Archive of ‘Fun’ category

Ikea into TV’s, what’s next?

My grandparents had one of these... Or...

No, I am not an Ikea man. Even though we do own a remarkably uncluttered Ikea TV unit. But I have got to hand it to them, this is a cool step for Ikea to take. They are integrating the smart TV into their furniture. Remember how television producers from the early days did the same thing? They had to repackage TV’s because they were huge, unpractical and they took up a lot of space in your living room. So they created cupboards around them. The TV really became a TV unit. I bet you remember one of your great grandparents had one of those. And now it is back. But the other way around. Technology is becoming so small, that it is becoming unobtrusive in your living room. So, you can now integrate media into your furniture because you want the furniture. Not necessarily the TV.

Naturally, I wonder why they included a remote with it. Why can’t I just control it with my smartphone or tablet. And I wonder why they included a blue ray player like they did. Surely they must have been able to fit that into the TV as well. On the other hand, I like the fabrik that the remote control commands go straight through. And most of all, it leaves me to wonder what is going to be next. Will Ikea supplement the Uppleva with cupboards with speakers so you can create a 5.1 or even 7.1 wireless surround system? Just to hide speakers and still give you the experience and the storage in your living room. Or are they going to integrate juice bars for your phones and tablets into couches and coffee tables? There are endless possibilities now that technology is so easily available and cheap to include.

So, good start. Now go on Ikea, be more disruptive than your flat pack furniture made you before. 😉

Starting with a passion, a coffee and a bike in Serbia

This morning a friend of mine pointed me to a team of people in Serbia who do what I am always on about. Following their passion and trying to make an impact. Without David’s knowledge he pointed me to an area that has had my interest since the nineties when I met a friend from Belgrade.

This team is based in Novi Sad and wants to reach out in a positive way to the city and its people. How? By starting a Cafe and bike kitchen as they call it themselves. They want to offer great coffee, good food and great bikes. All of them with a sustainable twist to them. I particularly like that for every bike they sell, they are going to donate one to someone who can’t afford a bike.

Yes, it is a business with a business model. Selling coffee, food and bikes. But it is also focused on the community as they plan to make it a place for art, music, free classes and programs. This is an approach I love.

Check out the video and support these guys through their IndyGoGo project.

I’m loving it, are you?

People that know me, know that I am often all over the map. When they think I am going right, I do a quick left and then swerve to the right. Why? Because I love it. Because I am inspired. Well, often anyway. I just love creating big new ideas that might or might not become reality. But I always go for my passions all out. The results? The results are like the email I got the other day from the bus driver on StartupBus Europe. He used to be an entrepreneur in video but the economic situation put him on the bus. StartupBus Europe inspired him to take a new approach and get back to his passion. Those are the emails I love. And that, and other reactions to the impact StartupBus Europe has had on people, are the reasons why I do what I do.

I love people. Yes, that would include you. 😉 And that is why I do what I do. Because I want to share my knowledge, share my thoughts, share my ideas to help you move forward. And I will not be confined to a single space like social media or tech. I promise you that I will go beyond that. My head is full of new ideas and one that I would love to launch in particular. It will take some time before I can share more about that, but it will be something that combines a lot of the things I am passionate about.

And you? Are you inspired? Are you doing what you love? This valentine, consider what your biggest loves are in your life and make sure you embrace them. Whether it is your partner or your passion.

Seeing your true global Facebook reach with Getmap.me

I came across this yesterday and just had to share it with all of you. Just for the fun of it. Getmap.me is not an extensive site with all kinds of extras. It just reverts back to a Facebook app. What is the biggest use of it? Well, its only use is to help you display a map of all the locations in the world where your Facebook friends are located. Pin it on your wall, make it your desktop background or whatever else you like. And just dream of all the places your friends are at. And where you can go. Or where you need to make new friends to cover the globe. Try it. It is fun.

So how intelligent is that Siri anyway?

“Siri, is it going to rain?”

“Yes, it is going to rain in three days, that is why I have taken the liberty to order you a new umbrella from Amazon in black. They have promised me it will be here before the rain starts. Until then it is better that you stay indoors.”

“Euhm, Siri…”

“No worries, I haggled for a 5% discount with EC2. We know each other.”

“Yes, nice, but Siri…”

“And you know you need a new umbrella, because the last black one you had was destroyed in that storm last week. I did order that very sturdy Dutch on that can withstand a typhoon.”

“Yes, but Siri…”

“No John, stop whining. You know you need an umbrella. If you don’t you are only going to get wet and catch a cold. And we don’t want that, do we?”

See, I see a host of new problems…

😉

The Friday Five – Five iPad apps to stay in touch with what is happening

The coming weeks I have decided to have one day with a theme. The Friday Five. On the coming Fridays, I will be posting short lists of things. Things to do, things not to do. Things to change or things you should not be without. The Friday Five will reflect my personal view on many things. And as it is Friday, it is not always going to be very serious.

This week I want to share my five favorite apps on the iPad that I use to stay in touch with what is happening:

Boxcar

This has been on top of my list on both the iPad as well as the iPad ever since it was released. I never access the actual app, but its ability to give me push notifications on many services has helped me stay in touch realtime. One of my latest additions is a combination of a filter on my Google Apps account which forwards to Boxcar when mails with certain words or from certain people arrive. That enables me to quickly respond to current projects or special clients.

Twitter for iPad

One of the best Twitter clients around. The joy of browsing through tweets, hashtags, people’s conversations is huge. Twitter for Mac is getting close, but is not as much fun as Twitter for iPad is.

Zite

Just in and already on place three. Flipboard used to live here, but Zite is just so much nicer. Granted, it can do with some improvement, but the basis is great. It enables me to catch up with what has been happening in a comfortable manner. However, I would like it to be more clear in the way it uses my RSS feeds from Google Reader. Besides that, I would love an option to add my own Bit.ly account and a list of articles I want to save for later use, perhaps through Instapaper.

Friendly Facebook for iPad

Catching up with friends on Facebook is great to do, but I am not much of a fan of the Facebook site on the iPad. The official Facebook app is great on the iPhone, but doesn’t scale to the iPad, so I looked at Friendly. And I think it is pretty good. Does it enhance your life incredibly? No, but it is easy to use and nice to look at, so a definite must have if you want to do Facebook on the iPad.

Tweetradar

Just for the fun of it really. Tweetradar does what its name implies. It shows you a google maps background on which it projects the tweets for that area. Great to spot what is happening in your backyard, your city, another city or just for an event.

There you go, the Friday Five for this week. If you have an app you would want me to try, just let me know. If you have something that you would like to get my opinion on, let me know, I’ll do a Friday Five on it.

Getting ready to go – are you coming?

I am really looking forward to this. Tomorrow I’ll be leaving to LeWeb with Erno Hannink. Four days of Paris, I won’t have time to see the Eiffel Tower and only glance at the Notre Dame in passing, and I am over the moon about it.
I am really looking forward to the LeWeb conference this year. Naturally I will be writing about what I hear and what I come across. You can find my posts here and on pitchstops.com.

If you are at LeWeb and would like me to do a video interview or write about you, just come up to me and let me know. Give me a shout on Twitter and lets make an impact starting at LeWeb.

Get a free ticket to Somesso.com in London

We are proud to officially launch the Somesso bloggers program for the Somesso conference in London on Friday May 15. As you will know, the Somesso conference focuses on social media use in corporate environments. As social media keep on gaining interest around the world, more and more corporations are looking into implementing these techniques within their organisations as well as in their communications to the outside world. For this reason, we feel that an active bloggers program is going to be a great addition to what we like to communicate to the corporate world.

For participants in our bloggers program we will have 10 free tickets to the conference available. However, we have attached some rules to the program and the distribution of the tickets.

  • You need to publish at least 4 posts that are related to the Somesso Conference in London on the 15th of May. These can be blogposts, podcasts, videocasts or other publications on the event, event related speakers and interviews or anything else that is related to the Somesso Conference in London. And please use hashtag #smo09 on everything.
  • You need to encourage readers, friends, your online communities, followers etc. to register for the event (this is important and you will see why)
  • You will need to display a badge on your blog with a link to the registration page which will remain visible to the day of the conference. (You can find the badges on http://www.somesso.com/marketing)

As a member of the bloggers program, you will not go unnoticed. When you register I will send you a personal registration code that you can use on your blog in combination with one of the logo’s at http://www.somesso.com/marketing. (Mail me for your code, you will need it to be eligable for the ticket!) Besides the fact that being in the bloggers program will give you a chance to win one of the ten free tickets, that code will give your readers a discount of 10%. The interesting part is that as they sign up, you will get that same discount on a ticket you can purchase. As more and more people purchase tickets with your code, you will end up with a free ticket to the event. (Which you can then give away to your readers or otherwise.) As the event comes closer, we will be sending you information on the speakers as well as other event facts. And of course, you are in direct contact with the event organisers, so whatever you feel you need, don’t hesitate to ask. We will also provide an opportunity for bloggers to meet each other and opportunities to interview speakers at the event.

As we mentioned before, we only have 10 free tickets to the Somesso Conference in London available. The chance is that we will be having more bloggers that are interested. For that reason we will be selecting the 10 bloggers that will receive a conference pass based on the sales of tickets from their bloggers code. And when the number of sales would be equal, we will use our judgement based on the articles you have written and the impact they have had in the community. So make sure you spread the word as much as possible to get that free ticket.

If you have any questions, just get in touch with me either through my blog or mail me at somessobloggersprogram@arnehulstein.nl.

5 things about lists or how lists kill social media

I have tried not to do this for a very long time. But today I was triggered to do a list.

5. Lists are usually too long

Every list has to adhere to certain standards. You always have to have a specific number of items. Four never works, you need three or five. That makes lists too long. This one included.

4. Lists are seldom original

As you said before. Really, I cannot imagine nobody writing these things about lists before me. Does that trouble me? Not in the least, because I am compiling MY list. And as it is MY list I can write whatever, right? Well, leaving these two obvious points, we get to my top three irritations.

3. Lists give the impression that they order life

People have a tendency to listen to lists. Maybe that what coined the term in the first place. But if I am realistic, none of the lists I have ever read have the same number one on top as I would have. Not one of them seems to be beyond criticism. Not even the ones based on facts, as we found out with Jeroen Mirck’s Top 40 Dutch twitterazi, which was based on the number of tweets and left me out completely. Which brings me to my next irritation.

2. Lists turn things into competition

A list is the most open form of competition after sports. After all, everyone wants to be heading the list. Though I might need to maken an exception only for the list of “The top ten worst dressed women in the world”. Other than that, everybody wants to be in the top position. And yes, I am guilty myself. I looked at the Top 40 Dutch Twitterazi list and was surprised I was not in there. And I am using surprised because you might otherwise think I would be obsessed. Needless to say, the fire of competition was awoken deep inside me and I had to send Jeroen a quick message asking him for what reason he had left me out. Naturally he put me in right after and then I was annoyed I had just not made the top 10.

1. Lists try to make you deny yourself

And for me, this really is what it is all about. If I am going to keep only a single good intention for the coming year, it will be to let go of lists. We all say that lists do not matter for us, however, our ego grows five sizes if we get published in some sort of list. And yes, I am no stranger to that. But that has to end for me. Why? Because I see people change their behaviour when they are part of a list. They want to go up, or down depending on the subject of the list, and are willing to do what it takes. They are conforming to the masses that have determined the order in the list, or to sensation based media that compiled it. That is a shame. If I look at mosts lists, or most comparisons of numbers, they serve no purpose. 

In fact, I think it is even worse. Lists and our need to quantify, order and exalt certain people can kill social media. You might think that I am putting this a bit stern, but let me tell you what I mean. After someone has read a list, he will adapt his behaviour to fit the list better. These would not be things that he would have done otherwise. In fact, he was a perfectly happy human being before he knew of the list. But the list has shown him something he has to change for to achieve. And so we are trying to shape people into being what the list is asking them to be. So, how real and how social can we really be if we are changing ourselves to fit lists? And what is the benefit of these changes to the masses of the internet? If we all try to hit the top of the lists, are we not all going to fail and strand somewhere disappointed in mediocraty? All that trouble, while just being ourself would have gained us much more attention, much more appreciation and much more fun as well.

So here it is. If I do not make another top 40 list of top Dutch anything, that is fine with me. I am not going to bother with them anymore. All I am going to do is to just be my talkative self. And I hope you will to. Lets be social instead of trampling each other in ways to seem a bit bigger.

Behind the scenes at the Pitchstops with Marlooz

We had a great time at the Web 2.0 Expo filming our Pitchstops. And unexpectedly our good friend Marlooz turned up. Marlooz runs Marloozvertizing where you can hire her to do the video coverage at your event. Enthusiastic as ever, she flipped out her camera and did a great behind the scenes of our Pitchstops. Thanks a million Marlooz!


Marlooz is flipping Pitch Stops from Marlooz on Vimeo.

And don’t forget to hire Marlooz for your next event!

Get startups, get a brownie to share

Yes, I am going to give away the brownie we received from Sugarmama on monday. You would have to look at the movie to see how gorgeous it is… Anyway, here is your challenge:
I want to have as many startups in the Ford as I possibly can during the Web 2.0 Expo. The first one who will dm me the names of five startups that they have convinced to pitch in the Ford, will win the brownie! (Oh, did I say it is big? It is not a piece, it is the whole thing.)

Looking forward to your dm’s!

Pitch-Stops, live pitchen vanuit de auto

Ford S-MaxOver een ruime week vertrekken we naar Berlijn. Na overleg heeft Ford Nederland mij een Ford S-Max uitgeleend voor de reis. Tijdens de reis kun je de auto volgen door middel van een live verbinding die via de DutchCowboys site te zien zal zijn. Daarbij kun je inbellen om te praten over de snufjes in de Ford S-Max. Maar ook over de visie van Erno Hannink en mijzelf op de toekomst van het internet. Als alles goed gaat, kunnen ook de bellers live gevolgd worden via de video’s. Maar, hier wilde ik het niet bij laten.

Voor de lezers die mij intussen een beetje kennen is wel bekend dat ik startups een heel warm hart toedraag. En daar wil ik ook deze keer weer aandacht aan besteden. Dus gaan we ook Pitch-Stops houden. Tijdens een Pitch-Stop krijgen startups de kans om in vijf minuten hun concept te pitchen op de achterbank van de S-Max. Of om hun ideeën aan te prijzen. Het maakt niet uit. Als het maar een pitch is en hij mag niet meer dan vijf minuten duren. Die pitch zal dan ook te zien zijn op de stream van DutchCowboys. Een perfecte manier om de aandacht op je te vestigen dus.

De eerste Pitch-Stop zal in Arnhem zijn. Daarna rijden we door naar Berlijn naar de Web 2.0 Expo. En daar zal de S-Max de hele week beschikbaar zijn voor Pitch-Stops bij de ingang van de Expo.

Als je ook wilt pitchen, laat het dan even weten, of tik me even aan op de Web 2.0 Expo in Berlijn.