Archive of ‘Blog’ category

Three months in, how about that Nokia?

Yes, I grabbed the shot from the Nokia site to hide my own homescreen. ;-)

Yes, I grabbed the shot from the Nokia site to hide my own homescreen. 😉

It is only fair to get back to you all. Exactly three months ago, I asked the question whether I could switch to the Nokia Lumia 920 and Windows Phone 8, or not. And you might not believe it, but I do have an answer. In fact, the past three months with the Lumia have been a very interesting ride.

Did you think I was an Apple man? Many did. Yes, I own a Macbook Pro, an iPad, an iPhone and I enjoyed them. But I have always looked beyond them. I have had an Android phone for quite a while. I rooted it, played with it and enjoyed it. Only recently a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 was given to us to enlarge our collection of technical gadgets. And then there is the Nokia Lumia 920. To be honest, I just love tinkering with this stuff. I like trying it out and finding its boundaries. I have found those on all of my products. There are things they do well, there are things they don’t do at all, or do terribly bad. That is something that you need to learn and accept more than linger on.

One of the things I love about the Nokia is that it brings people to me. Wherever I am on the Nokia, people come up to me and ask “Hey, is that that Windows Phone?” or “Hey, is that a new Nokia?” and they all continue to ask how I like it and whether they can hold it. Invariably they are impressed with the screen, invariably they think it is big, and invariably they think it is heavy. And so did I if I have to be honest. I felt like that when I first held it. But the weight and size disappear on you as you put it in daily use. And to answer that question, yes, it has become my daily phone and I love it. It has its shortcomings, but I enjoy it. I enjoy the color, the shape, the way it feels in my hand. And I love the camera. Man, I love that camera. It is just a joy to shoot pictures and video with it. The only thing I need now is a mount for my motorbike so I can use the Nokia as my GPS and my GoPro alternative.

Downsides? Yes, like I said, the Nokia has its shortcomings. To be honest, I don’t think they lie with Nokia. They are part of how Windows Phone 8 works. So I still have trouble with my social media mentions. I still cannot tag people in the Facebook app for WP8. I am still looking for a better app to sort out my notifications and there are few apps that actually get released for WP8. Which is a shame. Because the phone feels fast and responsive. It is easy to use and it is better at predicting my typing than my paid Swiftkey keyboards on both the Android phone as well as on the Tab 2. And those two beat the iPad and iPhone keyboards for me…

My conclusion? Over the past three monts I get asked the question “so, should I buy it?” more often than “how are you today?”. And this is my answer. There are different phones for different people. If you like straightforward, you are not into tech and just want a phone you can use with minimal fuss, get the iPhone. If you want a phone to tinker with, if you want something you can mold to your own perception of what a phone should be, get an Android. And if you do anything with images and video, if you want something different, if you use html5 sites more than apps or if you want to have an easy connection to Windows, get the Lumia 920. (And yes, I generalize. Thank you for reminding me.) Can I switch over to Windows Phone 8? Yes, I can. Could you? That is up to you. But if you ask me, you can too.

Trying out the new Lumia 920, could I switch over?

Lumia-920-arrivalHaving played with the Nokia Lumia 920 with Marko Ahtisaari at LeWeb in Paris in December, it triggered me to consider switching back to Nokia. Yes, I am one of those that has had a long list of Nokia phones up until the time the iPhone was launched, then I was sold. It was a great phone and a very good successor to my Nokia N95 of the time. Mind you, it is still lying on my desk as a reminder of how far smartphones have come in the past six years.

As many, my mobile device is one of the most important tools I have in my pocket. It helps me do whatever I need to do. From keeping appointments to calling and interacting with friends. It supplies me with the background tracks to my life and it accompanies me everywhere I go. So, my phone just needs to work. Period. I love a phone that facilitates me and does not bother me with the details. That is the reason why I first fell for the iPhone and why I have also added Android phones to my mobile experience. Even in the past seven days I have switched back and forth between Android 4.1.2 and iOS6. And now I have officially switched to the Nokia Lumia 920.

The arrival of the phone offered a deja vu. The box is very similar to the box of the Lumia 800 that I got a year ago. However, the phone is a lot better. I am glad they got rid of the -in my opinion- hideous bulge the glass had. The Lumia 920 is nice and flat all around. It is a big phone though, especially if you come from the 4″ phone screens. Luckily Nokia sent me a Lumia in vibrant red, because I love the fact that they don’t have to be subdued colors anymore. You want to lay it on the table screen down just to see the red back. Obviously it comes with red in-ear earplugs that I have not tried out yet. Maybe tomorrow.

Now we get to the part where I set up a phone. I have already had a Windows Phone, but connecting it to my Microsoft account did not do much for my settings. Unline an Android phone that starts syncing everything right away, the WP8 phone just thanks you and syncs your mail, contacts and calendar from your Microsoft account. And as I am mainly on Google, that doesn’t do anything for me. So, the quest for apps and syncs was on again. Luckily, connecting the phone to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn was easy. But there is no way to work with Google+. That is a shame. Also, you notice Google’s complete neglect of WP8 as you find out there is no Gmail app for WP8 nor do they have Chrome for it. And those are my two most used apps on my Android, iPhone and iPad. That is annoying.

Last time around I started ranting about the notifications. Nokia’s brand manager ensured me that it has improved a lot. So, I am looking forward to testing it out. Whatsapp seems to be working nicely with notifications that can be read -partly- at the top of your screen. Now I need to do the same for Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn mentions. I see those on the so-called me-tile, but that doesn’t trigger me much. Yet. And I am now trying to find alternatives for my most used apps on my other phones through an app searching service. We will see how that works out.

I would love to hear what your favorite apps are and what you would want to see me try with the Lumia 920.

How HMV’s twitter account went to the dogs – and how to prevent it

hmv-dog-marketingHMV was hot news on Twitter today when staff took over the retailers twitter channel. I am not going to dive into the whole deal about financial troubles and layoffs. It is a tough time for retailers in the business HMV is in and with their new owners it might take them some time to get back on top. In the meantime it has been interesting to see how new technology has been completely passed up on in the first steps of restructuring.

I will try to set the scene based on the -now deleted- tweets by HMV staff this afternoon. Apparently HMV had an intern make the HMV Tweets account on Twitter. Nothing special. Even big companies choose to let interns rule their interpersonal communication with their fans. A good idea? Not at all, and I can give you lots of  reasons why. However, that is not the purpose of this post, so I will leave them out.

So, HMV had a twitter account and they have mainly used it to communicate new releases, congratulating the stars on their own label and congratulating followers with winning their own competition. They did do a single personal retweet of someone calling everyone to purchase from HMV to support the high street. So, nothing too personal and relational on there. But as people love their media, they still have thousands of followers. There are two sides to that story. Yes, you can dump your messages to almost 70 thousand people as a corporate. But the people holding the keys to that account can also reach some of your most loyal 70 thousand customers with one simple click.

hmvtweetsAnd that is what happened. The person(s) who tweeted this have been seeing the demise of HMV as something they could have been able to turn around. It might have been someone who has really wanted to put in more than their share to make HMV work again. Or so the tweet seems to suggest when he or she says: “However, when the company you dearly love is being ruined and those hard working individuals, who wanted to make hmv great again, have mostly been fired”. So they broke the silence they were bound to by their contracts and came out with what was happening at the offices. The bad news spread quickly over twitter and it did not take long before the news picked up on it and articles started appearing on the BBC and ITV website.

Will this affect the retailer in the long run? Possibly. After all, the tweets first reached their 70 thousand most loyal followers. So what should have been done? It is hard to say, but it does start with control over the social media channels of your organisation. Especially when you are going to be giving the company a lot of bad news, it might be wiser to make sure the account is under control of someone you can really, really trust. Perhaps only for that first hour after the bad news hits, perhaps for longer, but make sure there is some kind of control. After all, these are channels that are now seen as at least as important for your communications as your official press releasees.

Quick tips?

  1. If you are a large organisation, use something like Hootsuite or another client that will allow you to grant access to teams of coworkers to your social media channels. You might never need to, but the ease of -temporarily- denying someone access can come in handy one day.
  2. If you are in a position where media silence needs to be obeyed, make sure social media is on that list of media channels that you have created a strategy for.
  3. Have a quick press release available when someone has been able to gain access to the account after all your trouble. Don’t let it spin out of control. Take over the channel again and communicate with your audience.
  4. Do not go around and delete all the tweets thinking that that will be the end of it. Screenshots happen. And they are around for a lot longer.
  5. Know your way around your social media channels. The HMV marketing manager that asked how to shut down Twitter is an example of how quickly your organisation can look bad.

 

Meeting expectations means understanding what your customer really wants

Everybody has been there. The salesman that is happy to sell you something that completely matches your expectations until the product has been delivered. You have asked all the right questions and he has given you all the right answers. He understood where you were coming from and you felt he had the perfect solution for you. However, when the product arrives, it turns out that your expectations and the products’ properties cannot match up. And you feel you have been had. When you call the salesman he feels he has been had as well, as he was sure he answered your questions with all his knowledge and honesty.

Reality often is that the salesman might actually have done a great job. However, there have been aspects of the product that he was not told about, or that he did not consider to be very important in your conversation. This problem often does not originate with the salesman, but all the way up at product development and sales management. Don’t be that company. Make sure that you know what it is your customers are really looking for. Find out the questions they might have and how you should be answering them to satisfy their needs. If that means changing your product, do it. Make sure you live up to your promise. Do not force your customer in a position where he is tied to a product that he feels is inferior because his and your definitions were not the same. As an easy example, unlimited means just that to a consumer where your company might call it unlimited if it is unlimited on one of the 6 aspects of the product.

Don’t be that company because your customers are worth more than that.

2013 – great opportunities

2012-timetochangeYes, 2013 has finally rolled around. It has taken a year, but here it is. So, this is the best time to wish all of you a great 2013 in which you can fulfill your dreams and chase even bigger ones. The year in which your startup will succeed beyond your expectations. And the year in which you will learn you can be more than you have ever imagined before.

I believe 2013 is a year of endless possibilities. You might think that most of the big successes have been achieved, but I strongly disagree. Yes, Facebook is a huge network and it is going to be hard to take over that position. But nothing is impossible. That is why I would like to share my list of areas in which you can be very successful in the coming year and change the world.

  1. Automotive
    Lets just be honest. Since the invention of the car, not much has changed. I know you will all attack me on this statement, but hear me out. Since the invention of the car, the moment we started moving was the moment our ‘regular’ life stopped and life on the road started. Yes, we have mobile phones in our cars these days, so we can connect to others outside our mobile environments. But there are so many opportunities that are still left open. And just fitting a tablet with 3G to your dashboard is not going to nail it. I believe there is a huge market to make our time on the road more and more part of our ongoing life without restrictions. Waze has started something, but that only allows interaction while navigating. I believe that one of the biggest shakeups in social networks will come through a service that allows me to be as connected on the road as I am at my house or my office. And that will do that in a way that allows me to still be fully concentrated on driving or riding.
  2. Television and performing arts
    In 2012 we have heard a lot of talk about second screens. Allowing you to discuss what you see with countless others that you might or might not know is a step towards building television to be a better experience. However, there is so much more. I am really looking forward to the first creators that understand that even though people are sitting in front of their ‘box’ to be entertained, they are still willing and able to participate. And yes, this goes beyond voting for the next one to leave the show. The same goes for performing arts artists. There has been much talk about how people are becoming less interested in theatre and smaller shows. Big movies and big musical productions still seem to be doing well, but there is so much more to be had in this sphere than the regular sit down and shut up mentality. I am looking forward to startups that are going to be tackling this approach to make full interaction a much easier possibility for these parties.
  3. Financials
    Yes, I can now use an app to wire my money to someone. Really, is this the amount of innovation we were waiting for? I believe there is more. After all, there is much more to my money than ‘parking’ it at a bank. I believe there is a huge opportunity for startups that help us use our money in a positive way again. Perhaps even leaving the complete current banking system behind. After all, so far, banking seems to be about putting money somewhere you trust and having the expectation that you can retrieve it at any time. Perhaps with a bit of profit (interest) if we are really lucky. But is that the end of it all? Back in 2009 I talked to bankers and explained to them that I did not see a reason for regular banks to be very successful anymore. Why? Because I can  get all the services they offer at other -online- provides. Whether it is making payments, storing money for later use (saving), lending money for large purchases or investments or lending others money to multiply it. The only factor that seems to keep the banks in place is legislation. But I believe that there are great opportunities out there that allow me to do more with my money and have more fun and effect from it than I currently can. And in ways that allow me to relate to my money and my opportunities in a more social framework.
  4. Video
    Every phone now has a decent camera. Every laptop has a webcam. And we are watching more online video now than we have ever done before. I know video is a challenging place to be. Some people feel uncomfortable making a video, but I believe there are many opportunities for us still to be explored. I believe video will become a much more important factor in every day life in the near future than we can imagine right now. There still are countless opportunities for video interaction whether real time or not. Video is an avenue that has only been explored as far as we dared to go. And nobody really saw it fit to travel further than the properties that we already knew. Obviously Loïc Le Meur‘s Seesmic started out as a video commenting system and failed to get that off the ground. But that almost seems to have been the most interactive mainstream video startup attempt yet. So, there is a lot of room there for improvement.
  5. Health
    As we are all becoming more and more obsessed with our health, there are great opportunities there as well. Obviously there already are great apps out there that help you loose weight, get fit, run a marathon or outrun zombies. (Sorry.) But there is a multi, multi, multi billion dollar health industry out there that spans the whole wide world. And that is an industry that scares all the governments all around the world as everyone sees the cost of health care rise beyond understanding because of people getting older and older. It is one of the biggest budget challenges that governments have at the moment. And we could make it a lot cheaper if we were able to integrate all our modern technology into tracking your current health, predicting possible problems and offering preventive treatment.

Just five rough areas in which I think there are huge opportunities that I hope to see startups get into in 2013. However, this list is not complete without mentioning context. I know Robert Scoble and Shel Israel are writing a book on the subject and rightly so in my opinion. It is time that we all realize that whatever we build should not be functioning in a vacuum. It should look at the environment in which it is used and pull in information from that environment to make your experience better. Google Glass and Oakley’s Airwave are interesting examples of how external information is combined with digital services to turn whatever you are doing into a much better and much more complete experience. Five years ago, I talked to one of the founders of Layar who told me that “if you are building anything that you are not putting a geotag on, you will be obsolete soon”. His idea about this might not have become reality in the way they had expected, but there are so many outside factors that we are able to combine with services now, that we have to conclude that using context in the right way is going to be changing our online experience completely once again.

So, how can these tips help you beat Facebook? In reality, every single one of them might trigger a revolution that is bigger than Facebook is. Remember, Facebook has only been around eight years and pushed other huge players off the market. Any of these factors, whether it is our mobile life, our entertainment experience, the way we interact through video, how we ‘play’ with our money or how we work with our health can change the way in which we interact with others completely. If the experience is different enough, the social experience is awesome enough and the vision users catch while using it is one they love, it will overtake current day networks. The only thing you need to be able to do is to see beyond the canvas that is there at the moment. See beyond the timeline, beyond the folders and albums that make up social networks. See the people, see their goals and loves. See what motivates them beyond the visible. And you can be on to a winner for 2013.

If you advertise, at least tell me most people like you…

orange-noel-pub-samsung

Photo courtesy of Christian Mehler

You might think that this is a given. Really, advertising is about showing people how much you are liked by your audience. Right? Well, not always. Very often you see little things slip into images that are used in advertising that might give you a different idea. When I was in Paris for LeWeb I spotted a poster in the Metro that suggests that 2 out of 3 people do not like the Galaxy Note 2. I am not sure whether they just do not like the phone, or whether they dislike it being on Orange. But if one pulls the other two towards the phone, the other two become distinctly unhappy. (Photo courtesy of Christian Mehler who gracefully travelled around Paris on the metro for two days to take this picture for me. Thanks!)

However much you might laugh about it, this is reality in advertising. So, if you are advertising your business or your product, just make sure that it makes me feel like your product is something that I really want to have.

Are you selling your life? – How much is free?

instagram-pay-logoYes, we have all been triggered by the update of Instagram’s privacy and tems of service. Their Terms of use have just been updated to include their ability to sell your username and the rights to use the pictures you have taken to any interesting party.

Rights
2. Some or all of the Service may be supported by advertising revenue. To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions, you agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you. If you are under the age of eighteen (18), or under any other applicable age of majority, you represent that at least one of your parents or legal guardians has also agreed to this provision (and the use of your name, likeness, username, and/or photos (along with any associated metadata)) on your behalf.

So, the world is shocked. Or is it? Dropbox pulled off the same stunt in July ’11. Facebook has been sharing your content for their revenue for ages. And most startups are looking for ways to monetize the data on how you use their services. We need to accept that there is no free lunch on the internet.

Though prices of online storage and online technology have been steadily dropping, there still are costs involved in running any internet service. And as everyone is continually asking how you are going to be monetizing your fantastic idea, there is a good chance that you will be coming up with something along these lines as well.

The unfortunate part is that Instagram is now missing out on another great option for monetization. The PRO account. Why did instagram never create a paid account that I can use to share my content? Why did they not allow me to pay them to make their services profitable? And today it is too late. Yes, I have used instagram quite a lot over the past months. But as so many others, I will be removing my account and my images through Instaport. And offering a paid service now is too late. That should have happened before the change of the terms and conditions. Sorry.

If you are working on your startup, please keep this lesson in mind. I know Instagram has got many users, and possibly only a fraction will leave, but it is a trigger that might become the end of rising star Instagram and turn them into a bread and butter startup. So, if you are providing your services to your users for free, please make sure that your monetization will never depend on you selling on their content. Because people never like others to make money off their work.

Money can’t buy you love

Seriously, the Beatles have sung it so many times that anyone that sees the title can probably hum the tune to it. However, marketeers still do not seem to be able to understand that it is the truth. Especially in this age of social media. Money cannot buy you love. However hard you try. And lately we have seen many trying. Over the past weeks, Shell has often turned up in my Facebook timeline. They are talking about how wonderful they are. How much they care about the world and the environment. And only a day or two ago they posted the oil companies’ equivalent of the old boys game “who’s got the biggest”. (See image.) This morning I was greeted by the results of all their money spent. Three of my friends have liked their page. Pathetic.

So, I went to take a look at their Facebook page. It is a site describing Shell in all its glory. Like the sites of so many large companies, you could call it a corporate display of narcissism. The subjects adressed are Shell, and Shell alone. If they address any other subject, it is solely from the Shell point of view. Where working on a less pollutive environment has become about the Shell eco challenge. And even regular oysters are turned into a Shell product. To be honest, it does not matter how many dollars you spend on Facebook marketing, the general outlook does not trigger me to be a Shell fan. And it shows. For a company with over 90,000 employees and almost 500 billion in revenues, a mere 2.5 million Facebook fans should not be something Shell is excited about.

I could understand if you, and Shell, would come up with the argument that its business is fuel. Nobody loves fuel. It is something you put in your tank whenever you want, wherever you are. And that is a reasonable case to make. However, that whole process changes when you put love in it. When you love your customers. When you talk to them. When you address the things that they feel are relevant to them.

I know the comparison with coffee is going to be a big step. But for many, coffee used to be like I described fuels. At some point in time you will be craving a cup. You need it and you bought it whenever you want and wherever you are. And then Starbucks came along. They made buying coffee a rewarding experience. They put the love in it. And if you go to their Facebook page, you see that they care for their customers. This morning when I went to their page, they had just used a customers’ picture as their cover photo. They talk to their customers and address their issues. They even allow their customers to vent their thoughts towards Starbucks. When I visited their page today, there was someone who posted about how Starbucks does not support the military. And 107 comments below the post where from fans defending their shop and setting the record straight. Why? Because they love their shop and their coffee. The 33 million likes prove that point.

If you want to be on Facebook, remember one thing. It is never about the likes. It is about your attitude towards your customers and potential customers. Because your Facebook Page (or your Google+ page, or any other social network page or account) is not about YOU, it is about THEM. And if you remember that, your likes will come. Because they care about you, because you care about them.

Scott Harrison just inspired me. Get inspired, watch this.

It is a week after day 2 of LeWeb in Paris. And when I went to LeWeb I had Jeroen voor ‘t Hekke tell me that Scott Harrison was someone I had to see on stage. Needless to say that I was running around like crazy that whole days and I never got to see him. I saw a picture of Mercy Ships‘ Anastasis pass by on a screen somewhere in a room, but that was about it. Today I chose to sit down and watch his talk. If you have not seen it, I urge you to watch it.

This morning, I left my TV inspired. Scott went out and did something that I have been talking about for the past year to a number of charities. He has done something that many charities can do, but either are afraid to or cannot see function in their particular situation. He has brought the charity back to the people. By splitting income between the money needed to do a project and the money needed to run the organisation, he has made Charity: Water a much more transparent place. By giving GPS coordinates for every single well dug. For putting the donors name on the plaque that sits at the well. But mostly by having ordinary people ‘own’ the project. By allowing people to decide that they are going to be helping 5, 15 or even 1500 people get clean drinking water. And then enabling them to raise the funds to do exactly that, without having to worry about what will be taken off that budget as overhead for the organisation.

I truly believe we can change the world. And there are many who show us. Scott’s example is one that we can easily understand. But now we need to put it to work. 800 million people do not have clean drinking water. And then there are thousands of other things that we can do every day that keep us alive and healthy that other people do not have. Get inspired. Set your dream and go for it. I know this has got me thinking.

Watch the video below. And tell me, where will you be in a years’ time and whose live will you have impacted?

How my insurance promotes my dishonesty

Image graciously borrowed from http://shop.holgadirect.com/

I bet that my title already triggered something in you. You must have had this experience as well. I know I have. Today has not been the first time, nor will it be the last I’m afraid to say.

Last week I spent the week in Paris for LeWeb. And as you do, I lug around with a lot of equipment. I carry a laptop an SLR, a couple of lenses, some chargers, phone and all kinds of small stuff in a nice backpack. And I am sure the backpack always is taken care of. Either it is in a secure area or it is with me. And when it is in a secure area, I often lock it to something as well. Just to be sure. Anyway, none of this has helped me in this case.

I was carrying my little Holga HL-C lens for the Canon EOS. It is a fun lens that allows you to shoot lomo images with your regular SLR. A good thing as I have quit carrying multiple camera’s around to events. And I love the pictures it shoots, so I decided to bring the lens to Paris. However, with the lights being low inside, shooting with an F8 lens is not very easy. So, in the end I ended up not using it. I remember showing it to someone on Tuesday morning at the venue, but I believe I put it back in the bag and left it there until I left. However, when I wanted to get it from the bag on Thursday, it was not there. So, here is the trouble. I had it on Tuesday, it is gone on Thursday and I don’t know where it has gone or how it happened.

This is the point where I often call my insurers. After all, you are never sure whether your insurance covers it or not. I explain what is going on and they return with a negative result. They cannot cover it. But then the whole thing goes weird. If I would have noticed on Tuesday night that it was lost, or if I would remember that I still had it on Thursday morning, everything would be great and they would cover my loss. So, the trouble is not that I might have misplaced it myself or someone might have taken it. The problem is in the 36 hour timeframe that I was lugging my bag around but never noticed that the lens was gone. Never mind the fact that I would not be using the lens due to the light conditions being unsuitable, so I never needed to take it out.

This would almost trigger you to lie. To be dishonest, just to cover the 36 hour gap. As I am sure nothing happened in between. Oh well, that is insurers for you. So, if anyone remembers seeing my Holga lens on Thursday, that would be awesome. 😉

My second day of LeWeb

Marko Ahtisaari meeting with bloggers

Ok, LeWeb is great. You might have figured that out by reading my previous post. But I love it. Unfortunately, due to what I am doing at LeWeb, I find I have much less time to write blog posts than I would like to. So I decided to just give you a quick recap of some of the things that made my day yesterday.

As LeWeb warmed up for the second day, I sat down with a startup that pitched their service to me. It was a good conversation and they told me that they left with a great view on how to improve their startup’s strategy. Later that morning I was at the main stage long enough to see Marko Ahtisaari launch the new Nokia 620. Soon after, I was talking to the Nokia crew and Marko. It was great to work out a way to have Marko spend half an hour with the official bloggers of LeWeb. It was a great session where bloggers could ask any questions and Marko answered all of them. Regardless of how difficult they were. Then I met a friend who wanted to pitch her startup to Robert Scoble. Having made it happen, that left me time for a walking pitch with another startup after which I made my biggest LeWeb mistake so far. We sat down in the hallway for about 5 minutes so he could show me their service on his laptop and we talked about live blogging. A guy across from us got interested and he was included in the conversation. I saw his face and I distinctly remember seeing him before. So I told him that I was sure I had to know him, but that I had no clue what his name was. After a while he introduced himself to the other guy as “Matt” and it dawned on me. I had not recognized Matt Mullenweg of Automattic and WordPress. Ooops. Even though we had dinner with a small group of people in 2010. That is what you get if you are running around like mad all day. And it was going to stay that way, because before the demo was finished, I was joined by the industrial designer of the Lumia 620 and some of the technical minds behind it. They spent another 45 minutes with the official bloggers to show the new devices and explain why certain choices were made in the design process. But what struck me most was the passion and enthusiasm of the team. They know Nokia has lost a lot in the smartphone market, but for each of them personally, that what drives them to try to build the best phones they can think of.

To be honest, the two hours after that just flew with people that wanted to meet and making connections between various people that I believe can work together to achieve great things. It is awesome to see how happy people are when you can put them together with other great people.

At the end of the day, I fell into a chair up in our blogger lounge to unwind and hear how bloggers enjoyed their day. And really, it was just great to be in a chair for more than five minutes for the first time since 9am.

I hope that you will have as inspiring a day today as I had yesterday. If you have questions about LeWeb, let me know. I’ll try to answer them. If you want to be inspired about social media, look up Ramon DeLeon. While I was writing this, he did an awesome presentation of what they have done for six Domino’s Pizza in Chicago. I am not sure when the presentation will be out on the YouTube channel, but when it is, you need to watch it.

Do you blog/podcast/vodcast etc? Register to be an official LeWeb’12 blogger now!

Yes, we are gearing up for LeWeb Paris again. Personally, I am looking forward to visiting one of the greatest conferences in Europe. And the great thing is that you can be there too. Obviously I want to encourage everyone to buy tickets, but if you are a blogger, you might have another way.

If you think you can add unique coverage to LeWeb, then you might be the blogger we are looking for. If you love writing about conferences and spreading the word on everything you have heard, then you might be the blogger/podcaster/vodcaster/etc we are looking for for LeWeb.

What will LeWeb’12 be about? Watch this video, then go on reading.

What do we expect of official bloggers? We are looking for people that:
Have a passion for content and reporting;
Commit to attending and covering the conference (it’s in English) on their blog (any language);
Have significant reach and influence inside their community.
And naturally, they have to have a proper, publicly accessible and established blog or postcast. And by the way, having huge numbers of followers on whatever social network does not make you a blogger. Blogging does.
(An official blogger will receive tickets to LeWeb’12 for free. Every blogger will need to cover their own expenses for visiting the conference.)

Stephanie Booth, Frédéric de Villamil and myself will be going over all submissions as they come in. This takes time. Please allow us to take that time. Each blogger we select to become an official LeWeb’12 blogger, will be contacted by us personally and directly.

Thanks!

And now, sign up if you feel you meet our criteria!