Dec 09

Guinness Glasses and Cravendale Straws

Social media and word of mouth is the new advertising and nothing else is needed – well, according to some social media’gurus’. As Ramon De Leon said at Le Web, advertising (the old version) is the tax on being boring. He may be right to an extent, but there’s no doubt that his Domino’s franchises will still benefit from the the national advertising spend that the parent company provide. I wouldn’t call Ramon a social media guru, given I reserve that term for those who talk more than they act and the key thing that he does is act – and continue to deliver on his commitments.

However, social media – on its own – does not replace other means of marketing. It complements it, adds to the mix and is undoubtably one of the key ways to develop relationships with brand fans and advocates. Working with ‘influencers’ – meaning people with a strong online presence that may have an influence on a potential customer – is now extremely common with markets. But the problem has been how can you determine who is an influencer. Peer Index is one of the services that have grown over the last few years to help answer that question. By bringing together a person’s social media profiles and activities they provide a ‘influence ranking’ that brands and agencies can then use to find people who may talk about their brand.

But how good is the ranking? Does it replace the more manual method of reviewing blogs and working with them to develop a relationship? On the one hand, it’s quicker and cheaper to ask for a list of a few 1000 people that may meet the criteria set then spending day and weeks working, reading, understanding the audience you are trying to reach and finding the right people to talk to. But the success rate is probably harder to forecast.

Over the last few months, I’ve been targeted with 3 different Peer Perks which demonstrate that its not always that easy to use the services to generate online activity – it all depends on how you create the filters.

The first, the least successful for me was for the launch of a new lottery. The brand’s marketing plan obviously included a lot of space for social media and WOM, given it also partnered with Klout as well as Peer Index. But I wonder what the target audience was and why I was targeted? Trying to find blog posts that mention that lottery, the campaign did not appear to be that successful!

Guinness Glasses

The second was with Guinness, as part of their campaign this autumn. Influencers who opted-in received 6 half-pint Guinness Glasses as well as an entry into a draw to win a ‘Guinness Class’ trip to Dublin. They were also out in the pubs, offering sampling and more chances to win at pubs around the country for 2 months. As well as using Peer Index, Guinness also appeared to do targeted outreach, providing additional content and placing sponsored posts across specific blogs (eg this one with Tiki Chris). The third level was the more usual PR, ie this AOL piece. There’s a lot more to this integrated campaign, but you can see here how Guinness have used different types of influencers to provide widespread coverage. Although I’d hazard a guess that these 3 elements were managed by 3 different agencies :-)

The third perk was for Cravendale Milk. Again as part of a larger set of outreach activities, Cravendale sent out sets of Epic Straws (that link will probably die at some point, as it’s campaign related) along with vouchers for their milk. I’ve loved playing with the straws but I’ve not cashed in the milk vouchers for myself as its unusual if I get through more than a pint in a week! They did the more regular PR and also worked with Britmums to target what I would say is a better audience than I – Moms! This was combined with all sorts of other promotions, such as on-pack vouchers to get your own set of straws. All of this generated a lot of coverage, from what I can see the most out of the 3 I was offered.

A mixed bunch then. The first, not for me at all. The second, definitely right for me, giving me both a physical object to remind me all about Guinness and the opportunity to win a greater prizes. The 3rd I like as a campaign and I LOVE the straws, but it probably better targeted at parents than someone like me. I’ll be passing on the straws and milk vouchers to my family as they’ll make far more use of both.

Dec 06

LeWeb 12: Matt Mullenweg and Word Press

Liveblogged – so mistakes

Matt Mullenweg, Founder, Automattic & Om Malik, Founder & Senior Writer, GigaOM

Le Web Paris Dec 2012

WordPress powers 17% of top million sites. it’s fun but also a responsibility, wanted to create open source publishing but also wanted to create sustainable business. So Automattic – those are the services that pay. Growing it to be large, sustainable and independent. Some of the things that are going on with the platforms are ‘troubling’. Instagram has been a user focused company; with twitter and facebook, the primary users are advertisers. The person is just the product. You then have a conflict. And that leads to lack of user focus. Matt has always tried to set up business model that is aligned with the person, the end user, not advertisers. Does not approve of what happens with Instagram and Twitter. WordPress is kind of Swiss – works with all of the various platforms. That’s what users want, you can comment with any of the accounts. You can always come home to your blog. have used everything. But you always need that digital home, No matter what, I come back. So for my blog to incorporate some of the third party, then that’s fine. A lot of people use it to post to and then push to Twitter etc. Social networks provide distribution channels for blogs and blogs explode in popularity.

WP is open, so people can start to connect things to the blog. make their own plugins. (Om: what i see is these platforms trying to sell us ‘their’ web. But it will get to the point (again) when it is our web again. There is going to be a fight back)

Matt thinks that WP is interesting on its own, but what is more interesting is the connection between them. looking for them to help shape habits and behaviours. When there are multiple digital inputs, what intelligence can be brought into WP…it’s probably not going to be something that Matt will come up with. There are 20k plugins. They solve problems

Mobile is becoming more important for Om, so he’s asking what mobile does for Matt. Mobile makes them re-evaluate WordPress from ground up. The WP dashboard allows you to do a lot of things, but for new people,it can be intimidating. For mobile, you reduce, you get it down to key elements, and it can be beautiful. Automattic has more people on mobile apps that the core wordpress. Get about 80m uniques on mobile, and tend to generate more page views (eg with ipads), Expect a slow growth for mobile to be the main interface.

Om asks if WP wants to get into the devices (eg cameras etc). Matt is start seeing the first round of smart cameras. The Nikon one, you can run WP on it. You can get devices that autopost, but not into that. The ration between creation and consumption needs to be right.

Dec 06

LeWeb 12: Brian Solis and changing behaviours

liveblogged – with mistakes

Brian Solis, Principal, Altimeter Group

Le Web Paris Dec 2012

Two years ago, discussed the Human API, where you body is open to connections. The internet of things is not just devices and data. I like the concept of superheroes and experiences. You have an opportunity to define what we are going to do as consumers. Give an app to do something better than you did before or give great experiences. I want to talk to you about opportunities around the IoT. Data and devices are everywhere. How many of us are doing things because you can. But I want to challenge you to not just do something there is a problem..but how can you change my behaviour. That is the real opp, because otherwise it’s just data and tech

We are building an incredible human network, where people, info and experiences are coming together. People talk and worry about big data, but what are we doing with it that counts, to make something that matters. We are not even seizing the opps that we have today. Altimeter refer to this as the sentient world..it’s all coming together. But what about what we don’t see. The IoT connects devices and people…but what else. It is getting better…but it’s going to be generic. Labels that don’t mean a thing, that don’t inspire you.

What are we going to do with all of this in a way that matters. When thinking back to conversations about human API, we have the opp to make tech do something, to change things. But there has to be something more. We have devices that allow us to do things – open a door, change the temp. They are utilities. But what else can the do. It’s not just controlling things, it’s about surroundings and experiences. If the medium is the message, how can the medium influence how the message is perceived. It is the interpretation of the data that allows us to do something different. here,. we have the opp to find what that it is. Some of you will develop amazing utilities. But can you deliver amazing experiences.

THe Human ALgorithm – people are at the centre – are you making things easier, to do something, to have something. I want you to give me something that I didn’t know I want. I want you to know where I’m going when in the car…to advise and communicate. That idea and dreams are what I want you to do. It is that vision that takes you beyond the idea. It is about making the idea better in the first place. We have not tapped that human algorithm enough, it is you and me and the possible.

Jobs wanted to create an experience. He could take ideas and make them better. believe that he had cracked the code for the Human algorithm, He thought differently. The idea is to deliver experiences that ties together all of this information. All of the digital breadcrumbs we lay out are powerful, how do we connect them. So how about a fridge that knows when you are running out, to get things into your cart and have it done automatically. That is a utility, that is cool. But is that good enough? YOu have tech that is tracking you, connecting with doctors etc. But it’s still just the beginning. Fitbit helps you think about living a healthier lifestyle. But it connects you with other people to encourage you. So thinking about the experience about how it brings you closer to friends and family., You are designing an experience with the sole job of making you a better human being.

These life hacks are now just becoming part of life. As designers and investors we should look for more opps to change lives. We are getting re-wired with all this tech but who is the architect.Who thinks through the experiences. We should not be surprised when people do different things with products. It is about designing an experience to change behaviour -0 ie how babies interact with ipads and then magazines.

Experience architecture is brand new, it is something that we all get to decide. How do you make it better and change things. If you make a new experience, a life hack, that helps me become something I wanted to be or do something I could not before, then that is good. Experiences that trigger the changes…because of your designs. To change behaviour, to force new trends, to make people want to follow you.

To design the future of IoT, we need to think about filtering out the noise, There is not enough innovation and vision. How you can add social hooks that get people together, to get people to talk about it. To buy a lifestyle not a product. How we predict who people will react. Anticipate needs and inspirations.

It comes down to this. Life is about creating and living experiences that are worth sharing. It is about how people interact with the IoT. It comes down to you, as the EA. You are going to help me change my behaviour and have new experiences. You are not just developing products, services and solutions, you can be a Experience Architect to help me change the way I live my life.

Dec 06

LeWeb 12: Ramon WOW

Liveblogged – may be mistakes

Ramon de Leon, Social Media Marketing, Dominos Pizza

Markets for 6 Dominos stores in Pizza. Uses social media to drive sales! Told us his tips. Be prepared to create and share content. THat’s what people do – create and share content. He is prepared to capture all the time – has about 6 gadgets in pockets. People are in the mobile device – he organised a pizza last night via Twitter. He’s on all the time. His goal is to make people smile wherever it is. His goal today, is to inspire us. He looks for ways to make people feel good!

When Facebook hit his area in 2005, at the college. They went out and took photos at all the events, labelled them with brand and encouraged the students to post on the (then student only) Facebook. They still work hard with students. They worry about how they can help students – to keep them in business (and buying pizza). It’s about trusting your instincts – and believe in what you are doing, Be your own caffeine!!! Don’t be lazy…..Don’t be boring. If you are operating a brand and you are boring, then you need to increase your budget for advertising – advertising is the cost for being boring. Partner with the right people – go to battle with a wingman.
When he started with the tools, they defined it. They planned everything. They knew that social media fire can only be put out with social media water.

He REMEMBERS. he goes back and interacts with people who have had a problem. He still sorts out people they had a problem with 3 years ago. He goes out of his way to make experiences. The question is always ‘how does it make you feel’
Social media is all about people – not tech. Give up control, let customers speak. Throughout, you need to make sure your message is clear. Don’t get lost in the clutter, but don’t overdo it. And although content is clear, you have to get out and talk to people. You have to show the face.

RC comment: a passionate and committed marketer who loves what he does, loves engaging with his customers and giving them a brilliant time. Some great tips and brilliant examples of why he is successful

Dec 05

LeWeb 12: Mid-conference report

So half way through the conference and what are my impressions?

The internet of things is complicated. Is it just on your phone? Is it the quantified self? Is it toys? Is it switches and buttons that you put round your house? is it embedded processors in cars and coffee machines. One thing that is missing is some discussion of what do we mean. At Futures of Entertainment in MIT last month, there was time to discuss meanings and semantics and common language. Here, with the focus on show me something new now, we can be left foundering in meanings and definitions without clarity.

Just because you have a new product announcement that may have a finger in the real world does not mean that you can talk with authority about the internet of things. There are lost of short speeches, of talks from the big companies that have nothing concrete and credible to say about the theme but have something small to announce. Just because of the scale and the PR around this conference they need to be seen and need to be seen to say something. But my challenge is not to tell me about something new – as in a product – but get me to think something new. Challenge my preconceptions about the world

The internet of things is not a new topic – as Adam Tinworth says, other conferences look to the future, Le Web looks at the now and what is happening. And what we are seeing is commercialisation and the start of commoditisation. The barriers are coming down. I don’t need to be an expert in circuits and soldering to connect my cupboard to the web. I just need to buy the right part. It’s not yet open to all, but the toys and tools are getting there so that people are interacting now without considering it the internet of things, this new thing, it’s just life and how things happen. Being able to turn my lights on as I turn into my street or turn the car heating on remotely as I drink my coffee in the morning. Everything is becoming connected and the connections are becoming invisible.

So that’s it after a day and a half. Time to dig in and get typing for the rest of the sessions

Dec 05

LeWeb 12: Amber Case and Cyborg interfaces

Liveblogged – may be mistakes

Amber Case, Director of Esri R&D Center Portland, Cyborg Anthropologist & Former CEO, Geoloqi, Inc.

Le Web Paris Dec 2012

We have devices that need to be looked after, fed and comforted. With our phones, we are all cyborgs. It is a symbiotic interaction between you and a machine. It is about having devices that allow you to adapt you to environments. We have had physical extensions to self, like the hammer or the knife. Devices that look like the do something. Modern devices don’t look like they are supposed to do, the buttons are liquid. The devices are small. And they impact people in different ways.

The devices make things that were invisible visible. So what can you do if your phone knew where you were. This is an invisible button, when you go into a space then something happens. In the 70′s that was called ‘calm technology’. Tech that gets out of the way, it reacts as you go through your life, with no direct action. It has ambient imput. location, time, speed etc. Phones become a remote control for reality, your location has power. Ideas like geonotes – notes and info from people are where you are. Location based controllers. Lights on and off when go in and out of house. More invisible buttons.

One main area is about quantified self. About tracking moods and activity etc. But we have frictionless data gathering, but not interpretation. There’s lots of data but on different devices. We need a way of connecting it all, of interoperability, That is holding back the internet of things. A way of connecting and correlating things. Without needing to code. Making it easy./ When we correlate, that is when we get real meaning. That will drive insights.

Looking forward to the future of maps and location. We have all this data, how can we use this in new ways. Intelligent routing. What is the safest cycling route. What is the least windy route through a city. The best technology is invisible, ambient and gets out of the way. And that it is easy to connect with and understand the data.

Dec 05

LeWeb 12: the Data of Things

liveblogged – there will be mistakes

Dr. DJ Patil, Data Scientist in Residence, Greylock Partners

Le Web Paris Dec 2012

It’s about the data of things, rather the internet of things. The power of the things is that they produce data. The phone, the tablet, the PC. But there’s more. The fitbit, the jawbone. Things that measure sleep or activity – things that have a goal of measuing you. You can measure blood pressure and heart rate with the phone (and add-ons). We are becoming the internet of things.

Insights come from the blend of data and sensors. It starts to be about everything around you. The car, the planes. Plane engines are connected. Trains are connected. Internet of things is not just the things, it is also the processes associated with them.

Sensors are getting smaller and faster. Data we have loads, lots of information. But on Insights and Action, we score low. We are not drawing the conclusions and acting on them. We are not taking the next steps. We need to have 3 steps to make process.

We need to follow the best practice for design and interaction. So what do you want people to take away, what do you want them to do and how do you want them to feel . Stuff needs to lead us to the next step.

We need to make superpowers. We need to provide data and apps that make people feel good, that makes them feel in control. And if it goes away, it makes people feel powerless. Our internet of things needs to act like superpowers. They empower you to interact in a new way. to see the world differently. This thinking drives you to new products, a different ways of interacting with world. This is about augmentation, not just replacement. How do the devices augment you, make a superpower for us

Have to start thinking this as a new set of skills. A different way of analysing the data. Which needs a different type of Data Scientist. Who understand the things underneath the data. And how to put the human back into the data. How the human works in the lifecycle.

Dec 05

LeWeb 12: Nokia and Design

Liveblogged – there will be mistakes

Marko Ahtisaari, Executive Vice President, Design, Nokia – an Internet of Small Things

Le Web Paris Dec 2012

THe internet is everywhere around us, on a multitude of devices. With a bunch of sensors connecting them to the world. We move from multiple screens to more and more things that are on. in around us that are all connected. So what is the world we want to design and how do we interact with them. Look at the mobile – the screens are immersive, they take all our focus. We are looking at designing experiences that gets people’s heads up again. So this is tech to allow us to connect remotely but does not get in the way of us engaging with the environment.

The other is a return to the significance of place. We used to only call a place by phone. Then you moved to call a person. Every single person would have a phone. This is a critical change. But now the devices know where they are. And all of the things we will hav eon us, in us will be located in a place. So can we use location as a lens for the interactions. SO you need a model of place. And that is what we are building. We started 30 years ago, the path to build a real-time digital extraction of the world – Nokia HERE. It is a map that is calculated to you personally. It is a lot of work. Industrial, with cars mapping, with partner data from UPS etc. Need more and more data sources to build the model. And then we need the user data. How people are using it, what are they adding. We use that to enhance and improve the quality of the industrial data. Community is needed to get data for maps outside of populated areas.

For HERE to grow and improve, it needs to go horizontal, across multiple platforms and that is now happening. And we provide ways for people to build on it too. The main experience is on the phone, but we it is growing. Thinking as location as the lens, it changes what is built etc.

The goal is to make experiences that are connected to the world around us. That are personalised. Make them more heads up, more relevant to the environment. But that’s not all. So a deeper dive into what we make. We are a product of Northern EU, even though team is international. And that reflects in how we think. And one way is to refine what people do every day, making them better.

It shows in a commitment to purity. To making a product PURE. You take away everything that is not necessary. The other goal is to make products that are BUILT BETTER. Solid, well engineered. Deep collaboration between engineering and design. Then our products are HUMAN, never cold. It’s about how they feel in the hand. They are then always ADVANCED. The right technology.

(he then went on to launch the Nokia Lumia 620. looks a nice phone)

Dec 05

Le Web 12: Tuesday Notes

The first afternoon of the conference was characterised by lots of small talks – product announcements and quick snippets instead of any indepth look at a subject.

In general, my takeout from the first day of the internet of things is around household objects and toys – those are the main areas of focus. The costs are coming down and the components are started to be commercialised if not well on the path to commoditised. In the same way that web tools became easier and easier, not requiring any technical knowledge, then the connecting parts between the web and world become click and play.

Below, I highlight any interesting points from the various sessions on the Tuesday afternoon. (generally liveblogged)

Misha Lyalin, Chairman & CEO, ZeptoLab
The company have had 250m downloads; 50m+ MAU. 25% of US smartphones. It is the largest DAU in China. Tablets less than smartphones, <7% smartphnes in BRIC. Android is growing fast. They do multiple platform - web as well as phones. They take it to real world. They do merchandise - plush toys. They take the toys onto the phone (feed the toy). Do animations. Have new game. Going to do a live production (signed with Sony Pictures). Most ideas from internal process. Everyone in company can submit ideas. They prototype and test. Doing pretty well as a company. They are profitable.

Phil Libin, CEO, Evernote
Have 10 countries with more than a million USA.Japan, China, UK, South Korea, Canada, Germany, Spain, Russia, Brazil. They grow organically, do little/no paid marketing. Their marketers focus on getting the audience wanting to use the the product through WOM. 66% use at work. for knowledge collection. 85% have brought it in themselves. Now they are launching Evernote business. In Phil’s opinion, business stuff is crappy. This is being launched to allow companies to discover the knowledge they have. Evernote business They are bringing in contextual searches, as you add info, then it brings out and highlights the related info in the system – hopefully to create knowledge. It’s not just storage – it’s an emergent search tool.

Tech Spotlight: Adam Wilson, Founder & Chief Software Architect, Orbotix
Uses a robot controlled by phone2 way wifi, 6 axis IMU, API and SDK, plus apps. It’s a robotic gaming system. This are games that are between physical and virtual. THer eis a whole continuum available to build games in this space., THis is mixed reality. .Nice demo!

Tech Spotlight: Carly Gloge, Co-Founder & CEO, Ubooly
Creative and educational creature. Uses iphones to control Listen and tell stories. VOice recognition. Games etc. To react with children
They get lots of data back about what the children do, so can amend the content and adapt to what is being used. They are building new content – eg travel packs, plus social elements. Building on ways for Ubooly to feed back to the parents about childs behaviour

Fred Potter, Founder & CEO, Netamo
Some things matter and some don’t. For his kid, his Teddy is important. For adults, the smartphone is important. If it’s not important, then it’s on your smartphone. Now more and more of your life goes onto your smartphone. The weather matters. Indoor matters – we spend 80% of time indoors. Air quality indoors is important. Netamo have created a weather station. For outdoors and indoors. Monitor C)2, pressure, humidity, noise, temperature. We send data to cloud and phone. Product announcement. Buildin gnetwork to help enhance wellness and help understand environment. If you don’t start by measuring things, you can’t change them

Tech Spotlight: Phil Bosoa, CEO, LIFX
LIFX is a lightbulb controlled with your smartphone. raised money through kickstarter. $1.3 in 6 days. It’s about different lights in your life. Sync lights with music. Wants to be disruptive in the lightbulb market

Tech Spotlight: Gil Blander, Founder, President & CSO, InsideTracker
So how is taking care of your body like taking care of your car..you have checkups. If you miss a oil change, it affects your car. You need to take care of the body. Body needs the same as a car – diagnostics. Building a way of monitoring your performance and whether if in your optimal zone. Then ideas to get you back to it if not there. Eg if low VIt D, then ideas to improve it. Will also give some total solutions, optimise the diet

Dec 05

Le Web 12: Google, Twitter and Facebook

Liveblogged – so mistakes

On Tuesday afternoon, representatives from Google, Twitter and Facebook were on stage. The Google talk was an interesting insight into how search works and the ways Google are thinking about ‘things’ – objects they can build search results around, where there is context. (couldn’t capture all of this due to some work stuff). Twitter and Facebook were both there to do minor product announcements. Twitter about extension of trend results to more cities and Facebook to launch Messenger for all – even those without a FB account (OK, that was not so minor)

Ben Gomes, Vice President & Google Fellow, Google – Moving from Strings to Things.

Le Web Paris Dec 2012

Google starting to understand context, synonyms, spelling etc. They have to move to understanding what is being talked about, the object. They need to start to treat key words as references to things. To start to understand this, have to create a mapping from keywords to a large number of things. Have 560m data set of people, data and things, with 18n connections. This allows you to give meaning. It is a graph that is created from things on the web etc. How do you bring them together coherently? Now when you type in something, you start to get a knowledge panel about it. If you look for a person, you get the data about the person, but also projects, the people involved and connected with them etc.

A big challenge is internationalising it. So look at US and UK. Football is different. ‘Chiefs’ means different teams in different countries. Plus languages. Launching in French, Japan, Germany, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Portuguese. A lot of it comes from free sources on the web, plus own databases. There are humans cirating underlying datasets, but algorithms bring it together. They stay objective as far as possible. Loic asks about quality, if Google are using Wikipedia. Google know there are problems – and allows you to report a problem.

Have been focusing on making search a lot richer. Eg Verbal search improving. We are working on translations etc. Building up options for natural language processing. This will help with internet of things. Eg ‘find me my keys’

Q: what is search in 5 years? The path we are on, the dream is the Star Trek computer. THat is the fantasy. But we have made steps. Speech recognition; natural language interpretation. As search gets better, then people start pushing it harder. Search will get smarter in ways that you won’t recognise as it’s happening.

Q: now trying the future? It goes from search with a query, but search where the question is implicit. We can guess with time and save you a lot of effort. You can see there is a lot of space, about predictive search. Translation can bring more information to more people….eg Hindi speakers have very little web content

Katie Stanton, Vice President of International Market Development, Twitter

Role is to grow the audience of Twitter outside of the US. So increasing discovery; working with partners around events. Build the team on the ground. Been working with media companies in France – TV companies here are ahead of many places. Being great to be working here, inspiring creativity. Available in 33 languages, accessible on many devices. In about 33 markets, you can see trends per country, and in some places cities. This is being expanded to more markets and cities.

Q: How do you guide your partners in being in the rules? There is a lot of creativity, so don’t bound this. We show best practices, what to do and not to do. The biggest lesson is to be genuine with themselves. We also share real-time analytics with partners.

Q: What diferences in cultures in how people using? Everyone comes to connect. Japanese use as SMS replacement. to communicate directly. We see Latin markets, being open and expressive and creating lots. About 60% create, 40% just consume. Latin markets over index on creation.

Q: We’ve seen lost sof things. What are you favourite examples? Like the everyday things, the human touch. Like that it humanises institutions.

Q: Does it mean that orgs\celebrities are becoming more savvy about comms? Yes, celebrities see that they need to be on these platforms.

Peter Deng, Director of Product Management, Facebook

Q: How is the shift to mobile? Big. Our product teams are now focused on a mobile first company. The teams now all take care of their mobile products now. We learn from mobile now and then bring it to web

Q: So everything is mobile first? Not going to say never (turn up on web first) but that’s the aim. That shift is as big as launching platform. We have taken the platforms..they have different affordances. The phone is different. They are always on and always with you and always logged in as you. They are interuptive. They can buzz you. That is different to what a PC can do. So as a result we are focusing on the messaging (and mobile) Affordances are about what the engineered object naturally does.

Q: Would you say the internet industry have viewed mobile as smaller desktop..but now FB is thinking different. Yes, Tradiitonally, it’s a scaled down version with less functionality., But now at FB, it is about the experiences, the mobile experiences. We’ve been investing in mobilke messaginf over the last 18 months. We have built FB Messenger etc..we see that people want more than the SMS. Up until today, we assumed that you had to be FB user to user Messenger and that it was just for your friends. Now we change it today. You can just have a Messenger account and you can use it with just a phone number (for free)

Q: So why does FB care about this? We want people to care about connecting with people, Messenging has always be care. We need to give people more than the type of messaging they are used to on the phone.

Q: So there are 2 ways this can help – it’s a pathway to Facebook. And to increase usage of existing members, to give them more people to communicate it? For dev world, a lot of times it’s just messaging and we are allowing this. This could lead to them being able to do more.

Q: now you need an email address to sign up?
yes, 6% of teen use email daily., 66% of them use SMS daily. So a different shift in comms habit. People have been known to get an email address just to sign up for Facebook

Q: Should the carriers be worried? We have worked closely with carriers. A lot of people use Facebook already – paying for the data. We work with 2 carriers to provide a reduce rate of data plan for those who just want to use Messenger.

Dec 04

Le Web 12: Muse, Soundcloud and SmartThings

Some notes from the shorter sessions on Morning 1 of Le Web

Ariel Garten, CEO, Interaxon

Le Web Paris Dec 2012

This is Ariel’s 3rd appearance. Now they finally have a product to announce. They do thought controlled devices. Shared with us about thought controlled technology 2 years ago. Last year, showed you how the tech connected you with your inner world. This year, it’s coming to everyone.
Presenting Muse – a headband, that reads your thoughtwaves and connects with your cellphone. It comes with an app and an SDK. First area is about control – goals, parameters etc. Then self discovery, about knowing more about your self. Thirdly, it’s about context. you can add emotions to your writing – it changes the font of the email (showed demonstration) . It’s available to buy now, delivering next spring. You can develop.

Tech Spotlight: Jeff Hagins, Founder & CTO, SmartThings

SmartThings – about making it easy for hardware connectivity. To make the physical world progammable. So showed how phone can be used to connect with multiple devices. (demo’d turning on Christmas tree lights from Paris). Can take same devices and use them for multiple ways. Eg contacts stuff, when things are opened. Can send text messages, or turn other things on etc. It commercialises web connectivity and makes it simple. Have IDE, app modules, arduino shield.


Alexander Ljung, Founder & CEO, SoundCloud

Le Web Paris Dec 2012

Every minute, 10 hours of sound uploaded. They reach over 180m people across the multiple platforms that their stuff is used. That’s 8% of internet population. Has grown a lot. Lots of different users. The White House (Obama) uses Soundcloud. Cousin uses it to capture the noises of his new born baby. They are hard at work on the next version They are getting +30% increased engagement. It is switching today.

First is about discovery, finding new stuff. Now has an EXPLORE section. Categories etc. Uses a lot of real time info. They have improved SEARCH. Rebuilt everything from ground up. Called it DISCORANK. Fast, relevant and personalised. They have RELATED sounds. Secondly is about how sounds bring people closer. New onboarding experience. Connects with other platforms to bring likes across etc.

Also launching section for creators, both existing and to encourage people to start creating. They are improving ways of sharing. Reposting etc. You can create sets of sounds. Finally, updating their mobile apps on Thursday.

Dec 04

Le Web 12: Scott Harrison and Charity:Water

Liveblogged – possible mistakes

Scott Harrison, Founder & CEO, charity:water

Le Web Paris Dec 2012

Will be talking about how he got into Charity:Water. The Water Crisis etc.
A little about him. Started as a nightclub promoter. Got paid to ‘promote’ things like vodka and beer – get photographed. Looked good – no heart to life. Decided to make a change. He was miserable. Had to move on, to make a difference. Decided to go help the poor – but denied by everyone he applied for. He had no skills that would be useful. He found someone who he could pay $500 a month and help them (mercyships.org). He became their photographer. Went to Liberia. Saw real poverty and issues. (lots more about what he saw). Signed up for another year. Started to learn what was making people sick – it was dirty water. Started looking at where people are drinking from – ponds, streams, dirty water. Worked with a guy who taught people how to tap into ground water. The team was doing the surgeries, the water guy was affecting 1000s people for a fraction of the money. Came back to NY..and knew needed to make up for last time. Had seen lots of problems..but kept coming back to the water. And charity:water was born

800m people don’t have access to clean, safe, drinking water. Up to 80% of diseases by bad water and lack of toilets. 40 billion hours are wasted fetching water in Africa every year. Imagine what can people do with the time. But this is a solvable problem. There are solutions. Wells, filter water, harvest rain etc. There are ways to get this fixed. If you can bring water to community, it can change everything. Healthier, more time. Chance for better life. To learn. to start businesses. UN says every dollar invested in clear water and sanitation, gives $12 back to economy.

The challenge set was to end the water crisis, to give help. But also to re-invent charity. Friends were not giving, they distrusted charities. They gave money and it went into a charity blackhole. So had to change that. Decided that ALL the public money goes to the charity, not the operational costs. Two accounts – raised money to run charity separately to the money to effect the charity. They made sure they had proof – made everything public, so all spend can be tracked. Thirdly, wanted to build a brand. There were no aspirational charity brands he wanted to be involved in. So decided to change this.

First, ran party, Then took all the money to village in Uganda, built wells. Sent the evidence back. Did product collaborations. Challenged the marketing. Did partnerships. Pushed social media. did galas differently. Everything was creative ways to get story out there. Then they stumbled on the big idea to drive support. This was ‘give up your birthday’. Donate to charity instead of presents. etc So turned birthday into a giving moment, an unselfish day THere are many, many stories about this. One such is that of Rachel https://www.charitywater.org/blog/rachels-gift/ What started out as ‘our story’ turned into ‘Their Story’. So continued to make everything transparent. Showed where all the money goes, exactly what the money that you raise builds Now we are moving on remote sensors – to connect with the things they are building. THe project is now completely funded. Have received grant. To develop and put the sensors out in the field, so you can see what is happening.

They have raised $77m. Have been growing every year. do not think of themselves as traditional charity – but as a start up. Last year, gave 725k people clean water. Want to talk about this problem being solved – go after 100m people in next 3 years. Need to raise $3billion. PLus $300m to run the projects. Are you willing to help, to make it your story? Can you get your company involved? Can you give up your birthday?

Dec 04

LeWeb 12: NASA and Mars

LIVEBLOGGED = there will be mistakes

Benjamin Cichy, Chief Software Engineer, NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Le Web Paris Dec 2012

Talking about Mars. For years we knew little. It could be like earth. It had seasons, polar ice caps, had winters and summers. It could have had a rainy season. It has always fascinated us. It could have looked like Earth. Was it like us, can it tell us about ourselves.

In the 1870s, that is when we started to map it. Through a telescope. There was a network of channels, these features, covering the surface. When published,d potentially a mistranslation, there were now ‘canals’ ie built objects. From this, thinking about life on mars, public got excited. Asking questions about are we alone.

But not until the space age, we finally got some focus. Across the 1960s, we started our first attempts. But the frist 12 missions failed. We did not understand the Mars secrets, how to get there. In 1965, that was the first glimpse. There were 21 images, what was remarkable, was there was NO channels, it looked far more like our moon. It did not look to be this live planet. But we still wondered, was the fly-by too fast. So we still pushed to land on Mars.

Viking programme in 70s. 2 landers – legged, to get a single point of access. It was a success. We got our first images from another planet. We saw it was dusty, barren, rocky, There was no life. And so we retreated. We did not send more. We stepped back. We looked inside now. And we learnt that life on earth could survive in far more places than we thought, We learnt all we needed was energy source, like sun, we need water and we need the building blocks. So we went back – we could still have life, hidden in the soil.

But we could not go back as before, using a lander. A different approach. So let’s have a different approach. Cushion the lander so it bounces across the platform. And let’s not just use a legged lander, let’s have e a movable robot. So Sojourne rover created in 1996. But it would be another 8 years to go back. We tried again, but in 1999 they had 2 failures.

It was 2004 before they went back. They were able to answer the second question. They found evidence that Mars was once a wet place. They saw evidence of sea. They knew they had energy and water. In 2008, the Phoenix saw there was water on Mars now – frozen water in the poles.

But what about the last ingredient. The building blocks. We had to go bigger. So we built Curiosity. It is huge. It is international. Many countries involved. It is the ultimate offroad vehicle. But we did not know how to land it, how to get it to Mars. We knew we needed a protective shell. We needed a heat shield. The biggest we had built. Then largest parachute. 15m wide, 50m long. Parachute took us to 300kph. So how to get from that to soft landing. So they came up with a ‘jetpack’. They would lower it down, under a hovering jetpack. Then cut it and fly the jetpack off.

11km above surface, we deploy the parachute, Takes us to 300kph. Then we have to decide when to cut the cord. Too late, we’ll crash, Too soon, we’ll run out of fuel. So 1km out, we cut and we fire the rockets. SLow down over 30secs. 20m above, we start the lowering. then have to get the rockets away.

So much. 76 explosions to co-ordinate. All out of touch from the earth. it’s 14 minutes to get here. there are 5m lines of codes. to control this. We had to build all the software to teach the rover to land on Mars. We also knew that only 33% of missions had landed successfully. We could not test all together…there was 1 chance to get it right. Had run millions of sims etc.

We landed (played video). We had these never before seen views of Mars…took the first self portrait. Look at the image and think of all the people who got involved. We saw evidence of flowing water in Mars. We took soil samples, investigated. It is a long mission, will take us a long time to understand it.

On the night landed, there were 1.8billion hits on the website. It speaks to something more, it is not just about the science, It is something fundamental, about ourselves. We had visitors from almost every country on earth. All looking at what we were doing.

We have a fill packet, which is sent back when nothing to say. I added names, the teams etc. And a quote from Carl Sagan. It’s not just about connected things..Rover is the most distant connected object that we have, that downloads to web. But important too to think about WHY we connect. Think about how can we flame that spirit of exploration, of curiosity. Think about that when you are building the internet of things.

Q: what is most exciting?
A: the images, Every new image goes DIRECTLY onto the web. We can inspire people to explore, to connect with us