latest blogposts on

As I posted, I moved to a netvibes universe, where my (old) blogger-blog is embedded. Since I do not longer use this edublog for posting, here’s a look at the latest stuff I posted im my blog.
Update: Please find my english pages here: and here:; since in decided to blog in german for several reasons, the rest of my stuff is in german: (I guess no one cares, though).

Bye bye Edublogs … moving back to blogger

Ok, is really a great service. It’s free and ad-free, has some great design, is wordpress-driven and everything. However, it’s very much on the slow side for a nerd like me, the admin interface need too many clicks (and pauses of up to 10 sec. or so). Finally, it’s not flexible enough for me in terms of layout and web integration on the static pages. Again, this is totally ok for a free and ad-free offer, I do not complain. I guess using eb for a personal profesisonal homepage is anyway a bit off, for it has it strenghts clearly on the edu-side (wiki-integration, classroom-blogs etc.).

Actually, I nearly stopped using my blog since I changed from blogger to edublogs. I’m back to blogger sinve 2 days and have 3 postings since, and have to keep myself from posting even more. Dunno why, but that’s how it is. There’s seemingly a lesson to learn about participation and interface technologies.

Btw., I wanted to set up my own WP first, but now I’m happy with my sleek stylish super-functional flexible fast web 2.0 netvibes-universe (url see below).

So, I sympathize with and I’m gonna keep my account, probably in order to use it for courses. But not for my web presence.

It’s more than unlikely that anyone reading this will have bookmarked the edublogs url or subscribed to the edublogs-rss instead of the feedburner-rss I offered. Anyway, here you’ll find me, as always: (website/blog) (RSS – Blog only) (RSS – Blog and Media-News)

Gastvortrag “Avatare in Second Life”

Am Donnerstag, dem 13.3.2008, 10-12 Uhr wird der (meines Wissens) erste öffentliche Gastvortrag der Otto-von-Guericke-Universität in Second Life stattfinden. Der Gastvortrag findet im Rahmen meines „Avatare“-Seminars vom letzten Wintersemester statt. Michael Lange vom Portal „Bildung in Second Life“ wird über die Möglichkeiten der Avatargestaltung in dieser virtuellen Welt berichten. Es wird anschließend Gelegenheit geben, sich über Avatare und über andere Themen rund um Second Life auszutauschen.

Alle Interessierten (nicht nur die TeilnehmerInnen des Seminars) sind herzlich eingeladen, daran teilzunehmen. Es ist dazu natürlich nötig, vorher einen (kostenlosen) Second Life-Account zu eröffnen und die Software zu installieren. Neulinge sollten sich auf jeden Fall vorher 20 min. Zeit nehmen und sich zunächst auf dem “Orientation Island” umschauen (man landet dort automatisch nach dem ersten Einloggen).

Wir treffen uns am Donnerstag um kurz vor 10 Uhr in der Sandbox der „European University II“. Der Ort ist über folgende Second Life-URL (SLurl) erreichbar:

International Journal of Internet Science – new issue is online

The IJIS is a promising new open access journal. Here’s the TOC of the recent (second) issue:

Volume 2, Issue 1 (2007)

Ulf-Dietrich Reips & Uwe Matzat:
Web 2.0, Internet 2.1? (Editorial)

Ursula Szillis & Dagmar Stahlberg:
The Face-ism Effect in the Internet: Differences in Facial Prominence of Women and Men

Marion Wittchen, Daniel Schlereth & Guido Hertel:
Social Indispensability in Spite of Temporal and Spatial Separation: Motivation Gains in a Sequential Task During Anonymous Cooperation on the Internet

Eulàlia Puig-i-Abril & Hernando Rojas:
Being Early on the Curve: Online Practices and Expressive Political Participation

Sabina B. Gesell, Maxwell Drain, Paul A. Clark & Michael P. Sullivan:
Test of a Web and Paper Employee Satisfaction Survey: Comparison of Respondents and Non-Respondents

Tse-Hua Shih & Xitao Fan:
Response Rates and Mode Preferences in Web-Mail Mixed-Mode Surveys: A Meta-Analysis

Book Review
Mark D. Griffiths:
Internet Psychology, a Very Personal Reflection: The Oxford Handbook of Internet Psychology

In case you missed it, you may also want to take notice of the recent issue of the JCMC on social network sites:

Ping … this blog is not dead … but so is the Berlin Metaverse Summit 2007

This is just to proclaim that this blog is not dead … there’s a lot that I would have posted if I had not been so lazy had simply done it had not been so busy fighting against my student’s vampires on facebook only had found the time to do so. And besides, it turns out to be a turn-down blogging in english when those few people who are reading it (you know who) are supposedly german native speakers. (I’m not complaining, being a part of the blogosphere means to read and comment in the first line.)

OK, this blog is not dead, but so is the Metaverse Summit which was scheduled for December 6th/7th in Berlin. Unfortunately, because they asked me to give a talk there. Supposedly to get me buying a ticket ;-) At least the Metaverse Expo 07 (Munich) seems to take place (without me, though). Addendum: It does take place, but in Secondlife, not in Munich (SLurl).

The Berlin Metaverse Convention was the third german SL/Metaverse event to be canceled this year. Could it be that folks like Linden Lab and Anche Chung Studios were just a bit too busy making the big, fast money on the climax of the SL media hype, leaving behind empty Sims (although log-in counts still grow or so – btw., could someone be so kind to script some rolling bushes, that would make a nice picture). Anyway, it’s nice to read about open standards being planned for virtual objects and avatars (thx for the link, Jens). If I get it right, it could just turn out to be a kind of ‘OpenSocial’ for virtual worlds.

However, I’ll promise to post something about avatars and virtual worlds research soon. And to supplement a post about some experiences I recently had when giving a talk to media educators about social networks (50-60% already heard about “MySpace”, and a roaring 30% knew the expression “Web 2.0”). See you.

Virtual Worlds vs. Digital Games = Web 2.0 vs. Web 1.0?

Just stumbled upon that Blogpost of Alex Krotoski at the UK Guardian’s (digital) games stream entitled “Getting serious about virtual worlds”, where “Serious Virtual Worlds conference director David Wortley answers some serious questions about virtual worlds”. David Wortley ist also the director of the Serious Games Institute at Coventry University, and of course we listen up when guys like this give interviews. There also was a Serious Virtual Worlds Conference in Coventry just some days ago, by the way.
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New Journal: Eludamos. Journal for Computer Game Culture.

The following information just had been spread over the cyberculture-mailinglist. Especially the title sounds very promising for those who recognize digital games a an integral part of digital culture(s).

New Journal: Eludamos. Journal for Computer Game Culture.

This new scientific, international, peer reviewed online journal deals with everything ludic and looks at digital games from a multitude of perspectives. Its approach is deliberately broad to accommodate the
rapid changes and constant growth of this highly transdisciplinary field.

The journal is organized in sections with the first issue containing an in-depth introduction, articles and game reviews. You can already enjoy this kick-off publication at

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Freebase – public alpha

Freebase, a cutting-edge service that could turn out to be a milestone in semantic web technologies, is now in “public alpha”, which means everyone can access and use it. (Alpha is the new beta, you know …)

Freebase gatheres its data from open accessible data sources such as wikipedia and does an obviously highly sophisticated semantic analysis on it, which means this database/searchengine “knows” the data it handles. Additionally, registered users can alter the information easily (similar to Wikis, but in a data structured format, so it’s possible to add new types of data). Freebase is all about access to the massive amounts of human-generated content which came along with Web 2.0, and it’s about making sense of the data.

For example: If you search for Cory Doctorow, the result is a page that tells you what that “item” is (a person, an author, a blogger), his gender, date of birth, profession, a short description, books he wrote and so on:

Freebase - Screenshot

Or try an apple search to explore the difference to conventional, not semantically-structured search engines. The possibility to add data allows you to easily make contributions, to complete your personal profile according to your needs, and so on.

There’s possibly not that much data in it by now (compared to established search engines), but imho, the results are impressing. Of course, they provide an API so anyone (or anything, like bots) will be able to do a structured query from any page or mashup – especially this feature, I guess, could turn out to be the most important aspect of freebase.

Active participation requires an account – I have 10 invitations to offer, so if you like to try it out, just leave a comment here and I’ll send you one.

Web 2.0 – Enlightenment

This one’s a bit off-topc, I guess. On, there is a great video of Buddhist monk and scholar Bob Thurman talking about some core ideas of Buddhism, especially the interconnectedness of everyone and everything. It’s so humorous it really made me “lol”, so I wanted to share it.

Interestingly, Thurman doesn’t evoke a mystic unified mind or spiritual stuff like that, but rather closely relates the idea of enlightment to the insight into the global interconnectedness as enforced by the globalized transformation of knowledge through the web:

“… all the interconnectedness of all the computers and everything, it’s the forging of a mass awareness, of where everybody can really know everything that’s going on everywhere in the planet.

And therefore it will become intolerable — what compassion is, is where it will become intolerable for us, totally intolerable that we sit here in comfort and in pleasure and enjoying the life of the mind or whatever it is, and there are people who are absolutely riddled with disease and they cannot have a bite of food and they have no place or they’re being brutalized by some terrible person and so forth, it just becomes intolerable.”

That just reminds me of Google Earth’s new “global awareness layer” …

As far as I knew (Zen) Buddhism, I always thought it would rather be about letting go of all the knowledge, so this was new to me, because it contains a kind of political utopia of achieving a better world through information access. Of course that’s highly optimistic if not naive, and, of course, the history of the internet always have been the history of its prophets, spreading their tales of how the web will bring global love, peace, and democracy to all of us.

Anyway, I haven’t heard sentences like this by now: “With all of us knowing everything, we’re kind of forced by technology to become Buddhas or something, to become enlightened”, Thurman says, surprisingly proceeding: “And of course, we all will be deeply disappointed when we do.”

Thurman has a really unique esprit. It’s really kind of a stand-up Zen presentation, so enjoy and become enlightened!

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Find the video plus a transcript here.

[via Presentation Zen]

Danah Boyd’s Social Network Research list

Anyone interested in research on social networks will know Danah Boyd or at least her Blog. Danah does a great job in making many of her papers available as pdf files. More than this, she has a nice list on her site containing present research articles on social networks, which is frequently updated. Very valuable – many thanks for sharing, Danah!

BTW, you may want to add her to your network: and/or to put her citeulike-collection of community research-related papers and books on your watchlist.