Debating #FBrape on DR2 Deadline

 

deadline

Last night I was in a panel with 2 savvy people, Anna Ebbesen and Timme Bisgaard, talking about #FBrape on the Danish national television station DR2 Deadline. We discussed Facebook's lack of proper action, until they felt the pain of loosing their "paying customer". This is not about feminism, this is about humanism. No species on this earth has deserved to be humiliated in the way we have seen with the #FBrape memes. I am glad Facebook finally reacted, but it was to late, and the timing made their motives questionable - after 16 advertisers withdrew their ads. We have come some way on equal rights, but there is still a long way before women are equal in our rhetoric, and in the kind of hatred that has been tolerated for years, as we have seen in this case.

All we have as users and brands online is trust, and Facebook lost some of that on this case. I hope they will do what they can to restore it in the future, based on the right intentions. I hope we as societies, friends and families, makes sure our daughters wont face a future where misogyny continues to be a part of their social inheritance.

More articles about the case

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/glen-canning/rape-jokes-on-facebook_b_3345641.html http://www.womenactionmedia.org/fbagreement/ http://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-is-trying-to-scrub-sexist-rape-praising-hate-speech-off-its-site-2013-5

Homo Digitalis i DR2 Deadline.

Screen Shot 2013-02-12 at 6.12.22 PM På seks hurtige minutter, havde jeg fornøjelsen af at debattere nogen af de emner, jeg beskriver i min bog Homo Digitalis, i Deadline på DR2.

Jeg kunne have fortsat i meget længere tid, men forhåbentlig er det nok til at give en lille smagsprøve på bogens indhold.

Læs mere på homodigitalis.org.

 

Homo Digitalis - Fra Tanke Til Tryk.

PageLines- 9788777068393_480.jpg Menneskets adfærd fra forskning til digital praksis

For over 2 år siden fik jeg ideen til at skrive en bog der kobler cases og erfaring fra den praktiske verden med den videnskabelige. For at forstå menneskets digitale adfærd, er årsagen til vores behov vigtige at forstå, før man ser på den digitale virkning, i.e. den online adfærd vi alle er vidner til. Det var samtidig vigtigt for mig at undersøge svarene på tværs af videnskabelige områder, for at give et bredt billede af seneste forskning, fra neurovidenskab over til diskussionen om vores eksistens i filosofiens verden.

Personerne bag interviewene

Jeg interviewede en række forskere herunder, professor i urban sociologi  Linda J. Waite, hvis forskningsfokus bevæger sig inden for social demografi, familien, alderdom, helbred og arbejdende familier. Derudover er Waite optaget af linket mellem biologi, psykologi og den sociale verden. Professor i psykologi Deborah Prentice, som forsker i sociale relationer og påvirkninger mellem grupper. Prentice har desuden forsket i de måder, hvorpå sociale normer og systemer inden for tro og værdier påvirker menneskers opfattelse og adfærd i en social kontekst. Magister i psykologi Allan Holmgren, er primært fokuseret på den narrative psykologi. Den narrative psykologi fokuser på de fortællinger, vi ser vores liv gennem, hvilket har en relevant kobling når vi ser på de fortællinger vi deler online. Faderen til social og kognitiv neurovidenskab - John Cacioppo, som var intet mindre en fantastisk at interviewe, han var ekstremt vidende og passioneret, og havde samtidig forståelse for at koblingen mellem videnskab og praksis kan være vanskeligt, men vigtigt hvis man skal udbrede viden til almene mennesker. Den ligeså imponerende assisterende professor i psykologi og adjungeret professor i neurologi Stephanie Ortigue. Ortigue stod bag det banebrydende studie The Neuroimaging of Love fra 2010, som hun lavede sammen med kollegaer fra Syracuse University. Sidst men ikke mindst havde jeg æren af at interviewe Michael Hardt, professor i litteratur ved Duke University, litterær teoretiker og politisk filosof. Hardt har skrevet de betydningsfulde værker Empire (2000), Multitude (2004) og Common Wealth (2009), sammen med Antonio Negri. I sit arbejde inspireres han blandt andet af tænkere som Thomas Jefferson og Michel Foucault. Derudover har jeg talt med entrepreneurer i USA og Egypten under det Arabiske Forår, samt andre forskere og eksperter, som alle har bidraget til at skabe nuance, perspektiv og indsigt. Min rolle har været at koble disse input med den digitale verden, og ikke mindst bygge bro mellem forskning og praksis. Disse to verdener er meget forskellige, da man i forskingens verden stiller spørgsmål og undersøger, hvor vi i praktikkens verden gerne vil konkludere, så der kan handles.

Målgruppen og formålet med bogen

Den primære målgruppe er den brede befolkning, som til daglig er brugere på sociale netværk, men som også har en faglig interesse i, at forstå og udnytte det digitale potentiale i virksomheden - internt som eksternt.

Bogens første del - Det digitale landskab er en kort introduktion til dem der gerne vil forstå de teknologier og termer der anvendes i den digitale verden, og som gerne vil forstå det kommercielle og organisatoriske potentiale i forhold til deres faglige virke. Herfra bevæger bogen sig ind på den menneskelige adfærd, herunder individets behov og adfærd, den sociale adfærd og digitale mediers påvirkning på samfund. 3. del handler om organisationers sociale transformation samt digital entrepreneurship, som i den grad har påvirket organisationers måde at agere på. Ikke mindst fordi vi som brugere på sociale netværk, træder ind i vores organisationer og tænker at noget kan gøres anderledes. Sidst beskriver jeg nogen af de digitale tendenser der tegner sig for fremtiden.

Formålet med bogen er at skabe et dybere indblik i hvad der driver os som mennesker, vores basale behov og hvordan det kan spores i vores adfærd - offline som online. Med dette indblik håber jeg at læseren kan blive inspireret til at skabe mere værdi i sin digitale færden og blandt sine relationer på sociale netværk, med fokus på ens egen deltagelse, herunder prioritering af formål, værdi og mennesker.

Mission completed

Efter 2 års research, interviews, skriveri, redigering og optimering, kommer bog-barn nr. 2 endelig på gaden. Jeg glæder mig til at høre feedback fra dem der har læst bogen, og jeg håber at mine 256 sider, kan skabe en forandring i den måde vi agerer på digitale medier - som mennesker og organisationer.

God læselyst!

"Der er to kilder, der motiverer os til at konformere socialt. Den ene er anerkendelse og det andet er et ønske om at gøre det rigtige i forhold til gruppens normer" -Deborah Pretice

Køb bogen her. Bogens hjemmeside Homo Digitalis på Radio24syv - Elektronista

 

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

On Deadline Talking TEDxCopenhagen

On Deadline Talking TEDxCopenhagen - with Jakob Silas Lund, founder of Play31. http://www.dr.dk/tv/se/deadline-17/deadline-17-86#!/18:31

Watch Jacob's great speak from #TexCph - Using football to reconcile people torn apart by war.

And to any TED talk newbies, discover all the amazing speaks from around the world, surrounding TED's topics: Technology, Entertainment and Design.

Why Brands Should Focus On The Interest Graph

 

There is an increasing focus on peoples interest graph, and thanks to Twitter we have a relation to people, because we share an interest, and not necessarily because we have met them or are related. This is also the difference between our social graph and our interest graph. People we have an interest in, or are related to, compose our social graph. Our interest graph on the other hand are things we have an interest in.

Many brands are interested in knowing their customers social graph - the people we know or have an interest in knowing. But it is actually more valuable to know your community of customers and stakeholders based on their interest graph - since the interests we share tells brands more about what we regard as value in a conversation or commercial relation.

What Do People Want To Talk About? If we take a look at the relevance of a social graph, i.e. the people we have a social relation with, it is a minor percentage that share our interests, unless it covers normal life activities as food and living. But how many of the people you know on Facebook also shares your passion for vintage watches, tennis or even social media? If you compare the social graph relevancy to the people you are connected with on Twitter, Pinterest or Quora, there is a difference in our social ties, because we are connected based on our shared interests - which compose our interest graph. We don't necessarily know each other, in other words we do not have to comment on birthdays, newborns or day to day life. The small talk is exchanged with a focused conversation, about the stuff we care about.

We are a social species, so the relations we have based on an interest, might be extended to a regular social relation, if we get to know each other online, and even better if we meet in real life. This is what we do when we meet people, we examine shared interests, our network and other ties that might create a stronger foundation for our connection. When social meets interests, and vice versa, we have a stronger relation, because it is based on more relational aspects.

For a brand or company wanting to tap into their community, the value of their stakeholders interest graph is much higher than our typical social ties such as family, high school sweethearts or past and present colleagues. This value can be cultivated to increase the viral spread surrounding a brand, their products and more important their unique expertise.

Static Versus Dynamic Relations. Our social graph is far more static because it is based on a relation, and they tend to last longer than interests - luckily. Our interest graph is dynamic, representing changes in our lives, when we get a new professional focus, when we get children or a new hobby. This dynamic and real-time information is crucial for brands to know and understand, in order to reach their customers with relevancy rather than randomness.

Understanding peoples interests on Facebook is a challenge, because it is hard to filter the social talk from the interest talk, and Facebook knows that. Twitter is leading the race on the interest graph, but Facebook will undoubtedly do what they can to take the lead. Facebook already gave their users the option to follow or like a person or company, instead of becoming friends. Facebook still needs to qualify what we talk about, not only in order to increase their add value, but also for their users to relate based on interests. If you want a relation based on your interests, Twitter is still much more accessible when it comes to finding people or tags, that represents your themes.

Consumers Want Valuable Ads. According to comScore, 75% of online shoppers say every retailer should offer tracking information on their purchases, which indicates that consumers want more value when receiving adds and offers. There is also a difference in how social networks collect interest data. The explicit interest data is utilized by services like Pinterest where a user manually shows their interests. Amazon on the other hand is a good example of how brands can provide implicit interest data, by showing the books other people bought, after buying yours, or if you like this book - you might also want these.

Gignal Is Based On A Brands Interest Graph. Gignal gives brands and events the possibility to collect and present social network content produced by their audience, based on an interest, such as the brand or event name/tag, or the themes related, hereunder product names, knowledge or discussions. This has several benefits, it drives the social network traffic to the brand that now hosts the conversations, instead of handing their buzz out to the social networks, to have and to hold. Users will see the entire interest talk, and not only the narrow angle from their own social network profile, you don't even need an account to follow the buzz, and you can see it across various social networks from Twitter, Facebook, pictures and check-ins.

Focus On The Ball Not The Man This is why brands should focus more on their customers interest graph rather than their social graph, because it gives them the knowledge about what their audience is talking about, and what they want to talk about. Brands should examine their role as a media company towards their customer, so why not tap into the source of inspiration that can lead to a valuable social profile - giving customers signal rather than noise.

photo credit: flickr/batmoo

Why a "Top 100 Women In Tech In Europe" list matters.

A dear friend texted me with a simple "congrats on the Girls In Tech listing". My answer while being ironically isolated with no wifi, in a rural hemisphere was "what - where". The good news turned out to be that I was one out of the "Top 100 Women In Tech In Europe", initiated by Girls in Tech London.

We are all suckers for recognition - I am no exception, so I was of course happy to be in the company of so many fine ladies, selected in 19 countries across Europe. But the thrill that lasted longer and turned into this post is not my delighted ego, but the fact that Girls In Tech London bothered to put focus on all the great women, that actually are in tech.

But why is that important? For one, tech conference organizers often complain that it is so hard to find female tech speakers - well now they have a list of 100 to call. Second is the negative rhetoric often emphasized by a "Why aren't there more women in tech?"conference panel - well if this is top 100 and the top of the ice berg, maybe we should rephrase - here are some of the many savvy women in tech. Third and last (for now), common awareness of women in tech, might spread so more human beings with two X chromosomes, gets an urge to rent out their living room on AirBnb - so they can bootstrap a startup.

Last but not least I want to thank Girls in Tech London for the initiative, for the jury who put me in such fine company, and last Mike Butcher for his support for women in tech in general and for his coverage of the list on Techcrunch!

And here is the list!

Post by Natasha

Photo credit: flickr.com/vestman

Get Your Buzz Out Loud

Search any given branded hashtag on Twitter from your favorite shoe brand, music band to your soccer team, and you will see people talking about it. Try to Google the tag or brand, and you will see videos, pictures from various social networks, posted by users, consumers and fans all over the world. Having conversations around your brand is what any company dreams of, but yet only few uses it for much other than support issues and marketing surveillance. Data is the currency of the web, and the more traffic you have the better. The problem is that most of the content produced by a global audience is spread across social networks, and not owned or utilized by the brands or events.

Gignal solves this in various ways. First we store the branded buzz, otherwise lost when it’s out of the social network cache. For Twitter that is a few days and Ftwo days and Foursquare 2-4 hours.?

Second we allow the brand to host audience conversations, so if you want to see what people are posting across social networks about Coca Cola, Superbowl or Radio Head, you go to their website to see the real time stream. This will also drive traffic to the brand website instead of to the social networks

Third we present the content in streams that engage and entertain, and more esthetic than the average stream. We also allow brands to use their design guidelines when setting up Gignal, to match their corporate identity.

And finally we measure, when people are posting content, what they are posting and how much content they produce on every social network.

This gives a brand or event the opportunity to amplify their buzz, by claiming it, hosting it and presenting it. People trust other people more than brands, so by letting customers tell other customers whats so great about your brand, or let them share their defining moments - trust is build, especially when it’s the brand that proud enough to buzz out loud!

More posts on sharing: To Share Or Not To Share!

Photo credit: flickr/biccc

Five Ways To Amplify Sport Events

The sport industry is still reluctant to utilize social media to amplify their events and to share the social experience at stadiums with the rest of the world. The potential is notable, and aligned to the core purpose of sport - engaging communities of passion. Imagine sitting at a stadium experiencing the atmosphere that has drawn people to arenas since the time of the gladiators. What we experience is a collective relation with the people we share that moment and passion with offline and online. And collective relations are as powerful for people as intimate relations with our spouses and relational relationships with friends. It is that collective experience we want to support with Gignal, engaging audiences at physical locations and around the world.

So with 2012 in front of us, what can sport teams and venues do to amplify the collective experience and engage their audience? From Gignal’s perspective a lot can be done, with or without our stream - here is five low hanging fruits just waiting to be picked.

1. Micro-reporting It is no longer only the television- and radio stations that report live from a game, the most active reporters are the audience, with thousands of mobile phones they are standing in the front line eager to report the atmosphere, emotions and defining moments to their network. They share their experience trough pictures, videos and status updates, viewed by friends and fans outside the venue that did not have a ticket. To engage the audience as pitchside reporters, interaction with the team, the players, the coach and the venue is key. We already see sport stars on Twitter and Facebook, but much more can be done to make the audience share their experience.

Through the social media stream on physical screens at the stadium, the audience can monitor the collective participation, which makes them aware of their role as a micro-reporter. And the audience watching from home, can follow the social media buzz online, as if they were standing in the front line them selves.

2. Cross media experience The audience are multitasking even when they are at the stadium watching the game. They follow the action on the ground, on the billboard, on their phones and on screens at the tribune. At home the TV or radio is on, and so is the laptop where the fans can search for further information and interact on social networks.

The social media stream is not competing with TV or radio, on the contrary it presents the audience experience rather than a reporters, making it an ideal supplement for a cross media experience.

3. Engage communities of passion Football teams describe the 12th. player as the audience. If the audience is engaged and cheering for their team, they empower the players. Through the stream on stadium screens, the coach can send a message to the audience - to make them roar their support to the players in crucial moments. The team players can send messages before and after the game, to create buzz and to thank the audience directly.

There lies an incredible power in audience engagement, because in the end it is all about stimulating communities of passion, to create a memorable social experience.

4. Social media stream - before, during and after the game. During games we are often able to watch a live video stream, but sport teams tend to forget that fans talk constantly about their team, upcoming games and their expectations. It would be easy and obvious for sport teams to have a “Live” area on their website, so fans can click and see the real-time buzz, produced by fans and the team across social networks.

Gignal provides a widget, making it easy for clubs to host and present all the social media buzz from a geo tag and hashtags on their own website. Not only will it be easier for people to find the buzz, it also brings the traffic back to the clubs, instead of keeping it on the social networks.

5. Real-time marketing When a fan checks-in to a stadium, writes a tweet or takes a picture, we know where they are based on the geo tag. This is also the ideal time to market and sell merchandise, tickets and other location based goods, to a passionate and captive audience. During the heat of the moment it us much easier to sell tickets for the game next week, merchandise and beer at the pub after the game. Some clubs are seeing this potential, one of them are Real Madrid, that has been working with mobile marketing for a while.

With Gignal, sport clubs can present these time limited offers on the stadium screens, reaching a captive audience, that are much more willing to press buy while they experience the atmosphere in that given moment.

Every brand is media company Every organization and brand is a media company. But since this is not their core business or skill, utilizing the new media opportunities can be difficult for the people involved. We want to make it easy for sport teams to gather, host and present all the buzz that surrounds their brand, so they can be in charge of audience involvement.

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

Technology Against Closed Despotic Regimes - For Scenario Magazine.

My latest contribution for Scenario Magazine, about how technology has played a significant role against Egypt's despotic regime.

After I wrote this article new riots erupted at Tahrir Square in Cairo, with the terrible consequence that even more people lost their lives fighting for freedom and democracy against their regime.

The journey towards a new and better country has just started for Egypt, while Europe worries about recession, the Egyptian people are fighting for basic human rights. But as a wonderful Egyptian friend and entrepreneur puts it; we are optimistic - we have to be.

Thanks to all the amazing Egyptian entrepreneurs and the US and Danish mentors, for an unforgettable journey and experience, June 2011 in Cairo .

Gignal at Startup Weekend Copenhagen 2011.

The Dream Team.

Friday the 18th. November 2011 our team joined Startup Weekend Copenhagen. We wanted to participate to meet and work with new talents, build a new frontend for our stream and get business strategy feedback. Friday evening after our pitch 8 people were gathered ready to execute. After midnight the weekend was planned and smaller teams organized based on peoples skills.

Our desktop stream. "Before Startup Weekend"

Saturday morning our focus was to create the design describing the user scenarios, address use case questions and sketch the first mockups. Ray - our designer worked intensely until the first design was ready at 2 pm Saturday. Now the developers could take over, Mariano, Morten on the backend and Signe on the frontend. With the design in place Jesper and Kevin could also start to work on our video - presenting Gignal in action at a stadium. Niels and I worked on our use cases, market research and business model. Saturday was mentor day, where we met with great mentors, giving us feedback and introducing us to valuable contacts.

Saturday evening the first version of our billboard version was ready - boosting our energy after twelve hours of intense work. A late evening turned into Saturday night fewer and after few hours of sleep, for some on chairs and on the floor, we were ready to work on the final version and our afternoon pitch.

On Sunday all the small pieces were put together, the last touch on the stream and a few more designs for later progress were in place - we were as ready as we could get with the design, the stream, the video and the pitch. And this is the result of a weekend of work.

The new billboard stream.

Kevin and Jesper did an amazing job with the video - presenting Gignal Stadium.

After the pitch we used the rest of our adrenalin to celebrate, relax and look back at an awesome weekend.

We have created a special branch for Startup Weekend on Github, so if anyone wants to hack feel free to be creative and please show us your work.

All this was only made possible by the great team organizing Startup Weekend and our amazing team! Even though we had hours of fatigue and last day stress, the team spirit was high and the collaboration was admirable. Proving ones again that teams drive progress not individuals, it was a true honor to be a captain on this team - thank you Signe, Mariano, Niels, Kevin, Ray, Jesper and Morten!

-Natasha

There Is No Past & No Future - There Is Just A Stream

So said Kevin Kelly, Senior Maverick from Wired in June 2011, and we certainly agree! But what is it about the stream, why do we follow it daily on our devices and where will it take us in the future?

We are constantly exposed to tremendous amounts of data across our social networks, when friends and followers distribute pictures, videos, links and messages. The only way we can qualify the content is by scanning it briefly, deciding what message in the stream will get our attention, while the rest will be lost and forgotten forever.

But that’s how we navigate through the flood of information - the stream is constant but our attention is random. We screen, we pick and we participate when it makes sense, and ignore the rest. True qualification of content still depends on humans cognitive skills, no algorithm can replace that - yet. Until that happens, which might take a while even in Internet years, our remedy is the stream. One of the big challenges in data qualification is that robots cannot anticipate what an individual defines as value, nor which topics will be relevant to us tomorrow, because algorithms are based on our actions in the past, which doesn't necessary lead to our behavior in the future. This gap in technology leaves the need of a stream for us to follow, engage and interact with others.

That is why we are building Gignal. We want to make a stream that amplifies peoples voices and images from events. We want to give any person online, access to any event they want to witness through the eyes and thoughts of the people physically present. Gignal takes the physical atmosphere online in a shared world based on a shared experience.

We are not inventing a need, we are just supporting what people are already doing when their favorite football team scores a goal and when they win a match - they roar with their mobile phone on social media - and we will echo that on Gignal.

The same reaction happens at basically any event where a crowd are sharing an experience. From festivals to world movements as the Arab Spring, where the world joined and supported the young people in the streets of Cairo. Instead of just following the content on Twitter or Facebook, we want to show all the real-time conversations surrounding an event and across social networks, giving our users a real-time experience.

So there is no past, there is no future and there is no end to where our stream will take us, engage us and entertain us - but we want to define it.

Boostrapping Cairo

Cool Cat in a café at the Khan El-Khalili Market - with the entrepreneurs in the mirror.

Back in Denmark after an unforgettable trip to Cairo where I attended the event - Next Generation of Egyptian Entrepreneurs 2011, as a mentor from June 28th to July 1st. This was my trip and my impressions.

Day 1. Tuesday 28th. 2011.

In the spring of 2011 the Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen met with President Barack Obama at the White House. The Arab Spring was in action and supporting initiatives were discussed by the two leaders. In Denmark the startup accelerator program StartupBootcamp has tremendous success, not only in Denmark but across Europe, where they are expanding their accelerator program. The Danish Foreign Ministry reached out to StartupBootcamp to get inspiration from their program, and to utilize their mentors. The result was the 5 day NextGen2011 bootcamp, where mentors from Denmark and the US were invited to Cairo, to contribute with their experience and support these young entrepreneurs move forward with their business.

Yesterday I kissed my son goodbye on his birthday to head for Cairo, I had the privilege of being one of the Danish mentors. I explained to my son that I was going to a country fighting for freedom and that I was meeting some of the young people that overruled their dictator, and now have the opportunity to rebuild their country and future.

I looked so much forward to give, learn and to get another perspective of Egypt, through the eyes of the future generation. A generation that will be responsible for rebuilding their country, where one of the key solutions might very well be entrepreneurship.

Despite the language and cultural differences between Denmark and Egypt, what united us in Cairo was our entrepreneurial culture based on creativity, passion and the will to utilize opportunities in the Golden Age of Technology.

The delegates from Denmark and the US in front of the pyramids at 6 am Wednesday morning.

Day 2 - Next Generation 2011 in Action.

Wednesday I met the teams for the first time, although they started Monday. I was so excited to finally meet the young entrepreneurs, hear their pitches, and had no idea what to expect.

I was blown away, together with the rest of the Danish and US delegation. We faced  young passionate minds, who took their business very seriously. A lot of them were already far, had amazing user traction and were using focus groups to understand their target groups better. Despite the language barrier for some, they all did an amazing job communicating their ideas and visions. We spend the day giving feedback to every startup, during panel sessions and one to one sessions with the teams. I was mentoring the outstanding ladies from SuperMama and Inkezny the "tourist feel safe" app.

Out of 38 participants, 6 were women which was a surprising ration, that’s more or less what you can expect at startup events in Denmark. The girls were amazing, but had different views on their role as entrepreneurs. Some said they were privileged since financially supported by their families or hubbies, that didn’t expect anything from them - a perfect bootstrapping state. Others felt they had to be very persistent to proof to their families that what they are doing is important, not only to them but as role models for other women and for their country.

After an intense day, we were invited to visit the Danish ambassador Christian Hoppe. All the teams gave excellent 1 minute pitches, directly to the ambassador and his 60 guests. They improved their performance so rapidly, and the fact that they were able to give short, precise pitches after only two days of training and mentoring - was outstanding.

At 11 pm we were heading back to the Marriott Hotel, ready to be tourists, but due to riads at Tahrir Square, where 1200 people got injured - we were advised to stay at the hotel. That said it is perfectly safe to be in Cairo and with 30 degrees celsius and a calm breeze, the climate is perfect.

The SuperMama team - Zeinab Samir and Yasmine ElMehairy.

Day 3 - The Final.

Thursday was the big final, where the teams were to pitch in front of investors, the press and the delegates. We headed for Smart Village through Cairo's intense traffic, meeting a very polished business community build outside Cairo housing mostly technology companies. Egypt has a perfect foundation for utilizing technology, with great access to developers, low employee costs, and now a historic experience from the power social media can give the multitude. The Egyptian Facebook penetration increased after the revolution, being the platform for cultivating, organizing and executing the revolution.

The teams were as ready as they could get, after working non-stop for 3 days. At the end of the day, culminating the event, 4  teams would be chosen, two of the teams would get an internship at EyeContact in the US, and two teams would go to Denmark for 3 months, to be a part of the StartupBootcamp accelerator program.

5 hours later we had the winners and they were announced in front of the Danish Ambassador, Egyptian representatives, the press - counting New York Times, Arab newspapers and the rest of the NextGen2011 team. The winners were in alphabetical order:

18 Days in Egypt - Crowdit is a social media storytelling platform inspired by the revolution.

Bey2ollak - A mobile traffic alert service, already counting 15.000 users.

Inkezny - A mobile app keeping tourists safe in developing countries by giving easy access to emergency assistance.

SuperMama - a social community providing women in Arab countries quality information about motherhood.

 

We celebrated by sailing and dining up the River Nile, eating exquisite cuisine while entertained with Arab music and belly dance. We ended the day at Tahrir Square where people were protesting again, for three days in a row. The SuperMama team drove us safely to the hectic city market Khan El-Khalili - which isn't a matter of course in Cairo. Families were gathered in the square, and kids running around enjoying their summer holiday. After extensive shopping and bargaining we ended the day drinking strong coffee and mint tea in a narrow alley, where locals smoked water pipes and played music, being magnified by mirrors on the surrounding buildings.

After getting close to these brilliant entrepreneurs, we had an emotional farewell. But it will hopefully not be a past memory, but a relationship that will continue with some of the teams in the future.

Back in Denmark I miss the warm courtesy of the Egyptian people, the sound of drums at the market and the warm breeze - in the city that never sleeps.

More impressions from NextGen2011: My pictures. Excellent blog post by Alex Farcet from StartupBootcamp.

Use The Social Web As The Foundation Of Your Business

Once in a while and so far in every edition, I have the privilege of contributing with articles and digital trends to the price winning Danish magazine Scenario. In the spring I suggested that they should interview Lane Becker, a brilliant mind and a wonderful character. Lane is a serial entrepreneur and the co-founder of several successful companies hereunder, Adaptive Path and Get Satisfaction. That suggestions ended with me doing the article and the result can now be read in the latest edition of the Scenario Magazine.

Appetizer: Lane Becker studied art history and dreamed of a professorship, but became a web pioneer in Silicon Valley. He has resided in this epicentre for communication technology since 1994. It was he and others around him who defined the “blog”, and were behind the development of Google Analytics, Adaptive Path and AJAX (JavaScript), which generates the simultaneous suggestions we get when we put things into Google’s search box. SCENARIO’s Natasha Friis Saxberg met Becker for a talk about Silicon Valley’s wholly unique entrepreneurship ethos, which he now sees spreading to the rest of the world....

Read the rest of the appetizer article at Scenario Magazine.

Gignal Presenting The U21 European Championship

 

From June 11-25 2011 Gignal will present the social media buzz created by the audience in- and outside the U21 tournament venues.

The games are played at different locations in Denmark, and the matches will be watched not only at stadiums but also in city squares and other outdoor meetup points.

 

Gignal will capture the atmosphere and emotions when the audience posts updates on Twitter or Facebook, takes photos or video and check-in at the venues.

Follow the Gignal from U21 on physical screens at the event or online.

Photo credit: u21denmark2011

Facebook reaching 700 m. users. Should we be worried?

Facebook experiences a loss of users in primarily the US, Canada and Russia, this news has hit the headlines of international media including the Danish.

Tuesday I gave my take to DR News - the Danish television station, on why Facebook experiences a decrease of users in specific countries. The pattern shows that once they reach half the population, their market limit is reached. It is also the countries Facebook first penetrated that are now experiencing a loss of users, a fact Facebook denies. Countries that were entered later as Mexico and Brazil is still in high growth.

What Facebook experiences now, is the case for many successful companies, they have traveled the J curve journey, and now they are meeting their market limit, which for Facebook is an impressive 50 percent of a country population. Reaching 700 m. users, we are now spending more than 700 billion minutes on Facebook per month. With a reign of 10 percent of the world population, they are indeed conquering the world, in a way Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan and the rest of the world conqueror club, would never have dreamt of.

With 2.5 m. websites connected to Facebook, there is still a great commercial opportunity. Very few companies knows as much about their users as Facebook, so we should expect further commercial cultivation, or to use a buzz word - f-commerce. I look forward to the day where I have to explain why Gignal has experienced a slight decrease in our 700 million users - a problem to love indeed!

Gignal at Zulu Sommerbio +120.000 audiences.

Every year the Danish event “TV2 Zulu Summer Bio” is touring Denmark presenting outdoor movies from various locations. We presented tweets, check-ins, photos and SMS messages.

We presented the Gignal on the center screen at Zulu Summer Bio, spreading the social media buzz from more than +120.000 audiences.

photo: TV2 Zulu sommerbio

Wanted! Game Changing Test Customers.

One thing we learned throughout the years building startups, is that the best product is build by iterations in close collaboration with real customers and real needs. We have now reached a point with Gignal where we deliver a social media billboard presenting tweets, check-ins, photos and video - from venues and events.

Next step is to add more value to venues, events and through that the audience. We have a clear idea of the direction, what we need is customers that will help us verify that we actually deliver a cure for their pain. While our customers help us evolve, we will also help our customers with:

- Become first movers by utilizing the latest technologies. - Enrich your venue & event, by monetizing social media buzz. - Spread customer case studies through our PR campaigns. - Branding as an agile and game changing business.

We need customers that either has a large venue or event, wanting to present a social media billboard for their audience, to entertain and enrich them, added with some secret sauce to be revealed when our first date is set.

Want to be our test customer and collaborate with us using the latest technologies? Please contact co-founder and CEO Natasha Friis Saxberg: natasha at gignal.com +45 23901797

See you at the launching pad!

photo credit