Paris fears Facebook Party

The police in Paris warns for the biggest French cocktail party ever. On May 23 people want to organize a huge drinking party just below the Eiffel Tower. However, the police strongly disagrees with this party. It would be too difficult to maintain the public order in a crowd of ten thousands of people.

The ‘Plus grand apéro de France’ is an initiative that has started on Facebook. Earlier French Internet users organized similar events in other cities, though less populated. The organizers now want a national Facebook party. They aim for some 50,000 participants. At this moment about 13,000 people have signed in.

Source: Spits, May 7, 2010

My interview with Yubby on the Next Web

I run into these guys on many conferences so it was no surprise to meet Remco and Vincent from Yubby on the Next Web as well. This time, they found a new victim to interview:

Twitter for change

More often social media are being used in the battle for human rights. Not so long ago CNN found a video on YouTube about an 8 year old bride. The story got worldwide exposure which eventually lead to the discontinuation of the marriage. The video was placed by Saudi activist Wajeha al-Huwaider.

With these kind of success stories in mind the in Beirut-based organization Social Media Exchange (SMEX) tries to impose social change and sustainability. That, in a way, basically means: courses in Twitter, Facebook workshops and blog-lessons. For everybody, but especially for people who want to be heard, like Wajeha.

SMEX is founded by Jessica Dheere and Mohamad Najem. “It is important that people themselves can make journalistic reports for society-focused organizations and international websites. That’s how they can raise their voice”, says Dheere. “By sharing knowledge and experiences these women teach each other to use ICT in a smart way.” Next to providing workshops and training SMEX also translates tutorials for Twitter and Facebook in Arabic.

Source: Metro

Powerpoint makes us stupid

“PowerPoint makes us stupid,” General James N. Mattis of the Marine Corps, the Joint Forces commander, said this month at a military conference in North Carolina. General Stanley A. McChrystal, the leader of American and NATO forces in Afghanistan, was shown a PowerPoint slide in Kabul last summer that was meant to portray the complexity of American military strategy, but looked more like a bowl of spaghetti”, according to an article in the New York Times.

The slide in case was indeed a colorful resemblance of a highway in Rome during rush hour.

“When we understand that slide, we’ll have won the war,” General McChrystal dryly remarked, one of his advisers recalled, as the room erupted in laughter”, the article continues.

“Despite such tales, “death by PowerPoint,” the phrase used to described the numbing sensation that accompanies a 30-slide briefing, seems here to stay. The program, which first went on sale in 1987 and was acquired by Microsoft soon afterward, is deeply embedded in a military culture that has come to rely on PowerPoint’s hierarchical ordering of a confused world.”

And let’s not forget the closing paragraph: “The news media sessions often last 25 minutes, with 5 minutes left at the end for questions from anyone still awake. Those types of PowerPoint presentations, Dr. Hammes said, are known as “hypnotizing chickens.”

Are you hypnotizing chickens, or are you inspiring?

Full article here.

Innovative ways to deliver your message..eehh…massage

You All know Paulo, our friend from Microsoft who introduced internal podcasting at Microsoft which was a great inspiration to us. He just tweeted a video about how the made people listening to a 5 minute podcast.

Well done Paulo. Could that fly in pharma companies too?

SXSW 2010: Nina Hartley – Porn Star, Sex Educator, Social Networker

Yes, we also talked about sex at SXSW. Nina Hartley, porn star, sex educator and social networker lead a panel session on the impact of the internet and social media on the porno industry. Nina uses her knowledge and experience, both as an actrice and a nurse, for sexual education.

“In the US there is no sex education in schools, so when young poeople get out of school they are very ignorant  about their body, about relationships and about contraception.” Watching porno is for them a way to educate themselves. But that is a bad idea, accoridng to Nina, because porno is entertainment and doesn’t have much to do with reality. This situation inspired Nina to the ‘Nina Hartley Guides’, a series of educational videos about sex. Not without success, because the series gave her a lot of fans and admirers (of both sexes). Until recently, she could only get in contact with her fans through conventions and other meetings, but today social media gives her the opportunity to get in contact with them more frequently and more personal. Nina initiated the online community ‘‘ and the online TV show ‘‘ which will have their official launch on March 29, 2010.

Fiercesome location war at SXSW

We couldn’t help joining it as well. With so many devices, people connected and location based services it’s hard not to do so. What am I talking about? Location based services. I’m talking Foursquare, Gowalla, Brightkite, Flickr geotagging, geotagged tweets from Twitter, etc. It certainly was a ‘look-who’s-here-fest in Austin.

The people from SimpleGeo made an awesome video about the process, using their innovative data visualization tool. Clearly visible is the location war between Foursquare and Gowalla:

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