TechCrunch, German “Digg,” language barriers on Freiburg’ers minds

Last night Maryam and my aunt met up with a group of bloggers in Freiburg, Germany. Interesting discussions.

Sometimes I forget that the stuff we write reaches around the world. At one point one of the guys started telling me what was on TechCrunch yesterday (I hadn’t been online, so they were ahead of me). They talked about European startup Plazes getting a few million in VC funds and they said that the Girl’s Middle School Entrepreneurial night is the kind of thing that gets Google a good name in the community.

What I find fascinating is that I’m on the other side of the world talking about TechCrunch with a bunch of geeks. Did I leave San Francisco?

Oh, yes, I have. First of all, the Digg in these parts isn’t Digg at all. It’s a copy called “Yigg.” Second of all the beer wasn’t Anchor Steam.

Interestingly enough, they didn’t know about TechMeme, my favorite tech blog news engine.

Remo Uherek (who has one of the hardest to spell domains I’ve come across) has a report and photos on the evening. Remo is also starting a blog advertising network in Germany which he says is seeing good growth.

Another thing we talked about was that it’s much harder for them to read English sites than German ones, so often times they don’t read as many English sites as they would otherwise. I wonder when we’ll see a day that our sites will be translated to other languages?

We also talked about Google’s rapid growth in Europe (Google is hiring hundreds of people in its Switzerland-based headquarters) and a few other things including how local newspapers are starting to get online news and are starting to really use blogs and video to try to target a younger audience that isn’t reading news on dead tree material.

Today we continue our German vacation and head to the Black Forest for a little hike in the woods.

Oh, one last thing, walking home last night we saw some gold bricks in the sidewalk with names on them. My aunt pointed them out and said that they denote where Jewish people lived and told what happened to them (most on the bricks I saw died in concentration camps).

Earlier in the evening we visited the Freiburg Münster (church in the center of the old town)
which was the only thing in the area that survived World War II bombings (there’s a picture of what the area looked like after the 1944 bombings, it’s pretty incredible that the church survived). My aunt said that its survival gave the town hope that a better future would come.

Tomorrow onto Geneva for the LIFT conference. Can’t wait!

Published by

Robert Scoble

As Startup Liaison for Rackspace, the Open Cloud Computing Company, Scoble travels the world looking for what's happening on the bleeding edge of technology for Rackspace's startup program. He's interviewed thousands of executives and technology innovators and reports what he learns in books ("The Age of Context," a book coauthored with Forbes author Shel Israel, has been released at http://amzn.to/AgeOfContext ), YouTube, and many social media sites where he's followed by millions of people. Best place to watch me is on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/RobertScoble

Comments

  1. Adam: I know that. But it’s still weird to me that people around the world are reading what we write. Imagine that 20 years ago you would have stood up in Journalism school and said to the professor “in the future we’ll be able to write stuff without doing it in a newspaper or belonging to a big corporation and people around the world will be able to tell us what they think.”

    You would have been run out of that school so fast you wouldn’t have been able to collect your things.

  2. Adam: I know that. But it’s still weird to me that people around the world are reading what we write. Imagine that 20 years ago you would have stood up in Journalism school and said to the professor “in the future we’ll be able to write stuff without doing it in a newspaper or belonging to a big corporation and people around the world will be able to tell us what they think.”

    You would have been run out of that school so fast you wouldn’t have been able to collect your things.

  3. thanks muchly for the fun evening and have fun at lift, should definitely head there myself next year.
    and hey, sorry to hear that the males in attendance don’t, but i certainly read techmeme! :)

  4. thanks muchly for the fun evening and have fun at lift, should definitely head there myself next year.
    and hey, sorry to hear that the males in attendance don’t, but i certainly read techmeme! :)

  5. Robert, thx again for your nice invitation! I enjoyed Freiburg’s first “Blog-Dinner” and hope to organize something regular for the local scene with the other people who showed up. I will start reading Techmeme, so far I used http://www.popurls.com as MetaMemeTrackMonitoringTimeWasting-Tool ;-)

  6. Robert, thx again for your nice invitation! I enjoyed Freiburg’s first “Blog-Dinner” and hope to organize something regular for the local scene with the other people who showed up. I will start reading Techmeme, so far I used http://www.popurls.com as MetaMemeTrackMonitoringTimeWasting-Tool ;-)

  7. It isnt like people have not been offering to translate Podtech’s video narratives and provide transcripts (including English). ;)

    Maybe it’s just too easy to confuse non-response with non-interest :)

    Tony

  8. It isnt like people have not been offering to translate Podtech’s video narratives and provide transcripts (including English). ;)

    Maybe it’s just too easy to confuse non-response with non-interest :)

    Tony

  9. Robert,

    You raised a great point when you said in the post above: “Sometimes I forget that the stuff we write reaches around the world.”

    I deliberately write with the thought that I’m being read around the world, or will be. My referrer logs justify that position.

    By the way, your posts from Germany are very interesting and informative. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Robert,

    You raised a great point when you said in the post above: “Sometimes I forget that the stuff we write reaches around the world.”

    I deliberately write with the thought that I’m being read around the world, or will be. My referrer logs justify that position.

    By the way, your posts from Germany are very interesting and informative. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Did you know that “geek” in German is “narr”? Something I found out from my brother who is working on Encarta (on its last legs, or so it seems, what with Al Gore inventing the Internet and all… or was it Andru Edwards?)

    Both words for geek derive from circus “carnies”. Will technology enthusiasts ever be called “carnies”. I think maybe the carnies are the ones who Beta test video games. :)

  12. Did you know that “geek” in German is “narr”? Something I found out from my brother who is working on Encarta (on its last legs, or so it seems, what with Al Gore inventing the Internet and all… or was it Andru Edwards?)

    Both words for geek derive from circus “carnies”. Will technology enthusiasts ever be called “carnies”. I think maybe the carnies are the ones who Beta test video games. :)

  13. When living in southwest Germany in the 80s, I was surprised to find the names of deceased German Jews and gypsies carved into the underside of cobblestones in a pedestrian zone near my home. The project took years to complete and seeing some familiar surnames made this hidden monument more memorable than any war memorial I have visited.

  14. When living in southwest Germany in the 80s, I was surprised to find the names of deceased German Jews and gypsies carved into the underside of cobblestones in a pedestrian zone near my home. The project took years to complete and seeing some familiar surnames made this hidden monument more memorable than any war memorial I have visited.

  15. Michael: I’ll cop to that. I try not to hurt, but when you are doing the work you and I both do inevitably we’ll hurt someone even if the best intentions are laid bare.

  16. Michael: I’ll cop to that. I try not to hurt, but when you are doing the work you and I both do inevitably we’ll hurt someone even if the best intentions are laid bare.

  17. “Another thing we talked about was that it’s much harder for them to read English sites than German ones, so often times they don’t read as many English sites as they would otherwise.”

    Weird. It’s the opposite round with me. I read so many english sites that sometimes I start to find it hard to find the right words in german.

  18. “Another thing we talked about was that it’s much harder for them to read English sites than German ones, so often times they don’t read as many English sites as they would otherwise.”

    Weird. It’s the opposite round with me. I read so many english sites that sometimes I start to find it hard to find the right words in german.

  19. Robert,

    Thanks for linking to Remo! That was exactly the word I was trying hard to recall!

    The name of Remo’s website means a Kitchen Closet in Swiss-German and it is apparently one of the more difficult words to spell, or so I have heard.

    Good Luck and have fun in Geneva!

    And yes, your words do travel around the Globe, and often become Chinese Whispers… :)

    Cheers!
    Shrikant Joshi

  20. Robert,

    Thanks for linking to Remo! That was exactly the word I was trying hard to recall!

    The name of Remo’s website means a Kitchen Closet in Swiss-German and it is apparently one of the more difficult words to spell, or so I have heard.

    Good Luck and have fun in Geneva!

    And yes, your words do travel around the Globe, and often become Chinese Whispers… :)

    Cheers!
    Shrikant Joshi

  21. It may be that the roots of the word geek can be lead to Narr but i totally disagree putting that even in close proximity as they do have nothing to do with one another.

    As for the english sites being read by germans – yes. you can be very successfull just writing about stuff you read on techmeme and are considered to be really innovative …

    but there are slow changes to be seen. ;)

  22. It may be that the roots of the word geek can be lead to Narr but i totally disagree putting that even in close proximity as they do have nothing to do with one another.

    As for the english sites being read by germans – yes. you can be very successfull just writing about stuff you read on techmeme and are considered to be really innovative …

    but there are slow changes to be seen. ;)

  23. Hi Robert,

    I really loved your show with Caro. Looks like the conversation was a lot of fun.
    Wish you all the best for the upcoming shows.

    Greetings from Germany

  24. Hi Robert,

    I really loved your show with Caro. Looks like the conversation was a lot of fun.
    Wish you all the best for the upcoming shows.

    Greetings from Germany