Category Archives: Discussion

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How to Make Most of Festival Photo’s

Were you at a festival this weekend or plan to be at some point over the summer, then this article is just what you need.  This articles shares some of our top tips for how you can use your festival photo’s from this year and past years in creative and fun ways.

First of all you need to grab a copy of all your festival photo’s.  You can do that in a few different ways, grab them from your phone, camera etc directly or if you have shared them online and aren’t sure where you had them originally that’s fine. Download digi.me, sync your social media accounts and then do a search or two to find the pictures you are after.  You may need to do a date range search or you may just need to search for the name of the festival. It depends what you put in the description when you uploaded the pics.

Once you have the copy of your pictures you can start doing all sorts of things with them.

  • You could make a photo collage with them and put it in a frame.
  • Make a photo book of your festival highlights to leave on the coffee table for when friends come round.
  • Turn your pics into a photo clock with a picture for each hour of the day.
  • Put all your photo’s into a digital photo frame and see those festival moments all summer long.
  • Set your festival photo’s folder as your screensaver or screen background and see those special moments unfold.
  • Create a video of your festival photo’s and share it with your friends on social media.

Do you have other ideas of what you could do with your festival pictures! Share them with us and we’ll add them to our list!

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Personal Data Privacy in the News This Week

This week there has been a lot of discussion on TechCrunch and other sites as a result of this publication detailing how people don’t understand how their personal data is being used by social networks or search sites.

The essence of these articles puts into question whether your personal data is really being used with your permission or whether it is being stolen from you.  Personal information is being traded and used for personal or targeted advertising. Quite simply your preferences and information is the product that is being sold.  The big question about this approach is – Is it legal and ethical?

At the recent HyperCat IoT summit ARM’s Stephen Pattison stated that consumers should own their data.

“We must all accept consumers own their data and we need to make sure consumers have a good sense that they own their data.”

Along side this was a call for a Magna Carta on Data Privacy. What are your thoughts on this and do you feel we need to do more to protect and control our personal data?

Other interesting articles this week included:

What are your thoughts on these articles and how do you think personal information, use and ownership will change in the future?

 

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How social media is changing music and sport

How has social media affected the way you interact with music, musicians, sport and sports people? Do you feel that it has brought you closer to a sport or got you into doing a sport?

I’ve always been a sports enthusiast and love my extreme sports like kite surfing and rock climbing.  I follow my favourite kite surfers and climbers online to see what they are up to and to get top tips from them.  These sports don’t really have the same communities around them as sports like running clubs.

Our local running club has over 1000 members and it’s own Facebook page. The page is used for arranging runs, going to competitions and much more. It brings the local community together around sport but also for social events as well.  There are competitions among members on FitBit and Endomondo.  If you want to get into running these local communities really are a great place to start. They are truly inspirational. I would highly recommend using social media to find and interact with your local clubs. You may be surprised just how active they are!

When we look at music and musicians I find that I can interact more with up and coming musicians as a result of finding them on music services like Deezer or through friends recommendations on Facebook.  If you are like me and have been using Periscope recently you can connect with some big name musicians and gain interesting insights into their every day lives. Instagram is also really interesting when you start following a few musicians. You get to see some amazing pictures of their shows and insights into their life outside of work.  This week I found out that Taylor Swift has a stripy cat and Sam Smith has a new grey kitten that looks just like my little Moshi cat. Random facts about celebrities!

How is social media changing music and sport for you?

 

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How Tim Cook and the NY Times Opened Up the Privacy Debate

This week really has been an interesting one with two big stories hitting the news both relating to personal data and privacy.  The first was this story “Tim Cook blasts Silicon Valley companies for ‘gobbling up’ your personal data” and that was followed up with this article today in the New York Times “Mark Zuckerberg, Let Me Pay for Facebook“.

Both of these articles have one thing in common. Personal data, control of that data, use of the data and ownership of it.  Tim Cook rightly reminds us all that our personal data is incredibly valuable and important. Too important in fact to let other companies take ownership, control and use it.  Tim Cook is fighting for you to own your data, control and use it how you see fit. Some people have argued that we already do that and have made the trade off between personal privacy and service access with services like Facebook and Twitter however where do the boundaries sit?  At what point is a line crossed where we are no longer happy with this?

Taking this one step further New York Times writer Zeynep Tufekci believes that companies like Twitter and Facebook should actually be paying us to be on their platforms if they are selling our data or if we choose for them not to we pay to access the platform.  That actually doesn’t sound like an unreasonable compromise.  Times are changing and as we start to understand more how valuable and useful our data is to us and others we may choose to take more control over it.

What are your thoughts on the issues raised in these articles and where do you see the power and control of your personal data in the future?

We here at digi.me want to place that firmly in your hands in a way that you can easily understand and with the ability to revoke access and control of your data from any platform or service as you see fit.

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Doing something different with your social media data

We all have social media data all over the place, be it on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.  We update our statuses, share pictures and videos or interesting links with friends, family and colleagues.  But after that what do we do with it?  Many of us just leave the content there and never really look back at it.

What Would You Like to Do With Your Data?

Digi.me puts you in control of your data and a few of the ideas that some of our users have come up with are truly inspiring.  Ideas that were suggested ranged from creating physical journals of conversations to picture montages from the last month.

Right now with digi.me you can take all your social media content and put it in a single place which you are in control of.  From here you can view it, analyse it and even look back over it to see what you were doing last week, month, year or even at a custom point or period in time.  You can export that data and use it in any way you choose to.

At the end of the day it is your data and you can do literally anything with it! All you need is a little imagination and some time to make it happen.

So why not give digi.me a try if you haven’t done already and do something different with your data.

If you already use digi.me let us know how you are using your data in fun and creative ways.  We love to inspire our users and show you what one another are doing with your data.

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Tips and Tricks Tuesday: Storytelling

Every now and again I get asked for a top tip that I have picked up during my time working with social media.  This weekend the latest question was in relation to using Facebook.  How do you share a picture on Facebook so that your friends actually see it.

My response was a fairly simple one, it’s not just about the picture it’s about telling the story.  What is it about this particular picture that is interesting?  If it is interesting to you will it be interesting to your friends?  Or is it completely out of context therefore making no sense at all to your friends, family or colleagues?

For example if I share the image below with you without any context… You would probably think something along the lines of “OK that is a piece of lace” and if you are into crafting you might think it is interesting but otherwise you might just move on to something else.

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Putting the story together for the image above and putting it in context actually gives it a completely new meaning to people you are sharing the image with.

DSC_0012In this case that is a piece of handmade lace from a 1930’s garter pattern. The garter is for my sister-in-law to wear at her wedding next year and so far has taken over 100 hours to make and it is just over 1/3 complete.

Once you hear the story behind the picture you can see and feel the emotion and context being shared.  Without that context many pictures fail to be noticed and therefore people don’t interact with them. So if you want someone to respond to your images on Facebook make sure that you share a few words that really sum up the moment.

Sometimes a single picture just doesn’t tell a story well enough on it’s own so make the most of the album features on Facebook and tell your story through a series of images or even videos.

Recently Facebook decided that if you share a video directly on their site it would preview and play directly in your timeline.  So if you are going to share a video you will find you get more views from your friends by sharing it directly than if you shared a link to your video on YouTube.

Share your top storytelling tips by leaving a comment!

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Curate or Create? Which do you do?

When we talk about our Twitter and Facebook updates we often see patterns to our behavior and the behavior of those we follow and friend. How often do you see the same news from different people on your timelines?  Are you one of those people who shares content from websites or are you someone who takes pictures and shares the more personal aspects of your life on social media?

Content Creators

Statistically there are less people who create content to share on social media than those who consume the content. However with the rise of mobile phones and ease of access to the web whilst on the go we are seeing more and more content being created.  The social networks such as Facebook and Twitter want us to share more as well. You may have heard about Facebook embedding video into your timeline when it is uploaded there and Twitter have also just announced that you can now comment on re-tweets as well. This trend is only going to grow on these social networks. The more you share the more valuable your insights are to others.

Content Curators

Some people don’t like to share their personal thoughts, experiences and feelings online and these people tend to be more interested in sharing things that they find elsewhere on the internet.  They share interesting things that they have read or seen online.  These are the content curators. Everyone should follow a few of these types of people as they bring some interesting insights and news direct to your social media timelines. There is a bit of a content curator in all of us.

Curating content isn’t as hard as you might think, just use the sharing buttons on your favourite websites and add your comments when you share them. The only word of warning here is that you should only share content that you find interesting and that you think your friends and followers will find interesting. There is no point sending things that will offend others as that just damages your own reputation.

What type of social media user are you? A creator or a curator?

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Digi.me needs your help!

The team here at digi.me are working out where to take our software in the future and we want you to be part of that.  With digi.me, it’s your life that we are helping you to capture so we really can’t do that with out you and your input. We need your help!

Quite simply you are our inspiration, our super heroes and our future.

How can you help? 

We have created a short 3 minute survey that we would like to ask all our users to complete.  We will of course keep your feedback anonymous and confidential.  We will not share it with third parties but we will share the results with our community so that you can all see where we are going next and why. To thank you for completing our survey and for helping us we will give you a free upgrade for one year!

We Need Your Help!

To thank you for completing our survey and for helping us we will give you
a free upgrade for one year!

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What else?

As we start to develop the next versions of our software we would also like to invite those of you who are interested in getting their hands on the latest and greatest versions of our software before everyone else by joining our early adopter programme.

What is the early adopter programme and what is in it for me…

By joining this programme you will be invited to try out beta (early pre release but stable) versions of our software before it is available to everyone else.  This will give you a great opportunity to guide us and tell us what you like and dislike about the changes and shape the features that are most important to you.

  • We will of course give you access to whichever version of our software that is most relevant to you.
  • You will gain early insights into the product before anyone else.
  • You get to shape the future direction of digi.me
  • There will even be a few goodies and prizes from time to time.
  • We may also invite some of you to our office to meet the team and get behind the scenes to find out even more about us!

If this sounds like it would be of interest to you then please complete the questionnaire and let us know when you claim your free 1 year upgrade that you would also be interested in our early adopter programme.

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Sharing – change in control needed

Sharing today is generally seen as positive, but is also associated with negative aspects around privacy. If the negative aspects are not fixed sharing will slow and cease to the detriment to everyone, but there is a solution that will increase benefits to individuals, businesses and society as a whole IF there is a change in control – from business control to individual control.

Sharing is positive because it creates new services and functions that can help individuals, businesses and society as a whole. Sharing has grown through database marketing in 80s/90s; social media in the mid-00s; wider Software as a Service (SaaS) services since; and will grow exponentially more as individuals embrace the Internet of Things (IoT) – provided the “bad” can be controlled.

The negative is privacy; along with the increased sharing of information has always come concerns with regard to privacy. If we look back to the introduction of what might be termed database marketing in the 80s, increased privacy concerns led to the introduction of check boxes on forms stating whether businesses could use the information for other purposes. Today we have dramatically increased the personal data that is shared, both explicitly and hidden, whether that is social media, other web/SAAS services, monitoring of clicks and the like – and with that has come heightened privacy concerns.

The web related privacy concerns have grown ever more over the last 6 years, with greater numbers of people reducing/changing their social media use (or using more private channels), using Do Not Track, Ad blockers, ’going dark’ and other methods. The concept of the “creepy line” is well embedded now within society. Unconstrained and uncorrected, this will lead to a reduction in sharing, curtailing the positive benefits, and crippling new concepts such as IoT, which depends on greater levels of sharing.

This reduction in sharing leads to a discontinuity with dramatic effects. Not only will the Internet of Things be stillborn, but innovation in providing services based on personal data will stall across all domains (personal communications, commerce, health, etc). This will have a dramatically negative effect on businesses, but also individuals and society as a whole.

A BCG report “The value of our digital identity” states “The quantifiable benefit of personal data applications can reach €1 trillion annually to EU-27 by 2020  – with private and public organisations reaping about a third of the total, and consumers the rest” and then on goes on to say ““BUT much of this potential value will fail to materialise if consumers act to restrict the flow of personal data.”

How do we solve this problem and allow, even encourage, greater sharing? The current trajectory MUST be broken and restarted following a different approach in order for the full promise of personal data, inc. the IoT, to be realised

Change in control

There is a perception that there is so much data that it is currently infeasible for individuals to control it in a meaningful way with the information technologies available today, but our aim must be to provide that much needed control.

There are many suggestions for “personal data stores’ or “personal data lockers” and similar, hosted by third parties, to help individuals gain some control over their data. However, these all suffer from a number of issues: control is still via third party; the stores only hold a subset of data which means there is no overall control, no interoperability between different stores and no single point to access; holders of individual’s personal data (e.g. Facebook et al) often don’t allow access for retention by third parties. At best these systems are a band aid to the control issue and provide limited immediate benefits to individuals, severely limiting take up.

However, there is another approach – one in which the overall architecture is different, but at the same time familiar. By approaching the issue of privacy from an alternate architectural viewpoint, it is our contention that many of the problems are mitigated and contrary to there being an additional cost to privacy, there is in fact the reverse: an additional benefit to everyone involved with the new architecture, individuals, businesses and society alike – and at reduced cost.

The fundamental architectural difference is to return ownership and control of personal data to the individual, rather than the control being held exclusively by business

Personal control – the ultimate solution

Personal control is a simple change in perspective:

– Others don’t own your data – you do.

– Others shouldn’t hold your data – you should hold it yourself

By changing the view, this simple insight solves the privacy issue for individuals and the ability of businesses to access that data through user permissions.  This view, and the understanding that underpins it, has been developed by the company digi.me (formerly SocialSafe) in the UK, in a program of work that was initiated in 2009.

Having first downloaded the digi.me software to your device, the software works by retrieving your data directly to your digi.me library on your device – not touching anything else along the way, not the digi.me servers, not anything. A 100% private library of all your data, fused and normalised – social, financial, utilities, purchases, health, leisure and much more.

The digi.me user interface then allows the user to do more with their data, 100% privately, never losing it, and keeping access forever. It helps them be more engaged, have more fun, and to do more things, better – all locally and immediately, thereby giving that crucial incentive to start the process of regaining control of their data.

So digi.me is your librarian, but also extends to being your postman. The postal service is where digi.me controls a certificate system that allows other apps, web sites, etc. to ask the user for permission to see aspects of their data for a specific and permissioned purpose. If the permission is given by the user based on their perception of the offered value proposition, the digi.me app sends the permissioned portion of the ‘rich data’ to the requesting entity. This is summarised in the diagram below and in more detail in a video at http://digi.me/video

(Note: Whilst this architecture is different in that the individual owns and controls all their data, it was noted above that it was also familiar – that is because it is exactly what businesses do. Businesses hold all their own data – and then use local and remote apps to extract greater value. The individual is like a business with all the data available today – it should therefore not be a surprise that the solution is a familiar one!)

Conclusion

So by holding all their own data, individuals regain control and can do more with their data themselves and importantly can decide who they share that data with, what elements are shared, when, for what purpose – in this way the sharing economy can overcome the discontinuity posited above.

(Note: In my previous post I noted that we should define Privacy in the digital age as the “Ability to control your personal data, including who you share it with, when and for what purpose”. By owning your data you are then in control of your own privacy.)

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Definition of Privacy in the Digital Age

We seem to be caught between two stools of thought on Privacy – either Privacy is dead (aka Mark Zuckerberg and more recent posts such ashttp://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/innovations/wp/2015/02/11/privacy-is-following-chivalry-to-the-grave-heres-why-thats-a-good-thing/) or the Go Dark movement. This seems to be looking at issues incorrectly, because we haven’t defined what Privacy is.

Specifically, being private doesn’t mean not sharing anything – it means being in control of what you share, to whom and when. For example, I am a private person, but I share sex with my wife, I share family issues within my family group, I share my finances with my financial advisor, I am happy for my supermarket to know what I buy. The point is that in the physical world I am largely (but never completely) in control of my privacy and that includes what I share and with whom.

So privacy does NOT mean no sharing. This is important as sharing is the grease to the future economy – combining different data sets that I share will enable radically new services and experiences that I have yet to even think of.  Privacy equates to controlled sharing. There is a spectrum of sharing for data items: from items I keep solely to myself, to items I share with one or a few people and ask not to be shared further, to data I may share more widely and allow to be re-shared, to data which I share with the world (either as me or in anonymised form).

We should include “for what purpose” in the above definition of what privacy implies re control and to most people they would. If I disclose to a close friend a secret so I can get feedback for example, I do not expect that secret to be disclosed to others – it was only for the purpose of our conversation. However, I can’t control my friend directly and he may tell others. In which case of course he has lost trust and I probably won’t share with him again – or at least will share more carefully. This is of course the same in the digital world. If I share with you for a purpose and you use for another purpose then I am unlikely to want to share with you again.

So, I propose we define Privacy as “The ability to control your personal data, including who you share it with, when and for what purpose“.

(Note: the dictionary defines Privacy as the “condition of being secret”. In my digital privacy definition we propose this is equivalent to “being in control of who is in on the secret”).