Clocking the chit chat: Presenting at Picnic


The European Bloggers Lab put seven speakers from seven countries on the clock at Picnic 2008.

Each was given 10 minutes to present a topic of their choosing at our lab. Here’s a snapshot of what they had to say:







PresenterUlrike Reinhardimage
BrieflyA monthly web magazine. “We dedicated WE to the empowerment of many given to us by the Internet.”
AudienceIt was hard to say in the beginning weeks. But the project, just months old, has reached 129 countries.
SimilarlyAdhering to the advice of her friend Marvin Minsky, Reinhard reminds herself: “Don’t do anything anyone else can do!”
Quotable“It can already be considered a success. Within four weeks it has been read in over 120 countries. … I would definitely call it a success.”
PresenterFrancesco Federicoimage
BrieflyThis young entrepreneur, project management professional and blogger gave an overview of the Italian blogosphere.
AudienceFederico says 25 percent of Italians surf the web at least once a month. The average online time is 1.5hours per week. Six percent of the population blogs. 82 percent don’t have a profile on a social networking site. 73 percent of all bloggers are 18-29 years old. During the spring and summer months, visits to SNS decreased by 20-45 percent.
SimilarlyParticular cultural and social divides make Italy a unique climate online.
Quotable“Culturally Italy is a culture that does not like change or technology. ... The generation of free content is not endorsed. ... They tend to only see the negative side. There is a bad image of such content.” People “have access but they use it in a very simple way.”
PresenterKarel Platteauimage
FromBelgium is a platform dedicated to the ins and outs of using freedom of information acts in Europe
AudienceA meeting place for journalists around Europe and its neighborhood who want to collaborate with investigative stories or share experiences
SimilarlyWobbing, a Flemish term for using the freedom of information act, is extremely popular in the US, but less so in Europe. However, a best-practice case of collaborative wobbing is the Farm subsidy project.
Quotable“Have you been wobbing today?”
PresenterJure Cuhalevimage
BrieflyCuhalev is a community manager at, a Web 2.0 tool that automatically generates spools of content related to an original text.
AudienceAny bloggers, especially those concerned with linking to and from other bloggers. There are plug-ins and extensions available.
SimilarlyTools like Google’s Blog Search or Technorati help explore the blogosphere.
Quotable“It is about making a user friendly product that uses this technology.”
PresenterYaroslav Azhnyukimage
BrieflyBefore we get education via Internet, we need to be steeped in using the Internet. A series of seminars in Kiev aim to educate the average user.
AudienceStudents or interested parties in Kiev universities
SimilarlyBarcamps, like the upcoming events in Berlin and Kiev, are also good places to learn.
Quotable“There are a lot of students who don’t know anything about the Internet other than SMS and a few instant messengers. This is an opportunity for them to see the possibilities of the Internet.”
PresenterEmin Huseynzaddeimage
BrieflyHuseynzadde is the Caucasus project manager for Transitions Online. An overview of the Azerbaijani Internet sphere: 1.2 million users, slow speed, high price for access. Blogs are more important than other sites, he said.
AudienceYoung people are the primary content creators and consumers on the Internet.
Similarly As Azhnyuk described Ukraine: content creators are not utilising all the tools. No podcasts exist, for example.
Quotable“People have been jailed for expressing certain views in Internet forums. Websites have been closed down. Censorship exists, based on speed.”
PresenterAyman Abdel Nourimage
BrieflyAbdel Nour started a blog after the American invasion of Iraq in 2003. He gained traffic but the government banned his IP address and harassed his readers. Now he runs an e-mail newsletter featuring information and discussion.
Audience Journalists and anyone wishing to discuss matters of concern to Syrians.
Similarlyor more information about combating government censorship online, visit Global Voices Advocacy.