Ze Frank in San Francisco…

Ze Frank is in San Francisco. I keep missing Ze. Sigh. His video today has interesting thoughts of Silicon Valley and surfers in California. “This is Ze Frank hoping you have a surf board.”

But Ze could have saved some money on his travel by using new Web service CFares. Anyone compare CFares to other services? CEO Vajid Jafri says he found a way to offer wholesale prices that other services can’t offer. Here’s Vajid giving a demo of CFares.

Speaking of surfing, so far the famous Mavericks’ “Big Wave” surfing contest hasn’t happened. I hope the waves don’t come in until I’m back from Europe. That way we can do a Photowalking with Thomas Hawk there.

TechCrunch, German “Digg,” language barriers on Freiburg’ers minds

Last night Maryam and my aunt met up with a group of bloggers in Freiburg, Germany. Interesting discussions.

Sometimes I forget that the stuff we write reaches around the world. At one point one of the guys started telling me what was on TechCrunch yesterday (I hadn’t been online, so they were ahead of me). They talked about European startup Plazes getting a few million in VC funds and they said that the Girl’s Middle School Entrepreneurial night is the kind of thing that gets Google a good name in the community.

What I find fascinating is that I’m on the other side of the world talking about TechCrunch with a bunch of geeks. Did I leave San Francisco?

Oh, yes, I have. First of all, the Digg in these parts isn’t Digg at all. It’s a copy called “Yigg.” Second of all the beer wasn’t Anchor Steam.

Interestingly enough, they didn’t know about TechMeme, my favorite tech blog news engine.

Remo Uherek (who has one of the hardest to spell domains I’ve come across) has a report and photos on the evening. Remo is also starting a blog advertising network in Germany which he says is seeing good growth.

Another thing we talked about was that it’s much harder for them to read English sites than German ones, so often times they don’t read as many English sites as they would otherwise. I wonder when we’ll see a day that our sites will be translated to other languages?

We also talked about Google’s rapid growth in Europe (Google is hiring hundreds of people in its Switzerland-based headquarters) and a few other things including how local newspapers are starting to get online news and are starting to really use blogs and video to try to target a younger audience that isn’t reading news on dead tree material.

Today we continue our German vacation and head to the Black Forest for a little hike in the woods.

Oh, one last thing, walking home last night we saw some gold bricks in the sidewalk with names on them. My aunt pointed them out and said that they denote where Jewish people lived and told what happened to them (most on the bricks I saw died in concentration camps).

Earlier in the evening we visited the Freiburg M√ľnster (church in the center of the old town)
which was the only thing in the area that survived World War II bombings (there’s a picture of what the area looked like after the 1944 bombings, it’s pretty incredible that the church survived). My aunt said that its survival gave the town hope that a better future would come.

Tomorrow onto Geneva for the LIFT conference. Can’t wait!