First BarCamp in Graz, Austria

BarCamp Graz November 2008 Logo
First BarCamp in Graz November 2008

This weekend the first BarCamp of Graz, Austria is going on. Location is the Karl-Franzens University and today it is going to start at 10.00 o’clock am. BarCamps are a growing type of events. A BarCamp is a so called unconference. On wikipedia you can read:

BarCamps are organized and evangelized largely through the web, harnessing what might be called a Web 2.0 communications toolkit. Anyone can initiate a BarCamp, using the BarCamp wiki.

The procedural framework consists of sessions proposed and scheduled each day by attendees, mostly on-site, typically using white boards or paper taped to the wall. This is a form of the open-space approach and has been dubbed, with another play on words, The Open Grid approach.

While loosely structured, there are rules at BarCamp. All attendees are encouraged to present or facilitate a session. Everyone is also asked to share information and experiences of the event, both live and after the fact, via public web channels including (but not limited to) blogging, photo sharing, social bookmarking, wiki-ing, and IRC. This open encouragement to share everything about the event is in deliberate contrast to the “off the record by default” and “no recordings” rules at many private invite-only participant driven conferences.

Well it’s my first BarCamp and I am very looking forward. If you would like to participate, just come to the location and participate. Registration is free and everybody who is interested is welcome. If you cannot participate you can follow the BarCamp on Twitter, TwitterSearch, or on my Weblog.

Additional information about the first BarCamp in Graz, Austria can be found at the BarCamp Graz Wiki.

SMOB – A Prototype for Semantic Microblogging

SMOB is a prototype developed to enable semantic microblogging. It can be seen as Twitter enriched with semantic data.

[slideshare id=472659&doc=sfsw-1213739228503754-8&w=425]

John Breslin writes in his blog post:

The prototype uses FOAF and SIOC to model microbloggers, their properties, account and service information, and the microblog updates that users create. A multitude of publishing services can ping one or a set of aggregating servers as selected by each user, and it is important to note that users retain control of their own data through self hosting.

I think it is an interesting prototype whith future perspectives in the semantic web. Check out the SMOB Project Website for more information.

Google’s SEO Starter Guide – How to improve your website

Google's SEO Starter Guide: How to improve your website.

Webmasters often ask us at conferences or in the Webmaster Help Group, “What are some simple ways that I can improve my website’s performance in Google?” There are lots of possible answers to this question, and a wealth of search engine optimization information on the web, so much that it can be intimidating for newer webmasters or those unfamiliar with the topic. We thought it’d be useful to create a compact guide that lists some best practices that teams within Google and external webmasters alike can follow that could improve their sites’ crawlability and indexing.

What he and his group did was to create a compact guide called the “Google SEO Starter Guide“. There are lot’s of DOs and DON’Ts published. Every blogger and every website owner should have a look on this paper.

We felt that these areas (like improving title and description meta tags, URL structure, site navigation, content creation, anchor text, and more) would apply to webmasters of all experience levels and sites of all sizes and types.

TheNextWeb is supprised about Google’s step:

In a slightly surprising move, Google has launched via its webmaster central blog a best practice guide for search engine optimization.  Why surprising you may ask? Well, Google is notorious for being pretty quiet on this front leaving it to SEO’s, designers, and developers to figure out what works best.

Netzlogbuch states out that the start guide copes basic things that nearly everybody already knows. Well for sure it is helpful for many people out there.

Google Flu Trends – Google Uses Searches to Track Flu’s Spread

Google Flu

It stands to reason that people who are “starting to come down with something” often take the opportunity to search for information on what ails them, even before they discuss their symptoms with a healthcare professional. Who gets more of those searches than anyone? Google, of course. [ReadWriteWeb]

Google offers a new service called Google Flu Trends. The service uses an analysis of Google’s millions of search queries every day to calculate flu trends.

The New York Times writes in an article called: “Google Uses Searches to Track Flu’s Spread“:

Tests of the new Web tool from, the company’s philanthropic unit, suggest that it may be able to detect regional outbreaks of the flu a week to 10 days before they are reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. [New York Times]

Interesting is the fact that trends can be observed a lot earlier than by traditional institutions. Google’s users search for symptoms on internet and through these searches Google generates reports and can inform health institutions to react on these trends.

By now Google Flu Trends is just available in the United States but I am looking forward on using these service in Austria too.

Do you need a problem to solve?

Need a Problem?
Need a Problem?

Three guys from Switzerland have found a new business model: They create problems for their customers. You might know the film called “The Game” where Michael Douglas as a bored but rich investment banker gets involved in a kind of game.

The three guys from Switzerland make a lot of money with their project called “need a problem” now. On the website you can pay and they are going to give you a problem to solve. Prices vary from Swiss Franc 1.- for very small problems to Swiss Franc 5000.- for nearly unsolvable problems.

The German newspaper “Die Zeitwrites in an article:

Gerade diese Geheimniskrämerei macht neugierig. Ein verratenes 5000-Franken-Beispiel lautet etwa: „Unsere Kollegin Christiane Brum erwartet Sie am Sonntag im Hotel Othon Palace, in Belo Horizonte, auf ein gemeinsames Mittagessen. Treffpunkt um 12 Uhr Ortszeit.“ Nicht zu unterschätzender Teil des Problems ist, dass Belo Horizonte im Inneren Brasiliens liegt. Was genau den solventen Kunden dort erwartet, ist vollkommen offen, „denn die Probleme sind sehr unterschiedlich“, wie Koncilja betont.

For everybody who doesn’t know German language the text says that because of making a secret out of every problem it is interesting for customers. One 5000 Swiss Franc problem was for example the following: “Our colleague Christiane Brum is waiting for you at Hotel Othon Place in Belo Horizonte this Sunday in order to have lunch with you. She is waiting there exactly at 12.00 o’clock midday.” Doesn’t sound so difficult. But if you think about the fact that Belo Horizonte is in the center of Brasil (see in Google Maps) then you might agree that is is difficult.

Very interesting project which seems to work very well. By now I don’t have to get problems created manually, I have enough problems to solve. Well check out their site if you are interested or leave me a comment on what you think about this project? Do we need to create problems manually?

(via zeit online)

[university] – Mathematical Analysis T1 Exam

Tomorrow I will write the first mathematical analyis exam for this term. By now I solved all the exercise sheets and I think that I am well prepared. Need to pass this lecture this year since it is the last term of my undergraduate studies. Professor Grabner presented us this video about the mathematical analyis:

What do you think about this video? I think it’s weird. Well wish me luck for tomorrow. For further Information check out the website of the lecture “Analysis T1

[video] – CNN for Holodeck

CNN yesterday used holograms for interviews in their broadcast on the presedential election 2008. The journalist Jessica Yellin was beamed from Chicago to the CNN studio, New York where Wolf Blitzer was speaking with her virtual hologram. Very interesting technique which shows where new media is moving.