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Barcamp Berlin 3: looking back

October 20, 2008 by alex

Last weekend was Barcamp Berlin 3 and I was there, too. This year’s location was the Deutsche Telekom Haupstadtrepräsentanz - an awesome place.

Anyway, the purpose of this post is to summarize the sessions i attended and found worthy to write about. So here we go. Slides are mostly posted in the barcamp wiki.

How to promote your Web 2.0 Application

This first session was held by Michael Sliwinski of nozbe.com - a very energetic talk presenting a couple of tips and tricks to turn the visitors of your web tool into caring users and finally paying customers. Michael has built nozbe for himself and only later started turning into and app for others. His idea(l)s are heavily influenced by the 37signals guys - looks like we operate on the same level as he does :)

Back to his talk, some of his points were: show people how to use our site, show them the benefits hey will have from using your product (not your features, their benefits), tell them why to use this app and not the competition, testimonials are important even though nobody reads them, email still works - send newsletters and special offers - much higher impact than blog posts, people still don’t use or even understand RSS. And most importantly: love your app and show that love to others.


We skipped the next session in order to prepare go through our own presentation titled “getting things written” one last time (ok seriously we had started working on it the day before). We ended up with around 70 slides for a 30 minute talk. I had added a presentation feature to doingtext the week before so we did the entire show straight from the website. We had decided to make this an entertainment show so we started explaining what paper was and how to use it and then applied the principles people use to work on texts with paper (show text to others, comment, highlight, talk about it, view history, merge changes) to the various online tools available (sending ms word documents by email, google docs, writewith, adobe buzzword), then text editos with collaboration features (gobby, subethaedit) and finally presenting doingtext and its communication focused approch to text collaboration.

It looks like the talk was good - we had around 60 people attending and staying until the end of a longer discussion following our presentation.

Today I repeated the same talk at the Webmontag Berlin. Having only 8 minutes of time I ended up rushing through the 70 slides and almost rapping the words in super high speed - earning quite a bit of praise - thanks everyone.

books for freaks

This wasn’t really a presentation but more a everyone talk about their favorite books thing. Here comes everybody (great book about how people gather on the internet, how communities work, how the economy shifts from limited production capabilities to limitless production and much more), but also fictional books. Charles Stross was mentioned as the author of a couple of weird (in the positive sense) sci-fi books (The Atrocity Archives) - will buy one of those soon.

jquery tips & tricks

The presentation itself was actually a bit lame (sorry guys) but it reminded e that I really wanted to try out jQuery. On the next project - promised. $('.item').show().siblings().hide() - pretty slick eh?

our favourite tv series

Very good session for leaning back and watching funny scenes from a couple of tv series. They even mentioned Top Gear - the funniest and most overproduced car magazine ever.

death to the ipod

This one was mostly about a pretty cool gadget called the pacemaker - basically a mobile dj tool that fits in your hand. Comes with 2 decks, crossfader, equalizer, effects, beatcounter, prelistening via a separate headphone out etc. - pretty cool, I even got to test it out for a couple of minutes.

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