September 2, 2009 · Posted in Inspiring People , Online Media ·

Guest Post by Sarah Camatta , German TV-Host and Actress

This summer I had the great opportunity to do an internship in Los Angeles. I worked in a beautiful office with the nicest people in the world. We made “Hollywood Stories” for the German press; a dream job!

Sarah on the Walk of Fame

Sarah on the Walk of Fame, copyright: Sarah Camatta

I was very lucky, because I found a nice place to stay in Westwood in a pretty house with great roommates very close to the office. So I walked to work every morning. I think I really was the only person who did walk to work, but I loved it!

Running into Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes

At work, I had the chance to do so many different and interesting things: I had to translate and transcript interviews with Bernhard Hiller , The Black Eyed Peas, Billy Ray Cyrus, Ron Jeremy, and many more. I went to an awesome photo shoot with Lucas Till in Long Beach. And I helped to do a lot of “Hollywood Story” videos for a German website. I attended, for example, the ceremony when Cameron Diaz received her star at the “Walk of Fame” and I happened to see Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes there. But the best experience was that I did interviews on my own. I had the great opportunity to meet Christopher Lloyd (Doc Brown from “Back to the Future”). He really is a very nice and gentle guy, and I am so thankful for that moment although I was very nervous. During the interview I was searching for the right English words because my English must have suddenly gone out of the room leaving me all alone… but I finally did it.

Cameron Diaz receiving her star on the Walk of Fame, copyright: Sarah Camatta

Cameron Diaz receiving her star on the Walk of Fame, copyright: Sarah Camatta

Furthermore, I did an interview with Father Gregory Boyle from “ Homeboy Industries “. He helps ex- gang members to get off the street and start a “normal” life. I really admire him. And if I had any money I would give it to him to help him because what he does is great.

Interviewing Hall & Oates

Another Interview I was allowed to do was with the Pop Duo Hall & Oates (Daryl Hall and John Oates) in San Diego after a great award show where they got honored for their lifetime success.

Sarah interviews pop duo Hall and Oates, copyright: Sarah Camatta

Sarah interviews pop duo Hall and Oates, copyright: Sarah Camatta

Reporting on Michael Jackson

Besides all the great stories we did there was one very sad day and a sad story: The death of Michael Jackson . I really liked him when I was young, and I had seen him live twice!

I went to the hospital some minutes after his death. I felt sad and grateful at the same time that I was in Los Angeles on that day. One day after our report on the state of shock in the city we went to his star at the “Walk of Fame” and to his house in the Holmby Hills , and we talked to a lot of sad and shaken people on the street.

Michael Jackson's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, copyright: Sarah Camatta

Michael Jackson's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, copyright: Sarah Camatta

Learning sexy dance moves from Lacey Schwimmer

However, besides all the great work I did I also had some free time. And I because I love sports, I exercised as much as I could: I did yoga - indoor and outdoor at the beach, I climbed the Santa Monica stairs three times, I went jogging on the beach, I had a great workout with celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak , and I learned sexy dance moves from TV dance star Lacey Schwimmer . From her I learned that the most important thing in life is to look sexy. It doesn’t matter what you do, but do it in a sexy way…that was fun!

Sarah learning sexy moves from Lacey Schwimmer, copyright: Sarah Camatta

Sarah learning sexy moves from Lacey Schwimmer, copyright: Sarah Camatta

Eating breakfast at Urth Caffe

Above all I absolutely wanted to see some of the locations where they shot my favorite TV-show “ The O.C. “. Of course, they are not in Orange County. And the different locations are not close by from each other, not at all. So it took a whole day to visit the pier, the diner, the night club and the high school, which by the way is a catholic college for girls in reality…

After all these great experiences and a really wonderful time, I love the city of Los Angeles! People are so friendly, the beach is great, and the breakfast at the “ Urth Caffé ” is delicious! They have so much healthy vegetarian food! Santa Barbara is not far away either, and I really want to go back!

Sarah's encounter with LA super heroes on the Walk of Fame, copyright: Sarah Camatta

Sarah's encounter with LA super heroes on the Walk of Fame, copyright: Sarah Camatta

Thank you all for a great time!

To: Michael, Kathrin, Sandra, Andreas, Micah, Ina and Nina, and to my roommates Robin, Ian and Matt.

June 8, 2009 · Posted in Online Media ·

The news release by the International Media Dialogue Hamburg that took place on 8 June 2009 did not paint a rosy picture about Germany’s media industry. Here is what it read:

“No Future for Paid Content? Media Industry under Pressure” - the motto of the International Media Dialogue Hamburg taking place on 8 June 2009 is a combination between punk and management jargon. The issue itself, however, is serious: people increasingly obtain their information from the Internet, and they do not want to pay for the content that they find. And what is more, the advertising revenue generated by broadcasters and publishers are rather modest. The big business is made by search engines such as Google . And thus it is not surprising that Mathias Döpfner, Chief Executive Officer of the publishing house Axel Springer - they also publish the Hamburger Abendblatt newspaper - is holding the key note at this year’s congress. He only recently brought the topic of an intellectual property right fee for media content provided on the Internet up for discussion. Among the other participants are media manager Bernd Buchholz ( Gruner + Jahr ), Scott McDonald (Condé Nast, New York) and editors-in-chief Giovanni di Lorenzo (”Zeit”), Matthias Müller von Blumencron ( “Spiegel” ) and Ulrich Reitz (”WAZ”) as well as Dagmar Wöhrl , State Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Economics. For the first time, Mayor Ole von Beust will say more than just a few welcoming words. He will contribute the introductory statement to the discussion focusing on the issue: “Does the media industry need a stimulus similar to the “scrapping premium”?”.

freieHONNEFER: Feared by Traditional Media

German Media Giants: Fear for Losing their Voice to Others

I bet there was a lot of talk today about how to overcome the crisis. The big bosses of German traditional media live in fear these days. With good reason? Without doubt, one thing to be concerned about are intellectual property issues on the Internet. I wouldn’t want another blogger take one of my blog posts and paste it word for word into their blog. And I’m sure we all agree on the fact that that’s just not right. However, what the established media giants fear more than anything else is losing their voice to other news sources that are smaller, generally more critical, and less fearful of the political establishment. All those blogs and Internet newspapers that are now slowly finding their way into the German media market (and mind me, Germany is far behind the US with regards to the online news revolution) attract readers - readers that the established giants would like to have, but can’t get (yet).

The Future Lies in a Change of Attitude

Yes, the leaders of Germany’s “old” media companies need to worry about readers flocking to the Internet to find information there instead of reading a good old printed newspaper or watching the evening news on TV. And yes, advertising revenues are crumbling.  BUT, excuse me, if all these German media giants keep on viewing new media and the Internet in general as a threat and not as an opportunity, then how should they not be living in fear. So long as conservative thinking and skepticism in the executive offices is not replaced by forward-thinking optimism, Germany’s old school publishing houses will never be able to brush the dust off and seek partnerships and potential cooperations with all those new enterprises that are about to conquer the market. The future lies in a towards online news sources, blogs and so-called Internet entrepreneurs. If Germany’s top media executives find a way to open their heart to the young and the restless on the German media market (and start inviting them to such events like a Media Dialogue), only then will they be able to actually a) have a dialogue and b) overcome their fear for their own downfall.

Or how do you see this, my dear readers? Are the traditional media really doomed? Or is there a chance for traditional and new media to successfully come together and prosper?

Everyone Can Tap the Power of Twitter

April 22, 2009 · Posted in Uncategorized · 3 Comments
Twitter Screen Shot April 21 7:37 pm

Many articles have been written about the power of Twitter; and many Twitter experts - who are much more adept in all tricks of the Twitter trade than I am - have described in great detail what makes Twitter so powerful and ingenious. However, reading the 10 Most Extraordinary Twitter Updates on Mashable just recently, opened my eyes once again to what extent Twitter can influence our lives.

From marriage proposals to tweets from Mars and job offers being made on Twitter to breaking news like an earth quake. On April 3rd, 2009, a woman sent actress and Twitter user Demi Moore a tweet in which she threatened to commit suicide. Moore’s response was retweeted across her huge follower base. Thanks to the Twitterati’s activities, someone alerted the authorities, who then brought the woman in for psychological evaluation. Incidents like this show the power that Twitter can have on our community. A mere 140 character message can mobilize a whole online community and lead to offline - real world - action!

But Twitter is not only saving lives. Twitter is also making stars. What Perez Hilton is in the US blogging world, is German show master 2.0 Rob Vegas in the German Twitter universe. Rob Vegas has managed to become a national  celebrity by hosting an online show and twittering about it. In his latest coup, he even takes on German night talker legend, Harald Schmidt. Rob Vegas set up a Twitter account under Schmidt’s name and is now sending Tweets to a growing list of followers. The fake Schmidt Twitterer is currently holding 2nd place of the German Twitter charts. How’s that for powerful?

In fact, Rob Vegas’ fake Twitter account was so well done that even the German media initially fell for the spoof. Of course, now that Rob Vegas has outed himself as the real Twitter-Schmidt, German reporters celebrate the young guy from the irrelevant town of Bielefeld for his success. The renowned German news magazine Der Spiegel is now even writing about Rob Vegas… What can I say, Twitter opens doors indeed.