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.

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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

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.

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!


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

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 +45 23901797

See you at the launching pad!

photo credit

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

Present & Spread Conference Buzz

Geo-location has undoubtedly been the tech darling of 2010, and we have probably only seen the beginning, many more "must have" geo-location services will rise in the years to come. And we intend to provide one of them - with Gignal.

We basically aggregate data from a specific location or tag - to show what people are talking about at events. There is no difference from creating an opinion in a physical environment to an online. You scan what people are talking about, you chose conversations to follow or participate in. And by tapping into to those conversations you get other peoples perspective from an event. You also have the chance to connect with the people you dig and thereby expand your network. In many ways you can get the exact same value from an event online as offline, since we communicate online even if we sit next to each other at a conference. The barrier for talking is some how lower online.

Now that was the simple version from a user perspective. From a conference organizer perspective we want to help reinvent conferences, by extending them with an online platform, that can strengthen, prolong and cultivate the event for participants before, under and after the physical event, making it a whole year experience a - conference 365.

We would love to hear your thoughts, ideas or needs on how a conference can become more valuable with Gignal, whether you are a organizer or conference participant.

Gignal in action. TEDxCopenhagen New Media Days Danish Media Conference

7 must-have geo apps

1. Foursquare - Checkin at a location and share it with your friends, including tips, special offers and photos. 2. Layar - Augmented reality browser/platform. Hold your phone in front of you and see where the nearest tweet is posted, where to buy Pizza - or what your search might be. 3. Lonely Planet iPhone City guides as we know them. 4. Google Maps - An oldie but certainly a goody. 5. CauseWorld - Do good while you turn your checkins into karma and donations. 6. Yelp - Search for places to eat, shop, play and get reviews from the local community. 7. Soundwalk - Get a real-time city tour on your iPhone based on your location - this is really cool!

New Media Days Launch

We launched Gignal in closed Beta at New Media Days on November 9-10, 2010. 800 participants, 2 days, 3 locations - all around and about New Media.

This was an excellent case to launch since we had the opportunity to present and aggregate from more locations, all the social services that we support, on physical screens at the event, on Gignal's site and through our widget on New Media Days website with their custom design.

New Media Days Testimonial. For New Media Days Gignal was far the best way of visualizing a combination of social media services. It was an easy way to keep track on how the audience felt about the speakers, the food, the venue - and prevent problems, making sure our audience had a great time. At the same time our audience and people watching from home, could stay on top of the information flow - knowing what the fuzz was about at every single stage. - Didde Elnif, Head of New Media Days.

Gignal event analytics.

New Media Days online stream, featuring check-ins, tweets, photos and video.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year wishes to everyone that supported us in 2010! Our first customers trusting our product. Savvy people sharing their thoughts and feedback to our vision. Event end users for expressing the value they experienced. All together motivating, challenging and driving us to where we are today.

We have come far in 2010, from an idea in January 2010 to our launch today, but we are still at the beginning of our journey. We look forward to experience where and how far 2011 will take us - hope you will join us.

All the best New Year wishes! Team Gignal.

Gignal 2010 - from startup limbo to company launch.

We are about to kiss 2010 goodbye, which is always a bit sad since time flies to rapidly, but it is also exciting to see what the new year will bring. For us 2010 has been a journey with detours, ups and downs, frustrations and thrills - a typical startup experience.

In January 2010 we made the first version of Gignal, because we needed it at NordicMeetup, which we co-organize. It actually looked very similar to the interface we have today, but not as stable and with less services. We took a heavy and costly detour by focusing on music events, but choose to trust our gut feeling and turned our effort back into tech conferences, where networking, sharing, dialogue and gadgets are key. In November we had our first conference launch at the New Media Days conference, followed by a Journalist Festival and TEDxCopenhagen. It was a much needed thrill to see 9 months of work in action, and to get positive feedback - a true energy boost.

In December we took Gignal back into the lab to focus on the lessons learned in November, adding more core value to our product, for conference organizers and participants. But the hardest part was to decide when enough is enough, and focus on wrapping Gignal up, with what we have for now. And from a developer perspective enough is never enough.

So though we are not close to provide our final vision with Gignal, we are very close to launch our first public version. We can now provide a generic tool, so you can create, aggregate and present your event, from geo-tags and tags, on Gignal’s site or your website and on physical screens. You can integrate our widget on your website, with your own custom design. And if that is not enough you can access our API and do your thing from there. We also offer event analytics, so organizers can learn and optimize their event based on online user behavior.

And due to the Christmas spirit we are wrapping Gignal up, by baking a new design, which we expect to take out the owen very very soon. But what we look most forward to experience in 2011, is going from a garage bootstrapping mode into a company state of mind, selling our service, being sustainable, and thereby continue to proof that we support a need, and that we actually make a difference to our stakeholders.

So that’s it for now folks - we look forward to feed you with much more event candy in 2011.

All the best New Year wishes from team Gignal!