René Seifert

Entrepreneur, Global Citizen, Flat World, Internet, Web 2.0, Innovation, Start-Up

Archive for March, 2006

Über westliche Frauen in Indien

Technorati ist als Blog Suchmaschine absolut smart gebaut, weil die Engine die Sprache des Blog-Eintrags automatisch erkennt und dann entsprechend filterbar macht. So konnte ich ruckzuck meinen deutschen Eintrag von gestern aufspüren.

Ein paar Treffer drunter fand ich einen Artikel von “Daniela in Indien”, die offensichtlich auch in Bangalore lebt und die Vergewaltigung einer deutschen Touristin in Indien zum Anlass nimmt, in ihrem Blogeintrag ein paar warnende Worte zu sprechen.

Nicht alle Inder sind Betrüger und Verbrecher. So etwas zu sagen würde ich mir nicht anmaßen. Aber es ist nun einmal wahr, dass man hier immer wieder angesprochen wird. Man sollte niemals nicht persönliche Details preisgeben. Falsche Namen und falsche Herkunftsländer zu erfinden ist keine Schande. Imaginäre Ehemänner zu schaffen ist immer gut, und auch sonst sollte man gar nichts von sich erzählen. Man sollte niemals mit irgendwem mitgehen. Nicht zu Hotels, nicht zu Restaurants oder Geheimtip-Geschäften oder überhaupt irgendwas.

und auch

Alle weißen Frauen werden als Hobby-Nutten betrachtet. Ich habe das selbst in Rajasthan erlebt und auch in Bangalore wurde ich schon gefragt, wie viel ich koste.

Woran liegt das? Gehen Inder mit ihren eigenen Landsfrauen etwas genau so um? Nicht im Traum, und genau hier liegt der Hund begraben. Indien ist in Punkto Prüderie das Konservativste was man sich vorstellen kann. Über Sex sprechen ist unvorstellbar. Zum Beispiel hatte es eine Schauspielerin kürzlich trotzdem gewagt, sich etwas lockerer zum Thema Sex vor der Ehe zu äußern und damit eine nationale Woge der Empörung losgetreten. Ehen sind in Indien übrigens zu 80 % von der Eltern eingefädelt, das Konzept von “Boy-Friend” oder “Girl-Friend” somit völlig undenkbar. Was natürlich nicht heißt, dass es unter dem Deckel des Kochtopfes testosteronmäßig nicht brodeln würde.

Flirten haben Inder überhaupt nicht gelernt und vom Westen hat man irgendwie die vage Ahnung von “anything goes”. Sieht man sich dann einer weißen Frau gegenüber, dann brechen alle Dämme. Eine Deutsche in Bangalore hat mir dazu erzählt, sie sei auf einer Party mit einem Inder sehr freundlich ins Gespräch gekommen. Später am Abend hat er ihr angeboten, sie nach Hause zu fahren was sie ohne Hintergedanken angenommen hat. Kaum hatte sich der Wagen ein paar Meter vorwärts bewegt, fragte der Inder ebenso plump wie selbstverständlich: “Fahren wir jetzt zu Dir oder zu mir?” Meine Bekannte dachte zuerst sie habe einen Hörfehler, aber die Frage war völlig ernst gemeint. Nachdem sie ihm sehr deutlich gemacht hat, dass nichts derartiges stattfinden würde, gab es gottlob auch keine weiteren Probleme. Aber der Fall scheint mir relativ typisch, so wie Daniela auch schreibt, dass gerade für Frauen in Indien ein gesundes Misstrauen noch nie geschadet hat.

Volltreffer: Welt am Sonntag über Bangalore

Danke Brian Lace von Listerus & Partner für den Hinweis auf den Artikel aus der Welt am Sonntag über Bangalore. Nach allelei einseitigen Artikeln in der Vergangenheit, die in Indien entweder nur das Wachstum preisen oder die soziale Schere geißeln, spiegelt Thomas Heuzeroth die Wirklichkeit in ihrer indischen Komplexität und – aus unserer Warte – Widersprüchlichkeit sehr treffend wider.

Um es in der mir eigenen Vulgärsprache auszudrücken: Ich habe mich über ein Jahr in Bangalore gefragt “Ist Indien geil oder Scheiße?”. Heute weiß ich Indien ist geil und Scheiße. Und diese Gegensätze zeichnet der Reporter Absatz um Absatz sehr gut nach. Genau: Einerseits die allgemeine Hurra-Stimmung der aufstrebenden Mittelklasse, andererseits die desaströse Infrastruktur einer Stadt, die aus allen Nähten platzt. Ich habe den Schilderungen aus dem Artikel nichts hinzuzufügen, außer dass für die meisten Besucher aus dem Westen beim ersten mal in Bangalore eine Welt zusammenbricht, weil das marode Erscheinungsbild der Stadt so gar nicht der gedanklichen Vorstellung eines “Silicon Valley von Asien” entsprechen mag. Hat man aber die Gelegenheit, beispielsweise den Infosys Campus auf der Hosur-Road zu betreten, so glaubt man sich ohne Übertreibung urplötzlich auf einem anderen Planeten.

Der Artikel ist auch deshalb ausgesprochen gut, weil er die Dinge einfach in ihrem indischen Kontext belässt, und gar nicht erst versucht – wozu Deutsche gerne neigen – aus der vermeintlichen Absolutheit, mithin unumstößlichen Richtigkeit der eigenen Lebenswelt, belehrende Bewertungen auszusprechen. Mit einer Erfahrung von über zwei Jahren in Bangalore, teile ich freilich die Einschätzung vieler Inder: “This City has gone from bad to worse”, und so wie in dem Artikel beschrieben schaut’s aus im schönen Bangalore. Ist es manchmal mühsam? Absolut. Bereue ich es deshalb hier zu leben? Keine Sekunde!

User generated Content + Network Strength = Pomme & Kelly

Nina, a friend of mine from Holland made me aware of a media phenomenon happening wih two teenage girls Pomme & Kelly:

pomme&kellly

They are now in the semi-finals of the Google Idol, a contest which is like a sort of inverse karaoke: The song, up to the choice of the artists, is from the original singer which plays in the background and the task of the contestants is about making a funny show with lip moving and whatever else they want in front of their cameras at home.

Pomme & Kelly are absolutely hilarious, they have started their own blog where they are asking for support and getting much more back of it due to their originality. They have recorded quite a few songs as one can see on the right side navigation of their blog, but my favourite – also the one which is now in the semi-finals – is Aretha Franklin’s Respect.

Besides the undisputed entertainment factor, three things are remarkable about it and in line what I wrote yesterday about the unexpensive production capabilities of basically everyone of us:

1. Content is King. Nothing has changed about that. However, it is no longer necessarily the old and capital intense Main Stream Media (MSM) who are its producers. It can be “just” two girls from the Netherlands from their parents’ kitchen are now competing about the most valuable asset media is after: the attention of the audience.

2. The Power of a Network. There hasn’t been a single Euro in advertisement budget allocated to make this show percolate through the system. It all happened through a robust word-of-mouth network where I got the link from Nina, spoke to Markus on Tuesday who wanted to get it, showed it 20 min ago to Stephan Roppel who was cracking himelf from laughing and immediately asking me to send him the link and so the network journey is far from over jumping from nod via edge to the next node and so on. Exciting, terrific and cool.

3. Crossing the Chasm. Parallel worlds just exist in the imagination, in reality there is no such thing. So this phenomenon with Pomme & Kelly is no longer just bound to – what a lot of MSM-executives wished – a bunch of nerds who are indulging in “low quality” entertainment. It might start there, but from a certain point the activation in the network might become so strong and powerful that a media editor becomes aware of it and makes a story out of it and then other MSM might follow up. The tipping point. From there nothing can hold the wave of moving on. With the result of Pomme & Kelly being featured on Dutch radio stations, newspapers and TV.

These are the models of the media future we will have to look at closely. And I believe this is not a bad thing.

Michael Munz’ “Elvirazwei”-Blog live

Just got the news from Michael Munz, Director of Holtzbrinck eLab, that the Blog for his company “Elvirazwei” just went live. Elvirazwei is a consultancy for paid content and paid services and Michael has a lot of competency to speak about these topics. It is certainly worthwhile to subscribe to his RSS feed and to follow up regularly.

Management Bullshit-Bingo Slotmachine

This is hilarious, Markus Walsch just sent that to me via e-mail and you MUST check that out, a mission statement-, management-bullshit-bingo slotmachine in that puts together various elements in a phrase and by pressing a button, it reads it aloud. It’s in German language, and the best is at the end the complacent “Danke” (=Thank you) of the speaker in the applause. Fantastic.

Meeting People with “More Madness” than yourself

Yesterday, also after quite some time, around 3 years to be precise, I met an old and highly estimated colleague when I used to work for Bayern 3 as Head of Marketing as well as a radio presenter. The guy is certainly less known under his given name Markus Walsch, but much more for the various successful radio-comedy formats he has developed, like for instance Karl Auer from Rottalmünster who always misunderstands something in the notion of a word and calls people and confuses them to oblivion. My favorite, however, was his “Keksi & Bussi”, with more than 300 series on the “problems of the rich and super-rich.” And since a few years Markus has chartered also into live performance of Karl Auer, too. The best thing with this guy is that he is totally crazy and mad (I know I can say that about him and he will take it as a compliment). This is one of his idle, well say, even normal face ex-pressions yesterday during our dinner:

Friends_002

On the other hand, this guy is hyper-intelligent and super-smart, a Master of Economics who had also spent some time in Singapore at Deutsche Bank and is like me an outspoken fan of Asia. Likewise, we always had a high level of mutual respect for professionalism, reliability and delivery when we had been working together. And we share the passion of entrepreneurs. And Markus is not just on the creative, but also on the business level an undisputed pioneer in what he does. So I remember when 5 years back he was hosting workshops on sound editing software and MP3-formats for the “Do-it-Yourself”-reporters when many editors in mainstream media (MSM) were still cutting plastic tapes manually.

But he did not stop there. He is pretty much aware that what he does is unique, to speak with Thomas Friedman “special and specialized” (read my article on that), can at no point be outsourced to India ;-) but this does not put him into any form of complacency. Constantly looking out how to take fat out of the system, he is proud to be able to run his entire production on a notebook and with software like Magix Music Maker for altogether EUR 200.-. And the best thing, with that equipment is has also moved into top-notch TV production: Getting back to his editorial roots, he is producing and reporting on a TV format “Mehr Wahnsinn” (=More Madness”) on the Bayerisches Fernsehen which drags companies with consumer cheating and administrations with excessive bureaucracy to the light.

Since 2003, he is married and father of a lovely daughter Lilly, but he still is always on the move. In a very analytical mindset he does perceive that blogs and user generated content in general, who at the end can also buy the same equipment for littlemoney, might in its sheer aggregated mass, pose some threat to MSM – albeit in a very, very long run. Out of his genuine curiosity he is always looking out for new opportunities in adjacent fields of his core competencies; a few very exciting things he shared with me but requested confidentiality.

In the essence, Markus is very much following the “Blue Ocean Strategy” in how he develops: Instead getting head-on onto a widely fought-over market with bloody “Red Ocean”, he always steps into a new niche where he is so unique that he fundamentally makes competition irrelevant.

Cheers, Comrade!

Friends_001

Meeting my Comrade from the Sandbox

Nobody say that the internet was not a good thing. It brought my oldest and longest friend Christoph and me together again. Our mothers had met on our playground, to be precise at the sandbox of the Hinterbrühler See (=lake) in the south of Munich. For orientation, ladies and gentlemen, in the right corner that is Christoph and in the left corner that’s me sitting on the lap of my Mum.

Save0020

And we met very regulary over the years, became close friends, went finally once went together to Croatia something like 1987 or so after when we lost each other out of sight. Last year, however, I got all of a sudden a mail from Christoph who had done some Googling on me and was happy to find as many traces as with no other former friend or acquaintance he had been looking for. So he wrote, and so yesterday finally we met – on my suggestion in an Indian restaurant.

It was quite an exciting experience as we both had an extremely fresh and vivid memory even on small details of these times. So after exchanging our lifelines we really felt it was both rewarding and funny to meet again, funny especially as we realized that in fact not a lot had changed from our personalities: Christoph always being the brain who thinks before he says something, a property which I find in the vast sea of contemporary bullshitters extremely valuable, and me, well, being the bit more talkative with the tendency for some crude humor. Christoph wearing green pants, and me white diapers …

Ah, by the way, the boy in the right corner Christoph, today is Dr. Christoph Latzel, a chemist with a PhD, European Patent Attorney and working for one of the most renowned patent law firms. Good to know that at least your friends made it … :-)

Edgeio – Follow up on clinical trial

10 minutes ago I posted about my clinical trial on Edgeio, and it works perfectly, my post had been taken up via ping to the Edgeio-Server and is being displayed here and can be found through totally listing-unrelated tags like “Iran” and “Hamster” which I chose arbitrarily. As mentioned, a sophisticated concept which is easy to exploit by spammers who just want another distribution channel for their stuff. I guess it should be the first priority of the folks at Edgeio to fix that hole.

Edgeio – Listings from the Edge

During a research I just came across Edgeoi, an aggregator of listings which are supposed to be collected from “the edge” of the web, i.e. blogs which are unstructured via full text as opposed to a site like eBay which has plenty of fields like title, category, price etc.

Although I like the extremely neat execution of the site, there are three things which make me doubt whether this site will work:

1. The name: Having three vowels at the end, is always confusing. So whenever I visit the site, every second time I don’t spell the URL properly. Admittedly, this could be also my own stupidity.

2. Although, since lately I am spending a good portion of my time looking at and dissecting new online applications around the Web 2.0 paradigm, it took me quite some time before I really understood the concept. Hence, my concern could be that this concept is a bit ahead of its time unless people are used to e.g. sell their car by just writing a few lines on their blog and adding an Edgeio-“listing”-tag.

3. Finally, the homepage of the platform indicates that the service is meant for listings in the broadest sense. However, from what I have seen there, a lot of posts don’t have ANYTHING to do with it as users – and that’s the crux of folksonomy- are able to literally tag anything. So just posts on world economy, terrorism and “my cat” would come up which could seriously jeopardize the very purpose of the site.

Let’s for the latter make a clinical trial here with these three totally unrelated tags:

Listing
Hamster
Iran

Flickr Account Upgraded

Just re-activated my sleeping flickr-account and upgraded it for $24.95 for a whole year unlimited storage. That’s a really fair price and used the opportunity to host all the cool pictures from this great skiing weekend:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/72566377@N00/sets/72057594086602498/

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