Post uit Duitsland


Hello Bert,

My name is Ingo Kottkamp. I am a radio author and -producer from Berlin.
When you took part in the Skype Bonanza with Flick Radio at the International Feature Conference in Varna lately, I was one of the 80 people listening to your explanations.
Now I would like to ask you for an interview.

I’m preparing a one-hour-profile on the blogosphere and its inhabitants for the German station I’m not so much interested in typical blog questions like ‘does it interfere with journalism’ or ‘is it suitable for commercial succes”; my focus is more on bloggers themselves.
How does sharing things online regularly affect their lives?
And what kind of online personalities inhabitate the blogosphere – can they be typified in some way?

This last question will be the issue of my own blog that will be launched next month. It shall serve to develop ‘web characters’ which will appear in the fictional part of the SWR-2-feature.

Out of budget reasons, it won’t be easy for me to come to Amsterdam. So I thought about sending you a question sheet – and have you record the answers.

The feature (no working title yet) will be aired in december this year.
So, that’s the plan – what do you think?
Kind regards, Ingo Kottkamp.

Here are the questions:

1. Can you introduce yourself.
(If you are able to, it would be great to also do this in German, but that’s a minor matter.)

2. „Blog“ – when did you hear of it for the first time?

3. Can you remember having aversions against posting of private stuff? Or, what concept did you have of ‘blogs’ when you knew already little or nothing about it.

4. Which were the first blogs you read and why?

5. And now, please tell how it came that you created one yourself. (When was that?)

6. What were the first difficulties?

7. What do you remember of the first reader comments?

8. There are a lot of guides on the net how to handle a weblog properly so one attracts many readers. Did you follow them?

9. Which blogs are you hosting now and for what purpose?

10. How frequently are you posting and how often do you check for new comments?

11. Does your blog need a lot of care – and is the time spent on it a burden for you sometimes?

12. Recollecting your time as an active blogger now – has the initial purpose why you started blogging changed?

13. Have you changed yourself – through blogging?

14. Can you say a few words about the contributors/ commentators to your blog(s)?

15. Are they basically the same people or does this change a lot?

16. Are there moments when you are irritated by them? Disturbed? Annoyed? Did you ever feel the need to exclude somebody?
And can you describe moments when they proved helpful? Inspiring?

17. Does it give you a thrill when a new comment pops up?

18. How active are you as a commentator of other blogs?

19. How private is your blog? Can you draw a general distinction between what you tell to the public and what you like to keep to yourself/ to your friends offline?

20. Have their been blog posts which you regretted afterwards?

21. Which are the qualities of self-expression that only a blog can offer (compared to email/ secret diary / book or paper publishing / direct conversation)?

22. The internet is said to be open for everyone – but isn’t it true that blogs (as well as podcasts, videocastst and other stuff) are often about gaining attentiveness and publicity?

23. Is it hard for a new blogger to be enlisted in the relevant blogrolls? To be noticed, read and commented by more than a handful of friends?

24. What are your general thoughts/observation on this struggle for attention? And how would you regard your own blog in terms of ‘public success’?

25. If bloggers can be typified: what type are you?

26. And now, the short version of all the previous answers: What does blogging mean to you?

Second part. Take us on a blog journey! Now that you’ve given your views on our issue there’s no more need to generalize. Please choose a day when you find some time to talk to the microphone while you are browsing through the internet. It doesn’t have to be a typical day (what is a typical day?). Which blogs are you reading? What is interesting to you? And at what point do you click or scroll further? What do you write? What do you comment? Can you read it loud? Describe your feelings while reading. What is funny/ interesting/ annoying/ odd/ special and so on. What’s going on on your blog(s) today? What do you write and read?

If you have more than one session of blogging and browsing: can you say what time it is?

Antwoorden volgen voor 26 augustus 2008. Meer correspondentie met Duitsland op

Bert Kommerij.


6 Responses to “Post uit Duitsland”

  1. gurdonark Says:

    These questions are more to the point than the usual “gee, can you be a serious journalist with a weblog” questions. Yet these would be fun to run as a poll in my livejournal. If bloggers can be typified, Bert, then your type is “thoughtful and insightful”.

    Were the questions in English? Somehow that seems wrong to me, though it is very much to my untutored benefit, being almost without German and pretty much without Dutch. Perhaps there should be a cultural rule that Dutchmen and Deustsch men should be required to write in Flemish, or Letzeburghese.

    I like these two questions:
    “How does sharing things online regularly affect their lives?
    And what kind of online personalities inhabitate the blogosphere – can they be typified in some way?”

    Aren’t these the questions would ask of the blogosphere, if only it obliged to take questions directly?

  2. bert kommerij Says:

    Thanks, Gurdonark.
    Thoughtfull and insightfull it will be… :)
    I like the question on the private stuff.
    (I like private stuff.)
    Yes, the questions were in English, but that’s ok with me. Writing in English can be interesting. As if I can add a little lie here and there.
    As if I’m an actor, talking a language wich is not mine.
    I’m working on the answers right now.
    If you like to join answering, go ahead.
    Ingo would like that, I guess.

    (Next tuesday I get the results of the Fundingorganisation for Media Me.
    Can’t wait…)

  3. Ingo Says:

    Hi Bert,
    can you tell me where you hide those little lies afterwards or is it my part to find out?:)
    Best – Ingo

  4. gurdonark Says:


    What fun would it be to have a roadmap of the hidden lies?

    I believe that weblogs are the replacement for mystery novels.

    A weblog is a detective story, waiting to be read.
    The readers sift the words and ideas,
    in search of

    The Missing Fact

  5. gurdonark Says:

    @bert the great thing about writing in a foreign language, even one which one speaks very well, as you do English, is that any error in thought can magically transform into an error of mental translation.

    For me, though, this rarely gets me on the rails in Switzerland when I forget the word is zug :)

  6. bert kommerij Says:

    @ Ingo: The answers are online! (I skipped the lies, it’s all true.) (How’s the website?)

    @ thank you, Gurdonark. Wonderfully said. And true!
    (The Swiss, funny people, all those mountains.)

    Checking The Missing Fact now.

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