Last weekend’s uncon­fer­ence at Microsoft in Vienna was the biggest Aus­trian Bar­camp so far — the social media scene is grow­ing, inter­est in social media plat­forms, new tech­nolo­gies and the par­a­digm shift in mar­ket­ing has increased immensely over the last cou­ple of months. This is not a big sur­prise: more and more peo­ple under­stand that the web 2.0 is not about a new gen­er­a­tion of buzz­words that pol­lute the same old pow­er­point pre­sen­ta­tions, but about a fun­da­men­tal par­a­digm shift in the way com­pa­nies com­mu­ni­cate with their customers:

The change I’m talk­ing about extends to many areas, from indus­try to pol­i­tics. Here in Aus­tria, we can only dream about the level of trans­parency in the US when it comes to pub­lic fund­ing and doc­u­ment­ing gov­ern­men­tal expenses. I hope this will change — Max’ talk on pub­lic data was very inspir­ing, so let’s set the fat ass of our gov­ern­ment in motion. Now.

All in all, I enjoyed the week­end a lot, so thanks to the organ­is­ers and to Microsoft Aus­tria for host­ing the Bar­camp Vienna 2010. Many of the pre­sen­ta­tions prove one of my strongest points by the way: com­pa­nies that sell legit­i­mate prod­ucts and ser­vices — and by legit­i­mate I mean the qual­ity as well as eth­i­cal and envi­ron­men­tal pro­duc­tion stan­dards — can har­ness amaz­ing new ways of get­ting in touch with their customers.

But if your busi­ness model relies on secrecy and lack of infor­ma­tion, the power of trans­parency fueled by the social web is bound to become your Water­loo. In other words: Social media forces com­pa­nies to stop lying to their cus­tomers, which is great.