I'm a spotter for the Berlin Spotted By Locals city guide. The idea behind this series of guide is simple and brilliant: to ask locals to share their spots, the place they like, part of their daily experience in the city where they are currently living. It is different than Yelp, Tripadvisor, Foursquare - I'm also writing for to some of them irregularly - or many other platforms where you can find information of about every items on a map. Only spottedbylocals is better.
Less than two years ago as I joined the Berlin team, its spotters were talking to me about this first spotters weekend in 2012, describing how epic the weekend was. It was the first and I was secretly hopping that the weekend planners will continue on a yearly basis. But they didn't. Actually hosting around 100 people, people that don't know each other, people that you only know shortly from they writing or skype interviews can be risky. But they did it again at the end of October.
Long story short, it was a great weekend. People and weather were accordingly friendly. All writers from Berlin did join the trip, so I knew some of the people. It was a great feeling to meet all the spotters from so many cities, a strange but confortable impression to know each other for a long time even so we were meeting for the first time and it was not because we are all part of the same company
Bart and Sanne - founders and bosses behind spottedbylocals - did manage to select a very interesting crowd, talking about family will be to easy, more a community. During this weekend I tried to get a typical profile of what is a spotter. What does it mean to be a local in such a globalised world? We are all very connected, probably half of our brain is permanently linked to the internet, our multiple avatars almost never sleep and only our physical body sometimes need some rest. But still we - I think - love to meet people, engage in conversation, share life experiences that make us less an icon on the internet and more a human being - the Community fan will love that. If by travelling somewhere, by visiting a place, drinking a coffee you had the feeling to be part of the place then we won.