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.

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!

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?

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!

NordicMeetup #3 co-hosted with TEDxCopenhagen

On November 30th 2010 at 7 pm NordicMeetup will take place at our usual venue – Ruby’s. We are proud to announce that we will co-host the third event together with TEDxCopenhagen.

This time we will facilitate the party and ask you to sponsor your own drink(s). Get your ticket at NordicMeetup - register now.

Looking forward to see you at NordicMeetup together with TEDxCopenhagen!

Cheers, Petra & Natasha

Event hashtags #nm3 & #tedxcph

P.S. NordicMeetup is sold out but - register for extra tickets.

The 2. NordicMeetup on May 26.

It is time for the 2. NordicMeetup on May 26, 2010 at our favourite spot - Ruby’s. We are co-locating the event together with TechCrunch Europe who is in Copenhagen for their third TCNordic event.

Since NordicMeetup got sold out in 1.5 hour - and before we had a chance to publish the tickets, we have arranged with TechCrunch Europe that if you buy a ticket to TCNordic, you will get a special offer by using the promotion code: nordicmeetup giving you access to the evening event as well.

This time BvHD has made NordicMeetup a reality, by sponsoring the ticket to a free drink at Ruby.

PetraI are so thrilled to see the amazing support for NordicMeetup, people are offering their help, also with co-hosting in other Nordic cities - and most of all by showing up, having fun and supporting the Nordic startup environment, this is exactly what we hoped for.

Looking forward to see you at NordicMeetup!

NordicMeetup - Connecting the Copenhagen Startup Scene.

A year ago I attended Geek'n´Rolla in London organised By TechCrunch Europe. The following day I was invited to attend a meetup called DrinkTank sponsored by the London startup Huddle. I was told that the purpose of the monthly event is to have an informal meeting point where startups, investors and other people related to tech and entrepreneurship can meet and kick tires. This event reminded me that we needed a meeting point not only to connect Copenhagen, but also to connect like-minded people in the  Nordic area.

What characterises thriving startup environments, is a well connected community, events, proximity to money, creativity and talent. The vision with NordicMeetup is to strengthen the local scenes and to concurrent connect the Nordic cities with each other, to benefit from more scale than a small scene can provide.

Together with Petra Johansson, I started to organise the event. And now NordicMeetup is finally a reality thanks to our sponsors Sunstone Capital and StartupBootcamp.

We will start out in Copenhagen, on April, 8. More info and registration at NordicMeetup. Follow the Twitter stream hashtagged #NordicMeetup.

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

Konfect le launch - cross network connect

konfect Today we launch Konfect - a service that makes it easy for you through one interface, to find, explore and connect with people across your communities. Search by entering the persons common username, profile link or real name, and Konfect will show your new contacts social networks.

The person you are searching for does not have to be signed up on Konfect. As long as the persons social networks uses friendly microformats, Konfect can list the services used by that person.

The idea came from attending conferences, receiving numerous names and business cards, with the need to convert your new contacts into online connections - leading to the name KONFerence connECT.

Konfect is solving the problem of finding a contact on multiple communities. Before Konfect you had to search for the person on every single relevant community, or go through pages of Google search, either way time consuming.

Konfect has been in closed beta since September 2009, and with our public launch we offer easy search and connect. Konfect is produced by Webcom Labs, which plans more convenient cross-network features in the future - and to speed that process up, we are in the search for funding.

We launch in connection with LeWeb, making it easy for you to expand your network. I will be at LeWeb, if you want to meet or Konfect.

Twitter styrker viral spredning med integreret retweet.

Welcome to retweet Retweet - videresendelse af tweets, har længe været integreret i mange 3. parts-tjenester herunder Tweetie og Tweetdeck, og er nu også ved at blive rullet ud på Twitter. Indtil nu har man måtte skrive RT og kopiere afsender @brugernavn og selve beskeden ind i en ny tweet, men med den nye funktionalitet skal der blot klikkes på et retweet ikon.

retweet-opt

I første omgang er det et få antal brugere der har muligheden, hvilket giver Twitter en chance for at teste funktionen inden den bliver rullet ud til de øvrige mange millioner brugere.

Ulempen ved Twitters retweet funktion er at man ikke kan skrive kommentarer til de retweets man sender. Netop dette er med til at gøre din retweet personlig, så her må man i stedet ty til via @brugernavn. Skulle man derimod gå hen og fortryde sin gerning, kan man med en fortryd funktion trække beskeden tilbage, i modsætning til via metoden.

Screen shot 2009-11-11 at 1.52.10 PM

Den helt store fordel fra et follower synspunkt er at man slipper for RT spam. Hvis 5 personer du følger, retweeter den samme besked, så du den tidligere 5 gange i din Twitter strøm, men nu ser du den kun én gang, med angivelse af hvem der retweeter. Det svarer til Facebook´s synes godt om funktion.

retweet-byx

Endnu et skud på stammen fra Twitter, der siden de lancerede tjenesten i 2006 har leveret ganske få tilføjelser til den basale funktionalitet. Dette har blot betydet at brugerne har drevet innovationen, ved at opfinde mange af de metoder der anvendes i dag, herunder #hashtag og ikke mindst @brugernavn der gør at du kan skrive til og om en bruger.

Læs hvad Twitter skriver om deres nye tiltag.

Twitter - the evolution of RSS

evolutionWhen describing RSS to corporations and the state of the technology, I weave on the observation that all though RSS was a gift to us all when it emerged, the social evolution of the web today means that RSS no longer supports our need in the reader form. Recently I stumbled over Steve Gillmor´s article on TechCrunch, with the observation that RSS has been taken over by Twitter - and there it was, the obvious explanation to the state of RSS.

Unfortunately for Dave Winer - time has changed since 2002 when he released RSS version 2.0. Back then it was a major relief to have information pushed instead of pulled, but now RSS has turned into information overload with data that is quickly outdated. And since my Google Reader most of all reminds me of my inbox in worst of times - I stay away.

And yes - Twitter has taken its place. I want live information, from “real” people that I choose as my reliable source to information, with no sign of old data that needs to be processed. So thanks to Gillmor´s article I will be able to give a proper explanation of what happened to RSS - Twitter happened!

Twitter - Chaotic, random but relevant

NYC When people ask me what the fuss is all about on Twitter, and how I can comprehend all the information, I try to explain the power of random and the tremendous source to knowledge. Twitter is a random stream of information, but the stream makes sense, because we as individuals are able to unconsciously screen much more input than we are aware of.

It might seem chaotic, but when you occasionally dip into the stream, you are conscious about the topics and keywords that matters to you right now. And somehow you are able to spot those tweets that matters.

I wrote a blog post in 2008 about the “Pattern of random” that received a comment on the similarity with Synchronicity (by Jung). And after reading the book it often strikes me that the phenomena of synchronicity also rules on Twitter and other social services. Somehow the topics I am working on at the moment are always supported by great links and thoughts from other users, giving me valuable sources for my work. 3 years ago I had to rely on meeting someone in the real world as in the train, at a party or over lunch. Thanks to Twitter I now need to take a deep breathe, jump into the massive pool of information, follow the stream and grasp on to everything that catch my interest.

Bronwen Clune CEO at Norg Media put it this way at the 140 CC in NYC.

“Chaos theory, making order from random information - that is what Twitter does for us”

Hear hear Bronwen!