It’s already been that long. 8 years of sharing my humble experience about bureaucracy in Germany. It’s crazy to think about that i started all of this, and continues to do this as a solo operation, a side project. I never imagined that it would take me this far, becoming some sort of authority for newcomers in Germany. Funnily enough, it sometimes leaves me with the feeling of being a masked internet watchman. I can attend expat events where nobody knows me IRL, secretly filled with the satisfaction that i might have helped a few persons in the room. Or at least, that’s what my foolish pride thinks. 🙂
It hasn’t always been easy to respond all comments and publish regularly. Time is a limited commodity these days. Yet, it seems to make an impact for many of you. The response continues to be great with more and more users seeing this blog everyday (about 2500 unique visitors per day). And as Germany continues to be attractive (and confusing), i suspect that SiB will continue to serve well in the next coming years.
With great power comes great responsability
It sounds a bit foolish but the blog has grown in influence. It’s nice because i have the feeling to help newcomers while making a little bit of money on the side (while providing independant info). But i have also to understand that as it is seen as a trusted source by many. This is why, especially when answering to comments, i do my best to ackownledge my own limits. I try to stay transparent as much as possible. I do that by telling people i don’t know or that they should meet a specialist instead, especially on legal or visa related matters.
I honestly don’t know how i can continue to go on for another 8 years, i feel like the set of topics i can cover well is limited. We shall see. In the meantime, i can maybe invent other ways to help this community.
Helping the expat community some other way
The mission statement was always the same: Moving countries is already so confusing, SiB is here to make your first bureaucratic steps in Germany less of a nightmare. I have done this on several topics over the years, from the most basic steps to fairly complex ones. However, no other post has gotten so many comments (700!) that the one about the Anmeldung.
Who knew? The most essential step to take in Germany is apparently also one of the most challenging ones. Despite my best efforts, visitors are still looking for an easier way to tackle this problem. After several months of hesitation, i decided that i could do more for them. And after another few more, Appmeldung was born.
Appmeldung is a simple little web app that enables you to fill-in your Anmeldung form completely in English, and receive it directly in your inbox. No German, no mistakes, no problem. It’s as if a German friend was helping you out.
Appmeldung makes residence registration a little easier on everybody
It’s also available to use for free. Some are deciding to charge a fee for this, but it doesn’t feel right to put a price when you need a Meldebescheinigung for everything. I hope i can keep it that way for as long as possible but who knows; reality and server costs might catch up on me.
This little beast was born out of many sleepless nights, juggling between this blog, my day-time job and fatherhood. So be harsh but be fair in your feedback. I just hope it brings us closer the dream of a fully digital bureaucracy in Germany. It’s very much an MVP and it works only for Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and Frankfurt but it should do what it does well. If the demand is there, there might be other things to do in that area.
So there we are, a new attempt at helping this community settle in Berlin and beyond.
Thanks for all trust, the support and all the comments.
Keep up the good work Bastien! I hope you find the motivation to keep your site up for the years to come. I’m sure you’re already well aware of how helpful it is to Berliners new and old.
There are no words to express my gratitude and how helpful this blog has been to me while I am still under the process of moving to Germany with my family and setting up everything remotely. It is by fare the most valuable content I could find around the internet. Kudos to you, Bastien!
Btw, I keep on ticking ‘Notify me of new posts by email’ but never get any notification.