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Pespektive. Photo by the author

Photo by the author

I have always dreamt of having a blog and writing about my experiences regularly, so I was very happy to be able to write for the Bard College Berlin Student Blog. But soon I realized that blogging is not as easy as I thought: there is a variety of people who want not only to be entertained, but also to read about something they have not heard of before. Additionally, my predecessors set high standards. First I was overwhelmed and could not think of a topic to write about regularly. I spent a lot of time walking through the streets of Pankow after my classes were over, waiting to be inspired with the perfect idea, but to no avail.

After one of these walks, I went as usual to our lovely cafeteria to have dinner. The food was, as always, delicious. Instead of drinking coffee (what every college student seems to do at nearly every hour of the day, I included), I decided to drink the “Women’s Balance YogiTea.” Normally just looking at the packaging disturbs my balance. The tea bags are wrapped in pink paper, which I consider very sexist. And also, why should only women drink this tea to be in balance? Amazingly I really felt more balanced after drinking it. Moreover, a little note written on the tea bag gave me a nice surprise. Since these notes are written in German, not all students of Bard College Berlin can appreciate them. My little note that day told me: “To be happy, we have to change our perspective.”

Flavia in Potsdamer Platz

Flavia in Potsdamer Platz

This is why I decided to start a column with the title: “Say Yes to Berlin!”. I want to change my perspective by doing things that I normally would not do. It is my aim to say “yes” to every challenge that is suggested to me by the readers. The only rule is: it has to be connected to studying at Bard College Berlin or to the beautiful city of Berlin. Every two weeks I will post an article. For suggestions, questions or new challenges, I am reachable via e-mail: f.tienes@berlin.bard.edu. Thanks for your help and I look forward to accepting some challenges!

‘I have nothing to say, but I say it regularly’ was the amusing end note used by Evgeny Morozov for the workshop on blogs and podcasting. As a former student of ECLA, who now works with bloggers and journalists from Central Asia and the rest of ex-USSR, Evgeny returned during the ECLA Week with a series of interesting points.

The word ‘blog’ is nowadays among the most looked up words on the Internet. Blogs have evolved from being just online public diaries to sources of information, news, discussion arenas or even a way to make money. Blog themes can vary from politics to cooking or technology – however, half of the 57 million blogs that exist today are used to comment on current events and news. As can be expected, this raises a number of serious issues in regard to mainstream media.

Because bloggers have a much wider information base than mainstream commentators, and are not concerned with copyright laws and write for free, journalists are somewhat uneasy about blogging. However, the blogosphere is not yet a cause for concern because, unlike other media, it does not usually verify facts. In fact, most bloggers use mainstream media as their primary source of information. Evgeny explained that “Bloggers are playing the role of a watchdog for mainstream media” – for example by taking a stand in cases of plagiarism.

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