Archive for September, 2006

Ning Launches Three New Social Websites

Wednesday, September 27th, 2006 | Technology, Web 2.0 | No Comments

A while ago I signed up for Ning a service which lets you create your own Social Website without coding (well you can even code PHP if you want to). I never used it until I received an email tonight, that Ning has added new templates which make the creation of your own site easier. They added Ning Videos, Ning Photos and Ning Group.

To test drive the service I created a new photo site called “Las Vegas Parties“… I felt I have some expertise in this area 😉

I like the wizard driven approach of creating the site. However adding the actual photos seemed tedious (no client uploader utility). I would have liked to just add my pictures from Flickr, but there was no obvious way to do that. Just to get the site started I uploaded some party pics from Tao into a new album. It seems that only I can post into that album, while I would expect that also other users can upload their Tao pictures into the same album. I probably need to dive deper into it.

I have also a great idea about creating a custom Ning group. More about that later, but let me know if you know other services you like/use which provide an easy, but yet feature rich way to maintain a virtual group of people (discussion board, photo sharing, calendar, user management, etc.).


Om Malik is fairly upbeat on the Ning enhancements

In short, it allows niche sites to cheaply add community tools to their existing web presence. This could be a precursor to a fund raising effort by the company that has so far been privately funded by Marc Andreessen.

John Battelle is also upbeat, but points out that Ning might try to boil the ocean…

In short, it’s not about one company owning a space – video, or social networking, or photo sharing. It’s about letting anyone have these kinds of services. That’s biting off a hell of a lot, and there is much to prove, but if the planets align, I have to say, it’s an impressive play.

Cool Trial Bike Videos – This is why I love YouTube

Monday, September 25th, 2006 | Sport, Video | 3 Comments

Karen mentioned to me the other day that she saw this really cool video on Yahoo! with a guy jumping multiple poles with his bike. Little did she know that my friend Volker, who is now one of the youngest executives at Siemens, used to be the Northern German champion in Bicycle Trial. That’s actually how I learned this sport exists. It is absolutely amazing and I am still suprised how few people know about it. The stunt of the guy in the Yahoo! video was small compared to tricks I have seen at Trial championships. The goal in Trial and Mountainbike Trial is to finish an obstacle course without having your feet touching the ground (the time you need is not that important).
So I went over to YouTube and searched for “Bike Trial” and sure enough I found a wealth of interesting videos. Here are my favorites:

Here is a short clip to wet your appetite. The Spanish have dominated traditional Trial, using specific bikes typically from Monty, for a long time.

But you can also use a regular Mountain Bike for Trial as these guys show us…

Well, you think you have seen it all? These kids from England defy gravity. Try at your own risk!

Talking about Internet Video… Robert Scoble is launching the Scobleshow tonight.

Interview with Robert Scoble

Friday, September 22nd, 2006 | Adobe, SAP, Technology | 1 Comment

Sorry for my blog posting pause. I am suffering post TechEd Las Vegas Stress Syndrom… which means I had a pretty bad cold.
I just browsed Flickr and found this great picture of me and Robert. Looking forward to see the full video on very soon.
Also stay tuned for a great story about my participation in the demo jam.

SDN Day was Great!

Monday, September 11th, 2006 | Adobe, SAP, Technology | 1 Comment

I just came back to my hotel room in the Venetian after a long day at the SAP Developer Network day. It was great. Mark, Craig and team organized an excellent event with the right mixture of organized sessions and freestyle activities and meetings.
Mark Finnern kicked the event of with references to Burning Man and Foo camp.
Mark Finnern

After that a networking session allowed everyone to meet different members of the SDN community. Juergen, James and I started to get ready for the Flex hands-on workshop. In our two workshops we had about 50 attendees who brought their laptops to install Flex Builder and start developing Rich Internet Applications with Flex.
Here is James Ward demonstrating Flex Builder.
James Ward

The hands-on sessions were very productive and we got a lot of positive feedback on the Flex Proof-of-Concept application which we developed with RoundArch (a Rich Internet Application for customer support linking back to an SAP application).

During the breaks I met Robert Scoble and later he did a brief interview with me talking about all the activities between Adobe and SAP. This should be available soon on the SAP channel of I invited Robert to meet in Palo Alto or San Jose to give him a demo of all the work we have been doing with SAP on improving the user experience. Later in the day Robert also interviewed Shai.
Shai Agassi and Robert Scoble

We had also a lot of interest in the SDN sessions on SAP Interactive Forms by Adobe presented by Juergen Hauser, Les Woolsey, Blair Powell and Mohan Bethur. We are off to a great start and I expect a lot of people in our sessions and our booth during the next days at SAP TechEd.

Finally SDN Day closed with a party at the Hofbrauhaus in Las Vegas. Below is SDNer Harald Reiter and me enjoying a Weissbier. We had a lot of fun on our table and Mark, Craig and Thomas stopped by as well.
Harald Reiter and Matthias Zeller

Its time to sleep and prepare for another big day tommorrow. I will present Interactive Forms with Markus Meisl as well as Apollo and the Adobe Engagement Platform as part of the SAP Client strategy presentation. Finally and most importantly I need to mentally prepare for the Demo Jam tomorrow evening. If your at SAP TechEd please support me with a lot of noise!

SAP TechEd Final Countdown

Friday, September 8th, 2006 | Adobe, SAP, Technology | 1 Comment

The last days have been pretty hectic. I am getting ready for SAP’s number one tech event the SAP TechEd. This meant installing SAP Web Application Server on VMWare, getting the demos ready, figuring out who needs to go to which workshop, preparing for the Demo Jam and many more things. I am flying to Las Vegas on Sunday and expect a long night since I still need to get an SAP Web AS ABAP server installed on a machine which is hopefully waiting for me in the hotel. I do not have a monitor yet, but hopefully someone can help me out (if you know where I could use a Monitor in the Venetian Hotel on Sunday afternoon/evening please let me know. Even better let me know if you have a box with the Web AS 6.40 ABAP stack which I could use for the SDN workshop).
I am very excited to meet Robert Scoble who will be at SDN Day (the SAP Developer Network Event the day before TechEd starts officially). He will do interviews for PodTech (Until today I did not realize they have an SAP Channel, cool!).
So here is a summary of the Adobe content at SAP TechEd and SDN Day we have lined up….
– Two hour hands-on workshop (bring your laptop) to develop Rich Internet Applications with Flex and connect them to SAP (if I can get the ABAP Server running 😉
Four session around Interactive Forms at SDN Day, meaning talk to our developers about the technical details of SAP Interactive Forms by Adobe
Demo Jam – Yes I will compete with a demo showing live coding in Flex Builder developing a cool Flex app connection to SAP in 6 minutes (Please support me with a lot of noise :-)
– 12 (!) presentations and workshops featuring Interactive Forms in SAP NetWeaver. This is a great opportunity to get educated on one of the hottest technology in SAP NetWeaver
– Exhibition Pods: We have one booth (booth #1) which features everything you want to know about Interactive Forms and allows you to talk to the experts (no sales or marketing people allowed on our booth!) and one pod (pod #1) in the NetWeaver village featuring Adobe Flex technology. It is great to be twice #1 :-)

Well I better get some rest before the crazy days start!

P.S. One more update – I will present the Adobe Engagement Platform and Apollo as part of SAP’s session “Next Generation of Client Technology for SAP“. We are absolutely dedicated to bring rich and engaging user experiences to SAP customers.

Two Perfect Days in Los Angeles – Day 2 – Part 1

Sunday, September 3rd, 2006 | Fashion, Food, Private, Travel | No Comments

So its the second day of our Los Angeles trip. In the morning we drove to the LA Farmers Market.  I have to say this was probably a highlight of the trip and I wish we had something similar in the Bay Area. The market is open every day from early morning until the evening. A lot of different produce stands to browse around, but the highlight are the food stands. We had our brunch at the French Crepe Company. The Prosciutto with Figs was a real treat.

We also had the Pan Bagnat, a baguette sandwich stuffed with Tuna salad.

Also noteworthy is the French store, wine bar and restaurant Monsieur Marcel. Next time I want to try their Cheese Fondue, it looked great.

We briefly checked out the new mall next to the Farmers Market but it is boring, the same stores you get all over the US. So to continue with typical LA shopping we went to Fred Segal on Melrose Avenue, which is more upscale then the Santa Monica counterpart we visited the day before. If you arrive around noon it makes for great people watching and star spotting. I am pretty bad at that since I have no memory for faces.

Funny side story to proof the point: Last week I was at a wedding. At the evening dinner Karen pointed out a guy to me and said “I think this is Larry Page”. I told her that I met Larry at a convention a couple of years ago and he looks completely different. Well, later at the party we found out it was Larry Page and Karen was once again right.

Apart from the fact that Fred Segal had a great selection of Martin Margiela clothing, I was mostly impressed by the cool Vestax Handy Trax turntable… I will need to get one soon.

In the afternoon we headed over to Beverly Hills to stroll down Rodeo Drive. I realize there is so much more we did that day, so I will save it for another Blog entry…
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