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May 6, 2010

The People I Respect and Read – Part 1

I rarely give kudos in this blog as I mostly write about either philosophical or very practical issues. I rarely write about news or use this blog as a means for dialogue with others. Thus the link exchange is very poor to bloggers that I read, respect and get inspired by.

Online Marketeers/Strategists

There is one blog I read every time she updates her posts. Ayelet Noff and her Blonde 2.0 is one of the most read worthy blogs out there. Perhaps lately the posts have become less insightful but if you’ve never read the blog, you’ll have a good time browsing the post history.

Naturally, I read Björn Alberts blog. He is one of those strategists out there that can make a clear model out of any creative idea. Would love to work with him again sometime in the future. Even though I don’t doubt my own excellence in finding creative solutions to basically any problem online, Björn has a way of processing those ideas and making them comprehensible to basically anyone with the need or willingness to listen. If you don’t know Swedish you should most definitively use G-Translate in order to read his posts. Better than all the hyped names out there.

When ever I get the time to, I try to read up on some Deborah blog posts. The problem with that blog is that I need a paper to separate the rows from each other as the width of the page is so long. I tend to blur it all together. But the content is power all through and needs to be read. I can but envy her approach to titles. If I had her intrinsic feel for title setting I would stop giving advice and start spamming the world with Deborah newsletters … a new version of Nigera Letters that would convert to 2%. 🙂

SEO Blogs I read regularly

Ok, I do read SEO-mainstream porn such as SEOMoz and SEO Round table. I think everyone with an interest in the industry should. They don’t inspire me though and thus I turn to some other blogs to find that magic sense of relief and excitement that you can only get from something new and exciting.

To piss me off, I read SEOBullshit which is a mashup of thoughts by some of the most interesting personalities in the SEO business. I found another blogger on SEO bullshit that was a real treat. He appeared in one of Matt Cutts videos as well with a question. SEOMofo is probably one of the more arrogant and crazy people out there. I just love his post about Sphinn as I’ve felt that kind of anger towards some people of our business but never been able to formulate a post such as his. He seems to have a nerve more easily tickled than mine and it is highly amusing to read his insights on basically anything. He doesn’t update that often, but when he does it is always a read worthy post.

For some creative solutions I tend to read bluehatseo as well as read the posts in Moneymakerforum and Black hat World. Even though I generally use “white hat” methods when working with clients websites, it is always good to know what you’re up against. There is nothing as frustrating as not knowing what the heck is happening and why someone is ranking ahead of you in the serps… along with some other good blogs on the topic I can generally find an answer, test it and smile.

Yes, I do read some Swedish blogs as well. Magnus Bråth writes a good blog at Sökmotorkonsult and my colleague Joinsimon is a worthy read although he writes about more than SEO these days. I read Jim Westergrens blog as well as Markus Westberg. However, their updates are less and less frequent these days, but it is generally good when an update comes up.

Internet philosophy & vision

There are a few blogs I read to get some perspective. First of all I read Disruptive. Not only is Christian one of my good friends, but Poppe and Nicolai are both very competent people that need their fair share of kudos. Disruptive is what other aim to become. They do not piss people off but write about what they are passionate about. To be an entrepreneur is quite different from talking about being an entrepreneur, or just using the word to draw business attention to something creative. On Disruptive you will read interesting perspectives on anything from the “porridge budget” (grötbudget) stories to the VC in the Valley. Sadly, they only write in Swedish, but it is one of those blogs I would love to be able to share through other than the means of G-Translate.

Other sources I read to get the vision I need are the house hold  Techcrunch and Hacker News. From time to time I kick back and read a full length of all the posts I’ve missed on Uncle CJ’s blog. Not only because they are good, but because you need to read a couple of them at a time. It is as a good series, you cannot just watch one episode. You need to download and marathon watch the whole thing. This is something which also holds for Erik Starck’s web presence which is like a fine wine that needs the context of a good meal to bring all it’s components on the taste chart to place.

Advertising stuff

Since I’ve recently joined the ad agency world, I’ve had to brush up on my coolness. Thus I’ve sat down and read the posts written by my CEO Walter as well as tried to brush through some of what the rest of the business has to offer. I like what Walter writes as he combines the provocative with the pretentious in a tasteful way. Sadly, the rest of the industry is full of so much self loathing that I cannot but puke after reading half a post of the shit that’s been put out there.

I would really like to get some advice on what blogs to read from the ad world. What I don’t want is the youtube clips, the “copywriters hate SEO”-association nor do I want the BS of having to go through millions of rows of text all about some successful campaign that doesn’t show any numbers. I want graphics, I want numbers, I want methodologies and industry understanding. Tell me of such a blog and I’ll link to it right away.

PR People

A blog that I used to hate (sorry) but which I really enjoy reading today is Niclas Strandh‘s Digital PR. I don’t know why I used to hate it. Probably because I didn’t like his old avatar image on Twitter. Small things can really get me pissy. But when I started reading the blog for real, another type of person came out of that Twitter avatar, one which I really started to like because of how he put words to thoughts.

Another Swedish blog that I wish could have been written in English is that of Jerry “Springer” Silfver. I don’t only like Doktorspinn as a blog, but I really like the way that Jerry can get pissed off. It is something about that honest transparency of someone completely lacking out at someone else that appeals to my senses. Jerry doesn’t hide, he comes after you and you better be prepared to defend your statements if you bring it. Jerry however, is far from being a vigilante. He’s actually one of those PR consultants that try to understand before he acts instead of pretend that he does and then spam for attention.

Naturally I read Online PR as one of 3 founders to that baby. It is a good and well rounded PR blog that talks about anything from how to build a CSR section on your corporate website to discuss Swedish politics in general.

Technology Blogs

Besides reading what ever flows through Hacker News, I read the blogs of Ted Nyberg, and Martin Söderlund. Two ex colleagues of mine that posts good stuff for you .Netters out there. If there is one blog/forum/resource  which should be filled up again, it is Palleman.nu… sadly he stopped blogging/posting for some reason and we’ll have to make due with his twitter feed from now on. Anyhow….

Conclusion

I actually think I am done for now. I know I have forgotten some of those that need cred… but if you want ANY PR to flow from this page once it settles you should keep in mind that I cannot put a million links into it. But please tell me if I offended you in any way 🙂

March 24, 2010

Education is Falling Behind due to our Arrogance

It was very nice to see one of my old friends tonight. For six months we lived in one of Stockholm’s most attractive, three floor, apartments. Yes, all the benefits with having such a place indeed. But tonight we didn’t talk about women or parties. We talked about education and the way we in the “developed” world are falling behind.

We simply have lost the will to imagine the impossible as something desirable. We no longer “build the tallest building” as Fredrik Härén would have put it. We no longer create those magnificent and new inventions that signifies a prosperous society. All we do is impose rules on change.

These rules can manifest themselves in ridiculous law suits against people sharing information, to busted doors for having an assembly about something government feel is not really politically correct.

We are people and there are a lot of us. We enjoy change by nature and thus we adapt naturally if we aren’t subject to restrictions that limit our behavior. But this post is very little about liberalism. This post is all about education.

Why I want to live in a developing country
In Bengaluru, India, they teach four languages in school. Naturally, they teach Hindu and English. Also naturally they have a choice for the third language. You can choose to learn Arabic, Spanish, French or any of the other big languages around the world. The fourth language however, is something which shows how these societies are able to adapt to the future. The fourth language proves that they know, what we don’t. The fourth language gives a significant and alarming indication to our decision makers that they are a nation, society and people of the future and not of the past. Their fourth language is C++.

Now if you are a programmer and read this you know that the world has gone far since C++, but if you think about it again, then imagine where you would be if you had been taught C++ from first grade in school. What would this do to your intricate relationship with digital understanding and development. It would be as sticky to your inner being as your native language is.

Whilst we are being taught the equivalent of carving images into cave walls, the people of emerging economies are being taught how to construct paper. But that’s not enough. They are being taught how to use this paper to create the communicative tools of tomorrow. Why are we arrogant enough to not recognize that the emerging, or “developing” countries are better than us when it comes to education?

Why I feel threatened
This example is only one of many. Whilst we are being taught rules, they are being taught opportunities. Whilst we are being constraint by bureaucracy, they are being encouraged to entrepreneurship. Whilst we only care about ourselves, they evolve banking systems that truly build upon building economies. Whilst we are going bankrupt, they are prospering in imagination as well as well being.

It is not important to analyze how we ended up in this place. We don’t have the time. We need to go into bootleg mode and copy whatever we are able to and try to catch up if we can. As we have molested the “third world”, I am not sure they will have mercy when they run us over.

Why I feel opportunity
The only good thing about this development is that I am a bit retarded. I have never accepted to be taught anything, and thus I have learned a lot on my own. I don’t think the same as my peers and I had a mother who mentally beat me into believing that there is always a second side to the coin.

What I am basically saying in this post is that all of you out there who haven’t understood that we’re falling behind… go check yourselves. We suck!!! The web is the future of communication. If you understand anything about how democracy and communication has built our societies to what they are today, you must understand how the change that is taking place has an effect upon the future.

//Jesper – wannabe Indian

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March 23, 2010

The Web is a Liquid

I sometimes turn to insanity to find answers to the easiest questions out there. Lately I have been thinking a lot about the web as a matter. You know, stuff. I have been thinking about the density of the web and how one would be able to bend it. Currently my thought process is somewhere close to the web being a liquid.

It does make some sense. Considering the static 1.0 web was sort of like ice, not very active, moving or changing. The growth of the web consisted of more of the same kind of web. Just like an ice age. The ice started covering more and more of the earth. Very much driven by exogenous factors such as investment capital and corporations. But then there was light. A crack in the ice. The bubble burst and the technology was freed for people to play around with. 2.0 came as a sunbeam through a cloud and heated the ice.

Along came the liquid web. Electrons, now moving faster than in the solid, represents the intensified buzz as more people embrace the web as a communicative tool.

The static web was very easy to predict as the change consisted of more of the same. Hence you always knew that if a certain thing happened, then the outcome would be a specific next. Considering how well link spam worked at the time (still works but with altercations), considering the time it took to launch a web project, considering the costs involved. Even the clueless must understand that this form of web, even when involving communication, had to follow certain rules to be effective.

One could chop a piece of the static web and hold it in ones hand and say. I own this bitch. But as the static and solid web has turned into a liquid, the claiming of terth has become a lot more difficult. I mean, just imagine holding a glass of water in your hand without actually having a glass to contain it in. The web has no glass, and just as it is difficult to hold on to a specific molecule of a liquid it is immensely difficult to control where it floats when surrounded by trillions of other molecules looking pretty much the same.

As I have said previously, the web consists of people, content and links between them. That fact hasn’t changed. People are still the protons holding on to the neutrons which in this case represent the content, yet the pace of the electrons – links – have increased drastically. The types of links have also increased. Still a link, but in the context of a user name or a persona. Just imagine, today you link to someone when talking to them on twitter or facebook. The user name is always linked.

So, the components of the web hasn’t changed, yet the energy has changed. The force that was released when opening up source code for people to develop on was extreme and thus the result has been as well.

And when considering the web as a liquid it becomes pretty easy to understand how Google works with content and links and why they choose to rank what they do in their searches. Consider the search query a glass, consider the vertical the lake, and consider the liquid the search result page. If you put your glass in dirty water then that is what you’ll get. And in polluted waters you are sure to get sick from drinking it.

If the web is a liquid it also explains how every single URI moves around just like a molecule of water. The inbound relationships between pages and resources change constantly as the liquid changes due to exogenous factors such as the movement of the moon.

Just some thoughts.

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March 22, 2010

Sometimes, I start out with another side of me

Just as I wrote in my previous blog post there is another side that I want to put on display in this blog. Sorry, m8’s… :D.. There is this thing with music I just cannot get out of my system. Here is the only song I have gotten properly produced.

Erik Nordin is the master behind the music, and Andreas Postl is the man behind the Master.

I sing and write :).

Enjoy!

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March 4, 2010

The Internet is Matter, let’s try to bend it

Have you ever thought about what the Internet consists of? Does it have a mass? Does it actually physically exist else than as an abstract being we’re able to use to express ourselves and communicate.

I started thinking about this when I was watching a commercial on web-tv the other day. I thought “Yes. The Internet must be a matter as it has a mass and it has a volume. In order to communicate through the web, it needs to reflect light. Otherwise we would not be able to see it. Considering even light bends when effected by gravity, and the web reflects light, it must too consist of matter. So, what is the density of the web and how can we bend it?”

I asked Twitter, and the only thing I got back was a couple of “stop taking shroomes” comments. I am fine with that. But have it ever struck you what possibilities a web of mass has? Let’s say I could extract the web in some way or another. For example by using a magnetic field. Then what effects could I have on the information being distributed through it? What type of products and communication methods could I shape with my new physical form of the web.

Sometimes I talk about the future as a place where we might just inject ourselves with the web. Considering it acts like a brain in its whole, is it too far stretched to think thoughts about how we could use the web as a means to improve our being?

I know this might sound scary for a lot of you out there, but many other technologies such as language and reading have become things we depend upon in everyday life. The difference between language and the web though, is that the web as a technology has never had down time. Parts of it has, but not the web as a technology.

In my everyday work, I focus on how to apply psychology to economics to technology to evolution. Sometimes I too have to allow myself to ask you as readers a question I am thinking about. Although not completely sane at first glance, but I wonder. What if the web in fact had a density, what if I could physically mold it, alter it and inject it as a part of my own being. Perhaps that is what the next application of the web, or evolution in communication we’ll be able to see.

Imagine the artistic applications that could be created if we were able to build monuments of thoughts rather than of copper.

That’s what’s on my mind right now.

//Jesper – (and yes, I am writing some new how to’s as well… but this just seemed a little bit more important…)

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February 22, 2010

Be Sure You are 100% Inaccurate Whilst being 100% Correct

Love this talk from TED. It is only two minutes in length but it really puts the dot over the i, as we say in Sweden. There are so many “truths” out there, so many thoughts that are nothing other than things seen from one perspective.

Now… sadly, my own belief implies that I too can be wrong. In fact, it says that I must resign to that for everything I say there is an equal truth that is the exact opposite of what I believe to be right. This creates some confusion for me at times when I am asked to make a decision on an instance.

Being a consultant is not very easy when you believe that there are no absolute truths. It doesn’t always land well when you start arguing death and weather each time a client want to know your view on an issue. My self evolution in the matter has gone from believing I was the center point of the world, to recognizing I was a mere particle, to understanding that my particle was important enough to have an valid opinion.

What I mean by this is that even though I generally understand that I might be wrong, I still give my opinion when asked. Also, this blog has become one way of venting my thoughts before I put them into practice, or to share my findings after I have found them. All in all, I want reactions. Sweden might not be the best place for them as people tend to talk behind your back, but I need reactions. This blog allows me to reach them and for that I am highly thankful.

I am sure I’ll have some how to’s for you in a while again, but for now there is just so much change going on I only have time for testing and thus the sharing becomes less practical and more philosophical.

February 13, 2010

One more weekend for Haiti

You have the chance to make a difference. Please do. If you are a Swede, then you can find ways to donate here. If you care, then do what you can.

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January 26, 2010

A Menace to the Open Web life itself

My dear friend Christian Rudolf, who unfortunately writes in Swedish, produced an excellent post on his business website mjukvara.se. The post was about Malware and was based on the lecture “How to Steal a Botnet and What Can Happen When You Do” that Richard A. Kemmerer held at Google.

The lecture is quite long, and for those of you who have limited time, I suggest you just read further instead of watching the video.

How much Malware is there out there?

Well, the scientists conducting this hijack of the malware server were connected to it during 10 days in which time they managed to get the following results.

  • 180 000 new computers detected with the malware
  • Gather about 170 000 units of password data
  • Which of they managed to decrypt within 24 hrs
  • 410 financial institutions are effected
  • The value of the data is between $83 000 – $8,3 million

To me these numbers weren’t only breathtaking, they were scary. Really scary. I mean these scientists only had this “command & control” center under their influence over 10 days. This was only one malware. They were only focused on one of the hosts. Imagine what the real numbers are.

The machine was actually registering a lot more malware instances but as these instances were registered per IP and these change a lot for the same user they managed to conclude that they only had 180 000 infected in their study.

Why do people get infected by malware?

Well. The most common problem is that people are running old stuff on their computers that lack the necessary security patches installed. Some people have it like this cause they are lazy, but most haven’t got their systems updated simply cause they don’t know that their computers are being used by others.

Secondly, the direct profits from stealing the information on these computers is quite huge. The estimates were quite rough but since this is an automated process the people behind it are sure to make their buck just from the theft. Secondly, they earn money through using their hosts as partitions/servers when running e-mail and other types of spam attacks.

It is also common that these infected computers are used when running large streaming networks where the active computers are providing space and speed for those watching the steamed material. I personally think this is closer to us than we hope to think. I also think that these kinds of activities are more institutionalized than what has surfaced so far.

I am not a conspiracy nerd, so I don’t really care, but with these quantities of money in it, I am sure that the fish in the sea aren’t the smallest ones 🙂

Why is this a Menace to the open web?

Well, these malware are installed through websites they are able to attack. The modern web mainly consists of amateur information and user generated/open source networks are growing. Because most people publishing information, installing blogs and CMS’s and registering accounts aren’t payed professionals, they are also very likely not to make the necessary updates to their web platforms to ensure that they don’t become a bearer of one of these malware.

  1. I like the open, social and amateur driven web. It suits my purposes as a human being and it helps us build a better world. With these malware out there, the business side of the web becomes increasingly vulnerable.
  2. Secondly, a web without the possibility to opt-in when sharing information is not a very social web at all. If I don’t know that I can control what is shared when I access the web, then I might become reluctant to enter it at all.

Thus, the malware out there is really attacking two of the most important ingredients to web life. Business and sharing. I would like to say to the malware people to just stop it. I know I can’t. I would probably do it for fun if I knew how to. It is the nerve of the nerd. If you know how to, then you have to try it out.

I guess that’s how society moves forward. By people pushing boundaries. My only wish is that we find ways to counter these wickeid ones. That we turn to our good side and remind each other to update our OS, our WPs and our firewalls. That way we at least make it more difficult and less profitable to engage in these activities. If we can take the business side out of the game for them, then we’ll be able to diminish the scope of their activities. At least.

//Jesper

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January 23, 2010

Pause your other Activities and Reflect for a minute

Hi All,

I live in Sweden and although there are many of you out there reading this blog, that are from other countries, I have to use this blog, today, to post a Swedish video to help the Red Cross Sweden get valid information out. There has been many fake initiatives around the web. People not using this time to give, but to steal. It is horrible, but it is a fact.

I received this video from the Red Cross and I wish you take the 2 minutes and watch it. We all know that ratings, views and comments are important to make a video rank on YouTube. Please help the Red Cross get out there with their own information instead of the bluff makers stealing.

I have translated the content of this video below. The guy in the video is the winner of this years Idol in Sweden.

“Hi, My name is Erik Grönwall, and I need your help. Together we can stand strong for children in Haiti. To all those that’s been hurt by this incident. We do this by sending a text to TEENHELP to 72900 and donate 20 SEK (about 2 dollars). Do it now!”

Even if you don’t donate any money. Please help out with the sharing of this video to those who can/want to/or do.

//Jesper

January 20, 2010

Wednesday Relations Workshop

I’ve had better presentations in my life. That’s for sure. But I guess we had some fun anyhow. I think I somewhat dissed Twitter. The group had a valid point that there are many decision makers engaged in Twitter, even over in Sweden. I still think the priority has to be to make strategies that are more focused towards the phenomenon rather than the tool with which you work. I don’t think I managed to get that through, but I rather instinctively reacted negatively towards Twitter. Sry bout that you guy’s who joined in.

I think I also managed to say some more or less confused sentences about how I view transparency. To just make it clear. Transparency with regards to intentions in social media – YES!! Transparency in all details about company affairs – HELL NO!!

I am currently heading towards Göteborg in the south west of Sweden. I am on the train, working away on my cpu. The presentation today was all about Social Media Strategy. Not in the sense that you should cover every aspect of what will happen once you engage in social media, but it breaks down some of the core questions you should answer before you set out.

Regardless of what you do, you will get happy faces, and sour faces. So as long as you decide upon a strategy, are prepared to muck it to better achieve your goals, then I guess a strategy is a pretty big thing to rest your decisions on.

Also. Another thing that we didn’t cover at all was the matter of values. You need solid values that are shared within the company. I usually say the best way to work with social media in large corporations is to work with internal communication, education and monitoring.

Anyhow. Here is the presentation. In English. I’ve also added one of them other “standard” strategy presentations from a “social media guru” so that you don’t miss out on the fundamental understanding of what social media is all about.

My prez from today

Standard prez i found on Slideshare

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