The city that never ends

The cityIt’s been a great week, a week that has left a lot of beautiful memories behind of the streets that have been walked and the words that have been talked. It feels as if I am leaving a piece of me behind in this place, in this room, in this city. I’d roam through Manhattan 24 hours a day if the Starbucks coffee I plentifully enjoyed over the last couple of days would have actually kicked in. I’ve met interesting people and the people I already knew have become even more interesting than before.

The city has been a cold, but colorful companion to me. It’s been kind, hasn’t ripped me off even though I still am just a tourist wondering on its lanes and getting lost on its avenues. Although I enjoyed the warm, Californian weather on its Western coast more, this country has made me truly believe that if I can made it there, I’ll make it everywhere. I’m so in love with the images that have once been showed to me on the big screen and are now being revealed in real life.

Normally, it feels so hard to go away and try to live your life in another spot. New York makes you want to reconsider your options once more and see just how soon you can find a new ticket to return to its streets. I didn’t even care about the fashion, all I could think about these days was to go more in depth with the buildings, the people, the lives, the places, the food, the coffee, the endless search for a good WiFi to post my shots in real time.

New York, I promise I’ll be a good girl if you promise to have me back soon. Until then, let’s keep in touch through blog posts and novels that still need to be written.

Writing about traveling as a non-travel blogger

Reaching for the EmpireI may not be a travel blogger, but I really do like to travel a lot! Thing is, until just about two days ago, I didn’t quite manage to get the time, sit down and just write what I’m experiencing during my trips because…well, I really like to travel and I’m more of a “let’s go out and explore the city instead of sitting around” kind of person. So much so that I didn’t even manage to post the photos I liked most from my past three trips (London, Dublin and London again) – not to mention start blogging about them.

Don’t get me wrong, I love writing. I’d write 10 hours a day if I knew that by the end of it something good will come out of my thoughts. The fact that this trip to NY is just about me and about how I can manage my own sightseeing + shopping + gift buying time meant that there could finally be a part of the day during which I focus on…you guessed it, writing. I didn’t even know I needed this extra time until I got here. And I’m so glad that I’m doing this right now, right here, from the 23rd floor of a beautiful Manhattan room.

I’ve been wishing for this moment to come for the past 12 years of my life. That moment when I sit down and write my soul away on the streets of a big city – that moment has arrived. This is the time to stop wasting the days in places I don’t belong and simply focus on what’s most important to me. And right now, I really need to get to Chinatown, check out Bleecker Street once more and tell you all about it. See you later!

Manhattan – I don’t need a MetroCard, I can walk…

Bronx and Upper Manhattan…said the tourist returning from NYC back in 2012. “Ah, you can walk the whole island if you have 1 h 30 min to spare” – gushed my boyfriend then, since he had no clue whatsoever of the traps the city secretly places in your way. So yeah, that’s not true. Whoever heard that from me in 2012/2013 should now find out that you have to have extremely good shoes and a wonderful weather to even consider walking more than 40 blocks at once in Manhattan.

Since some of you may not know how the streets of Manhattan actually work, here’s a short intro into their secrets: almost all the streets are horizontal on the island and are numbered, whereas almost all the avenues are vertical on the island and are numbered as well. Therefore you almost always hear terms such as “52nd and 10th”, meaning the girl lives on the corner of 52nd Street and 10th Avenue. That means if you live on 72rd and 3rd, you have to walk down 20 blocks and 7 avenues, so…not much, if you would look it up on a map and not check how long it takes for you to get from point A to point B. That’s what we thought when visiting just a very small portion of NY in August, 2012. That is soooo far from the reality I live in now, in February 2014.

Maybe it’s the cold weather. Maybe it’s the shoes, since I’m wearing booties instead of sneakers. But most certainly, it’s the fact that we didn’t get to explore NY as much when we saw it for the first time. Now I feel as if I’m zooming in on a map previously downloaded in my mind and suddenly start to see all the details I missed out on two years ago. Those details can’t be seen in the 50 minutes it normally takes to get from 52nd to 85th. Another three days are certainly not enough to get my own map updated properly. Might need a lifetime to figure out this city and I’m almost certain that I won’t have that time to spare for it.

So to speed up things, I decided to refill my MetroCard and just go with the flow (although that means sometimes having to be less fancier than I’ve imagined my post-SATC Manhattan experience). Go with the blue lines heading uptown, for that matter. Cause those booties aren’t taking me back to 10th Avenue on their own.

(There’s a lot where that came from and there’s more coming up…)

How to fly to New York City for under 305 Euro

Because New YorkFirst of all, you need a dream. If you don’t dream enough of being in the city you once loved, then loathed, then loved again, you will probably not see the deal to get from FRA to JFK appearing right in front of your eyes one crazy night in November at around 11.40 pm.

Then, you need to be just a little bit creative and take advantage of the error fare on the site you caught by trying out locations that are closer to you, such as München. Oh great, 289 Euro for a flight at the End of February. “I can do that, I can definitely do that”, now let’s ask the boyfriend/travelling buddy. No wait, let’s check out Vienna first. Holy §$%&, it’s 300 Euros for a direct return flight with United (aka Austrian operated by Tyrolean aka more than 4000 bonus Star Alliance miles aka cheaper than just buying those miles online). NOW let’s ask the boyfriend. He doesn’t want to come because it’s the end of February and he might have a thing then. That’s great, “I’ll just give up”.

If you are thinking that right now, go to the kitchen, get a glass of good red wine, go back to the desk and play your favourite New York songs. Remember just how much you wanted to be there during Fashion Week and how close you are to achieving that. Then go back to the error fare site and find out it’s not working anymore. Well, it was worth a shot.

No wait, just go back into your History and check out the reservation link you created before. Bingo! Now change the dates to the ones fitting New York Fashion Week and find out it costs exactly the same. Ask your boyfriend if he wants to join once more and after a second hesitation from his side, just book the damn thing. You always wanted to be there, it doesn’t matter who you are with or what you are doing. Just click book now. You have exactly that amount of money left on your credit card, that must be a sign to do it. Click it. Click it woman!

Yes, you are doing this. You’re going to New York alone in Fashion Week for 304 Euro. Now all you need is to find a decent place to sleep and the world belongs to you…

(Stay tuned, there’s more coming at you…)

The trouble with time

the-trouble-with-time-xprimentSometimes it just won’t pass soon enough to get us where we want to go. Other times it simply flies away from our hands, leaving us in a state of denial/regret regarding the hours we still have at our disposal in order to finish our assigned activities. Deadlines, deadlines, sleepless nights and long day naps – that’s the trend, that is definitely not the solution.

Maybe we didn’t quite get the hang of it yet. Maybe it’s just going with the flow of our own existence, moving forward and backwards as we go down memory lane carrying our future desires around. Clearly we are missing out on a certain part of its message that is still so strange for us to understand…

Time management? Looks unattainable in a universe where new tasks seem to arise from every single passing moment, yet it is a term so often used to describe the problem of our generation. Whether it’s the approaching exams, the university papers that were due two months ago, the friend we still haven’t found time to meet up with yet, the weekend we still couldn’t organize because of all the other stuff we were doing (or not doing) so far, everything comes down to how we are able to prioritize and what we are willing to sacrifice in order to achieve what we wanted from the beginning.

Maybe it’s just a matter of time before we have time to organize our time. Or maybe we need to figure out the right tools to manage it.

Krisenkommunikation kurzgefasst

Krisenkommunikation kurzgefasstDie Online Welt ist eine große Dschungel oder eine Art Hotel California: “you can check out every time you like, but you can never leave”. Sobald man samt Unternehmen hereingekommen ist, wird man von einer Vielfalt von Individuen angegriffen, ausgelacht oder angeschrien – und das ist nie angenehm. Deshalb versuchen sich viele irgendwie fernzuhalten oder brav zu sein, um die Bestien nicht aufzuwecken. Das geht leider auch nicht, denn heutzutage ist man ohne eigene Online Plattform, die man schnell googlen und nachschlagen kann, inexistent. Wie kommt man dem World Wild Web entgegen? Wie bereitet man sich dafür vor?

Man nimmt eine gute Dosis Authentizität (ist in jedem vorhanden, man braucht einfach durchsuchen) und legt sie überall in der eigenen Unternehmenskommunikation. Ob intern oder extern, ob online oder offline, Hauptsache sie kommt immer wieder zum Ausdruck. Wenn man etwas von den eigenen Kunden oder Konsumenten verstecken muss, heißt es, dass man sich wahrscheinlich die Unternehmensziele nochmals überlegen sollte. Wer man das nicht alleine feststellt, bekommt den Realitätscheck mit seinem Antritt auf Facebook, Twitter usw. Denn Online heißt, dass man nicht mehr alles kontrollieren kann – es gibt keine Journalisten, die an den Presseaussendungen feilen und sie für die Leser aufbereiten. Die neue Gatekeeper sind die Newsfeeds der eigenen Follower und die Algorithmen, die dahinter liegen und Content für sie bereitstellen.

Wie managed man am besten Krisenkommunikation? Indem man die Meinungen zuhört und darauf schnellstens reagiert. Indem nicht zu den Leuten, sondern mit den Leuten geredet wird. In der Online Welt werden “Bestien” zu Menschen, wenn ein Unternehmen sie auch als Menschen wahrnimmt. Krisenkommunikation wird durch Dialog verhindert und wer das nicht versteht, wird weiterhin in einer Welt bleiben, in der er von Individuen angegriffen, ausgelacht und angeschrien wird – und das ist nie angenehm.

Dieses Reactionpaper wurde im Rahmen meiner PR-Übung an der Universität Wien, Fakultät für Sozialwissenschaften, Institut für Publizistik und Kommunikationswissenschaft, geschrieben und enthält meine persönliche Meinung zu unterschiedlichen Themen und Artikeln. Ich habe jede zweite Woche dazu einen Text verfasst und ihn auf dem Blog veröffentlicht. Die anderen Texte dieser Serie findet ihr hier.

#wienblogger November edition – impressions and updates

Wienblogger November 2013“When was the last time you went to a blogger meetup in Austria?” :) Last summer when I asked this question on Twitter, the answer was kind of disappointing, since people originally organized such events before 2010, back when I was still a little girl, blogging from my hometown in Romania. “Would you like to take part in an informal get-to-know-each-other blogger meetup this year?” – the answers were surprisingly positive, because people generally prefer meeting other people in person rather than just seeing their online accounts tweeting, posting on Facebook and being very social media active. That’s how Wienblogger started and it has been a long journey since.

This year has been quite tough for me in terms of university work, which is why I didn’t have time to find sponsors to top off our Christmas get-together last year. But since sweet November came along, a lot of you asked me when we are meeting again, I asked you if you’d like to go back to the original way we got together, so Wienblogger’s back, alright! And yesterday night was a great opportunity to have our very first English-German-Romanian speaking meetup, since people who attended the event were literally from all over the world. You can find photos of us on Instagram and Tweets here.

So before we get to the list of bloggers and onliners who attended, I’d like to ask you this question: what do you think a collaboration between Wienblogger and different companies (such as startup incubators, marketing event organizers, banks and so on) could lead to? Would you like to get to know people who are interested in you as bloggers or would you just want to meet up at a restaurant and have a nice time, no strings attached whatsoever? Please comment below and tell me your opinion (in English, German or whatever language you prefer).

Long story short: wer war dabei? :)

Carly

Majella

Larisa

Melanie

Heinz

Fabian (look him up on Sunday at 9.50 am)

Cristi

Thomas

Irene

Bigii

the misterious Florian – found his blog through instagram

+ yours truly, Andra

Hope you had a wonderful evening and see you soon!

How it all began

Living in the big city has its ups and downs. There are days when you get up and just want to go back to bed. Then there are other days when you wake up, open the window, smell the fresh air and start dancing in the room, looking forward to getting outside and meeting new people or seeing old friends. Or simply traveling with well connected public transportation that leads you to the heart of the city in less than 10 minutes.

Somehow, you never quite understand why you love living in the city so much. Why the fact that you missed your metro and will probably be late for a meeting or a class makes you smile and think about just how much you wanted to get here in the first place.

Everything has changed so much since you came here a while ago. You were young and hardly knew anybody, had an apartment somewhere none of your newly met acquaintances used to live and were alone for the most part of the day. Since you got extremely bored of your university courses, you decided to take long trips with the trams and buses of the city. It started through exploring the depths of the capital, discovering streets on which you could just walk ahead, searching for answers when you didn’t even know the questions. And then something happened: you found yourself. That person you always dreamed of being, that one was right there, inside, all along. She just needed the right city, the right age and the wrong university courses to unfold.

Three years went by. Now you’re sleeping in a larger bed and dreaming about the next steps in life. It all makes sense now, why you didn’t like to go to those courses, why some of the acquaintances went with the flow and others stayed next to you through thick and thin. It’s very hard to tell what will happen in the next three years. But trust me, they will be at least as amazing as the last ones. Because you’re living in a very, very colorful city.

Later edit: here’s a very inspiring video I just found on Christoph Jeschke‘s blog (he was one of the very first people I met in Vienna in 2010), that might show you a different perspective of “the city”

Von Online Kommunikation zu Katzen

PRSMLV ReactionpaperIn der Online Kommunikation werden Authentizität, Emotionen, gute Betreffzeilen, Personalisierung und Offenheit benötigt, um ein Gespräch mit den Followern und Interessenten zu führen, der so viel wie möglich dem echten Dialog zwischen zwei Menschen ähnelt. Um die Kommunikation auf Sozialen Netzwerken zu unterstützen, sollen Inhalte einen viralen Faktor aufweisen, so dass die Leute auch gereizt sind, sie zu teilen. Dafür sind Geschichten (Stories, Storytelling) besonders geeignet, denn sie erzählen Geschehnisse und nicht Fakten, wodurch sie schwieriger zu widersprechen werden.

Dafür bieten sich unterschiedliche Tools und Jewels im Social Media an, die die Botschaft eines Unternehmens auf einer visuellen Ebene erzählen können. Alles von gut erarbeiteten Blogposts (Stichwort: Content Marketing) bis zu Infografiken (die durch ein gutes, von Bildern geprägtes Design Statistiken aufzeichnen), Fotos oder Memes belegen die Absichten einer Kampagne. Was wollte ich durch das Meme rechts oben erreichen?*

Ein prägnantes Beispiel für die erfolgreiche Verwendung von Infografiken und Bilder mit visuellem Impakt ist die Studie Twitter-Politik in Österreich, sie sich nach Nennungshäufigkeit der Parteien, Communities um ihnen und Links aus Tweets orientiert. Armin Wolf, Corinna Milborn und Florian Klenk befinden sich im Zentrum des Followernetzwerkes und haben durch ihre hohe Anzahl an Twitterfollower sowie durch ihre aktive Beteiligung an aktuellen Themen aus der Inlandpolitik einen hohen Einfluss auf die Meinung der Öffentlichkeit. Sie tragen zum so genannten Echo-Prinzip bei, indem die von ihnen auf sozialen Netzwerken veröffentlichte Aussagen in den klassischen Medien übertragen wird und in weiterer Folge wieder in Online Medien geteilt wird.

*Sobald man die Seiten 70-100 und 115-127 aus dem Buch Das Echo-Prinzip von Yussi Pick liest, findet man endlich DIE zitierwürdige Quelle für universitäre Arbeiten wie “Social Media Strategie” und “Online Reputationsaufbau” in Österreich. Dieses Buch ist ein sehr hilfreicher Tipp sowohl für Studenten auf der Suche nach Inspiration für ihre Arbeiten zu Online Kommunikation als auch für Profis auf der Suche nach Best Practice Beispielen und nach einer neuen Perspektive über unsere alltägliche Online-Austausche.

Dieses Reactionpaper wurde im Rahmen meiner PR-Übung an der Universität Wien, Fakultät für Sozialwissenschaften, Institut für Publizistik und Kommunikationswissenschaft, geschrieben und enthält meine persönliche Meinung zu unterschiedlichen Themen und Artikeln. Ich werde jede zweite Woche dazu einen Text verfassen und ihn auf dem Blog veröffentlichen. Die ersten Texte dieser Serie findet ihr hier und hier.

#wienblogger returns

Wienblogger Treffen November 2013It’s that time of the year again! Wienblogger hat seit langem nicht mehr stattgefunden, weil ich nach der sehr gelungenen Weihnachtsparty relativ ergebnislos versucht habe, nochmals ein Event mit Gewinnspielen und Punsch und Essen und Musik für uns zu gestalten. 2014 wird in diesem Sinn vielleicht besser. ;)

Trotzdem fragten in letzter Zeit mehrere von euch, wann wir uns wieder treffen (auch wenn’s kein Gratispunsch gibt). Ich freue mich jetzt sehr, eine Antwort darauf zu haben: alle Blogger in Wien und Österreich sind herzlich eingeladen, am 28.11 um 18 Uhr ins Viereck (Johannesgasse 16, 1010 Wien) zu kommen, sich kennenzulernen, sich wieder zu sehen und sich zu unterschiedlichsten Themen auszutauschen. Und damit es interessant wird, frage ich euch: Worüber möchtet ihr diesmal reden?

Um dich für das Treffen anzumelden, schreibe darunter einen Kommentar mit einem Vorschlag zum Diskussionsthema – ich würde zum Beispiel gerne mit euch über Selbstständigkeit reden. Auf Facebook gibt’s übrigens auch ein Event dazu.

Wir sehen uns dort, ich bin auf euch gespannt! :)

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