The past week I mainly spent in Amsterdam at the PICNIC07 conference. It was a very interesting week, not only because of all the presentations and discussions that I attended, but also because I finally got to meet a lot of my online ‘friends’ in real life. A few months ago I actively started Twittering, and through Twitter I got to know a lot of people quite well, without ever meeting several of them in real life. Among many others I finally got to meet Erwin Blom, Holland’s most active Twitterer, who immediately interviewed me with his Nokia E61. The interview (in Dutch):Audioreport Picnic07 #21 – Big in China! (Erwin Blom)
Tuesday was my first day at PICNIC, although it officially opened on Wednesday afternoon. I only spent the morning at the Westergasfabriek (the location of PICNIC), where Spill Group’s Reinout te Brake moderated a panel discussion about Games meet TV. Very interesting to listen to the panelist’ discussion and ideas about the future of gaming. Wednesday I mainly spent working in my hotel room, followed by lunch and meetings with VC funds. I also visited Skoeps, a Dutch online user generated video news site. They sell the films to news organizations and share revenue with the uploaders. In China this won’t work for obvious reasons, but it’s a good idea and the site claims to break even.
On Thursday I was back at PICNIC, where Vincent pulled me into a panel discussion about the whether the future will be zapping or surfing (the answer: surfing). They had been talking among others about Tudou, and I was asked to share our experiences in China with TV and online video. The discussion was broadcasted on Salto TV and (very interesting) also in Second Life. Right after the panel discussion was over Salto did a live interview with me about Tudou and China. Too bad Gary was not there, it would have been even more interesting if he could have also joined the discussion.
Friday was the China day, and that started with Kaiser Kuo (Ogilvy), Jeremy Goldkorn (Danwei.org) and Gary Wang (Tudou.com) gaving presentations and doing a Q&A session. Bill Kung, one of Tudou’s VC’s, was there as well and he could answer the question that Gary got about why VC’s invested in us. After that I was part of a panel about Dutch entrepreneurs in China (together with Jacco Bouw, the CEO of Webpower and Jan Beekwilder, CEO of Tribal), where we shared our experiences about doing business in China.
During lunch Gary and Bill also had the opportunity to test Vincent’s Segway, who wanted a video interview in return (which he of course got). Gary even managed to ‘crash’ the Segway, but luckily did not hurt himself. We also met serial entrepreneur Raymond Spanjar, who is co-founder and Chief Hyving Officer at Holland biggest social networking site Hyves.nl. Quite impressive what he managed to pull off with Hyves, they completely beat all the foreign competitors like MySpace and Facebook in Holland. As someone else remarked, quite similar to what Tudou did with YouTube in China 🙂
I am now at my parents house, trying to catch up on sleep and relaxing a bit. It was quite a busy week, but I enjoyed every minute of it. Most of my pictures (all taken on my Nokia E61i) are on Flickr already, the ones from Picnic07 in this set, the ones from Amsterdam (mainly touristic pictures, that I had never taken before) are here.