Blogbursts. RSS. Blog Swarms on the look out for prey. Scripted blog activites, seemingly spontaneous. Ghost written blogs. People hired and fired because of blogs. Syndications. THE DEAR DIARY DAYS of blogging have gone forever. Enter the Big Wave. The Hype.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Chef left Southpark

The cheerfully politically incorrect series South Park
has Chef leaving - because of an episode where Tom Cruise


Hush now, Tom probably thought he was a skeleton.

Honi soit qui mal y pense.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

We Are A Conversation ....

We Are A Conversation is a philosophical saying that was used in the Sixties a lot. In a way it is also true for blogging, in that they are participatory in nature. But is "participatory" not just another trendy word for "interactive"?

No, and ...yes. The difference is that a website is interactive and lets users participate in that sense - but this is not an interaction between power equals. Notice the word "user".

Looking at the instruments being used for interaction between of bloggers - it's the blog tool - on all sides. A blogger assumes the role of a visitor, of a commentator and again of a blogger. We all participate in the others'
publications - in that way blogging certainly is interactive but it's more. It is interaction between participants.

Leuc Le Meur's version in regards to blogs is:

Traditional media send messages
Blogs start discussions

Found via Fredrik Wackå's corporateblogging

Gisela Strauss

Mark Morford's columns

. . . helped me get through the time after 9/11 when I worked at an U.S. chip manufacturer near Munich. My German superior from the Neue Bundesländer treated my - ever talking to any of the Americans who worked there as some sort of insubordination. East Germans are prone to detect some form of insubordination in the most innocent of behaviours. But my East German superior was also younger (!) than me which meant I needed to *prove* in all possible ways that I was willing and able to work *under* someone younger without *any* problems whatsoever.

I know now how to work for some East German person who is younger than me and prove myself as a flexible, adaptive co-worker:

Shut-up, work, do not ask any questions, never talk to any one outside the department, or better - never talk to anyone but your superior, pretend to not be able to speak English whenever possible. And work hard at finding former East-Germans totally exciting, astonishing, hip and noteworthy. And endure petty hurtful personal stabs, irrational accusations and hysterical screeching with a smile.

The problem was that the shock of 9/11 and the mourning and the sadness and the not being able to talk to people near me, in whose country I had been living happily for over 10 years, and bearing the triumphant schadenfreude of my superior was such a difficult task - in addition to working, that I must have appeared somewhat c l u m s y . Which then again inspired intense disdain in my immediate surroundings consisting of German co-workers who strongly believed in giving the East German person a break - as long as I - not them - was paying the price. Indulging a former East German in this way hence was the expedient, the politically correct thing to do - the poor thing had been Coming in From the Cold after all.

Which is why the strange and tortured humour of UC Berkeley alumni and Hearst - SF Gate contributor Mark Morford arriving in my email box in the form of a column every day was medicine, no dope for me.

It's all about retail, just like Jesus would have wanted . . . read Mark's column here

» »



Gore is Vital

Gore Vidal
Gore with cat at Ravello, Italy
is most likely the real reason I decided to leave Berkeley. Or better his State of the Nation speech at the UC Berkeley Auditorium. Unlike Berkeley underdoggism - which means barking up at anything to do with power - Gore Vidal's eloquent and funny speech revealed the lives of the rich, famous and infamous from the inside out - meaning from peer to peer. Gore was born into an American upperclass family, well-connected in terms of politics and money. His revelations are void of envy, cloaking itself as political correctness. His conclusions are that power happens as randomly as anything - there is no higher wisdom bestowing power and influence on those deemed worthy. Thus he suggests that an attitude of irreverence towards the extremely powerful together with deep, humourous compassion for humankind are the way to go.

At the panel discussion after his speech, some established leftist Berkeley journalist writer simply said, Gore you are full of shit - meaning of course - easy for you to talk like that - you come from money. Well I just had heard enough of the whiny, pol cor investigative journalism in Berkeley to know that this was envy screeching at eloquence.

This dude Gore, I felt, was on to something. And that something was not to be found in Berkeley anymore for me. Later that evening I met Gore Vidal at Amy Wallace's house (daughter of Irving). Then, in response to a "fan" letter I had sent him, he came back with correcting my commas.

Gore Vidal is living in Ravello, Italy, Mainland Europe.

Gisela Strauss, Munich, Germany, Mainland Europe

The American German Business Club Munich

The American German Business Club Munich
with Patrtick Brennan presiding.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Blogging for Memory and Community

Having a large following, is a blogger's penultimate goal according to Mainstream Media. (The ultimate goal would be cashing in on a large follwing.) While I like the idea of cashing in on something (am I Polyannna? Blogging is buzzing !!!) having a so called following which expects me to post for them, is filling me with dread.

Blogging in my view is a tool to cope with information overload. Information which moves me to blog about seems relevant, note-worthy. That's a filtering criteria right there. The moment I post about some news, my own thoughts, another blogger's post, a tool, a method, it receives some surrounding con-text, which helps me to log it in my memory (internal linking) but also provides a sur-face, an inter-face to weave it together with other information - in my own blog or in other's (external linking). Linking to content in my own blog creates a local neural network, linking to others' ties my microcontent into the global neural network. Linear information gathering is hence obsolete - since it has become impossible.

Mary Hodder put it succinctly:

For many bloggers the relevant sphere of influence is not overall popularity, as those indexes [technorati, Google, GS] express. It's influence and connection within a community. And the relevant measure of connection isn't the number of connections -- it's the depth and impact of those connections. This is about celebrating the niche, and measuring engagement over time.

Gisela Strauss

Monday, October 24, 2005

Munich Book Blogs?

[Update: there is now a Berlin Book Blog, run by a friend of mine, Bernd Sommerfeld, he works at Lehmans Bookstore in Berlin, is involved with the OpenSource Community, and his solution of a book blog is interesting.]

From Feb. 19th 2005:
I am surprised. Munich is the European hub of book publishing.
It is dubbed the Isar Valley because of its role in technology.

And yet and yet: no German language book blog of repute coming out of Munich.

Check it out for yourself with the blog search engine recently redesigned featuring its own Book category.

Or just click on this link which takes you to a technorati screen with the search keyword "verlag" already entered and view results.

Gisela Strauss
Content Developer
Technical Translator

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Dave Davies said they *liked* it

Dave Davies said, that the Old Living Nazis he interviewed admitted that they did what they did because they wanted to. Not because they were *only* following orders.

I believe that. This interview is worth listening to.

Why do I believe that? Because I have witnessed the vulgarity and stubborness of Nazi conviction and the craftiness in both putting it forth and hiding it. The complete and utter absence of shame. I wonder, after listening to this, if the sweeping social engineering measures administered by the Allies to defeated German women and men and their offspring later (I am an offspring), has truly achieved the hoped-for results. Because it was based on the assumption of
emancipating hapless masses who had been manipulated by the Goebbels propaganda machine and needed only to be *rewired*. I am not sure.... Certainly that is the script the postwar generations has accepted. And handed down to us, the next generation. But then for someone growing up in the midst of this there always appeared to be holes in this story. Because for one . . .
Why was this war generation always so mean, and envious of our innocence?

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Gosfordian to the Max -

This is subtle beyond subtle: NPR features a put down on snobbery, read in a very snobbish tone of voice , in which "snobbism" is described as Americans showing casual generosity to the remnants of the British upper class, an act which those said remnants define as "snobbery" according ot their own convoluted insider rules. This is so Gosfordian: Is Karen Grigsby Bates of National Public Radio, an American station, sending Julian Fellowes, the reader, up as a snob, or is Julian given a real and earnest chance of lecturing Americans about how to avoid being snobbish towards the British upper crust? Go figure.

Cute, · T E C H N O R A T I · awwwww.

Addendum I
Someone help me out with this - Banksy and his, Please-mom-I-want-to-be-like-Andy-Warhol-when-I'm-6-campaign:
Banksys attempt to be like the American artist Warhol Is it embarassing with it's desperate and deliberate aping of Andy Warhol and a little bit of Basquiat thrown in?
Imitation Andy Warhol and Basquiat squashed into one British person named Banksy can only mean one thing: continuous self-buggery begging for Bankable Attention, payable in pounds, please.

The New York art scene elite is extremely taken aback - but too snobbish to ever let it show, even in the politest, faintest, remotest manner.

Oh c'mon Banksy, you're better than Warhol, you get a straight
A for your work - you are the Ahole.

Wait was that an ever so faint . . . giggle coming from that N.Y. loft space converted into an artistic-intellectual enclave over there? Oh look - Bansky clings to the window with suction cups - evidently begging Whoopy Goldberg to be let in. Cliffhangingly inventive - isn't he. Awwww. Soapy tho the max.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Andrew Blau on Motion Media

Whether it is the music industry, movies or journalism - anything connected with traditional media production is undergoing dramatic changes. Andrew Blau's take on Motion Media - i.e. media which captures anything that moves throws into relief hidden patterns which hold true for any of the media sectors above. Here is a selection of quotes, from

Telling Important Stories to Growing Audiences

Independent Media a Definition:
Quite simply, video and film conceived and produced independent of the traditionally corporate sponsors for media and made for a wide range of purposes beyond purely commercial considerations. The work could be personal essays, documentaries, media or video art, feature style narratives, or a combination of these.

To avoid trying the subject too much to the physical properties of film or video, to acknowledge the new digital media that will be neither film or videotape, and to distinguish the media we're referring to from media primarily composed of still graphics, text or audio, we sometimes use the term "motion media" as a substitute.
  ·     ·     ·  
Evidence of growth and decline, opportunity and threat, is no contradiction but different parts of the same story. The field is reorganizing, and the flow of resources and attention is reorganizing with it.
  ·     ·     ·  
It may not be an economic opportunity immediately or directly, but am opportunity to make and move work in unprecedented ways with unprecedented flexibility.
  ·     ·     ·  
The resulting output will overrun the institutions and strategies created to organize and navigate an era of great scarcity of media equipment and products.
  ·     ·     ·  
The internet will be the home of coming generations of media makers and viewers. For them, the Internet is neither new nor special, just the thing that connects most of their media choices.
  ·     ·     ·  
When work can be made cheaply, cheap becomes the new normal.
  ·     ·     ·  
The majors aren't set up to make money on artists selling small number of albums, but that's not a reflection of the commercial viability of the artists. It's a reflection of the economics of running a huge record company. Small independent labels are breaking even and turning profits with sales figures that the majors would take as losses and an excuse to dump the artist, and a small but growing number of artists are taking advantage of the new economics to put out their own records.
  ·     ·     ·  
more stuff
  ·     ·     ·  
and more stuff
  ·     ·     ·  
Gisela Strauss