28 April 2005

Finally moved!

This past Saturday, the guys from Stads Vracht Taxi finally got us moved without incident - and all this after the truck broke down last Wednesday. That's pretty amazing because they felt so badly about letting us down that they devoted themselves to making it work this Saturday. They had to move things from my studio as well as from storage. The movers, Ton & Bart, had to juggle and carry my huge couch up to the fourth floor because it was a wee bit too large for the lift.

Many thanks to Ton & Bart from Stads Vracht Taxi. If you're going to move in Amsterdam, give them a call 020-606-0789 because they are careful and responsible and very reasonable in cost.

Blognomics 2005 Amsterdam

On April 21st I attended the Blognomics 2005 Symposium at the RAI Conference Center in Amsterdam. Put together by Guido van Nispen and his merry crew, this event shined a spotlight on the landscape of blogging in the Netherlands for us to see. You can access the speakers' presentations here.

What caught my attention was the growing influence of MSN's "Spaces" mini-blog product - expanding on the MSN Messenger platform where people can share more than just words. Within a few months of introduction, MSN Spaces had enlisted more than 500,000 people here in the Netherlands. When you consider that Ilse Media hosts almost 100,000 bloggers on its server of the approximate 250,000 blogs here, MSN Spaces is sweeping up the average person who just wants to share with his immediate community of friends and family. Their connectivity is at an intimate level and enabled with photo sharing.

The more serious bloggers - for both personal and business blogging - are using Ilse Media, Blogger, and MoveableType or Typepad from Six Part.

Another eye-opener for me was the number of serious business bloggers only blogging in the Dutch language. When I read through their blogs, I realized they were hubs for sharing what was happening in their own market and also filtering and adapting the English language trends and concepts into Dutch for distribution. Now I want to discover the Dutch bloggers who are translating the Dutch trends and concepts for global digestion. If you are, please send me your link!

Jonathan Marks and I interviewed some of the speakers and attendees on camera. We caught these speakers: Guido van Nispen our host, Paul Molenaar from Ilse Media, Loic Le Meur from Six Apart, Marco Derksen from his blog MarketingFacts, and Peter Olsthoorn the journalist who publishes Netkwesties. We wanted to capture their thoughts about the impact of blogging and how it's reshaping how we do business. Jonathan will compile these video interviews and post them once he returns from his trip to Mexico City for a conference on the future of broadcasting.

Check out the photos from Blognomics 2005.

Other blogging members of our working group The Dutch Connection were also there: Jonathan Marks, Ton Zijlstra, Elmine Wijnia, and James Burke.

Many of the links to Blognomics 2005 are in the Dutch language because this was a symposium in Dutch for local participants.

20 April 2005

The moving truck broke!

We waited for hours today for the movers to show up. They called and said they were delayed, which I thought was really considerate. Finally, around 4 pm, they just couldn't get their truck fixed or get another arranged in time.

This gave us a chance to put our Zen response into practice - "everything has a reason." We took a couple of very deep cleansing breaths, calmly commiserated with the movers, rescheduled for Saturday and sinply let go. This means sleeping at a friend's house for a couple of days because everything is packed and ready to move. At this point of exhaustion, we just said, "ah...perhaps some rest."

The movers called back and apologized again. Now, I am really impressed.

So, Saturday we move.

19 April 2005

Moving this week

Renovating my new apartment has just eaten up my time the past few weeks, Tomorrow is moving day. Once this is behind me, I can focus on the outside world again.

Check back with me in a couple of days. We are involved in so many interesting projects, conferences and efforts right now that I will have lots to share about all of this.

Have a great week!

9 April 2005

Double Dutch

There are so many sayings with the word "Dutch" in them. Trying to explain them to people who are actually from The Netherlands can be quite funny. When we were growing up, my sister and I played a lot of jump rope. One of the most difficult - but most fun - tricks was with a double strand of rope, where we had to turn each strand into the other and jump both ropes. It required serious rhythm. We called it double-dutch. Now there are competitions for it.

Here are some amazing videos of girls and guys doing double dutch.

Double Duchess

Double Duchess Cat Costumes

Double Dutch in Harlem

3 April 2005

Vores ØL - The World's 1st Open Source Beer

A group of students at the IT University in Copenhagen have created Vores ØL - Our Beer, in English - in collaboration with Superflex as an experiment in applying modern open source ideas to methods in traditional real-world product. Superflex plays with social interaction and creative practice to bring new thinking and ways into the mainstream.

You can find everything you want to know about the beer on their Vores ØL site.

This caught my attention because I have worked with beer clients for 30 years. Beer brands struggle with marketing, advertising and promotion because people are no longer susceptible to gimmicks that have traditionally pushed beer sales. People seek out authenticity today. They want to be more than just consumers. That means they are also exploring idealogical alignments.

I wonder how many other product and service brands will follow this. My instincts tell me this is only the beginning of the exploration into how brands can become part of mediated environments and join communities in co-creation of their extended life.

2 April 2005

Beautiful on the Canals

I've been renovating my apartment all week, so I took a spin through the canals this afternoon. Amsterdam is so beautiful when the sun is shining.
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