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December 11, 2010

Openleaks – A new era begins

The past few months have been full of stories about the website Wikileaks. Personally I think Assange is a hoax. After watching a couple of interviews with him, it is evident he has no good intentions, but focus on building the myth about himself. Neither do I necessarily like the idea of government and corporate information leaking onto the web. I believe that there is need for secrecy in many cases. However, what I think and believe in is not important.

My dislike of Assange as an individual is nothing I do alone. Even people within Wikileaks have now turned against Assange. This have led to a the launch of a new service on Monday, called Openleaks. What Openleaks promises to do is to not only share the information, but also share the technology behind the service. This means that whilstleblowers will be able to launch similar websites all over the world.

This is not a new idea, but the implication is quite vast on the ability of governments to regulate and power down these websites. We’ve seen it in the affiliate business, we’ve seen it in the seeding business, we’ve seen it in the general information distribution business and we are seeing it in the e-commerce business. As technology becomes easily accessible for people to copy and reproduce, government legislation and institutions ability to react are too slow.

When institutions don’t have a chance:

  • There is an information co-ordination problem
  • Many people have access to small bits of the full picture
  • Technology is standardized and made accessible for everyone to use

What I suspect Openleaks will do, is to change the way that corporations will have to do business. Just like Facebook changed the face of the social web, a service like Openleaks, will change the way we share sensitive information online. In the long run this will lead to a situation where all information is known by the web instantly and is thus public as soon as it happens. There is simply put, no possibility to hide away the dirt.

Wikileaks didn’t create this as it was a heavily institutional website. But when you let the users take over, it will become better in quality, more trustworthy and more transparent. It will be like the switch from Britannica to Wikipedia. Accuracy will increase and the aggregated truth will be more “truthful” than what even Wikileaks have been able to portray.

Why do I write about this?

Well… If you are a company with some skeletons in your closet. Start dusting them of and putting the nicest crisis management clothes on them. They are about to walk out on the streets.

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October 12, 2009

Who wants to pay for the profits?

Some economics
In a perfect market economy, the price we pay equals the marginal cost of producing that last piece of product put out on the market. Profits are created where there is an inbalance between supply and demand in the market. In theory, supply will increase as long as there are profits to be made.

In reality however, this has not been a likely scenario as the perfect market needs complete information. In a world where there has been a lack of information, profits have been possible as demand or supply has not been transparent.

Now watch this video:

The long tail theory that Clay Shirky is talking about in his video above would incur that we should expect that the future will bring a next to perfect supply of information about both supply and demand. Thus, profits that are constructed from non-transparent institutions, or producing business models, will diminish over time.

Read More

September 25, 2009

Guilty by association – LinkedIn Spammers delight

Have you had a distant colleague who tried to add you on LinkedIn? Perhaps a person you do not know, and most of all didn’t know worked at the same company? Congratulations, YOU are a victim of the latest LinkedIn spam.

Virtually their tactic is like this:

  1. They sign up for an account on LinkedIn
  2. They compose a very short profile, usually without a picture
  3. They write that they represent the same company as you do
  4. They add a couple of people from that company – usually they add a couple of other spam accounts for that company, then they start adding “real people”

As people are often polite, they generally add these “as you are person I trust” invites. BUT have caution as this is one of the most dangerous types of online spam there is. As LinkedIn has grown to become one of the most trusted B2B social platforms online, it can have devastating effects if a person is able to hijack your brand by association.

The spammers often use a “ready” account (ie. an account that seems to be associated with a brand as it is connected to a lot of people from that brand) to start sales dialogues with other people. They extract important information that they then put in a CRM and sell to sales databases around the world. It is an excellent business as the Cost Per Lead in some industries can be ranging between 20 USD to 500 USD.

I hope you take care of yourself out there 🙂


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April 23, 2009

Un-brandjack your brand on Twitter

There has been a lot of talk about brandjacking on Twitter lately. Some of it is really interesting to follow as many companies seem not to care. If you are a company that cares however, and your brand feels important to you, and you are desparate, because your brand is jacked and you really want to tweet. What should you do?

Stay calm. Dr Jesper is here to help. I have done this and this works. This is the “How to Un-brandjack your brand on Twitter”.

How to un-brandjack your brand on Twitter Read More

April 20, 2009

Web Analytics Wednesday presentation on Social Media Perspectives

Picture taken from another speach I made at Göteborg University to a bunch of professors.

I held a talk on social media perspectives on the 15th of April. The audience consisted of a group of web analysts engaged in the network Web analytics wednesday. Below is the presentation that I shared with them. (Now translated into English) Read More

April 14, 2009

How to work with Social Media Buttons


I was talking over Skype with my friend Peter Einarsson the other day. He asked me whether or not to use the ShareThis plugin for WordPress installations and social media buttons. Quite frankly, I get this question quite a lot as it is very simple to add the ShareThis plugin to a blog or a website. It is almost automagic. All hail to the ShareThis ppl for producing such an easy to install plugin. Read More

April 2, 2009

Applied Linked Data

My thoughts have been spinning around KPIs and Social media the past few weeks. Today however, I saw this TED-talk which put the dot over the i when talking about the true importance and difference in the shift between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0. Social media, as a child to Web 2.0 is really all about LINKED DATA.

Applying Linked Data
When talking about applying linked data, Tim Berners-Lee says that you should make your data available. Corporations have done this for years, but they have done it in formats that are not very good. Usually it is the quarterly reports that are posted to the website in excel-format so that any analyst in the world can download them and do their funky stuff with the numbers to come up with their analysis. So this is nothing new for corporations. (or is it..?)

What you have to do is 1. make that same data available in a database, 2. open the database so that people can extract data from it, 3. tag your data, or even better, let your users tag your data so that it naturally relates to other data in other databases.

This way, you will not only get the good juicy visibility that you so much strive for. People will actually make use of your data and other people will like both you and those people making use of your data a little bit longer.

What kind of data?
For those of you without imagination think that I am still talking about the quarterly reports when I’m talking about the data. Your thoughts are now circling around why the fuck anyone who is not an analyst would like to look at your data. You might even be repelled or scared of these unknown interested people. Well, there are 9 billion people in the world, and a lot of them have way sicker interests than digging through data, so I believe that you will even have a normal crowd playing with your quarterly reports. Read More