"The Web is a wonderful place – if we make it that way" Johannes Korten (1974-2016)

We are mourning the death of Johannes Korten – the news of his death in Bochum on July 25, 2016, spread throughout the German Internet community. We will remember him for the many varied impressions he made on us. As an innovation and online marketing manager at GLS Bank, he was the first online editor in Germany to accompany a bank on their way to the Web 2.0. As a longtime nethead, he was loved within the net community for his Jazzblog.de especially. With particular fondness we remember hashtag actions of his like #Mutmachparade, #duschefreioccupy or #sharedichdrum. And with #einBuchfürKai, he succeeded in launching an unequalled support campaign for a friend of his. Kai-Eric Fitzner had met Johannes a few years back, at re:publica. But in May 2015, Fitzner suffered a stroke, which left his wife and three young children in a difficult financial situation. Johannes helped in his own special way: He started sharing the wife's desperate plea on Facebook with the German blogosphere – a call to purchase Fitzner's self-published book “Willkommen im Meer” and thereby support the family. Many people helped, and the book even landed on the Amazon bestseller list. But that was not all for Johannes, and so he additionally created a donations account. In the end, he was able to transfer 13,000 Euros to Fitzner's wife, Caja. He also made sure that his friend's book could be republished by DroemerKnaur, as a real paperback edition.

“Johannes' assertion, “The Web is a wonderful place – if we make it that way”, is a symbol of how much energy the Internet community can harness, and how much good you can achieve if you work together,” was the statement, when Johannes was awarded the Virenschleuder Prize in 2015 and also voted their personality of the year. Virenschleuder jury member, Sascha Lobo was full of praise too: “This man has transformed the misfortunes and problems of the Fitzner family into a little bit of luck at the right time, with such charm, humility and selflessness that there really is no other choice.”

Johannes also honoured us at the last re:publica with his “Love Storm” campaign. The year before, he was one of the speakers on the re:publica 2015 panel talk, “A Revue of the Absurdities of Technical Progress and Growth”. And in May this year, he again told of his tireless campaign, on Day 2 of the MEDIA CONVENTION Berlin (watch the video below).

About himself, Johannes once wrote the following: “I was born in 1974 during the World Cup final, in which Germany defeated the Dutch team and became World Champion. But this has not installed any special passion for football in me, and I also still feel welcome in the Netherlands.” We will keep this in mind and heart, just like his very last tweet: “In the end, it was not enough for a whole lifetime.”


Image credit: #vsp15 | virenschleuderpreis.de | photo: Holger Menzel (CC BY-SA 2.0)