GamesCom Köln 2009

15. November 2009 - 7.21 pm Uhr

Having been to the last couple of the Games Conventions in Leipzig, a relaxed 2 hours from Berlin by car or train, I made sure to attend the GamesCom in Cologne (Köln).
Their predecessor, housed in the modern exhibition grounds of Leipzig was always rewarding, business wise and also educating in general. I missed the GamesConventionOnline in Leipzig, but after what I have heard I made the decision to be there next year.

My general impression from GamesCom was a good one, not better than Leipzig, but not worse either. I have to admit that I like many others felt sorry for the Leipzigers who made the GamesConvention big, but such is life. It was well organized and the masses streamed to the exhibition halls. I spoke to many people, but made sure to see most of the booths from Berlin and took some pics (note to self: always check battery of camera before travelling, otherwise you will have to use the Blackberry again).

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Deutscher Multimedia Award 2009

22. June 2009 - 10.14 pm Uhr

Am 9. Juni fand im gut gefüllten Berliner ewerk die Preisverleihung des Deutschen Multimedia Awards DMMA statt. Aus etwa 300 Einreichungen wurden 19 Preisträger ausgewählt. Moderiert wurde die Abendveranstaltung von der Ehrensenf Präsentatorin Christine Henning, die wie in ihrer Selbstdarstellung auf der Ehrensenf Seite beschrieben, deutlich machte, dass sie “sich außer im Ehrensenf Studio am wohlsten auf der Bühne oder einer Tanzfläche” fühlt. Klaus Haasis war am Anfang mit auf der Bühne, er vertritt als Geschäftsführer die MFG Baden-Württemberg (Innovation Agency for Information Technology and Media – so international, dass die Homepage gleich komplett auf Englisch ist), die zusammen mit dem Bundesverband Digitale Wirtschaft (BVDW) den DMMA organisiert. Das Ganze fand wie immer im Rahmen des Deutschen Multimedia Kongress (DMMK) 2009 statt. Wie auch im letzten Jahr war alles professionell organisiert und ein extrem guter Abend zum Netzwerken.
Einziger Wermutstropfen war die Diskriminierung der zwar nominierten, aber nicht für preiswürdig befundenen Projekte. D.h. alle ausgewählten Nominierungen wurden vorgestellt, jedoch nicht in jeder Kategorie wurden auch Preisträger benannt. So zum Beispiel in der Kategorie “Portale” und “mobiles Internet”, in denen keine Preise verliehen wurden. Ich denke, nicht nur ich und meine Sitznachbarn fanden das unnötig, denn nicht nur der Einreichende wurde somit namentlich für nicht würdig befunden, sondern auch das das Projekt ja nutzende Unternehmen kann sich nun mit Juryabsegnung sicher sein, ein nicht preiswürdiges Portal zu nutzen. Ich denke, es ist im Ermessen der Jury, wie in diesem Fall keine Preise zu vergeben, aber nur Verlierer zu nennen, halte ich für suboptimal. Von dieser Kleinigkeit abgesehen war es ein spannender Netzwerkabend an einer zentralen und gut geeigneten Location, zu dem ich gerne wieder gehen werde.

DMMK und DMMA Verleihung im Berliner ewerk

DMMK und DMMA Verleihung im Berliner ewerk

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BerlinWebWeek: Open Coffee Club and Bizzin3D meetup

1. June 2009 - 9.47 pm Uhr

opencoffeeclubFriday morning, getting up after the Zanox Summer Party and heading straight to the Berlin Open Coffee Club in the Carras Café at Potsdamer Platz. The crowd was a little smaller than usual, due to the aforementioned party I think, but the networking was good. The idea is simple, existing more or less world wide, you arrive, grab a coffee and at some point the initiator introduces him/herself and then everybody else does the same. The aim is to meet at least three new people, because you know who is there you know, who you can talk to.
A lot of 3D and virtual world stuff was going on this weekend in Berlin, I missed the Second Life meetup, but since it immediately was followed by the bizzin3D meetup (organized by Tobias Neisecke from Youin3D), I got my fair share of what is going on in the 3D world. Roughly 80 people gathered and spent their whit sunday afternoon and evening together. I did not see many journalists, a shame since the who is who of virtual worlds was there and could have been interviewed: representatives from companies from the UK, Slovenia, France, Netherlands, Poland etc. The big worlds like Second Life (Linden Lab), Twinity (Metaversum), Habbo and others where on panels.
Clare Rees (Linden Labs), Michael Schumann (Second Interest), Mirko Caspar (Metaversum), Dick Davies (Ambient Performance)

Clare Rees (Linden Labs), Michael Schumann (Second Interest), Mirko Caspar (Metaversum), Dick Davies (Ambient Performance)

The first panel of the Bizzin3D meetup was titled “The Immersive Internet – Virtual Worlds and the Transformation of Business”. I enjoyed the honesty of the panel – the transformation has clearly just begun and it will take many years till there is a clear change due to virtual worlds (VWs). The change we see is due to new concepts in our digital age, a shrunken world (in distances), a bigger world (in possible experiences). However, having companies like Linden Lab and Metaversum in Berlin existing solely on Virtual Worlds and their service providers like Second Interest and Youin3D is already a change to the old world. The VWs user growth is now in children and youths, so a new generation is growing and using VWs, the real Digital Natives are born not longer than 3-5 years ago. I doubt that many users watched the events in Second Life and twinity, though I think it is absolutely necessary to do the streaming of course.
It’s all about monetisation in the end, so to the question why companies should move to a VW, Clare Rees basically pointed to “collaboration”, Michael Schumann stressed future advantages: “these are strategic moves today for a strategic advantage tomorrow” and Mirko Caspar showcased his Asian early adopter Singapur, who has great plans for their digital future. ..and I guess all three are legitimate answers and all true at the same time. The general agreement was that, if you are able to bring your own audience, you can start now.
But again, in my opinion it will take years till we are at a stage, where use of VW is widespread in the corporate world. I, however, believe VWs will be a major part of the future natural habitat of Digital Natives, since interaction there is much more natural than over mail etc. The question I wanted to ask Second Life, when they will allow the use of real names (since they have already real cities (newBerlin e.g.) could not be answered (“we are thinking about it”), I give them another 6 months max., till they do that, the need is clearly there.
If you are interested in a much more detailed view on this event, Mr.Topf a.k.a Tao Takashi was there and has published a review in his blog.

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BerlinWebWeek: GirlGeekDinner, Echtzeit and Zanox Summer Party

31. May 2009 - 7.22 pm Uhr

Wednesday and Thursday evening of the BerlinWebWeek 2009 were a good occasion to meet new people and catch up on old acquaintences. Nicole Simon invited the GirlGeeks who were around to her GirlGeekDinner to CoffeeKarma in Friedrichshain and Alexander Hüsing from Deutsche Startups invited the movers and shakers of the web scene to his Echtzeit III event at the zanox campus. Both events were invitation only, at least for men.
girlgeekdinner-berlin-banner
Women are of course the target group of the GirlGeeKDinner, so men to come along need to find a female companion, thankfully the website allows you to ask to be “adopted”. ..and the concept works, more than half ot the people were were women. The atmosphere was relaxed, one is encouraged to present ideas and projects. A student presented her idea to write about the History of the Push Button, something I really liked. Or was it the Button Push? I do not know, I just hope she finds partners to write with, and do it interactively, in some kind of portal, web site, as she suggested.
echtzeitberlin_logoEchtzeit (Realtime) was invitation only for everybody, no matter which gender. Short presentations were followed by networking between a lot of entrepreneurs, founders and investors. This concept works as well in my opinion, the relatively small  event (under 200 people) allows you to find the people you want to talk to or get intros to new contacts. The businesslike atmosphere suits the event and is nevertheless relaxed enough, no wonder, it’s all about the web.
zanox_logo_01A much bigger crowd gathered when zanox called for their summer party – I can only repeat estimats that roughly a thousand people met at Spindler&Klatt on the other side (seen rom zanox’ offices) of the river Spree. It was a great party, exhausted as I was from the BerlinWebWeek (it was the 5th day of conferences, barcamps, networking and parties) I left after midnight, the twitterstream tells me that the last people left when the sun was almost up… I would not have liked to miss anything of this and was happy that I could be part of it. A big thank you to all the organizers!

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BerlinWebWeek: Webinale, RailsWayCon, PHPConference und Virtual Worlds Camp

31. May 2009 - 1.36 pm Uhr

This week, the BerlinWebWeek 2009, was hard so far – lots of events, meetings and parties to go to. Having initiated this BerlinWebWeek I tried to be at all the events and I almost succeeded. Most of my time I spent at the webinale conference, the strategy and business oriented conference track of the Software & Support Verlag presented by create or die in the Berliner Conference Center bcc, accompanied by the two technical conferences RailsWayCon and International php Conference. The webinale also hosted the Frogster Virtual Worlds Camp, which concentrated on virtual worlds and virtual goods.
webinale conference at bcc, Berlin

webinale conference at bcc, Berlin

The bcc, designed by the Bauhaus Student and probably most well known East German architect Hermann Henselmann, lends itself very well to conferences like this. It is small enough to not feel lost inside and has an open atmosphere. That it is located in the very center of Berlin is another point for it. It suited the feeling of the webinale, many tracks to choose from and lots of networking opportunities. I was there every day for at least half a day, from the first startupday on monday to the following full conference days. I missed the webinale crawl, 3 parallel guided office tours through Berlin-based web companies but I look forward to join next year. Looking for food for thought I joined the keynotes of Ossi Urchs and the one from Karlheinz (call me Charly) Toni, the Austrian CEO of the British startup Piins. Piins is his 2nd project after Miomi.

Karlheinz Toni, CEO of Piin

Karlheinz Toni, CEO of Piins

Toni’s key note topic was “The flaw of the internet and modern communication“. It started out well with some maths about exponential functions and their relation to the internet and its growths resp. question, whether its growths (data flow) could be accomodated by the technical infrastructure/standards. However, at some place it turned into how contents can be combined and displayed on the same page/window. ..which is where Piins comes into play. I enjoyed the start of his speech, he was very entertaining and invited everybody to visit him and his team on his houseboat Nr. 10 in London.
An invitation to play was the keynote of Kevin Slavin from areacode. Areacode produces cross-media games and entertainment, his examples were entertaining and thought provoking. A member of areaplay is also involved in botanicalls, a device enabling plants to twitter and text messaging. His scarce use of powerpoint was also enjoyable.

Kevin Slavin of areacode

Kevin Slavin of areacode

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