Amazon & Alibaba - Here Comes The Giants

Amazon & Alibaba - Here Comes The Giants

On September 19. the IPO of China's largest e-commerce company Alibaba took place, making it the biggest initial public offering ever at $25 billion, according to sources familiar with the sale. They were listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol BABA. Alibaba is China's answer to eBay and Amazon, where you can buy everything from nails to a used Boeing 747 aircraft.

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7 years with smartphones - one small step for man...

7 years with smartphones - one small step for man...

In 1997 Ericsson coined the term "smartphone" and 7 years ago Apple launched their first iPhone. Smartphones have not only revolutionized the phone industry, but many other industries including the camera, computer and Internet industry and changed the way many organizations work. An entire new niche of devices followed after the smartphone with tablets and phaplets creating a hybrid between mobile phones and desktop computers. Since May 2013, more mobile devices have accessed the Internet than desktop computers, and it no longer makes sense to talk about mobile, online or real time, because those worlds are merged.

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3D Print - The Third Industrial Revolution

3D Print - The Third Industrial Revolution

If you only wish for one gadget this year, perhaps the time has come to go for the ultimate machine - a 3D printer. 3D printers that can "print" physical objects and materials in various materials, do no longer belong to distant future. The future is the here, and only your imagination limits the possibilities for consumers and businesses. 

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Does The Internet Make Us Stupid?

Does The Internet Make Us Stupid?

Brain research indicates that the brain activity of people using the Internet compared with people that hasn't been online, is very different. For people who haven't been using the Internet, the part of the brain that lights up is the long term memory. For Internet users, it is the short term memory and the Prefrontal Cortex - the RAM of our brains. The concern is that when being in a constant multitasking environment, you don't train your long term memory and concentration, since our memory is Google search and concentrating can be difficult with constant notifications from our phones, emails and social networks.

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iBeacon Leads The Future Of Real-time Marketing

horseraceXS Traditional GPS will not be of much help if you are inside a building, which leaves space for indoor positioning systems. The oligarchs of the Internet are fighting to take the lead over this technology - and so far Apple is leading the race with their iBeacon. iBeacon is already on over 200 million iPhones around the world, which gives them a head start to dominate the technology, win the developers and in the end the consumers. Read more about iBeacon on my blog for Mandag Morgen (in Danish), and the commercial potential of indoor positioning systems for the future of marketing.

iBeacon in action The 2014 International CES conference in Las Vegas has announced an iBeacon scavenger hunt - read more here.

 

 

Cognitive Computing Is Scaling Our Intelligence

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My blog for Mandag Morgen (in Danish) covers the progress of Cognitive Computing.

Cognitive Computing is based on four elements. 1. Big Data 2. Mobile connectivity 3. Social networks and 4. Internet of Things. The potential of complementing human intelligence with the benefits of computers are huge. Technology has long surpassed our ability to store data, search for information and to calculate big amounts of data. So far the algorithms have been mostly linear, without the cognitive skills that combine data in in multidimension ways. Read more about how IBM plans to change the era of intelligent computing by creating  a leap for supercomputing with their "Watson", and the commercial potential of Cognitive Computing.

Deling Af Viden Giver Virksomheder Værdi

dance_flickr:rdenubila:small Som fast blogger på Mandag Morgen tager jeg en gang om måneden et digitalt tema op.

Mit første bidrag handler om det paradigmeskift virksomheder oplever, når medarbejdere og kunder agerer på internettet, og forventer samme transparens og dialog med og i virksomheden. Det handler om den helt store barriere - nemlig kontrol. Kontrol med medarbejdere, kontrol med information og kontrol af kunder. Men tiderne er for længst skiftet og virksomheder der holder fast på dette forældede paradigme, sakker bagud på deres marked og i forhold til deres konkurrenter - for kunderne er et andet sted.

Læs hele artiklen på Mandag Morgen.

Kunden Er Brandet - Forretningen Er Platformen

pinterestJeg får skrevet alt for sjældent på min egen blog. En af årsagerne er at jeg ofte skriver for andre. jeg har delt tendensen på Eurowoman, som beskriver skiftet indenfor blandt andet mode, hvor kunden er brandet, og forretningen platformen, med de to tjenester Fancy og Pinterest som gode eksempler på denne tendens. Læs hele artiklen på Eurowoman.

Digital Deltagelse - på KomDag'12

Det er altid en fornøjelse at komme ind i Koncerthuset i DR Byen, og den 20. november stod jeg der igen, ikke for at høre musik så englene synger, men for at tale om Digital Deltagelse på KomDag'12, Kommunikationsforeningens årlige konference for mennesker der arbejder med kommunikation.

Vi er nået et modenhedsstadie indenfor digitale medier, som betyder at vi ikke længere (i samme grad) behøver at fortælle om hvordan Twitter og Facebook m.fl. kan anvendes kommercielt, nu er det nogen helt andre spørgsmål der stilles. 66% af danske virksomheder anvender i dag sociale medier til at styrke deres forretning, men når man har oprettet en kommerciel profil på Facebook, LinkedIn eller Twitter, så kommer det næste spørgsmål - hvordan skaber vi så deltagelse? Alt for mange virksomheder glemmer at de befinder sig på en social platform hvor relationer og samtaler er i centrum. I stedet for at understøtte den kultur og det sprog der anvendes på det enkelte medie, kopierer de alt for ofte deres marketingskampagne ud på deres sociale profiler - uden den store effekt.

KomDag'12 har skrevet et indlæg fra min præsentation, så her kan du læse meget mere om mine erfaringer og anbefalinger til at skabe deltagelse på virksomhedens digitale platforme. Jeg har desuden delt min præsentation på Slideshare.

Hvis du kender andre gode anbefalinger eller cases til digital deltagelse, må du meget gerne dele dem!

Museum Of The Future

I was invited to talk about the future of museums by the Danish Customs and Tax Museum on the occasion of their 100 year anniversary, and because they had decided to replace their physical museum with a digital experience, and to take the old museum and objects on tour in Denmark. This might seem like a very bold move, because can there be a museum without a physical space? I believe so, and as a matter of fact, making the museum digital and collaborative opens up a wide set of new opportunities to expand, scale and engage the audience in creating and sharing the entire experience. But before going in front of the camera, I researched the state of the museums around the world, to see how they approached the digital sphere, and to spot any signs of a trend or the future within this space. I did not find anything radical innovative, in terms of giving audiences a new museum experience using different media elements. There were incremental add-ons to the physical exhibitions, like MOMA's Century Of The Child or their Google Art Project, digital - yes, social and engaging - not really.

[media height="600" link="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxiVeZOJba8&feature=share&list=UUWzX1KGZHwwtnwcldpneUwg"]

My take on The Future Of Museums (in Danish).

The Future Museum Experience How would the museum experience look like in the future, if we added these three digital elements:

1. Social 2. Global 3. Location based

If we start with social, involving the audience to participate in the creation of their exhibitions, to collect favourite pieces, an era or a specific artist, that would create a "Spotify" for museums. Because if all art is searchable and usable, the audience could make "view lists", present and share their own exhibitions, allowing people to subscribe, and be updated if new content is added. In the same way as with music and fashion, the first movers could share their knowledge, not only to the art or museum elite, but to everybody. If people in general knows more about art and history, because they constantly expand their knowledge in a collaborative manner, there would be created more curiosity and an increased demand for the physical objects, in the same manner as music fans going to concerts, or when fashionistas purchase the must have of the week, online. Art is as scalable as any other passion - when shared by people!

The second opportunity is to make exhibitions global, thereby scaling the experience and again increasing the demand for the physical objects and the museum hosting it. In the same way as music, books and fashion is globally shared and purchased online - so should art, history and exhibitions be. Do I really need to go to New York to see MOMA or to Denmark to see Louisiana? The experience will off course not be the same, it will be different, because you can add more layers to an object if it's digital. So if I want to se a sculpture, I can view from more angles than at the museum, I can see it from the ceiling, I can zoom in and most interesting the artist or curator can add online information. If I viewed a piece from the Pyramids, I could see a picture or video of the exact location, where it was found, watch how people looked and lived at that time. I could also see the archaeological process from locating the findings, excavation to preserving the item. If it's just a small piece I can see the entire picture of how it used to look like, and I can browse to other object that are related, while hearing the history in my earphones.

Some of the interesting initiatives you can experience today are at Guggenheim, which are quite far with providing a digital experience. They enable people around the world to view some of their exhibitions and other information, and they are even doing some minor social moves, with their blog and live chat. With Soundwalk you can randomly walk the streets of Manhattan and get information about the building you are standing in front of. Intel has made an interesting but narcissistic exhibition with The Museum Of Me, where people can experience themselves, their Facebook content and "friends" in a virtual museum, an example that could be used in more scenarios.

Looking at the museum experience from a location based angle, we should reverse the picture. Why not turn cities and locations into a live interactive museum, by adding information, history and objects to the original location. So if I'm Vienna, I will put on my earphones and saunter through the city, when I pass a spot I find interesting I can add a visual experience, by holding my smartphone up in front of a building or square, and see which artifact's that are connected to this spot, using augmented reality. I can also hear the shared whisper of people that passed by before me, by looking at my smartphone display I can get a social media stream showing what people wrote about this experience, artifact or piece of history, as well as I can add my perspective and pictures, to make the experience even more real-time and social.

These are just some of the opportunities, museums can use to amplify and share their exhibition in a digital world. If I cannot go to a museum or back in time - art and history should come to me. I look forward to a future where an exhibition is independent of geography and means, because art and history should be accessible to everybody, everywhere.

 

photo credit: Flickr/anacarina

Make it or brake in on YouTube

YouTube has increasingly become the preferred media channel for upcoming stars, waiting to be discovered. Established artists have reached out to their community of fans, by feeding them on YouTube. Lady Gaga's producer revealed that their strategy is to produce videos on YouTube to sell concert tickets. I was interviewed by the national Danish television station DR Mama Popular about this YouTube phenomena. The interview is in Danish, but we are talking about three Danish talents that have become famous in Denmark at least, and with a dedicated fan community supporting them through their YouTube production. Two of them have even signed record contracts after their YouTube defining moments.

The new kids on the block are:

Lukas Graham Kidd Niklas

Let your location do the talking!

Checking in from your location has become far more known after Facebook Places has been launched. There are a broad variety of LBS (Location Based Services) providing information based on your current location. Some finds it brilliant, now information can be filtered based on my location - neat! Others find it creepy - does that mean that "friends" like my employer, wife and other subjects can see where I check in - they can if you do!

But what are the potential of geo-location for consumers and corporations?

From a consumer perspective you can get situational information, so when in Rome you will get info on cultural events, hotel offers or the direction to the the best restaurants in town - recommended by your network. And even though social and mobile shopping is still in its rising, there will be a huge potential on how to combine your purchases with your social network patterns and real time location. Facebook Places will unlikely show us a new dimension on how to use peoples personal information, their updates, social curation and purchase patterns together with their location.

Businesses must rethink their marketing, going from mass- to situational marketing, by aiming at consumers in situations where your product actually adds value. So instead of trying to make your customers adopt to your product and campaigns, you support your customers behavior and needs - when and where it is needed.

This is a big-mother scenario, where we accept receiving offers, campaigns or information from a supplier, as long as it matches our need at a given location. And to avoid a big-brother scenario remember - common sense also rules online!

photo credit: flickr - ciccioetneo

Quora - Redefining Relations

Twitter came first with their social network structure, based on thematic relations rather than the ones we know from LinkedIn, Facebook amongst others, which take-off on first or second level physical relations. The big problem with Twitter is that it takes a significant while before you find a group of skilled people that represent the topics you are interested in following. And to get value from Twitter you also need followers to establish a dialogue. This is also why so many people abandon Twitter before their second tweet, they just don’t get this new networking structure. Creating a new thematic network takes a lot of time, but when established, they can in many ways become more valuable than traditional relations - or even be so.

What I love about Quora is that it offers dynamic thematic relations, making the various networks so accessible, allowing you to jump directly into the stream of knowledge you need. You instantly get access to the entire crowd of topic specialists and questions, which could take months or years to establish on Twitter. Quora takes us from our social graph to a dynamic interest graph i.e. our relationship might only last a question.

This new thematic network structure will allow us to focus on the quality of our network, rather than the quantity of people we follow or have as “friends”. Value comes from a qualitative focus and design, which I hope and believe will be the future digital network structure.

Another beautiful feature is that you can follow and ask questions directly to a crowd of specialist, that are following a specific topic. In the good old online days (before Quora) that would have taken a lot of effort to achieve.

Quora now has to proof that the questions asked get answered rather fast, and that the quality is high. So a top priority for their community managers is to attract specialist to cultivate valuable conversations around the world of themes.

Previous post on gaining online quality rather than quantity. Can real time web bring real world change?

Can real time web bring real world change?

green_iranelection

We continually spent more time online - now an average of 13 hours per week. Facebook connectivity increases within new demographics, and the voice of oppressed groups is strengthened online. The platform for social and real-time web is the communities that place the individual in the centre, with tools that helps us construct the story of our ideal self-image.

The range of social services we use including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. covers different needs, but the similarity is that they fulfil our need for curiosity, recognition and profiling. The success of the individual is measured quantitative in terms of the number of friends, followers or connections we gain. By focusing on the ego in a social context, makes our behaviour and perception rather predictable. By keeping us self-centered, has web 2 and social media thereby limited us rather than liberated us as individuals?

Participatory motivation Linking community behaviour with Maslow's hierarchy of needs, shows a coverage of our need for social belonging and recognition. Maslow's hierarchy of needs can also reflect the evolvement of the Internet, from focus on basic infrastructure and security to the services we use today that support our need for social belonging and esteem. This thesis indicates, that the future of web will move towards supporting our need for self-actualization. According to Maslow our need for self-actualization will rise when the previous needs are met, and therefore not attract us all. So we will probably continue to use services that stimulates us socially, fortifies our ego and most of all - just entertains.

Maslow-self-actualization

The end of web 2 But as with other trends, we might experience a backlash, where the measurement goes from quantitative in relation to the number of friends, towards qualitative in terms of individual impact and influence in a group with value, meaning and actual change as key indicators. First movers on the web will probably soon sort out friends, contacts and followers, that gave them status during the social web era, and instead move towards the era of "value web" where a friend is chosen on the basis of value. To be a part of these value groups, you will either provide impact, or be exclusively chosen, bringing status to the given social hierarchy.

What do we really achieve from our numerous online hours - do we in fact strengthen our relationships on Facebook, or is it rather entertainment and curiosity that leads us to spend time observing “what is on the mind” of the 10% of users that actually participate.

When Twitter emphasises the situation in Iran after the June 2009 election, whereafter to be surpassed by Michael Jackson's death, how great impact has our participation actually had? As Queen Rania expressed at LeWeb:

"Can the real time web bring real world change?"

rania_leweb

There are not many services available today that support self-actualization, altruism, and other elements that moves focus from the ego towards value in and to a group. And will motivational factors supported by the successful communities of today, still be necessary on the value orientated communities of tomorrow? Does the multitude truly want to act for a good purpose, if they are not rewarded with recognition and profiling? One thing is to show that you support a good cause on Facebook - which also supports our perfect online image, another thing is to actually spent the necessary time to act and change.

Social web - limits rather than liberates Maslow´s hierarchy of needs is distinguished by its visual simplicity, but there are other interesting thoughts on what motivates us to act. Spinoza´s philosophy is that everything is determined by cause and effect, so even if we believe as individuals that we act based on our free will, we are in fact externally influenced including socially.

Maslow also considers a self-actualized person as free in relation to social influence, which enables us to make decisions based on our beliefs and values, rather than social norms and rules. Taoism and Zen Buddhism has a similar view - man is truly liberated when freed from worldly possessions, social pressure and power, thereby decisions are no longer made on the basis of external authority. Spinoza´s definition is a virtuous free person who pursues goals that benefits all, sharing knowledge and makes other virtuous, free and good, the focus is not on the ego but on the surrounding world.

As long as the web of today supports egocentrism and restrains us in a social context, do we then loose the opportunity of self-actualization, self-development and ethics, thus other underlying values?

From social to value web If only some of our countless online hours were spent on altruism, we might ultimately get more sustainable gratification than Facebook and similar services are able to give us today.

My personal hope is that services and users in the future stimulates value, meaning and altruism in a social and global context. Research indicates that altruism affects the same area of the brain as sex. If altruism is so closely related to this driving force, why aren´t more people doing it? Are we able to influence altruism by how we design our web services, in order to motivate people to do something for others with ultimate satisfaction as reward?

But is it not okay to spend our time on social trivialities and entertainment, without necessarily being self-developed or changing the world, but where the objective is just to relax. The answer must depend on the individuals needs, but hopefully the future communities will make it easier for individuals to make a difference.

What´s in it for me? The views above are based on the believe that people desire more meaning and value, but in a busy daily life it can be difficult to see how we can actually contribute. If we look at community behaviour, we are more inclined to contribute if we are rewarded, whether we gain recognition or profiling. The interesting aspect is how to motivate individuals, in a direction that gives a more prolonged and/or enhanced satisfaction. So, from quantitatively measurement by the number of friends, the future services will rather measure the impact of the individual, whether it is in a group, in society, or globally. If this proves to be the trend for the future, we may get closer to - real time web bringing real world change.

Danish version

More women in tech - why?

geeknrolla_girl1

Being a woman in tech, men will outnumber you at most occasion, and the big question is why are there so few women in tech? I attended Geek´n Rolla on April 21, where there was a panel discussion on the matter, and it really engaged the audience.

Some of the reasons mentioned for the lack of women were:

  • Women that work in the tech industry identify themselves with their niche, ex. working with PR instead of working in tech with PR.
  • It starts in the early stage of girls education, they are not encouraged to work within tech.
  • Startups are driven by developers, and since there are so few female developers, it affects the imbalance.
  • Women choose family over 70 hour work weeks.
  • Women are not risk willing.
  • Women do not have flair for tech.

Apart from physical abilities, we are capable of the same, so do we find the answers within society, culture, education and social (unconscious) behavior?

The tech industry reflects society, also in this matter. Besides tech, it is also within management, the percentage of board members, the level of wages etc. Some countries have implemented gender quotes to focus on equality, while most countries are just talking about the challenge. As some guys stated - is positive discrimination the way to create balance? Shouldn´t the criteria be a persons skills rather than gender, race, age or appearance? And why do we necessarily want more women in tech. These opinions helped warm up the following discussion.

The word, “balance” indicates an optimal state, and don´t we want to achieve that in our industry? It is not just a matter of equality for women in tech, it is equality in every sense, and the loss of innovation based on multiplicity. Balance also improves a working environment, and a manifold perspective is important in the work we create. Some research even states that having female leaders positively affects the financial results in a company.

But are there any upside to the lack of equality? Well for one you are not lightly to be caught wearing the same dress, but besides that if you are good (and of course you are) and have the ability to present your project, you will have the benefit of standing out. But in my opinion the upside for the individual does not equal the downside for the industry, so we still have to rely on change.

In Denmark we experience that women are becoming the majority on higher educations, they are focused on their studies and take equality for granted. Based on that development I am optimistic about a future balance. But until we reach the point where it is an absolutely matter of course meeting a female CEO, board chairman or President, we must start with our own self-image and stand out as role models for the future generation.

Mentorship 2.0 - Open versus closed

In the analogue world mentorship relations are often initiated by a physical meeting and if continued it is a quite anti-social and confidential conversation between the protégé and mentor.  Creating Mentory made us question if the analogue process is the best way to run your mentorship. As a believer in sharing, participating and being open, I see the opportunity of evolving the mentorship towards this idealism. Which gave birth to the idea of Journster (spin-off to be revealed in details later).

When choosing your mentor or protégé, you judge based on chemistry, the goal and expectations. Some times you do choose wrong, finding it difficult to know what went wrong in the process. Was it the goal, the mentor or protégé response or your own ability to act upon the input. 

Making the mentorship and your goal open while broadcasting your questions, gives you instead multiple and varied answers to choose and act from. Remembering of course to pass on the experience you got based on the answers, to benefit others and continuing the sharing circle.

The challenge is barriers. Are we willing to reveal deeper goals, show our insecurity and lack of knowledge? In that case you can decide to close your mentorship, after validating the person(s) based on the broadcast response. 

The nature of an open mentorship may be based on skills, rather than chemistry and presence that defines the closed and analogue relation.

What type of mentorship would you choose? 

3 elements of behavior on successful social sites

What make users spend so much time on social sites? What do we get in return and why are we so much more open online? I am probably not the only one asking these questions.  My observation is that 3 elements motivate us:

Curiosity. Have you ever spent time exploring profiles of strangers? It is somehow a core instinct - we just cannot help looking through the profiles on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter etc. Which must be the answer to why (mainly women) buy gossip magazines. 

Profiling is the answer to why we don't mind sharing pictures and thoughts that we probably would not share with strangers in offline life. Suddenly we are able to show a side of our self, and in that way promote our personality across circles.

Recognition. Some believe we are driven by money, power and/or recognition. Recognition is exactly what we get when we suddenly have +200 friends or followers. Being followed or invited gives us status in the community. By the end of the day we just want to fit in, having a purpose in life and get recognized for our contribution. We are suddenly able to benchmark our popularity among friends, colleagues and people we dig. 

So how can your start-up benefit from this? 

Exposing your users with pictures, tags, short descriptions gives fellow users a teaser for reading more - driven by curiosity.

With an ocean of spectators we have the opportunity to stand out, revealing our self in new ways. So give your users the ability to profile them self as individuals, thinkers, believers and helpers to the community.

Most of us (if not all) needs recognition and that is why this element is so vital, encouraging us to spent hours participating on the community, sharing information and networking. So make sure your users contribution gets recognized by the community.

Obviously these elements cannot stand alone, you still need a dynamic and brilliant service, but if you do not support natural behavior, you might become a bit lonely on your community. I pay attention to these factors on Mentory and our other services, trying to hit that perfect balance.

I believe this is also the fault of many Inter/Intranets. Organizations are puzzled why their employees or customers are not generating content, knowledge sharing and participating.  Try to ask - what is in it for them?

Mentory phase 2 - Spin-off

We launched Mentory on February 2. 2009. It was a really exciting day, and the positive response and help from our fellow tweeters was astonishing - thank you all! But launching also means full steam on bug fixing, improvements and further development based on all the user feedback.We decided to take a day out and work on the matchmaking process of a mentorship - the vital part of Mentory.

We experienced that we were drawn in two directions. 1 - developing a process that matches an offline mentorship. 2 - developing a process that supports online behavior i.e. redefining the mentorship. We want to support both, so we are enhancing the online process, integrating Mentory with other services, using API´s and then dada... we got a really neat idea since it is generic and supports the ideology of our other start-up concepts (the service former known as Journster.com - Jacobs brainchild).

Since we apparently are first movers I will only reveal a few details. We move towards semantic web, we observe synchronicity but yet we build and use services in a silo. This is basically what we want to change. In the futile search of a name, we discovered that one of our other start-ups, had the name we needed, so we took it - Journster.com.

For now we will improve Mentory in it´s first version, integrate video communication and then we will work on this new service to optimize the mentorship matchmaking.

We expect to launch it on Mentory within 2 months - so if you are up to become a beta tester please signup on journster.com

The potential of microblogging in organizations

Being a frequent user of twitter, jaiku, friendfeed etc. I often think about the great organizational potential of microblogging. But talking to people that works in organizations, made me realise that this phenomenon is not yet mainstream. A lot of people do not know what the fuzz is all about, and what is the difference between weblogs, microblogging and lifestream? These questions encouraged me to write this white paper to cover the trend including my thoughts about organizational opportunity. 

I have worked in big organizations for almost a decade, and I have a deep interest in knowledge sharing. So I hope my paper can inspire some decision makers to consider this technology in their Internet strategy.

But here it is - blogging about microblogging