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SocialMediaCafe Prototyping

I know the meeting to which this post is referring was actually held about 2 weeks ago, but it has been hectic at my end!I met Lloyd at Web2 Berlin when he presented a session on interactions between people and the differences between online and offline interactions (side note: my spell checker refuses to recognize offline, but will recognize online, weird) (well that was what I understood from it). The ultimate goal is to set up a “Social Media Cafe”, a melting pot, if you will, of people from various parts of the social media world who can come together in a social space and enjoy the real world, and gain from the extra value we receive from real world interactions.  To start this process, Lloyd organised a prototyping meeting a few weeks back which I turned up to (albeit a bit late).I was very please with the diversity and mix of people at the meeting, it was very impressive. Nice balance of men and women and a complete mix of backgrounds from BizDevs to SoftDevs and Podcasters to Lawyers, all very exciting. Everyone was agreed that this is a ReallyGoodIdea and should totally go ahead in some form or other.We all split into little groups where we discussed aspects, and my group was discussing projects inside the Social Meida Cafe and we came up with ideas such as individuals there designating themselves as working alone, looking for work, etc, and for projects in the space to be listed as person, non-profit, or commercial, with the spin off concept that the Cafe could project manage and make profit that way by finding resources for projects amongst the diverse congregation.All in all, I’m very excited.

smc 

see more photos at flickr

 

Drama in Berlin

I started this blog for similar underlying reasons to why I have started many other blogs. Things happen in my life that I want to talk about, not necessarily to any specific people, just in general, and the web is a good space for this.

Specifically, however, it was becuase I was at a web conference in Berlin and everyone else had a cool blog and I really needed to get away from the spaces I was using and start afresh. But why the name? Well, that came from Berlin too. You see, I can’t go away anywhere without some form of drama in my life. All my friends tell me this. Its not always bad, and sometimes really cool, but I never come home without an interesting story to tell.

A few weeks ago I was filming for a new TV show (that is currently on hold due to some conflicts of interest) outside the Apple Store at the release of OS X Leopard. I interviewed a bunch of people, just random people, and it was all very exciting. When I eventually edit the footage I’ll post a link here. I thought nothing more of the people I met, they were just interviewees, I never expected to see them again. Then I arrived at the Web2Open stand at the expo in Berlin, and who should I meet but one and two of my interviewees from a few weeks earlier. How crazy is that. Whats more, it turns out that both of them (hi!) are grad students on a year abroad at Imperial College (where I go to college). In Department of Computing (where I study). Under Maja Pantic (who works in Visual Processing and HCI which I am doing my final project in). Which means I would have hopefully met them at a later stage when doing research for my project. How small is the geek world?!

All this Drama too much for you? I’m just getting started. The conference was great, and I might blog about that another time, but this is about the Drama. I headed back to Berlin-Schoenfeld airport to catch my Ryanair flight back home, last flight out of Berlin that night on any carrier at the airport. All is fine, I check in, proceed through passport control (and so out of Germany) and head to the boarding gate. I was 6″ (through some glass) from the tarmac when the ominous information noise was heard followed by “Your flight has been canceled. Please go home.” What?!?!?!?! Suffice to say that there was madness for about 40 minutes while they changed their mind a few times, then admitted to loosing the aircraft due to fly me home, and finally kicked us out the airport. I managed to find a hotel and a flight back to Stansted the following morning for close to £200, and even so I would still miss college and only have a few hours rest before heading to work. Nightmares! Nothing else, however, could be done!

But wait! The Drama is not over. The following morning, whilst sitting on the train I decided to check for my belongings. Purse. Check. Keys. Check. iPhone. Check. Laptop. Check. Passport. Oh Shit. I jumped off the train as the doors were closing, searched my bag. No Luck. I waited frantically for the minibus to the hotel, running across an autobarn to catch it on the way back to avoid a 20 minute wait. Check the room. No dice. Shit. Back to the scene of the crime, Berlin-Schoenfeld. I ran to the passport office (already almost too late for my flight, which was at an airport an hour away), and saw my passport on the back desk, but infront of me was a crazy looking German lady, and given I speak no german I thought it best to wait my turn. Eventually i recovered my passport ran to the next train, and jumped in a taxi at the other end (instead of waiting for the free bus) and managed to check in (without baggage fortunately) minutes before my flight took off.

Like I said, I always do Drama when I’m away.

Web2Open at Web 2 Expo Berlin