CeBIT 2009 is over, so it’s time to see what worked and what could be done better. Also, there’s a few videos in case you want to see some panels I moderated.
Since CeBIT has been losing some of its importance of the the last few years, with most tech news being available elsewhere before the actual fair, it was time for a new concept to stay relevant in web- and cloud-based times. WebCiety was a try to do just that, to bring the web back to CeBIT. Turns out that although the area was very small, and the booths could have been somewhat nicer (it was all very dark and pretty compact), WebCiety succeeded in bringing all the web folks together. The Web 2.0 crowd gathered here both for the panels and because it’s just simpler to have a home base where you know you meet everybody else. As one participant put it: “I walked through four halls and met nobody I knew. Since I entered the WebCiety area I’ve met a lot of folks just here and then.” So the social part worked out pretty well. (One could argue that it’s all a bit self-referential, but hey, this is the social web, right?)
The rest of the fair was, to be honest, somewhat disappointing. Over are the days where I’d go explore CeBIT voluntarily in my spare time. Maybe that was just a student thing to do anyway, but I suspect there’s more to it. Since you can see all the gadgets in blogs and magazines way earlier, it doesn’t seem worth the extra time and effort to go to CeBIT just to try it out briefly while squeezing into a crowd of people.
What was quite fun, though, was moderation the Open Space / panel discussion together with Steffen Büffel. It was part of the Dresden Future Forum, and we invited a bunch of cool folks to talk about life, work and culture on the web. Since the whole thing was streamed and recorded, here’s the videos. (They’re in German.) You can see these and more WebCiety videos combined with the discussions on the Twitter wall over at zaplive.tv. Thanks to all the panelists, the audience and those who contributed via Twitter wall.
Panel on digital life and work (German, about 3h):
Panel on art and culture on the web (German, about 1:30h):