Twitter to Weibo: Connecting two Worlds


Update: In the meantime Weibo is more accessible and Twitter can be automatically synced via IFTT recipes. The Mail2Weibo workaround as described below is no longer needed. I’ll leave the tutorial online, just in case Chinese regulations changes in the future: 

You may have heard the news that the Chinese Twitter clone Sina Weibo raised $285 million from an IPO last week. I am quite sure there will be even more news from the Twitter rival and maybe it is time to think about how we can connect these two counterparts.

Wouldn’t it be nice to get in touch with more than 140 Million active Chinese netizen? As I lived in China and managed to stay more or less active on both platforms – Twitter and Weibo – I was looking for a way to automatically keep both channels in sync in order to stream the same tweets and 信’s to all followers.

This is not as easy as it sounds. Twitter is blocked in China and even though you can get yourself a VPN connection in order to gain access from the Mainland, Weibo is still quite shielded despite offering an API. Anyway I would like to share a little workaround, which allows to establish a connection between Twitter and Weibo using a Weibo Developer App and an recipe: Read More

Design Futuring – Important Ideas of Tony Fry’s Book

Design Futuring by Tony Fry

For my dissertation I am currently putting together a framework around the interrelations of design, design management  and sustainability. In this context, I read the book Design Futuring Sustainability, Ethics and New Practice by Tony Fry. It is a quite complex book, not easy to read, however I believe it will contribute much to my thesis. In this blog post I collect a bit work in progress and quotes of his book that I found most important. I am trying to stay close to the text and to sum up the main ideas of his book without yet having a critical angle on the text. This will be reserved for another blog post ;)Read More

Defining Design Management, Sustainability and Design Thinking

Business Design / Design Thinking / Sustainability

As a foundation for my dissertation I read into relevant literature in the area of sustainability, design thinking and design management. Here is a bit of work in progress: I started to take notes, outlining a few characteristics, definitions and key aspects of the most relevant terms for my thesis. 

My idea is to make the overlapping as well as differences between these terms and concepts visible – using a bit of colour coding too. This list will be updated throughout my learning journey and the list of references will grow, so please feel free to add your ideas and suggestions in the comment area below! For the reason of saving some space I don’t use Harvard referencing and I cite the authors with their initials (my own thoughts: MM) followed by the page number. (Therefore a quote from Tony Fry on page 100 looks like this: TF, 100).

Read More

Design Strategy: The New Role of the Designer

Business Design / Design Thinking / Management
design strategy

In literature this new defined role of the designer seems to establish on common grounds. It is about a real-world understanding of the user’s behaviour in context. (Chhatpar, 2008, p. 13)

‘Design strategy is informed by three essential elements: a deep understanding of the values, attitudes, and behavior of the target customer; the nature of the company’s values, essence, and character (also known as the DNA); and the time- based trends that serve as the backdrop to the product or service experience’ (Vossoughi, 2008, p. 98)

The understanding and careful, methodical analysis of values and data from user-research leads to understanding of meaning. In his book Design-Driven Innovation (2009), Roberto Verganti also suggests that the importance of design-driven innovation derives from the fact that ‘many companies acknowledge that market competition is driven by products’ meanings.’ (Verganti, 2009, p. 20) In his view, design-driven innovation is ‘the R&D process for meanings’ (Verganti, 2009, p. viii) and companies need to implement this process in their strategy development in order to generate new meanings and radical improvement for better competitive advantages.

Read More

Option Cards for Testing a Business Model

Business Design / Design Thinking / Entrepreneurship / Management

This week I’ve been to a very interesting event about testing aspects of a business model. Salim Virani introduced us to his ideas about using low-tech option cards. This it how it works:

The Business Model Canvas

Alex Osterwalder’s business model canvas is the most popular tool for prototyping business models and visualising them. If you don’t know how it works, have look at this introduction:

Basic Level of Business Modelling

Let’s assume you reached a stage where you already went through the process of creating various business model prototypes for a business idea. Now you achieved the most basic level of business model generation and visualised your model by filling-out the building blocks of the canvas, using post-its.

Visualising a business model by filling out the building blocks of the business model canvas.

Visualising a business model by filling out the building blocks of the business model canvas.

Read More