Week 26

After February was mostly about CoCities and client projects, March pretty much was about traveling and meeting a lot of great people. The last week was no exception. We traveled to Mannheim and Vienna to join a social media panel and meet with our friends from LHBS.

After February was mostly about CoCities and client projects, March pretty much was about traveling and meeting a lot of great people. The last week was no exception.

Panel about Social Media at SAP Congress

I took the train to Frankfurt on Tuesday to attend the SAP congress on personnel management in Mannheim. Our friends from Wolters Kluwer had invited me to join a panel labeled “Social Media – Revolution in the work space or pointless waste of time”. Yes, the discussion in human resources circles in Germany about social media is still very much at the beginning. People told me that decision makers in personnel management are among the most conservative and anxious ones around. Stuff like this always baffles me. Especially in human resources, there are so many amazing possibilities to get your employees more involved, collaborate better and scout out the really motivated and engaged ones. Well, never underestimate the endurance to resist change. The panel anyhow was a nice chat with two fellas from Audi and Deutsche Telekom, two companies I’ve actually worked for. At least on stage, it all sounds like it’s going in a good direction for them…

On Thursday, we all flew to Vienna to spend a few days meeting with our friends from LHBS. We had been following each other’s development for quite some time now and when they were in Berlin for CoCities, we took the chance to finally sit down with them for a coffee. The vibe felt great and so we decided to visit them in Vienna to take more time to see how we could collaborate and learn from each other. And yes, we also couldn’t pass the chance to check out the current state of the Vienna coffeehouse culture. (For a modern take on Viennese coffeehouse culture, check out Phil.)

So we had an amazing time with LHBS last week. They are likeminded friends that went into planning while we followed our love for technology to basically become professional geeks. It’s like we have the same “parents” (curiosity, innovation, pattern recognition) but took slightly different career choices. This makes for very insightful conversations. The more similar someone is to you, the better you can work out your own characteristics in comparison. So we left Vienna with a lot to chew on when we close ourselves away for the next two days to figure out the next steps for Third Wave (we do this every three months). We also developed some ideas for collaborative projects that you will hear about in the near future.

The final slide tonight #untalk

On Thursday eveing, we gave a talk labeled “Digital Disruption – How technology is changing our cities, our work and our media” as part of LHBS’ Uncomfortable Talk series. We had tons of fun being as uncomfortable as possible which is actually not that easy when you tend to be more exited about change than scared. The talk was recorded and should be available soon.

It feels absolutely great to be able to work with friends and close acquaintances. The best ideas and conversations always form over coffee or food. We got plenty of that in Vienna. It’s the same vibe we get with our friends around our neighborhood Kotti and in Berlin in general. Hopefully, we can continue working with even more of our (current and soon-to-be) friends.

For the visuals of this trip, check the flickr sets by Igor, Peter and me.

Our travel schedule: We’ll retreat to the small town of Caputh for a couple of days this week. Peter is going to be in Hamburg next week, and Igor and Peter are headed for New York later next week.

iPad Magazines

Which magazine on iPad will change the advertising and publishing world? I’ve bought them all, but I still don’t believe in the concept ‘iPad magazine’. As long as publishers consider iPad magazines to be digital versions of their print magazines with some added interactive features, it won’t work out.

I recently joined the Purple List, a network of experts set up by PSFK that answers questions and gives opinion on all kind of topics. A recent question was about iPad magazines:

Which magazine on iPad will change the advertising and publishing world?

Here’s my answer: I’ve bought them all: Wired, WiredUK, Project, PopSci+, Interview, Intelligent Life and all the German attempts. The magazine folder on my iPad is the largest of all my iPad-folders. But I still don’t believe in the concept ‘iPad magazine’. Magazines obviously come from the print world. They are pure print. The whole format, the presentation of content, the curation, the writing, everything is optimized for publishing on print.

The buzz about the iPad in the publishing industry reminds me of the buzz in the marketing world about Second Life a few years back. Everybody is excited because it seems they can now go back to what they know best and make a buck in the digital realm. The marketers were excited to do outdoor campaigns again in Second Life and the publishers are excited to to print publications but on digital devices.
Problem is, it has never worked out to approach a new format/screen/media/device with an old mindset. And that’s why I think that no ‘iPad magazine’ will change the publishing and advertising industry. As long as publishers consider iPad magazines to be digital versions of their print magazines with some added interactive features, it won’t work out. The iPad (and tablet devices in general) are a new entity in our everyday (digital) life and to create successful media for it, we have to put the user’s use of devices and media throughout his day in the center and create an ecosystem of services to go with that.

What I hope for is that some publishers will take a good look at their core content and competence and pair that with their insights into the user’s behavior to create completely new formats. If I had to bet money on a publisher, it would be Bonnier. I think their News+ concept is spot on (the two intro slides say it all).

Check out the other answers

Post-Digital Geopolitics

Our CoCities moderator Ben Hammersley blew our minds yesterday with his talks at the Lift 2011 conference, where he asked the question of why the old elites are freaking out about the digital world.

Our CoCities moderator Ben Hammersley blew our minds yesterday with his talks at the Lift 2011 conference, where he asked the question of why the old elites are freaking out about the digital world.