TagThird Wave Berlin

Third Wave: We Can Has Website!

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Third Wave - digital strategy consultancy

A screenshot of our freshly launched website (www.thirdwaveberlin.com). Thanks and big props to Yourneighbours for the design and Fabian Mürmann for the development!

It’s official: We just launched the website for our company. As is usual, work kind of got in the way of launching earlier, but we wanted to get it really right before launching something half-finished. So, some four months after we got to work for our clients we now have a website, and it turns out to be quite the beauty I think – thanks to our friends and neighbors Yourneighbours (design) and Fabian Mürmann (development)!

Judging by the attention from design blogs the site has gotten already, it seems like we’re on to something there. (Yay!)

So what is it all about? You’ll find important announcements (highlighted blog posts) on top. At the time I’m writing this it shows the very first highlighted post, a quote by William Gibson. The photograph, believe it or not, shows Mr Gibson at very young age. Yes, we’re that nerdy. And I love it.

Below, there are two blogposts (sticky), then a line of brief background info about what we do as well as some links to learn more about us. This is followed by another four blog posts (chronological), a cute bird announcing our most recent company tweet as well as the search form and (if you’re into that kind of thing) a newsletter registration form.

We try to keep the site as simple as possible and evolve it from here.

It’s official: our company has a home now. Like.

startup tools for collaboration and mobility

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Being a bit of a geek, I’m always interested in which tools & techniques people use to go about their things. So it’s only fair I also share mine. Here’s a quick snapshot of how we’ve been organizing our company. Keep in mind, what works for our agency of three, Third Wave, may or may not work in your context.

For us, collaboration and mobility are key requirements, so besides a few exceptions working exclusively local isn’t really an option.

Experiment & share your experiences!

Email: Nothing beats Google Mail at this point. Period. Google Apps allow you to use Gmail with your own domain.

Project management: That’s a much more tricky one, as different needs and preferences both inside and outside the company play a role. We’re betting on Basecamp, the web-based project management tool by 37Signals. It’s relatively light-weight, has a fairly comprehensive UI and it’s heavily based on email, which makes it easy to use even when you’re on your phone or extremely low bandwidth (think train rides). This also makes it easier for clients to get involved if they choose to. Hands down the only annoying thing I found so far is that you sometimes have to change through several information layers when moving from one project to another – but it’s doable.

Contact management: Again, we’re going with 37 Signal’s Highrise. Not sure how happy I am with this solution yet. Then again, I don’t know anything better either, so there you go.

Chat & ongoing discussions: There’s always some things that require some discussion, so you need some kind of chat. Skype is very powerful, but also quite invasive. For good measure we’ve been using the third 37Signals product, Campfire. Not all that powerful, but it does the job. Of all the 37Signals tools we use, this is the first I’d give up, but it’s really ok.

Fluid: With all these browser-based services, the tab overkill gets even worse, so you might want to pull some of them out of the browser and into their own app. Fluid for Mac does just that. Make sure to learn how to work the settings and customize them to your needs. If you don’t it’s the software from hell, but once it works it’s a charm.

Phone: Still looking for the best Voip solution, particularly since all of us will be traveling a lot. So far, we’re old school: landline and cell phone, occasionally a Skype call.

Twitter: We have a shared Twitter account (@thirdwaveberlin), but everybody uses their own preferred tool to manage that one.

Files: Dropbox can be very useful in sharing larger files while working on a project.

No big surprises in the whole thing I guess. Always keep in mind that certain projects have security requirements that may not be met by cloud services. Where that isn’t an issue, the setup described above can be enough to get you going.

Brief updates & announcements (too much going on)

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space invaders - under attack

There’s so much going on at the moment that I’d love to write about at length, and so little time. So here’s the super-brief version, aka bullet points.

  • Was at Picnic 2010. Picnic is one of those conferences that I wanted to attend for a long time, and just had the chance. On super short notice I went to Amsterdam and covered the conference for berlinblase.de, if only via Twitter. I had a great day there (or two half-days, rather). Hope to be back next year to cover it more extensively.
  • The program for Drumbeat Festival (3-5 November, Barcelona) is snapping into focus. Drumbeat is Mozilla’s recent open web initiative, the festival in Barcelona will focus on the intersection of open web and education, so it should be cool. Make sure to say hi if you’re around.
  • We’re bringing the Awesome Foundation to Berlin. More updates soon!
  • We announced our company name,Third Wave Berlin, and it took hardly a couple of days till someone (not doing his homework and not warranting a link) invoked Godwin. Was impressed by the accuracy of Godwin’s Law. Also, amused. And since haters gonna hate and playas gonna play, we’ll have a cup of great coffee and focus on a great start by officially kicking off Monday in a week.
  • Free Culture Research Conference 2010 is going to happen 8-9 October in Berlin. I’m not involved here, but if you have any academic interest in free culture, you might want to attend the conference or talk to Michelle.
  • If you know of great apartments in Berlin, preferably in Kreuzberg or around so-called Kreuzkölln, please let me know. Right now a whole bunch of friends is about to move to Berlin and any hints are much appreciated. Thanks!

Hope to blog more detailed again soon; for now I wish you a relaxed Sunday and a great start into the week. Or like David recently said: “It’s Monday. Let’s change the world.”

Image by gnackgnackgnack (Some Rights Reserved)