The Kernel is coming to Germany.
The Kernel is attempting to plug the gap between the high-end print press and a tech blogosphere we feel has lost its way: with our journalism, we take the humour, immediacy and belligerence of the blogosphere and marry it to the production quality and editorial values of a broadsheet newspaper or a glossy magazine.
We do this because we believe in a need for a mid-market, middle-brow publication that addresses technology, one of the most important subject areas in the media, with the respect, but also the scrutiny, it deserves. Very few dedicated technology publications come close to doing intellectual justice to the people and businesses refashioning the world around is.
Because technology touches all of us, in some cases more dramatically even than national governments. When you cast a vote at the ballot box, you may be impacting your income by a few thousand dollars a year. But think how much more Facebook’s privacy policies might affect the way you communicate with the people you love.
Or how Twitter is changing the way people debate social issues in the public square. Why are we leaving it to the Americans to discuss the effect on our democracy of a media in thrall to the whims of social-media enabled mob mentality? Why are the journalists who ought to be experts tied up reblogging press releases?
Since we launched, almost a year ago, in London, we have realised that it wasn’t just London crying out for proper journalism in tech, but that other cities feel under-served too. In fact, we’ve been inundated with requests from other European capitals who feel their local tech bloggers aren’t cutting the mustard. Of all those cities, Berlin is perhaps the one with the most pressing need. You might have noticed a bit more German content recently. Well, this is why.
The local blogs in Germany are – there’s no kind way to put this – widely ridiculed, despite some talented local writers. Start-ups tell us they are desperately frustrated by the lack of mid-market publications in their industry and with the lack of professionalism from the blogs, who act like divas but write like drudges.
So we’re coming. And not just to Berlin, but to Cologne, Munich and anywhere else we find big ideas. As Editor-in-Chief, my personal commitment is as follows: I will be spending a week per month, and sometimes more, in Berlin, meeting start-ups, investors, corporates and key players to learn more about the scene and to discover talented people in it who would like to share the benefits of their experience and expertise with others. I’ve taken a room in an apartment in Mitte so I have a permanent base in the city.
We will continue to write in English, because there’s no point singing a country’s praises if the only people who can read your work are already there. In time, with sufficient talent on board and a steady stream of good content, we’ll be able to develop a German edition of The Nutshell, our phenomenally popular subscription newsletter for the London tech scene.
We’re also looking for partners, sponsors, advertisers and friends who can help. If you’d like to contribute, or if you just want to know more about our plans, get in touch. Don’t worry if you’ve never written for a professional media outlet before: it’s our job to help translate your insights into great writing. All we care about is that you have something to say. We’ve got two great writers bagged already. I’m hungry for more.
So here goes.