Results tagged “#leweblondon”
May 15, 2013
Gosh, Le Web time already? Yup - it's now held twice a year. Summer's Le Web is held in the UK. While it's smaller than the main Parisian event, it still brings together an inetresting mix of European and intercontinental digerati for two days of discussion and netwoking. And, once again, I'm an official blogger at the event.
in three weeks' time I'll be in London for Le Web's UK edition, liveblogging as I normally do. (You can actually see me at work in the front row if you look carefully at the image above from last year...)
This year's theme is The Sharing Economy.
If you fancy coming along - the event is held in Westminster - I have a discount code for you: OBDISCOUNT will save you £200 on the cost of a ticket for Le Web.
July 9, 2012
- Compile a list of links to archive content related to people likely to be featured at the event (say, the Oscars
- Monitor the hashtag for the event, as well as event coverage
- As people are mentioned, tweet out links to archive content that matches, using the event hashtag
- Enjoy the traffic gains
June 20, 2012
But was it any cop? Well, it was entertaining. We found ourselves presented with the question "Where's the real Scoble?" Is he purely relational? Is his sense of self completely determined by his followers?
"I didn't have followers 10 years ago," said Scoble. "Back then I'd just find the geek at the cocktail party, and hang out with them." Apparently, he just keeps the bedroom secret. We don't know the clubs he was in in Amsterdam. (But I'm intrigued now, I don't know about you.)
Keen asked how many of the audience would be prepared to go as far as Scoble in making their lives public - and only a handful put their hands up. Scoble shrugged it off. He turned an example of embarrassing drunken pictures of him into a positive: "I've been invited to a better class of party since those came out."But he did point out that social media is killing people, because they don't put their mobiles down when driving.
Our two champions circled each other again, over the issue of data. Keen accused Google and Facebook of selling our data. Scoble struck back with the fact that Facebook sells access to you, not your data.
"Do people understand that?" asked Keen. "People are getting resistant and wary of those social services. Social has climaxed, privacy is the next thing."
Scoble, of course, disagreed. Totally. He thinks people are changing their habits all the time, and the freaky line is shifting. And Keen and Yiannopoulos think that he's "super-freaky".
Then, they turned to my second favourite subject: whisky. Keen pointed out that when he asked Scoble what's faster than real time, our favourite blogger replied it's when the server knows what your drink is before you get to the bar.
"And yet, I've Liked Oban whisky on Facebook," said Scoble. "And when I got to the Badoo party last night I was handed a champagne. I've never Liked chapagne. I don't like champagne."
Filter bubbles? Scoble wants filters to shape what people see of him, or what he sees. Keen suggests that newspapers are already a filter bubble problem. And the internet is destroying serendipity, because you always get served Oban. Scoble says that people who know he likes Oban bring him a new one, which they think is better.
Last words to Mr Keen: "Social media isn't social: it's creating a radically individualised web. It's destroying social."
He has a book out you know: Digital Vertigo: How Today's Online Social Revolution Is Dividing, Diminishing, and Disorienting Us. If you buy it from that link, both he and I get money. I have no shame. Much like the scheduling of this panel...
June 20, 2012
Nick Halstead, Founder & CTO, Datasift
We're expressing opinions all the time on the web, via Twitter, via Facebook, via multiple sources - and that's all data. And Nick Halstead and DataSift take that data and, well sift it... As well as drawing out sentiment and analysing it, they're also interested in inflection; most day's there's a certain baseline discussion about a company. If it suddenly changes, that's worth noting.
The world of SEO is worth billions - now 50% of traffic to some sites comes from social media. How do you optimise that? DataSift take a cross-section of five news stories and analyse how people are reacting to them. Publishers can then tweak headlines and stories based on the information.
Wikipedia has peaks of 100 edits per second. No-one has ever captured this. Datasift allows you to filter against that content and see changes - it's an amazing resource for researchers, wanting to know how things change. WikiStats looks at all those edits in real time and looks for trends.
Big data in practical use.
June 20, 2012
Alexander Ljung, Founder & CEO, SoundCloud
Alex explains that Soundcloud was born of the founders' desire to share sounds on the web, in a pretty sound geek-focused way. However, they discovered what they were really interested in was all these social platforms that allowed people to connect. Their favourite form of expression was sound - and that could be social. And suddenly the idea went from their geeky need to something they felt the world needed - and they had to do it.
Soundcloud solves specific problems: "I'm a musician, I want to promote my album, and spread it through networks". But they're more interested in sharing moments through sound. He admits to always being a sound geek. Sound can be music, a baby's first works, a lecture ore a political speech. Sound evokes more of an emotional reaction than the written word.
Sound is incredibly simple to create - we're all walking around with these incredible microphones in our packet. One button - 140 times simpler than Twitter. Yes, it's slower to consume - but it can be consumed in parallel. Imagine how much time you can spend with a game or a video if you have other things to do. It's limited. In a connected age, sound can follow us around everywhere. It can be slower in terms of information transfer, but you have more time to do it, and it has more of an impact.
They've seen incredible growth, and a lot of passionate users - and they give feedback on the site. The web has progressed since the site launched, so they wanted to incorporate feedback, and make the site faster, more gorgeous and more engaging. They brought in ideas from the mobile app. They're making it easier to share sounds, and adding real time notifications. It should be easier to go through sounds quicker, and added seamless playback throughout the site. And you can create collections of sounds.
Hack days have been really important. Hacking is very similar to how designers work with prototypes - you're solving a problem by actually doing things. That's tremendously powerful. It's not limited to writing code - you can hack in every discipline. They've had an API since the public launch. The web is, by definition, an inter-connected thing. If the parts aren't connectable, you're just an island. They wanted to be a Lego block.
Freemium is working for them. They don't see much scope for charging brands in a different way - people seem to have individual account, even within a company. It's a flexible and successful model he seems very content with, because it keeps the interactions personal. Their profiles have been revamped on the site to make fluid sharing of sounds across the web, whatever the platform more easy.
More and more of our lives are mediated - and eventually everything will be mediated by the internet. The issue with that is that online interactions are mainly based on visual communication - but that's not reflecting the richness of what it means to be human. He's really excited to see sound take a more important role on the web in general. In five or six years they won't be where he wants - but they'll be a lot closer. It will be normal to speak to the internet, and it'll be less clunky and more fluid - and more people being moved by their web experiences.
June 20, 2012
June 20, 2012
Efe Cakarel, Founder, MUBI
A global VoD platform that I've never heard of - I'm so very parochial. But isn't everyone? As Efe points out, only 13% of global internet users in the US - and it's a steadily declining share. His business started in Palo Alto - and it's easy to think of that as the centre of the universe. But the US may not dominate the internet in 2030 - and dominating that world means understanding other countries.
Their business mashed Netflix and Groupon - one movie a day, at a much lower price point. And they decided that Turkey was the country to focus on - it's got growth of 9% right now. Forecasts show Turkey as fastest growing OECD country. Half of Turkey is less than 30 years old - and they are very social media savvy. And - to the benefit of his business - they have a healthy disregard for copyright.
So, it's time to wake up and smell the Turkish coffee.
June 20, 2012
Do entrepreneurs have a sense of the future? Based on the session at Le Web billed as being about the future they don't have the first clue. When we spend more time talking about Kevin Rose's car collection than the future, we have a smug exited-startup love-in. But lets cut through the dross and find some information in the discussion.
Why do entrepreneurs who have made a good exit still work? Chad Hurley gets up to have fun - life's too short to sit around. Kevin Rose just doesn't think about it as work. Niklas Zennstrom loves competition.
Hurley is working on AVOS, which has a series of components which allow them to get things off the ground quickly. They have Delicious, and Zeen is coming next - a tool for building online magazines. Delicious was a challenge - they had to rewite the whole codebase and migrate the data. They've been focusing on their other products, but are coming back to Delicious, and are hoping to build on the brand with some innovation.
What's the future? Zennstrom thinks we're no longer building the technologies- we're building the products. And the opportunities are in where people connect online.
Hurley is bored of tweeting and liking. The default position is socially sharing everything - but he doesn't care what his friends are doing - he wants to figure out what he's doing.
Rose would like to get involved in TV-commerce related stuff, should he go back into entrepreneurship after his "break" from it in Google Ventures.
Zennstrom brings up climate change as something not being aggressively addressed enough yet..
Are Google Ventures looking at eco tech? Rose says he's more involved with early stage startups, and is interested in the quantified self idea, tech that monitors your body and lifestyle. He also suggests that there will be eight to 12 apps we will use every day. You need to figure out what those will be.
Zennstrom thinks that common apps like calendars and address books are still ripe for disruption. Enterprise is too slow still - it's innovation cycles are very, very long.
Q. Anyone doing anything in education?
A. Rose invested in Treehouse.
Q. Investments in Africa?
If these guys have good insights into the future, they didn't want to share them with us.
June 20, 2012
Why do so many businesses which claim to be social have closed Facebook walls? How many companies use social media as more than a thin layer on top of traditional businesses. Good questions, and Jan Rezab, Co-Founder & CEO, Socialbakers thinks he has some answers - analysis.
Socialbakers - only a 50% response rates to their fans. They knew they needed to make this better. He's read articles about social media IVR - it's automating responses. He thinks that isn't going to work. You can't automate people and it misses the point of social media.
They've started ranking companies socially. 70% of fan questions go unresponded. We do marketing to communicate with people, and get interest. And then we ignore the interest. Why?
Their ranking of top social companies actually shows south american companies doing very well. The bottom three? Ebay, Yamaha Motor Indonesia and BlackBerry. Ah, poor RIM.
These leader boards are all available on their site - Socially Devoted - which they've just launched at the show. It's built as a starting point for the industry to start talking about this issue - to get some sees of what the industry benchmarks are for response rates, response times and the like. And in an industry where social media snake oil in is severe danger of drowning the genuine innovators, that conversation needs to happen.
June 20, 2012
The app of the show, in terms of meetings, seems to be Highlight. I've just been notified by it that there are 30 people who might be of interest to me around me right now. Pity I'm busy typing...
Paul Davison, Founder & CEO of the app is being interviewed by Milo Yannopoulos, Founder & Editor-in-Chief, The Kernel.
And he's full of enthusiasm when most of the audience are trying to drink enough coffee to be awake.
We have the tools in the real world to identify common interests, he suggests - band t-shirts, for example. But we don't have the tools to know if the person sat next to us is a friend of our mother. The real world is like a bad version of Facebook or LinkedIn, with only one profile photo and no details on who they are or what they do. Milo is horrified by this view of the world. Paul doesn't really seem to care. He want's to "fix" the real world with Highlight, by starting to give people information about those around us.
If you've enabled it on you phone, Highlight allows your profile to pop up on screen for another user who might find you interesting when they are nearby. Identifying "interesting" is a deeply contextual thing, starting with friendship, that friends of friends, and leavened with a mix of familiarity and frequency of proximity. You can throttle notifications to make sure people aren't overwhelmed, but also look at response rate to identify people who like meeting people. But they don't see it as a meeting tool, more as a metadata tool for the world.
We've only just reached the point where the technology supports what they're trying to do - battery life supports push notifications properly, and they can now publish into this space above people's heads. He posits that the app is solving the problem of forgetting people's names when joining a company. He thinks it's made offices more friendly, more communicative, because barriers to communication drop away.
Still needs to get over British reserve, though...
June 19, 2012
June 19, 2012
The founder and CEO of Fon is coming out of the closet - as someone who doesn't work that hard. He doesn't think that entrepreneurs need to work that hard, despite the traditional image. How does he do this?
- He never watches TV - just YouTube and Netflix sometimes.
- He doesn't watch sports - but he does them.
- He reads few books - but he writes a lot, ask yourself: "am I prepared to give 20 hours of my life to this person?"
- Guys spend an average of 83 minutes grooming themselves. He spends 10 minutes.
- He flies his own page and has a driver. That saves time - but is "elitist" he admits.
- He almost never talks on the phone - he uses messaging clients instead.
- He doesn't drink.
- He doesn't do business meals - he hates them. He saves meals for family and friends.
- He shows up on time.
- Social media works for him. Twitter is his best search engine. He asks questions. He hires people...
- He sleeps with his baby. Sleeping is important - and you should share it with the people you love
- He goes to conferences - but says "no" to a lot of them. Saying "no" is a huge part of managing your time.
- He devotes time to philanthropy - because he enjoys and believes in it.
- He spends wight weeks sailing - with his family and friends. And he doesn't pretend that he's working. But it's great for problem-solving
- Oh, and he has a great team.
But it's not for everyone. You have to be able to delegate - you have to say goodbye to having things done exactly the way you wont them done, and to decision making - but it gives you your time back.
June 19, 2012
Voxer turns your phone into a walkie-talkie. Folks download it, try it and realise that it's a bit more than that. It was born out of frustration with existing push-to-talk systems and of founder Tom Katis's experiences in Afghanistan - the "complete inability to multi-task while being shot out". He served twice, and was in Silicon Valley between those two occasions. When he went back, he was really conscious of how badly designed so many of the tools they had were.
They key to Voxer is that everybody gets the message - they can listen live, but if they don't, they still get the message as part of a threaded conversation. He suggests that the technology underlying had to unite live transmission with e-mail like message transmission. Live systems have to interrupt - which is why people tend to use messaging systems. Voxer gets around that by letting you jump in at any point when you realise your friend is talking - and the system plays the message so far a little faster so you start to catch up.
He's cagey about releasing download figures, as he think's that's a vanity metric. Engagement is his preferred measure - how many people use the app daily, and he claims to have "exceptional" engagement. Growth really shot up when they went cross-platform.
He doesn't believe that we're all going to become deaf as the world becomes mobile - it's just that the live voice system doesn't make it easy. There's room for a new way of doing that, and that's what he's see Voxer as. It's a useful application, which people get a lot of fun from, and he wants to see it grow all over the place. And he disagrees with the idea that startup life is all about the team, not the idea and pivot, pivot, pivot. He's keen on being determined to make an idea work...
June 19, 2012
That was the most awkward Le Web session I've ever seen, in five years of attending the event. Joe Fernandez found himself under hard questioning by Alexia Tsotsis over the role of Klout - something she's been openly critical of in the past. And I can't say he performed well. Sure, he kept good humour, but faced with a room where only five people used Klout - and only one of them considered it an accurate measure of their social media influence, he wasn't amongst friends.
Revelations? Klout's algorithm is about to be tweaked to bring in more real world influence - which sounds suspiciously like a direct response to Kred. He waved the algorithm change wand again in response to Alexia's pointed questions about the irrelevance of some topics Klout declared well-known figures are influential on. His admission that Klout wasn't semantically sophisticated enough to differentiate "I like TV show Lost" and "I've lost my keys" was just plain embarrassing.
Honestly, if I had any doubts that taking Klout seriously as a measure of influence is a bad idea, they were erased by this session. Fernandez failed to defend his service against some fairly light-weight hostile questioning. That speaks volumes.
June 19, 2012
Martha Lane Fox has had her life changed twice by technology: once through launching lastminute.com, and again through recovering from a serious car crash.
8m adults have never gone online. They are predominantly older and from lower socio-economic backgrounds. It's not acceptable as citizens that we pay for sub-standard digital services.
Michael Bracken, on the other hand, is changing the technology of the whole country:
We use emergent technology, we fail fast. We're profound;ly changing bow we work and how we use technology within the government. And we're driven by user need. And we're doing id faster, better cheaper. We're behaving as if we didn't have a monopoly - that's the problem with government projects sometimes. For example - the statutory maternity pay site gives you your information with just three questions.
The government is pushing hard on this. They're working on procurement, trying to push it towards smaller companies. Other countries are doing well: Estonia, for example. The president there thinks that you can bring millions more online by giving them better government services digitally.
Many of the countries that have got it right are small. The challenge is getting companies like the ones here into the supply chain. IN the past a large amount of our technology was held by a very small number of very large companies. This way of working is incredibly cost-efficient - we've saved at least £0.5bn, but that's just a side effect. Most transactions cost around £12 face to face. That drops to 35p online.
Government is only one factor: there's also charity and business. Go On UK - an effort to get those sectors involved in the process. But there's at least 8m still to get on line. The charity's only six weeks old - but they know that getting people to understand the benefits of going online is critical. They've created a cheap PC - £95 for people on benefits - that does the job of getting people online adequately. It's a tiny pilot right now, but they're hoping to push our products through their network of partners.
Technology is predominantly open source - the engineers were left to select the technology, and they share most of it on Github. The whole platform is Open Source. So they're welcoming a community of developers to improve the technology.
June 19, 2012
He thinks that the idea that it's difficult to map money on mobile, common since the Facebook kerfuffle, is over-blown. They have 34 million users, across all platforms, up from 20m in six months. Their revenue money is direct monetisation - they don't sell the apps or the data, just services. 25% conversion rate in long-term users, under 1% in brand new - it got sup over time.
Revenue per user per year per platform:
- $1.06 per annum on Android
- $1.44 pa Windows Phone
- $1.79 pa iPhone
- $2.01 Blackberry
- $2.18 iPad
- $1.81Desktop Web
- $2.33 Windows
- $3.16 Mac
- $6.73 Evernote Food
- $8.44 Skitch
- $9.22 Evernote Hello
- $9.53 Top 10 Most Used 3rd Party Apps
75% of new users come from mobile - but 45% come to use the desktop version eventually.
Q. Is the strategy of vertical apps on mobile working?
A. Yes. The more people use them, the more they want to pay. The more they use Food and Hello, the faster they fall in love with it.
Q. You don't use in-app purchase. Is that because of the 30%?
A. We do in-app purchases. We let users buy the easiest way they can. We don't begrudge Apple their 30%. I'd rather they used that then a credit card, as it's more frictionless. Sure the 30% is expensive compared to a credit card - but it's not just transaction, it's logistics and marketing, too.
Q. When will we see Evernote Photo?
A. They're not going to become a photo service - there are too many good ones. However, they do want to make their photo facilities better, as they have been doing with Evernote Food.
Q. Can you tell us a little more about your future?
A. Their goal is to be a 100 year start-up, by making the products they want in a business they don't want to sell. They're working on Evernote Century - a way of keeping you data safe for 100 years.
Q. What do you do about customers who pay but don't use the service?
A. They're out best customers! They're very few of them, luckily. All our communication is about engagement, and reaching out to people to increase usage. We don't have a function in the company focused on increasing revenue - we focus on building the product.
Now is the best time to create a new, meaningful company. Build something you lobe, and if you make it great for yourself, chances are 1bn other people will love it.
June 19, 2012
What's changed in the enterprise software world? People bring their own equipment with them. People just go out an acquire their own solutions, rather than outfitting a data centre. Levie sees that as a huge opportunity, especially around cloud storage, and they're planning on growing.
Box is making a big European move - 12 to 15% of their revenue is in Europe already. It's all organic - so they're working to double that. They're going to open a London office and then grow sequentially from there.
Mike talks about the massive amount of acquisition in the enterprise space, including the current Yammer/Microsoft rumours. Levie suggests that the traditional players aren't able to match the rate of innovation - they're having to buy their way in. "We're seeing lots of companies where you're at risk if you're solution is just 'let IBM do it'." They're seeing the world's largest companies move to the cloud - and that the traditional vendors don't have the right solutions.
Levie thinks there's tremendous growth for all companies in this space. It won't be competition for growth. They're exposing their platform to allow the next generation of companies to build atop of Box.
It's certainly easy to create a different culture to IBM. We have the opportunity to address some new ways you build a culture. We don't make you wear ties and suits, there's alcohol sometimes. Silicon Valley is so hyper-competitive for talent that you have to optimise for you culture and your product.
Mike asks if the company is mapping to the Bring Your Own Device movement. Levie things that business is becoming more complex, because everything is more connected. The crisis in Greece can affect a start-up in Silicon Valley. Big companies are starting to look at digital supply chains - and they need a global system to allow people to work like that, including their contractors and suppliers. That's why IBM, Microsoft and Oracle have a challenges, because they're focused on allowing just the company to access the data within the firewall.
June 19, 2012
Bradley Horowitz, Vice President, Product Management at Google is here to talk about Google+. Not very revealing, but some points emerged,
- Growth is good, but they didn't give details
- They haven't reached the inflection point yet - but that takes years with social networks, he suggests
- APIs are coming... But they're very cautious about pushing too much into Google+ and diminishing the experience.
- Flipboard is a new partner, allowing you to access Google+ in Flipboard.
- They're very happy with hangouts. They LOVE hangouts. They keep talking about them...
- Kraft have been active on Google+ through the Cadbury's brand. They're one of the biggest conumser brands on there with 1.6m people putting Cadbury's in circles. They've passed Barak Obama.
Neville Hobson is on stage in a Google+ hangout - he asks about Google+ and its potential use in enterprise. Horowitz thinks the enterprise use case is a fantastic opportunity for Google+ - a perfect complement for Google+ "the virtual water cooler, to Hangouts for small team collaboration". People are using it this way already, but it's too hard right now. They're focusing on it.
June 19, 2012
Twitter is great for getting messages out there and stirring the post, suggests Oliver. It's also good for engaging local communities. Facebook is like a websites, and people scratch deeper there. Instagram is an "amazing was of democratising being creative". There's something about weds that scan be quite poisonous - it's very bitchy. Jamie has so many followers, he gets worried if he doesn't get thousands of likes quickly. And he finds the press don't steal Instagram images as much as they do TwitPics.
Kevin finds that brands who are most "true" on Instagram get the most engagement. He recommends that you follow Burberry on INstagram to see how to do it well.
Jamie thinks Pinterest "makes crap look good". He uses it, but it bores him. He spends about 15 minutes a day scanning through social media stuff - but he has a digital team. The stuff that works is emotion and recipes. "The internet is about being generous" he suggests - the make-up girl at Le Web has bought none of his books - she gets the recipes from the internet. But he think it all contributes to the sales.
Jamie likes being able to delete "junk" comments on Instagram, but dislikes the "trail of shite" that idiots leave behind on Twitter. He praises Instagram for leaving an open API to allow other people to build businesses on top of the services, particularly around printing and making of physical goods. Jamie Describes this as a "generous spirit". Neither of them are convinced that video has been done right yet, but they think there's a possibility there. Kevin suggests the value of Jamie teaching you how cook an omelette, but Jamie thinks it would have to be very short.
Never Seconds - a blog written by a nine year old girl about school dinners - was a good trigger point for restarting a discussion about nutrition in schools, that Jamie's team were able to take advantage of. Pink slime was another campaign they for behind and got trending quickly.
"The food industry is as corrupt and filthy as the arms industry," says Jamie. He thinks the only hope is digital, because it allows communities to come together. The media can be fantastic he suggests - if they want to be. But the campaigning they do allow them to aggregate communities. The problem with measurement is that "nobody does anything with it". He'll leave that to others.
"Boobs, pretty girls and dogs" is what's popular on Instagram suggests Jamie. Kevin shifts the conversation swiftly to the idea that "honest" photos work, but they need to find better ways of creating channels of related content. Jamie points out that budgets for broadcast TV are massively down - 40 to 45% down, but new sources of money are emerging from places like YouTube.
June 19, 2012
McKinsey & Company tell us what "faster than real time" actually means...
Philipp Nattermann, Partner
What is big data and where is it coming from? Every web interaction, transaction, social media posting is creating. 1200 Exobytes of data is being generated this year - 95% of it is digital. 53 zetabytes by 2020!
Mobile internet is exceeding desktop traffic in emerging economies. We have data, we have the computational power - and now we have the ability to compress and store it. So now we need to analyse it. It's all these elements happening now that are waking this happen. We can have massive amounts of experimentation in real-time. We can mash up data and get behavioural and intent-based information, rather than stated. Big data is bigger, quicker, better.
Eric Hazan, Partner
Research and purchase have moved online. Even furniture, health and beauty etc are shifting that way. But what is really increasing is mobile research. Social networks are becoming gateways to all other activities. They're the first place we get access to content. This is completely changing the way companies interact with their consumers. Online buzz for Free mobile was bigger the fro any competitor in France - and they didn't pay for advertising.
There's a real chance to map mistakes in all this data. Five steps to get it right:
- There is a wealth of data out there: use it
- It applies to all organisation
- Data-based decision making
- Managing through big data
- Real business impact - competitive advantage
There's an 80% correlation between search intensity for crisis-related terms and yields on government bonds in the distressed economies. You can predict people's chance soy getting flu based on their searches for it. FMCG companies use search intensity to predict levels of sales, and plan their supply chains.
Google search trends for the second week of the month is the best predictor for car sales for the month. This will only get better as more people participate in online research. 0.9 correlation coefficient between a movie's tweet rate and its box office performance.
There are people are crunching geo-data and social data. Startups are leading the way. Some for marketing, some for investment, and some for sociology reasons. Kaggle.com. People are managing their data through big data. Barak Obama's campaign uses data analysis to build voter profiles. Amazon has 25 PhDs working on different versions of the website. People using big data are growing much after than their sectors.