Der Versuch, mit Web2.0 RealLife1.0 Probleme zu lösen

Wie einige von Euch vielleicht wissen, sind wir mit unserer aktuellen Wohnsituation seit ca. 6 Monaten unzufrieden. Durch einen unglücklichen Zufall ist das auch ungefähr die Zeit, die wir in unserer frisch gebauten, neu bezogenen, uns als supertoll verkauften Wohnung leben. Und ja, es mag den Anschein haben, als wäre das alles Jammern auf hohem Niveau. Ist es aber leider nicht.

Deswegen haben wir – auch angesichts des Hamburger Wohnungsmarkts – beschlossen, ein wenig kreativ zu werden; oder genauer: ohne Angst vor Patentanwälten andere Ideen ebenfalls zu nutzen. Ideengeber waren Eike und Daniel, die auf Facebook für Köln eine Wohnung suchen. Und, mal ehrlich, was der Ruhrpott kann, dass können wir Nordlichter doch schon lange. Also, bis auf Geographie. Und so ist dann unsere Wohnungssuchanzeige auf Facebook entstanden.

Wir hoffen, dass dieser virtuelle Flyer durch Freundesfreunde vielleicht zum erhofften, mindestens 3 Zimmer großen bebadewannten Ergebnis führt. Denn sind wir doch mal ehrlich: ne freie Wohnung in Hamburg, das ist ungefähr so häufig wie der Aufstieg eines Teenagers mit Ambitionen und Webcam zum Youtube Star. Und auch da hilft ja dieses Internet ganz gut.

Also, wir würden dann jetzt gern mal Euer virtuelles Netzwerk ohne Hemmungen ausnutzen. Dafür gibt es den twitterfreundlichen Shortlink http://fret.de/g4Xe2H, die Facebook Box rechts und für die Stadtverschönerer unter Euch sogar einen wunderbaren neuen Bemperl unter http://bit.ly/g4Xe2H.qrcode, den Ihr auch und insbesondere gern an leerstehende Bürogebäude pappen könnt. Natürlich nur, wenn Ihr vorher den Eigentümer gefragt habt. Und Ihr das schriftlich habt. Und so.

Danke dafür!

Auf Wunsch einer einzelnen Dame jetzt übrigens wieder auf Deutsch und mit Zusammenfassung. So wie früher halt.

[As some of you might know, we’re not very happy with the place we’re currently living in. So, we are again looking for a new place, barely 6 months after the last time we’ve packed our stuff in a moving truck. We’ve started the experiment of empowering Facebook to do so. If you want to participate, just “Like” us on facebook – see the right hand side widget for that. If you happen to know a place and don’t have a Facebook account, nevermind. We also plan on accepting normal hints 🙂 ]

San Francisco: or the reason why I was so quiet on Twitter

Some of you – especially those following me on only Twitter and not Facebook – might have wondered why I was so quiet for the last couple of days: The reason for that is pretty simple – I haven’t been around. And, as there is an agreement between Inka and me to not publish when I’m not around and reveal that she’s home alone, I kept my mouth shut. But, since I’m back in Germany since hopefully about half an hour (this post is scheduled), I can finally talk about what I found to be one of my Top 5 destinations in the world.

I took an occasion I couldn’t let pass by to finally get my ass up and into a plane to visit a good old friend of mine and the beautiful city of San Francisco.

Probably the things that I experienced are way too much to put into a single blog post, however I’d like to at least notice the most impressive things I whitnessed. Just take it as a conversation starter next time we’ll meet.

– Many dogs
– Great weather
– 45° steep roads
– One of the best public transportation systems I know
– a very logical numbering concept for houses
– Great weather
– great people, old and maybe new friends to come
– Affordable hotels
– Not-so-affordable mobile phone fees
– Chaotic driving
– Very nice neighborhoods without too many skyscrapers
– A great amount of fresh, organic, beautiful produce just waiting for you to cook with it.
– And oh: what a view!

Do’s:
– Use Public Transport
– Just walk around
– Make sure to maybe not book a hotel, but a flat instead. At least make sure that you can cook your own meal after shopping at the Ferry Building.
– Take a guided tour
– Plan your trips using BART and CalTrain
– Visit Flight 001
– Stay at the Hotel Vertigo (not just because of the song that will be stuck in your head for the whole time you’re in SF)

Don’t:
– Rental car. It’s more of a burden than a release when being in Downtown SF
– Expect to see everything – the city is just too big for that
– Have bad sushi. Life’s too short for bad sushi.
– Visit the Apple Flagship Store. Better visit the nice and cozy Company Store (http://www.apple.com/companystore/) in on 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, CA.

And one thing is sure: I’ll be back. With a little more time, hopefully my significant other and an empty agenda to be filled.

More Mail interactivity

Since I am not sure if all of you use a Feed reader or follow me on twitter – and even if you do you might be more interested in good old plain E-Mail – I’ve decided to add a little newsletter to my blog and the option to subscribe to comments for a specific posting. In case you are interested, you’ll find the according links in the sidebar on the right and beneath any posting right at the comments section.

Oh, and yes: for better readability, I’ve upgraded the theme once more – now back with a really plain one. And of course, still ad-free since ’93. Oh wait.. that’s something different 🙂

National pride

Normally, I make it a personal principle to not blog about my job. However this job brings me to many different places in all different countries and one of these trips – the most recent one – nurtured my wish to share a few thoughts about national pride:

This week I had the questionable pleasure to visit France once again. I’ve only been there for a little more than 24 hours, spending a good 10 of them in business meetings of all kind (Dinners with business partners, technical meetings and the like).

And guess what? A good 95% of all communication was done in French. Of course. I do understand this to a degree – at least we are in France – but even though I made it crystal clear that I simply can’t speak let alone understand this language to a degree I’d call acceptable, nobody even tried to integrate me into a longer conversation. Of course, there were some small talk tries in English, but they faded away once we were 5 minutes into a discussion.

On the other hand, I’ve been to e.g. Russia, Belarus, Jordan, India, Italy and Slovenia on business trips; countries where I feared greater language related problems. But, to my surprise, most of those countries seem to host a great deal of language wizards; in Slovenia for example to my surprise most people working in the service industry were fluent in at least two foreign Languages, English and German. And most of them also claimed to be able to speak a good bit of Italian on the side.

But, it seems that there is not a big deal of English spoken in France and even if the people get along with the language, they feel that it’s unnecessary to switch to a language everybody in the room can understand.

This is of course not so much the case in multi-national companies, but there is also the tendency to fall back to your local language.

I myself also feel more comfortable in speaking German among Germans, especially when being in Germany – but within our company, where English is the official company language despite the fact that we are a German company, we even hold meetings with 40+ participant in English if there are only one or two non-Germans in them. So I know both sides, the one that prefers the native language, the other one that doesn’t want to exclude somebody from the discussion.

Maybe it’s arrogant to go to a foreign country and expect to come along with English and German only, maybe it’s something you should be able to expect – I can’t tell. But, it seems that countries with better language skills can take part in the Global knowledge transfer; countries with little foreign language knowledge – e.g. China – on the other hand, seem to be cut out.

I wonder how you would react if you had a guest from abroad in a meeting. Would you carry on with your native language? Would you try and switch the whole meeting to English? Is it okay to hold a meeting in English, if you have 40 participants and two of them can’t speak the local language? Is it on the other hand maybe even necessary?

How much national pride is too much pride?

I’m really interested in your thoughts about that. And thank all the French people I’ve met along the way who took the extra effort to communicate in English – especially Gwenael, whom I haven’t met for a way too long time.