BloggerView #11: Martin Röll

Martin RoellThe last but not least bloggerView of this year is with Martin Röll, a self-employed consultant, advising companies on new internet developments, knowledge work and management, and the author of the blog with the same name available at I have the opportunity to meet Martin in SHiFT, where he was one of the speakers. He also will be present at LIFT07, where he will give a workshop about “Getting Started in Consulting“, that I will attend. Enjoy his answers:

1.When did you start blogging? What were the main reasons that take you start blogging?
Martin Röll: I started blogging in February 2002. Before, I was always sending out emails with links to interesting websites to everybody. With the blog I wanted to relieve people of the steady flow of mail – and at the same time make things easier for me.

2.Why did you choose to give your name to the blog’s name?
M.R.: At the time when I set up the blog, I still called myself an “E-Business Consultant”. So with “Das E-Business Weblog” I sort of wanted to “own”the name “E-Business”. 😉 That worked pretty well… the only problem was that 6 months later, nobody was interested in the word “E-Business” any more! 🙂 After that I was just too lazy to ever change the name.

3.Do you have any specific goals or objectives you want to achieve with your blog? What are they?
M.R.: It’s a wonderful place to get feedback on things I am thinking about. It’s also the easiest way to inform people who are interested in my work on what I do. I don’t really have any marketing goals associated with it although of course it also supports marketing my business as a consultant.

4.In your opinion, what role could blogs play in the future, for instance at companies or at schools?
M.R.: I see most potential in blogs as personal journals. They can help employees or students to organise their information, to share it with others and to communicate with others over the things they are working with. More and more work we do is concerned with learning and using, “creating” or transferring knowledge. As I once wrote [1], blogs can be tremendously helpful in supporting that kind of work.

5.What do you think will be the future of blogs over the next couple of years?
M.R.: We will see more and more topical niche blogs coming up and more and more professional blogging. Most of this will be pretty boring. More interestingly, we will see developments of other forms of publications than the “blogs” we see today, that will be like blogs, but be more and different. Some blogs will develop from trivial publishing tools into something more sophisticated and better suited for the things we want to do with them.

6. How many feeds do you have on your news aggregator? What news aggregator do you use? Why?
M.R.: Hm, let’s see: 350 feeds in RssBandit. I haven’t used it in about two weeks I think. When I am really busy in projects, I don’t use the aggregator much. In other times I use it daily.
I use RssBandit, because it can cope with lots of feeds, is reasonably fast and works offline too. I like to read feeds when I am travelling, so an offline reader suits me best.

7. What do you think about RSS? What role do you think RSS can play in future, for instance in the relation between government and citizens?
M.R.: I don’t really think RSS will improve government-citizen-relations much. It is an opportunity for the administration to inform citizens better and an opportunity for citizens to stay in touch closer, but it will be a long way.

Aggregation in general is important however and will gain even more importance in the future. Everybody gets exposed to more and more information. RSS-aggregation is a good way to cope with that.

8. What do you think is the most important thing happening in the Web, now? Why?
M.R.: I see more and more people use the Web to find out what they want, find people to support them and pursue their goals. This liberation and this better realization of the potential of more and more humans to me is the most important thing happening on the Web right now.

9. Beside blogs, do use other social software, like Flickr,, Diigo, LinkedIn, or any other?
M.R.: Yes! Here we go:

10. Are we really dealing with a new web, a more social one, or do you think we are facing another bubble?
M.R.: Both, really. The web is changing. It’s not “a new web”, but the power is shifting and that is a significant development. Sadly, some people get it wrong and are becoming a little overexcited. I fear that there will be some similar developments as in the nineties. Actually, a lot of my current work focuses on helping companies prevent making the mistakes they made in ’98 again, so maybe if I work hard enough, we can keep the size of that bubble under control. 😉