Mon 28 Jun 2021 12:25PM

2021 Kiez Burn - Tone of voice

F Franzi Public Seen by 69

Whether you are new in the Kiez Burner scene or simply new in the role of communications for the event. Here are some guidelines to help you make an accurate copy:

How to refer to Kiez Burn

  • Event

  • Community

  • Burn 

  • Avoid: “KB” (Kiwi Burn) and Festival (of course)

How to address Kiez burners depending on the context

  • Community members

  • Burners

  • Participants

  • Ticketholders  

  • Kiddos (?) (comes from the Deine Mudda Kiez Culture)

  • Avoid “hippie”, as it’s being used as a derogatory word to sometimes refer to lazy freeloaders, who are in it for the cuddle puddle and the drugs without putting in the work.

  • Note about First time Burners: to be addressed from kiez Burn acc like "first-time-burners" and not "virgins"

Those that want to bring art to the event: 

  • Dreamers: primarily want to call them dreamers in line with the Dreams Platform

  • Artists

  • Performers

  • Creatives


  • Kieze! Do stick to the German word Kiez/e even if your copy is in English


  • Directed ticket

  • Low Income

  • Dreamit: Directed ticket for Dreamers

  • Avoid: abbreviations “DT” - “LI” 


  • Wandering rangers

  • Rangers

  • Avoid: “Kiez Burn police”

Those that have a responsibility role within the Organization:

  • Realizers - Stick to this word as much as possible

  • Lead -  old fashion way calling Realizers (?) 

Posting Triggering content on Social Media campaigns:

I had some feedback while making an educational campaign about consent where I posted triggering content. It is desired that whoever posts this kind of content is announcing TW (Trigger warning) here are more instructions on how to do so

Feedback from the community on the Telegram channel (2021)

Here is a Telgram Channel Survey co-creation thread: where there is plenty of feedback on how to make the announcements better, many of these also apply to Facebook and even newsletter


Veroca R. Sala Mon 28 Jun 2021 12:29PM

Thanks Franzi, I also made this document that could grow bigger with other´s input. I dont have much mind space for this atm, but I just made a simple framework


Veroca R. Sala Mon 28 Jun 2021 6:19PM

I also dont think is a tone of voice matter, but a vocabulary issue. Or is the current tone not good? id like feedback on that too.



Saskia Tue 29 Jun 2021 7:08AM

I think KORG and old board was full of NO BS muttis who are (some by profession) communication experts.The absence of these people is something I feel a lot in the communicornication department.

I like the hint, as I will continue to use the word 'hippie' in a derogatory manner and I do not want any hippie to think I address them positively when I yell 'EY DU HIPPIE'.


Thilo Wed 30 Jun 2021 7:33AM

Dear Hippies,

I can't believe we are discussing this. The tone is totally fine, a bit ironic and obviously in good humour. BM has always been a snarky place and when you are easily offended it might just not be for you. Let the (volunteer) communication hippies do their job and if you don't like what they are doing you can take the role next year (or talk to them directly). Fuck your burn. Hippies!


walto Sat 3 Jul 2021 10:52PM

Thank you for creating a framework within which we can reflect on how we talk and portray ourselves. I believe there have been a lot of amazing posts and great communication. At the same time, we can always improve. I appreciate the openness to reflect and see how we can do even better.

I think we all share the goal of engaging the community more towards people taking up more volunteering roles, voting more in dreams, etc. I indeed personally flagged some specific words/context that might be adjusted towards better reaching everyone in the group. I am sure we can continue to learn and improve 🙂

Different words are triggering for different people. So rather than rely on an external power (hippies, burners, "the real playa"), we can always rely on us: Kiez Burn. We are the burn with the highest % of volunteering and % of volunteers actually showing up to shifts (that I know of), and we have had the highest % of Dream vote participation in the past, and of course the best people :D. So, in case of doubt: we can always address people as Kiez Burners :)

Thank you @Veroca R. Sala for being so on it and being open for feedback, that's really awesome :-) But also, please don't feel too bound by it, I think generally people have been super happy about your texts 👍

small admin: Vero - maybe it makes sense to migrate the nice google doc summary and replace the main post of Franzi here so to make this thread a sort of wiki that constantly learns & adjusts? (google docs just become graveyards after a while)

Kisses from daddy 😉


Owl Sun 11 Jul 2021 11:10PM

I'm sorry, I just came across the document @Veroca R. Sala shared with me. I have some small remarks ...

I agree with @waldo that official documents and messages should contain as neutral wordings as possible while not denying that this is a culture on its own.

But beyond that, discussions are living language and can contain even between two close people slightly different meanings. For example, being addressed as Kiddo would be for me being a father a bit strange (or maybe it is used only within Deine Mudda context?).

On the other side, in Burning Bär context hippie is usually a reference which doesn't exclude the person using it. Yes, you are right, there is no Burning Bär at Kiez Burn. But people are from different corners of the culture. Actually, coming from a Burning Man background, people at Burning Man talk about two main culture movements: hippies and punks. Both usually doesn't look as expected, but hippies usually prefer community experiences, while punks often explore themselves and the boundaries of the community.

I'd also like to throw the definition of "Neo-Hippie" into the ring, which is sort of an established lifestyle definition (e.g.

So in my opinion, the type of person mentioned in the document in a bad way is a "Sparkle Pony" to me, while hippie is a totally legit description of myself, even though it is describing more a goal than a current state. So for me I'll translate @Saskia (The Fuzzy Facilitator) 's addressing of EY DU HIPPIE for myself in EY DU SPARKLE PONY (or generally anticipate that she is always addressing me in a positive way 🙂)


Veroca R. Sala Fri 30 Jul 2021 10:39PM

updated the thread :

Note about First time Burners: to be addressed from kiez Burn acc like "first-time-burners" and not "virgins"

Received feedback about the word "virgins" when addressing first-time burners and I think it's fair enough.

I wonder what about the expression "Fresh meat" 😆that we (?) I, sometimes use...would it be arguable that Kiez Burn account uses this expression.


Veroca R. Sala Mon 2 Aug 2021 9:39AM

not sure this is the right thread to post this but... I have updated the thread with some more feedback

Posting Triggering content on Social Media campaigns:

I had some feedback while making an educational campaign about consent where I posted triggering content. It is desired that whoever posts this kind of content is announcing TW (Trigger warning) here are more instructions on how to do so

Plus added:

Here is a Telgram Channel Survey co-creation thread: where there is plenty of feedback on how to make the announcements better, many of these also apply to Facebook and even newsletter


Veroca R. Sala Mon 12 Jul 2021 9:04AM

Thanks for passing by this thread and offer your opinion.

Yes... words have different impact in people and it's particularly tricky to speak to a large audience as it is Kiez burn with participants from a wide variety of other burns, backgrounds, homeland culture and of course also, individualities.

I guess we discuss here to try find a line to guide other comms realizers without limiting the job too much and leave some space for the fun part that is using the creativity in the writing and playing around with words.

I guess we want to also draw a line and determine how far we wish to go.

My concern is to end up having serious neutral reports in our comms that would make me ( and probbly others too) loose interest in the role.

I see different opinion about the word "hippies" between Saskia, waldo, cj and you and probbly myself too!

I dont mind being called hippie either. I do know that we work hard but I am also aware that this hard work is not to feed a family of 8 in a poor country with no education and 18qm2 house in the bottom of the world. I do feel extremely lucky to have time and mind space to put effort on these events where I can have fun and experiment life in other ways and spread a culture of togetherness, connection and caring for the environment and all what the principles mean to us, while also partying and taking drugs 😆, meanwhile I am aware other people can't because they are too busy surviving. Im not sure i can address my point accurately... though. Hope its understood in a good way, it is not my intention to judge how everyone feels identified with. This is jus how I feel about the hippies word. I could take being called hippie...

Thanks for being there Holger. Appreciate your input a lot. It helps me see more clearly how different we all think about this. ❤️


CJ Yetman Mon 12 Jul 2021 9:59AM

These were just my quick thoughts, since you asked. Don’t take it to seriously or harshly. 😘


Owl Mon 12 Jul 2021 12:05PM

Helga also disagreed slightly. She’s associating hippie with someone maybe willing but probably not able to do serious work and thinking, maybe because of too much alcohol or substances (or general Verpeiltheit). But she‘s using it in a positive way, since that person is as well a part of the community as she is. Saskias usage reminds me more of Captain Barbossa (like: „Loose the cannons, you lazy bilge rats!“)😉


walto Sat 3 Jul 2021 10:53PM

"Kiez Burner" would probably be fine for you CJ?


Veroca R. Sala Tue 29 Jun 2021 8:46AM

@Franzi @Saskia (The Fuzzy Facilitator) thanks, I certainly dont have a business background, however, I dont get it as a "watch your tone".

I understand the tone is: Friendly, informal, enthusiastic, formal = overall this will be the tone/style.

  • I repeat the question: is the current tone/style not the desired one we want for Kiez burn?

  • In regards to the wording itself: I understand some words are not desired ( like "hippie") and some terminology is not preferred ( Like Kiez Burn "police" to refer to rangers), For the wording, I have created the document (very basic for now) to help comms realizers choose more accurate wording for announcements.

  • In regards to the tone I leave here a few examples to register feedback for the future: Please be as concise as possible when giving feedback. Each post has a number on it.

    I Appreciate input that doesnt come out of your personal taste to define Kiez Burn Standard tone of voice.

  1. The word "hippies" has been replaced after receiving feedback

  2. The "bus of hippies" didn't go on the name of Kiez Burn Account luckily, and it has been modified (not the graphic though).

    1. The following is not my copy and I personally dont like the tone, it feels like telling-off.

I also want to point out I've been doing only Facebook and Telegram copy. Newsletter realizer is surprisingly not part of the communicorns group (I can't tag her)


Saskia Tue 29 Jun 2021 8:54AM

I would like to provide feedback but am also not 100% sure how to PinPoint this.

I think the general tone in all of these posts is okay for me. I wouldn’t know how to do it better, I am far from a communication expert. I have to say, compared to last years tone (2020 winter) I am more than happy with the tone itself.

e.g. I do not read the fire post as condescend or ‘telling off’ but as a post that does not beat around the bush and even provides solutions.

I understood it is really more about the idea who we are and who we are not. We are neither another Berlin rave event, nor are we a rainbow gathering.

I do not like to be addressed as a hippie and many other burners also do not like it because it is used sometimes to refer to lazy freeloaders who are in it for the cuddle puddle and the drugs and the orgies without putting in the work.

And there was criticism towards the ‘real playa’ because the same applies. We align much more with European regionals than we do with the ‘big burn’ with the ‘real playa’.

And if I understand Waldos initial criticism correctly it is about being mindful how we use specific terms, because we address specific people (burner) and they might start to wonder what Kiez Burn is if we continue to address participants as hippies.


Veroca R. Sala Tue 29 Jun 2021 9:03AM


CJ Yetman Tue 29 Jun 2021 9:38AM

funny... maybe it's because I'm a lot older and American, but... I think of hippies as part of a very significant subculture from the 60's and 70's that had very real, very substantial cultural and political effects.... and "burners" as a millennial type, ironic, campy, comic-con but think I'm cooler kind of people... LOL


CJ Yetman Tue 29 Jun 2021 9:40AM

to be clear.... I personally cringe at being called either


walto Sat 3 Jul 2021 10:33PM

I believe when someone posts as "kiez Burn e.V.", this carries a different weight than if someone posts in their own name.


Saskia Tue 29 Jun 2021 10:05AM

Ok boomer ❤️🥰😙❤️ (When you read this I am already running from you 😅)

(yes I know you’re no boomer)


CJ Yetman Tue 29 Jun 2021 10:05AM

hahahaha.... I'm not that old


Veroca R. Sala Tue 29 Jun 2021 10:47AM

hehe for the grammar mistakes, we will need a proofreader REALIZER Lol! to add on realities 😆


CJ Yetman Tue 29 Jun 2021 9:55AM

2. what does "Glowies" mean? definitely don't like that; personally I think the tone of this one has real problems. Too much imperative (e.g. "Use your tokens" versus "This is where you can use your tokens"). Telling people to put their complaints under their pillow is ridiculous. Little jabs like "organised burners do xyz" and thinly veiled insults about being "self-reliant" are totally unnecessary.; Also hate the emojis


CJ Yetman Tue 29 Jun 2021 9:45AM

  1. tone is fine; hate all the emojis; "artist" should be "dreamer"; a few minor grammar mistakes; otherwise, totally acceptable in my opinion


CJ Yetman Tue 29 Jun 2021 9:58AM

also agree that the "no fire in free campers area" post is not the best we can do


Franzi Tue 29 Jun 2021 8:01AM

@Veroca R. Sala yeah I think the term I used is misleading. Tone of voice is a very technical business term (Doesnt mean "watch your tone" etc). "It's more  the style used to communicate with the audience, considering the choice of words, brand personality, and emotional tone. The idea behind this concept is to define a standard approach that the brand will have in all its communication."


Veroca R. Sala Mon 12 Jul 2021 8:02AM

Just read this @CJ Yetman I Will have in mind the general idea of this particular feedback. However I find that some of it comes from a personal taste. No intention to reject the input though. I point out the following to also maybe open to other suggest how can I better do this job:

  • I guess Imperatives are used because it is also a way to make the message more direct and short. Like "join in" "vote", "go to this thread" etc etc. This copy is for telegram and Facebook, for a newsletter I would indeed consider a more compound phrasing. I consider imperative is fine as long as it is not overdone. If the general feeling is that our tone is primarily imperative then inwill immediately watch out on that. Butnif we only have a couple of imperative sentences imo it doesn't need to be too bad. But maybe I'm wrong!!!

  • The pillow thing it was a joke and I get different opinions about jokes in life. I get you dont like it. I take that as a personal taste unless we want to determine that Kiez Burn account shouldnt make jokes on announcements; otherwise I find jokes to have different impact in people. Again... as long as it is not overdone.

  • Emojis; I'm trying to use less emojis. However I do like them plus I am more a visual-memory-person ( dont know how to call it lol) and tend to recognize messages better when the text is combined with colors and headings ( many ppl I know too). Telegram doesn't let me use headings and so much customization (not that I know at least) so that emojis help me make the message more "interesting". It's is also my touch, my personal creation/composition and I understand you and many others probably don't like it.

  • Glowie: I guess it comes from glow? To address a bright, sparkly person? Do you feel offended/ uncomfortable by this term? When sending 2 annoucements per day it is difficult to be original and use a variety of terms to catch the interest of the reader. I consider that starting a message always with the same expression like " dear kiezburner" "dear participant" would turn out very boring. If we wanna strictly reduce the salutation to a certain 3 /4 words that is fine. Lets decide that and comms realizers will stick to it and maybe play around with other wording in the body of the message but not in The main salutation where we address participants who might feel offended / not identified.

  • "Organised burners" sentence: again I feel we touch different fibres when addressing people. I'm being more and more aware of that. I dont think i will ever be able to write something that will make everyone happy, I don't do this by profession, but I take it and will put more time and thought to it to find a more neutral wording without feeling im writing a police report.

Thanks For your input. I really value it. Once home I will suggest in the body of the thread to gather opinion to limit the initial salutation to certain words (or not) and about the jokes.

lets see what the community in general thinks. ❤️


Veroca R. Sala Mon 12 Jul 2021 10:32AM

Oh not at all! its good to discuss our point a of view to get somewhere.


CJ Yetman Mon 28 Jun 2021 7:21PM

I prefer that we say Rangers instead Wanderers (it's much easier to say and understand over the radios). But beyond that, I prefer even more that we choose one and stick with it rather than flipping back and forth or even combining them.