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    January 6th, 2012EuropasionariaBest of the Web, Web 2.0

    I’ve been a long-time fan of Moo mini cards. I have business cards, which my employer gives me. That’s great in a business context. But when I’m having a chat with someone nice in a non-professional context, I just want to give them my personal contact details, not my work email address. So for about two years now I’ve had Moo mini cards, on which I’ve put my Twitter user name, personal email address and blog URL. They are twice as small as normal business cards, can be customised the way you like, include pictures of yours, etc. All cool stuff.

    A couple of days ago I ordered a refill. And then, thanks to Mashable, I found out that you can get Moo cards for free thanks to a partnership with Facebook. You might have heard of the new Facebook timeline. Your front page features one of your favourite pictures with a thumbnail of your profile picture on top of it. Moo offers you 50 free business cards with on one side your Facebook timeline cover picture and on the other side, your favourite quote and other contact details. Pretty cool stuff. I’ve ordered it, just because it’s fun and innovative. Check it out quickly if you want to do the same.

    Disclaimer: I was not paid by Moo to write this article 😉

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    June 25th, 2011EuropasionariaWeb 2.0

    Some of you may have noticed that my blog was offline for 3 weeks. You didn’t? No worries, me neither… at first. Readers noticed it for me. At first I thought it was a tiny server problem, usually solved by my host in no time. Then I realised it was a little more complicated than that.

    I receive dozens of emails a day, mostly from websites I registered for ages ago – I’m an information junkie. Sorting all these subscriptions would take forever. I’ve tried at times but it always ends up the same: I give up as I find it impossible to retrieve a username and password I created centuries ago. Seriously, aren’t you tired of having as many usernames and passwords as websites you have subscribed too?

    Anyway… I was being my usual self, scanning through the dozens of (spam) emails I receive daily, trying to spot the personal emails I don’t want to miss… and something bad happened. I didn’t spot the multiple reminders to renew my domain name subscription, which were sent by the service provider. On May 31 my subscription was cancelled without my noticing and my blog was therefore inaccessible.

    Offline © Michael Coghlan/Flickr

    I panicked. I got angry. I felt deprived. Months of hard blogging work taken down in a minute… It was as if bits of my soul had been stolen. I tried to pay for my domain name subscription again but I didn’t even have the right to! I imagined my domain name being bought by a stranger who would then ask me to pay a lot of money to get it back… alright that would probably not happen to my obscure blog. Yet, I felt helpless.

    I sent an email, filling up the online form on the website of the domain name provider -whose name I will not mention as I am not fond of revenge blogging. They replied within 48 hours as advertised on their website. However it took almost 2 weeks to have my blog back online, and several panicked reminders I sent to a robot machine in the meantime, all left unanswered, leaving me questioning the future of part of my identity: my blogger name.

    All back to normal then? Not really… it seems all the rankings of my blogposts have been messed up – for the non bloggers of this world: the more a blogpost is quoted and shared, the higher it gets in search engine results. So still, a year of hard work seems to have been lost in this unfortunate event. Was this really worth a slight delay in the renewal of a 20-euro yearly subscription? I was wrong in being late to renew my subscription but the consequences of it seem really inhumane to me.

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    November 24th, 2010EuropasionariaLife, Web 2.0

    Watch this hilarious video about the use of Facebook by the elderly. If you don’t understand Spanish, what’s below will definitively make you regret it. It was posted on Facebook by my fabulous aunt who joined Facebook just a couple of months ago, and immediately shared on her wall by my 70-year-old mum who just joined Facebook as well and who is, just like my aunt, showing a remarkable ability to use it. To put things in perspective: a month ago my mum asked me to explain to her what a blog was…

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    November 8th, 2010EuropasionariaQuote of the week, Web 2.0

    Facebook and Twitter have found a sizable niche: people who have something to say, but either are content to say it only to their friends, or don’t need more than 140 characters to express it.

    Mixed Media, How Facebook and Twitter Are Replacing Blogging

    Found on Twitter thanks to @princess_misia

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    October 16th, 2010EuropasionariaEurope, Web 2.0

    A couple of months ago, I wrote a blogpost saying why I disliked the .eu domain name ad.

    Today, while reading an excellent blogpost by Mathew Lowry, I found out the .eu domain name has a new ad. One that moves. A better one.

    This is what the previous ad looked like:

    Now it goes like this:

    I like it much better.

    Did my blogpost have an impact? We’ll never know…

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    October 14th, 2010EuropasionariaWeb 2.0

    …but the biggest shift since the industrial revolution.

    It’s always good to watch this video again from time to time.

    Thanks to Neelie Kroes and yeurbloggeress for bringing it to my attention on Twitter.

    Pass it on!

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    September 30th, 2010EuropasionariaWeb 2.0

    Last year I went to the fabulous Personal Democracy Forum (PdF) in Barcelona, the first edition of an event that had been taking place in the US for years. I had a good time with old friends, met lots of fascinating people, and came back loaded with exciting new ideas.

    This time I’m going back and I can’t wait! It’s on Monday/Tuesday. Drop me a line if you’d like to meet. And follow #PDFEU on Twitter to know what’s going on.

    There’s something very distinctive about social media conferences. Things don’t just happen the days of the event. A lot happens before and after as well.

    A few days before it starts, Twitter lists of attendees are created, hashtags are used to announce one’s attendance and to look for friends who might go too, or people we don’t know yet but would like to meet. As I saw PdF’er Micah Sifry tweet once ahead of the Berlin re:publica conference we were going to: I can hear the drum roll slowly but surely getting louder… the curtain is about to rise.

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    September 26th, 2010EuropasionariaEurope, Girl Power, Web 2.0

    Icelandic volcano ash cloud simulation © Pietro Zanarini/Flickr

    Berlin, April 15, 2010: I’m at the social media conference re:publica 2010 where we are organising a workshop with friends from the Blogging Portal. Little by little, I realize something’s wrong with the airlines. It seems an Icelandic volcano is causing a giant ash cloud, paralysing most European airports. We’re told it could last a few days… I start worrying about not being able to get back home. In this mess, we all try and find as much information as we can. I check Twitter on my BlackBerry. I discover the hashtag #ashtag, and through that, the Eurocontrol Twitter account. From then on, it became my primary source of information as it was the most up-to-date and the most reliable.

    The Eurocontrol Twitter account went from a few hundred followers to a few thousand within a few days. All that thanks to the talent and determination of a lady, Aurélie Valtat, who is now nominated at the SimpliFlying-Airline Business Awards for Social Media Excellence for Airlines, category SimpliFlying Hero of the Year.

    Back then, I was absolutely amazed by the way Eurocontrol handled the situation through Twitter. How Aurélie used Twitter during this crisis should be an example for all institutions trying to get into the social media world. She was informative, responsive, human, funny, genuine… she got it, I thought.

    Aurélie has now become a friend and a member of the EU Girl Geeks. Please vote for her now! Not because she’s my friend but because she deserves to win. Go on this page, scroll down, it’s the last box at the end.

    You can also read Aurélie on her blog Content Bit(e)s, and follow her on Twitter.

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    September 19th, 2010EuropasionariaPolitics, Web 2.0

    Don't Think of an Elephant!: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate--The Essential Guide for ProgressivesI’m currently reading Words that Work: It’s Not What You Say, It’s What People Hear by American pollster and advisor to the Republicans, Frank Luntz. The book is all about what words convey and the importance of using simple language for politicians and all communicators. It’s a good complement to a book I read last year and that changed my life to such an extent that I keep on highly recommending this book to any political activist I get to meet: George Lakoff’s Don’t Think of an Elephant!: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate–The Essential Guide for Progressives. Based on the science of how the brain works, Lakoff says that Democrats in the US lose most elections because they spend their time criticising their opponents, thus repeating the other side’s arguments and language over and over, which basically gets them free publicity. In short: if you want to win people’s approval, make your own concepts based on your core values, rather than use the concepts your opponents created; in the US for example, Democrats keep on using terms that have been invented by the Republicans such as ‘purchasing power’, ‘gay marriage’ and ‘pro-life’. This frames the debate in favour of what conservatives defend. If you’re not ‘pro-life’, what are you? ‘pro-death’? or ‘anti-life’ perhaps? How can you be something else than in favour of life? Lakoff’s book is an essential reading.

    The Revolution Will Not Be Televised Revised Ed: Democracy, the Internet, and the Overthrow of EverythingThis summer I read another book that blew me away: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: Democracy, the Internet, and the Overthrow of Everything by Democrat political campaigner, Joe Trippi. The book makes the link between my passion for politics and my passion for the Internet. Trippi tells the story of the Howard Dean campaign for being the Democrat nominee for the 2004 presidential election. The Internet tools that had such a key role in Obama’s election were first tested during the Howard Dean campaign Joe Trippi headed. His main point is that while television has gradually disconnected people with politics and their own community in the second part of the 20th century -about this, read the excellent Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community by Robert Putnam– the Internet, and social networks specifically, is getting people to re-connect with each other and re-engage in politics. While for decades people were only consulted through polls and on election days, nowadays the possibility for everyone to open a blog, tell what they think and impact decision-makers, is radically changing politics as we know it, 20th century style politics, driven by the power of television and opinion polls. A fascinating read.

    Next on my reading list are:

    Any suggestions?

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  • scissors
    September 16th, 2010EuropasionariaLife, Web 2.0

    This is not my aunt although she has a similar haircut... and glasses too © Lisa.B/flickr

    A week ago my aunt joined Facebook. First, she started ‘liking’ everything I posted -and I post a lot, I’m a Facebook addict. Then she started posting things herself: youtube videos, texts, newspaper articles, pictures… all sorts of things! I am frankly absolutely amazed at how fast she picked it up. And I just love to read and listen everything she posts there. This shows that you can be a grand-mother and still open to new technologies. Clearly my aunt has an amazingly fast ability to understand how social media work… not that I ever doubted she had it in her!

    My aunt lives far away from where I live so we do not talk as much as I would like to. But now, thanks to Facebook and my aunt’s openness to trying new things, I get messages from her everyday. This truly warms my heart. As my other beloved aunt -her sister- likes to say: what matters is not physical youth but being young in your mindset.

    Love you, auntie O. and anti E. 🙂

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