#NEXT12 Impressions & No, We’re not Post Digital yet.

Although the Wifi on the first day sucked totally (and in my case also at the hotel… now it works, though) and although nobody seems to have listened to the suggestion to either make a nicer blogger area or even combine it with the speakers lounge (with working wifi and/or enough cables), it were again a great couple of days as an official blogger, and after all there must be some room for improvement for NEXT13, mustn’t it? (Update: Henriette Weber collected some great input – listen to her!)

Therefore, thank you for the invitation and thank you for some inspiring days in a summerish warm Berlin (trust me, it’s still a lot colder in Sweden…).

Here some impressions in pictures from the past days!


Absolutely great initiative. Next13 time this should be a standard with more cables. My 5 Cent.

We knew it all along, didn’t we. Data is porn. We Germans love our excel sheets, figures and stats. That fits into the picture now as well ;). And no – in case you wondered what I think – we are definitely NOT post digital. But maybe we will be in about 5 years, when really everyone is online with an online identity of some kind. When Germans can make their tax declaration online without a shitload of paper (Swedes have that in place since 10 years now). When even Grannies (and I mean the majority of grannies) are on facebook or a similar portal (who knows what will be by then). When your car tweets you that its tyres need an air pressure check. Something along that line. That’s what I’d then call “post digital”.

Maybe until NEXT13 then?

Blog-Professionals at Work #next12

Lea – Our Angel of the last two days and the entire pre-NEXT period. Lea took exceptionally great care of all official bloggers, together with Christoph and Norbert from @PR_IP !  ❤

Our very own photo-pro who took all of these amazing pictures is Luca Sartoni. You can see Luca’s set of NEXT12 pics on Flickr. Don’t miss checking out his other sets of pics as well. Thanks for the great session, Luca!!

The Army of Bloggers. International. Unsurpassed in excellence.

A Facebook for Things & Toys #next12

I often get asked what NEXT is all about, why it might be good to attend. The simple answer is, one does not only discuss what’s happening now, but one gives an outlook of what might be happening within the next one to two years in the digital world.

The session “The Networked World” was probably one of the best examples to show us what can happen, and already starts happening in terms of connecting not only people, but also things to people, and even things to things. A Facebook for things if you like. Andy Hobsbawm from Evrythng explained to us how we could connect with our guitar, and the guitar with the world digitally in a way, that you would know which other things (and their beholders) are in close proximity, so that you could do a jam session together. Strange, but quite fascinating ideas when you think about it. Some use cases they explain here.

In the same session Alice Taylor from Makielab told us about how easy it nowadays is to produce your own customised toys locally with help of desktop 3D-printing, so that i.e. action dolls look like YOU want them to look, and not like any anonymous mass-produced pink Barbie. There was an example of a Zombie-doll btw, and I know that some of my Twingly-colleagues would love that one…

(No, this is not the Zombie…)

Anyway, I thought wouldn’t it be great to connect the technologies of Evrythng and Makielab?

And why connect only things of grown-up people? Wouldn’t it be cool to have an interactive world of your children’s toys and let them find new friends that way?  One could for example turn the dolls made by MakieLab into real personalities with real online identities. One could specify what the doll likes, what it cannot stand, like i.e. food, favourite games etc. and one could enable a GPS-like location finder, so that one can show others where the doll is. Whenever then a doll with similar interests is in the neighbourhood (and its beholder), one could notify the dolls with matching interest (and their beholders) and invite them to play. Would definitely work in kindergarden, on playgrounds with a lot of children, or maybe even in big towns and big warehouses with their places where children can play until they get picked up but usually don’t know a soul.

So if both, Makielab and Evrything get bigger during the next few years, then I’d suggest this as a business idea.

And otherwise one could imagine the same concept with just Evrythng and the possibility to give your favourite plush animal an online identity. Although my beloved would go mad if I would set up something like a facebook page for my plush turtle named Chips. My beloved always gets upset when I let Chips talk, and then he realises that he’s been talking to a plush turtle… 😉 However, I am so good at this, that he talks back to Chips almost every time, which makes it all the more fun to tease him… the man, not the turtle, that is… (and no, I don’t post any picture of the turtle since he otherwise would get far too self-conscious and thus a risk for its environment.)

There are loads of possibilities, and the Toy Story really only started, that much is clear!

What’s next? #NEXT12 in Berlin

Right. Here I sit, trying to get my head round what I want to see at NEXT during the following 2 days. The program delivers quite a lot for everyone and every taste. The hardest thing is choosing. It wasn’t easy last year, and it definitely didn’t get any easier this year.

Great efforts have been made by the organisers it seems, and an army of no less than 42 official bloggers from 17 different countries will be reporting from NEXT (I am proud to be one of them, again 🙂 ). It is not only European bloggers this time, we get help from the US as well from Lebanon and I look forward to read the updates and different views from everyone. Best for you guys is maybe to follow the NEXT Facebook-Page for all linked blog updates, or you follow the NEXT blog , since some of us post here, too, in addition to on their own blogs. Dimitris’ latest article gives a great example that all of us are here to really discuss digital, and not to sweet-talk. All updates (blog posts and tweets) from #NEXT12 official bloggers you can follow on the channel set up by Sebastien Flury  . So stay tuned and follow us!

These are the tracks I really want to see:

DAY 1 (May 8th)
11.00 – 12.30 The Networked World with among others Ulla Maaria Engeström 13.30 – 15.00 Robots & Humans with among others Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino

DAY 2 (May 9th)
11.00 – 12.30 Connections This is part of the new Experience track, so I am curious to explore some new stuff.
13.30 – 15.00 I need a Dollar –  with among others Claudia Helming, founder of DaWanda and Philip Rooke from Spreadshirt.

The rest of the days will fill itself, I am sure ;).

See you at NEXT then?

If you want to meet, tweet me @anmara or (better!) send an SMS t0 +46 790 670 885.

And one thing is sure. Tomorrow, this hall will be filled with REAL and DIGITAL LIFE!

(Picture by NEXT Berlin)

Berlin Web Week approaching! #rp12 #next12

This year started off like the old one finished. Fast. And furious one is almost tempted to add.

Hence why I do not hesitate to already share the news with you that I will be visiting the two main conferences of this years Berlin Web Weekre:publica and NEXT. Less than 90 days till then it is, so the countdown is on!

For the first time, both events will happen within one week – a lot of inspiration to take in during such a short time. Thrilling! Mark the date from the 2nd to the 9th of May if you haven’t done so already.

Especially when it is already clear that at least three inspiring speakers from totally different corners of the web world already said “yes” to re:publica. This will add a lot more international flavour to the biggest German digital conference which started off six years ago as a re:union event mainly for German bloggers. What an achievement!

The call for papers closed this week, and I look forward to what the organisers will choose as part of their program and share with us during the next few weeks.

Until then I re:watch their streams on Flickr and YouTube, and try not to miss any news via their blog, Facebook and Twitter.

re:publica will be followed by NEXT – another digital conference not to miss!

Whilst re:publica started off as a blogger-meetup, NEXT was founded from a pure business perspective by Sinner Schrader, one of Germany’s biggest digital agencies, or even agency group, since they cover quite some different business areas.. Read more about their history here.

Although founded from different backgrounds and having a different focus, both conferences have a few things in common. They both came to life in 2006 and both discuss the developments, changes and opportunities the fast moving digital world has to offer. Both conferences give new impulses to their visitors,they get them thinking, be it from a creative, cultural or a business  perspective.

Being part of the social web and digital business world myself, for me both conferences complement each other in a perfect way, and I love the fact that I will be able to visit both of them – again!

For me it’s therefore not so much a question of the one vs the other – I want both!

Like re:publica, the NEXT-preparations are in progress at the full! The call for sessions is over since quite some time, the results can be seen here, the program yet has to be put together. I hope that Elísabeth Grétarsdóttir from EVE Online will be part of it. I loved her part at SIME in Stockholm last November and since Gamification is one of the trends in Marketing her experience would inspire a lot of people at NEXT.

NEXT also looks for the top 100 people who will influence the digital world during the next 12 months. I suggested Henriette Weber since she is one of the people I know who really make a difference in what they do. Henriette will be part of the team of official bloggers at NEXT, just like she was last year, and also like she is on a regular basis at LeWeb. Get to know her and don’t forget to vote for her! Not being a feminist really I do think, though, that the web world needs a few more prominent female voices that actually make a difference.  Or proper social web rock’n roll chicks, as Henriette would put it.

You can watch last year’s sessions at NEXT here – my personal hope is that they get a great host like Pep Rosenfeld for the international track again. Either last year’s host Pep or Ola Ahlvarsson would be my favourites!

Follow NEXT also on their blog, on Facebook and Twitter. I look forward to their programme being announced – the different tracks are already defined.

Just some of the nice people I will hopefully meet again at NEXT 2012 😉 …