Mjays Planet

… deprecated

Posted in Uncategorized by Martin Spindler on April 30, 2010

This place here, so it seems, experienced a rather short resurrection. But all is well, I will continue blogging, hopefully even more regularly. It just so happens that that won’t take place here, at wordpress.com’s serverfarm, but instead over there, at my freshly set-up home at mjays.net. It’s still a little rough around the edges and needs some further work…

This place is, as they say, deprecated. This blog won’t be repopulated anymore, but will continue in this form as archive.

If you are reading this by feedreader and want to continue reading that stuff I deem worth blogging about, you will need to redirect that feed’s subscription to: http://mjays.net/feed/

Thank’s for sticking around. Hope to see you at my new place.


This American Life – Inside Job

Posted in Uncategorized by Martin Spindler on April 12, 2010

This doesn’t need too many words. My favorite podcast, This American Life, which together with the team of NPR’s Planet Money did such a marvelous job at explaining the reasons and mechanisms of the subprime crisis in their show back in November 08 have aired a new amazing episode.
Inside Job looks at the workings of Magnetar, a hedge-fund which grew heavily throughout the crisis by sponsoring and shorting CDOs (that’s those toxic sub-prime mortgage assets which got us into this mess) and thus basically betting that the stuff that they helped create tanks.
So by all means, head over to TAL and listen to the episode.

And as a sidenote: I’ll be at re:publica from Wed through Fri — so if you’re there too, give me a shout so we can meet up.

Your Questions on the Smart Grid?

Posted in Uncategorized by Martin Spindler on April 6, 2010

So it turns out that my talk about Smart Grids for this year’s re:publica got accepted.
I’m genuinely thrilled and working on the preparation of the talk.
But I kind of hit a brick wall: I just don’t know what you guys out there already know and what your questions are. I’m kind of trapped with a deformation professionelle here, as I’m working on that stuff for some time already, and a lot of it became self-evident to me.
So if you were planning to join my talk, may I ask you for a favor? Please tell me, what you are interested in, what you already know and what is a gray area. This would help a lot in the preparations. You can do this in the comments or just send me an email at talk@mjays.net.
Thanks a lot.

German Politics and the Internet – What?

Posted in Politik by Martin Spindler on March 20, 2010

As I mentioned before, I’m currently attending the Politcamp in Berlin. I’ve been at this event last May already, and given the copy to advertise this event and some admittedly high-profile speakers, I was quite thrilled. After all, German politics didn’t yet really get the internet, or the ramifications thereof.
So this morning I walked the 5 blocks to the conference venue expecting some interesting discussions and and maybe one or two ideas which were new.
It turns out none of that happened. It turned out that this “Barcamp” suffered from what a lot of the internet-focused groups nowadays suffer: they lack, so to speak, balls. They lack balls in the sense that nobody dares to talk about how things could be, nobody talks about what they envision, but everybody talks about how the current state of affairs turns out and complains about not being able to operate as before.

This needs to stop. We don’t need another discussion about where we are. We know this already. The internet is here, and I presume it’s here to stay. Educating others about this indeed is necessary. But this should not happen on the expense of developing ideas, of envisioning how things might be. And we need to have these discussions. We need to talk about where this is going and where it should go, we need to develop ideas, we need to envision the future. In continuing what we do, we make sure this doesn’t happen, but talk about the status quo, or even worse, complain about how good we all were off in the status quo ante.

So, I agree with @cemb when he says: “I wished for more tangible results, less talk and more deeds.”


I doubt, though, whether this format, and by extension, the format of the BarCamp really can provide for this.

So far my rant for day one. Keep posted for day two. And of course, get in touch if you think I’m completely off.


Posted in Politik by Martin Spindler on March 20, 2010

Currently, I’m attending the politcamp in Berlin. If you’re there, let’s meet.

Tanslating Website Copy

Posted in Uncategorized by Martin Spindler on March 17, 2010

Currently, I’m in the process of translating website copy for a product we want to launch in Germany.
Now mind you, I’m not a copywriter. (Unless, as many How-To-Blog-Succesfully-Blogs would have you believe, you think writing this is writing copy…)

But I’m stumbling on interesting things during the process, some of which are connected to the product, so of course I can’t tell you about it, but some of it are not.
First, it is amazing how much more space you need to say/communicate the same things in German. I never really thought about it before. And it is weirdly counter-intuitive, shouldn’t it be that German takes up less space, given all the compound words and all that. But it turns out it is way more complicated to convey a meaningful message in short German, than it is in English.
Second, you stumble across one very important problem: How do I talk to the customers. It’s fairly easy in English, because that distinction is not there in the first place, but further, the language of many web-based services nowadays seems a lot more colloquial than in the German environment. I have yet to find a reason for that.
Third, it seems to me that it is far easier to convey quite difficult concepts in understandable terms in English than it is in German. When it comes to explaining concepts, the German language usually resorts to making up new compound words to help grasp the concepts, whilst English utilizes imagery comparisons. Hence it is easier to understand complex issues, as the metaphors reduce complexity.

So there you have it. These are some of the reasons, why this blog will be written in English. (To be honest, there are many more, but most of them I cannot pinpoint as clearly as the ones mentioned above). And now I should probably get back to translating this website copy.

A Change

Posted in Sonstiges by Martin Spindler on March 15, 2010

I’ve decided I want to populate this blog again.
But there will be some changes. First, this blog will be written in English from now on. Second, I won’t put the occasional findings on here, nor will I put up funny stories here. For all that, you’ll still be able to go to my Tumblr. This place is intended to become my platform for longer thoughts and views, which deserve a place of their own.

So thanks for listening. We’ll see where this journey takes us.

bisschen ruhig hier

Posted in Uncategorized by Martin Spindler on September 8, 2009

aber hier drüben ist bisschen mehr los

Atoms&Bits – here we go!

Posted in Web by Martin Spindler on September 2, 2009

Das atoms&bits-Camp ist eine der zentralen Veranstaltungen des atoms&bits-Festivals. Dazu laden wir alle Interessierten am Samstag, den 26. und Sonntag, den 27. September ims ÏMA Design Village nach Berlin-Kreuzberg ein.


Um diese fünf Themen dreht sich auch das Camp:

  • neue Arbeitsformen (selbstbestimmte Arbeit, Coworking)
  • neue Lust am Bausteln (bauen, basteln, Do-it-yourself)
  • neue alte Kultur der Offenheit (OpenEverything, Creative Commons)
  • neue Formen politischen Engagements
  • neue Kunst, Kunst zu machen (the Art of Production of Art)

sowie das großartige, kleine, feine, schöne, private, öffentliche Netz, das alles verbindet und damit erst möglich macht. Beim Camp wird es neben einem offenen BarCamp/Web-Bereich eigens eingerichtete, kuratierte Räume geben, in denen die zentrale Themen des a&b-Festivals aufgegriffen und diskutiert werden.


Morgen abend werden wir im mixxt-Netzwerk die erste Runde der verfügbaren Plätze für das atoms&bits-Camp freigeben. Um zu vermeiden, dass alle verfügbaren Plätze in kürzester Zeit ausgebucht sind, werden wir Menschen auch über andere Kanäle als das twitter– und mixxt-Universum einladen und ihnen eine Anmeldung über alternative Wege ermöglichen. Die Teilnehmerliste bei mixxt ist deswegen zunächst auf 150 Plätze begrenzt. Link zur Anmeldung zum Camp bei mixxt: Camp – Samstag und Camp – Sonntag. Ganz besonders freuen wir uns über Anmeldungen per Postkarte ans a&b-Camp, c/o Studio70, Kottbusser Damm 70, 10967 Berlin. Alternativ ist eine Anmeldung per E-Mail an camp [ätt] atomsandbits.net möglich. It’s up to you!


Alle Informationen zur Location, zum Inhalt und vor allem auch zum Festival findet ihr im mixxt-Netzwerk und auf unserer Website http://atomsandbits.net, die von Tag zu Tag bunter und voller wird :)


Wer sich am Gelingen von Festival und/oder Camp beteiligen möchte, ist natürlich herzlich willkommen! Freiwillige Helfer für Auf- und Abbau oder Empfang dürfen sich hier verewigen: Camp – Organisation. Informationen über eigene Veranstaltungen im Rahmen des Festivals, egal an welchem Ort der Welt, haben wir hier zusammengestellt: Mitmachen. Wer sich zu einem Thema besonders einbringen oder Fragen im Vorfeld klären möchte, kann sich an die entsprechenden Themenverantworlichen (unter “Team – Tracks”) wenden. Diesen stehen darüber hinaus weitere Teilnehmerkontingente zur Verfügung.


Einige Sponsoren (wie T-Systems MMS, Blogpiloten, trabayo oder t3n – Herzlichen Dank an euch!) sind schon an Bord, wir suchen allerdings noch nach weiterer finanzieller, infrastruktureller und kulinarischer Unterstützung. Anfragen und Hinweise nehmen wir gerne unter sponsoring [ätt] atomsandbits.net entgegen.


Zur Bundestagswahl wird es am Sonntag im Anschluss an das Camp eine große Wahlparty mit Berichterstattung und Liveschaltungen in der Festivalzentrale “betahaus” geben, die direkt neben der Camp-Location liegt. Eine große Bitte: Wer am Tag der Wahl nicht in die Nähe seines Wahllokales kommt, möge doch bitte schon heute die erforderlichen Briefwahlunterlagen anfordern (geht prima online, für Berlin z.B. hier) und seine Stimme nicht an Horst Schlämmer verschenken!

Spread the word!

Eine Verbreitung dieses Texte ist ausdrücklich erwünscht! Eigene Berichte am Besten mit #anb oder #atomsandbits taggen, und auf der Berichte-Seite eintragen.

links for 2009-07-20

Posted in Uncategorized by Martin Spindler on July 21, 2009