I’ve built a digital multimedia studio in Bonn, Germany, exactly 10-years after I started my first technology website. I’m re-mixing my skills and adding a new business called HiBlue.
I’ll continue my blogging under UMPCPortal.com but with the new HiBlue multimedia space I’ll be improving my video activities and offering my services to local, online and coworkers here at CoworKing Bonn where I’ve rented the space and set-up the studio. I’m taking what I’ve learnt in content creation, marketing, SEO, social media, YouTube and mobile technology and starting a startup in a startup space working with other startups. I’ll explain more below.
From cellar studio in 2011 to something a little more professional in 2016.
For the last three months I’ve been drawing lines on walls, testing lighting and buying a range of A/V and digital multimedia kit. From DMX-controlled lights to 3000-Lumen video projectors, video mixers to flexible furniture. Later in this article I’ll give you information about the equipment I’m planning to use but first let me tell you the interesting story of how I got here and why I’m moving into bricks-and-mortar. If you’re a blogger, it might be interesting for you.
Evolving from Blogging to Services.
It was 2014 and after 8 years of blogging I had started to slow down. Working at home was becoming less and less productive and I was missing out on an extremely important part of business planning.
If you work in a leading-edge area of technology you need to stay ahead and if you don’t interact with customers in your sector you lose track of what ‘forward’ means. It’s not enough to be watching Twitter streams and reading Engadget articles all day and it’s not enough to be attending events and trade shows and hearing marketing pitches. You can interact with other experts all you like but if you don’t put ‘mainstream’ into the equation, you’ll miss-aim.
After 8 years in my blogging bubble I had the wrong focus and fell slightly behind the curve and into the world of ‘mainstream’ where competition is strong and revenues are tight. That’s not the place you want to be as an independent technology writer and ‘futurist.’
In September 2014 I looked for a co-working space and found CoworkingBonn.com, a small space occupied by an SEO / SEM company. It wasn’t a full-on co-working space with pool table and free drinks but they had desks, good WiFi, a great location and…people doing different things. A trainer, a software developer, someone working on sustainable farming, a student. It turned out to be more productive and stimulating than I imagined and it led to the co-development of a plan for a truly multi-functional co-working space in Bonn where I would offer my skills to coworkers and others.
On the 12th of Feb CoworkingBonn held it’s launch party. On the 21st Feb I celebrated the 10th anniversary of the day I posted the first 11 articles on my new Blog – Carrypad. There aren’t many independent bloggers still around in my sector and I can’t say I made a fortune but during those 10 years I gained a lot of skill, a personal brand and a lot of contacts. The plan is to, basically, sell those skills.
You’ll never work alone. Coworking Bonn.
As you’ll see in the video above, the new co-working location has three areas. There’s a 12-person desk area and a stylish room that will be used as the multimedia lab. for casual working, coffee, brainstorming, presenting, streaming, photography and as a ‘feature piece’ to catch the eye of passers-by. This is the space in which I’ll be offering my services and equipment to other co-workers and locals. Want to rent the 107-inch infinity backdrop for a photo shoot? Use the streaming services for a Twitch session? Create perfect product photos? Rent the room for a presentation with video and streaming? I can think of a thousand possibilities…and therein lies a challenge. Flexibility.
The multimedia space has gone from empty room, through a cardboard box design, Microsoft Paint enhancements and is now ready as a flexible multimedia space.
The area you’re looking at above is the area I’m renting. 2m x 6m is enough for two desks and a multitude of different video and photo setups. I already have a video project with Notebookcheck that I’ll continue here but the idea is that this area is combined with the rest of the room in a way that can be used for presentations by businesses, clubs, photographers, video gamers, and whoever else finds that it fits their needs. Hopefully we’ll have startups in the coworking desk space that will want to use the area for their own videos, training, brainstorming sessions and presentations. We might even find experts that want to run short courses in the space.
When we designed the studio it was clear that it needed a focal point. The seating area, used for coffee, meetings and audience, is just that. The green colour is used in various places around the Coworking Bonn space and it’s lively and natural.
The studio area is behind a ‘stage’ which gave us the possibility to hide lighting and cabling and somewhere to hang curtains or dividers. The walls are filled with acoustic foam which, if we need to, we will open up at the rear to make a big but hidden acoustic panel. We’ve also got acoustic material against one of the walls and above the ceiling panels and curtains on velcro fittings that we can move about into different areas.
For the lighting we’ve got 50mm aluminium rigging attached to the ceiling behind the stage which is complemented with 3-phase power across 16 sockets. There’s an XLR cable up there that comes down to the connectivity panel. This allows us to run DMX lighting from a low-cost controller. We’re currently using the lighting for ‘effect’ and some video lighting but we’ve also got some portable LED panels that can are used for video work. We don’t have any photography lighting but we do have a 2.7 m paper roll hidden up on the ceiling. We can used that for portrait and large-product photography.
HiBlue Studio Services
After creating over 2000 videos, 8000 articles and tens of thousands of images online over the last 10 years I’ve gained a lot of knowledge about the process of creating internet content. Importantly, for small companies, startups and independent workers, I know how to operate quickly and efficiently because let’s face it, that’s rather important for internet-based projects. One-session, multicam videos can help keep time and costs down. Streaming one-take videos eliminates post-processing time. We won’t be running broadcast-quality TV shows here and you won’t see make-up artists preparing models for photo-shooting. HiBlue is here to quickly interpret and enhance what a customer wants and bring it online quickly and cost effectively.
In the short time we’ve been operating at CoWorking Bonn we’ve build a surprisingly strong network of contacts and that’s going to help too. We’ve got a pool of equipment and other experts just meters away from us. You need a website built, photos, videos and a social media campaign. No problem – everyone is here at Cowokring Bonn and everyone here understands what Internet-focus means.
We’ll run training events, seminars and we’ll be open to host local interest group meetings. We’ll run livestreams and encourage coworkers to bring their expertise in front of a camera. And not just in English. Es geht auch auf Deutsch.
HiBlue, located at Coworking Bonn, is focused on creating and publishing your multimedia web content, quickly and efficiently. The studio is now open and Chippy is available via the contact form here.