Response #12: Welcome back, Mr. Obama

Its something unpredictable, but…[…]” That’s how one of my favorite Songs starts. And to answer today’s assignment ‘how will the election 2012 look like’: It’s something unpredictable!

Looking back what we have covered in class, one session personally stuck me most: We watched this video about how the media and society will look like in 2014. It was produced in early ofand did not even mention Social Media, including Facebook or video sharing sites such as Youtube. Can you believe this? We are only lining in 2009! We also talked about Moore’s Law. This concept describes that every two years Personal Computers become twice as fast and half as cheap. If I combine both, the film 2014 – Museum of Media History and Moore’s Law, well, then: no idea how the future campaigns look like.

However, it is kind of predictable from what we have studied this semester: a main happening is the decline of traditional journamlism/ media and an incline of citizen journalism. I am pretty sure that this trend will continue until it reaches a balance between professional journalism and free-time journalism. I am also pretty sure that certain habit will further evolve. We are more and more transferring into a “information generation on the go.” So I think that mobile applications will further gain a huge market share in terms of information distribution. Maybe we will also all have electronic papers by then.

Garrett Graff describes in his article “Bacack Obama: How Content Management and Web2.0 Helped Win the White House” that many political campaign teams never fully integrated ordinary tools such as email, texting capabilities, voter files, and credit card processing systems into their online campaigns.

To come back to the question how the 2012 Presidential Election will look like: I think it is the general understanding to integrate these applications with a changing media habit, a changing media consumption, and a shifting perception of journalism. At the core will be a huge grassroots movement, maybe even bigger than the one we have seen so far. As the Edelman Social Pulpit remarks, the integration of online advocacy into every element of the campaign will ultimately decide over looser or winner.


Extra Post #6: The new journalism.

Response to class’ Delicious link.

When I read Nikki Usher’s Blog Skill Training Is Not Enough For The Digital Journalist I totally agreed with his main thoughts on “modern journalists”. Nikki says that Web 2.0 forces journalists to re-think  And all of them, if not more, I have studied during the past 15 weeks. This week, our Social Media class comes to an end. My first though thinking of Social Media: “Well, I don’t need to understand the trend of social media…” I was so wrong. Our instructor, Garrett Graf, introduced us to what social media really means, and what drives millions of people to sign up for Facebook, Flicker, Twitter & others. We also learned about citizen journalism and its power towards traditional media. Take Twitter, for example: The U.S. Airways crash into the Hudson River was first reported on Twitter. Only a couple of years ago, it would have been first reported on major cable news outlets, or on online pages of a major newspaper. So, will social media bring journalism to an end? Summing up all readings and impressions from my class, I found a clear answer: No, but social media will certainly change the traditional way, journalism works (used to work).

However, I found this interesting statement among all the comments regarding the article on the Hudson River plane crash:[…] people always look to traditional media sources to verify information. The most obvious issue with twitter is the noise factor – how do you seed out rambling from credible sources? As the blogger Nikki states in his blog, Journalists need to rethink and reposition themselves and they no longer control the distribution of the content they produce. This causes many problems, as this case shows. Nikki also picks up our most important learning from this class: markets are conversation. This is not just a statement, as I learned, but a concept: the Internet is a tool (like a printing machine for newspapers, or a satellite dish for TV network). For the first time, ordinary people (who couldn’t afford expensive equipment) are able to put their news out there. The former audience turns into newsmaker, as Dan Gillmore explains in his book We The Media. And we, as future professional communicators, must understand how this new media era functions.

Update Response #11: What happend in Fallujah

This video is based on a true story. The Department of Defense should not be too happy about its release. Please note, that it contains very disturbing pictures. I was very sad after watching this.

Fallujah: The Hidden Massacre  (

Response #11: Iraq war LIVE into your home!

War and the Internet… I never thought of digging deeper into this. However, this week’s assignment gives us the chance to learn more about the Iraq war and its blog and Youtube sphere. I start my research with watching this Youtube video, titled “OMG US KILLING KIDS.” The title struck me most: would this video show US soldiers killing little innocent Iraqi children? Well, watching this video it turns out that it documents how US soldiers hand over footballs to Iraqi kids. It’s a misleading and terrible ironic title. The video is also described as “*WARNING THIS VIDEO IS EXTREMELY GRAPHIC AND SHOWS KIDS GETTING SERVED*”.


After that I started to dig myself into military blogs, such as Blackfive, Michael Yon, or Jeff Emanuel. They were all listed as finalists for the 2007 weblog awards, category: best military blogs. The one I spend most time with was called Army of Dude. I liked reading through a couple of this blog posts. Bt I soon realized that the reading was like reading a magazine. I don’t know. I don’t want to put a statement out here – but for a high school graduate he is a very skilled writer. And since I am really into photography, this dude is also a pretty skilled photographer.

Ironically the Department of Defence plans to shut down Youtube access overseas. On the one hand the Department of Defence uses Social Media for recruiting purposes, and on the other they don’t want to have all these “real-life-battle-zone-videos” filmed by US soldiers on video sharing sites. This wired news article gives you also a pretty detailed insight into the new blogging restrictions.

Well, I guess I know what the US Department of Defence aims at: not to show the brutal reality of war. But watching this video makes me sick. The Iraqi people have been a proud people; they are equal to us and deserve the highest dignity of human beings. I guess not all soldiers out there are the often proclaimed proud fighters for democracy and freedom. Here is the same story, just commented from the journalist who filmed it. It’s interesting to watch for one reason: the report you probably saw on the American networks was not the whole story…






I don’t want to comment on the war in Iraq, neither on the soldiers sacrificing their life for democracy. The only thing I have an opinion on is that democracy is a process; and not given by another people or “alliance against terrorism.” But the reality looks like some of the soldiers deployed into Iraq are still kids. Watch the smile in the face of one of them and then and listen to the brief comments of the others.


Maybe some of the heroic and patriotic rhetoric in American political speeches are misleading for some young Americans (“proud to serve the American people”, “the US military is the proud of our nation)”. The same things are repeated all the time, so people start to believe in it. A similar phenomena is the “and God bless the United States of America” notion at the end of nearly every speech. Personally, I am already annoyed by it: We are one world. There is no nation blessed more than others. We are all made from one blood.

In the end, I think it is still right to write a blog online as a soldier or post a video on Youtube. We live in a world of free speech. And if all this is the reality, why cover it up? I have a pragmatic thought here: When I wanted to become a soldier, I would have to inform myself about my new job. So I would also check for social media stuff. The same thing I do for applying for a company: I check what people out there in the Internet sphere write about their employers and working conditions. Then, I know what expects me. At least the official US Army recruiting site is not totally honest about the risks involved being a soldier (not mentioning the ethical challenges being deployed into the battlefield)…






Extra Post #5: Be careful with what you put online

Online identity? Response to class’ Delicious link…

In the age of social media, and especiallyy in the times of recession, it is more important than ever to create a positive image of yourself online. The unemployment rate is at an all-year high, the news is full of mass-layoffs, and businesses stopped hiring. In these times, it is more important than ever to use all available tools out there, to market oneself. And I especially would focus on social media tools to draw attention to yourself and your skills.

Alina Tugend published a very interesting article on (“Putting Yourself Out There On A Self To Buy”), which you should read in order to understand “how to brand yourself”. She mentions LinkedIN, Facebook, or even Twitter as important “first digitalfingerprintsteps” of online self marketing tools. As we have learned in our Social Media class, the search engine Google brands your name, if you don’t try to create your own image. What does this mean? Put your name into Google, or any other search engine, and hit enter: do you like what you see? Do you remember this picture of you drunk at a college party 4 years ago? Do you think your Facebook page is informative for you future employee? Do something about it! As we all know, the first page of organic search results on Google matters most. All the other hits, listed on pages three, four, or five don’t necessarily matter. So what you want listed as the first hits are not your party pictures, but your blog, your homepage, you CV, your LinkedIN profile, your Facebook profile, and maybe some newspaper articles you have published. All this needs to be updated – than your online image is all set for job hunters’ research.

But here comes the problem, at least from my perspective (maybe you agree): the Internet is a tricky place for the “perfect image.” Both of our lives, the professional one (LinkedIN, company’s homepage, public job as press secretary) and the private one (Facebook, Flickr, etc.), take place online. And the bottom line is: you cannot draw a line between professional and private life. Personally, I suggest to be very careful with putting your private life out there. Your private life matters to your friends only anyway – so write a blog using your nickname for instance. So, only friends who know your nickname will find the blog. Or at least it will be harder for job hunters Also use Facebook with a slightly different name than yours. And make sure not to put all party pictures online. When I party, I seriously get annoyed by my friends who carry their small digital cameras with them day and night. At some point, I personally want to just relax – without being photographed dancing and knowing “I will be tagged on this picture by 7.30 am tomorrow morning on Facebook.”

Privacy matters; and your professional life, too. Try to draw a clear line between both of them. It may help to keep your professional image clean!

Update Extra Post #4: Flutter & nanoblogging: That’s what we’ve all waited for…

Ok, should we stop at some point? I mean, this is crazy…. Who needs Flutter now? …and what will be next, tinyblogging??

Extra Post #4: Without Twitter we would not live in a real world. Without Twitter we would not know about or families and friends.

This blog post is an extra post (my forth) and response to Quentin Hunstad’s blog (“Response #8: Twitter Do’s for finding your followers”).

Quentin is blogging on Twitter and that he recently signed up for Twitter. He also gives useful information on how to attract followers. Overall, I really like this blog. But I am opposed to Twitter in general. If you are interested in understanding what Twitter is, read Quentin’s blog; for further information read this Wikipedia entry, or watch this Youtube video “Twitter in Plain English:”



Within hours, she began to see a different side of people she chose to follow. She didn’t know that Steven in Seattle was a baseball fan. Or that Julia in London was reading a new investment book. The little messages from Twitter painted a picture of her friends, family, and co-workers she had not seen before. It was the real world.” This quote is taken from the Youtube video.

Well, I am not a fan of Twitter and oppose it. “It is the real world.” Oh, thanks to micro-blogging and Twitter we finally found the real world! Hold on a minute. My point of view is somewhat reverse: Thanks to Twitter, we loose that real world! I had a drink with a friend who recently signed up for Twitter. While we had beer and talked he suddenly got his phone out and put a message on Twitter that he is having a beer with a friend at the Front Page bar. Well, on the way back he tweeted about the rain and snow showers and that the weather outside is really nasty. Mmh, welcome to the real world!? No, but who cares! And most importantly: while we were walking back he was more into his phone than talking to me. Cool, so that’s our new world: Instead of following his online conversation he could have had a real-world conversation with me. And that’s the problem with the new digital communications world: I am (and now I sound like my grandfather) afraid that some digital fans loose their ability to socially interact in the real world. I just think society will not gain more information from Twitter. I think microblogging is also a great danger for our information society, in terms of time available to spend with media.  Instead of spending some more time with watching the evening news or reading a newspaper, we waste much of our daytime with microblogging. Even though Twitter is not supposed to replace journalism, many people spend more time on Twitter than with their TV channel or newspaper (print or online). And Twitter will never replace journalism, since 140 characters are not enough to get into detail. I don’t know, but selecting news is a dangerous concept for me. And that’s how Twitter works: You select people, you want to follow. And there are some extremes: On Tweetwasters you can check how much time you waste with Twitter – just type in your username. By the way, a guy called Sugree from NYC is placed first with 3,445,860 Seconds or 40 days (!) non-stop (!!) twittering! If you look for more detailed information on how to waste your time with micro-blogging, check out the techcrunch article.

Again, I like social media a lot. And I think blogging, Wikipedia, the concept of Wisdom of the crowds, Facebook, etc are great. But some people have to be aware not loose the feeling for the real world. Let’s meet and have a coffee or beer together. Not online. But in real world.