atoms&bits Festival: Thanks everyone!



So last weekend was the highlight of atoms&bits Festival that we had put together in hardly 10 weeks. While we’re recovering from the weekend and also putting together the documentation (i.e. all the blogposts, photos, videos etc), I’d like to briefly say THANK YOU to everybody involved.

THANKS to the participants, who were super active and fun to have a camp with. THANKS to all the volunteers and helpers, who did a great job and who we can’t thank enough for going out of their way to support the event. THANKS to the sponsors and donors, without whom we couldn’t have realized atoms&bits. And my personal THANKS to the rest of the orga team, you guys rock.

We had planned with slightly more participants, but we all had a great time, and feedback has been excellent. (Now it’s time to catch up on some sleep.)

And while we’re still collecting the photos from all kinds of sources, I’d like to share these two pics which really tell a lot about the do-it-yourself culture of atoms&bits – they show a conference shirt being silkscreened by hand at a little booth by SDW.

printing an atoms&bits shirt Printing an atoms&bits shirt. (Photo by Just/Just.Ekosystem.org, Creative Commons BY NC SA 3.0)

atoms&bits shirt Printing an atoms&bits shirt. (Photo by Just/Just.Ekosystem.org, Creative Commons BY NC SA 3.0)

Bitte ein Atombit! Jetzt zum atoms&bits-Camp anmelden!


A rare German post, this is the official blurb for atoms&bits Festival and atoms&bits Camp. More details in English in my blogpost and over at Jay Cousins.

Das atoms&bits-Camp ist eine der zentralen Veranstaltungen des atoms&bits-Festivals. Dazu laden wir alle Interessierten am Samstag, den 26. und Sonntag, den 27. September ims ÏMA Design Village nach Berlin-Kreuzberg ein.


Um diese fünf Themen dreht sich auch das Camp:

  • neue Arbeitsformen (selbstbestimmte Arbeit, Coworking)
  • neue Lust am Bausteln (bauen, basteln, Do-it-yourself)
  • neue alte Kultur der Offenheit (OpenEverything, Creative Commons)
  • neue Formen politischen Engagements
  • neue Kunst, Kunst zu machen (the Art of Production of Art)

sowie das großartige, kleine, feine, schöne, private, öffentliche Netz, das alles verbindet und damit erst möglich macht. Beim Camp wird es neben einem offenen BarCamp/Web-Bereich eigens eingerichtete, kuratierte Räume geben, in denen die zentrale Themen des a&b-Festivals aufgegriffen und diskutiert werden.


Morgen abend werden wir im mixxt-Netzwerk die erste Runde der verfügbaren Plätze für das atoms&bits-Camp freigeben.

Um zu vermeiden, dass alle verfügbaren Plätze in kürzester Zeit ausgebucht sind, werden wir Menschen auch über andere Kanäle als das twitter– und mixxt-Universum einladen und ihnen eine Anmeldung über alternative Wege ermöglichen. Die Teilnehmerliste bei mixxt ist deswegen zunächst auf 150 Plätze begrenzt.

Link zur Anmeldung zum Camp bei mixxt: Camp – Samstag und Camp – Sonntag.

Ganz besonders freuen wir uns über Anmeldungen per Postkarte ans a&b-Camp, c/o Studio70, Kottbusser Damm 70, 10967 Berlin. Alternativ ist eine Anmeldung per E-Mail an camp [ätt] atomsandbits.net möglich. It’s up to you!


Alle Informationen zur Location, zum Inhalt und vor allem auch zum Festival findet ihr im mixxt-Netzwerk und auf unserer Website http://atomsandbits.net, die von Tag zu Tag bunter und voller wird :)


Wer sich am Gelingen von Festival und/oder Camp beteiligen möchte, ist natürlich herzlich willkommen! Freiwillige Helfer für Auf- und Abbau oder Empfang dürfen sich hier verewigen: Camp – Organisation. Informationen über eigene Veranstaltungen im Rahmen des Festivals, egal an welchem Ort der Welt, haben wir hier zusammengestellt: Mitmachen.

Wer sich zu einem Thema besonders einbringen oder Fragen im Vorfeld klären möchte, kann sich an die entsprechenden Themenverantworlichen (unter “Team – Tracks”) wenden. Diesen stehen darüber hinaus weitere Teilnehmerkontingente zur Verfügung.


Einige Sponsoren (wie T-Systems MMS, Blogpiloten, trabayo oder t3n – Herzlichen Dank an euch!) sind schon an Bord, wir suchen allerdings noch nach weiterer finanzieller, infrastruktureller und kulinarischer Unterstützung. Anfragen und Hinweise nehmen wir gerne unter sponsoring [ätt] atomsandbits.net entgegen.


Zur Bundestagswahl wird es am Sonntag im Anschluss an das Camp eine große Wahlparty mit Berichterstattung und Liveschaltungen in der Festivalzentrale “Betahaus” geben, die direkt neben der Camp-Location liegt.

Eine große Bitte: Wer am Tag der Wahl nicht in die Nähe seines Wahllokales kommt, möge doch bitte schon heute die erforderlichen Briefwahlunterlagen anfordern (geht prima online, für Berlin z.B. hier) und seine Stimme nicht an Horst Schlämmer verschenken!

Spread the word!

Eine Verbreitung dieses Texte ist ausdrücklich erwünscht! Eigene Berichte am Besten mit #anb oder #atomsandbits taggen, und auf der Berichte-Seite eintragen.

Save the date: 26/27 Sept Barcamp “Atoms & Bits”


Update (26.August): We’re getting there! Official announcements both on my blog and (so far in German only) on the atoms&bits website.

Note: We’re still in a very early planning stage, so please take this with some caution, it’s all very much in flow at this point.

Update (18. August):

  • Locations are confirmed: A&B Camp will be held at IMA Design Village, Betahaus will be the central hub for A&B Festival Berlin. Both are right next to each other for your convenience.
  • Sponsorship info is ready to be mailed out the next couple of days. We have very good sponsorship conditions and are looking for sponsors who fit the event. Sounds like you fit that description? Please drop me a line (peter@thewavingcat.com)!
  • Theme tracks: While A&B Camp sticks with the topics outlined below, A&B Festival will have five consistent theme tracks: Coworking, DIY/Maker, OpenEverything, Politics, Production of Art. Of course we’ll be weaving some kind of online component into many of the events.
  • Plenty of events are confirmed and being planned. Not giving any of that away yet because the website and program will be online in the next couple of days, but trust me, there’s some wicked stuff.

Updates (5. August):

  • Name: It’s official, the name will be “Atoms & Bits”. This will be the theme for both the larger festival and the concrete camp.
  • Twitter: updates via @atomsandbits
  • Hashtag: #atomsandbits or short: #anb.
  • Festival: Want to run your own event as part of the festival? Drop us a line to tell us about it and to learn about our next planning meetup: contact@atomsandbits.net
  • Camp: Won’t be called Barcamp since we’re going to tweak the format a little, but will be run on the same principles; difference: we’ll have sort-of curated dedicated rooms/tracks for some key topics (Coworking, DIY and Open Everything).
  • Topics: At the A&B Camp pretty much as outlined in the first draft. At the A&B Festival there are going to be additional events around art&culture as well as politics.
  • Party: Yes. (Details TBA.)
  • Photos/Who Are You?: A complete list of everybody involved will be on the website (see below). Until then, you can get an impression through these A&B photos on Flickr.
  • How to get involved: See below. For participants, we’ll announce the registration process soon. For sponsors, we’re putting together very decent sponsor packages. Until we have the website up and running, feel free to get in touch with me (peter@thewavingcat.com) and I’ll hook you up with the right info or right people. Please let me know if you’re interested in sponsoring primarily the camp or the whole festival.
  • Website: Yes. Very, very soon. Promise. www.atomsandbits.net
  • Logo, claim, press contacts & more info: Yes. Very, very soon. Promise.

Conference Season

The divide between online and offline world doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to most of us; neither does the divide between private and professional lives make a whole lot of sense to mobile laptop workers and coworkers; designers, scientists, musicians and other creatives are discovering and (in the best sense) exploiting the advantages of open source principles; and with open source hardware, even the barriers between the hardcore techie world and the rest of us out here are falling. (Arduino, anyone?)

All this, plus our love of the Barcamp unconference format made us want to run a really neat event. And now we found the perfect excuse to do so. So here goes what we’re thinking about – again, we’re in a very early stage, and none of this is confirmed yet – and how we’d like to combine all these aspects in one event. As an overarching theme, we picked the working title Atoms & Bits, referring to the blurring boundaries of online and offline world; not sure yet what it’ll be called in the end.

So, hopefully, on the last September weekend (26/27 Sept 2009) the following will be happening in Berlin (and at connected events all over Germany, Europe and worldwide):

  • Barcamp
    A classic barcamp, no topical limits. This will be the frame, or rather umbrella, for the event. Let’s see if we can use the name barcamp with all the modifications to the format, or if we’ll call it some-or-another camp; details to be discussed. The important part is, The Rules Of Barcamp apply.
  • Maker/DIY/Tinker Track
    a room (or track, or bunch of sessions) full of exploring the tinker and bausteln sphere, Arduinos, MAKEZINE-style stuff, maybe a 3d printer or two. This could also include some power stitching or guerilla knitting, of course. No limits.
  • Open Everything Global
    Open Everything will have a global event on Sept 26. Open Everything is a great initiative taking open source principals and practices out of the software sphere and into other areas like design, fashion, science, business – you name it. We’re talking to the Open Everything Berlin crew and they’ve signaled interest, so let’s see if we can put this together. At the last global Open Everything, we witnessed some pretty fun handovers via livestream from HongKong to Berlin and then off to (I believe) the US. A room is reserved for Open Everything.
  • Breakout Festival
    Also a global event, Breakout Festival is all about coworking (which personally I’ve been really interested in lately). With the Studio70 crew, Hallenprojekt.de and other coworking spaces in Berlin, we’d like to take part in Breakout, and what better opportunity the combining both events. Breakout lasts for a month (17 Sept to 16 Oct), so our Berlin event will fit right in. At least a room (or the cafe?) will be dedicated to discussing coworking and working on the concept. Edit: Sebastian just reminded me (thanks!) that this track is only a small part of the local activities within Breakout. There’s more, and there’ll also be more events the day before. (Some info over at Sebastian’s blog [de].)
  • Breakaway rooms
    Inspired to plan or code something right there and then? If the location allows, we’ll also have breakaway rooms to dig in and work on stuff. After all, it’d be great to come out of this weekend with some concrete results at hand.

In general we feel that we should have some real results from this weekend. Get stuff done! So I’d like to encourage folks to stream or record sessions, and why not do brief interviews with the speakers and participants at the end of a session; I’m sure we can collect all the stuff and share it afterwards.

That said, and again with all the disclaimers noted at the beginning, Nicole and others and I will try our best to get this set up. And we’ll do all we can to make it rock.

Wanna get involved? We’ll be setting up a website and mixxt network soon; until then, feel free to get in touch via email (peter@thewavingcat.com), contact form or Twitter (@thewavingcat).

How to get involved?

  • As a sponsor: Barcamps are 100% non-commercial and free. That only works with your help. We need to pay for catering, internet, insurance, location. The currency we can pay you back, or rather pay it forward, is by links. We’ll ask the participants to blog and twitter about you. It’s a good audience. Sounds good to you? Please get in touch (peter@thewavingcat.com).
  • As a co-organizer, helping hand, volunteer: You’re the ones keeping it all together. We’ll be trying to make it as easy and smooth for everybody as possible. We can’t pay you (we don’t get paid either), but you’ll be part of something cool. Wanna help out? Get in touch!
  • As a participant: You’re the most important part of the event. You make it or break it. Yet, please wait a little bit, we’ll set up a system to handle registrations. (Thanks!)

Update 29 July 09: Comments were closed automatically after 14 days, now commenting is back open for another 14 days. Sorry, my bad. Also, more – and more concrete – info about barcamp, festival and how it all fits together very, very soon. Within a few days. For really up-to-date info, please follow @atomsandbits, but I’ll be posting an update here, too.

Photo by Boogah (Creative Commons)

Music, Video, Links: Some Brainteasers for the Weekend


Hey there. Since an appointment just got cancelled I figured I might as well put together a post with some brainteasers and fun stuff I stumbled upon over the last couple of days. In other words: Welcome the weekend!

First up, I strongly recommend you check out TheSixtyOne, a great music discovery and sharing service. The service comes with a lot of built-in challenges, making music discovery even more playful than other services. (Yes, you can level up, too.) It’s as interactive as it could possible be, and therefor pretty much addictive. It’s worth it, too. Also, you can also choose to browse Creative Commons licensed music only, which I always find neat. Particularly, and despite the NSFW title, I recommend this song:

Also, Us Now is a great 60 min documentary about grassroots initiatives and social media. I haven’t yet managed to finish the whole movie, but I’ll definitively watch the rest this weekend:

Us Now and the next recommendation, Brain Pickings, via my buddy Johannes Kleske. Brain Pickings is a blog full of true brainteasers and awesome stuff. Somewhat along the same line, also more geared towards trends & design, is PicoCool by Emily Chang, which just was relaunched.

In other news:

  • Thomas Praus and I will be taking sponsors for Likemind Berlin (the next month or two are covered, but afterwards it’s your chance – it’s the best, cheapest and most fun sponsorship you could wish for). Get in touch via Twitter (@thewavingcat) or email (peter at thewavingcat.com).
  • Sunday, 7 June is election day for the European elections. This is important; if you live in the EU, please vote. If you don’t vote, stop reading this blog ;) On Youtube, you can find plenty of hilarious election campaign TV ads (German clips; it’s really unbelievable what kind of videos the parties produce.)
  • Next week at Deutsche Welle’s Global Media Forum (GMF) I’ll be moderating a panel on Citizen Journalism and Freedom Of Speech with interesting and incredibly brave bloggers, activists and citizen journalists.
  • Being around the corner for GMF anyway, I surely won’t miss out on BarcampCologne3 (hashtag #bcc3). If you’re there, say hi!

That said, have a great weekend.

Meet up at Open Space Dresden, Barcamp Hamburg, LeWeb Paris


Image Berlinblase by flickr user dotdean, creative commons by-ncOver the next few weeks, I’ll be on the road a fair bit to attend exciting events. Partly this will be a paid gig, but mostly it’s out of pure interest. So what’s the plan? I’ll be at three conferences (see below) to meet up with cool folks, to blog, twitter and – most importantly – to shoot a whole lot of interviews.

I’m really psyched about the great feedback we’ve been getting for our conference coverage on Berlinblase, which is after all a pure fun project by a bunch of folks who’re passionate about the web (here’s who we are). So while I’m at the conferences, I’ll be trying to provide as much inside coverage from the events as I can, and some others of the Berlinblase crew will be around as well. (Some of the coverage will be in German, particularly of LeWeb, some in English. We’ll have to play that part by ear. If you have a strong opinion about the language, please let me know.)

To cut a long story short: The next few weeks will be busy, but a blast. Here’s what’s going to happen:

Dresden Future CommunityFirst up (20 Nov) I’ll be at Dresden Open Space, where it’s all about the impact of new technologies on society. Cool stuff indeed! If everything works out as planned, Steffen Büffel and I will be taping interviews galore. (Disclosure: I’ll be there for T-Systems, who also organize the event. Thanks, Marcella, for putting it all together!)

Barcamp Hamburg 2Just two days later (22-23 Nov), Barcamp Hamburg 2 will hopefully be a blast. Plenty of friends to catch up with, and hopefully plenty of new folks to meet as well. It should be interesting to see how the different size plays out – while Barcamp Berlin 3 had about 500-600 attendees per day, Barcamp Hamburg will be in the 200-300 region.

LeWeb ParisIn December (9-10 Dec) it’s time to head over to LeWeb Paris, which I’m really excited about. From what I hear (and judging by the list of speakers (PDF)) LeWeb really is a league of its own. What I’m particularly curious about is the difference to Web 2.0 Expo Berlin: Whereas Web 2.0 Expo is a series of conference that started out with (and still has) a strong U.S. focus, LeWeb is as European as it gets. Never mind the speaker overlap with Web 2.0 Expo ;) (Thanks to Stephanie Booth and the LeWeb press team, you guys are doing an amazing job.)

If you’re at any of those events, make sure to say hi! To make the coordination easier, why not connect on Dopplr or Twitter?

Image Berlinblase (top) by dotdean, licensed under Creative Commons (by-nc)

Two interviews: Likemind in NYTimes, Berlinblase on Trackback


Usually I don’t get interviewed often, but rather interviewing others, like for Berlinblase or Blogpiloten. So you can imagine I was pretty surprised to show up in two traditional media yesterday.

A brief, but fun email interview with the New York Times about likemind (which I had the chance to co-host recently – thanks Henrik!) got me a quote in the NYTimes Fashion & Style section, ranting about professional networking:

TO Erin Middleton, a 27-year-old brand strategist in Dallas, the word “networking” calls to mind “stodgy business types in suits,” who are “very uncomfortable and poor at engaging conversation,” she said in an e-mail message. Melissa Clark, an advertising account manager in Minneapolis, said there is “something smarmy” about the word. Peter Bihr, 28, a media consultant in Berlin, was even stronger in his denunciation. “ ‘Networking,’ as a word, makes me feel like I get a physical reaction, I hate the term so much,” he wrote in an e-mail message. “It sounds all like strategically talking to people and trying to be their friends. It’s not authentic.” So, what exactly, are these three doing at 8 a.m. on the third Friday of each month, meeting with other young professionals at their local coffeehouse? They are participating in likemind, a monthly kaffeeklatsch for creative professionals, held in 55 cities around the world, including Mumbai, São Paulo, Shanghai, and Malmo, Sweden.

The article is a fun read: That Business Card Won’t Fly Here.

Then, Saturday evening I was invited over to Potsdam for an interview with Radio Trackback to chat with Marcus Richter about Web 2.0 Expo, Barcamp and, most of all, our collaborative content mashup Berlinblase. This was, I think, my first radio interview, and I loved the atmosphere in and around the studio. There’s not much going on at the station’s grounds, so it’s very calm and quiet, and everybody was quite easy-going. Anyway, you can listen to the interview here (roughly seven minutes from 5:40 to 12:20).

Also, here’s a pic I took while we got ready (more here):

Radio Trackback interview about Berlinblase

(Thanks, Marcus!)