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February 20, 2014

Subtitle: Manage your expectations, Dominik

As some of you might know, I moved back to my home town a couple of weeks ago. Now I did expect it to be a social media wasteland,[1] so when I decided I wanted to look for my kind people[2] I naturally looked to the next bigger city, which happens to be Basel, over on the other side of the border.

After all, Basel is a pretty international, bigger city that is even exporting its trade fairs, where they become coke-filled snob orgies.[3]

So I did what I thought would be a good way to meet those kind of people: I tried to look up web and social media events for Basel on Google and meetup.com. [insert tumbleweed.gif here]
Finally I found something interesting: an event on meetup.com, in a bar above a restaurant in a good, hipster-y neighborhood of Basel with about 20 people attending at the time I saw it on meetup.com. A couple of talks, then socializing – I basically expected something like a Webmontag.[4] So I put that thing on my calendar and then pretty much forgot about it until my calendar reminded me about it.

So I took the train into town right after work, walked to the venue and started to become suspicious. There were a lot of people. Like triple-digits lot. The dress code was obviously business casual[5] and nobody was fumbling with their phone. For a moment I thought I might be at the wrong place, but I checked again and no, here I was. I looked at Foursquare – no checkin. What. Roughly 200 people at a web event, no checkin. After listening to a speaker for a short while I decided against staying and went back home.

When I got home, I checked Twitter – only about three tweets. This is completely baffling to me. At a time where every silly TV show has Twitter jokes and an official hashtag I did not expect to walk into a web event that wasn’t connected in this way. But whatever they do – they seem to be successful. Getting 200 people together to listen to web topics is quite something – and maybe I’ll go next time, this time knowing it’s not a casual hangout with beer and soda and might even like it.

  1. I managed to be Foursquare mayor at the most frequented places in town within a couple of days and all local tweets seem to be from me, too.  ↩

  2. You know who you are. Your watercooler topic this morning is the Facebook/WhatsApp deal and not some sportsball event. You might roll your eyes at doge but you know what it is. Even if you might not know how to pronounce it.  ↩

  3. Look up “Art Basel Miami” for more details.  ↩

  4. “web monday” an event in several cities in the German-speaking world where web people meet, give and listen to a bunch of talks and mingle afterwards. It’s usually pretty nice.  ↩

  5. I am a bit worried that this wasn’t business casual but Basel casual.  ↩