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02 Jan


Splitting off my personal blog

January 2, 2015 | By |

As of today, I’ll be separating company-related blog posts from personal ones a bit more. For the last eight, nine years or so, this domain ( has been my main blog, and as such main outlet. For the most part, a sort of personal one, but it also covered lots of work-related topics and thoughts. Over the years, this has related to some jobs, several companies, lots of events, and a whole range of emerging tech topics like social media, digitization, cognitive cities, IoT, 3D printing and many more.

In 2014, I founded my new company, named (and subsequently renamed, because reasons) it, and settled for the name The Waving Cat GmbH. This meant, of course, that the domain would also become the company site.

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18 Dec


Thanks & Happy Holidays: That was 2014

December 18, 2014 | By |

This is end-of-year post #7 (all prior ones here). Slowly I’m getting into the habit.

What happened in 2014? A lot. Let’s dive in!

The theme for 2014

In hindsight, I’d describe 2014 as a year of building foundations. Much more than ever before did I focus on creating a stable basis for future things rather than pushing ahead first. This goes both for personal and professional life, like the way I set up my new company as an umbrella for all new projects and signing a long term office lease.

That, and strong presence of both Japan and Finland (in the form of trips, client work and collaborations) which I very much welcome.

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12 Feb



February 12, 2012 | By |

According to my WordPress dashboard, this is blog post #1.500. For something I hadn’t expected to go very far, that seems a lot.

Somewhere along the way there was a name change and some technical issues with the import, so I can’t fully tell when the first posts went live – according to WordPress, in 1970. Also, there were other outlets before, although I don’t remember if I called that blogging at the time. One required manual FTP uploads per post, and my co-author and I had devised some cunning pretty lame split screen design made up from HTML tables, with his writings on one side and mine on the other. Geocities, too, as well as a number of hosted blogs, all before I started using this WordPress-Domain Name-Combo as my digital home.

So, 1.500 posts in, and even though that’s spread out over just a few years already there’s a significant data rot at work. If anything, this mini anniverary serves as a reminder of how much backups matter, and beyond that, how we should ask ourselves which elements of the digital we want to preserve beyond the digital, and which we’re ok to treat as ephemeral, in other words, that we’re ok to lose later or sooner.

Just a few weeks ago I ordered a stack of photo copies on paper out of my Flickr account. I have most of these images somewhere, stored and in most cases backed up several times over. Yet, they’re ordered and labeled relatively poorly, practically untagged, and even though I’m good at deleting ruthlessly, there are still thousands upon thousands of them, aka Never Will I Revisit Them All Or Find The One I’m Looking For. So I ordered physical copies of about a hundred. Some ended up pinned on the wall, more in a few envelopes labeled ominously “Flickr, pre 2012”. Not good, but better than nothing as it helps provide at least a bare minimum of context.

Now if only Twitter/Snapfish also offered to print the photo metadata (title, tags, location, time, people tagged on the photo) on the back of these photos, we’d all be better off. (Flickr! Snapfish! Feature request!)

Anyway. Long story short, this is blog post #1500. It’s been a good time. See you at 2K.

25 Dec


I’m joining Iron Blogger Berlin

December 25, 2011 | By |

Wired, laptop, lemonade. What more to ask for?

We should blog more. I want to blog more, and more regularly. So I’m joining Iron Blogger Berlin, which Michelle and Nicole just started. Iron Blogger is inspired by Joi Ito, who was in turn inspired by Mako. It’s quite straight forward:

Iron Blogger is a blogging and drinking club. The rules are pretty simple:

  • Blog at least once a week.
  • If you fail to do so, pay €5 into a common pool.
  • When the pool is big enough, the group uses it to pay for drinks and snacks at a meet-up for all the participants.

So, I’m in. And from what I hear, a nice small group is getting together to kick this thing off. If you’re in Berlin and feel like this is for you, you might want to get in touch with Michelle, she should be able to set you up.

That said, I should get back to writing a blog post – I’m determined not to botch round 1.

16 Jan


Covering DLD Conference with Berlinblase

January 16, 2010 | By |

DLDTogether with the Berlinblase crew I’ll be heading down to Munich next week to cover Burda’s DLD Conference. (Full disclosure: paid gig.) Needless to say, I was thrilled to hear that the DLD team invited us down as the official live bloggers. It’ll be four of us – Florian Krakau (@dotdean), Johannes Kleske (@jkleske), Igor Schwarzmann (@zeigor) and I.

We’ll be blogging all three conference days, 24-26 Jan. You’ll find our coverage here and on the conference website.

09 Nov


Rediscover Blogs You Love

November 9, 2009 | By |

we love blogs

In the olden days you used to hear blogs being compared to lovers – blogging was perceived to be an intensely personal, sometimes intimate thing, and the relationships between bloggers was pretty intense. Now, of course that kind of romanticizing was somewhat over the top. There was a small number of bloggers in a vast internet, so they stuck together.

However, there is something to this romantic notion. I’ve been noticing that my relationship to blogs has changed. More and more I’ve been perceiving them as something to deal with in a professional context. That’s not to say I’m not as passionate as blogging as ever, but it changed. Also, with so many more blogs around, attention is spread thinner – and many great blogs don’t get the attention they deserve.

I’ve been neglecting a few blogs that I dearly love, and that whenever I visit them, I find most inspiring. Some of them I would even read not in my feedreader but on their own website, for celebration’s sake, so to speak. So I’d like to introduce a handful of blogs that I’ve always liked, and that I’ve been neglecting. And I’d like to encourage you to do the same: a small selection of hand-picked, author’s recommendation-style blogs.

Digitalien This is where it all started for me. The German Sofa/Digitalien was a collection of short stories, not called blog then, but very blog like in it’s overall appearance. (It’s abandoned but archived under the domain, the blog now lives under and the authors were some of the first in Germany to actually switch to blogging and to discuss the whole affair as it was emerging. Praschl and Knecht experimented with form and content, interpreted both, applied it in often very personal ways. It was always a joy reading, a glimpse into someone else’s life, an inspiration to be part of this whole blogging thing. They would have never called it a movement.

Jan Chipchase / Future Perfect Jan Chipchase (real name!) is a researcher for Nokia. In his blog Future Perfect he shares some insights on his research on digital lifestyle. Sounds boring? Think again. Chipchase leaves his lab and goes straight to where the real innovation is made this day: the favelas of the world where bootstrapping and improvising and hacking is the default mode. He talks to the folks there who hack their phones to meet the needs of life as an Indian taxi driver or maybe the expectations of a 15-year old in Shinjuku. More companies should be giving budgets to awesome researchers and allow them to blog. Just as I’m typing this the most recent blogpost reads:

Today’s office involves a few hours stopover in Dubai, then a 3am flight to Kabul. The upside of sleeplessness? Watching the dawn over Afghanistan turn from glimmer on earth’s curved surface to the dusty, arid warmth of the mountains below. The next few days an opportunity to map the movement of the city since the last visit, a plethora of interviews and reconnections, Insha’Allah.

This may give you a rough idea of what Jan Chipchase is upt to. It’s always fascinating.

Danah Boyd / apophenia Danah Boyd blogs under the domain, her blog is call apophenia. According to Wikipedia, apophenia is “the experience of seeing patterns or connections in random or meaningless data”. I’m not sure the blog name is all that convincing – after all, Danah doesn’t really dig around meaningless data but instead blogs about her very concrete scientific findings, mostly around the way youth use social media (in the more narrow sense) or (in the wider sense) how youth construct online identities. (Of course, you surely shouldn’t let the blog name get in your way.)

Like Jan Chipchase (above), Danah Boyd is a scientist who by now is on the payroll of a major corporation to fund her research. She works for Microsoft Research New England and is a Fellow at the Harvard Berkman Center for Internet and Society. That shouldn’t deter you, though, as she still shares a lot of research results. Never dry, always compelling and very often thought-stimulating or even mind blowing. Whenever I go to her blog, I can be sure to spend the next hour or so digging around her site, it’s that good. Definitively a keeper.

Bruce Sterling / beyond the beyond Bruce Sterling has been a hero of mine for a long time. (I most recently sung his praise after reboot11.) If there’s any place he outputs regularly besides the WIRED/beyond the beyond blog, I’m not familiar with it – so this is it. In his very particular, weary-yet-wary way he formulates incredibly deep, complex thoughts in a way that usually takes me a few days to process before understanding what he’s even talking about, but when the thoughts eventually sink in, they usually trigger some profound thought process in me in a way few writers do. The blog itself isn’t always so great, but when it shines, it thoroughly does. And it is, as far as I know, the best place to catch a regular dose of Sterling.

Anthony Volodkin / faßcinated Anthony is one of the minds behind the wonderful hypemachine music discovery service. On his personal blog faßcinated, Anthony does just what blogs used to be about: he shares personal thoughts and little snippets of stuff he finds online. It’s not overly deep and often banal, but in the best possible sense of the word: Little glimpes into someone’s day-to-day live, written and shared with a lot of love, occasionally with his take on contemporary Russia. (He was born and raised in Russia, now lives in New York City.) I know Anthony only very superficially, but his blog seems to perfectly capture and reflect his very curious, passionate and open-minded personality in a way that’s, well, just fun to read.

Yay!Everyday! I wasn’t sure if I should include Yay!Everyday! in this list. For one, it’s not technically a blog, but rather a collection of photos. More importantly though, it’s not Yay!Everyday! I wanted to highlight, but Yay!Monday!, which is by now defunct (or so it seems). Yay!Monday! used to be a weekly dose of inspiration a la ffffound, but for Mondays only. (In fact I have to admit I can’t really tell how they’re different, if at all.) So this shouldn’t be part of this list. Then again, this is all about inspiration, so let’s not be too narrow-minded, eh?

What else? This list feels terribly incomplete. But that’s the nature of neglected blog reading lists, by definition important blogs get forgotten. So I’ll take the liberty of updating this list when I remember another blog that I’ve been neglecting and that should be featured here. Until then, I strongly recommend you check out the blogs above. I promise you won’t regret it. Enjoy!


something changed something changed is not even a real blog. It’s a tumblelog. It’s written by a certain Jessica, who doesn’t give away her family name (not even in interviews), or her exact job (she only says she works in advertising, until recently in Sydney, now in Melbourne). In other words: I know practically nothing about the author of this blog. And yet, it’s full of smart, inspiring quotes, thoughts and ideas. I never leave the site without something new and refreshing on my mind. And what more can you possibly ask for?

Photo by kunel, Some Rights Reserved.

07 Jun


Some Impressions: Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum

June 7, 2009 | By |

Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum, Panel about Citizen Journalism

Just coming back from Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum (GMF) – and on my way to Barcamp Cologne 3 – I’m in a little cafe in the middle of nowhere (sorry dotdean), where Cappuccino still tastes like early 90s cappuccino, and where laptop dwellers in cafes are still greeted with curious stares. It is, to be short, the opposite of GMF – a truly global, international, intercultural event, and a remarkable one at that.

Why the praise? It’s the people of course. I can hardly remember another conference where so many folks working on such courageous projects get together not to have themselves celebrated (like we occasionally do at all those web conferences), but to talk, on eye level, with each other, exchange ideas and experiences, and seemed to be humbled by each other’s presence. When I was sitting on the panel with four bloggers, activists and citizen journalists in the old German parliamentary buildings (full disclosure: I was invited as moderator by Deutsche Welle, paid gig), I couldn’t help but feeling awe in the face of what these folks pull off in their day-to-day lives. Who was on the panel? Nancy Watzman, investigative journalist, consultant to the Sunlight Foundation, and author of Political Party Time; Israel Yoroba who writes Le Blog de Yoro; Oliver Nyirugubara, Program Coordinator for Voices of Africa; and a blogger/activist from Iran who asked not to be named because it would put her under unnecessary risk.

These are the prototypical bloggers and activists we read and talk about all the time, the ones who fight within or from the outside for freedom of expression in the repressive regimes in their countries (or in one case: corruption in their not-so-repressive regime). These are folks who take real risks every day to do what they’re doing. And I can’t overstate how much that demands our respect and support.

The Global Media Forum will be on again next year. If you get the chance, don’t miss out. It’s inspiring, and impressive.

For more impressions, Nancy Watzman also shares some of her thoughts on the conference, as does Kevin Anderson.

Photo by Deutsche Welle: Panel on Citizen Journalism and Freedom of Speech, with Gabriel Gonzalez (center) giving a brief introduction