Week 106

In this “classic” week note, Johannes looks back on recent travels and projects.

One thing I’ve learned through the last two years is that with a consultancy of our size, there will never be any normalcy. Everything goes in rhythms and phases. The last weeks have been dominated by finishing up a lot of projects, which had me traveling all over.

Traveling to Vienna & Singen

I visited Vienna for the third and final meeting of our project with MenOnTheMoon. By now, I’m an expert in rushing through the new terminal of Vienna airport, which is shiny but neither easy to navigate nor very comfortable. Still, Vienna beats most other airports by offering free wifi everywhere. And the collaboration with the Ars Electronica Futurelab makes for some beautiful media art installations.

For another final meeting of a project, I had to travel to the very south of Germany once more. Singen is close to the Bodensee and the Swiss border and takes about 5 hours by train from Frankfurt to get there. Well, if it goes according to plan. Unfortunately, Deutsche Bahn seemed to have a bad week and I got the full program of possible train fails available. Delays, cancellations, missed connections and all of that in just two days. But ever since I’ve made train journeys in other countries, I realized that the German train system is pretty great overall. I still prefer taking the train to flying as I have much more uninterrupted time to read and think. And I do miss my BahnCard100 (a flat-rate card which allows one to take any train at any time) very much.

Social media for b2b

Both projects evolved around our social media strategy framework. It was especially interesting to apply it to a b2b context for the first time. What we realized is that with b2b, you have to think even more integrated. A sandboxed approach makes no sense in this context as most b2b clients are not interested in a special social media approach but are happy to use social media features when provided in a bigger context.
We’re already onto our next b2b client to apply everything we’ve learned so far. It’s our typical way of progressing.

Having finished up most projects, we are now able to look at new inquiries for November and December. So if you’re interested in working with us and have something that we might be able to help you with, let us know.

I will be in London from Friday to Monday. If you would like to meet up, send me a message. Talk to you soon.

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.