Archive for the 'Tech-Stuff' Category

Here’s to #London2012

I’m not much of a sports nut. In fact, in order to be able to write this entry, I had to go and look up the exact dates for the Olympic Games 2012. You’ll be relieved to find out that they start in pretty much exactly 64 days. Which would be the 27th of July.

Now, why am I writing about an event which I have no interest in at all? Because it’s necessary. You see, the Olympic Games, like any event of a certain size that gets broadcast all over the world, has sponsors. Very powerful sponsors who invest a lot of money so people all over the world can see that these modern-day gladiators do in fact splurge on Coca Cola. All day, everyday (it’s a no-brainer: I know how fidgety I get after a bottle of Coke, I’m sure professional athletes use that to their advantage). Anyway, since these sponsors invested a whole lot of money, they don’t want others, who didn’t unload truckloads of cash into the lobby of the IOC, to profit from the Olympic Games. Hence, they’ve managed to lobby the UK into passing a law which effectively outlaws the usage of “London2012″ or any combination organisers and sponsors deem to be infringing on their copyright, by entities other than official sponsors.

Here’s an example of what that means:

One day, the small espresso shop near the site of the London Games was the “Olympic” cafe. The next day, it was the “Lympic.”

So where did the “O” go?

The manager won’t say. But it’s more than likely the small business became another casualty in the battle against guerrilla marketers – advertisers who try to associate their products with an event without paying to be sponsors.

(This article gives more insight into how the IOC has been cracking down on unauthorized usage of the five rings and whatever shitload of terms they have put their copyright on – read it, but only when you’re done with this one.)

Well, today the media are flush with news about suspended Twitter accounts, one of which was a parody account. Apparently, the usage of the 2012 logo is enough to have an account suspended, for people might actually confuse the account with an official sponsor. Which is the world we live in – warped, but accepted. But it does get a bit worse: Twitter is working closely with IOC to guarantee only real sponsors can buy ads associated with the London2012 hashtag. Now, even that seems ok. It’s about ads, not content posted by users. But here’s the thing: the IOC is always afraid of guerilla marketing stunts, and what better place than social media to do that? There’s no ban (yet) on using #London2012 in a tweet, so in theory, companies could use it to promote their products (a practice all sorts of Twitter users employ to peddle their shit). And they will. And Twitter might start policing the usage of the hashtag, and they might delete accounts of private users and they might reinstate these accounts but they might not. All in all, Twitter might be turning shit within a fortnight and there’s not a whole lot we could do. Or could we? We actually can.

As a pre-emptive strike against what might turn into a freedom of speech issue, let’s have some idiotic fun: starting July 27th, whenever you tweet, add the London2012 hashtag. Ask your friends, followers and/or foes to do the same. And while you might anger or bore your followers, you’ll have done something good and noble as well. For free speech, for people with little cafés in London called “Olympia” and maybe even for yourself (by disproportionally blowing up your sense of self-importance, of course).

Last but not least, don’t forget to share this posting wherever you go, preferrably of course by appending the mother of all hashtags: #London2012

Barcamp Vienna 08 (this is the recap)

As hinted in my post a few days back, Barcamps are always a lot of fun, the food is a plenty and people are interesting. Well, wasn’t anything different this time. Very well organized by a bunch of dedicated Barcampers. Thanks again to you all!

Numerous people have already written up more eloquent recaps of the event, so I’ll just leave you with a couple of pictures.

HPAt HP.

Food, good The food. Awesome selection. For whatever reason, I only took a single plate. I could still slap myself for that. In fact, I just did.

MetaAnd finally Ritchie, who, equipped with the same camera, took a shitload of nice pictures (one of which is of your gracious host in the exact same pose).

Barcamp Vienna 08 at HP (this is just an announcement, not the actual post about a Barcamp, silly)

Tomorrow is Barcamp Vienna.

I’ve been to Barcamps before here in Vienna, and they were all great fun. Smart, interesting people, great presentations, good food. This one will be on Saturday and Sunday, and even though, unlike other people, I have not the faintest idea what I will present or whether I’ll actually present, I think it’ll be just as much fun as all the others.

Come too, and say hello. To me, of course.

Extra, extra, read all about it!

As of yesterday, I’m the new (and first) web2.0 columnist for Austrian (German-speaking) online weekly CHiLLi.cc. I’ll do my best to bring all the greatness of webbased service glory to the masses. The column is named “Web und Wir”, meaning not much else than “web and us”, with a misspelling thrown in for good measure and individuality.

Check out my first, therefore only text to date, here.

And visit next Tuesday, when I’ll be telling all about the wonderful world of online bookmarking.

Barcamp Notes

So yesterday was Barcamp.

I had to leave early, so no t-shirt for me this time, but that’s ok, I do have two already.

The sessions I saw were quite diverse, one of which was a lively discussion about the fate of people who keep broadcasting their lives onto the interwebs (like me, or everyone else who’s part of any online social network). I myself think that some people can and will be seriously fucked by the amount of personal information they put up, but I personally don’t have that much of a problem with people having a look at my aggregated content. I am, fortunately, past the age where people with cameras can witness me getting or being shitfaced, so it’s really quite unlikely anyone will ever see anything like that on facebook or anywhere else.

Another interesting session was on what the speakers called “social entrepreneurship”. They referred by that label to entrepreneurs who use their money and influence to do good (and talk about it too). Needless to say, there were a whole lot of critical voices during the ensuing discussion, one of which was that evergreen of arguments: The road to hell is paved with good intentions. I too am rather skeptical when it comes to the involvement in humanitarian causes by people who have made fortunes, for I’m quite convinced that rarely a fortune is earned by being a saint.

Speaking of saints, during the session they defined a social entrepreneur as a combination of entrepreneur Richard Branson and modern-day saint Mother Teresa. Which reminded me of that book about Mother Teresa I read about in Dawkins’ “God Delusion“. Written by Christopher Hitchens, it supposedly tells a bit of another story about her than the usual hagiographies published after her death, including but not limited to donations by embezzlers and crooks. Sounds a bit like she was a social entrepreneur herself.

Finally, here are some pictures from the event. Well, pictures of the food, which as always was really delicious, especially that homemade olive bread (which is not in the pictures, in case you’re wondering).

Barcamp Vienna 2008

Barcamp Vienna 2008

Barcamp Vienna 2008

And this was the venue WerkzeugH, which due to my not-posting-pictures-of-people policy, isn’t easily recognized as the cozy location it actually is. You’ll have to take my word for it:
Barcamp Vienna 2008




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