Das CommunityCamp 2015 in Berlin

Auch wenn fallendes Laub, vermehrter Regen und ein erhöhtes Aufkommen an schalumschlungenen Wintermänteln unmissverständlich anzeigt, dass sich das Jahr 2015 schon merklich auf der Zielgeraden befindet, so ist glücklicherweise immer noch etwas Platz im Jahreszyklus der Barcamps. So kam es dann auch, dass ich mich am letzten Oktoberwochenende dieses Jahres in Richtung Berlin aufmachte, um am CommunityCamp #ccb15 teilzunehmen.

Wenn man sich beruflich im Dunstkreis von Community Management und Social Media bewegt, wie ich das jetzt beispielsweise seit etwa zwei Jahren tue, merkt man recht schnell, dass sich stets viel verändert, neue Arbeitstechniken und Werkzeuge hinzukommen, und man eigentlich immer vor der Herausforderung steht, aktuelle Entwicklungen mit einem Auge im Blick zu behalten. Manchmal fühlt sich das ein wenig so an wie die Bändigung der nie versiegenden E-Mail-Flut, welche den meisten nur allzu vertraut sein dürfte.

Umso mehr freue ich mich darüber, wenigstens ein paar Mal im Jahr auf Barcamps ins Gespräch mit anderen Menschen aus ganz Deutschland zu kommen und mich auch einmal von Angesicht zu Angesicht austauschen zu können. Das Großartige an Veranstaltungen wie dem CommunityCamp ist ja, dass hier wirklich Expert*innen aus der Praxis zugegen sind und zu fast jedem erdenklichen Spezialthema spannende Vorträge und Diskussionen stattfinden. Meine Barcamp-Maxime lautet: zuhören, Fragen stellen, dazulernen.

Twitterchat als Format im Community Management

Was kann man tun, um als Unternehmen die eigene Brand Awareness zu steigern? Zum Beispiel regelmäßige Twitterchats durchführen. Das Team von Meltwater erläuterte in einer Session anschaulich, wie man als Unternehmen im Rahmen des Community Managements dieses Frage-Antwort-Format sinnvoll einsetzen kann, um gut strukturierte und messbare Umfragen auf Twitter durchzuführen. Unter dem Hashtag #marketinginsights veranstaltet Meltwater DACH wöchentlich einen solchen Live-Twitter-Chat.

Hasskommentare im Netz – Was tun?

Ein weiterer Themenbereich, der dieses Jahr mehrfach zur Sprache kam und mit Sicherheit besonders durch die deutsche Debatte um die Aufnahme von Geflüchteten befeuert wurde, war Hate Speech im Netz. Obwohl es den klassischen Internet-Troll bereits seit den Anfangszeiten des Internet gibt, ging mit dem Aufkommen der rechtspopulistischen PEGIDA-Bewegung, den selbsternannten “Patriotischen Europäern gegen die Islamisierung des Abendlandes”, die ja selbst als Netzphänomen in einer Facebook-Gruppe begannen, ein deutliches Anwachsen von menschenverachtenden Hasskommentaren in den sozialen Medien einher.

Unternehmen, die in den sozialen Medien präsent sind, aber auch Privatpersonen sehen sich in erhöhtem Maße mit ungebremster Agitation gegen Migrant*innen, religiöse oder sexuelle Minderheiten konfrontiert. Für das Community Management kristallisierte sich im Rahmen der Diskussion heraus, dass es eher einer Mischung verschiedener Sanktionsmechanismen bedarf, um dem Problem Herr zu werden. Von Gegenrede (‘counter speech’) bis zum graduellen Sperren von Nutzer*innenkonten reicht hier die Palette der Möglichkeiten. Bewegen sich Kommentare im strafrechtlich relevanten Bereich, etwa wenn konkret zur Gewalt gegen bestimmte Bevölkerungsgruppen aufgerufen wird, besteht seitens der Plattformbetreiber*innen nach Kenntnisnahme die Pflicht zu handeln, und gegebenenfalls die Strafverfolgungsbehörden zu informieren.

Politische Bildung mit Social Media?

Wie politische Bildung mithilfe von Social Media funktionieren kann erklärte Sebastian Jabbusch in einem weiteren Vortrag. Ein Argument, das mir im Gedächtnis hängen blieb, und welches meiner Meinung nach nicht oft genug wiederholt werden kann, war, dass die Kommunikation den Regeln der jeweiligen Plattform folgen muss. Man mag ergänzen, dass dies im Zusammenspiel mit den Präferenzen der jeweiligen Zielgruppe betrachtet werden sollte. Ein konkretes Beispiel für eine Kampagne, die sich an Jugendliche richtete, setzte etwa verstärkt auf Infografiken anstatt langer Texte, um Interesse für politische Themen im Allgemeinen zu wecken. Alles in allem sollten Menschen und Geschichten im Mittelpunkt stehen, egal welche Plattform man zur Umsetzung nutzt.

Das hier ist selbstverständlich nur ein kleiner Ausschnitt eines sehr informativen Wochenendes im Oktober 2015 auf dem Community Camp Berlin. Ich habe mich insgesamt sehr über die gute Organisation, die vielen tollen Sessions und den freundlichen Austausch mit anderen aus den Bereichen Community Management und Social Media gefreut. Auch die diesjährigen Sponsoren waren klasse, denn unter anderem sorgten sie für das leibliche Wohl und damit für erstklassige Stimmung. Ohne diese kulinarische Grundlage wäre es ehrlich gesagt schwierig gewesen, die riesige Menge an Informationen während der zwei Tage aufzunehmen. Danke nochmal dafür!

Ich hoffe, dass ich es im nächsten Jahr wieder einrichten kann, zum Community Camp Berlin zu kommen. Ich würde mich freuen, einige von euch dort wiederzusehen.

Benedikt

re:publica, ich komme! (#rp15)

re:publica, ich komme! (2015 Edition)

republica_2015
republica_2015
Wenn man dem Raunen im Twitter-Wald lauscht, so flüstert es einem stets zu, dass diese Sozialen Medien in diesem seltsamen Internet ja ständig in Bewegung seien. Ein guter Grund also, um die Analog-Tür einmal zu öffnen, eine Reise in die Kohlenstoff-Welt zu unternehmen, und sich in Berlin jenseits des Neulands unserer Bundesregierung auf die Suche nach Europa zu begeben, wie das Motto der rp15 “Finding Europe” anregt.

Dieses Jahr bin ich zum zweiten Mal als Besucher auf der re:publica in Berlin dabei und ich muss gestehen, dass ich mich schon monatelang darauf gefreut habe. Das erste Mal re:publica war für mich 2013, im vergangenen Jahr konnte ich leider (oder sollte ich sagen glücklicherweise) aufgrund beruflicher Verpflichtungen nicht dabei sein.  

Für mein persönliches Montags-Fitnessprogramm ist diesmal definitiv gesorgt, denn ich erarbeite mir wieder mein Ticket als ‘Helping Hand’. Der Nebeneffekt des zu erwartenden Muskelkaters am Dienstag dürfte sein, dass ich auch aufmerksamer zuhöre, denn zwischendurch Aufstehen ist dann vermutlich keine Alternative mehr 🙂

Neben der Hoffnung, dem ein oder anderen spannenden Vortrag beizuwohnen oder in Workshops Anregungen für die Praxis mitzunehmen, freue ich mich natürlich auf ein Wiedersehen mit Freund*innen und Bekannten, die ich über das Jahr verteilt außerhalb des Netzes selten persönlich treffen kann, nicht zuletzt, weil wir mindestens quer durch Deutschland verstreut sind.


Am Dienstag finde ich folgende Vorträge besonders spannend und werde versuchen, zum einen oder anderen hinzugehen (kann sich auch noch ändern):

Opening

The Community is your Friend

Working in the on-demand economy

Fotorecht – knipsen und teilen erlaubt? Fotografie im Alltag und im gewerblichen Zusammenhang

Die Netzgemeinde ist am Ende. Jetzt geht’s los.

The art of trolling

What The Hell Is Threat Modeling Anyway?

Von der Netzwerk- zur Plattformgesellschaft

Nudge! Nudge! – Was Design von Verhaltenspsychologie lernen kann

Tag 3:

Hack your City

Wenn Behörden zuhören wollen: Social Media Monitoring durch den Staat

Open Source Intelligence: Terrorism Prevention and Intelligence Collection in the Age of Social Media

Der Rabbi und die koscheren Gummibärchen – Die deutsch-jüdische Blogosphäre

Robots in Human Society

Kaiserschmarrn statt Islam! Rechte Volkstribunen im Netz.

 

 

 

re-publica 2013, Day 3

My posts about the previous two days at re:publica 2013

My post about Day 1 of re:publica 2013 is here.

My post about Day 2 of re:publica 2013 is here.

Wednesday, the third and final day of re:publica 2013

After getting some well-deserved sleep, I returned to the Station on Wednesday morning to enjoy the final day of re:publica 2013.

I would say that, for the most part, the sessions I visited on Wednesday were on the technical side of things.

Note: Wherever possible, I have embedded videos of the talks I visited from re:publica’s official YouTube channel. All the video recordings are used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Germany (CC BY-SA 3.0 DE) license.

Data Liberation and Open Data Projects in Germany ans Europe

I began Wednesday, the final day of re:publica 2013, by visiting a presentation (in German) on open data projects featuring Sebastian Vollnhals, Jens Ohlig (Wikimedia Foundation), and Michael Kreil (https://www.opendatacity.de).

The presenters highlighted that in order to be useful, data must be machine-readable, sortable into categories, and be capable to reference other data.

Data formats must be readable, contain repetitive structures, and be well-specified and documented.

For those who would like to get deeper involved in the topic of open data, one good resource is the Open Data Handbook.

LICENSES

The presenters stressed that the most useful license for open data projects would be the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license, which has no restrictions for the use of the data.

 Exemplary open data projects in Germany and Europe

But what is open data useful for? Where can it be put to good use?

In Germany, some efforts regarding the establishment of open data portals have already been made.

One such project by the Federal Government of Germany is govdata.de, which the panelists criticized for not being open according to their definition of open data.

Another example in Germany is the portal fragdenstaat.de (“ask the state”), a project for freedom of information requests in Germany according to the Informationsfreiheitsgesetz (IFG).

Other local open data projects in Germany include Berlin Open Data and Open Data Hamburg.

LEAKED DOCUMENTS, CROWD-SOURCING, AND OPEN DATA

The presenters mentioned another project that combines leaked German military documents from the war in Afghanistan with a crowd-sourced approach to transcribing these materials into a database: the Afghanistan Papiere (“Afghanistan Papers”), which the German Ministry of Defense is attempting to remove from the Internet.

Open Data projects in the EU

On the European level, there is the European Union Open Data Project.

Technical Tips

The presenters further illustrated how data that was available in text form could be transformed into machine-readable tables using spreadsheet software such as Microsoft Excel, which, despite its proprietary nature, they said was very good at these things, especially for ‘quick and dirty’ conversions.

Using pivot tables and creating graphs, these graphs could then be made more visually appealing by exporting them into pdf documents and importing those into a vector graphics editor.

Other tools:

Google Fusion Tables for linking smaller databases for data journalism work.

Datawrapper for creating simple and correct diagrams with embedding codes for websites.

Web Miner for scraping data from the web (explanatory video linked on the website).

Data traces of regular Internet users with Me & My Shadow

The workshop by Anne Roth and Stephanie Hankey (no video available) presented myshadow.org, a website from Tactical Tech that helps users to inform themselves about the data traces they leave behind every time they use devices such as notebooks or smartphones.

myshadow.org visualizes a person’s data shadow and shows how the amount of data about an individual can be reduced.

Another helpful tool mentioned was the website https://panopticlick.eff.org from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which helps users to check how trackable their web browser is.

The presenters also warned about a malicious tool called Faceniff, which can hijack open Facebook and other sessions running inside a web browser on unsecured connections (http instead of https).

What a day!

Apart from these two sessions, I switched between quite a few more, but did not find the time to take down meticulous notes. There was just so much going on at the same time.

The epic finale of re:publica featured a massive choir consisting of everybody in the room of stage 1, giving a rendition of Queen’s classic rock song “Bohemian Rhapsody.” I found the idea of the ‘digital bohème’ performing “Bohemian Rhapsody” quite hilarious.

After the official program was over, the following re:publica party provided the opportunity to enjoy some more music, drinks, and conversations with friends and new acquaintances.

If I can make it, I will return next year for re:publica 2014 (#rp14). In the meantime, I will watch some of the other interesting sessions that I missed on re:publica’s YouTube channel.

My post about Day 1 of re:publica 2013 is here.

My post about Day 2 of re:publica 2013 is here.

You can find me on twitter under @benmschaefer for social media stuff. My other twitter account, which is visible in the sidebar, is @AS_Grad. There I mostly link to articles about politics in the US. On this blog here, I mostly write about politics and culture in the US. You will find my personal opinions (and sometimes rants) about various issues. Currently, the format of the blog is not what I would consider an academic blog, but I do my best to provide reliable sources wherever possible.

re-publica 2013, Day 2

re-publica 2013, Day 2

Posts on the other two days of re:publica 2013

My post about Day 1 of re:publica 2013 is here.

My post about Day 3 of re:publica 2013 is here.

Not partying too hard on Monday night

Unconfirmed rumors have it that all those Internet people at re:publica like parties, too. One might be tempted to think that the ‘digital bohème’ enjoys a beer or two, or even parties all night long on Monday night and gets completely wasted. However true that may be for some people, I could not participate in much of this because of . . . reasons! In fact, I was going to be on a mission the next morning.

My ticket for re:publica 2013
My ticket for re:publica 2013

I had registered as a volunteer to get my ticket and I had a late shift as stage assistant before me. So I knew that this would be quite a long day. Therefore, the party on Monday was rather brief for me.

Note: Wherever possible, I have embedded videos of the talks I visited from re:publica’s official YouTube channel. All the video recordings are used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Germany (CC BY-SA 3.0 DE).

A different kind of social media at the re:publica 2013: cardboard boxes with messages such as this: "Hinweis: Diese Farbe ist wunderschön." "Stimme ich zu!" ("Notice: This color is beautiful." "I agree!")
A different kind of social media at the re:publica 2013: cardboard boxes with messages such as this: “Hinweis: Diese Farbe ist wunderschön.” “Stimme ich zu!” (“Notice: This color is beautiful.” “I agree!”)

Radio Universal with Tim Pritlove

After getting myself some coffee, I began Tuesday, the second day at re:publica 2013, with a visit to the world of podcasting.

Tim Pritlove, a very popular Berlin-based German podcaster and re:publica veteran, gave a talk in which he envisioned the future of podcasting as a sort of “universal radio.”

Tim talked about how podcasts are “incubators for formats” and how they form their own ecosystems. He introduced the audience to a number of technical solutions for the podcasting world, such as app.net, podlove, podlove publisher, bitlove, auphonic, and poodle.fm.

The universal radio of the future uses audio files as a carrier and integrates additional metadata in order to enhance networked discussions.

Entrepreneurial Science Journalism

One of the panels in the science track was about entrepreneurial science journalism and featured Dino Trescher (nanomagazin.com), Ulrike Langer (medialdigital.de), Stephan Ruß-Mohl (European Journalism Observatory) and Sebastian Turner. Unfortunately, I could not find a video recording of this event yet.)

The basic consensus was that, for users/readers, the current times are golden times regarding the availability of journalistic articles covering science. On the other hand, for specialized publishers, there is rather a shift from ‘platinum times’ to ‘golden times.’

As Ulrike Lange, one of the panelists, said, science journalists can attain increased visibility on the Internet through shared content and therefore may be able to attract more jobs.

IN, SIDE, OUT of SCIENCE

The next talk I visited was about science communication and social media featuring Prof. Dr. Anders Levermann (Potsdam-Institut für Klimafolgenforschung, blogging climate scientist), Lars Fischer (blogger and award winner of Wissenschaftsjournalist 2012 (Science Journalist 2012), Solveig Wehking (Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Forschungsplanung (research coordinator)), and Ruth Schöllhammer (social media consultant).

The panelists noted that there is a need for professional scientists and their institutions to communicate with and involve broader publics because science is under increasing pressure to legitimize itself and its funding.

One of the most interesting takeaways for me from this panel was that professional scientists can actually be inspired to new research ideas by bloggers who are themselves scientific laypersons.

Net Neutrality

The talk on net neutrality featuring Ben Scott (Save the internet, http://www.freepress.net, Senior Adviser to the Open Technology Institute at the New America Foundation in Washington DC, Visiting Fellow at the Stiftung Neue Verantwortung in Berlin), Markus Beckedahl (netzpolitik.org), and Hannah Seiffert (Attorney at Law, based in Berlin, Head of Political Affairs at eco – Association of the German Internet Industry) dealt with the current threats to the Internet as a public good.

In Germany, the largest Internet service provider Telekom recently announced that it would end so-called flatrate payment models wherein users paid a fixed monthly fee for unlimited Internet traffic.

Ben Scott argued that the Internet is a public good and that this is visible in its original end to end design, meaning that in principle, any user of the World Wide Web can see any website.

Six Degrees Of Wikipedia

I finished Day 2 by watching a game show hosted by Sebastian Vollnhals and Julian Finn   featuring Six Degrees of Wikipedia, a game in which two contestants get a randomly-generated pair of entries on Wikipedia and have to maneuver from one to the other only by clicking on linked words inside the respective article. A very creative use of Wikipedia, and a really fun game.

Six Degrees Of Wikipedia, a game in which two contestants have to maneuver from one randomly-chosen entry another only by clicking on linked words inside the article.

After the gaming session was over, I fulfilled my final duties as a helping hand by assisting with the cleaning up of the stage.

Too much to see on Day 2

Needless to say, there were many more great talks that I briefly walked into, and even more that I would have loved to see, but could not make it. It was simply impossible, given that re:publica simultaneously had events running on seven (!) stages and four more workshop areas. Damn you, re:publica, for providing such an overabundance of conference goodness! 🙂

My post about Day 1 of re:publica 2013 is here.

My post about Day 3 of re:publica 2013 is here.

re-publica 2013, Day 1

re:publica 2013, Day 1

My post about Day 2 of re:publica 2013 is here.

My post about Day 3 of re:publica 2013 is here.

 

Internet sign at the re:publica 2013
Internet sign at the re:publica 2013

When I arrived at the Station Berlin by bike on Monday, May 6, 2013, there were already hundreds of people buzzing all over the place. I saw quadrocopters (yes, drones!) flying overhead, and met up with a few friends. After getting my name tag and wrist band at  the ‘helping hand’ desk, I headed for the catering stand to grab a coffee. Then, just like hundreds of people around me, swarmed to Stage 1 for the opening event.

The opening event featured some impressive stage design with light projections on cubes and earth-shattering bass-heavy electronic music.

Note: Wherever possible, I have embedded videos of the talks I visited from re:publica’s official YouTube channel. All the video recordings are used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Germany (CC BY-SA 3.0 DE).

Political campaigning with Betsy Hoover, Obama for America 2012

As an Americanist, I had no trouble deciding where to head next. I considered the talk by Betsy Hoover, who was the online campaign coordinator for ‘Obama for America 2012,’ a must-see. Hoover talked about the importance of linking online and offline activities for a successful political campaign. I wonder how much the experience from the American elections can be applied to the German context. One thing is for certain: German political parties right now are closely examining the past American presidential elections for clues on how to be successful themselves.

Offline Crowdsourcing

Next, I attended a workshop by Stefan Domke and David Ohrnhoff on offline crowdsourcing. Their project digit aims at making available German analog private archives including amateur films, photographs and post cards on an online platform while involving seniors who are not, if at all, computer- and online-savvy.

Here is how it works: individuals get technical assistance with the digitizing process, in return the materials get published on the online platform. In addition, participants receive a USB memory stick with the digitized materials so that they can share them with friends and family in this manner as well.

One of their problems was that it was difficult to get seniors to enter metadata describing the digitized materials into entry masks. Some ideas to solve this problem included finding partners who volunteer for the data entry and crowdsourcing the collection of metadata by posting, for example, an image on Facebook and have the community type in what they know about it.

YouTube Stars

One talk discussed (in German) the emergence of prominent (German) YouTube stars who have, in a relatively brief time, developed huge online followings with self-made videos on diverse topics such as computer games or in the case of one participant, her daily life as a young mother. The popular YouTubers on the panel agreed that it was very important to engage their audience in a dialogue to build a community around their video channels.

Social Media Mistakes By Nonprofits

In Jona Hölderle’s workshop (in German), various typical mistakes by nonprofits using social media channels for their work were presented and discussed.

Here is a post (in German) by Marie-Christine Schindler on the workshop that also includes the slides and a really cool sketchnote).

According to Jona, the most frequent mistakes made by nonprofit organizations who use social media platforms to spread their cause include the following:

  1. Thinking that social media is just Facebook.
  2. Thinking in content, but not in communities. His example was motortalk.de, a very popular commercial online forum for car enthusiasts in Germany.
  3. Taking ourselves too seriously (!).
  4. Expecting new target audiences all the time. In his view, smaller social media profiles tend to attract friends rather than new audiences.
  5. Being crazy for apps that we want to put on people’s smartphones and tablets. The effort to get people to install an app is often disproportionate.
  6. We do not blog or we do not blog enough. In his opinion, blogging on one’s own platform is better. We should aim for real interaction. And we should not forget to link from our blog to our other social media profiles.
  7. We assume too much prior knowledge on the part of our fans/followers. This results in confusing posts that cannot be understood without having read the x previous posts. Therefore, especially on Facebook and Twitter, it is a good idea to repeat certain posts after a certain time, for instance two weeks.
  8. We do not interact enough (!).
  9. We are losing sight of our goals.
  10. Nonprofits do not invest.

I think those are some great tips.

Muslim Bloggers in Germany

Stine Eckert’s talk (in German) discussed the role of Muslim bloggers in Germany and highlighted how their writing establishes a counter-discourse against one-sided portrayals in the German mainstream media. In her interviews with a variety of bloggers, she discovered a whole range of opinions, lifestyles, and realities. Most importantly, Muslim bloggers did not want to be reduced to their religious and/or cultural identity, but be noticed as individuals with various interests and characteristics.

With rage and pathos for a free and secure Internet

Finally, Sascha Lobo, perhaps Germany’s most prominent blogger, recognizable for his red mohawk hairstyle, urged the Internet crowd (in German) to reclaim social media with rage and pathos. And he revealed a technical tool to help with this endeavor: reclaim.fm, an extension for the popular blogging software WordPress, which automatically makes backup copies of all content posted on social networking sites, just in case one of the popular social networking sites shuts down or decides to censor or delete content.

What a day! There is more to come.

My post about Day 2 of re:publica 2013 is here.

My post about Day 3 of re:publica 2013 is here.

I will very likely continue to update this post with a few more links.

re-publica 2013, Day 1

Back From re-publica 2013 In Berlin, Germany

I am back from re-publica 2013 in Berlin, Germany

From May 6 to May 8, 2013, I attended re:publica 2013, the biggest Internet conference in Germany. It took place at the Station, a former trainyard in Berlin—quite an impressive location, I have to say.

It was my first time at re:publica and I volunteered as a stage assistant for one shift to earn my ticket for the whole duration of the event.

I am still sorting all my materials and ideas, but I am planning on writing a few more blog posts on my impressions in the coming days. Stay tuned!