Free webconferencing with desktop sharing feature

Yugma seems to be the webconferencing tool that I've been waiting for. Desktop sharing and annotations without having to pay lot's of money (compared to webex etc.) is huge.

Yugma is...

A free and easy to use web conferencing service:

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Online Communities -

This article by Jason Clarke over at highlights some very interesting behaviours of online communities, looking at the socialsoftware website

He starts by recommending to

browse through the comments on few random frontpage posts at digg, andyou'll see what I mean. The sheer level of superiority, sarcasm, andgeneral negativity is overwhelming, and makes digg a place that is notonly not fun to visit, it's certainly not a place to "share, discover,bookmark, and promote the news that's important to you", as digg'stagline optimistically claims.

This negative group behaviour occurs in his eyes

...when the crowd involved reaches a certain threshold size, the valuethat is added by extra voices is more than negated by the "groupthink"that occurs as people begin shutting off their brains.

...a better analogy to illustrate the problem with the diggcommunity would be to liken it to a rock concert that gets out ofcontrol where a riot breaks out. The people in the crowd at the concertweren't looking for a riot when they showed up at the concert, theywere there looking to be entertained. The problem is that when a fewidiots in the crowd begin taking part in antisocial behavior, the"wisdom of crowds" tells the people in the crowd (particularly thosewho feel anonymous) that it's okay to take part in the nonsense.

Great article to reflect about the tradeoffs between different forms of facilitation, issues of scalability, etc.

Citizen Journalism - Northfield Case Study

I'm currently spending some time researching successful citizen journalism projects on a local level and really think Northfield, Minnesota is an outstanding example. Griff Wigley published a recent presentation online, that focused on the history of Northfield Citizens Online (the nonprofit) and its website,, and gives a good impression about the behind-the-scenes work and technology advances over time.

Digital mapping meets real life

Just ran into this interesting project in Berlin, taking digital cartography with Google Maps back to real life...

While zooming in the map the pixel size of the markers on the screenalways stay at the same size. But if their size is seen in relation totheir environment they shrink while the user does zoom in the map.
This effect corresponds exactly to the phenomenon of Mr. Turtur, theillusionary giant of the children fantasy novel "Jim Button and Lukethe Engine Driver" written by Michael Ende. has been around for quite a while now, but I recently discovered their video intro at youtube. Great software presentation! I agree with all their general observations, but it still feels a little too complicated/not intuitive enough for a broader dialogue with an unexperienced audience. But definitely a step overdue to rethink communication patterns online, see yourself:

Crossmedia public participation

My thesis is online now. I spent the summer researching crossmedia approaches to public participation by evaluating two German case studies. The 100 pages are in German (unfortunately), but I'm working on an abstract in English.

Decision Support Tools

For a recent project we put together a short video outlining all kinds of different tools supporting different steps of decision making in urban planning. The intention was to give a general audience a better feeling of how and which tools can be used to support their planning projects. Since it's only 8 min, it's obviously not more than an intro...


I'm currently researching and writing my thesisabout crossmedia public participation. In order to stay focussed mygameplan states that I'm not allowed to get involved in anydistractions, which mostly have to do with the internet. My RSS readeris deinstalled, skype turned off and blog will be on a break too.I'll be back end of September...

Berlin Wall - Online Dialog

16 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, almost all it's traces have disappeared. The Senate of Berlin now agreed on a concept to remember the Berlin Wall, that will preserve it's traces and commemorate it's victims. On behalf of the senate, we (Zebralog) started an online dialog today, that will focus on collecting personal stories and perspectives on the wall and ultimately help implement the concept.
Since the Berlin Wall is a worldwide symbol for a past era in world politics, it would be great to have some foreign voices providing a short statement, what the wall meant to them, what personal stories are attached to it, etc.

Since this web platform unfortunately isn't translated into English, I'm using this way to ask for help. If this is something you are interested in, it would be great if you could send me a short statement (2 or 3 sentences) about what comes into your mind first when you think about the Berlin Wall. This input will be a starting point for more in depth discussions later on. Also please let me know if you want to appear under your real name and receive any feedback provided on your statements, or if your contribution should be anonymous.

Send any input to haller [at]

Golden Mainstreet

After Google announced support for textures in 3D models as a new feature for Google Earth, I revisited a project we have completed in 2005 for the City of Golden, CO.

GURA and the City of Golden were studying the aesthetics and functionality ofDowntown's facades, awnings, walkways and streetscape. Currently, the large variety of awning designs, especially withpoles, disturb the streetscape and the pedestrian experience.At I created a 3D Visualizationof the main street, focussing on different awning types. The modelhelped to imagine what the streetscape would look like without awnings and with different awning options.An Online Visual Preference Surveyhelped to capture the public opinion on what would be appropriateawning designs for Mainstreet, Golden.

Since this was done in Sketchup, I easily imported the status-quo model into Google Earth and though it still has some rough edges it looks pretty nice - a lot better than the visualizations we did with ArcScene back then. Only the navigation in Google Earth is still pretty basic.

Download and explore the file here... (10mb)

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