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21 Dec


Die Bedeutung von Weblogs für die Arbeit von Politikjournalisten: Meine Magisterarbeit ist online

December 21, 2007 | By |

Gerade habe ich die Nachricht erhalten, dass meine Magisterarbeit bewertet wurde. Das heißt auch, dass ich sie jetzt online veröffentlichen darf. Für die Arbeit habe ich Politikjournalisten interviewt, die bei deutschen Tageszeitungen (Print und Online) sowie bei Nachrichtenagenturen arbeiten. Thema: Welche Bedeutung haben Weblogs für ihre Arbeit und wie nutzen sie Weblogs? (Sie nutzen Weblogs kaum.)

Die Magisterarbeit ist veröffentlicht unter einer Creative Commons license (by-nc-sa). Weitere Informationen über die Arbeit gibt es hier.

Kurzfassung Ob als Konkurrenz oder Partner der traditionellen Medien, Weblogs wird eine wachsende Bedeutung für den Journalismus zugesprochen (vgl. u.a. Gillmor 2006, Neuberger 2006b, Bucher/Büffel 2006, Benkler 2006): Im US-Wahlkampf sind Blogger als politische Kommentatoren längst eine ernstzunehmende Größe geworden und auch in Deutschland setzen Unter-nehmen und Parteien zunehmend Weblogs als Kommunikationsmittel ein.

Doch welche Bedeutung haben Weblogs für die tägliche Arbeit von Politikjournalisten in Deutschland? Im Rahmen dieser Arbeit wurden Politikjournalisten aus den Redaktionen deutscher Tageszeitungen (Print und Online) und von Nachrichtenagenturen dazu befragt, welche Bedeutung Weblogs für ihre Arbeit haben.

Die befragten Politikjournalisten bescheinigten Weblogs mehrheitlich eine geringe Bedeutung für ihre tägliche Arbeit. Für die Auslandsberichterstattung wurde Weblogs eine größere Bedeutung zugeschrieben als für die innenpolitische Berichterstattung.

Schlagwörter: Weblogs, Blogs, Blogosphäre, Politikjournalisten, Citizen Journalism, partizipativer Journalismus, Web 2.0, Journalismus

Die Magisterarbeit ist im Volltext hier abrufbar: Die Bedeutung von Weblogs für die Arbeit von Politikjournalisten (Bihr 2007) (PDF, 1MB, 227 Seiten)

Außerdem habe ich für eine Seite über die Magisterarbeit angelegt, auf der alle relevanten Informationen gesammelt sind.

Ich bin gespannt auf dein Feedback. Falls du also etwas zu der Arbeit zu sagen hast (und da gibt es sicherlich eine ganze Menge!), nur zu!

I’m curious about your feedback, so if you have anything to add (and I’m sure there is plenty!) please get in touch.

20 Dec


Must Read: Social Media 100

December 20, 2007 | By |

Social media allstar Chris Brogan has started a great series of posts on Social Media recently. By now, enough material has come together to dive right in. Every single post has one or more insights more than worth the time. Clearly, a must read for folks in the social media space.

You won’t be surprised I’m particularly fond of his Twitter Revisited post. (I’ve outed myself as a big fan of the micro blogging tool before.) Chris points out how much he has got out of Twitter during 2007.

Here’s a link to all Social Media 100 posts.

11 Dec


Must-Read Books on Social Media

December 11, 2007 | By |

Taking a hint by Chris Brogan, who has compiled a great set of resources to show your bosses, colleagues or friends how the social web works, I’d like to give you my recommendations of must-read books on this topic.

If you are interested in social media, participatory media or conversational marketing, you might want to have a closer look at those book. They are both a good introduction, and a great resource and inspiration. In this installment, I’ll focus on books. Studies, weblogs and videos will follow at some point.

I keep coming back to these book, I always have them close to my desk for quick reference. If you plan on reading just a few books about social media, blogging and digital conversations, I recommend you read these:

(Left-hand are the links to, right-hand to for the German folks. Where possible, the right-hand side links are the German translations. I’m based in Berlin, after all.)

The Cluetrain Manifesto (David Weinberger 1999) This one started it all, the whole conversation thing. Not just a must-read, but also good fun to read.

The Long Tail (Chris Anderson 2006) Forget about the mass market, the niches is where the music is. This book tells you why. Mind-boggling, genius.

Naked Conversations (Robert Scoble, Shel Israel 2006) In this instant classic, Robert Scoble and Shel Israel introduce us to the art of the naked (i.e. uncensored) conversation. You’d like to help your company to give up control and to start embracing the chaos? Here you go.

We The Media (Dan Gillmor, 2004) We The Media is one of the key readings to the whole field of participatory media and citizen journalism. It’s sometimes hard to decide if it’s a hands-on guide, a white paper or a manifesto, but it always engages the reader and gives a radical new perspective on how the media work, could work, should work.

Also, there’s a few books available in German only which I’d like to highlight:

Die Neuen Meinungsmacher (Ansgar Zerfaß, Dietrich Boelter 2005) Good introduction into why weblogs are relevant to campaigns, public relations etc, and a quick read, too.

Kopfjäger im Internet oder publizistische Avantgarde? (Matthias Armborst 2006) This one is relevant mostly for journalists, as it explains what they need to know about bloggers and how they work. To some degree, this book is what I built my masters thesis on, and I keep coming back to it. Special interest, admittedly, but great.

Weblogs. Eine kommunikationssoziologische Studie (Jan Schmidt 2006) Just as the book above, this one is rather academic. However, if you need to know in-depth about how weblogs work, and how they are used, this is your book.

21 Nov


How to build your own mesh network?

November 21, 2007 | By |

As you may know, I’ve been obsessing about the One Laptop Per Child Project (OLPC) for awhile, for both its aims and potential. Here’s another project that ties right in, a simple guide on how to build your own mesh network. (The OLPC laptops support meshing out of the box, but if there’s no network to connect to…)

Wireless Africa has a guide for building your own DIY Mesh Guide. It’s particularly aimed at rural areas, and it features real step-by-step explanations (including a planning sheet) which should be useful even for non-tech folks.

DIY Mesh Network (image courtesy of via Creative Commons) Image courtesy of Wireless Africa

Download the DIY Mesh Guide (PDF, 3.2MB). It’s released under Creative Commons (CC-BY-SA).


09 Nov


Global Project Management

November 9, 2007 | By |

GlobalProjectManagement.orgGlobal Project Management seems to be a really interesting project Jean Binder just pointed me to. It’s a whole collaboration framework, Jean is also author of a book on Global Project Management.

On, challenges, opportunities and techniques for cooperation and collaboration in a global environment are explored by five categories, or aspects: Global Teams, Global Communication, Global Organisations, Collaborative Tools and Collaborative Techniques. All topics are subdivided into smaller topical areas for easier access, there’s plenty of material like mindmaps free for download.

I haven’t checked it out in details, but hope I will find the time to do so soon. From a first glance, it definitively looks like there’s a lot of good information there for all kinds of online collaboration.


Thanks to Michel Bauwens of the P2P Foundation for forwarding it

06 Nov


Tim O’Reilly tells his parents: What’s Web 2.0?

November 6, 2007 | By |


At Web 2.0 Expo Berlin, Tim O’Reilly kindly agreed to try solving the one issue all of us are sharing: How to tell our parents what we do? So here’s Tim, explaining to his parents: What’s Web 2.0?

“So Web 2.0: First off, it’s the idea that the Web, rather than the personal computer is the most important platform for computer applications today. The applications that matter to people are no longer things like Microsoft Word or a spreadsheat. It’s things like Google, or Amazon, or if you’re a kid maybe it’s MySpace.

When we think about this, though, we have to realize whenever we have a new platform in the computer industry things work differently. So we started thinking about what makes the Web different.

And what makes the Web different is that on the network there’s the potential to build applications that actually get better the more people use them. And they actually grow organically in kind of a conversation with the users.

You can look at this with every major company that succeeded on the Web. They’re all in some way using the network to harness collective intelligence, to get better by user contribution. And I think that’s really the heart of Web 2.0.

As to why we call it Web 2, it was really after the Dotcom Bubble, and the Dotcom Bust, which was really a stock market phenomenon, everybody thought maybe the Web was over, and we thought it was still going. So Web 2 really refers not to a new technology so much as the second coming of the World Wide Web as an important technological phenomenon.”

Disclosure: Once again, this is a cross-posting from my work for Tim was great, as he took the time for this little experiment although he was clearly pressed for time. Thanks a lot, Tim! The video is released under a Creative Commons license (by-nc-sa 2.0).

Update, 8 Nov: I just got notice that this video made the Web 2.0 Expo website front page. Yay!

13 Oct


Do You Know How to Use the Web to Innovate?

October 13, 2007 | By |

The internet isn’t just a means to send email and look up information. It’s a powerful tool for all kinds of networked communication. But it’s also a great tool to innovate – in your product, your business, or your organization.

Lately, I’ve had a number of chats with my buddies and collaborators Max Senges and Thomas Praus about innovation, how to create a culture of innovation, and how to use the web to foster it. While more and more organizations start their own blogs (which is great), not too many really use social media to realize their full potentials.

One of the main problems, from a company point-of-view, is of course: How can you measure the success of social media programs? Usually, your average company’s management can only go for a social media program if you can put a clear value to said program, right? (Yes, that’s even true for your not-so-average company, although it may depend.) As web strategist Jeremiah Oywang points out: “This is the year of ROI, measurement, and experimentation.”

Luckily, the consulting & social media community has put a lot of thought into the issue of evaluation and social media measurement. For a good intro, I’d recommend those readings:

But while (at least in the the social media sphere) the tools and strategies to measure success are emerging, so far there’s not enough companies that really know about those tools, and thus don’t have a chance to use them successfully. The idea of giving up control and openly sharing your information with customers can be very scary. But social media and other channels between organization and their stakeholders (users, fans and angry customers alike) offer organizations the chance to really learn what matters to their clients, what bothers them, what drives them crazy. That’s exactly the kind of information that an expensive survey, sent out to 10.000 customers, will not get you. It’s also exactly the kind of information that’s absolutely priceless: You get better feedback, often even great ideas on what to improve, and how. Which brings us right back to our starting point:

Not enough organizations use the web efficiently to foster innovation.

While we were chatting away and brainstormed a little about how to deploy web-based strategies and tools that allow to foster innovation, we came to the conclusion that this is a field to which a lot of companies don’t even have access to. Sure, you’ll find all kinds of stuff on the web. But between web 2.0 startups (who know this kind of stuff themselves) and major global firms (who might hire consultants to inform them), there’s a majority of small and medium-sized enterprises who just don’t have the time and resources to do it themselves. (Not to mention all the NGOs and non-profits.)

It’s time to offer some advice in that regard, and to make it easier to access the relevant information. We haven’t yet decided how exactly to go about it. But as a first step, I’ll try to collect more relevant information here on this weblog. As a second step, the three of us are thinking about offering some kind of consulting on the issues of web-based innovation, social media, and better access to new markets. As of now, it’s still very much up in the air how exactly this will look. (As freelancers, but working closely together, following the example of Stowe Boyd & The Messengers; Or rather as a proper company? Who knows.)

But first, I’d like to hear your story: Does your company know how to use the web to innovate? What strategies and tools have you deployed, what worked, and what didn’t? Are you a social media evangelist in your organization? What obstacles did you have to overcome, and how did you? Share your experiences, so others can learn from you!

Full disclosure: I’ve known both Max and Thomas for a long time and we’ve collaborated in a number of projects. Among other things, the three of us have co-written a book about Second Life (buy in Spanish, download for free in English) for Universitat Oberta de Catalunya. Thomas and I have also worked together at face2net for a while.)

Update: For easier access to the collected information, you can find it in the (new) category web-based innovation.