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Tuesday, November 8, 2005

Web Montag in Cologne

Yesterday I went to meet other bloggers and web entrepreneurs of all kinds at the “Web Montag” (Web Monday) in the Hallmackenreuther, Cologne. The meeting was organized by Tim Bonnemann via a Wiki. Tim currently lives in Silicon Valley, and the conferences and meetings there inspired him to do similar for Germany. The theme of the evening was “Web 2.0”, and with around 60-80 attendants exceeded Tim’s expectations.

Even more interesting than the demos to me were the conversations before and after. I had the chance to talk to Nico Lumma, man behind, one of Germany’s most popular blogging portals. Also, I met Dirk Olbertz, who’s the owner of the domain – and Google surely wants to have that one (a seemingly never-ending law suit’s in progress).

Siegfried Becker

Also, Siggi Becker of the German Was Wyrd blog was there. He introduced me to some fascinating topics, like technological pre-singularity and post-singularity (emphasizing Kurzweil did not invent the idea of a singularity). I’ll have to read his blog more often to get a grip on his philosophy. Siggi told me he’s not writing about the future, but for the future. One day, he might be the one who covered the topics people search about then. The phrase “Web 3.0” (found on his blog) is a good example; Siggi tries to see the big picture and thinks a few steps ahead.

Siggi pointed out this George Dyson quote – he thinks it shows a great deal of how much Google is getting into AI (hiring some of AI’s most well-known experts along the way, like Ramanathan V. Guha):

“We are not scanning all those books to be read by people,” explained one of my hosts after my talk. “We are scanning them to be read by an AI.”

Siggi also shows interest in Search Engine Optimization. On his blog, he writes (I’m paraphrasing): “What happens once every website is optimized equal? Then it’s the dawn of Relevance and her sister Intelligence... and when that hour arrives, you better make sure you’ve something to say.”

Mario Sixtus

Siggi’s friend Mario Sixtus offered some very interesting insights as well. He’s a blogger and journalist and writes for Technology Review and other German publications. He questioned Stefan Kellner (creator of, an online wifi location service) on the uses of his service. Mario agreed blogging (and indeed, Web 2.0) was much more of a social phenomenon than a technical one.


One of the demos, presented by Benjamin Schwenk, was BrowserPool. This site offers a free software which allows you to test-drive your website on different Operating Systems using different browsers (say, Mac Safari, or Linux Konqueror). You can also install any kind of software on the machines you’ll access – the system will even survive if you delete the kernel (it will repair itself after minutes).

New “Web Mondays” may follow.

Photos are available.


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