Yours, network!

May 28, 2013 in Work

my network on APD 2013Nice. I just found this new feature of the Alumniportal Germany, that shows a map of all my contacts (click on the picture on the left side to see the large version). [Disclaimer: I work at GIZ’s unit managing the Alumniportal Germany]

Hi to everyone, from Canada via South Africa to Indonesia. Let’s stay in touch! And I am happy to see that the portal is moving one step closer in the direction of “showing” networks and communities. Which is a genuine challenge, as I discussed in a previous blog post titled “Non-“Sense”?! Why you can’t touch an online network (yet)

P.S. 1: unfortunately I had to cut the Fidji Islands and my friends from over there from the picture for space reasons, sorry). P.S. 2: If you are a user of the Alumniportal Germany, you should find the map with your own network at MY CONTACTS -> MY NETWORK. The URL should be [replace YOURUSERNAME accordingly] [This will be a link to content within the Alumniportal Germany (register or login first to access the link)]____
Note: This text was first published on the blog of Balthas Seibold at the Alumniportal Germany ( Check the blog ( register or login first). All blog entries represent the personal views and ideas of Balthas Seibold.

Non-“Sense”?! Why you can’t touch an online network (yet)

June 18, 2012 in Freedom to learn

Can you spot the community on this picture? Servers of the Alumniportal Germany - photo: Balthas Seibold, licence: see this website's license.

Can you spot the community on this picture? Servers of the Alumniportal Germany – photo: Balthas Seibold, licence: see this website’s license.

Recently, I had the pleasure to host a group of international experts who wanted to learn more about our alumni networks as part of a “sensing journey”. So I tried to have them “sense” the 50.000 plus members of the communities on the “Alumniportal Germany”, which in real life live in in more than 180 countries. But of course, there is no way to “sense” an electronic networks, to “touch” the links between the members, to “feel” an online profile or to “enter” an online group. The only thing that you can see in our building is a couple of grey computers (hosting all of the above, see picture.)

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Interview on Ethiopian blogging: “Blogging puts Ethiopian life on the Internet – and opens rooms for debates”

May 5, 2012 in Freedom to innovate, Freedom to learn, Open Source & Africa, Open Source IT business

Markos interviewed by Balthas Seibold  / Picture: Balthas Seibold, Licence: see this website's license

Markos interviewed by Balthas Seibold / Picture: Balthas Seibold, Licence: see this website’s license

[Please note: This blog post is a preview of the interview to be published soon on the Alumniportal Deutschland (APD) – subject to further editing].

Last week saw ‘re:publica 2012’ in Berlin, Germany’s largerst conference on blogging, social online networking and internet community. This years edition went global and put Africa on the map of social media. One of the speakers from the continent was Markos Lemma, an Ethiopian blogger, GIZ alumnus and innovation project coordinator for GIZ’s labour-market education programme in Ethiopia (former ecbp).

In this interview first published on the Alumniportal Deutschland, Markos gives us his reasons to be a  blogger in Ethiopia, reports on the latest developments of the blogging scene in his country and tells why he is betting on social media to tackle protracted development challenges in his country. He also gives us his vision for knowledge sharing within German international corporation programmes. Markos is blogging both on the Internet and on the Alumniportal Deutschland (APD).

APD: When did you write your first blog and why ?

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Regional Alumni Conference in Southeast Asia discusses Open Source for Healthcare, other topics

July 2, 2010 in Freedom to innovate, Open Source & Asia, Open Source IT business

balthas_Hanoi_2010_300_220So this is me at InWEnt’s first regional Alumni Conference for Southeast Asia in Hanoi, Vietnam. At the conference, I was acting as a moderator of a Workshop on “open source for healthcare” (Link now to latest version of page on the Internet Archive. Here’s a gist of the workshop as summarized back then: Free and open source software (FOSS) offers tremendous advantages to the health sector of developing countries. The session “FOSS in healthcare” at InWEnt’s 1st Interdisciplinary Alumni Conference Southeast Asia in Hanoi in July 2010 discussed these advantages. The session also offered hands-on opportunities to test drive actual FOSS electronic health records and eHealth applications in Southeast Asia. It drew on experiences by the “International Open Source Network” (IOSN) in ASEAN as a main partner in the InWEnt programme “it@foss – Promoting Free and Open Source Software in Southeast Asia” (2005-2009). Based on this, the session explored opportunities for further network building and capacity building in ASEAN in the area of “FOSS in healthcare” to strenghten open health systems as part of a regional integration framework in Southeast Asia. For the outcomes of the session, see here in section “Outcomes of the Workgroup IX”.