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Social Media Week Berlin Highlights : uberlinuberlin

Social Media Week Berlin Highlights

by James Glazebrook

We may have been in Milan for much of Social Media Week, but I still made it down to a couple of thought-provoking sessions before we left. As with Hello Etsy the weekend before, the best thing about SMW was the chance to put faces to the URLs of our online buddies, including Travels of Adam, Nicole is the New Black, Yvonne from Just Travelous and Katja glamcanyon. When I wasn’t talking crap over a Club Mate, here’s what I learned:

Gamification is set to be The Next Big Thing

The keynote speech from Gabe Zichermann of gamification.co focused on the “process of using game concepts and mechanics to engage users”, particularly location-based gaming concepts. As a foursquare refugee, it was refreshing to hear an expert describe pure location-based gaming as “a total shitshell”. Also, as a social media consultant with automotive clients, it was interesting to hear about the games built into the dashboards of hybrid and battery electric cars like the Nissan Leaf, that give feedback to the driver about the vehicle’s performance.

Unfortunately, the below video is missing the fascinating round table discussion that took place immediately after, with Berlin-based social games developer wooga and the inspiring Willempje Vrins from figure running, the crazy Dutch folks who started drawing pictures on maps using existing running applications, then ended up building their own app. As with everything that co-opts a (historically) niche subculture and turns it to commercial gain, gamification has been criticised by videogames experts. Personally I disagree with Ian Bogost’s core argument that gamification is “marketing bullshit” because it is “used to conceal, to impress or to coerce”, as that is what marketing is supposed to do. That’s like 1976 punks bemoaning the fact that hair product commercials feature kids with fauxhawks. Accept it, move on.

Aaaanyway, watch Gabe’s speech for yourself and see what you think:

Keynote on Gamification – Gabe Zichermann – Social Media Week Berlin – Sept. 19, 2011 from SMWBerlin on Vimeo.

Everyone wants to be a Community Manager

It was fascinating to hear from the community management experts at Nokia Germany and Soundcloud, among others. Their discussion reinforced some basic principles (number of fans is less useful than activity and engagement) and revealed philosophical differences between those companies for whom their community is central to their mission and those that either treat social as a marketing channel and/or outsource it.

It was also interesting to hear about the number of people who want to get into community management (especially here in Berlin), to have some common illusions dispelled (no, it’s not just getting paid to tweet) and to learn about some unusual – but in retrospect, obvious – approaches to securing these jobs, like: join a community, and build your profile within it.

Job Title: Community Manager – Social Media Week Berlin 2011 (EN) from SMWBerlin on Vimeo.

Trendsmap is cool

This tool, that CNN uses to source stories, plots real-time Twitter trends on a map, according to the location from which they were posted. Check out what our fellow Berliners are talking about.
Trendsmap Berlin
iReport is also cool

iReport is CNN’s own tool, which bridges the gap between the immediacy of social media reports, and the accuracy of mainstream news media. Essentially, anyone can submit a story which will appear on the iReport website, and then CNN will do their journalistic thing and follow them up, mark legit stories as vetted, and use them in their online and broadcast news reports. You can see reports from Social Media Week here.

Facebook isn’t as useful for brands as they have been led to believe

I was gutted to miss a talk from Market Sentinel, a UK company that I work with. However, this blog post breaks down the results of a summer’s worth of research: Facebook ads don’t work for brands; Facebook fan pages don’t work for brands; Facebook apps should work for brands, but often don’t. Illuminating reading.

Social is great, but real life is better

Berlin is full of inspiring people doing amazing things in social, but we never get to see them! We have plans for a meetup of our own, but in the meantime the 4-Hour-Workweek Berlin group will act as our real-world support system. See you down there!

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2 Responses to “Social Media Week Berlin Highlights”

  1. Great summary. Love the Trendmap thing. I got side tracked on there for about 30 minutes and have made it a permanent fixture on my bookmarks bar.

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Hello Etsy! Highlights : uberlinuberlin

Hello Etsy! Highlights

by James Glazebrook

Hello Etsy Name Tags
The opening introduction to Etsy’s first summit on small business and sustainability included the smart observation, “a conference is only as good as the people make it”. And sure enough, Hello Etsy felt like giant meetup, giving us a chance to get some hactual face-time with our online friends Raquel of Capital Sisters, Cheryl Howard, Georg AKA Digital Cosmonaut, Simon of Berlin Unlike, Melissa Rachel Black, Katja from glamcanyon, as well as Nina from the travelettes crew.

As outsiders to the Etsy/craft community – with the exception of Melissa, who makes gangster rap greeting cards – we found some of the sessions either irrelevant or a little basic. (Although as a journalist, blogger and former social media PR, I can vouch that Rachel Bremer of Twitter’s tips “secrets to good PR” were solid.)

However, some of the talks were truly inspirational. Here are our highlights from two days of eye-opening events:

1) Urban Farming and Local Empowerment

The most Berlin-centric talk we saw, and the greatest surprise.

Prinzessinnengarten is an urban (mobile!) farm cultivated on wasteland in the middle of the city by the couple behind Nomadic Green, and countless volunteers.

Today, the not-for-profit project includes a garden restaurant and cafe and has inspired similar projects in Cologne and other cities. Its open garden days bring together different communities (old turkish women, hipsters, even “normal people”!) and when young people help out, they are paid a wage (“we don’t do social work”).

Far from the special interest greenie talk I was expecting, this passed on valuable lessons that can be applied further afield, such as the project’s approach to informal learning: you don’t know, we don’t know, let’s find out together.

2) On Tour with the Grateful Thread

I love Threadless. The social-before-social-existed company has been crowdsourcing t-shirt designs from its online community for ten years now. Its held a special place in my heart, providing some of my favourite tees and my stock answer to the interview questions, “who does social well?”

Basically, Charles Festa had my dream job and now sports my dream beard. And he’s hilarious. Queue awkward jokes, Lionel Richie impressions and anecdotes about throwing shit off roofs.

The embodiment of rule #1 of social media: be yourself.

3) Douglas Rushkoff: Program or be programmed

Not really about programming, but a dissection of the biases inherent in systems like the internet and free market capitalism. Rushkoff will change the way you think about technology, media, even money.

Almost as an aside, he explains how communities like Etsy can help free the world from its dependence on jobs, big business and top-down economies.

Forget what you think you know.

4) Welcome to the Future

A round table between the social media bods at Etsy, TOMS, Holstee, and Bitly, and my man Festa. A great introduction to social strategy, tools and analytics, and a good reminder of fundamentals principles. In fact, Matt from Bitly was a one-man fountain of wisdom:
“social media IS writing”
“you don’t know until you know”
“the best tool for social analytics is not Bitly, it’s basic human intelligence”

5) The venue

We went clubbing in ewerk two years ago to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Mauerfall. So we’d already seen the former power station’s main hall – but not the stunning views from the roof or the control room, which retains the original equipment. All the sharp edges were softened with handmade banners, cushions and other knickknacks, to make for a truly unique setting.

You can see more more talks on Etsy’s livestream channel, and find out more about Hello Etsy here.

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15 Responses to “Hello Etsy! Highlights”

  1. […] Week, but I still made it down to a couple of thought-provoking sessions before we left. As with Hello Etsy the weekend before, the best thing about SMW was the chance to put faces to the URLs of our online […]

  2. Ingrid says:

    Great post, useful videos! Loving the bears!

  3. […] to be happening every day or every week! Whether Travel Massive, Social Media Week or Hello Etsy (read this great review & round-up on überlin.eu), Berlin is NEVER lacking in things to do!Panel of Community Managers (and Evangelists) at Social […]

  4. […] stand-up routine on his journey with the legendary Threadless tshirt company.  As Uberlin said in their writeup, he was totally himself even on stage, and that’s always a good thing.  His awesome Chicago […]

  5. Suzy says:

    LOVE the name tags! Bummed I missed it, would have liked to put a few more faces to bloggers and twitterers!

    • James says:

      Yeah, but I was jealous of the organisers’ name tags – translucent green perspex. (even though they were envious of ours!)
      We’re planning a meetup sometime, probably around our 1st birthday. We shall meet again!

  6. Kat Sark says:

    Hi James,
    Thanks for your kind comment on my blog!
    I really like yours too, and will be happy to add it to my links!
    What are you doing in Berlin?
    Hope you are well.
    Kat

    • James says:

      We’re in Berlin for a bit of a lifestyle change and because we love the city!
      What we’re doing here is: music journalism & social media analysis (me), web design & photography (Zoë). Oh, and what we *really* love: blogging.
      What about you (besides blogging)?

  7. […] Etsy conference held at the beautiful ewerk in Berlin, this weekend. Although, like James from überlin, I sort of felt like the odd one out, tending to work with the keyboard more than my hands (you […]

  8. Sylee says:

    Yay, thank you so much for the review! Lucky you to be able to go…

  9. ebe says:

    Heard a whisper about this but didn’t really know what was going on. Thanks for the excellent review- looks like I missed out. Maybe next time…

    • James says:

      Yeah, things like this seem to slip under the radar in Berlin. Mind you, it was tailored towards the Etsy community and they were there in droves!
      Thanks for the kind words and we’ll try to preview more stuff like this in future.

  10. Raquel says:

    Very sweet of you to mention the gang ;) great post, wie immer!

    • James says:

      nee worries, i am a generous soul (pffff) – but really, it was great to meet everyone and get collectively enthused about stuff!
      bis später!

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Hello Etsy! Hello money-off code! : uberlinuberlin

Hello Etsy! Hello money-off code!

by James Glazebrook

Hello Esty Berlin

The lovely people at Etsy have been kind enough to offer 20 of our readers money off tickets to its first conference, Hello Etsy: A Summit on Small Business and Sustainability. To book your place at the conference with €10 off, simply follow this link and enter this promotion code: uberlin_helloetsy2011

Hello Etsy is billed as a “hands-on gathering for small business owners who want to connect with their peers, learn new skills, and be part of the movement to build sustainable micro-economies.” As Berlin fast establishes itself as the startup capital of Europe, and people continue to flock here to do their own thing, Etsy is providing exactly the kind of support and structure that flakey creative types like us need!

The conference takes place on September 17th and 18th, and features workshops and sessions covering the following areas: The Big Picture, The Product, The Business and The Market. We’re especially looking forward to “Wisdom of Friends – Facebook for Entrepreneurs”, with Gavin Sathianathan, Head of Commerce Partnerships at Zuck’s London office, “Ask your SEO Questions” and “Project Management for Indie Businesses”.

The cherry on the top is the venue: Ewerk, Germany’s oldest preserved commercial powerplant. We got our rave on in this huge industrial space in 2009, celebrating the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, and we’re excited to be going back there. If you’re reading this from outside Germany, Etsy tell me there will be satellite events taking place across Europe and in the US and Canada – check out the Hello Etsy site for more details.

Ewerk

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2 Responses to “Hello Etsy! Hello money-off code!”

  1. Papa says:

    Looks good James are you and zoe going ?

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Hello Etsy! Hello money-off code! : uberlinuberlin

Hello Etsy! Hello money-off code!

by James Glazebrook

Hello Esty Berlin

The lovely people at Etsy have been kind enough to offer 20 of our readers money off tickets to its first conference, Hello Etsy: A Summit on Small Business and Sustainability. To book your place at the conference with €10 off, simply follow this link and enter this promotion code: uberlin_helloetsy2011

Hello Etsy is billed as a “hands-on gathering for small business owners who want to connect with their peers, learn new skills, and be part of the movement to build sustainable micro-economies.” As Berlin fast establishes itself as the startup capital of Europe, and people continue to flock here to do their own thing, Etsy is providing exactly the kind of support and structure that flakey creative types like us need!

The conference takes place on September 17th and 18th, and features workshops and sessions covering the following areas: The Big Picture, The Product, The Business and The Market. We’re especially looking forward to “Wisdom of Friends – Facebook for Entrepreneurs”, with Gavin Sathianathan, Head of Commerce Partnerships at Zuck’s London office, “Ask your SEO Questions” and “Project Management for Indie Businesses”.

The cherry on the top is the venue: Ewerk, Germany’s oldest preserved commercial powerplant. We got our rave on in this huge industrial space in 2009, celebrating the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, and we’re excited to be going back there. If you’re reading this from outside Germany, Etsy tell me there will be satellite events taking place across Europe and in the US and Canada – check out the Hello Etsy site for more details.

Ewerk

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2 Responses to “Hello Etsy! Hello money-off code!”

  1. Papa says:

    Looks good James are you and zoe going ?

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Getting ink at AKA : überlinüberlin

Getting ink at AKA

by James Glazebrook

We’ve been meaning to get tattoos for a long time, something permanent to symbolises our love and life together. When we got married, we talked about inking the deal with something (literally) in the place of rings – but, looking at David Duchovny’s finger tatt, I’m glad we didn’t. It took a second life-changing experience to make up our minds: the move to Berlin. If you don’t care what our matching tattoos mean, skip straight to the pretty pictures of them and the place we got them – AKA Berlin – but if you do care, read on…

Moving to Berlin is (one of) the best thing(s) we’ve ever done, überlin represents the move, and now these two little squares symbolise überlin (they’re the pixelated umlauts that sit above the “u” on our logo). This blog is our memoir, our media, our Meinungen, and has put us in touch with some of the most incredible people we’ve ever met – and are yet to meet. It’s worth celebrating, and we could think of no better way to immortalise it than with indelible ink. Thanks Sarah from AKA Berlin for making it happen!

34 Responses to “Getting ink at AKA”

  1. Alice says:

    I like your blog, I am glad that I have finally found and read it.
    And I come soon in Berlin:) I would be happy if you answer me – I understood, that your tattoo-master was Sarah – what is her full name? Did you write her in advance to discuss the appointment and the style and type of your new tattoo?
    I would also like to make a tattoo at AKA, that’s why I ask you and I would be glad to be given some instructions:) Thanks!

  2. Silke says:

    I really like your tattoos!
    A friend and I also want to go to AKA for our first tattoos, but we’re afraid AKA is quite expensive..
    May I ask you if your tattoos were expensive?

    • James Glazebrook says:

      Glad you like them!

      Most tattoo parlours have a minimum spend, which was €60 at AKA. Given that our tattoos were very small and very quick, I guess they were expensive. The best idea is to contact them with your idea and ask for a quote.

      Or try White Light Tattoo, where I got these done: http://www.uberlin.co.uk/new-tattoos/

      Good luck :)

  3. papaerk says:

    Had to make the 100 likes up and wouldnt mind having a square tatoo like you guys X

  4. […] x t-shirt from AKA, the place we got our matching überlin tattoos. This Philippe Fernandez anatomical heart print is only available in the AKA store in […]

  5. […] up our überlin merchandise (on sale soon!), Linsey from VentureVillage getting tattooed by the AKA lot, SAY IT selling their geometric Bowie and Björk t-shirts and Josh Bauman, who was as stoked […]

  6. james, where is your belt? oh and nice ink.

  7. […] since we got our first tattoos at AKA, we’ve been itching (not literally!) to get more. No matching designs this time, though. As […]

  8. Adam says:

    I love this tattoo!! I’m planning to get a rectangle in a similar place on my forearm. Love the meaning behind yours, though – brilliant concept and nicely done!

  9. Unc Tom says:

    Simple and understated but very neat. Spot on.

  10. James says:

    Wow, thanks for the comments everyone – well, everyone except Lauren!
    It’s always nice to get positive feedback about both the blog and the permanent marks on our bodies. We’ve got plans for plenty more – watch this space :)

  11. sarah says:

    sehr sehr cool.
    mein liebster und ich kriegen im august auch ein gemeinsames tattoo.
    btw: du bist meine neue blogliebe.
    X

    • Zoe says:

      Thanks so much Sarah! looking forward to seeing your new tat soon. Really glad you like the blog and we’d love to swap links if you’re up for it as well?

  12. Valentini says:

    Really really lovely tats guys. Beautiful photos as ever.

    Lisa made an excellent point though. You get that done it looks very very cool. If we got that done we’d look ridiculous. Lisa would have to have hers on her shoulder and mine below the elbow just to line up.

  13. Eric says:

    love them just right and the design is great just enough to generate “whats that all aboot”
    xxxxxx

  14. Lauren says:

    AKA aka the poshest tattoo parlour eva!
    Democracy for the bourgeois!

  15. Lauren says:

    Awwwwhhhh! I love it! James u look so much like your Dad in one photo! hope to visit u both in Berlin soon ????
    Here’s to many more years of happiness, oomlauts! xxx

  16. Ingrid says:

    So cool and also beautiful! Love them.

  17. Katie says:

    yay! really like them! well done you two :-) x

  18. Amazing! and Finally… It’s just the start right. A square for every year, right?

  19. Luci says:

    Love it! You guys are adorable. Great choice of tattoos with all that they imply.

    • James says:

      Thanks Luc! We’re getting a lot of comments like “adorable” and “cute” – I’m sure the people at AKA would be sick in their mouths if they knew…

      • Luci says:

        Hah, I thought about that when I wrote my comment. But the tattoos aren’t cute or adorable, YOU TWO are. That’s different. And they must know that the act of getting matching tattoos is an act of love and that is puppy-cute and kitten-adorable.

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Deutsch Klasse Doodles : uberlinuberlin

Deutsch Klasse Doodles

by James Glazebrook

I do pay attention, honest! The drawing helps me concentrate… vielleicht.

Deutsch Klasse Doodle 1

Deutsch Klasse Doodle 2Deutsch Klasse Doodle 3

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  1. […] have a habit of missing our anniversary (last year, we were in German class when we realised what day it was), so this year we decided to make up for it with a stay in nhow […]

  2. Daniel Nunes says:

    I really do the same thing man. I thought tha I was the only one, but I’m not the only one uhuuu. I live in Brasil. Yes we write with (S).

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About – überlin

uberlin coworking and photo studio 1

About us

We left London for Berlin in 2010, and have never looked back. Here, we found the creative freedom to follow our dreams, and the opportunity to leave our stamp on the city. We’ve benefited from the help of Berlin’s international community, and our goal is to pay this forward – by highlighting all the awesome things happening in the city, and supporting the talented people behind them. Meet the überlin family:

jamesüberlin’s wordsmith, James is a freelance writer and customer support dude. By day, he works for Basecamp, a company so passionate about remote working that they wrote a book about it, and he spends his spare time helping people move to Berlin and set up shop here.

ZoeZoë is a professional photographer and retoucher who has shot beautiful images for Harper’s Bazaar, Etsy and many more, on location across Europe and here in the überlin studio. Her latest project is When Olive Met, a blog inspired by canine companions and their stylish owners.

OliveOur little Frenchie Olive is the former Chief Happiness Officer at Factory, where she spread cheer throughout the resident startups. Berlin’s cutest office dog loves people, other pups, and is currently looking for laps to warm up. She’s also the star of When Olive Met.

überlin raw steel logo

About – überlin

uberlin coworking and photo studio 1

About us

We left London for Berlin in 2010, and have never looked back. Here, we found the creative freedom to follow our dreams, and the opportunity to leave our stamp on the city. We’ve benefited from the help of Berlin’s international community, and our goal is to pay this forward – by highlighting all the awesome things happening in the city, and supporting the talented people behind them. Meet the überlin family:

jamesüberlin’s wordsmith, James is a freelance writer and customer support dude. By day, he works for Basecamp, a company so passionate about remote working that they wrote a book about it, and he spends his spare time helping people move to Berlin and set up shop here.

ZoeZoë is a professional photographer and retoucher who has shot beautiful images for Harper’s Bazaar, Etsy and many more, on location across Europe and here in the überlin studio. Her latest project is When Olive Met, a blog inspired by canine companions and their stylish owners.

OliveOur little Frenchie Olive is the former Chief Happiness Officer at Factory, where she spread cheer throughout the resident startups. Berlin’s cutest office dog loves people, other pups, and is currently looking for laps to warm up. She’s also the star of When Olive Met.

überlin raw steel logo