Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Berlin Pub Talk

Last evening was quite eventful... an acquaintance works in political/ social media, and asked if I wanted to tag along to a discussion forum.  The topic was hate speech in social media, and how to deal with it as both an organization and individual.  It was all super interesting, with a good mixture of guest panelist monologues and audience participation (or interruption, in some cases :D ).  This was definitely a much different group of people than the groups I normally associate with... let's just say the evening was started off with the moderator welcoming the "speakers of the press"... and me shifting nervously in my chair, hoping no one would notice the stray financial analyst in the room who can't even identify the current US Secretary of Defense.

One of the most interesting discussions concerned the extent of free speech on Facebook in Germany vs. the US.  Of course it's always entertaining hearing people talk about the US, and hearing an outsider's opinion of "my" country.  Evidently there's quite a bit more tolerance of online free speech in the US than there is in Germany... so the big question for the German social media leaders is:  to what extent should an American service provider (i.e Facebook) cater to German laws?  Is it Facebook's responsibility to tailor their product based on the country in which their service is?  Or is it the country's responsibility to deal with it, create their platforms, etc.?  

Another observation is that my German definitely isn't as good as I thought it was... I feel kind of like I did when I first moved to Germany and had an extremely difficult time with the "church lingo."  These are the types of words you just aren't exposed to in school, and definitely have to learn as you go.  So this is a much-needed challenge, as I always love learning something new and haven't really been pushed or challenged on an intellectual level in a while.  Score!!  :D

Anyway.  How do you know you're in a room full of social media gurus and journalists?  By comments such as these...

*spoken in panic*  "Does anyone know what the #hashtag for tonight is?  Do we have an official #hashtag?!"

"I haven't tweeted my location tonight... I don't want any trolls showing up."

"OMG!  The Russian press office re-tweeted me!!!"

#pubtalk #socialmedia

Monday, October 03, 2016

Blast to the Past!

Last weekend, I was in my old hometown for a very long weekend!  It was weird being back there, seeing old friends, being so close to my old work, and driving the familiar Autobahn routes.  Though I love it in Berlin, I think western Germany will always feel like home, in a way.  After all, I spent 8 years of my life there... had my first professional job there, my first apartment, my first car.  Here are a few impressions from my time back "home."

On Saturday, I saw my old coworker at Photokina - the biggest imaging trade show, where both Canon and Zeiss had stands, of course!  Ahhh - worlds colliding!  It was so much fun getting to see her again.  :)  She even said they're looking for someone in Finance... hmmm.... :)

One of the bridges leading to the Kölner Dom is completele covered in locks... it's beautiful how bright they are - glistening in the sun!

*bling bling*

The Kölner Dom... just as amazing as it's always been!  We were definitely impressed!

Lego needs to create a Kölner Dom set... just my humble opinion...

Yes... we climbed the 500+ steps to the top... yes, it was creepy... yes, we were out of breath... yes, I need to start exercising... yes, it was extremely high... yes, I envisioned it crumbling to the ground... yes, it was definitely worth it!  :)

Next stop... the Lindt Chocolate Museum!  My favorite part was the production line... and of course the samples at the end. :)

It's snack time!

I also visited one of my all-time best friends from back "home", but unfortunately don't have any pictures... I'll blame it on her four-year-old who kept distracting me and correcting me German... or her two-year-old who kept peeing all over the floor... or her 6-month-old who was terrified of me and would inevitably start screaming if I even looked at her.  Needless to say... it was a crazy, busy, amazing visit!

#Cologne #Köln #NRW #Photokina #Schokoladenmuseum