Schreib doch einfach mal was…

Die Angst vorm leeren Blatt…

mit der lebe ich, seitdem ich schreibe. Ich kann Reden halten, Veranstaltungen moderieren, mich beim Stammtisch in Rage diskutieren, aber wenn es um schwarz auf weiss geht, da kommen sie, die Unsicherheiten, Schweissausbrueche, die Selbstzweifel. Manchmal bin ich zufrieden mit meinen Erguessen, meistens halte ich es fuer unzureichend. Mein Blog, meine Therapie.

Wie Ihr wisst, arbeite ich fuer ein Software Start-Up in Boston. VMTurbo hat eine Software, mit der man Datencenter-Management automatisieren kann. Als ich im November angefangen habe, habe ich kein Wort verstanden. Das wird jeden Tag ein bisschen besser, allerdings mehr im Sokratischen Sinne: Ich erkenne mehr und mehr, was ich alles nicht verstehe.

VMTurbo hat einen Blog, einen echt coolen und fuer Marketing sehr erfolgreichen Blog, . Und als mein Chef den Vorschlag machte, ich solle einen Blogpost schreiben, wurde mir Angst und Bange. Ich verstand ja gefuehlt nur Bahnhof. Wie sollte ich denn etwas Brauchbares schreiben? Nach einigen Gespraechen mit Kollegen habe ich verstanden: Die Industrie, in der ich arbeite, ist ca 15 Jahre alt und entwickelt sich jeden Tag. Jeder lernt jeden Tag dazu und schreiben hilft beim Lernen. Es geht nicht um Perfektion, es geht um einfach mal machen und um gut genug. Wer darauf wartet, perfekt vorbereitet zu sein, verschwendet seine Zeit. 

Und so habe ich einfach mal gemacht und es wurde fuer gut befunden: mein erster englisher Artikel ueber Einsparpotential in Datencentern...

 

 

 

 

Tooi im Spiegel, Teil II

Ich freue mich, Euch von meinem Interview mit dem Spiegel berichten zu duerfen:

Vergangene Woche wurde ich von einem Spiegel Online-Redakteur interviewt. Wie es so ist als Deutsche in Amerika mit Donald Trump als potentiellem Praesidentschaftskandidaten.

In 2002 wurde ich von einer Spiegel-Redakteurin interviewt, wie es ist als Deutsche Austauschschuelerin in den USA, nachdem Deutschland sich nicht am Irak-Krieg beteiligen wollte:

 

Es war niemals nur ein Kleid…

Ich bin kurzfristig untergetaucht (worden)…Wohnungssuche, Jetlag, neue Arbeit, neue Arbeitskultur, Weihnachten, Skifahren, wieder Jetlag…und auf einmal ist Februar. Aber ich melde mich zurueck mit vielen bunten Geschichten ueber die US-Arbeitswelt, wie ich hier die Situation in Deutschland erlebe und wo es meine Fletcher-Freunde hinverschlagen hat.

Ich lerne gerade (*ja, die IT-Industrie*), wie man Webseiten programmiert und hoffe, dass ich Euch bald mit einer besseren bilingualen Version versorgen kann. Alles eine Frage der Zeit 😉

Fuer heute melde ich mich zurueck mit einer (fuer mich) freudigen Nachricht: Nach jahrelangen Diskussionen in meiner Familie und mit meinen Freunden und Kollegen ueber Frauen, Karriere und wie (oder ob) das alles unter einen Hut passen soll, nach vielen Zweifeln und Ueberlegungen, ob ich den richtigen Weg gehe, nach einer gescheiterten Beziehung, fuehle ich mich endlich wohl mit mir und meiner Reise und es gibt eine Kampagne, die das wunderbar auf den Punkt gebracht hat: Es war niemals nur ein Kleid…;-)

itwasneveradress

A bold move: VW’s ad campaign in Germany’s biggest tabloid “BILD”

On October 3rd, Germany celebrates the 25th anniversary of Germany’s reunification. The newspaper “BILD”, equivalent to FOX news in terms of scandalizing, biased reporting and manipulating, has the highest circulation of any newspaper in Germany. On a hot topic day, they print 12 million papers. Today, in their “Happy Birthday, Germany” edition, the car manufacturer Volkswagen played an unusually prominent role: The company appeared on the first page, and occupied two full page-ads that I would like to explain to an international audience.

BILD_Titel

Front Page: Directly underneath BILD’s logo, there is a Volkswagen ad, saying: “Thank you for 25 years of faith”. Being a marketing professional, the location of this ad almost had me thinking whether this was a corporate publishing coup initiated by VW in partnership with BILD.

  • Ad 1: This text means “unity and justice and …” and depicted is one of VW’s stardom cars, the beetle

BILD_unity, justice and beetleTo put this into the right context: “Unity and Justice and Freedom for the German Fatherland” is the first verse of Germany’s national anthem. There is a lot of room for interpretation of this ad. My first idea was that by substituting the word freedom with the VW beetle, they intend to say that VW has been the company who’s brought an affordable car to German households. You may also derive at the interpretation that as much as these values belong to Germany, so does the Volkswagen, which means “the people’s car”.

  • Ad 2: Volkswagen congratulates Germany on 25 years of unification

BILD_congratulationsWhat do I make out of this? The story of Volkswagen is a German story. While it is great that the company portrays its happiness about the country’s reunification that prominently, the question that remains is whether VW had planned this very expensive birthday card before or after the emissions scandal. In addition to that, no other traditional German company has placed birthday wishes in the paper and there are a couple of international companies with German roots like Bosch or Siemens.

I come from a town that hosts the second largest Volkswagen plant in Germany. Many of my former school mates now work at the company. In the German language, there is an special way of expressing the identification with an employer. When asked who they work for, people don’t respond “I work for Volkswagen”, they respond “I am Volkswagen”. This region truly is Volkswagen, the local government’s prosperity and almost every sports team’s sponsoring depends on the VW.

To me personally, VW has been the manufacturer of a car for a person that does not need to show off. Comparing the claims of the biggest German car manufacturers underlines this brand image. From BMW claiming Happiness (“Freude am Fahren”) or Mercedes stating The best or nothing (“Das beste oder nichts”) to Audi promising Advancement through technology (“Vorsrpung durch Technik”), VW simply offers the car (“Das Auto”).

Not knowing about VW’s intentions to place these ads in this morning’s BILD paper, to me this presents a very bold move that is not in accordance with its humble brand image. I am curious about your thoughts!

Millions of Germans use social media to speak up against nationalistic sentiments

In the face of the refugee influx in Germany, you can currently observe a lively debate between people expressing skepticism all the way to right extremist opinions regarding the  refugees and those welcoming refugees. And it seems as if the German people are waiting for somebody to speak up, so they can support them.

24 Hours ago, two young TV starts Joko&Klaas (known for the show “Circus Halligalli, in which they send eachother around the world to do crazy and funny dares) published a video on Youtube, stressing how important it is to speak up against Nazi sentiments. They address the video directly to those people who have expressed antagonizing sentiments against the refugees or openly supported the nationalistic attacks. They tell them very clearly and boldly that they do not want any of them to watch their shows anymore, that refugees are welcome and that they condemn any attacks on refugees.

With the headline of the video “Das wird man wohl noch sagen dürfen” which is a very commonly used expression meaning “people should be allowed to say this”, they intend to give many people a taste of their own medicine. During the past several weeks, many people started arguments against refugees by saying “I am not a Nazi, but…” or “One should be allowed to say that…” only to make a point that exactly resonated with nationalistic thinking.

Joko & Klaas have posted their video on Youtube, tweeted about it, posted it on Facebook. After 24 hours, the video has almost 2Million viewers, it received received 53,000 thumbs up, 2500thumbs down and there are currently 7000comments on Youtube.  It was already shared more than 75,000times on facebook and their hashtag #mundaufmachen is among the most trending Twitter Hashtags currently.

Two aspects of this viral phenomenon are worth mentioning:

(1) The strong social media support for this video shows that people are willing and eager to speak up in order to welcome the refugees and oppose any nationalistic sentiments.

I have downloaded this morning’s tweets that were produced from 05.30 – 09.30am (Central European Time). Unfortunately, Twitter limits the amount of tweets downloadable for analysis, so I ended up with roughly 2000 Tweets that contained the hashtag #mundaufmachen. Those tweets have an outreach of in total 70Million Followers. In this network you can see that people not only share the link to the video and the hashtag, they also address Joko&Klaas directly. A rough look through the content of the tweets suggests that the tweets are overwhelmingly supportive of the video.

This is how a Twitter network looks like. Every dot is a tweet. A circle around the dot means that people just tweeted something with the hashtag #mundaufmachen. If there is a line, they addressed someone, using @. The read dot is Klaas’ twitter account, showing how many people addressed Klaas in their tweets.

Twitter analysis by Franziska Schwarzmann

Twitter_Network_mundaufmachen

This graph is showing all those tweets that were directed at Joko or Klaas or their show’s account Halligalli and that were sent by people that have more than 1000 Followers. The most common hashtags that were used besides #mundaufmachen were #refugeeswelcome and #heidenau (which is the name of the small town where nationalists attacked a refugee camp).

(2) Whenever there is a nationalistic comment about this video, people are speaking up in favor of it. Even if the tone is not always the right one, social media channels serve as a platform for many people to express themselves without too much effort.

You cannot please everyone – my interview with Professor Everett about German Energy Policy

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*** ATTENTION: Shameless self-marketing *** In September, I published my first article for the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation’s blog. It asked why there is no Silicon Valley in Europe and was also published in the Huffington Post. However, when I told my non-German-speaking … Continue reading