Social Media Week on stage

What impressive venues for the Social Media Week (SMWHH) in Hamburg! Altonaer Museum. Altonaer Theater. University of Applied Sciences. It was a week where Social Media definitely walked on culture. And what a big stage! The Senator for Culture and Media, Dr. Carsten Brosda, spoke at the opening event, followed by Toby Daniels, the founder of the Social Media Week. And on Thursday even the Mayor of Hamburg, Peter Tschentscher, came by.

I visited the conference for the first time, and have to say: I am thrilled. Under the global slogan “With great influence comes great responsibility”, there was so much choice of great topics that it was hard for me to decide which talks to attend. But folks, I somehow managed. Here are my “top of the tops” talks that made it to our DevBlog.

Fight the German “Angst”

Are Germans particularly hostile to technology? Anna and Sven from Neon Gold Innovations dealt with this topic in a very exciting talk.

Germans worry: digitalization is everywhere.

  • Even when we were little, our parents told us: the internet is evil.
  • When Google cars drove through our streets and took pictures, we were scared what they would do with these data.
  • We do have an Amazon Alexa, but its plug is pulled out, and only connected when we wanna know about the weather forecast.

But a fear actually doesn’t really exist. We are very innovative, and pioneers in many technical areas, such as autonomous driving or artificial intelligence. But we don’t do anything with it.

Why the frustration about technology?

  • Bad communication
  • Too high expectations result in frustration
  • Negative reporting predominates
  • Missing culture of failure in companies
  • Scandals shake user trust

Result: Germans are ambivalent. The desire is definitely there to try out and use new things, but we’re afraid of the consequences. Fight the German ambivalence (of technology)! Healthy scepticism is great, but we still have to turn our innovations into products.

Digital Trend Scouting 2019: What’s next in Social?

Daniel Rehn (achtung! gmbh) told us about which developments are finally picking up speed in Germany in 2019. By comparing trends, he gave nice insights where we stand and what we should really deal with in the long run. A very entertaining talk - and cat gifs must have their place in slides, don’t they? 😉

So here are the trends:

Convenience vs Privacy. We make ourselves vulnerable. Our data is out there. On Facebook. On WhatsApp. On Fortnite. Even if these services are hacked, we don’t stop using these media. We’re too convenient. Right now, it doesn’t hurt enough.

Forum Romanum vs Dark Social. It’s all about dark social.

News Feeds vs Stories. Instagram stories are booming. The newsfeed is dead - long live the stories.

Video on demand vs linear offers. Streaming will split up. Which providers do we really need to watch a specific series? Television cannot be killed.

In a panel discussion, Ulrike, Harald, Marc, and Vera talked about the HR trends in 2019.

Here’s what I learnt:

  • Companies have to define what they stand for, show personality, and must be visible for candidates.
  • HR is facing a change process. They suddenly have to be hybrids of data analysts, social media managers, HR experts.
  • We currently have an employee market. Employees can choose where they’d like to work.
  • The search for the job title is dead. It’s about skills. (Unless you’re a Java developer. Then you’ll be attacked and kidnapped on the street. 😉)
  • Transparency of salary is important.
  • Managers need to make their departments attractive.

Sum it up, babe!

Phew, this became long already. And there’s so much more I took away from two (of three) conference days. It definitely enlightened me in so many ways. I wouldn’t have missed this conference. Thanks to the organizers and speakers! You rocked this!

About the author

Birgit Bader is an experienced Technical Communicator. Her heart beats for UI writing, localization, and API documentation.