The Big #rp Review: re:publica 2007 – Life on the Web

Ten year of re:publica! Join us, as we go back in time through the years... In the coming weeks and months leading up to #rpTEN, we'll be reviewing all past re:publica events and reflect on the key themes and questions of those years. What moved and inspired us (and, hopefully, you as well) then? What were the decisive events framing each year?

Let's start way back at the beginning with #rp07, the first ever re:publica! Back then, 11 – 13 April 07, more than double the expected 300 bloggers gathered at the Kalkscheune in Berlin-Mitte under the motto "Life in the net". In the end, nearly 700 people attended! #rp founder Markus Beckedahl remembers how he spent the Easter vacation with #rp founder Andreas Gebhard to manually type in the account details of all participants since there was no ticketing system yet...

But how did it all start? “By 2006, German blogs had established themselves to a point where, as well as having entered the general public's conscience, their very own topics and subjects of discussion had begun to surface. It was about time to bring the so-called 'blogosphere' from the virtual into the physical world. Following a couple of beers, the idea for a blogger meet-up was born – and a couple more beers later the event was christened: re:publica.” A little while later, we wrote.

2007 was marked by two events in particular: the announcement of the iPhone in January and the German Federal Government's daft bill on data retention. The latter was subject of many talks and discussion at re:publica. Andreas Gebhard remembers some of the defining questions permeating the #rp07 event programme (check out the first #rp07 website): “What does it mean for life on the web, when all communication data is stored for a minimum of six months to give security services access to it?”, “How can weblogs generate money?”, and “Are we in need of new ethics and new rules of communications and interaction, when dealing with the Internet?”

In terms of visuals, all those attending the first re:publica (and subsequent ones) are sure to remember the glorious SMS Wall! The ingenious, interactive conference feature for participant real-time feedback and exchange was built and installed by Max Winde and further developed over the next few #rp events. #rp founder Johnny Haeusler remembers “Twitter via SMS – everyone was hooked.” He also remembers the first 'Netbooks', the Asus Eee PCs: “Some folks up and left during #rp07 to buy themselves one.”

While it's great to go down memory lane with the four re:publica founders, we also want to hear from you. What are your fondest memories from past #rp conferences? A memorable talk, a funny anecdote, the start of a deep Twitter friendship?

Whatever comes to mind, let us know! Use hashtags #rpRevue and #rp07 (resp. the one for each re:publica) for a short-but-sweet tweet or send us an email at redaktion [ at ] re-publica.de. We look forward to reading your stories (and pictures). To bring back memories have a look at some of the impressions back then taken from the #rp07 group on Flickr.

"We don't need social networks" by paulinepauline (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Photo by paulinepauline (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Photo by plomlompom (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Lux! Photo by Dominik Schwind (CC BY 2.0)

Photo above by plomlompom (CC BY-NC 2.0)