Friday, April 27, 2007

Good debate this morning

I'm pleased with the networking and level of the break-out sessions. One of the first times so many NGO's and broadcasters have got together. Aidian White of the IFJ (International Federation for Journalists) in Brussels makes a point that its pointless training journalists in developing countries unless something is done about the level of safety - and also that there is a career path for those who go into the profession. Wage levels in many countries means jobs are not paying anything like what's needed to keep media independent.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Johan Galtung

Johan Galtung is a Norwegian professor, working at the Transcend Institute. He is seen as the pioneer of peace and conflict research and founded the International Peace Research Institute (PRIO) in Oslo. He is also one of the authors of an influential account of news values, the factors which determine coverage given to a given topic in the news media. Gave an inspiring speech in Bonn this morning.

Radio Pioneers

I have a lot of respect for people who not just talk about radio for development, they do it in the field, often under difficult conditions. Francis Rolt (left) was until recently the head of radio operations for Search for Common Ground in Brussels. David Lloyd Smith has worked for all kinds of stations in Africa, but is best known for his work with Radio Okapi in Congo. He's recently been in Dafur doing evaluations for BBC Trust. We must capture their stories from the field - there's a wealth of experience here.

Good Radio Reception at the Hotel

Dorint Hotel is up on a hill overlooking Bonn. Has a rather large neighbour. I wonder how long that will be there? Brilliant weather this morning. Rhine is at the lowest level it has been for April for centuries.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Bonn for 10 Euro

On my way to a conference at Deutsche Welle on the South side of Bonn. Driven 276 km on a quarter tank of petrol. Glad I didn't take the train...I would have spent double than on a taxi fare from Bonn railway station. Hurrah for hybrid technology.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Bondi FM also on the Beach

James Duncan has contributed to the famous BondiFM in Australia - reaching one of the world's best beaches. Now doing some interesting multimedia projects in Europe and South America. Great to be looking at pictures of the next day in the late European evening...

Brainstorming with Barry at the Beach

Barry Flaherty is an inspiring entrepreneur with a seemingly infinite knowledge of marketing and business. Spent an interesting afternoon brainstorming on various projects we're working on together through the IFCCC. Great to meet someone who shares the passion of doing business in the creative industry and enjoys it too.

Brainstorming at the Beach

Now this makes a change from the office. A great bar-cafe right on the beach at Bloemendaal with a commanding view of the beach and the North Sea. The Republiekbloemendaal does great mint tea too. I am always on the lookout for great brainstorming locations - this turns out to be one of them. Glorious day today with a warm sea breeze...

Better Interface at Joost

Perhaps in response to the Babelgum move, I see the Joost interface has been spruced up in the latest beta.

Joostâ„¢ the best of tv and the internet

TV Turnoff Week Begins

TV Turnoff Week 2007 has just started, and once again major
American and Canadian television networks appear to be stonewalling attempts to air public service ads that promote responsible viewing. Perhaps it is not surprising - which newspaper would carry ads advising people to throw out the newspaper and switch on the radio?

This year's round of ads from adbusters includes a revived and updated classic
"uncommercial" from their early days, along with a second spot featuring a
score by Philip Glass and footage by American filmmaker
Godfrey Reggio (the Qatsi trilogy).

The U.S.-based ABC network has already rejected the ads outright, while several other cable and broadcast networks have stalled attempts to air the spots in time for
the major anti-TV festival. This is a repeat of developments in years past, when similar ads have been rejected by the likes of CBS, NBC, ABC, MTV and FOX in the U.S., and CBC, CHUM, and CanWest Global in Canada.

The organisers say that TV Turnoff Week is all about saying no to unfettered media concentration and to the democratic deficit that results. And it's about challenging the heavily distorted reflection of the world that we see every day on the screen, a reflection that is keeping many Nortn-Americans ill-informed and unaware of the very real political and environmental crises that we all currently face.

In the meantime, take a moment to check out the newly launched TV
Turnoff Week 2007 campaign headquarters,

Sunday, April 22, 2007

France 24 elections

I like the options to see what's going on in the gallery or even in make-up at France 24.

France 24 in Explorer

No problem with the Explorer browser...

French Elections

Interested to watch the coverage of the first round of the French elections on France 24. I think the studio analysis is rather good and the questions from the audience are of a high level. I wasn't sure why the video was squashed using the Firefox browser. Couldn't get it right. UPDATE: Lou Josephs has the answer in the comments. May be France 24 needs to warn viewers to download the plug in - its only just out.

Renewed & Inspiring TED

If you haven't discovered the TED website yet, you should set aside an hour or so and explore. This stuff is inspiring, even though its become rather too expensive for individuals to attend. However, they're booked out to 2008, so apparently the business model which charges a 6000 dollar entrance fee seems to work. Fair play, though, they share the ideas and presentations with the world shortly after the annual gatherings. Check out Hans Rosling from Sweden about statistics and preconceived ideas or Seth Godin on Sliced Bread.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Radio Netherlands Second Life 4

There's what seems to be a live radio studio in the middle of this complex. I bump into BBTU Rotaru, at least that what she calls herself. BBTU explains that she is infact a "he" and new to Second Life. He's wondering how to change the avatar and also where to get some clothes. It doesn't seem to rain in Second Life, nor is it very cold by the look of it, but clothes still make the man (or woman).

I notice that even though there are 53,000 people on line, most of Second Life always appears rather empty. Its now the three times the size of San Francisco and will have 17 million users by the end of 2007. There are more Europeans than North American's now.

If you have a Second Life account, you'll find the Radio Netherlands virtual studio by typing in "Wereldomroep". I am curious to see what events they will organise in there.

Radio Netherlands Second Life 3

On the other side of the complex, there are information panels under the world clocks (which seem to be working) that take you to the home pages of Radio Netherlands in various languages. Next to that is a sort of sushi-bar, with Martini drinks going round. I guess its Martini media - any place, any platform, any where.

Radio Netherlands Second Life 2

There are comfy chairs to sit down on and listen to radio programmes. It works - at least in Indonesian. Personally, I am not sure there is much time for radio listening in Second Life. It's more of a visual world....

Second Life Studio

I see that, like the BBC Radio 1 crew, Radio Netherlands Worldwide has built a studio in Second Life. It is huge. More like an exhibition centre.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Sign of the Times 2

The shop is shut because their computing system has failed. Interesting advert for a telecom company. But at least they were upfront about their problems - unlike the nitwits at RIM Blackberry in Canada...boy have they got a communications problem.

Sign of the Times

The France Telecom shop in Cannes is closed this morning...

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Babelgum Party

Wow, these guys at Babelgum networks know how to throw a party. Not bad for an Italian/Irish start-up. Mind you, they have backers with deep pockets. But they also have a technology that will rival Joost when it launches next week.

Great Google Insights

I cannot understand why Powerpoint has not improved over the years. Integration with video clips is still a nightmare and you can tell if someone is using Keynote on a Mac instead. Today, at Web 2.0 in San Francisco, John Battelle , who has authored books on Google, interviewed the CEO, Eric Schmidt in a keynote conversation. Eric is prompted to talk about the acquisition of Double-Click and the on-line office suite to rival Microsoft. It includes an announcement that Google is working on adding presentation-sharing capabilities to Google Docs & Spreadsheets. Eric has a goofy way of announcing the product too.

Update: Paul Van Veenendaal of the excellent Dutch site Marketingfacts has been digging further on the official Google channel in Youtube. He found vintage talks by Eric at the Economic Club of Chicago (64 minutes; 6 April 2006), also at the SIEPR Economic Summit 2006 (37 minutes; 3 March 2006), Conde Nast's Portfolio business magazine (25 minutes; 15 June 2006) and at the US National Venture Capital Association (61 minutes; 26 April 2006).

Monday, April 16, 2007


I have a love hate relationship with Cannes. There are some very interesting emerging technologies at this week's MIP-TV festival. I see that the new media section is there in name only....the exhibition has been folded into MIP-TV and the presentations of new media (Second Life, Mobile) are pushed towards the end of the week. Then the not so nice bits - I must admit I have fun with the lowest form of life here - TV sales agents. These are people who sell soap one week and TV programme (formats) the next. They are not interested in what they are selling, just as long as it is sold. Too many stands hire people with the body language of a security guard who greet you at their desk with a "What do you want?" look. Why? These people are trapped in their own routine, believing their own brochure's claim that they have unique content. They are attending MIP because they have to, not because they want to. Especially the government funded/sponsored stands are particularly ineffective. There are some bright spots though, Orange, Babelgum, BBC Worldwide. Great conversations on the terraces outside.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Let me through....

Let me through....
Originally uploaded by Jonathan Marks.
Lots of interest in the Radio Netherlands Open Day 2007. Since it is a 24 hr company they have not locked the front door since 1961.

Did someone say 60?

Did someone say 60?
Originally uploaded by Jonathan Marks.
Spent a great day out at RNW in Hilversum, seeing old friends and doing a bit of filming for fun. Holland's external broadcasting service is 60 years old today.

Professional Speakers Association Netherlands

Just spent a great day at the first full meeting/event of the Professional Speakers Association, Netherlands Branch. Wow, these guys can really organize an inspiring day.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Monday, April 09, 2007

Feathers for Easter

Feathers for Easter
Originally uploaded by Jonathan Marks.
Sorting Photos today. This is rather topical. Outside a Stockholm florist I saw bunches of coloured feathers for sale. Seems this is an Easter tradition - I guess that being that far North many of the locally-grown flowers are not yet blooming, so this is an alternative to adding the feeling of spring.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Frog Spawn in Spring

Frog Spawn in Spring
Originally uploaded by Jonathan Marks.
It is going to get noisy around here shortly. Not the sort of Easter eggs you normally find in the garden.

Happy Easter

Frogs in the Pond
Originally uploaded by Jonathan Marks.
If you're celebrating, Happy Easter. Brilliant weather in Holland. Time for a spring clean and to catch up on 10,000 kms of recent travels. March was hellishly busy....
There are about 40 frogs in the garden pond. Wonder what they're up to?

Monday, April 02, 2007

Al Jazeera New Era

Al Jazeera New Era
Originally uploaded by Jonathan Marks.
Very Impressed by what Al Jazeera is doing with mobile. These guys are way ahead of the regional competition.