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.