In 2013, the German TV show “Wetten, dass...” was criticized for being stale and outdated. As a reaction to that, the host was replaced with a younger moderator. As another attempt to appear more modern, they integrated a ‘second screen’ online application, with Twitter integration and a live chat function. The chat was anonymous, you only needed to choose a name. Only 8 minutes after the end of each show, the chat and its content are deleted and no longer accessible.
The experimental book Öffentlichkeit (German for ‘public’) is the chat history of the show aired on 19.01.2013. By grabbing 11.794 words written by 208 users and binding it in a book, the chat contents are no longer evanescent. With that transition, the chat contents became an archive, a social study about anonymity and media perception.