#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!

Welcome!

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?

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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 😉 …

Preparing for SIME next week!

On Tuesday and Wednesday next week SIME in Stockholm will take place! SIME is one of the leading Nordic conferences for digital and online media. And thanks to the Martin Recke and his team at NEXT, I will not only be able to visit the conference, but I will also have the honour to keep you updated about the event on the NEXT-Blog!

Anybody interested in SIME is welcome to read my updates, but there is also the official SIME-blog, which will probably give you some more interesting stories.

Like every year, there is also a SIME Liveboard (by Twingly) where you can follow all tweets in realtime:

#NEXT thoughts – even during summer holidays!

Thanks again to Christoph Salzig and the pr://IP-Team for this superb summer garment. A souvenir from the amazing #NEXT-Conference which accompanies me through the Swedish summer.

And all that because I couldn’t help telling them that my colleague Anton at Twingly is still wearing his conference wrist band… . Which is admittedly quite pretty! Mine adds to the decoration of the bookshelf at home, where I collect all kinds of conference and event passes.

Thanks again, and hope to be with you NEXT year as well!

Some more great memories of the conference (THX Anton for the pictures!):

Will we ever really own our personal data?

At NEXT last week I listened to the for me most compelling panel on the international stage – “The personal data economy and what it all means”.

I went there because I saw a chance to finally enjoy the typical German whining about privacy and data protection live. To listen to the ones that want their data online protected but then check in as much as possible on Foursquare and other location based services in order to earn points in that game, at the same time disclosing where they are at that very point, and where they have been. Paradox? Yes. But that’s how it is.

However, I was wrong, no whining about data protection, but actually putting thoughts forward that got me thinking – all week, actually, which is kind of unusual.

The ones who  got me thinking, were Fabio Sergio and Johan Stael von Holstein.

Why?

Johan and Fabio listening to the other speakers on the panel

Fabio was generally all positive about today’s sharing possibilities, that i.e. instead of paper copies of pictures one can now share these globally on the private blog or in other places with loads of people. Of course it would be good to give people control about their data, to make them aware of what their data is being used for etc. in order to create the necessary trusted environment, so that people share more.  (Update: His speech here!)

I would agree with Fabio, I also appreciate all services online where you can keep in touch with people far away – LinkedIn, Facebook, Xing and all other networks and services where you can connect changed the world and the way of doing business and keeping friendships alive. They also created more chances to get to know new people all around the globe, and I am not talking online dating here, although that is included.

Now, the thing that always bothered me about these services, despite its definite advantages, is that your rights for the content once uploaded to your account are limited. I.e. Youtube does not let you take any videos away (experienced that last week when uploading the wrong one, only solution was to make it private), and Facebook has the rights on your pictures. Which is one of the reasons of why I joined Facebook as late as in February 2010.

However, did I have a choice to avoid Facebook? Nope, all friends, colleagues, former colleagues, family and even business friends are there. So it there was a definite advantage in joining Facebook, and I really enjoy using it, but somehow it bogs me that in theory and practically Facebook can do with my stuff whatever they want. Plus I get “personalised” ads that are not the least interesting to me.

Johan had these thoughts (and a lot more), too, and he offers a solution to this dilemma. With MyCube.com he wants to start a new community where you have control over your data and content, where you, apart from many other things, as far as I could judge it by looking at the closed beta version, can buy and sell content like pictures etc. to other community members. MyCube even offers an internal currency, cubes, for that. (Update: his speech here)

The reason of founding MyCube was Johan’s desire to control his data, that he even can monetise his content instead of other platforms doing it without his knowledge and him getting no revenue whatsoever. Plus he only wants recommendations (and ads?) based on his interests, from his friends within a community he trusts. Because “he is not a bloody consumer” as he put it, he knows what he wants and why and refuses to look or even react to ads that would potentially fit his needs, but that he isn’t interested in. (Footnote: I object on the consumer part, every one of us is a consumer in some way, whether we like it or not, even Johan. It is a matter of definition of what a consumer actually is.)

Good thinking!

However, will it not be damn hard to convert the many million Facebook users to MyCube users? I am signed up for the beta version and I intend to follow MyCube’s development, but I am not that sure that my friends will sign up for it, once I will be able to invite them. To change the habits of people is quite a challenge, to put it mildly. Plus, not all of us are as strong individuals like Johan that share the same needs, lots of people just don’t (want to) bother what happens to their data, they don’t even think that what they post could be worth anything. That is the real challenge of MyCube, changing the mindset of people in order to make it a success.

A question I asked Johan when taking part in the interview Joe Morgan did with him was “Who guarantees me that you won’t be doing the same with our data like the others?” together with “How will you make money?”. The answer was that we will learn that on the official launch date in June…

When signing up to the beta version now, I did not find any button to delete my profile again, not that I wanted to, but it is always good to find such a thing when one is told that one has full control over ones data…  Therefore I hope this is just a temporary flaw and that a delete-button will be added in the open beta or alpha version.

However, that discovery did not entirely convince me that I will have any more control over my data and what I post in MyCube than in any other social network or community. Let alone the fact that everything you post somewhere online can potentially end up anywhere. And a case in my circle of friends shows that if someone wants to get to your data, they will do it.

There is no water tight security online, and we all are aware of that, even though we refuse to admit that. And therefore we will never own anything that we put up on the net completely. There will always be risks that someone just takes your stuff, if you lucky, you find out and if you are even more lucky, you will be able to do something about it. Depending on how much it matters to you.

Therefore I will also in future, no matter where and on which portal, only post details that I would tell anyone. And since I am an open-minded person, there is already a lot to find.

To get back to the panel with Fabio and Johan – I enjoyed listening to these totally controversial opinions on the same stage! And I will definitely follow with interest MyCube’s development.  Should you already be there and wonder how to test it, search for me, connect, and then we maybe can wade this new space together.

P.S.: Who else thought that there is a bit of a similarity in looks between these two? No offense to anyone of them, honest! However, what they do have in common (whether they or anybody else likes it or not!) is that they are both extremely good at selling their ideas and that they are pretty clever.

#NEXT11 – Thoughts simply!

I still feel extremely honoured to have been a part of the crowd of official bloggers around NEXT and to get a chance to experience the conference that way.

Like some of you might know, me being one of the official bloggers was not necessarily because I have an influential blog, far from it I’d say, but I could help with connecting the organisers of NEXT with some of Scandinavia’s most influential bloggers. A definite advantage of being a Twinglian, one knows quite a few of the cool girls and guys or at least where to find them ;). And my impression was that not only Djure Meinen, who was our “blogger daddy” for these two days and during all the weeks before the event, enjoyed their company!

Views from Paula Marttila, Heidi Harman, Henriette Weber and Anton Johansson you find on their blogs, here linked to their names.

So what did I think of NEXT? I had my plans obviously, and mostly I could follow these and mostly did not get disappointed either, on the contrary, sometimes the sessions where even better than expected. But in general, since I hadn’t been there before, I had no expectations whatsoever really. OK, when you look at the prices then one thinks there should be something great, but previous experiences showed, that this never really is an indicator for whether a conference is actually going to be useful or nice or none of it or something else.

I liked NEXT. A lot. Why? Several reasons.

In the past I have been a regular visitor of different kinds of conferences, all of these aiming at different people, and ultimately not really being comparable with each other. Therefore I don’t join these primarily for the talks and sessions, but mainly for networking and learning about the industries and their challenges. I can do a great deal of that online, obviously, but hey, reading about it or actually having a chance to exchange thoughts and ideas with people is so much more valuable and inspiring than sitting in front of the screen, isn’t it?.

NEXT not only gave the chance for catching up with people, but also offered the possibility for attending sessions I was interested in without having to do much compromising. The long lunch break, plus half an hour breaks between the different tracks gave plenty of room for planned or spontaneous chats. And so NEXT proved to be unexpectedly valuable for new business contacts (didn’t expect any, since that wasn’t the primary reason for me being there). It was easy to connect with people, everyone seemed in a relaxed, open and actually happy mood. And isn’t that exactly how a conference should be?

So, what created this open atmosphere? Mainly the layout of the venue, which in itself admittedly is not the shiniest one, but it is amazing what one can transform it to by putting the people into its centre with help of an incredibly good organisation.

The rooms where the different sessions took place were all connected by one big middle central space where there was almost always some kind of food and drinks, so people were naturally led together. And not the less important, there was enough staff at the food & drink counters, so that nobody had to wait really long to get served. So nobody had to get stressed with being the first one at the buffet cos otherwise nothing’s left, a usual conference scenario that I experienced in the past often enough, and which is never to be underestimated in terms of influencing the whole atmosphere, if you ask me. And the food and drink offers were great! No heavy stuff, light and healthy food! Good choice! This is probably the first conference where I did not put on a kilo more… Thanks 🙂 !

The days weren’t too long either, plus there was the great come-together for everybody at the end of day one. Really nice music, but admittedly too loud  for having more good talks over a beer. The alternative I’d see here would be a nice live jazz band, not too loud, so that both dancing as well as chatting would be options to pursue.  Something tells me that a cool jazz band would just suit that environment perfectly… Something to investigate for #next12 maybe?

Then there were a few critical voices about the quality of speakers and level of talks. Not unexpected, since you never ever will meet everyone’s expectations. I thought that there were really good sessions there were, at least in the international and the commerce track (these were the ones I followed in particular), and I actually learnt something new, which does not happen that often at events like this.

I liked a lot the attempt of making the conference really international, I felt kind of “home” there, if you understand what I mean.

Pep Rosenfeld was as a perfect host for that track – with clear words like “If you don’t understand English, you’re wrong here and if you don’t find the NEXT-wifi you’re at the wrong conference” 😉 The sidekick to Dominique Strauss-Kahn was priceless, and I enjoyed the brief “he didn’t just really say that, did he”-silence of most people in the room before at least a few started to laugh or giggle. Clash of cultures? Yes, but a good one and in a fun way. More of that NEXT time, please!

Well, but I also visited sessions where I thought “what a waste of time and pity” because the speaker did read an about 20 pages long seemingly aimless powerpoint presentation (ever heard of Guy Kawasaki? No presentation over 10 slides and PLEASE do not read these but make them illustrate what you have to say – and have something to say actually). Or, there was a basically really great session in the commerce track where all speakers held their talks in German, yet they were presented in English…. Hmmm, if you have like 5 translators sitting behind the panel like you i.e. have at WAN/IFRA, than that makes sense. But otherwise, what’s the point?

On the other hand I didn’t really bother that much about these instances. I simply left the (to me!) boring stuff, went to another track instead, or simply went back to the middle and had a good chat with someone until the next track started. And languages are no problem for me either, since I’m quite blessed with being able to converse in four of them fluently. Mixing them to the surprise of my conversation partners is quite normal, worst case addressing them in the wrong language (well _I_ understand 😉  ) Anyhow, one of them always works out, so I never judge tracks by language. But it is of course a real pity for both,  audience and speaker, if he or she is not comfortable conversing in another language. Speakers limit themselves because they cannot make their points the way they usually would. An uncomfortable feeling speaker cannot convince and there is a risk to leave a confused audience that got a totally wrong impression of that person. In that case one should have the possibility to stick to ones mother tongue, or maybe in the international panel translators in the background could indeed be an option in the future.

All in all, the conference offered sessions for everyone at almost every level, which was also needed, considering the different backgrounds of the people I met. And if it wasn’t for the sessions, the people, visitors as well as speakers were more than worth popping by for.

However, one suggestion I have, though. Make the blogger-lounge either prettier, or merge it with the speakers lounge in the first place. That was a so much was brighter and nicer place than the actual blogger lounge. If you want to write something cool, then the environment has to be somewhat inspiring and comfortable simply. Bloggers don’t just disappear in their “dark cave” writing their more or less critical reviews… You might have guessed that, having met them ;). Therefore it was great that we were allowed/ wanted as well in the speakers lounge.

Also, there should be a proper blogger meet-up before and/or during the event. There were 80 of us in our Facebook-group and conversations were rolling nicely online, but at the conference I hardly managed to meet the ones that I helped inviting, not to mention the ones I wanted to meet, especially the ones from other countries. What Nicole Simon initiated with meeting up the afternoon/night before was a marvellous thing to do, and it should be made early enough a proper part of the program. So that one can plan it in travelwise as well. This online community simply has to continue offline on at least the same level in order to be valuable for both, bloggers and NEXT.

In terms of a program for bloggers, one could also try to have a loose strategy to cover the event at its best in all the different blogs across all the countries where we were coming from. With no intention whatsoever of telling people about what to write, one could simply check with each other about who is interested in which tracks, and what the different areas of interest are. Paula for example followed the entire elevator pitch and I look forward to reading her post about it (so you intend to write about it of course, Paula! 😉 ).

I think bloggers need many more possibilities to meet and  exchange thoughts with each other. That definitely happened, but probably not to the extend it could have happened in order to benefit promoting NEXT with help of awesome reports in blogs all across Europe even more. Anyway, these were two awesome days!

That much for my first NEXT11 impressions, there will be a bit more during next week.

P.S.: By the way, this is how one finds out how many smokers there are at an event… 😉 I know, I’m a bloody non-smoker…

Elevator Pitch – My favourites! #next11

Obviously it is not that easy to say “this is the best start-up to my mind” when one hasn’t even been listening to what they have to say…

But then again one sees if a start-up does something original or just copies (and improves) an already existing service. Which can also be needed at times of course!

Anyway, I think Mike Butcher & Co in the jury did already a great job choosing the 12 finalists of the elevator pitch. I say that because when I first looked at the long list of everybody in there, I quickly got bored with quite a number of not at all exciting ideas. Saying that is of course damn easy, especially if one,  me definitely included, never even tried to come up with an own or even innovative business idea.

Judging others is always done very easy, but not in this case, I noticed. However, these are my 3 favourites among these 12, and I hope that their presentation will take them one step closer to winning the competition! They are in no particular order!

1. Trust You If this solution works, they would be loved by a huge number of shopping sites and their users! And it seems to work, their social semantic search, having listened to their presentation.
http://www.trustyou.com/ 

2. StoryTude As a pretty frequent traveller, I often see things on my way, wondering if there would be any stories connected to these. This could be a great travel companion, allowing one to discover lots of stories that lie off the normal tourist path, which I usually avoid anyway. Plus – no travel guides in paper needed anymore!
http://www.storytude.com/ 

3. JoinBox Yes, please – one login for everything from everywhere. But as secure as only possible, please! After all I am German and naturally worried about the protection of my personal data… 😉
http://www.joinbox.com/

Good luck to ALL finalists!

#NEXT11 – rough plans for Day 2

Probably having survived a happy night out with all other official bloggers at NEXT, I will hopefully appear in time after a good breakfast (don’t you dare letting me down, hotel…) for the first session I want to see:

11am The personal data economy – and what it all means
Since I started working at Twingly a bigger part of not only the professional life started happening online. I really cannot tell you with how many sites I signed up since then, I only know that my Google-results get less digitally active friends go like “Wow, didn’t know you are that active online! Incredible what one finds out about you! And you even blog!!” (yeah, even that, guess what… 😉 ). Yet I am not afraid of people finding out about me on the net, simply since I know that if someone really wants to know more about you, they will do. Regardless how much you share on the web. Anyway, looking forward to this session about personal data online, with “secure” shop logins and what else there might be to come. Our life will be increasingly digital, whether we like it or not – personally I can see this development in comparison to my parents. Both over 70, they never ordered anything on the web, no trips, books or DVDs. Totally alien to them, yet I wouldn’t know what to do without it. Lots of facets this topic has!

13:30 Data vs Creativity? Bullshit!
This is the one I will most likely listen to – if I don’t take a panel-break and meet people instead.  Why this panel? Well, I’d agree that one does absolutely not exclude the other. Often it is when looking at the raw material that one gets inspired to create things. No matter whether it is data or knitting material.

15:30 Buttons, Behavious, Robots and Toys. What happens when we put data in things
Finally – this seems to be a proper inspiring session with lots of geek shit! Just the right thing for finishing a day and get home with new inspiration! Even though this isn’t the last session of the day. But for me it might be, since I’d like to take the opportunity to talk to a lot of people as well!

Then I will have a lot of time to spend, since I will also take the night train back to Sweden! Departure some time after 10pm, if I remember correctly…

So maybe there are some of you still hanging out and about I could join?

Preparing for #NEXT11 in Berlin! Looking at Day 1

Time simply goes too fast! Heard myself saying that before, yes…

Anyway, there are only like 10 days left to the NEXT conference in Berlin, the number of tweets slowly increases, and I still don’t have a clue, what I want to see. Time to change this!

The program grew immensely and now even the 12 finalists  for the elevator pitch had been chosen!

But let’s start with the program!

These are the things that I would if anyhow possible not like to miss!

Day 1 / 17th of May

Arriving by night train at 5 past 6 in the morning, I will definitely make it to the opening at 9 am – in a decent shape I hope, otherwise I might need to use any available shower facilities at Berlin Hauptbahnhof ;).

11:00 – 12.30 If Content is King then Data is Queen
And as we know, Queens are often even more important than kings… This session looks very useful, since it seems to pick up the daily challenges monitoring companies but also every one else doing some kind of monitoring of topicsm, brands etc.  is exposed to. So I hope to get some more insight on that which will help me further to understand the needs of our data customers better.

13:30 – 15:00 The Click is dead, stop loving it – start loving IT
This session I am particularly interested in because I still meet a lot of people in media who are interested in exactly that – the click. And the more or less direct turnover right behind it. In their dreams at least. Only a few people already realised that their online strategy in total, with seeking communication with their clients at the heart of it, which will bring them the much desired ROI. Problem with that is, though, the measurement. New ways have to be applied in order to see what went into it and what a company gets out of it. In sympathy and customer satisfaction (better: enthusiasm!) which will then increase the ROI. A whole new game that has to be mastered by still a lot of companies. Will be interesting to listen to the speakers’ experiences!

15:30 / 17:00 Will Data Business Models rule the world? 
I shop more and more online, don’t you? Plus, at Twingly we feel the increasing demand of (blog)data for all kinds of businesses – everybody wants to know what people talk about their products and brands. Nothing new, but it seems, that almost everybody is now aware of what is said on the web. Again, let’s see what the speakers’ experiences and plans are!

This will be my first NEXT ever and I don’t know how it was with the program in previous years, but it seems quite thought through! There is space for chats and meetings between the sessions and a really nice long lunch break. So it seems I might actually manage both, listening to the panels I picked and meeting lots of interesting people!

Really looking forward to it!!