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Kristian Köhntopp
I have always been here.
I have always been here.

Kristian's posts

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Hi, I am Kris. This post is pinned to the top of my stream. It explains who I am and what I do. If you are planning to follow me, here is what you will get.

What changed since last time?
After several failed starts in using Collections, I am now trying again, but in a very limited way. I still think they are broken, but because I have multiple recurrent themes in my stream, I will now add these themes into their respective Collections.

Still, if you want to read me, you need to follow me and not any of my Collections.

A list of Collections at the end of this post. Since the content is mostly German, the descriptions are in German, too.

This is a support post. If you have questions, ask them in the comments below. I will try to answer, and I may or may not delete question and answers after some time, depending on the permanent value of our conversation for other readers.


I am German, and I am posting a lot of content in german language. Some posts are in english, but overall I am convinced that there is a sufficient amount of english content on Google plus, so I do see no pressing need to add to that.


I am at the moment building data centers at, having moved to the Netherlands in 2016. Before that I was working on Openstack at SysEleven, an ecommerce hosting company in Berlin, Germany. Even earlier, I used to work at in Amsterdam working on databases, at MySQL AB as a consultant, at in Karlsruhe as a Security Engineer and at NetUSE AG in Kiel in various roles. I wrote Linux HOWTO documents, contributed to PHP, Spamassassin and many other projects. I do speak on conferences.


I am a high volume poster. Many of the posts are reshares. If you are new to Google plus, and follow me that may mean I am about to spam your stream.

You did delete my comment

I probably did.

I have a lot of followers, and many read the comments. I want to make that a worthwhile experience. So a comment that does not contribute to a meaningful discussion is likely to be deleted - 'me too', 'awesome post', 'haha funny' is likely to go.

I don't hate you, and I didn't dislike your comment. I just thought that it was a waste of time for some 50k+ other people, because it was redundant. Don't take it personally. You can always reshare my article and comment on it in your stream (and post a link to that as a comment to my article, explaining and inviting people to come over, I will never delete that).

You posted spoilers to some film or book

I probably did. I don't care where in the worldwide media consumption you are, and if you are on a US, German or other publishing schedule. I just post about stuff.

If you want to avoid spoilers, do not follow me.

I am a customer of, and I am using that to reshare stuff to Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr. You can follow me there, but discussion happens here. My identities on other social services are presence and reshare only, I do not really exist as a person over there.


Fertig gelesen Bücher, die ich gelesen habe und was ich so dazu gedacht habe. Ich fülle eine Review-Queue auf dem Kindle und arbeite die so 2-3 mal pro Jahr ab.

Gebackenes Meine Frau liest nicht nur das Ploetzblog, sondern setzt das dann auch radikal in die Tat um. Fotos von Broten und Brötchen sowie Diskussionen um Backwerk.

Ist ja bald Weihnachten Tand, der entweder geekig, cthuloid oder anderswie bemerkenswert ist und den man eventuell Leuten schenken könnte, die entweder schon alles haben oder die man nicht mehr kennen möchte.

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Science March (in April) vs. Placebo

Now, a Placebo Concert, that's a thing.

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The article attached, and by +John Baez.

I now have an english language blog,, and I am
Losing My Patience with Google+

Over the last six months or so I have watched as the quality of engagement here on Google+ has steadily declined. I have watched my follower count fluctuate and flatline. I have watched as people I used to engage with quite a bit here have left or dramatically scaled back their investments of time here. And yes, I have seen my own enthusiasm for investing time here wane significantly.

I ask myself why and the answers are never as simple as I would like. In the end though, I have come to the sad conclusion that the real thing that is killing Google+ is just plain bad management.

Lack of Attention
One gets the real sense that many of the people now charged with running Google+ don't really understand what it was that once made this service so good in its early days. Indeed, one gets the sense that few of the people managing the service today even really use Google+. There are a few noteworthy exceptions like +Yonatan Zunger and +Leo Deegan, of course. I once made a circle with some 50+ Googlers who were once active here, and when I click on that stream, well, it feels a lot like a ghost town.

+Bradley Horowitz, the VP in charge of Streams, Photos and Sharing, (which is where Google+ sits within the Google org structure) hasn't posted here on Google+ in half a year.

Oh, and remember +Luke Wroblewski, who used to manage Google+ and would send out all those updates on the redesign? Well, he hasn't posted a single thing here in over 7 weeks (even though @lukew is quite active on Twitter). You know why? I just happened to check his LinkedIn profile, and he's apparently no longer managing Google+. I don't recall seeing any announcement of this change - just a sudden silence from the man perhaps most responsible for the UI makeover of Google+.

Rudderless and Un-resourced
That decision to remake the Google+ UI followed a long string of decisions going back to the separation of Photos and Hangouts, each of which have seriously hurt the service. I know there were probably some good reasons to move to the new, mobile-dominant (as opposed to "mobile-friendly") UI, but the lack of enduser empathy from deprecating all the old functionality really was pretty staggering. Much of it hasn't come back, and much of what has is so stripped down (e.g. Events, community moderation) that it isn't really that usable.

As users, we have been asked to be patient and to have faith in the new strategy. Because I have been such a huge fan of Google+ for so long, that is exactly what I have done. I've been patient. I've believed. Believed that some big, cool fix was coming down the pike that would not only fix all the problems caused by the UI decision, but actually start innovating again with some cool new functionality.

Yes, we got Collections, and they actually are quite useful even if they do need a lot of work still. But that's really about it. It's been a couple years now and the silence is stultifying.

And finally, it hit me:

Maybe this is it. Maybe Google has significantly curtailed its investments in this network. Maybe the management squandered the scarce resources it did have on a redesign that users weren't really even asking for. And maybe, just maybe, what we see right now is pretty much what we're going to get.

User Investments
And this is where I start to get really mad. Like many others here, I have invested a lot of personal time and energy building a following here. Like many of you, I have poured heart and soul into filling this place not just with great content, but also with a sense of community. I could have made those investments in Twitter or Facebook or reddit, but like many of you, I made them here. And now I'm starting to wonder how smart of a decision that was.

All of this is particularly raw right now because I'm starting to play around a bit with the new distributed social network called Mastodon ( It's far from perfect, but one thing that is very different is that it is open source and federated, rather than centrally owned and controlled.

There are lots of implications to this different model. For one, there is lots of competition and innovation in the works because Mastodon sits on top of GNU Social and rests within a "Fediverse" of related, and interoperable, social network platforms. They are working on solutions that make it easy to export your content from one platform to another - to prevent lock-in. Also, there is a lot of visibility on exactly what investments are being made in the platform by various contributors.

More importantly though, there is a very conscious understanding that the value of these networks is only partially the result of the software developers behind these solutions. Just as much of it lies with the end users.

In the end, this is the thing that I am most frustrated about right now with Google+. End users have made this place every bit as much as the coders and product planners behind Google+. This isn't to in any way diminish the importance of those contributions. But what I do find frustrating is the way that Google seems to regularly dismiss the importance, and the real economic and social value, of end user contributions. This was true with Google Reader, and sadly it appears to be true with Google+.

I'm still rooting for Google+ to turn things around, of course. I have a huge soft spot for this place, given all the great learning I've done here with my fellow travelers. But one thing is clear: I'm losing my patience, and I don't think I'm alone. 

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Kann mir ein Kenner des Cyber- und Informationsraumes mal den Unterschied zwischen Cyberraum und Informationsraum erklären?

Und den Raum Aspekt, also quasi wie Koordinaten da funktionieren und Fronten. 

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