social media – do I really believe that the US has only 15 million social mentions of the Olympics either?!

I like you radian, but unless you fix the flaws, please stop making such reports

I had a look at Radian 2 years ago and while I liked their crawler mechanism, I found their reporting and analysis to be extremely lacking. Not so much a fan of the interface – I usually introduce radian6 as “pretty klickibunti interface for agencies who need shiny pictures – to be taken with lot of grains of salts but the database it good”.

But it is reports like this which make me even more suspicious of the numbers if simple analysis shows you that there is something not matching up. And if this simple stuff is not adding up – what else are they doing wrong?.

It is the “light bulb airplane test”: If your airplane has broken light bulbs which simply can be replaced or other ‘simple’ things are not done in maintenance – how secure do you feel with the rest of the airplane? Or if you like rock music more: the Van Halen brown M&M test.

The contract rider read like a version of the Chinese Yellow Pages because there was so much equipment, and so many human beings to make it function. So just as a little test, in the technical aspect of the rider, it would say”Article 148:There will be fifteen amperage voltage sockets at twenty-foot spaces, evenly, providing nineteenamperes . . .”This kind of thing. And articlenumber 126,in the middle of nowhere, was: “There will be no brown M&M’s in the backstage area, upon pain of forfeiture of the show, with full compensation.”

So, when I would walk backstage, if I saw a brown M&M in thatbowl . . .well, line-check the entire production. Guaranteed you’re going to arrive at a technical error. They didn’t read the contract. Guaranteed you’d run into a problem. Sometimes it would threaten to just destroy the whole show. Something like, literally, life-threatening.

Just like the M&M test, we do a simple test for probability – and if the result is the equivalent of brown M&Ms, the recommendations for clients in the future sadly still will be “good tool for the data but you cannot trust the shiny pictures …”

Now if you excuse me, I have to start my VPN tunnel so I can enjoy the good coverage and excellent video player of the BBC.

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Your passion should be the core of your motivation – but that does not mean it is enough


tl;dr: Finding your true passion should be on top of your todo list. Yet it does not mean applying it blindly to everything around you, especially if you are a startup. It needs to be put into perspective and like any talent, you need to feed it and train it.

Christoph Raethke has written a good post over at Venture Village "The sweet poison of the internet: why following your passion is bad for business".  I am picking out one specific part of it, his notion of “you need to steer people away from their passion” to something more manageable. I disagree with this. 

Now, I naturally can’t say that none of them will succeed in building a sustainable business. But it is much, much more unlikely than in sound, profitable and maybe less passion-inspiring industries. Which is why, and that’s the main message here, more people need to eschew the “P” word and, when talking to somebody passionately wanting to set up music startup X, sports app Y, or foodie portal Z, steer him away from sweet poison. And mentor the guy not on how to best put his idea into practice, but on letting it go and focus his passion on something that might actually work.

Is passion necessary to thrive and should it be encouraged? Absolutely. But you need to understand what the core of your passion is and how to apply that to a market you researched properly. And complement yourself with people in the areas of expertise you are not good at.

The standard model is the artist, also mentioned in the piece. The problem is not that musicians per se are starving. The problem is that some of them plain suck at business. In the very old days you had a mäzen, a sponsor. They paid you and you did what you where good at. Or you got a business manager. You created and they looked out for you business wise. They usually where bad at what you where doing and that is fine – because you did not hire them to be another artist.

The second is not putting in the work.
To only want the glamorous parts but not doing the basics and covering the bases.  I love the part of the presentation of Sascha Pallenberg given 2-3 years ago at republica. "Who here wants to earn money with their blog? All of you? Good. Who here works 7-8 hours on their blog? Some, okay. Per day? Well, that is the reason you are not earning money."

Again, not something you have to do yourself, it is better to hire and outsource this. And for that, no matter how passionate you are, you need to be able to manage people and skills as well as projects for this to run successful. Or again hire somebody who does it for you. This is the moment you should ask yourself that if you got an assistant today to work, could you hand over your startup mail box or is that your personal mail box as well?

Not taking care of the business side in a case of inflated ego and "oh but I am so smart I know what to do" is one part of the problem in startup land. (Not taking care of the necessary technical skills another.) Planning, processing, budgeting are part of that too. Managing growth is another area.

The third part is looking at your competition.
I can decide today, that I want to be a <insert your favorite sport here> and go for the olympics 2016. I cannot see any sport on that list where I would have even a simple chance except being a spectator to participate in the next olympics. It does not matter if you are the umpteenth startups for topic X, if you are better than the rest, you will succeed.

And that includes functionality. I call that the airbag problem. If you come out with a new car today which does not have airbags, it does not fly to say "oh we are not there yet, but we may provide that in the future". The market has decided they want airbags, so if you present a new car, that is the expected minimum.

The fourth part is the available market and what people are willing to pay for.
The mentioned music example does not mean that music is not a business – there are enough people who earn money with their music. It is just not everybody.  "We don’t like paypal we rather go with X" is fine – but then you need to realize that people are not willing to go to you because your ease of use is not there. Don’t have paypal? Well, this is the reason rise of start-ups bc or social logins.

People do not want to have yet another login, they want to login with their facebook account. Your designer does not like the look of that? Well, putting in yet another registration is not the price the customer is willing to pay.

"Money is earned where need has buying power"

A passion is not your current and only startup, a passion is a thing you cannot do without in your daily life. It is something you always go back to, how you see the world around you.

And if your startup idea does not make you successful although you put in the work and effort, then you maybe should put in more effort into figuring out how your passion full fills a need in the market.

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Why it is no surprise writers hate pinterest.


tl;dr: writer dismisses pinterest as a waste of time which is not surprising because she is a writer. But she is hurting women’s interest with this piece more than pinterest does.

This morning, I found a link in a fb group on Pinterest from the “American Circus” site: “Pinfatuation: The Trouble With Curated Femininity

That was nice to read. She is a writer, a good one. But that is the same reason why it is no wonder what the sentiment of the article is – and why that was already clear after the first few sentences.

“A user can create her own page, thereby bravely expressing desires and wishes and images that will surely face some kind of judgment from followers, but in a way that requires no real thought, action. Instead of writing about our feelings or expressing them through art or (God forbid) conversation, we now have the freedom to express ourselves through the simple action of pinning What We Want.”

While on a surface look this is more of a guilty pleasure piece, this quote is what this is mainly about. “Pinterest is not a real use of time. Pinterest connections cannot be real”


Do you go through daily life and ‘express everything through art and conversation’? No you don’t. ‘Journalists’ as a type of users are the ones who hated twitter with their breathing soul because it limited them to 140 characters and nobody can express themselves through a pin – excuse me, tweet. And condemned it as a useless waste of time.  Writers are in a similar league.

I would not mind if it said “i cannot see how somebody else can do this” but it says ‘nodody can do something useful with it’. This is a limited world view you are happy to have – but don’t try to enforce it on others.

I am not exaggerating when I say “I have been fighting against this kind of argument since I got my first computer in ’84 and wanted my friend to use it too’. “Nobody can do something useful with a computer. With a network. With the internet. With this web thing. With this ecommerce thing. With a blog. With a twitter. With a facebook. With mobile.  With Siri. With Google Glasses”.

And second life, the other favorite? Look up texts from the 60s on what they describe as being possible in a virtual world and try to see if you can see the connection to augmented reality combined with what google glasses is doing with what minority report is still promising us to do. Then maybe you are also capable of seeing the connection this has to gaming and the tools used like kinnect – and what motion sensors will do to our lives.

It is the reason why PR professionals proudly tell me “oh we don’t recommend this to our customers, this is not what we think is good’ and others “Nobody needs this, so I am not doing that”.

It is also the reason I have a job consulting professionally since ’98 on this and if I would not have a donna quichotta mentality I would be in an crazy house by now. Because we go through this every – freaking – single time something new comes along. It is the reason why I know the gist of her text from that quote above. Been there, done that. Oh so many times. Only to be told years later that maybe there was something where I was not completely off …

It is a believe I challenge with every customer. People are different. What they want is different. You need to be able to go outside of what _you_ think is right, what you believe is good.

What the author of this article in her blindness does not see is simply this: Never before (and no, not even with tumblr) have women used social media tools to connect with one another. Frankly put: Most women do not understand how to connect / promote / act online to get results. They do however like to complain about the old boys clubs. (They partly got the thing with the mommy sphere right)

Tumblr is more for little girls (and people who think it is  cool not realizing the trouble you have to go through to have it outfitted even with basic standards of a blog …) but Pinterst is there for all the craft bloggers, the school teachers, the foodies.

You can critique all you want on this tool and there are many areas of where it has problems or is ‘simple’. The fact that this amount of traffic is happening should have been a clue for her to look for the social relevance of “oh just another person doing pictures of things their kids should do”.

She could have found that the old ways of communication in the village and the big family where you learn from each other have been replaced by a network of people helping each other to learn. The point of pinterest is not the pretty pictures. It is the blog of the woman describing how to use the mason jars in explicitly detail, becoming a producer, showing of her skills. Getting recognition by likes and pins first, then moving on (if she likes) to being paid to do what she likes. In areas where there might not be otherwise jobs she can move the the virtual world. And a s mommy with no time she can use those 15 min a day to escape, connect with others. Who have the same questions, the same need for information etc.

Looking through some the kids board and the school teachers teaches about organizing / challenging your kid in the right age and so on. That information which you only otherwise would get if you had bought and read dozens of books – if they would be available in a language you’d understand.

Because that is the other story of pinterest: It is international. I do not need to have the language skills when I can see the pictures and guess what they are doing.

Pictures being another clue here: Why use a 1000 words when a picture is enough to convey an idea? I have collected for some time now things I like in an apartment and came to the surprising conclusion that I like white furniture and colorful  walls. I did not need to spend hours and days in furniture stores and catalogues, running around etc but now am able to look at what I said I wanted to boil it down to something I want to get / make / buy.

“Just because you are not paranoid does not mean that they are not after you” transfers to “just because you don’t get it does not mean it has no relevance nor does it have meaning”.

Writing such an article hurts. All the women who came out (finally) and understood that this internet thingy has a use and can be used to have fun and excitement (and at a later point move on and do something more ‘real’ with it) are being told through articles likes this “you are stupid for using this, it only enforces stereotypes, you are useless.”

How times do you tell a kid that what they are trying to do by standing up, by starting to speak, by starting to calculate, by starting to take up a hobby, by starting to read – that what they are trying to do is kids stuff and not what the grown ups do? And that they should not waste their time on it? You don’t. You encourage it, you help them.

But then again, you would need to understand it first.

But these should not necessarily be given a new, public outlet. I often think I would use Pinterest much more consistently and thoroughly if my account were private. I would keep the best ideas to myself so that other people could not steal them, and I would keep the most heartfelt ideas to myself so that other people could not judge me.

There are dozens of tools out there – some even have an app – where she can do exactly what she likes, ‘pinning in private’. But there is a reason it is pinterest she and everybody else wants to use – especially the women.

They are not curating their femininity. They are learning to walk and speak in the new millennium.


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201x is when everything changes. I am going to the party to dance.


tl;dr: The world is changing more than you think. Get ready, and prepare for a wild ride.

Things may be a bit non sequitur, but there is a lot going on in my mind right now and writing helps in putting pieces into their places in my head.  ;)

The revolution will be in English. And she will not happen with the usual suspects.

I posted a link to a German article to my Facebook stream; unusual since all of my ‘public’ channels are 100% English; I even answer to Germans in English. Which results in a lot of animosity, but I have decided a long time ago that for my kind of work and industry English is the language to go. I am also not wasting much time in posting relevant stuff through my German channels. Many other internationals also don’t transfer into their local language which is bad: if it is not translated how can locals know about what is happening in the world?

Which is why this article from André is so relevant, explaining in German why the Americans are kicking the Europeans in the butt when it comes to technology. I wrote on my timeline:

Summary of the article is simple: Europeans may be a bit ahead in regards to some areas of mobile, but everything else is pushed by America, especially Silicon Valley. If you are one of those Germans who still thinks me being crazy for spending most of my time in the international thinking sphere – read the article.

I even included a link to Google translation.

Alexander Görlach then pinged me with a link to his article  “And When the Last Scholar Has Died …” about the decline of the cultural industry and it hit me how much most people still are embedded in their old last millennium thinking. And part of that is because when it comes to a country like Germany, the language island is just too big. There is no need to go outside and ‘think’ in international.

Yes in theory students go abroad and ‘read English material’ but there is still a big difference to use English or be immersed into the sphere and have an international mindset. Which btw is one of the reasons I am attracted so much to Berlin.

His article talks about the problem of ‘funding of arts, culture, journalism and politics’:

“It’s relatively easy to say how much work went into producing a hair dryer. It’s much harder to say what it takes to write a good article. How do we measure the costs and value of thirteen years of school, a university degree, study abroad programs, or even a PhD? The difference in measurement parameters is one of the reasons why the typical CV of an engineer looks different from the CV of a journalist.”

I can relate strongly: In my work there is a lot of ‘play time’ – that is when I am not with clients or in workshops. What may look like wasted time to some is actually me building up knowledge for my future. Things I play around with today are what I use for my work some time down the road.

You will get those days when I seem to be spending all day on network X – that actually is mostly work. You do not see what is happening in the background. Me answering questions on reddit? It’s training my thinking and seeing how people ask / act, and helps me adapt my approach to client work. Me posting the whole day on my facebook profile?  I am a very fast reader and sift through information, some goes into my streams, most into my database for later access. Clients hire me to have a broader insights into topics and in order to fulfill that need, I need to ‘train’.

And that is where Alexander’s article comes in again.

“We are living in a time when the proverbial best and brightest no longer opt to pursue careers in journalism or academia or politics. And we can already foresee a future when the exodus into economics will cease simply because the sphere of culture will have been reduced to insignificance. Apocalyptic rhetoric is fitting here: A cosmic battle is raging between the world of letters and the world of numbers.”

I take offense in calling spreadsheets not work of art ;) Journalism, Academia and more can still survive – but not in the thinking of the last milenium, limited by local country thinking and entitlement of what worked in the past when there where no other options. Artists of the past had business modells. They where sponsored too.   Things change. Why not make a kickstarter campaign to fund your research? Oh – that would require that you would know what that is, how it works ….

The old ways are dying, yes. And I am not sure they should be kept alive.
Your old ways are not working anymore? Find new ones.

New paths, new ideas, new concepts – and new business models.

I love the Torchwood quote “the 21st century is when everything changes!” and I’m adapting it to 201x is when everything changes. It scares many people and it will take some time. And it will require disruptive thinking beyond what has been done before. Knowledge of what is out there, globally. Of what is done, said, developed.

When somebody says “Google Glasses” the answer should be “when can I get my hands on it and how can we use this, make use of this!” not “uh who needs that”. The “nobody needs / wants that” guy is the same complaining about what is not working anymore, but is not ready for the future.

I love quotes. Part of them go “surround yourself with people who lift you higher” and it describes my business model. Kinda. I am blessed with a bad memory which allows me to go out there over and over again and teach people (for good money) what I have played with years ago. Teach them basics of how to work with a computer. The internets. That facebooky thing. Or what ever else is just in hype.

But that is not inspiring. Don’t get me wrong – I love doing that. It is not hipster, but pays well. [hipsterland pays less but is more amusing as those smart kids usually don’t want to believe how much they don’t know …]

That ‘international’ sphere is where my souls breathes. It is the reason I am moving to Berlin. When I am looking for inspirations, it will not be inside of my native language. It will most likely not be in Germany nor Europe. It may be Berlin and some other spots. It is 1130 on a thursday night and I am looking at my skype stream, chatting, calls, working all at the same time. The world is awake and I am part of that.

And trying to wrap my mind around what I want to transmit through this writing here. Maybe that should have been an audio recording, maybe that should have been a discussion somewhere.

I want more. I want technology to swoop in and make my life easier. Like we already know from writings and movies from decades past.  I want the working babel fish. I am trying to find the companions, the mentors, the apprentices, the partners in crime. I want more professionalism, more structure, not reinventing the wheel and fire all the time. To connect, to help, to challenge, to be challenged.

We can dance if we want to
We can leave your friends behind
‘Cause your friends don’t dance and if they don’t dance
Well they’re no friends of mine
I say, we can go where we want to
A place where they will never find
And we can act like we come from out of this world
Leave the real one far behind
Savety Dance, Men without Hats

201x is when everything changes.
I am going to the party to dance.

Source: 3.bp.blogspot.com via Nicole on Pinterest

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Why you pay a consultant “Schmerzensgeld”


Part of being paid as a consultant is getting “Schmerzensgeld” – money for getting clients to the point they need before the real work can start. Fighting certain fights over and over again, in hope that one day you get through to them. (In my case until the next hype comes along and we start again.)

If you want to have a cake to eat you need to bake it or buy it or pay somebody to bring it to you. Don’t complain that it takes you additional time to learn how to bake and or costs additional money to buy it or have somebody deliver it. Don’t complain that it takes you longer to do so when you are refusing to learn from experience of how it is done, what is working, what not and why not.

Some rights reserved by Images_of_Money

Professionals like myself are paid more than just our time. We are paid for looking at your situation and assessing it quickly. Just like any other professional we only need to see a few things from you to know where you are and how much work you will be. And how much of an effort it will be to get through to you to start building up something working.

My experience is why I can anticipate certain thought processes and thinking – I have been there so many times before. Decades in fact, even though ‘digital’ has not been around for that long. The first time I encountered “This does not work because I do not like / understand it”? 1984, which is nearly three decades ago. “This is not working because you do not know how to use the tools, can I please show you that it is really not that complicated”? I submitted my first seminar concept to the local community college in 1989 at the age of 18. The first time I corrected somebody in power who was supposed to ‘know how it is done?’ 1988, my math teacher on algorithms .

There are many things I really have no clue about, but some I do very much. I have been training thousands of people, professionally since 1998, either in person in workshop and seminars, through documentation on the web and through books, articles and videotraining. Hiring me also means trusting me in this and letting me do my job and go where I tell you to go. And work with me on the parts you need to be working on inside of your organization, change your way of workflows (usually: start establishing them at all).

I don’t consider my clients to be stupid, quite the opposite. My best work is done when I can work with smart people who are open and who challenge me in what I do. I want to learn as much from you as I want to help you achieve your goals. And I am more than happy to start at the basics with you. I love being able to transfer knowledge. As long as you are willing to learn and be guided by experience in the areas I know more than you.

The fact that you don’t like or understand it does not mean that it is not working nor that it is ineffective. And yes, you are usually kindergarden level although you believe yourself to be ready to start university. That is not me being mean. That is just experience. You need to hear that. You need to analyze where you stand and what can be done about that.  And you are paying me to do this quicker and more efficient and to bring you where you need to be without spending years in the learning curve.

Or you can pay somebody “nicer” and “cheaper” to do what you believe is the right way – but don’t complain afterwards that “it is not working” or “it is not delivering results” nor that you are advancing your knowledge. Remember: Part of what you pay professionals like me for is our experience in the topic, how it is done and in dealing with you.

This also means that you will start with basics and getting them right before you move on to the fancy stuff. The reason you are wasting so much time and money now usually is because you don’t know or use the basics, a concept from production. The initial setup costs more, but then production becomes cheaper because of proper planning and tool use. most people never reach production level, and cannot reap the benefits because of it.

Ask yourself which amount of Schmerzensgeld has to be included in proposals for your.
Ask yourself how much money and time you are wasting because you are not implementing what needs to be done.



SXSW Panelpicker Feedback wanted: What Social Media Managers need to know but don’t


SXSW12 Panel Picker Voting is open now – please help us out with a vote and a comment for What Social Media Managers need to know but don’t – thanks!
Panel Picker Voting SXSW 2012

After our very successful session “Outsourcing Social Media Professionally Without Selling Your Soul” in this years SXSW, it seemed only logical to submit a similar yet enhanced proposal for next year (judging by the amount of people showing up after three nights of party, on Monday morning, 9:30 am after Daylight Saving Time and the interaction we got from the attendees – I call that very successful).

Kate Buck and I want to pick up the feedback and questions we got to make another session for SXSW 2012.  As always, the sessions have to go through the advisory board and all, but a huge part of SXSW is the so called panel picker: You as the possible attendee vote on the sessions you want to see. If you could spend a moment glancing through this and give feedback to make it more appealing, I would very much appreciate it. :)

What Social Media Managers need to know but don’t

Event Interactive 2012
  1. Nicole Simon
  2. Kate Buck
Description How many people are thrown into Social Media positions without being given the proper tools and education on how to execute? And then are expected to deliver stellar results! When working with machines, you need to learn how to operate them.

Yet when it comes to Social Media, it seems as if concepts like skills assessment, proper training, handbooks, processes, systens abd workflows are ignored.The result is poor performance, higher costs of business and complications, not to speak of frustration of employees and contractors. Rules and regulations can pose additional problems.


We will discuss how to set up a framework for an effective Social Media Management program, which areas need to be covered and what you can learn from the Enterprise. Also there will be time for answering questions from the audience.

Questions Answered
  1. Job and skill requirements for Social Media Managers and Workers
  2. What areas need to be covered when setting up Social Media Management?
  3. How to manage Social Media Workers
  4. Why documentation is your friend and not the enemy
  5. Why missing rights management can jeopardize your company
Level Beginner
Supporting Material This session is an enhanced version of our 2011 session “Outsourcing Social Media without selling your soul”. We received a lot of requests afterwards to do such a session again with a more general focus on the management of Social Media.Also, our work experience over the last years shows that companies and freelancers continue to ask for these information on how to get started and get going in Social Media.

The session is suitable for Social Media Managers from every kind of company size.

Category Social Media / Social Networks
Tags marketing, social media management, training



Image by Mike Rohde

Why Berlin is hip for tech – Interview Series


8.23 you make me smile

Long, long time ago, before Berlin even knew it wanted to be hip again, I fell in love with the city. Of course Berlin always was a special city, but in the recent years (even months) it has become a hub for tech and startups.

Lots of articles (see some below) describe the new hotness of Berlin and part of that has to do with Berlin being really cheap and the amount of international visitors / expats. One of my interview partners (Igor Schwarzmann) summed it up: “getting speakers for our Cognitive Cities conference was easy – you just told them it would be in Berlin”. And while it may be hard to get funding in Germany / Europe, who cares? Get your funding some place else and then come to Berlin.

A friend once described being an artist to me as “that thing inside you which wants to come out no matter if you like it or not”.  I don’t consider myself to be an artist, but that pretty much sums up a feeling I have about Berlin. So I decided to make a series of interviews with people from Berlin; how they got there, why they live there, why they find the city attractive, what inspires them and how they see the world.

Yes, these will be audio  but fret not, I will provide you with show notes and links to their projects and social networks, so you can connect with them. And I hope you will fall in love with the city as much as I have!

Have suggestions for interview partner?

I already finished some interviews and am currently in post processing (will start posting next week): Joel Dullroy from Deskwanted, Joel Kaczmarek from Gründerszene, Igor Schwarzmann from Thirdwave, Matthäus Krzykowski from Xyologic, Oliver Beste from Founderslink. The people from Soundcloud are hard to get but already on the list. ;)

I have some ideas of who I want to talk to next, but if you know somebody interesting, let me know in the comments or forward this link. I am specifically looking in the tech / startup sector, but also maybe some design sprinkles.

To get you started in looking at Berlin

Two blogs started writing about the tech scene in Berlin and yes they are in English. A word play on Silicon Valley, the blog Silicon Allee also holds meetups (@siliconallee Facebook). Also dealing with startups is Techberlin (@techberlin Facebook).

Spiegel: Berlin on the Road to Becoming a Start-Up Mecca

Berlin may soon become the place to be for tech entrepreneurs. Berlin may soon become the place to be for tech entrepreneurs. Berlin is home to an ever increasing number of innovative new technology start-up companies — to the point that even Silicon Valley venture capitalists are taking notice. With a new focus on the country, many companies are beginning to innovate rather than simply clone successful American ideas.

Memeburn: Berlin is the hot new city for internet start-ups

“It’s a big enough city that whatever you’re interested in you can dive into.” Germany’s reunified capital is now one of the most visited cities in Europe and its inner courtyards teem with artists exploring music or creating installations. “A lot of people are attracted by Berlin, Berlin itself is a start-up,” said Alexander Ljung. “It’s growing fast, it’s fairly chaotic. Nobody knows exactly where it’s going but it’s going in the right direction.”

CNBC: Berlin’s new techno beat

“… that are helping to make Berlin such a paradise for start-ups: a cosmopolitan array of young, multilingual skilled workers, swathes of cheap, attractive, post-industrial office space, supportive public agencies, a good infrastructure and growing interest from foreign venture capital.”

Techcrunch: London Is Gonna Be Pissed, But We Prefer Berlin for Startups

“Ecosystem-wise, Berlin has some things going for it that most Western European capitals lack. For starters, it’s cheap to work and live there. Culturally and historically, Berlin is a more natural gateway between Europe’s mature Western economies and the surging talent in Eastern Europe. And Berlin has a surging creative class, largely made up of transplants. It’s become the place where misfits in Europe– people who want to be artists and creators, people who don’t fit in rigid social structures of cities like London– flock to do what they want.”

How Berlin Became the Coolest City on the Planet

In fact, Berlin is cheap — that’s part of the appeal. Soaring real estate prices have driven the starving artists out of downtown Paris, London and New York. But Berlin, with no real industry to speak of, has only the artists to rely on. Here, coolness is an economic survival strategy. As Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit puts it, coining the city’s unofficial motto, “Berlin is poor — but sexy.”

“Berlin has made culture its primary industry,” Berlin festival boss Dieter Kosslick says. “Music, film, art, fashion — that’s been the driving force, the creative industries. It’s an extremely culture-rich, extremely international city.” Caterer K.P. Kofler is more blunt: “Berlin is everything Germany is not: spontaneous, exciting, open and cosmopolitan.”

TC guest post: The upsides and downsides to starting up in Berlin

Two decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the German capital is vibrant with tourists, artists, and entrepreneurs. The city is home to over 200 startups, more than in Munich, Hamburg and Cologne combined. Berlin’s leadership in this domain is perhaps unexpected – it has hardly ever been an economic centre in Europe or even Germany. […] “For people who are basically looking for a big career and a lot of money, Berlin is not the right place. But if you are motivated by other things, like creating and learning, Berlin is perfect”

Photo credit: 8.23 you make me smile by dabboj, on Flickr

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Are you satisfied just being part of the crowd?


crowd in concert

Going through the Google plus list of circles I find myself asking one question over and over again and I believe others ask this too:

Do I recognize your name?
Do I recognize your photo?
Who are you again?

Are you ‘recognizable’ enough to be added to circles, now that we become more and more connected?  Yes, normal people only have a handful of friends and this question is not relevant to them. But I bet in the very soon future that number will grow, even for those ‘normal’ people.  Our attention span may be able to manage Dunbar’s number of connections, but we have moved far beyond this with social networking – we stay in touch with people much longer than we did previously and connect deeper with strangers. That was not really planned by nature when it designed our memory banks.

Add to this that brands and companies are getting into the mix, people go explore their hobbies and interests and next you know they add 100 “friends” to have a better chance at social games.  They will figure out that having more choice is not a bad thing. Which is when the question comes up again:

Are you satisfied just to be part of the crowd and watch others perform or is it relevant to you to be ‘more’  – whatever that implies, being the rockstar, the artist who wants to show off his work, the collector, the curator, the what else …? 

This was sparked through a conversation with a friend who I wish would ‘publish’ more. I’d like to read what he has to say. But as much as he might have to offer, for him to move beyond the “my friends will read me” sphere, it has to be  ‘better. faster. stronger.’ (sorry just in my head phones).  Interesting people are just a click away.

Being part of the audience is neither a bad thing nor that everybody aspires to be ‘more’. Seems like we need new terms and ideas about this. Who are we? What do we want to become and how much of our souls are we willing to sell?

The old model of “I rockstar. You audience” cannot work. I think we need to adapt from situation to situation and technology should help manage this. We have so many data points to enter into the system but as long as the only choice we have is putting people in circle for sending and reading …

That is not enough. The machines should be more clever by now.
Can somebody please start working on that? Thanks.

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