Social Networks – wohin geht die Reise?

Es türmen sich die verschiedenen Angebote von Social Network Services auf dem Internet. Fast jeden Tag kommt ein neuer Service aufs Netz. Zielgruppen spezifisch oder auch nicht, lokal verankert oder global, Service orientiert oder einfach nur Fun. Aber ist das wirklich die Zukunft solcher Netzwerke? Wann ist da die Sätigungsgrenze endlich erreicht? Wann sind die Communities müde sich immer wieder einzuloggen, zu registrieren und die Profile aktuell zu halten?

Ich bin überzeugt, dass sich diese Online Netzwerke stark wandeln müssen, wenn sie überleben wollen. Einfach nur neue Features zu bringen wird nicht genügen. Es sei denn die Zielcommunities können einen echten Mehrwert durch die aktive Mitwirkung erreichen. Einen interessanten Aspekt in welche Richtung sich solche Netzwerke entwickeln könnten ist im Business Week Bericht von Rob Hof zu lesen. Auch spannend ist der Kommentar zum Bericht von Steve Mansfield (prefound.com). Dieser neue Aspekt der gemeinsamen Suche ist nicht ganz neu. Bereits vor ein paar Jahren gab es in dieser Beziehung ja verschiedene Ansätze (habe auch schon dazu geblogt bspw. "Eurekster"), die aber immer scheiterten. Ob nun die Zeit reif für einen solchen Ansatz ist, scheint mir fraglich. Ich werde dies sehr gespannt verfolgen.

My Vision – by Kirk Greiner

Since we share so many things in business live together we also have the same passion: Empowering Education. And since Kirk does not blog I thought that I want to share his thoughts with also a broader audience. His text was published in our worldwide Newsletter to our customers. It also expresses our "Vision" at GenevaLogic. Thanks Kirk!

My Vision
by Kirk Greiner, President – GenevaLogic Inc.

My vision is that technology in education will become both ubiquitous and invisible at the same time.  That education through technology will become the great liberator and equalizer, helping teachers of every culture, geography and discipline ensure, not that no child is left behind, but that all children are brought forward.  That the potential of technology will be fully realized where every student has access to an education, every teacher feels confident in their use of technology and learning opportunities that could not have been thought possible to my generation will be common place to children of all future generations.

My vision is that no teacher should fear technology, be threatened by it or replaced by it.  That the integration of technology into the classroom will be as easy and as necessary as the use of a pencil or book is now.

Today many educators view technology as the proverbial glass half full, a promise yet to be kept or at best a work in progress.  Edward R. Murrow once said, “This instrument can teach, it can illuminate; yes, and it can even inspire. But it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it to those ends. Otherwise it is merely wires and lights in a box”.  He was speaking of the television in 1958, but the same could be said of the computer in today’s schools.

Some educators have made great strides with technology, yet many barriers lie before us.  Computers are too expensive, content consists of a patchwork of offerings, the computer learning environment is not universally reliable and most teachers still feel uncomfortable trying to manage technology in the classroom.  In time these barriers will fall but the questions of when and how are not easily answered.

My vision is to accelerate the removal of these barriers, but I am a realist.  I cannot lower the cost of computers, I am not in the business of creating content and I cannot train every teacher how to combine curriculum with technology.  My contribution is to help create tools that make technology easier to use for teachers.  To that end the measure of my success will not be the amount of sales GenevaLogic generates, the growth in the monetary value of the company or how well our products compare to the competition.  The measure of my success will be how many teachers and students derive benefit from technology through the use of our products.

At the beginning of this article I said my vision was that someday technology in education would be invisible.  It sounds like a strange concept, to make something with so much potential benefit irrelevant.  But that would miss the point.  The technology, the wires, the pixels, the disk drives and all the rest are just tools.  Their relevance lies not in that they exist at all, rather, their relevance is determined by how those who educate and those who learn use them.  If we, who are in the business of developing technology for educational purposes succeed in putting the focus on the educator and the learner then we succeed in realizing the full benefits of technology in education.  That is my vision.

Katrin Zumstein hat es geschafft – Die neue Grossrätin!

Ich bin hier in Prag in meinem Hotelzimmer und habe endlich nach langer Suche die Resultate der Grossratswahlen im Kanton Bern gefunden und habe soeben Katrin Zumstein herzlich zu Ihrer Wahl gratuliert. Für Outsider: Dies ist nicht selbstverständlich, da in unserer Region "Oberaargau" die Wahl einer Frau in der FDP immer noch eine Seltenheit darstellt. Ich bin überglücklich für Katrin und gratuliere hier ganz speziell und offiziell von meiner Seite nochmals. Ich bin auch froh, dass wir damit eine Frau im Grossen Rat haben, die unter anderem auch Werte wie Bildung und Soziale Verantwortung prägen wird, dies aber in einer Form die wirtschaftsunterstützend ist. Ihre Eigenständigkeit hebt sich entsprechend positiv vom allgemeinen FDP Rechts-Trend ab. Mehr Infos zu Katrin Zumstein auch unter: https://www.openbc.com/hp/Katrin_Zumstein/
Auch ein bisschen stolz bin ich, da wir an einem Anlass spontan die Wahlparolen mitentwickeln konnten. Hier ein Müsterchen: "Mein Kurt arbeitet auch"

Jetzt muss ich Katrin Zumstein nur noch dazu bringen, dass sie einen Blog als Grossrätin führt! Wäre wahrscheinlich ein Novum.

PS: Die ganze Internet und Online "Coverage" der Parteien bezüglich Resultate etc. war schlicht eine Katastrophe. Wer entdeckt wohl dieses Potential als ErsteR?

Comments to the EBAN Congress in Prague

I was invited as a speaker to the EBAN (European Business Angel Network) Congress in Prague. EBAN is sort of the roof of the major European Business Angel Networks.

My speech was about my personal experience as business angel and I basically talked about my lessons I learned in the past in investing in early stage projects and companies. I read more about that in a separte posting later.

What was interesting was the speech of some other business angels and also the discussions in the forums in the afternoon. On my panel was also Eduard Mika a Czech Republician business angel with an extremely interesting courier and also a very interesting investment approach. He said that he only invests alone with no other investors and tends to hold at least 25% of a company. We had afterwards a great chat and I enjoyed his thoughts.

Also I learned in the afternoon how impressive Intel Capital grew in the past years. Today Intel Capital is the biggest VC organization in the world with more than 200 people working for the organization doing more than 175 deals a year and they have in more than 20 countries their own rep offices. Very impressive and very interesting indeed.

I had also the opportunity to learn about a software platform for angel networks to administrate and organize deal flow professionally: www.angelsoft.netIn general it was an interesting day here in Prague – let's see how the diner celebration will be this evening.