My Name is E: A serious Competitor for Poken from the Netherlands

 

I’ve blogged about the Do you Poken phenomenon a couple of days ago and kind of concluded:

“Due to its design, I’m not even quite sure whether they want it to go mainstream as it rather looks funny than business like.
I reckon mobile phones with an RFID chip will do the job in the future, but I’m not a technical person, so I actually don’t have a clue ;-)”

What I had missed when I visited the Next Conference in Hamburg was the startup competition, which was won by My name is E. Just check the first 10 minutes of the footage to see their slick presentation:

As you can tell from the video, they’re basically offering the same service as Poken does, but literally more seriously, which is to say more business like.
You can exchange data via any mobile phone with an internet connection or use their so called “Connectors”.

I’ve just created my public virtual business card there:

my_name_is_e

Making it public is optional, but I’d highly recommended it, also because the links to your profiles are indexed by search engines, as they’re not (yet) “nofollow”.

Looking forward to asking random people at upcoming events if their Name is E as well :-)

 
 

Save some Trees: Get Your Business Card 2.0 aka Poken

 

It’s a well-known ritual:

People meet at an event and exchange business cards.
Sometimes these people might actually have something in common, consider each other interesting or even likeable, but in most cases exchanging business cards is not about actual people, but, as the name suggests, about potential business.

Most people add the newly acquired contact in online communities such as Xing or LinkedIN and throw the cards away.
If the potential business partner is not on Xing or LinkedIN, the contact details are saved somewhere else and we secretly tag the person as web 1.0.

In the end, the tiny little cards are either thrown away or put somewhere to collect some dust.

Looking at this awkward process and its accompanying waste of paper, the obvious solution is a way of exchanging business data in a different kind of way.

This is where Poken comes into play:

These cartoon-like little fellows use an RFID chip to exchange data from common social networking sites such as Facebook as well as the above mentioned business sites Xing and LinkedIN.

All you have to do is a “High 4″, i.e. clap the Pokens’ hands as they only got 4 fingers, just like your favourite TV familiy The Simpsons.

Once you’re home all you have to do is upload your new contacts from the device to your computer and the Poken page gives you access to their social media profiles.

I guess it will still take a while until Poken goes mainstream as mostly geeks on barcamps and relevant conferences seem to have one at the moment.
Due to its design, I’m not even quite sure whether they want it to go mainstream as it rather looks funny than business like.
I reckon mobile phones with an RFID chip will do the job in the future, but I’m not a technical person, so I actually don’t have a clue ;-)

The adoption stlye seems similar to Twitter to me:

If everybody had an account / a device, life would be so much easier, but it takes a while to convince people of the added value microblogging / digital business cards provide.

While Twitter is (still) for free, Pokens cost something like 15 EUR, which is a quite reasonable price.

As I don’t have one yet, I’m hereby taking part in a lottery at gadgetgettinc.com to get one for free ;-)

I’d love to win the Elvis poken, basically for two reasons:

1. Save some trees instead of using business cards.
2. To use the power of resurrected Elvis to convince friends of mine to do the same (see 1.).

 
 

tourist-online.de pays the Blogger’s Rent in Crete

 

Just stumbled across a quite interesting promotion campaign by tourist-online.de.
The holiday home agency celebrates its 10 year anniversary by paying the rent for a stay in Crete, Greece.
A clever idea to get inbound links in cooperation with their SEO agency seoFactory.

All a blogger has to do is linking to their homepage.

The campaign will end at the end of May or after 3.653 incoming links.

It’s apparently time to forget about SEO guidelines saying that linkbuilding should be done at a slow pace to avoid penalties by Google and other major search engines. I guess they know what they’re doing.

Interesting to see that Malte Landwehr wrote the seoFactory blogpost about the tourist-online campaign.
That might explain why that SEO jack of all trades hasn’t blogged at his Online Reputation Management blog since January 2009.

If that really works out it might be fun to spend a week or two with fellow bloggers that also took part in the campaign ;)

Update:

They just emailed me the voucher in .pdf format. Now I just gotta find some cheap flights…and finish my Master’s thesis in time ;)

Big thanks to tourist-online.de – will post a review of my stay, will probably be some time in July!

 
 

One hour Interview with Google CEO Eric Schmidt – The most interesting bits and pieces

 

Long live social media. Facebook has just told me that one of my best friend’s boyfriend has posted a comment on TechCrunch (who needs RSS-readers?):

As I know that Michel is a clever guy who’s interested not just in technology itself, but also in its impact on society, I assumed
that it’s worth spending an hour watching the interview. Well, to be honest, it might also be the case that interviews with Google’s CEO tend to be quite interesting.

As one hour of footage is quite massive and we’re living in stressful times I thought I’d provide you with the (imho) most interesting insights from the interview. If you’re looking for the actual video though, you can find it at Google video, as long as that service still exists ;-)

Now here’s the interview in a nutshell:

Insight into Google’s current Business

  • 98% of Google revenue comes from Advertising
  • Google’s current slogan is “Search, Ads and Apps”
  • Google still provides 20% of an engineer’s time to work on what they consider interesting, also to maintain the capility of innovation

The Future of User Generated Video as on YouTube

  • User generated video will be one of the most defining aspects of the Internet, also because video quality will increase over the next few years

Eric Schmidt on Transparency

  • “Transparency is how you keep societies honest”
  • Transparaency is a form of check and balance so people have to tell the truth

Politics and the Power of Social Media

  • The senate went Democratic in 2006, partly because a race in Virginia which involves an unfortunate video on YouTube of a Republican candidate losing to
    a Democrat.
  • The Abscan Scandal was still available on YouTube and therefore contributed to the Democrat’s success as well.
  • Politicians are well aware of YouTube and are thusly more careful
  • A “Politician Bullshit Detector” could enable people to find out whether a politican is telling the truth or just BS in real time.
  • A few years from now majority of uses of the internet is expected to be on mobile phones, enabling people to watch TV and read books
  • It’s gonna be a personalized viewing experience in comparison to today’s usual stuff on TV.

Monetization of User Generated Content

  • YouTube videos as a new form of ads will really get you excited about buying a product.
  • People on MySpace, Facebook, etc. are in “social mode” and don’t really want to buy anything – There will be “solutions” to that, which just haven’t been invented yet.
  • There is, for example, the idea of micro payment in the form of paying 1 to 2 cents per view of a video

Google Earth, Google Maps, Google Sky and Google Ocean

  • There was some debate about former Vice President Dick Cheney’s residence on Google Earth.
  • Too much fuss about it as the residence’s location can be looked up elsewehere, too.
  • As all that information is available to evil people too, Google is trying hard not to show stuff which is not generally available.
  • Google Sky and Google Ocean are excellent for educational purposes, especially with the latest Google Earth Version 5 Beta
  • The US Navy provided Google with information for Google Ocean, which also includes ship wracks, fish, etc.

Eric Schmidt on Privacy and the future of information

  • Martin Sorrell from WPP said that Google is our
    Frenemy (or rather Froe), a mix of our best friend and enemy at the same time.
  • There’s the idea that Google wants us to know where everyone is, at any time.
  • Information is inevitably less private, but “We’ve given up something in terms of privacy in return for ‘these other things’”
  • People should have control over the information they want to publish
  • Google Latitude is an application for Mobile Devices telling everyone you wish where you are, but it is scalable. You can tell only three out of 90 people and tell them that you’re in the state of Illinois instead of telling them you’re in Chicago.
  • People can allow Google to access personal information to give them more accurate information.
  • “I’m a fan of history. When I walk down the streets of New York, why doesn’t it tell me the history of every building so that I don’t have to bother to type, I can just see it. Highly personal and highly entertaining.”>
  • Nobody at Google would ever look at e-mails from a person’s Gmail-Account. If somebody did so, that person would be fired immediately.

Digital Divide – Where are we heading?

  • As technology is becoming much cheaper, people in 3rd world countires can start building networks using SMS.
  • There’ll be roughly a billion more mobile phones coming online within the next few years
  • English still is the global language, while Chinese internet usage is increasing and China has 500 million mobile phone users.
  • How does the ability to have all the world’s information in front of you change education?

  • In the past you had to learn things by heart, today you can just search for it. Thus it becomes increasingly important to teach people how to search instead of having to memorize useless stuff.
  • There’s the idea to give students search terms and see who’s gonna learn most, followed by a conversation among the students to learn even more.
  • The development of community sites around certain topic areas where some of the best teachers in physics, chemistry and so forth get together
    and put together lessons, resulting in a compendium of information can serve as a basis for the next revisions of textbooks and certifications.
  • Moore’s law says that you can double the density or number of things that are on a computer chip every 18 months.
    So a rough rule means that a computer either gets twice as fast or half the price over an 18 month period.
    All of the evidence about Moore’s law says it will go on for another 10 to 15 years. In 15 years, it’s a thousand times cheaper and faster. So unless something changes in 15 years, Eric Schmidt’s grandson, who’ll be 18 in 15 years, will have all of the world’s information, every video, every movie and so forth on a single hard drive. If he started watching it, he cannot finish watching it in 85 years. He’ll always be frustrated.
  • Google recently brought out a history search where you can go back to historical places and see how they evolved over time.

Positive things we can do with the corpus of information Google has

  • Google Flu Trends can detect uncommon searches as a blip and can note that anonymously.
    In doing so, they can be six months ahead of other reporting mechanisms to identify a possible outbreak. Thus, this device could save 10 to 30 thousand lives per year.
  • Based on the Wikipedia model, the smartest doctors could organize a public corpus of medical information online, which would combine everything everybody knows about medical practice in one place.

How is all this changing us?

  • Technology has moved us closer together, but has also made us more stressed. A positive effects is that it prevents terrible misunderstandings like the one that lead to World War 1
  • We benefit from this inter-connectiveness. We have to learn as a society what it means to be interconnected all the time.
    It means, for example, that not everything is as important as everything else.
    We have to know where the off button is.
  • Children grow up more quickly and adjust more quickly to technology. The level of overwhelming and stressful information is affecting our/their cognition and thinking
  • Sitting down to read a book is still the best way to really learn something.
  • It’s early reading with young children that really makes a difference, even when it comes to IQ tests.
  • The symbolic reasoning that comes from playing computer games as from navigational queries really develops/fosters cognitive abilites.

What will the world look like in 2025?

  • The CIA website says, among other things, that it is likely that we got some kind of nuclear exchange, water or food scarcity within the next 25 years.
  • Two significant threates to humanity that could kill millions of people: The nuclear issue and climate change (causing rising sea levels, etc.). Technology can help to get this message out and raise awareness.
  • The bad news is that: “It’s possible to really destroy the great things that we’ve build here on earth relatively quickly in these 2 areas.”
  • The good news is that there’re so many other areas where things will be so much better: Medical research can contribute to a longer life, information is changing
    the ways we interact so that we will be able to communicate with people who’s language we don’t even speak or understand.

What’s the role of the United States in the Future?

  • America will not have the same place that it had in the 20th century.
  • America is not always right, the Chinese, Indians and Europeans will have their own stake on what’s right and what they think the future is and we have moved
    into a world where the USA actually talks to these countries.
  • America still remains the place of choice for education thanks to educators, students and one third of funding coming from federal and state grant.

Obama and the Future

  • Obama is very very good at listening, organizing groups and is symphathizing very quickly.
  • Schmidt and others have campaigned hard for quick action to deal with the economic crisis by investing in infrastructure, innovation, education and health care.
  • Two thirds of investment actually went into the above named areas.

Are people in technology different?

  • Yep, they tend to be more analytical, more data-driven, more personally liberal, more global in their focus, while others are locked in terminologies by their grandfathers.
 
 

Gutscheine für Hörbuchdownloads auf Libri.de und der Libri.de Service

 

Ich habe es getan. Ich habe meine langjährige Perle Amazon mit Libri.de betrogen – allerdings nur wegen eines 10 € Gutscheins, einzulösen auf Hörbuchdownloads ab einem Mindestbestellwert von 25€

Also bestellte ich mir prompt “Außer Dienst” von good ol’ Helmut und “Wer bin ich, und wenn ja, wieviele” von einem gewissen Richard David Precht für zusammen 31,44 €. Nach Adam Riese betrug meine Rechnung durch Einlösen des 10 € Gutscheins dann 21,44 €.  Und obwohl dieser Betrag unter 25 € liegt, konnte ich die Bestellung abschließen. Bei anderen Läden wie beispielsweise Kolibrishop muss man mit seiner Bestellung bei Einlösung des Gutscheins bei 25 € oder mehr liegen, so dass der Einkauf mindestens einen Wert von 35 € haben muss.

Kleiner Wehrmutstropfen bei den beiden Hörbuchern war zunächst das Format. Da hatte ich aber ehrlicherweise auch geschlafen. .wma Files lassen sich nämlich nicht auf dem IPod abspielen. Rein theoretisch ließe sich das nun wiederum lösen, indem man die .wma Files auf CD brennt und dann mit Itunes in .mp3 rippt, aber ob das soviel Spaß macht bzw. legal ist, weiß ich nicht so recht.

Nachdem ich die Hörbücher ziemlich fix erfolgreich herunterladen konnte, kam dann aber der etwas größere Wehrmutstropfen: Ich konnte die Hörbücher nicht lizensieren.
Dafür müsste man eigentlich seine Bestellnummer eingeben. Dabei bekam ich jedoch immer wieder die Fehlermeldung, dass es nicht die korrekte Nummer sei.
Nach etlichen Versuchen gab ich dann auf. Mein Plan wäre eigentlich gewesen meinen neuen Soundtube, den ich als Prämie zum Spiegel Mini-Abo bekommen hatte, neben mein Bett zu stellen und mich schön gemütlich vom coolsten Ex-Kanzler der Welt in den Schlaf wiegen zu lassen.

Aber nein. Wäre ja auch zu schön gewesen. Die Libri.de Service Hotline mit ihren moderaten 14ct pro Minute war um 22:00 leider nicht mehr erreichbar. Das hätte ich mir zwar denken können, aber man könnte die Geschäftszeiten auch gerne mal auf die Website schreiben, statt sie dem Anrufer mitzuteilen, wenn er außerhalb dieser anruft.

Also schrieb ich eine E-Mail an den Libri Kundenservice.

Als ich dann heute um ca. 10:15 meinen Posteingang checkte, hatte ich noch keinerlei Nachricht erhalten, so dass ich, diesmal innerhalb der Geschäftszeiten (9-20 Uhr wenn ich nicht irre), einen weiteren Anruf tätigte.

Der Service-Arbeiter war sehr nett und schilderte mir gleich, dass das Problem ein technischer Natur und bereits bekannt sei. Als Wiedergutmachung schlug er mir einen 3 € Gutschein auf einen Hörbuchdownload an (Hörbuchdownloads scheinen ohne Incentives wohl ziemlich mies zu laufen). Ich nahm das Angebot dankend an und beendete das Gespräch.

Als Kunde frage ich mich jetzt, ob das der ideale Weg ist ein bekanntes Problem mitzuteilen.
Natürlich wäre das mit sehr viel mehr (finanziellem) Aufwand verbunden, aber wenn ich direkt eine E-Mail mit einem Gutscheincode bekommen hätte, in dem das Problem mitgeteilt wird, hätte ich meine beste Freundin Amazon wahrscheinlich vergessen und hätte voller Entzückung wohl nur noch bei Libri bestellt. Naja, leicht übertrieben. Gerade wenn man einen 50 € Amazon Gutschein durch web.de und die DKB am Start hat :D

Naja, ich warte munter darauf, dass das Problem behoben wird und tue Libri etwas Gutes, indem ich den Gutschein-Code einfach mal verschenke. Wer also den ersten Kommentar schreibt, darf sich über sage und schreibe 3 € Rabatt bei Libri.de auf Hörbuchdownloads freuen! Code wird zugeschickt. :-)