BlogOpen 2008 in Bor, Serbia - In den Schluchten des Balkan

Serbian Breakfast: Rolls, Egg with ham and (salty) cheese, yogurt and Vitamin Juice. With that there is Turkish coffee (with the ground coffee still in the bottom of the cup).
We are here in a hotel which is said to be 100 years old a former socialist workers recreation thingy. The food of the catering and in the hotel is excellent and ample.
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The conference itself seems to be rather Mediterranean/Balkanic in the sense that the time plan is only a general suggestion. All people (there are mainly Serbs, extremely few Croats and several Macedonians) are very nice and interested in discussing differences, time lags of the development here (there is hardly not much DSL or Wifi). Bloggers are rather influential, Croatia had a blogger explosion (500.000) because a TV station bought and promoted it. The blogosphere seems to be dominated by teachers (even a principal), freelancerd and academics. Serbia has roughly 20.000 bloggers (pls correct me if I got this wrong.)
Mobbing seems to be common in the Blogosphere in Macedonia, where critical and modernistic bloggers come in conflict with the more nationalistic circles.
Ebusiness is only developing (people buy little online) and online marketing is on the rise. There are no (well known) business blogs in the region. Of course freelancers blog about their business and do that rather professionally. Pseudonyms are common both for legal and conceptual reasons (cyberidentity). Even if in smaller blogospheres like in Macedonia you might also encounter comments on your doorstep because everybody knows everybody

The conference has an extremely high attendance by women, subjectively they are even the larger number.

The topics are: a little book that collects blog essays from the region (= former Yugoslavia), an initiative for bone marrow donation (blog action), a local community system, Basic Wordpress, blog literature, state interference with the cyberspace.
Robert Basic and I have been asked to talk about Blog Monetization and have also talked about possible organization and ethics of the international blogosphere.

Aggressiveness and the wish to be distant is rather to be localized in those parts of former Yugoslavia that have separated from Serbia. Language issues are complex between the different groups that also use different alphabets to sometimes transcribe extremely similar variants.

As a summary: Blogs are surprising political and relevant for the society and ebusiness is on the rise on the Balkan.

I'll be back.

A blogroll of some of the present bloggers (moszt blog in Serbocroatic, Macedonian etc..):

Bor-grad INFO

Eniac`s Ground




Veza blog

Sasvim obična priča



Bor-grad INFO

Basic Thinking blog


Darko Lađević

Dragan Varagić

Oliver Gassner

miff blog

Škola bez zidova

Facebook Kommentare


  1. Thanks for visiting us, it was really a pleasure meeting you. Next time plan a road trip through Serbia!

    The guy that existed in 80's :)

  2. Tnx Oliver, tnx Robert… it was great experience and privilege keeping company with you two.

  3. Dragana Djermanovic6. Oktober 2008 um 14:11

    @Oliver: You encouraged me a lot and inspired me... And that is the great characteristic of wise and talented people. It was a pleasure.
    p.s. Your blog is very useful, as I taught it would be.

    1. Hi, well it is always nice to talk to pioneers and to at least try to offer advice. I am very keen on hearing how the story unfolds ;)

      Do you only read ernglish or also German? I might blog some resources on PR that I gathered in the last years here (some might be outdated, though ;) )

  4. Pingback: <a href=",-Serbia-In-den-Schluchten-des-Balkan.html>PingBack</a>

  5. Your report and the one of Robert sound great. I'm looking forward to hearing mor from your time there.

    Especially because of the discussion after the Barcamp Stuttgart Frauenquote an Barcamps about the few women attending here, I'm extremely impressed of the amount of female attendees there.

    It would be interesting to learn what could be the reason for such a difference.

    1. I was told the reason is very simple -- although I am not sure you want to try it: Just have some decades of communist rule and ...

      There must be oher ways though, like
      a) more Girl Geek Dinners than Webmondays
      b) GGDs on FR and Sat of Barcamps (which would then mean that the regular party would be men only by natural consequence *g*

    2. Thx for the wonderful solution... ;-)

      Actually, this can't be the way.

      But I wonder why we need special events in Germany to get more women interested while it seems to work just as it is in other countries...

      (For German speaking Readers see also the discussion linked as a trackbrack)

  6. Hi Oliver,

    It was nice experience listening yuo at Bor and than drinking beer with you :)
    Thank you for comming at the heart of Balkan!

  7. I am glad that we meet each other.

    BlogOpen in Bor was the event with more plain bloggers, than a geek bloggers. And, there are many female bloggers :)

  8. Trackback: Frauenquote an Barcamps bezogen auf Barcamp Stuttgart und Blogcamp Switzerland
    Zum Thema Frauenquote schrieb ich ja schon ein bisschen im Artikel übers erste Barcamp für Frauen. Da das Thema von und bei Robert in den Kommentaren gerade aufkam, jetzt nochmal ein bisschen mehr dazu. Na, zumindest die Frauenquote bei den K...

  9. Tnx for great lessons and extra company! I hope we will see you soon

    1. I have plans for a larger event in the summer of 09, you might all want to make sure you have time in august and visit Germany ;)

    2. it's great pleasure to listening and learn from You (Oliver and Robert).
      You wrote: "I'll be back"; Let see in 2009, next BlogOpen ;)
      Thanks for come to us. Next time we will be better (global).

  10. BBB (Best Blogers in Bor). Thank you for comming. It was great show with you and other guests! Best wishes! (My english is not so good - anyway thank you one more time)

  11. I`m late with my comment like "Balkan train" :)

    Thanks Robert for being part of this event. Summer 09, Germany, sounds nice :)

    I hope there will be opportunity for collaboration even sooner

    All best from Macedonia


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