the home stretch to WEBMU 2011 in Cologne

As noted on, there are just three weeks left until WEBMU 2011 in Cologne is officially underway. (Unofficially, it gets started with a side trip to Aachen one day earlier.)

Our knowledgeable hosts have designed a stimulating agenda, made accommodation recommendations and even summarized the local Kölner ÖPNV* system for you — all on our discussion board over at Sign up there today, if you haven’t already, to get the full scoop. Any expatriate in Germany blogging in English is most welcome!

*I love how some concepts, like “mass transit” are expressed in English sometimes with just a few syllables, but have huge German counterparts, like Öffentlicher Personennahverkehr. But they retain that reputation for efficiency, deservedly or not, for compacting those ten syllables down to just four in everyday usage. Similar examples:

English German (full) German (shortened)
Trainee Auszubildende(r) Azubi
Public broadcasting fee collection agency Gebühreneinzugszentrale GEZ
Technical Inspection Association Technischer Überwachungs-Verein TÜV
Terms & Conditions Allgemeine Geschäftsbedingungen AGB

WEBMU 2010 — Hamburg, but when?

The polls are open for the next couple of weeks to pick a date for our expatriate blogger meetup in Hamburg. You have about two more weeks to register (if you haven’t already) and indicate which of the proposed weekends works best for you.

If you’re not an expatriate blogger in Germany, but a registered member you know will vouch for you, register anyways and have that member drop me an email.

WEBMU 2010: Hamburg!

The polls have closed: we’re meeting up in Hamburg this year. Next up: deciding when to meet up and getting the details nailed down (like accomodation recommendations and where to eat, and stuff like that).

One place I wouldn’t necessarily recommend: Hotel Stern on the Reeperbahn. You can’t beat the location, if you’re into that sort of thing, but the room itself wasn’t so great. Except for two things:

  1. the price (at least back in December 2005 it was dirt cheap)
  2. the industrial strength shower — amazing water pressure

If you’re an expatriate blogger in Germany, and would like to know more, sign up for our expatriate blogger discussion board. Don’t forget to give us the URL of your own blog in Germany and at least a rough idea of your location in Germany (like the Bundesland or city where you live).

WEBMU 2010: Phase 1 Complete

The planning for our annual Whiny Expat Blogger Meetup (a.k.a. the Whiny Expat Blogger Unmissable Meetup) is coming along nicely. We have democratically decided to choose a venue for this year’s event before nailing down a weekend. The next step is to discuss amongst ourselves the pros and cons of meetup city candidates. This is all happening on our discussion board at — so if you’re an expatriate English-language blogger located in Germany,

  1. sign up on our board, and
  2. participate in the discussion and planning, and
  3. have fun putting faces and voices to the words you read on the screen once the meetup season is upon us.

Two administrative things to note:

  1. New user signups are processed manually by real people (of which I am one). Before approving your membership on the discussion board, we need to look at your blog and make a subjective snap decision whether you appear to be psychotic, robotic, or otherwise unacceptable. So you have to tell us your blog’s internet address. Also, you have to state your location in Germany. If something’s unclear in your membership request, I’ll email you about it. If you look like a robot or don’t respond to my emailed requests for clarification, you don’t get membership on the board. Just so you know.
  2. This second bit applies more to existing members. I am rolling out two enhancements to the code behind the polls on the board tomorrow, Sunday, April 11th, around noon.
    1. Poll results will show your username and how you voted. Note well: past polls will show your username and how you voted, too.
    2. You will be able to change your vote up until the poll closes.

    Why is this important? Sometimes your opinion or situation changes. Or you forget how you voted. Since polls were more or less anonymous, and changing your vote was impossible, these polls were less than ideal for event medium-sized group planning purposes.

Read you on the board, and see you later this year at WEBMU 2010!

WEBMU 2010 gets a shout out

Check out Young Germany’s article on this year’s meetup!

I took a look for the first time at their site today. I think that might have been a real help for us about 10 years ago when I was young applying at German companies in the Detroit area, hoping for a ticket to a return to life in Germany. Just clicking around, I watched a short video about Currywurst — when I saw Curry 36 in their montage of various Berliner Currywurst joints, I smiled remembering our visit there to/with alumni of our first meetup in Bremen.

WEBUM 2009 Munich

Another WEBMU is now behind us. I was very glad to see friends from last the last meetup in Bremen again, and sad that others couldn’t make it this time around. But that’s part of the experience, I guess. Some made it to this one who weren’t at the previous one, and some of those were new to me, and I’m glad to have met them, too.

I’m posting the best of the photos I took to the WEBMU Flickr group graciously administered by Snooker, and ones involving meetuppers will be marked private by default, unless said subjects give the OK to publish them publicly. Sarah and I don’t mind if any of the pictures you took of us are publicly or privately viewable. We’re pretty sure there’s nothing of us terribly incriminating anyone managed to capture.

So now, we get a few months to bask in the glory that this meetup provided, before the voting and planning cycle can start all over again. I’m excited. Big thanks from me to the driving forces behind the planning and execution of this meetup and to all the attendees. Our hosts showed what a great city Munich is to walk around or have a relaxing Biergarten meal and our participants reminded us (yet again) that while all we nominally have in common is being foreign bloggers, when we get together, we have a rockin’ good time.